Carlson Gracie
Carlson Gracie, Sr. was a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting...

. He was the eldest son of Carlos Gracie
Carlos Gracie
Carlos Gracie was the first Gracie to learn Judo from Otávio Mitsuyo Maeda. Based on this judo training, Carlos and his brothers founded the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

, founder of the system with his uncle Hélio Gracie
Hélio Gracie
Hélio Gracie was a Brazilian martial artist who, together with his brother Carlos Gracie, founded the martial art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, known internationally as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

, and learned the art from his uncle and his father. He was a member of the legendary Gracie family
Gracie family
The Gracie family is a prominent sporting family from Brazil known for their founding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu . They have been successful in combat sport competitions including mixed martial arts, vale tudo and submission wrestling events...



Carlson Gracie would later split from Hélio Gracie's group. He founded one of top mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 teams, which spawned many champions. In 2000, following a financial dispute, many of Carlson Gracie's students would split from him to form another MMA team, the Brazilian Top Team
Brazilian Top Team
The Brazilian Top Team is a mixed martial arts academy specializing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing.The academy was established in April 2000 by Murilo Bustamante, Ricardo Libório, Mário Sperry and Luis Roberto Duarte, former-members of the Carlson Gracie Academy, to develop and create new...

, which would remain respectful to the master.

Carlson fought a total of eighteen vale tudo
Vale tudo
Vale tudo are full-contact unarmed combat events, with a limited number of rules, that became popular in Brazil during the 20th century. Vale tudo has been considered a combat sport by some observers...

 fights, with only one loss to Euclides Pereira in a fight that was held in Bahia
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth most populous Brazilian state after São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, and the fifth-largest in size...

. His first fight was against Capoeira
Capoeira is a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, sports, and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century...

 practitioner Luiz "Cirandinha" Aguiar in this March 17, 1953. Carlson won after over an hour of fighting. His second match was a draw against Wilson "Passarito" Oliveira in May 1953. Carlson had a rematch in March 1954 in the longest fight of his career, which he won in the fifth 30 minute round. Most notable are his four matches with Valdemar Santana
Valdemar Santana
Waldemar Santana , sometimes known as Adema Santa, was a Brazilian martial artist, who trained in Capoeira under Mestre Bimba and also in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Helio Gracie and boxing.-Biography:...

, who had defeated his uncle Hélio Gracie
Hélio Gracie
Hélio Gracie was a Brazilian martial artist who, together with his brother Carlos Gracie, founded the martial art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, known internationally as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

 in a fabled match in May 1955. He beat Santana in the first fight avenging his family. In October 1955 Carlson fought Santana to a draw in a Jiu-Jitsu match. In 1956 and 1957 Carlson won two fights and in 1959 they fought to a draw.

Carlson Gracie trained many top competitors such as Allan Goes
Allan Goes
Allan Goes is a Brazilian mixed martial artist. He last fought for the Seattle Tiger Sharks of the International Fight League.-Biography:...

, Murilo Bustamante
Murilo Bustamante
Murilo Bustamante |Lion's Den]], Ikuhisa Minowa, Ryuta Sakurai , Dave Menne and undefeated top ranked Middleweight Matt Lindland .-Instructor lineage:Mitsuyo "Count Koma" Maeda → Carlos Gracie, Sr...

, Mario Sperry
Mario Sperry
Mario Sperry is a Brazilian heavyweight martial artist. His specialty is Brazilian jiu-jitsu, grappling and ground fighting.-Career:Sperry first broke onto the sport Jiu-Jitsu scene in the early eighties...

, Wallid Ismail
Wallid Ismail
Wallid Farid Ismail is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and promoter. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlson Gracie, and is an IVC mixed martial arts world champion and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion...

, Pablo Popovitch
Pablo Popovitch
Pablo Popovitch born September 9, 1979 is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, mixed martial artist and a 3rd degree black belt under Jorge Popovitch. Pablo Popovitch is the founder and head instructor at The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.-Biography:Pablo Popovitch...

, Kevin Christopher, Andre Pederneiras
Andre Pederneiras
André Pederneiras is a Brazilian mixed martial artist with a record of 1-1-2. Andre "Dede" Pederneiras is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the late grandmaster Carlson Gracie and also one of the two founders of team Nova União...

, Julio Fernandez, Ricardo Liborio
American Top Team
American Top Team is one of the leading teams in mixed martial arts. It was founded by former members of Brazilian Top Team, Ricardo Liborio, Marcus Silveira and Marcelo Silveira but there is no formal affiliation between the two teams. ATT's main academy is in Coconut Creek, Florida but has...

, Marcus Soares, Rodrigo Medeiros, Ricardo "Rey" Diogo, Marcelo Alonso and was also responsible for introducing and mastering Vitor Belfort
Vitor Belfort
Vítor Vieira Belfort is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Belfort was born in Rio de Janeiro and studied jiu-jitsu with the Gracie family, namely Carlson Gracie. He received a black belt under Carlson and currently trains with Xtreme Couture, fighting in...

 into Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Carlson Gracie also trained Stephan Bonnar
Stephan Bonnar
Stephan Patrick Bonnar is an American mixed martial artist who currently competes for the Ultimate Fighting Championship...

, a finalist in the UFC reality show The Ultimate Fighter 1
The Ultimate Fighter 1
The debut season of The Ultimate Fighter premiered on January 17, 2005. Sixteen mixed martial arts fighters were invited to participate in the show where they would reside together and train in two separate teams...

. He was in Bonnar's corner during his legendary fight
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar is a duo of fights starting in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 1 contest which received national acclaim, and was highly regarded among fans as one of the most exciting and memorable fights in the history of not only the UFC, but MMA in general...

 against eventual The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter is an American reality television series and mixed martial arts competition produced by Spike TV and the Ultimate Fighting Championship , and soon to be shown on FX. The show features unknown, professional MMA fighters living together in Las Vegas, Nevada, and follows them as...

 winner Forrest Griffin
Forrest Griffin
Forrest Griffin is an American mixed martial artist. He is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship where he is a former UFC light heavyweight champion....

. He is the author of a book on the subject of Jiu Jitsu titled Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: For Experts Only, which includes his student Julio "Foca" Fernandez.

The oldest son of Carlos Gracie
Carlos Gracie
Carlos Gracie was the first Gracie to learn Judo from Otávio Mitsuyo Maeda. Based on this judo training, Carlos and his brothers founded the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

, who founded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Rio de Janeiro during the 1920s, Carlson reigned as world champion for thirty years covering the '50s, '60s and '70s. During this time, he was also considered one of the preeminent teachers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the world; a reputation he holds to this day.

Carlson catapulted to fame at the age of 23 when he avenged the defeat of his uncle Helio Gracie. A former student of Helio's, Waldemar Santana, had defeated the much older Helio during a match in 1955. That match lasted four hours and is still the longest in modern history. Carlson's rematch with Santana in 1956 was a much shorter affair: four rounds of vicious vale-tudo combat came to draw.

Riding on his newly found fame, Carlson became the most sought-after Jiu-Jitsu instructor in Brazil. After teaching at his uncle's academy for several years, he opened his own, where over the past thirty years many of the greatest names in Jiu-Jitsu and no-holds-barred fighters have trained as members of the famed Carlson Gracie Arrebentacao Team.

Helio Gracie's academy taught only the most basic positions to outsiders, reserving the advanced positions for the family elite. Carlson opened up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the masses, and the masses responded, hungry to learn everything they could. To compete for students, the other academy was forced to offer all their positions as well. This good-natured competition breathed creativity and invention into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Carlson's influence on no-holds-barred fighting is extensive as well, for the style of Jiu-Jitsu he taught at his academy was distinct from that being taught by Helio. While Helio's brand of Jiu-Jitsu emphasized technical proficiency, Carlson favored a 'warrior style' of Jiu-Jitsu that encouraged physical prowess and barraging your opponent with a series of attacks.

Carlson Gracie died on February 1, 2006, in Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, of heart failure, apparently the result of complications of kidney stones (and possibly his pre-existing diabetes), following a hospitalisation of several days. At the time of his death he was a ninth degree red belt
Red belt (martial arts)
A Red Belt is one of several colored belts used in some martial arts where each practitioner's level is marked by the color of the belt, these are most commonly those of Japanese or Korean origin...

 and was referred to as Grandmaster
Grandmaster (martial arts)
Grandmaster and Master are titles used to describe or address some senior or experienced martial artists. Such titles may be, to some extent, aligned to the elderly martial arts master stock character in fiction...

. Carlson considers his proudest achievement to be the scores of students that he has instilled with his love for the sport that changed his life.

Instructor Lineage

Mitsuyo "Count Koma" Maeda
Mitsuyo Maeda
,a Brazilian naturalized as Otávio Maeda,was a Japanese judōka and prizefighter in no holds barred competitions. He was also known as Count Combat or Conde Koma in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, a nickname he picked up in Spain in 1908...

 → Carlos Gracie, Sr.
Carlos Gracie
Carlos Gracie was the first Gracie to learn Judo from Otávio Mitsuyo Maeda. Based on this judo training, Carlos and his brothers founded the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

 → Carlson Gracie

Personal life

Carlson had 3 children; Rosane, Karen & Carlson Gracie Jr.
Carlson Gracie Jr.
Carlson Gracie, Jr. is a Brazilian martial artist and member of the Gracie family.- Biography :...

 and two grandchildren. Julia by Karen and Carlson, III by Carlson, Jr.

External links

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