It all began with Carlos Gracie Senior
Carlos Gracie Senior was very active and energetic as a child who was always getting into trouble with his mischievous and over active imagination. He was described as the sort of child who would take a bite of his food at the dinner table and then do a lap of the table before taking another bite.
His dad was out of ideas how to channel his energy into something more positive to try keeping him out of trouble. One day, one of his friends suggested he should try taking Carlos to a martial arts class. His dad took this advice and enrolled Carlos into a class with a Judoka, Master Mitsyu Maeda.
Carlos took to this class really well and thrived on his new hobby. After a while, sadly the Gracie family had to leave to Rio, so Carlos could no longer attend Maeda’s classes. Rather than just giving up, Carlos decided to carry on teaching himself, and this where him and his brother Helios got together to develop their own style from the knowledge they had already gained from Judo…and this is where it all began.
Carlos was very family orientated, as where all the Gracies, and eventually he bought a house up in the mountains to house many many members of his family. His brothers and sisters and their children all lived in this house. I think at one point there was over 30 people living there. Whilst Carlos moved to his new home with the family, Helios stayed teaching Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu to their students. Jiu –Jitsu was always the topic of conversation at the house, they had thei own matted area that they would train the children in and soon as they were old enough, they would go back to work in the academy. There was even a Gracie diet developed by Carlos that everyone in the house followed.
Things evolved and eventually a club was set up in Barra, in Brazil and this is where the famous name arrived…Gracie Barra. There are now over 300 Gracie Barra Schools around the world that all follow the same teaching styles and same ethos. Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu is not just a martial art, it’s a way of life’