History

The Gracie family refers to the lineage of Brazilian businessmen and politician Gastao Gracie. They are known as the founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and for their success in mixed martial arts, vale tudo, and submission wrestling competitions. As a family, they uphold the Gracie challenge.

Gastao Gracie founded the family as it is now known in the early 1900’s while living in Brazil. He befriended Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese prize fighter while assisting Japanese immigrants in their move to the country. In exchange for his friendship and hospitality, Maeda offered to teach Gracie’s son Carlos the Japanese martial art jiu jitsu. Carlos along with his oldest son Carlson and Brother Helio Gracie founded “Gracie Jiu Jitsu”.

Carlos Gracie, the first Brazilian to learn jiu-jitsu, in turn taught his brother Helio Gracie. This marked the founding of what is now called “Gracie Jiu Jitsu.” He founded a martial arts academy to pass on this knowledge to his family.

The most recent family champions have been Rolls Gracie and Rickson Gracie. The most successful current active Gracie is Roger Gracie, who holds the Confederacao Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu World Super Heavyweight and Pan-American Open titles and the ADCC heavyweight and open weight champion. The most famous member of the Gracie family may be Royce Gracie, because of his famous fights in the UFC.