AUGUST 13, 1932 - FEBRUARY 1, 2006
9TH DEGREE RED BELT IN BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU
FOUNDER, CARLSON GRACIE TEAM
Carlson Gracie was the eldest son of Carlos Gracie, who along with Carlson’s uncle Hélio, co-founded the Gracie system of sport Jiu-Jitsu. He learned his skills from both his father and his uncle Hélio. Carlson reigned as world champion for thirty years---from the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Carlson Gracie was and still is considered to be one of the world’s supreme instructors of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Helio Gracie's academy taught only the most basic positions to outsiders, reserving the advanced positions and secrets for the family elite. Carlson opened up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the masses, and soon became the most sought-after Jiu-Jitsu instructor in Brazil. After teaching at his uncle's academy for several years, he opened his own school.
For decades many of the greatest names in Sport Jiu-Jitsu and “No-holds-barred” fighting trained as members of the famed “Carlson Gracie Arrebentacao Team”. Later, “Team Carlson Gracie” became one of the top mixed martial arts teams and also included many champions.
In Portuguese Vale Tudo means "anything goes" or "No rules"; Vale Tudo fights are full-contact unarmed sport events with few rules that were popular in Brazil. Carlson fought a total of eighteen Vale Tudo fights with only one loss. Most notable are his four matches with Valdemar Santana, who had defeated Carlson’s uncle Hélio 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.
Grand Master Carlson Gracie Sr. died February 1, 2006, in Chicago, Illinois.