The Gracie style was created in Brazil in the early part of this century by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneer Carlos Gracie, who studied traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu as a teenager under the great Japanese champion, Mitsuyo Maeda (known in Brazil as Conde Koma -- the "Count of Combat").
Carlos Gracie, who was interested in streetfighting and was also a boxer, quickly modified the classical techniques he learned from Count Koma to meet the demands of real, "no rules" fighting in the streets of Brazil. The young Carlos Gracie then tested and refined his system through constant matches, open to all comers, constantly working to make it more effective. At one point, he even advertised in newspapers and on street corners for new opponents upon whom to practice and further refine his art. He fought anyone and everyone who was willing, regardless of size, weight or fighting style. Even though he was a mere 135 pounds, his style was so effective that Carlos Gracie was never defeated and became a legend in Brazil.
This tradition of open challenge is a part of the heritage of
the Gracie style of jiu-jitsu. Carlos Gracie
taught his style of jiu-jitsu to his four younger brothers (Oswaldo,
Gastão, Jorge, and finally Helio)
and to his older sons (including Carlson
and they in turn taught their brothers, sons, nephews and
cousins. After Carlos retired from the ring, he managed the fight
careers of his brothers and sons, continuing to challenge
fighters of all styles throughout the world. This tradition of
open challenge has been continued by his sons, grandsons,
brothers, nephews, and students, who have consistently
demonstrated the superiority of the Gracie style in real fights
and minimum-rule matches in rings throughout the world.
Carlos Gracie had 21 children
and his youngest brother Helio had 7 sons, creating a virtual
dynasty of Gracie fighters and instructors who dominate the world
of "no rules" fight contests
today. In these events, Gracie representatives have consistently
demonstrated, in open competition against title holders from
other martial arts styles, that the Gracie style of Jiu-Jitsu is
the most effective fighting art in the world today. No small
wonder that the Gracie style of Jiu-Jitsu is the
"hottest" item in martial arts today.
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Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a mark used by various members of the Gracie family of Brazil; their Academies are individually owned and operated.