Gracie family
The Gracie family (ˈɡɾejsi) is a prominent sporting family from Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 known for their founding 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...

 (BJJ). They have been successful in combat sport competitions including 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...

, 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...

 and submission wrestling
Submission wrestling
Submission wrestling or Combat wrestling in Japan, is a formula of competition and a general term describing the aspect of martial arts and combat sports that focus on clinch and ground fighting with the aim of obtaining a submission using submission holds...

 events. As a family, they uphold the Gracie challenge
Gracie challenge
The Gracie challenge was an open invitation issued by some members of the Brazilian Gracie family, known for their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu mastery, to martial artists of other styles to fight them in a Vale tudo match. A precursor to the Ultimate Fighting Championship , the purpose of these...

, which promotes their style of BJJ.


The Gracie family line in Brazil descended from George Gracie, a Scotsman
Scotsman may mean:* a man from Scotland, in common parlance - see also Scottish people.* No true Scotsman, a common logical fallacy.*The Scotsman, a national newspaper based in Edinburgh, Scotland....

 from the Carronhill estate
Carronbridge is a village in the parish of Morton in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The village is at the junction of the A76 and A702 roads approximately north of Thornhill. To the west of the village the Carron Water flows into the River Nith...

 in Dumfriesshire
Dumfriesshire or the County of Dumfries is a registration county of Scotland. The lieutenancy area of Dumfries has similar boundaries.Until 1975 it was a county. Its county town was Dumfries...

 who immigrated in 1826 when he was 25 years old. George was a son of James (b. 1772), the second son of family patriarch George Gracie (b. 1734), and Jean Patterson.


Gastão Gracie from Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, the grandson of George Gracie through his son Pedro married Cesarina Pessoa Vasconcellos, the daughter of a wealthy Ceará
Ceará is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of...

 family, in 1901 and decided to settle in Belém do Pará. Gastão Gracie became a business partner of the American Circus in Belém. In 1916, Italian Argentine
Italian Argentine
An Italian Argentine is a person born in Argentina of Italian ancestry. It is estimated up to 25 million Argentines have some degree of Italian descent...

A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...

 Queirolo Brothers staged shows there and presented Mitsuyo 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...

, a Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese Judoka and prize fighter. In 1917, 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...

, the eldest son of Gastão Gracie, watched a demonstration by Maeda at the Da Paz Theatre
Da Paz Theatre
The Paz Theater was designed by the military engineer José Tibúrcio Pereira de Magalhães and was built between 1869 and 1878 in Belém do Pará, Brazil. Its neoclassical style façade is an acquiescence to the period of time when this style was in great account in Brazil. To some, Magalhães'...

 and decided to learn judo. Maeda accepted to teach Carlos. In 1921, following his financial dire straits and his father Pedro's demise serving as a pretext, Gastão Gracie returned to his native Rio with his family.

Carlos passed Maeda's teachings on to his brothers Oswaldo, Gastão Jr., and George. Hélio
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...

 was too young and sick at that time to learn the art, and due to medical imposition was prohibited to take part in the training sessions. Despite that, Hélio learned from watching his brothers. He eventually overcame his health problems and is now considered by many as the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (though others, such as Carlson Gracie
Carlson Gracie
Carlson Gracie, Sr. was a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was the eldest son of Carlos Gracie, founder of the system with his uncle Hélio Gracie, and learned the art from his uncle and his father. He was a member of the legendary Gracie family.- Biography :Carlson Gracie would later split...

, have pointed to Carlos as the founder of the art).

Rolls Gracie
Rolls Gracie
Rolls Gracie was a notable practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a member of the Gracie family.- Biography :...

 is sometimes considered in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community and within the Gracie family as the true creator of the modern form of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He did so by training and competing in Judo, Sambo
Sambo (martial art)
Sambo is a Russian martial art and combat sport. The word "SAMBO" is an acronym for SAMooborona Bez Oruzhiya, which literally translates as "self-defense without weapons". Sambo is relatively modern since its development began in the early 1920s by the Soviet Red Army to improve their hand to hand...

, and Wrestling
Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

. He was the lead instructor of the most promising Gracies in the famliy, namely, Rickson Gracie
Rickson Gracie
Rickson Gracie is a Brazilian 8th degree black and red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a retired mixed martial artist. He is a member of the Gracie family: the son of Hélio Gracie, brother to Rorion and Relson Gracie, and half-brother to Rolker, Royce, Robin and Royler Gracie.-Biography:Rickson...

, Royler Gracie
Royler Gracie
Royler Gracie is a retired Brazilian mixed martial artist and Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. He ran the Gracie Humaitá jiu-jitsu school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for many years under his father Helio's direction, but currently resides in San Diego, US.Royler travels around the world teaching...

, Rillion Gracie
Rillion Gracie
Rilion Gracie is a martial artist and a prominent member of the Gracie family. He is the youngest son and 20th child of Carlos Gracie the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and holds the rank of 6th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

, and Carlos Gracie Jr.

The most recent family champion is Roger Gracie
Roger Gracie
Roger Gracie Gomes is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and mixed martial artist. Roger was awarded his black belt by his cousin Renzo Gracie at the behest of Carlos Gracie, Jr. whilst training in New York in 2003. He is currently a second degree black belt...

, who holds the Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu World Super Heavyweight and Pan-American Open Weight titles and the ADCC heavyweight and openweight championships. The most famous member of the Gracie family may be Royce Gracie
Royce Gracie
Royce Gracie is a Brazilian professional mixed martial artist, a UFC Hall of Famer and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. A legend and pioneer in the sport of mixed martial arts, he is widely considered to be the most influential figure in the history of modern MMA.Gracie gained fame for his...

, winner of three UFC tournaments.

External links

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