Born on September 14th, 1901, Carlos Gracie is said to be the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or, as it was better-known back then, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. He developed the martial art from his first-hand experiences that his mentor, Mitsuyo Maeda, had bestowed upon him. With his acquired knowledge, he quickly began teaching his family the art. In assistance with his brother, Helio Gracie, he developed a martial art that would soon sweep the world.
Carlos Gracie studied Judo as a teenager; something that probably helped him developed a more streamlined Jiu-Jitsu game. While attempting to promote his new martial art, he even advertised it in the local newspaper. He was willing to fight anyone, regardless of fighting style, weight, or strength. Although he only weighed a little more than 135 pounds, his fighting style was so efficient that he was never defeated. As a result, he quickly became a legend in Brazil.
Open challenges are a part of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu heritage. Carlos Gracie went on to teach his four younger brothers (Helio, Jorge, Gastao, and Oswaldo) the art as well. He even taught his two oldest sons. Each of these family members would go on to teach their sons, cousins, and nephews. After Carlos retired from fighting, he was the manager for his brothers and sons, coaching them in fights against fighters from different parts of the world.
Family Life and Gracie Diet
In 2009, Carlos’ daughter published a book that detailed the life of her father. It was called “Carlos Gracie – The Creator of a Dynasty”. While it is predominately available in Portuguese, there are English translations available. Carlos ended up having 21 children throughout the course of his life, 13 of whom went on to earn their black belt in BJJ. When he died, Carlos Gracie had 21 children, 106 grandchildren, and 128 great-grandchildren. Carlos was also the founder of a nutritional program/course known as the “Gracie Diet”.
Basically, this diet showed readers how to properly take care of their body simply by changing their diet. This is likely one of the reasons why many Gracie family members, including Carlos Gracie, went on to live for more than 80 years. Carlos believed that by consuming the right foods, one could prevent illness as well as have plenty of stamina for training. His book is still available for reading as it continues to teach and inspire grapplers from all around the world.