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Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone

The Founder

Carlos Gracie Jr.

Carlos Gracie Jr.

Childhood and Early Years of Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. was born on January 17, 1956. He grew up heavily influenced by his family of fighters. In close sync with the life philosophy and teachings of his father Carlos Gracie Sr., Carlinhos, as he’s known to friends and family, grew up observing and learning from some of the most influential figures in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu whom his family has ever produced: Carlos, Helio and Rolls Gracie.

The most significant years of his childhood and early teenage years were spent in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro at the legendary Teresópolis House, which is a sprawling ranch with many rooms, where most of Carlos’ and Helio’s sons lived and trained together for many years. There, Carlos Gracie Jr. learned to live in a community in which all members had to get along, share, and learn from one another; a dynamic that has become an ideal for him, seen as a crucial component of the structure of Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

In many ways, Master Carlos seems to be replicating the communal setting he experienced in a larger scale today. Many people even attribute the tremendous success he has had in an array of different fields to being the outcome of this philosophy.

From One Gracie Barra School to 400 Gracie Barra Schools

In 1986, Carlos Gracie Jr. founded the first Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in the city of Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. From the one school, he then created the most expansive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu organization today, which has offices in the United States, Brazil, Australia and Europe and over 400 hundred schools across the world.

He created a structure that could protect the Gracie Barra red shield, while still offering support to instructors and school owners, which creates career opportunities through instructor certification programs and professional training. The aim of all the Gracie Barra schools is to help their communities by offering Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone.

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s reputation drew international attention, and Master Carlos created opportunities for hundreds of people to travel abroad and begin international careers. In 2005, Carlos founded his own school outside Brazil, the Gracie Barra United States headquarters, located in Irvine, California.

His goal now is to bring Jiu-Jitsu to everyone, by establishing a school in every city in the world.

Gracie Barra Wear

With Gracie Barra’s worldwide expansion came the need for wearable uniformity of high quality and consistency. Moreover, Master Carlos Jr.’s teaching methods and philosophy had to be replicated with the same training experience provided at each school.

Without the wearables division, that could not happen. The creation of a wearables division was a must in Carlos’s plans, and in 2002 in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, the Gracie Barra Wear seeds were planted.

At Gracie Barra, we believe that what we wear identifies us as a group and shows what we stand for. – Master Carlos

Building on this assumption, Master Carlos recruited staff within his school to take up the challenging a project, entrusting his students to lead and manage it. With major ideals and a cutting edge concept, Gracie Barra Wear started out producing just 50 T-shirts packaged in plastic bags.

Also confident that how and when we wear it provides others with shorthand to subtly read what we are about, albeit superficially, Gracie Barra Wear became an important pillar in the Gracie Barra Association’s Premium School project to accomplish Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s vision of building one Gracie Barra School in each city in the world. An important company milestone came when the innovative rash guard and the “uniform” concept was implemented in Gracie Barra in 2003, setting new standards for the entire Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community.

Today, Gracie Barra Wear has five international teams who support schools, professors, students and Gracie Barra entities throughout the process of producing and distributing high quality gear and instructional products.

Gracie Barra Wear has regional divisions in North America, Central America, South America, Oceania and Europe. Some of the students closest to Master Carlos live in these areas, managing regional offices and working with local schools daily.

Gracie Barra Wear is constantly promoting and supporting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu projects around the globe by donating gis and uniforms to outreach projects in Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, school projects in California, and surf projects in Guatemala.

Competition Network: The Gracie Barra Approach to Jiu-Jitsu Competitions

Carlos has created an entity devoted to organizing sport Jiu-Jitsu events and providing opportunities for athletes training under the same curriculum and philosophy to compete together.

The maiden CompNet event was a small tournament held 6/8/2008 at the Gracie Barra America School for kids only. A surprising number of young ones and their parents crowded the 6500-square foot facility, and emails from adults and students requesting a chance to compete poured into our email boxes. It was time to take it seriously and take a professional approach in putting together our tournaments.

The Gracie Barra Competition Network is a positive and tight-knit organization made up of Gracie Barra athletes. Gracie Barra CompNet tournaments are conducted with the utmost level of integrity, camaraderie and sportsmanship, with our athletes, staff, and officials always putting safety first.

We strive to be the competitive birthplace and proving grounds of champions who will keep the Gracie Barra legacy alive! Today Gracie Barra CompNet promotes events in California, Texas, Australia and Paraguay.

Master Carlos’s Enterprises Outside Gracie Barra

Among his roles at the Gracie Barra Association, Master Carlos is the founder and president of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), the most widespread Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu federation in the world.

In 1990, Master Carlos saw a need to develop a media presence in order to further popularize his sport and competitions, leading to the development of the “Gracie Newspaper” project, which later evolved into Gracie Magazine, which is Jiu-Jitsu’s foremost publication today.

With a busy schedule divided between his several occupations and daily Jiu-Jitsu training, ‘Carlinhos’ takes weekly walks up Pedra da Gávea mountain in Rio de Janeiro, the dunes of Florianopolis or even the stairs at the beaches of Laguna Niguel, depending on where he is at the moment. He adheres to a strict nutritional regimen based on the Gracie Diet, and directs all his energy to delivering Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone.

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