How we are linked to Carlos and Helio Gracie – founders of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

The history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is very interesting, there is much to read and the stories are many. Researching the Gracie family and the early days of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu right up to the first world championships held in 1996 and beyond, is fascinating. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu gave way to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also referred to in short as ‘BJJ’.

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu we often hear people referring to ‘lineage’ – in other words, who their teacher’s teacher was and who that teacher’s teacher was right back to Mitsuyo Maeda a Japanese Judo practitioner who taught Carlos Gracie.  Helio Gracie developed a system to emphasise leverage, giving smaller and weaker people the opportunity to defend themselves. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu continues to evolve to this day.

We can trace our lineage and here it is:

Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Fábio Gurgel> Leo Negao > Me > You

Pictured at the top of this post is one of my all time favourite Gracie family pictures – a very famous picture within our community. Pictured left to right back row first – Rickson, Rolls, Carlos, Helio, Robson, Mauricio Motta Gomes, Royler, Carlos Jr, Crolin, Rorion, Rolker, Royce Gracie.

I hope some of you start to research the Gracie family and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – I think it’s important to know about the origins of the art we practice.