Carlos Gracie Biography

Carlos Gracie was a Brazilian martial artist known for developing the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Check out this biography to know about his birthday, childhood, family life, achievements, and fun facts about him.

Quick Facts

Birthday: September 14, 1902

Nationality: Brazilian

Famous: Martial Artists Brazilian Men

Died At Age: 92

Sun Sign: Virgo

Born Country: Brazil

Born in: Belém, State of Pará, Brazil

Famous as: Martial Artist

Height: 1.80 m


siblings: Gastão Gracie Jr., George Gracie, Helena Gracie, Hélio Gracie, Ilka Gracie, Jorge Gracie, Mary Gracie, Osvaldo Gracie

children: Carley Gracie, Carlion Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr., Carlson Gracie, Reila Gracie, Reylson Gracie, Reyson Gracie, Robson Gracie, Rolls Gracie, Rose Gracie, Sonja Gracie-Gronning

Died on: October 7, 1994

place of death: Petrópolis, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

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Carlos Gracie was a Brazilian martial artist, remembered for being one of the main developers of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was aided in this endeavor by Mitsuyo Maeda, who is regarded as the martial arts patriarch of the Gracie family. He was also helped by his younger brother Helio Gracie and his students Luis Franca and Oswaldo Fadda. He studied in Belem under Maeda and his students, who helped him in acquiring intense knowledge about martial arts. Along with his brothers, he became known for breaking all conventions of what were accepted as the fighting styles, and he also challenged different fighters from different martial arts backgrounds. Due to his competitive and adventurous spirit, he competed in several different sports such as wrestling, sambo, and boxing.

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  • Carlos Gracie’s career on the rings began when he challenged judoka Geo Omori in Sao Paulo in 1929. Initially, his challenge was rejected due to his lack of training and experience. But eventually they had face-offs in two exhibitions. Later, along with his brother, Carlos founded a small school in the city’s Barrio nas Perdizes, where Omori was brought in as well to train the students in jiu-jitsu.
  • However, the two brothers had to eventually move back to Rio de Janeiro, as Carlos had attacked three men who had allegedly insulted his girlfriend, leading to his arrest and imprisonment. He later joined Donato Pires’ school, which was opened in Marquez de Abrantes in September 1930. He taught as well as learnt jiu-jitsu from Pires, and he also participated in unsanctioned prizefights in bars and promoted rooster fighting.
  • Both brothers became known for breaking all conventions of what was considered as accepted fighting styles, and they challenged fighters from a variety of martial arts backgrounds. Eventually, Gracie reached the ‘Decimo Grau’ level, which is the 10th degree in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This degree is generally given to only the founders of the art.
  • Other than martial arts, he had an interest in occultism and alternative medicine as well. He became interested in these after the death of his first lover which was caused by an illness. He was a spiritual consultant to Bank of Brazil executive Oscar Santa Maria, who was also a member of the Brazilian Rosacrucian Society, in which Gracie was regarded as having significant mediumnic powers. He was a follower of theosophy of Helena Blavatsky as well.
  • After his retirement from fighting, he focused on teaching his brothers and improving their skills. He also began teaching jiu-jitsu to the national police. He became a real estate investor as well.
  • He is also known for developing the Gracie Diet, which is adapted mostly from the naturist Juan Esteve Dulin’s nutritional plan. It follows the maxim of letting one’s food be one’s medicine. It is mostly flexible, though it prohibits pork consumption and promotes abstinence from tobacco and alcohol.
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Family & Personal Life
  • Carlos Gracie was the father of 21 children. Thirteen of them followed in his footsteps and earned black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He died on October 7, 1994.

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Carlos Gracie

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