A Comprehensive History of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Below is the history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu from its origin to the present day. We have constantly been collecting information, articles, postings, stories, etc. and finally have put together everything we could get our hands on to create this history. You may recognize some of the material within this piece and that is because some of it is just cut and pasted in to the document with various grammar and spelling corrections, additional information, and writing in order to make this piece complete, chronological, rational, and readable. These are accounts from various sources, some of which are not part of the Gracie family, who we thought would give non-bias stories and accounts of what happened (or at least how they saw it).

We hope that the references at the bottom of the page provides enough recognition to all the people whom we have gathered this information. We appreciate all their hard work and would like to use that information, as well as our own, and push Jiu-Jitsu history further as a contribution to the Gracie Family, the practioners of the art, and all the family, friends, and fans around the globe.

Outline of the History of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
I. The Beginning of Grappling
II. Origin of Jiu-Jitsu and Judo
III. Background of Mitsuyo Maeda/Count Koma
IV. Introduction of Judo/Jiu-Jitsu to Carlos Gracie and the background of Carlos Gracie
V. Luiz Franca: The Other Originator of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
VI. Helio Gracie: The Mastermind of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
VII. Helio Passes the Torch to Carlson
VIII. Second Generation Gracie Family Members and their accomplishments including the effect on MMA
IX. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Today

I. The Beginning of Grappling

Grappling styles have existed for eons. Early Egyptian and Greek art show the grappling arts in tombs, on pottery, and in statuary. Grappling was known as far back as 2300 B.C.. Over the centuries, the grappling martial arts spread throughout the world eventually coming to Japan. Though the exact origin of Jiu-Jitsu is unknown, it is agreed that the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu techniques were a culmination of many ancient forms used by other oriental warriors.

Fighting forms have existed for centuries in Japan, but few were recorded, thus precise dating is impossible. There were, however, orally passed traditions that mention early combative confrontations in ancient Japan. Their exact origins are shrouded in mythology. The earliest mention of a sportive fight was a style called Chikura Kurabe. Another early tale is of Takemina Kata-no-Kami; a commoner, and Takemikazuchi-no-Kami; a divine champion. They are recorded in ancient tradition as having a combative wrestling match. Another tradition recorded in the NIHON-SHOKI refers to an early fighting style called Sumai (meaning "struggle"), and states that the style may have existed as early as 23 B.C.. Here, the story is of one Nomi-no-Sukune of Izumo who defeated Tajima-no-Kehaya on a beach in Shimane Prefecture by fracturing Kehaya's ribs with a side kick, throwing him to the ground, and then trampling him, crushing his pelvis and ultimately killing him. This was supposedly witnessed by the Emperor Suinin. Most of these early combative forms resembled modern Sumo and wrestling. Some of the ancient recorded styles were Tekoi, Sumai, and Kumi-Uchi. Kumi-Uchi was a battlefield type of Sumai. It was developed especially for battle against an opponent in lightweight armor. The art did not need gripping to make the techniques work. The techniques were based on strong hips and legs which were used to maintain contact with the enemy and throw him to the ground. Another ancient form of Jiu-Jitsu was centered around the manipulation of joints and the immobilization of the limbs. It was called Yawara. These combat arts existed with little change for over 600 years.

The Minamoto Clan
Around 700 A.D., the Japanese began to have more frequent contact with the people of China. Through these contacts, bits of Chinese culture, religion, and art became assimilated into the Japanese society. It is during this time, the Heian period, that Jiu-Jitsu took the form it has today. Though there were already established combat arts in Japan, this new style of fighting became the most popular. About 875-880 A.D., one of the sons of Emperor Siewa met a Chinese man who taught him a few fighting techniques. From these techniques and principles, Teijun Fujiwara (sometimes called Sadazumi or Sadagami) developed a fighting art he called Aiki-Jutsu. Teijun Fujiwara taught these techniques exclusively to the royal Minamoto family where it remained a secret style until the early 1100's. At that time, two sons of Minamoto no Yoriyoshi (a 5th generation descendent of Emperor Seiwa and ruler of the Chinjufu area of Oshu) began to thoroughly develop, organize and catalog Aikijujutsu techniques. Minamoto no Yoshimitsu (also known as Shinra Saburo or "Genji") (1036 - 1127 A.D.) and Minamoto no Yoshiie (Hachimantaro) (1041 - 1108 A.D.) were both Yamusame (archery) and To-Ho (swordsmanship) masters, brought up in the tradition of their forefathers. They both worked together to develop their families fighting techniques by dissecting cadavers and studying the working of the muscles and bones. Yoriyoshi's eldest son Yoshikiyo was also a famous warrior who fought against Abe no Sadatou in the Zen Ku Nen war (1051 - 1062) and was victorious against Abe at the battle of Koromogawa no Yakata. If Aikijujutsu would develop anywhere, it would be here in the most famous military family in Japan. It was Minamoto Yoshimitsu who named his family style Daito-Ryu AikiJujutsu after his estate called Daito. Minamoto no Yoshikiyo moved to the Kai region and became the head of that branch of the Minamoto family. He called that branch KaiGenjiTakeda. KAI was the region, GENJI the ancient family name and TAKEDA was the town from whence he chose the new family name. The Takeda family ran several martial arts schools in the area for over 400 years. The only two surviving Yamusame schools Takeda-Ryu and Ogasawara-Ryu come from the schools of Takeda no Yoshikiyo.

The Muromachi Period
During the Muromachi period (1392-1537), there was another Jiu-Jitsu school that was greatly influential. Takenouchi-Ryu was founded by Takenouchi Hisamori (also called Takeuchi Toichiro) in 1532. Hisamori had spent time in the mountains with a Yamabushi (hermit mountain warrior) and had learned five arresting techniques and some principles of evasion. He combined these techniques with his knowledge of Kumi-Uchi to make a Jiu-Jitsu style he called Kogusoku. Later this style was renamed Takenouchi-Ryu Jujutsu. The second headmaster of Takenouchi-Ryu, Hisakatsu, added Shinken Shobu (deadly fighting). The third headmaster added Torite (restraining). One of its core teachings was that of Koshi No Mawari, or grappling in the light armor of the day. It became one of the three core styles of Jiu-Jitsu.

Another school of Jiu-Jitsu that became popular was founded during the same period by Akiyama Shirobi Yoshitoki, a doctor from Nagasaki. He studied striking and kicking techniques in China under Haku-Tei (also called Pao-Chuan), along with 3 Yawara techniques and 28 different types of Kassei-Ho. Akiyama returned to Japan and began to teach these forms but found it hard to keep students with so few techniques. As a result, Akiyama retired to the temple of Temmangu at Tsukushi about 1723 to study the techniques and attempt to expand on them. During his winter stay, he one day noticed snow piling up on the branches of the trees outside the temple. He saw that whereas the snow piled heavily on the branches of the great oak tree, is slipped harmlessly off the pliable branches of the willow tree. Eventually, the branches of the oak tree began to break under the weight of the snow, but the willow branches simply yielded and allowed the snow to fall off, thereby saving the tree. This brought a great enlightenment (satori) to Yoshitoki and he used the concept of JU (suppleness) to increase his techniques to 103. From his experience at the temple he decided to name his style Yoshin-Ryu (willow heart school). This ryu is also called Yanagi-Ryu and Miura-Ryu after two of its most famous teachers.

Takeda Harunobu (Shingen) (1520 - 1573) was a descendent of Minamoto (Takeda) no Yoshikiyo and one of the great warriors of the Sengoku era. Besides being a sword, spear, and archery master, he was a great leader in battle. He warred against Uesugi Kenshin, the ruler of Echigo, in his most famous battle known as Kawanakajima in 1561. In those days a wealthy samurai had several retainers under him to take care of many tasks which ran from administration of troops, to running training camps. Shingen had several illustrious retainers, namely Sanada Yukitaka, Obata Toramori, and Yamamoto Kansuke (who wrote the famous HEIHO OKUGI SHO). During Haranobu's great military career, he came into conflict with the Tokugawa clan. In a decisive battle in 1572, Takeda Shingen beat Tokugawa Ieyasu. Even though this was a great victory for the Takeda clan, Shingen died from wounds sustained in his clash with the Tokugawas while on his way to Kyoto. In April of 1573, Takeda Kunitsugu brought the last will and testament of Takeda Harunobu to the ruler of Aizu, Ashina Moriuji. Ashina was a long time ally of the Takedas and turned over his portion to Kunitsugu. Takeda Kunitsugu received a large estate and farm lands from Ashina and was persuaded to stay in Aizu as a sword master. From that day forward the Takeda family lived and taught Aikijujutsu in Aizu.

In one fateful event in February of 1582, the unbroken line of Takeda Aikijujutsu masters came to an end. It was during that month that the forces of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu took revenge for their loss in 1572 and attacked Takeda Katsuyori (the son of Takeda Harunobu) and was victorious over the Takeda clan. As any samurai who felt he had failed his family would do, Katsuyori committed ritual suicide (seppuku). Luckily, the art had been passed onto the retainers of the Takeda family who continued the tradition. The most famous were: Sanada Yukitaka, Sanada Masayuki, Sanada Yukimura, Sanada Nobuyuki, Yamamoto Kansuke, Obata Toramori, and Obata Kanbei Kagenori.

It must be understood that the teaching of the martial arts was restricted to extended family and retainers at that time. The headmastership was only passed on from father to son, unless there was no heir. In this case the headmaster was chosen from the head retainer or from a close male member of the extended family. The techniques that were taught as a matter of course to the foot soldiers (ashigaru or chugen) were simple, unrefined movements. Though they were combat effective, they depended on strong legs and hips and a powerful body rather than the skill of a true martial science. Many of the techniques that influenced the formation of Judo which came from the Kito-Ryu and the Tenshin Shin'Yo-Ryu were the techniques of the Chugen. The Goshinkiuchi or secret teachings (later called Otome-Ryu by the Daito-Ryu masters) were only taught to the top classes of samurai. Knowledge of these methods were not allowed to pass to the lower level retainers. Also, during this period families actually kept their knowledge a family secret. This allowed for superiority in battle against opposing family clans.

Because the Aizu retainers were now the headmasters of Takeda-Ryu Aikijujutsu (Daito Ryu), the development of this style remained untouched in that area for another 250 years. This branch of the family came to be known as Aizu Takeda. They were renowned in Japan as great sword masters. There were 5 styles of TO-HO and two of Aikijujutsu (Mizu no Shinto-Ryu and Shinmyo-Ryu) practiced by the Aizu Takeda. Additionally, there were many private schools in Aizu including 22 for Kenjutsu, 14 for Battojutsu, 16 for Jujutsu, 7 for Yamusame, 16 for Gunnery, and 4 for Spear. Students in that area also studied Naginata, Bojutsu, Kusarijutsu, Kacchu Kumiuchi, and Jinchyu Ninjutsu. In all there were over 90 schools thriving in the Aizu.

At one time, there were over 700 documented Jiu-Jitsu schools in Japan. Many called their art Jiu-Jitsu, while others used such names as Ju-Do, Aiki-Do, Taijutsu, Koshi-no-Mawari, Torite, Kenpo, Wajutsu, Hudaka, Hobaku, Shubaku, and Yawara. All these were Jiu-Jitsu.

II. Origin of Jiu-Jitsu and Judo

At the end of the 1800's, the Samurai were politically disbanded and many Jiu-Jitsu /Kenjutsu schools died out. A few survived, however. Jiu-Jitsu schools came in from the countryside to the city, and by doing so were exposed to other ryu. There were many contests between Jiu-Jitsu schools at the time, each trying to prove they were the best. Many Jiu-Jitsu styles were defeated and discredited, some unjustly. Nevertheless, they were forced out of existence, or the practitioners simply joined other ryu. It was also a time of bullying on the part of the Jujutsuka. Many of the younger students found enjoyment in trying the techniques out on unsuspecting city folk. Also, many bar brawls were started in order to practice their techniques. Jiu-Jitsu itself fell into ill repute and many of it's practitioners were seen as trouble makers. Because of this view, the practice of Jiu-Jitsu was restricted to a very few traditional schools.

It was in 1882 that things began to change. It was in that year that Kano Jigoro founded a new type of Jiu-Jitsu that he called Judo. Kano was a Jiu-Jitsu master who had studied under sensei's Teinosuke Yagi and Hachinosuke Fukada of the Tenshin Shin'Yo-Ryu. Later, he also studied under the tutelage of Tsunetoshi Iikubu of the Kito-Ryu. He also studied a while with the Sekiguchi-Ryu.

Kano was born in a small costal town outside of Kobe, Japan in 1860. His main martial theories were developed by his study of the "secret" books HONTAI and SEIKO which discuss the fundamentals of Nage (throwing) through the principle of KI-TO (to raise up - to strike down). This, combined with his grappling knowledge from the Tenshin Shin'Yo-Ryu, led Kano to retire to the solitude of the Eishoji temple and develop his Judo.

What made Kano's Jiu-Jitsu different was his approach to training. Because he sought to preserve the Jiu-Jitsu techniques, but realized that Jiu-Jitsu had a bad reputation, he changed the entire philosophy surrounding his art. Kano emphasized the physical fitness aspects of the art and altered the techniques to make them appealing to the general public. The sporting aspect of the art was also suggested. Kano arranged KATA, (prearranged forms) for the self defense techniques in order to ensure safety and enjoyment in learning, but retained SHIAI (contest) to test timing and technique in s semi-combat situation. Kano also invented the ranking system that consisted of KYU ranks (trainees) and DAN ranks (graded). Before Kano, the ranking system was non-existent. Kano also targeted government and military officials as his primary student population. By doing this, the popularity of his Judo spread quickly.

Of course, it must be realized that Kano's Judo achieved it's notoriety because of Aikijujutsu. It seems that Kano was an excellent Jujutsuka himself, but felt that in order to prove that his new for was "undefeatable" he would need to employ an "undefeatable" representative of his new art form. This man was Saigo Shida who changed his name to Saigo Shiro (1867 - 1922).

Shiro was the adopted son of Aikijujutsu master Saigo Tanomo. Shiro was a master of Daito-Ryu at a young age and was trained for the headmastership of the Takeda tradition, but was recruited by Kano to be his "showman" for the Kodokan system. This is basically why Takeda Sokaku became Daito-Ryu's headmaster. Shiro was known for his great ability and strength at a young age. In fact, he was a Godan (5th degree) by the age of 21. In the contests set up between the Kodokan and the area Jiu-Jitsu schools, Saigo easily defeated all opponents, mostly with his favorite technique YAMA ARASHI. Kodokan was "proving" its worth by using Aikijujutsu, although most of the techniques Saigo used were never taught by Kano. As a matter of fact, whereas Aikijujutsu had over a thousand techniques, the Kodokan system boasted about 150. After many years Saigo Shiro, left the Kodokan and became a reporter and master of Kyudo (archery). Only when Saigo left the Kodokan did the style move into the realm of martial sport. Saigo Shiro, perhaps one of the world's greatest Jujutsuka died on 23 December 1922 at the age of 57.

By the time Judo moved into the 20th century, many of the KORYU or "ancient schools" were gone or disappearing. Thus, it was the perfect time for Judo to come on strong. Kano made his Judo the standard physical education for the Japanese Police Force and Army. Judo was also popularized in the United States. In 1889, Kano had sent Yamashita Yoshiaki to the U.S. to live and instruct Judo at Harvard University and at the Annapolis Academy. This had greatly enhanced the popularity of Judo with the new American audience. Even though Kano had, in fact, used Aikijujutsu to make his art famous, he did do Jiu-Jitsu a great service. If it were not for the renewed interest in the grappling arts caused by Judo there is a distinct possibility that Jiu-Jitsu would have never survived as a martial art.

After an illustrious career, Kano died while traveling at sea in 1938. Today Judo is practiced all over the world and is a sport in the Olympics.

III. Background of Mitsuyo Maeda/Count Koma

The Gracie style of Jiu-Jitsu 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."

The founder of Judo is Jigoro Kano. One of his top students was Mitsuyo Maeda born in 1878. Maeda studied Tenshin Jiu-Jitsu as a boy and in 1896, approximately, he moved to Tokyo and began practicing Judo, shortly thereafter entering the Kodokan. Maeda was born in Aomori Prefecture in 1878. There he learned Tenshin (Tenshin Shin'Yo) Jiu-Jitsu. He moved to Tokyo when he was about 18. He began practicing Judo in 1897. Maeda was a small man, but very talented.

In 1904, Koma and Sanshiro Satake, left Japan. Another top student of Kano's was Jojiro Tomita. Both Maeda and Tomita visited the United States in 1904 to perform in a judo demonstration as Judo ambassadors. In 1904, Maeda traveled to the U.S. with one of his instructors, Tsunejiro Tomita. The only place they demonstrated judo together was at the U.S. Army academy in West Point. There Maeda was challenged by a wrestling champion. Maeda accepted the challenge and put his opponent in a joint lock forcing the wrestler to tap out. Maeda toured the US for a while longer and eventually traveled to Spain, where he took on the ring name "Conde Koma" in 1908.

Maeda, unhappy with their performance in America, decided to stay behind in the U.S. to establish what he believed to be the superiority of Kodokan judo. Between 1904 and 1915, Maeda was involved in many events and did remarkable things to accomplish his goal. He taught at Princeton University, taught in New York City, traveled to London, England, and participated in many fights throughout Latin America.

The motivation for Maeda to stay behind in the U.S., as stated earlier, was the failed challenge during the 1904 judo demonstration. Until he opened his school in Belem, Brazil, Maeda accepted and offered many challenges to prove the value of Kodokan judo. He fought against wrestlers and boxers winning the vast majority of these challenges and during these fights Maeda began to develop his own unique style of fighting.

Maeda and Tomita went to United States, Mexico, Cuba, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (where they met Laku, a Jiu-Jitsu master, who was teaching at the Peruvian police), Chile, where they contacted another fighter, (Okura), Argentina (they met Shimitsu) and Uruguay. With that group, joined in the South American countries, Koma exhibited his art for the first time in Brazil, in Porto Alegre. Then, they went to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Recife, São Luís, Belém (in October of 1915) and finally Manaus, in December 18th of the same year. Their passages by the Brazilian cities was marked by short presentations. For his elegance and good look, always sad, Mitsuyo Maeda won the nick name "Conde Koma" in México. The first presentation of the Japanese group in Manaus, intermediated by manager Otávio Pires Júnior, on December 20, 1915, was in the Politeama Theater. Torsion techniques were presented, grip defenses, articulation locks, demonstration with Japanese arms and challenge to the public. With the success of the shows, the challenges against the members of the team multiplied. Among the defiant ones there were boxers as Adolfo Corbiniano, from Barbados, and Greek-roman style fighters like Arab Nagib Asef and Severino Sales. At that time Manaus lived the Rubber Circle "boom" so the fights were stuffed of millionaire bets, done by the rubber plantation barons.

From January 4th to 8th, 1916, the first Amazon Jiu-Jitsu was accomplished. The final champion was Satake. Count Koma did not fight that time and took the organization of the event in his hands. On the following day (Jan 9th 1916), Koma, beside Okura and Shimitsu, embarked to Liverpool, England, where they stayed up to 1917. While in the United Kingdom, Satake and Laku continued teaching the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to the amazons at the Rio Negro Athletic Club. They kept on winning all the challenge combats. Then, in November 1916, an Italian fighter, Alfredi Leconti, managed by Gastão Gracie, associated to the Queirollo brothers in the American Circus, arrived to Manaus for a challenge. Satake, who was ill, gave his place to Laku, who was defeated by Leconti. Satake, in recovery, would be the Italian's next opponent, but due to the riot occurred during the combat between Laku and Leconti, police officer Bráulio Pinto prohibited further fights in the Amazon capital.

Koma returns to Brazil
In 1917, back to Brazil, more specifically to Belém, with his English wife, May Íris Maeda, Count Koma enters the American Circus and finally knew Gastão Gracie. In November of 1919, Koma goes back to Manaus, now in the condition of defiant of his friend Satake. Then the only defeat in his all career happened. He, then went back to Belém and in 1920, during the rubber crisis, the American Circus was ended. With that, Mitsuyo Maeda embarked back to England. In 1922, returned as an immigration agent, working for the Amazon Industrial Company and started teaching judo in Vila Bolonha. In the same year, his old fellow Satake embarked to Europe and nothing was known about him after that. Count Koma stayed in Belém, dying in July of 1941. Carlos and Hélio Gracie, sons of Gastão followed acting in the Jiu-Jitsu modality that they learned from Koma in their father's circus after that martial art had been definitively developed and implanted in Manaus by the members of the Koma's group, mainly by Sanshiro "Black Belly" Satake.

Continuing his travels, in 1915, he ended up in Brazil. He engaged in challenge matches and became famous throughout the region. Maeda was to continue his role as a judo and Jiu-Jitsu sensei and taught police, army cadets, and Brazilian citizens.

In 1915, Maeda began to assist the Japanese immigrating to Brazil. At the time, there were anti-Japanese sentiments in the US, so Maeda felt Brazil with its more open policy towards immigration was the ideal environment for Japanese settlers. Maeda became a very prominent member of his community. He was given executive positions in many companies and even received land from the government.

Maeda's Jiu-Jitsu
Maeda thought the old style of judo was the ultimate form of self-defense. To him boxing and wrestling were only sports. Maeda's strategy was to strike his opponent, go for a throw and then finish his opponent off on the ground with a choke or joint lock. Maeda stated in his autobiography that he took Kodokan judo techniques and also took elements from Taryu Shiai Judo - those judo techniques specifically used for matches against other schools.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a style that believes fights often end up on the ground. Maeda, who brought Jiu-Jitsu to Brazil, compared judo to wrestling and boxing and felt judo was a superior form of self-defense. Maeda liked to use elbows, low kicks, and throws to take his opponent to the ground and then used joint locks or chokes to finish the fight. After studying boxing and wrestling, Maeda discovered the weaknesses of these styles and adjusted and simplified the Kodokan judo techniques to effectively outsmart and conquer his opponents. As a result of experiencing many different styles of fighting, Maeda's own unique style of judo emerged.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is predominantly a ground-fighting art. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsuka's strategy is to avoid punches and kicks while attempting to clinch his opponent, take the fight to the ground, and use Jiu-Jitsu techniques to defeat him there, where the attacker's strikes are weak. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques are based on leverage, making it possible for the practitioner to beat stronger and heavier opponents. The key is keeping your base and using leverage against the opponent.

IV. Introduction of Judo/Jiu-Jitsu to Carlos Gracie and the background of Carlos Gracie

In 1915, having settled in Belem, Brazil, Maeda continued teaching judo. Among the variety of his students, San Paulo policemen, army college cadets, was a teenage boy named Carlos Gracie, third generation descendent of an immigrant from Scotland. Carlos Gracie was born in 1901 to Gastão Gracie, a Brazilian scholar and politician, and became an accomplished scholar and politician in his own right. He is considered to be the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos Gracie was one of five brothers, the smallest and thinnest, yet his brothers never defeated him. His brothers were Osvaldo, Gastão, Jorge, and Helio. He was raised in a wealthy family, and he became a student of Maeda when he was 19. Maeda arrived at the State of Pará in the northeast of Brazil. In Pará, Maeda met a business-oriented friend of an influential man, Gastão Gracie, that helped the Japanese establish a settlement in Brazil. To demonstrate his gratitude, Maeda, also known as Conde Koma, taught the traditional art of the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to the son oldest of Gastão, Carlos. Carlos' father, Gastão, introduced Carlos to Maeda, and eventually, Carlos taught his brothers Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos and his brothers made a name for the family by fighting in demonstrations and street fights using Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos only took one year of lessons from Maeda. However, Carlos continued studies with other students of Maeda as he developed his own style based on his real fighting experiences.

Carlos Gracie was very interested in street fighting and boxing and quickly modified many of the classical techniques he learned from Count Koma to meet the demands of "no-rules" fighting in the streets of Brazil. The young Carlos Gracie started testing and refining his system through constant matches, open to all comers, continually working to make it more effective and lethal. At one point, he even began advertising in newspapers and on street corners for new opponents upon whom to practice and further refine his art. Carlos Gracie fought anyone and everyone who was willing, regardless of size, weight or fighting style. Although he was a mere 135 pounds, his style was so effective that Carlos Gracie was never defeated and became legendary in Brazil. His most famous fight was against a Japanese man named "Giomori." Carlos tied with his larger opponent according to Carley Gracie. Reylson Gracie, in an interview, said that Carlos and "Giomori" fought twice, "once by the rules, the second time no holds barred. Both times they tied." As Maeda challenged other schools, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu players also challenged other schools. Carlos spent all of his time establishing Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and let his brothers do the fighting with other schools to improve their technique.

Because non-Japanese were never taught Jiu-Jitsu, Koma asked that Carlos never teach it to the public, only to family members. Carlos did this for years until he learned of Koma's death in Japan. He made inquiries and found that Koma had died under mysterious circumstances. His food had been poisoned. My father then decided that he should share the gift that Koma had given him so that Jiu-Jitsu would never die out in Brazil. Carlos Gracie then opened up the first Jiu-Jitsu school in Belem, Brazil in 1925. Carlos Gracie taught his style of Jiu-Jitsu to his four younger brothers (Oswaldo, Gastão, Jorge, and Helio) and to his older sons (including Carlson and Carley), 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 no-rules matches in rings throughout the world. Along with managing his family members, he is also the creator of the famous Gracie diet, which is based on eating only certain foods together in order to aid digestion, give maximum energy, and keep people in great health.

Carlos Gracie had twenty-one children, one hundred six grandchildren, and one hundred twenty-eight great-grandchildren. Of his twenty-one children, all ten of his sons became black belts. Combined with their ancestors in Scotland and Ireland, the Gracie family could be the largest family in the whole world. Carlos Gracie died in 1994 at the age of 92.

V. Luiz Franca: The Other Originator of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Maeda also taught Luiz Franca Jiu-Jitsu, and he also continued the tradition in Brazil. Luiz Franca and the brothers, Carlos and Hélio Gracie, had transferred residence to the one River-of January and there they had started to transmit the teachings learned with great Esai Maeda. Luiz Franca dedicated himself to teach Jiu-Jitsu as form of self-defense for the Armed Forces and to the devoid population of the zone north of Rio de Janeiro and the Gracie brothers had firmed residence in the south zone of the River and had opened the first academy of Jiu-Jitsu. The great master, 9th Degree Oswaldo Fadda, disciple of France Luiz, former-pupil of the Conde Koma, who was the introducer of the Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil, established the Fadda Academy of Jiu-Jitsu in Rio De Janeiro on the 27th of January of 1950. Fadda, a pioneer in the field of the infantile paralysis and recovery of deficient physicists, used the Jiu-Jitsu as aid to medical treatment; he undertook special work of social reintegration through the Jiu-Jitsu. He was a member of the Brazilian Confederation of Jiu-Jitsu and edited the book, "Jiu-Jitsu and the Complex in addition." Currently, no more lessons of Jiu-Jitsu are regularly performed in his academies; it is only dedicated to lecture courses of evaluation and perfecting Jiu-Jitsu, besides performing lectures on the education of Jiu-Jitsu and its daily applications. The course of evaluation and perfecting finished its 3rd edition in Brazil. He has stated that "It is the Jiu-Jitsu, the best [technique] to provide to a weak person in a dispute, a positive advantage that counterbalances the weight and the physical force of the adversary. It must always be held in mind that all the structure of the Jiu-Jitsu is based on the use of the strategy, agility, and the rapidity of movement and not in the pure and simple force." Jiu-Jitsu is the art of the self-defense particularly adjusted for women and, only after its knowledge is acquired, it is that it can be evaluated (Text elaborated for the Master 7º Deoclécio Degree Pablo, Deo, Master of Jiu-Jitsu in Brasilia.).

VI. Helio Gracie: The Master Mind of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

The youngest son of the eight children of Gastão and Cesalina Gracie, Helio, always was a very sickly youth that was very physically weak. He could faint after the effort of going up stairs. Nobody tried to understand the reason of so great fragility. Therefore, when finishing the second primary series, his mother was convinced that he was not healthy enough to go the school. When the family had financial problems during their move to Rio de Janeiro, some brothers had been sent to live with relatives. Helio was to live with his aunts and through these contacts, he found work as driver of competition rowing boats.

After some years, when he was 14 years old, Helio started to live with his older brothers, who lived in Botafogo, a quarter of Rio De Janeiro, and there they gave Jiu-Jitsu lessons. He would limit himself during the next years to observe its brothers in the lessons, especially the lessons of Carlos, since Helio would have been dissuaded by doctors to perform any type of physical effort. One day, when Helio was 16 years old, a pupil appeared for lesson, which Carlos was late for. Helio, having memorized all the movements and words of his older brother, offered to give the lesson that day. Helio, from the endless hours of watching his brother and with minimal physical execution of the moves himself, gave the student a memorable class. At the end of the lesson, Carlos arrived apologizing for his delay. However, the student told Carlos that it was no problem. The student adored the lesson of Helio and asked if Carlos was not bothered, he would like to continue having lessons with Helio. Carlos agreed and from there Helio became an instructor. This marked the official start of Helio's Jiu-Jitsu career.

Helio is credited for his development of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Because of his small frame, inferior strength, and frail health, Helio modified the techniques Carlos taught him to rely more on leverage than on strength. Thus, Helio was able to get out of certain positions he was previously unable to using the techniques originally shown by his brother Carlos. Led by Helio, the brothers were driven by a constant determination to find effective ways to deal with the very possible aspect of a real fight. Daring to break away from the traditional Japanese style, they began experimenting, modifying, and perfecting simple techniques that would be effective regardless of stature. These modifications to the classic techniques that the Gracie family developed is now known as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Helio thought several techniques that he had memorized in the lessons of Carlos were very difficult to be executed. He started to adapt these movements for its fragile body, perfecting the techniques utilized in these movements. Helio had the courage to breach with the traditional Jiu-Jitsu that its brother followed and taught through much trial and error.

Helio Gracie, the founder of the style. Based on the old and forgotten Jiu-Jitsu, the young Helio Gracie learned the style of its brother Carlos, who learned it of an emigrated Japanese nobleman to Brazil, Maeda Koma. Although both they learned originally the same style, the difference between Helio and Carlos was in its different physical composition since Helio was much but thin and weak and soon account occurred that with which it knew could not overcome an adversary hard but that it and began to modify the style. During years of perfecting its style of Jiu-Jitsu with dozens of fights in front of rivals of other styles like boxing, capoeira, judo, street fighters never to lose a single fight.

At 17, Helio first stepped into the ring in Frontao against a boxer named Antonio Portugal. Helio won in 30 seconds. Helio had 17 fights including a match with the world champion of wrestling, Wladek Zbyszko.
He also defeated a Japanese Judoka, Namiki, in 1932. This was the first Jiu-Jitsu /Judo match of his career and also the first time he wore a gi during a fight. Helio ended the fight with Namiki in his guard when the bell rang only seconds before Namiki submitted. Helio won fights against Japanese Judo players, Miyake and Kato. Helio was easily thrown, but used his ground fighting experience to get Kato in the guard and choked Kato unconscious. He fought Kato twice. Their first match, at Maracana Stadium, was called a draw. In the second match, held in Ibirapuera Stadium in Sao Paulo, Helio choked Kato unconscious. This footage in on one of the Gracie In-Action video tapes. He also tied with Yatsuichi Ono. There were many who said that Kato was far better judoka technically than Kimura, although 30 kg less heavy and strong.

Helio Gracie vs. Masahiko Kimura
Eventually, a local (Brazilian) Japanese group decided to employ the most powerful judo player in attempt to defeat Helio. Masahiko Kimura, won the all-Nippon Championship before and after the war. Kimura is considered one of Judo's great Judokas. He created "pro" judo in 1949, but failed in his activities and went to Hawaii and the U.S. and became a pro wrestler. He started international profesional wrestling at his hometown but lost to "Lidosan" at the "fight of the century." Like Maeda, he went to Europe and the US, and found his way to Central America and went to Brazil.

It was the 23rd of October in 1951, in the gym next to the largest soccer stadium (the Maracana) in Rio, the fight began. The day of the fight between Helio Gracie and Masahiko Kimura had finally fond and the multitude crowded the stadium in total euphoria. It was a no-striking fight, and gi's had to be worn. Helio was now 45 years old and only 139 lbs. Kimura was near 200 lbs and younger. Helio feels that Kimura starts to pressure him with his powerful shoulder, and Helio releases his body of any intention, relaxing its body completely. It was wise because no one could resist the throws of Kimura. Kimura had perfected his throws by placing a band around a tree and trying to knock down it, hammering his hip forwards and backwards against the tree until it fell because of incessant movement. Helio wisely did not fight the might of Kimura head on. Helio's strategy was to wait and when Kimura placed all the force to knock him down, he could loose his balance if Helio did not offer any resistance. Its strategy worked. When Kimura planted Helio in the soil, he stumbled and fell direct in the tatame with the force of its proper impulse. He was mounted on top of Helio and the fight continued. In one determined moment, Kimura caught Helio in a Dojime (modified head and arm with the leg cradle), giving great pressure in the chest of Helio with his legs and pulling one of the arms of Helio on one side. The movement was effective. While Helio tried to escape, he fainted from the pressure on its chest. Seconds later he woke up and perceived that Kimura already was seated in its chest, having cleaned the sweat of the forehead and greeting Helio for having resisted the movement. Helio faints of open eye and Kimura does not notice nothing! After three minutes of fight, the public started to celebrate. He finished! He finished! In reply the declaration of Kimura of that Helio would have to be considered the victorious person if the fight passed three minutes, since in Japan nobody ever had obtained the exploit. In the end of first round, Kimura applied a devastating key lock on Helio, so strong that a sanguineous vain of the ear of Helio breached sneezing blood in the sleeve of Kimura. Kimura loosened a little to verify if Helio was ok. Helio signaled saying that he was ok. Kimura still pressed more strongly. The first round finished and after a fast interval, the two men had come back toward the combat. Three minutes later Kimura he caught Helio in a key lock. This technique is still fondly regarded as the "Kimura" in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu today. Helio was battling to defend himself from the "Kimura" when Carlos, Helio's brother and assistant, threw in the towel. Carlos said that he was worried that Helio would not tap and he wanted to save the arm of Helio from the possibility of breaking.

The fight of Helio Gracie with Kimura was the great display of the effectiveness of the technique that the Gracie family had created and developed from the teachings of the Jiu-Jitsu master Esai Maeda. Kimura was impressed at the development of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil based on his inability to submit a man much smaller and older than him in 15 minutes. Kimura was so impressed with the techniques of Helio that he invited Helio to give lessons in the Imperial Academy of Japan. Helio refused offers, but he was very flattered with the invitation. There were rumors that the Japanese were concerned that a foreigner (gaijin) knew that much technique and a plot to kill Helio awaited him upon his arrival in Japan. This fight greatly increased the fame of the Gracie family in Brazil.

In what is considered the longest Jiu-Jitsu match in history, Helio Gracie battled former student Waldemar Santana, a powerfully built stone cutter. Waldemar was a student of the family for twelve or thirteen years. He fought more than 20 times for the Gracie academy. He had a falling out with Helio Gracie, and they decided to settle their differences by fighting each other Vale-Tudo. According to Rorion Gracie, Helio's son, Santana had betrayed his teacher, Helio and derogated Helio publicly in a newspaper.

On May 24, 1957 at the Brazilian headquarters of the YMCA in central Rio de Janeiro, the media and the new medium of television were present to capture Helio's fight with his student Waldemar Santana. Waldemar stayed away from Helio when the match started.

Eventually, Helio took Waldemar to the ground and ended up putting Santana in his guard. Helio took his time and occasionally unleash a barrage of strikes at Waldemar's head hoping for Waldemar to make a mistake. One photograph shows Helio driving his elbow at Waldemar's head from the guard. Santana played the waiting game and also threw his own punches.

As Santana sensed Helio was becoming exhausted, Santana then took the fight to Helio. He maneuvered his massive frame on top of Helio forcing Helio to bear Santana's weight. Santana also started head butting Helio in the cheek which forced Helio's eye to swell shut. Helio used heel kicks to Santana's kidneys to wear Santana down. Two hours had gone by as the two men struggled on the ground.

Three hours and forty-five minutes into the fight, the two men separated and were kneeling; both gasping for air. Santana reached his feet and kicked at Helio's head which connected. Helio went down from the blow and the fight was finally over. Helio had lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes before losing the contest. This valetudo match was to be his last fight.

With Waldemar Santana's victory over Helio Gracie, Carlson Gracie, the son of Carlos Gracie entered the ring at the young age of 17 to defend the honor of his family and the family name. He took revenge for his family clan and defeated Waldemar, which won him the respect and title of "King." Carlson was to meet Santana in the ring six times. He won four times and two matches were draws.

Helio, the first hero of the history of the Brazilian sport, also challenged famous boxers such as Primo Carnera, Joe Louis, and Ezzard Charles. All had denied his offer. Helio was always in search of challenges. In a predicament worthy episode of a Hollywood film, he dived in to shark infested waters of the Atlantic Ocean to save the life of a man, deserving for the exploit a medal of honor. The untiring contribution of Helio for the perfecting of the techniques of Jiu-Jitsu, its philosophy of life, and only method of training have been an example for its children and students in the whole world. These are the pillars on which the Gracie Academy was constructed. Helio Gracie, an living example of the benefits of a healthful life, celebrated 90 years in October 1, 2001. He continues traveling frequently to the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California where he adores passing the time teaching and training their pupils.

VII. Helio Passes the Torch to Carlson

Carlson fought a total of eighteen Vale-Tudo fights. There was one time in Bahia (North Brazil) against Euclides Pereira, and the referees decided to give Pereira the victory. Carlson doesn't think he had lost. He also fought a Brazilian champion, Passarito, who trained in Judo, Luta Livre, and Boxing. Carlson fought Passarito four times. Carlson won 3 and drew once with Passarito. Carlson's hardest acknowledged fight was against Ivan Gomes. He described Gomes as a "monster." This extremely tough fight had three-ten minute rounds and would only stop if a fighter fell out of the ring. Gomes weighed in at 98 Kg (215 lbs), and Carlson was 73Kg (160 lbs), but Carlson was in really good shape, and if it wasn't for that, he stated that he would have lost. Afterwards, Gomes became Carlson's student and became "world champion" in Carlson's words. Carlson retired from fighting during the 1960s and he is considered by Fabio Gurgel as one of the four champions of the Gracie clan.

VIII. Second Generation Gracie Family Members and their accomplishments including the effect on MMA

Helio, the mastermind of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, proceeded to teach it to his sons namely Rorion, Relson, Rickson, Rolker, Royler, Royce, and Robin. The male descendents of the Gracie clan are all taught the family fighting art and encouraged to represent the family in the "Gracie Challenge," an ongoing invitation to accept challenge matches to prove their fighting art's superiority.

"When I see the support from the martial arts community in the United States and the way it's growing, I see it as a great thing -- a great future for us, the Americans who learn it and the rest of the world. I wish I had 100 sons so I could [spread the art] faster."
- Helio Gracie

The great valetudo Jiu-Jitsu taught by Rolls Gracie is still alive today, Rickson and his protégé Royler are keeping it alive in the NHB ring. Jacare, Pedro Sauer, Sergio Penha, Crolin Gracie and others have become successful teachers, but like everyone else they seem to be training their students primarily for sport Jiu-Jitsu. Only in the last few years have young Jiu-Jitsu fighters turned their attention to valetudo. Perhaps if the sport [valetudo competition] remains popular than Jacare, Crolin Gracie, Sauer, Carlinhos and others will forget about sport Jiu-Jitsu and return to the Jiu-Jitsu they learned from Rolls in the golden age of valetudo Jiu-Jitsu and a new generation of Jiu-Jitsu lutadors [fighters] will emerge who have devoted their lives to valetudo and they will dominate the sport just as Rickson, Behring, Rolls and the other legends did once upon a time.

The male descendents of the Gracie clan are all taught the family fighting art and encouraged to represent the family in the "Gracie Challenge," an ongoing invitation to accept challenge matches to prove their fighting art's superiority. Two notable Gracie fighters are Helio's sons Royce and Rickson. Royce helped to popularize Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (aka Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) in the US, Japan, and around the world through his successful fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Royce, a slim six foot man, entered the ring like his father before him, to challenge fighters from different fighting styles such as boxing, wrestling, shootfighting, karate, Muay Thai kickboxing, etc. He often fought larger opponents in a tournament setting where he fought elimination bouts. Rickson has become the acknowledged current champion of the Gracie clan. He is considered the best Jiu-Jitsu fighter alive, as well as one of the top NHB fighters.

Carlson Gracie has continued his family's tradition by creating sports Jiu-Jitsu and a stable of NHB (no-holds barred) fighters. He is considered the father of sports Jiu-Jitsu. After he retired from the ring, he embarked on promoting sports Jiu-Jitsu. However, sports Jiu-Jitsu had its critic in Helio. He was an outspoken critic of sport Jiu-Jitsu, and very few of his top black belts competed in sport Jiu-Jitsu during the early years of the sport. Helio apparently saw his art as a form of self-defense and not sport. Judo's founder Jigoro Kano had similar sentiments of his creation. However Carlson was able to attract corporate sponsors to support teams of Jiu-Jitsu fighters so they could train full-time in essence as professional athletes. The corporate sponsorship would be the impetus to persuade many of Helio's black belts to join the sport.

During the seventies, Valetudo was still popular in Brazil as fights were televised. During the 1980s, valetudo waned and Jiu-Jitsu fighters (lutadors) focused their efforts on sports Jiu-Jitsu competition. In 1991, the long feud between the Luta Livre style and Jiu-Jitsu style heated up and resulted in a showdown between the two styles. Luta Livre was a style designed for the ring. Some consider it a response to Jiu-Jitsu. A group of fighters came together to pool their knowledge to improve their technique and to answer Jiu-Jitsu's successful ground game.

However, the Jiu-Jitsu camp lacked the experienced valetudo fighters to meet the Luta Livre challenge. It seemed that Helio's criticism was right after all. Carlson Gracie took up the challenge for the Jiu-Jitsu camp. He quickly assembled and personally trained a team consisting of Murilo Bustamante, Fabio Gurgel (age 21) from Romero "Jacare" Calvancanti, Wallid Ismael, Marcelo Behring, who still to this day has a reputation as being one of the toughest NHB fighters. Wallid Ismael was matched with Eugenio Tadeau, Gurgel vs. Denilson Maia, Bustamante vs. Marcello Mendes, and Behring vs. Hugo Duarte. The only fight that did not take place was Behring vs. Duarte. Behring was shot and killed prior to the event. The showdown was shown on Brazilian national TV and it was a clean sweep for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It is shown on the "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Action 2" video tape.

These triumphant Jiu-Jitsu fighters are still competing in sports Jiu-Jitsu and valetudo with the sudden world-wide interest and popularity of NHB fighting. Fabio Gurgel has his own academy and has competed in sports Jiu-Jitsu and also NHB. The irrepressible Wallid Ismael is fighting for the Carlson Gracie team of NHB fighters as well as competing in sports Jiu-Jitsu. Bustamante is also a noted sports Jiu-Jitsu lutador and has entered and successfully fought in the ring and recently in the octagon of the UFC. He defeated Jerry Bohlander, the American shootfighter (Lion's Den member) by knockout. Bustamante had also drew with the massive world-class American wrestler Tom Erickson in the now defunct MARS fighting championship. Gurgel fought and lost to judges' decision to perhaps one of the most dangerous NHB fighter alive, Mark Kerr, a huge world-class American wrestler nicknamed the "specimen" for his tremendous physical development and athletic ability. Gurgel had great heart to fight in a tournament where in the finals, he had to meet Kerr who outweighed him by 70 lbs.

"Helio's sons have all taught at the academy at one time or another. They are black belts. They are bigger than their father, darker, but the look in their eyes is only a parody of their father's truly menacing look. Except for Rickson. He has his own look. Not menacing, but devoid of emotion. The blankness of the supremely confident. Rickson is as muscular as a bodybuilder, with a Marine's crew cut, the high cheekbones of an Inca Indian and a square jaw. If Rorion is amiably handsome, Rickson is devastatingly handsome. Noted photographer Bruce Weber devoted 36 pages of his book on Rio (O Rio De Janeiro) to the Gracies and Rickson. Rickson as a baby being tossed high into the air by his father. Rickson, in bikini shorts, on his back on a mat in a ring, his legs wrapped around the hips of a muscular black man, also in bikini shorts, who is trying to strangle him."

Rickson Gracie, at five feet ten inches, is the acknowledged current champion of the Gracie clan. He is a son of Helio and never conceded a black-belt Jiu-Jitsu match in his Jiu-Jitsu tournament career. He is undefeated in NHB (no-holds barred). At age fifteen, he started to teach his family's art, and at eighteen he received his Black Belt. He trained under Rolls Gracie who was considered one of the Gracie clan's most gifted Jiu-Jitsu and vale tudo fighters of his generation. In turn, as Roll's protégé, Rickson has become the greatest Jiu-Jitsu fighter alive.

At the age of 20, Rickson defeated a 230-pound brawler named Zulu who enjoyed an undefeated record of 140-0 at that time. Five years later, Zulu requested a rematch and was again defeated by Rickson in Maracanazinho (Fight footage is on one of the Gracie In-Action video tapes). The fight footage shows Rickson cautiously approaching the huge brawler, Zulu. In white bikini trunks, Rickson eventually closed the distance to clinch with Zulu. The powerful Zulu was able to pick Rickson up and slam him down to the mat. Rickson held tightly and wrapped his legs around Zulu's torso. Rickson struggled to control the huge Zulu. Eventually, Zulu made a mistake, which allowed the patient Rickson to slowly work to Zulu's back. Rickson snaked his way around Zulu's torso to end up hugging Zulu from behind and applying a choke. Zulu struggles in vain as he taps out in submission.

Rickson also defeated Hugo Duarte, a vale tudo fighter on one occasion on the beaches of Rio. This was captured on video tape and is on one of the Gracie In-Action tapes. Duarte belongs to a fighting style called "Luta Livre," which is known as the archrival in NHB competition of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil. Duarte would be defeated a second time by Rickson after Duarte's challenge.

Rickson fought in a Japanese event called Vale Tudo Japan. He won the first two NHB tournaments. His brother and partner, Royler Gracie has also appeared in the Vale Tudo Japan in 1996. Royler defeated Noburu Asahi, a shootfighter using the rear-naked choke in a NHB rules match.

In December 1997, Rickson fought in a Japanese event called Pride 1 and defeated a Japanese pro wrestler named Takada. He came in with a shaved head and appeared heavier than before. In 1998, he met Takada for a rematch and defeated Takada once again with a submission in Pride 4.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is an American tournament for no holds barred fighting, and it was the showcase for Royce Gracie, son of Helio Gracie, to demonstrate the effectiveness of their family's fighting art. The matches took place in the "Octagon," a platform surrounded by padded fencing. On March 11, 1994, Royce Gracie stepped into the Octagon in the first...

Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock Super Fight
This was to be Royce's last fight in the octagon. He refused to enter the octagon as time limits hindered his ability to defeat often larger and stronger opponents. The justification was that time limits would result in a tie or if it came to judges' decision, he may lose to an opponent. This assumption has been born out by BJJ fighters losing in the UFC, fighting under time limits and judges' decisions. After Royce fought Shamrock in the Super Fight, Royce Gracie walked out of the Octagon, with a string of victories, one tie, and one technical loss when he couldn't continue fighting after his victorious bout with Kimo.

Another notable Gracie fighter from Carlos' side of the family is Renzo Gracie. He truly exemplifies the Gracie ethos and has fought in the rings of the US, Brazil, and Japan. He labels himself as the "Gracie" who can also strike besides just using Jiu-Jitsu in the ring. He has defeated UFC champion Oleg Taktarov by knockout in the one and only MARS event. Renzo also fought the Luta Livre fighter Eugenio Tadeau.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, due to the success of Jiu-Jitsu fighters in NHB competition, has been exported around the world. Royce and Carlson fighters have fired up the interest of Americans and especially American martial artists in the US. Some of the best Jiu-Jitsu instructors have now made their home in the US. Helio's sons such as Rorion, Relson, Rickson, Royce, and Royler are all teaching in the US or have an affiliate academy here. Romero Calvancanti teaches in Atlanta, Georgia. Americans are now even going to Brazil to compete in the Mundial or annual world championship. The Pan-American tournament was created to allow Americans to compete with Brazilians here in the US.

The UFC and the PRIDE. Royce, Royler and Rickson show the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu the world. In the following years, many have been the Gracie or students of these those that have continued showing the superiority of the style. In the 70's there were Rolls and Carlson, Relson and Rorion in the 80's, but until when the UFC showed the world the truths and martial lies of the art putting to each style in their sights, showing that the styles that ignored that 90% of fights go to the ground or hand-to-hand striking did not win but that did not have nor but the minimum opportunity to gain a said fight not outside as in front another rival of similar style. Royce Gracie overcame three of the four first UFC, retiring another one by digestive problems, winning to rivals like Ken Shamrock or Dan Severn among others, but if there is a member of the family that has gained the fame of invincible is without a doubt Rickson Gracie, with four hundred fights between Valetudo and sport Jiu-Jitsu without a defeat. Considered the best, already at seventeen years old only Rolls, was the only member of the family who could beat him. The fame of Rickson began when winning to the unbeatable Zulú and has continued with the passage of the years until the present PRIDE. Nowadays, all the fighters of Valetudo aspire to fight with him, since they know that Rickson will retire soon and all want a win against him. Perhaps the most valued member of the family is Royler Gracie, the reason is, without a doubt, that in spite of his little 67 kg frame, Royler is considered one of the best technicians of the world. Royler is the four time world champion of Jiu-Jitsu and three time world champion in Abu Dhabi.

IX. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Today

To learn Jiu-Jitsu, only will is necessary and nobody has to perform any preparation prior to learning this sport. Jiu-Jitsu is not trick, pass of a magician, and nothing it has is fantastic. It's learning could be made by any person from 5 years until the age of 70 and of both sexes. It is not necessary to have practiced any prior sport much less requires special body, weight, or conditional height. The practical one of the Jiu-Jitsu, when given [the knowledge] well, not only provides the creation of competition and fighting spirit, as it gives to security and self-confidence for daily disputes. Jiu-Jitsu gives its practitioners the domain of itself, sharpening reasoning to them and providing a proper psychology that allows to see things for the certain side, without creating ghosts. The suit for the training consists only of one gimono. [Text elaborated for the Master 7º Deoclécio Degree Pablo, Deo, Master of Jiu-Jitsu in Brasilia.]

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu continues to evolve. The Gracie family still practices their original art in several schools around the world, but notably in Brazil and in California (where Helio, Rorion, Rickson, Rolker, Royler, and Royce have their Academies). Carlson and Carlos Jr. Gracie have continued his family's tradition by creating sports Jiu-Jitsu.

Today, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practioners are some of the world's best known mixed martial arts fighters, such as Murilo Bustamante, Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira, BJ Penn, Ricardo Arona, Wallid Ismael, Paulo Filho, Matt Serra, and Jose Mario Sperry. Because of the rise of sport Jiu-Jitsu, many new techniques and strategies have developed. Some have been proven in no rules combat - others have not. There is now a world championship of Jiu-Jitsu wearing the Gi, the Campeonato Mundial de Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil, and not wearing the Gi, the ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style was taught to several families in Brazil and has now spread around the world as one of the fastest growing martial arts ever. There are now representatives all over the world.

Jiu-Jitsu is still evolving and spreading during the beginning of the 21st century. Although today it has many names and many "styles", it really remains as whole and concise as it ever was. What we have learned is that there are no secret techniques. There are only so many ways one can manipulate a body. Knowledge flows freely through organizations, competitions, training centers, video tapes, and the internet. It is the "golden" moment for Jiu-Jitsu. During this early part of the 21st century, the techniques of Jiu-Jitsu can be seen in the following named grappling arts: Mixed Martial Arts, Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Pancrase, No Holds Barred, Submission fighting/wrestling, Shoot fighting, Shooto, Cage Fighting, Ultimate Fighting, etc.



Text extracted from the research done by the Amazon historian Rildo Heros Barbosa de Medeiros. His work was recognized by the Kodokan Institute


Text elaborated for the Master 7º Deoclécio Degree Pablo, Deo, Master of Jiu-Jitsu in Brasilia.

Donn F. Draeger's books on Japanese bujutsu, budo, and Judo.

E.J. Harrison's The Fighting Spirit of Japan has sections on the early history of Kodokan Judo.

The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia, Tradition, History, Pioneers by John Corcoan and Emil Farkas with Stuart Sobel. Page 213 has a reference to Mitsuyo Maeda ( Esai Media).2

Katsuhiko Kashiwazaki's Shimewaza, Judo Master class Techniques from Ippon Books which contains some information on Ko-sen Judo, p. 72. Ippon books has an excellent series on Judo techniques.

John Stevens' Three Budo Masters which has some information on Maeda, p. 37-38, and Kodokan Judo history. 1

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Carlson Gracie, Jr. and Marcus "Conan" Silveira, with Chris Lemos.

Gracie Instructional Manual by Cesar & Ralph Gracie. It's published by World Martial Arts International.

Inside Karate magazine: Have the Gracies Ever Lost a Fight?
June 1990, by Done Beu.3

Modern Ju-Jitsu
by Russ St. Hilaire

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