Carlos Gracie Jr. - The Co-Founder of IBJJF

Carlos Gracie Jr. - The Co-Founder of IBJJF

1. Carlos Gracie Jr.’s Details

Carlos Gracie Jr.’s Details
Name  Carlos Gracie Junior
Nickname  Carlinhos
Born  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Age  67 Years
Date of birth  17-1-1956
Weight  N/A
Weight Division N/A
Last Weigh in N/A
Height  N/A
Foundational Style  BJJ
Career Disclosed Earnings  N/A
College University  Rio de Janeiro University
Rank 8th Degree Red and White BJJ Coral Belt
Head Coach  Helio Gracie
Last Fight  N/A
Favorite Technique N/A
Lineage  Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie Sr. -> Helio Gracie -> Carlos Gracie Junior
Team Association  Gracie Barra
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2. Carlos Gracie Jr.’s Biography

Carlos Gracie Jr. is the world's second-highest rank holder in BJJ. He is the most well-known and famous coach in the BJJ world. Carlos Gracie Junior was born on 17th January 1956 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Gracie Junior served BJJ all his life. And Now his children are getting prepared to help their family fight.

2.1. Son of the Founder of BJJ, Carlos Gracie Sr

Carlos Gracie Jr. is the 21st child of Carlos Gracie senior and is the founder and acting president of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos Gracie Senior learned this grappling art from a Japanese Master Mitsuyo Maeda. And then he introduced a new fighting style, similar to the Japanese fighting style.

This fighting style created by Carlos Gracie Sr. became the legacy of the Gracie family. Gracie's family is all involved in BJJ and follows in their elder's footsteps. Carlos Gacie transferred the responsibility of their family legacy to his brother Helio Gracie. Which is then transferred to Carlos Gracie Jr.

2.2. Carlos Gracie Jr.'s Childhood in Family Community

Carlos Gracie spent his childhood at a big ranch with all of Gracie's family. There were almost 30 kids in the house and almost 18 rooms. The daughters and sons of Carlos Gracie Sr. were also living in the same house with their children.

He planned a proper diet plan and every child had to follow that diet plan. Carlos Gracie Jr. admitted that he learned to live in a community in that house. The hot topic of discussion in that house was Jiu-Jitsu. According to Carlos Junior,

“At home, we ate and breathed Jiu-Jitsu.”

2.3. Supervised by Helio Gracie, Rolls Gracie, and Rorion Gracie

Carlos Gracie Jr. started his BJJ training as a toddler. Besides the fact that Carlos Gracie Jr. is the son of Carlos Gracie Sr, he was brought up and trained under his uncle Helio Gracie. At that time, Carlos Gracie Sr. retired from BJJ.

He was focused on the philosophy of the sport and teaching his family the difference between right and wrong. Helio was the head instructor of BJJ for all kids in the family. Rolls Gracie and Rorion Gracie were the head instructor at Gracie Academy.

Helio oversaw the academy and training sessions. While Rolls and Rorion were the people who gave Jiu-Jitsu classes. After his uncle, another person who played a significant role in Carlos Junior’s training was Rolls Gracie.

Carlos Gracie Jr. mentioned in an interview that he was lucky to have such great coaches as Helio, Rolls, and Rorion. Helio was the best BJJ fighter at that time.

2.4. Started Coaching in His Teens

Carlos Gracie Jr. started coaching when he was a teenage boy. He started coaching in the main Gracie School. Rolls left the Gracie academy to join Carlson’s academy and Rorion left the academy and relocated to the USA to start his own BJJ institute. Carlos Gracie and Rickson Gracie took responsibility for Gracie Academy.

After a study break from coaching, Carlos Jr. started taking separate classes from Carlson Gracie in the same place. Rolls invited him to join and help him in teaching. Carlos Jr. happily accepted the invitation and joined Rolls Gracie.  

2.5. Nutrition Studies at Rio de Janeiro University

Carlos Gracie Jr. worked for both BJJ sports and BJJ lifestyle. Carlos Gracie was very dedicated to making a diet plan for BJJ athletes so that they can fight without any health problems and can focus on their health.

His dedication to providing a good diet plan led him to a University in Rio de Janeiro where he enrolled in a nutrition sciences program. During his studies, his coaching career was paused till his brother Rolls offered Carlos Jr. an opportunity in his institution. He accepted his invitation as the school was near Carlos Jr.’s university.     

2.6. Trained in Amateur Sambo Along with Jiu-Jitsu

Carlos Gracie Jr. was very much impressed by his cousin Rolls Gracie. On his advice, he started to take part in cross-fighting. He learned sambo and wrestling.

Carlos Gracie appeared in various wrestling and sambo competitions to improve his Jiu-Jitsu. Apart from Jiu-Jitsu, his performance in other combat sports was also impressive.     

2.7. Pan American Sambo Champion in 1980

Carlos Gracie Jr. always followed the footsteps of his brother, Rolls Gracie. Carlos Gracie Jr. learned sambo and wrestling as Rolls Gracie to improve his Jiu-Jitsu skills. Both appeared in Pan-American Sambo tournaments.

Carlos Gracie Jr. was the Pan-American Sambo champion in 1980. While Rolls was the Bronze winner in 1980 and the gold medalist in 1979 in both weight and absolute divisions. Both Carlos Jr. and Rolls represented Brazil in the Sambo Pan-American Championship.

Pan American Sambo
Position Year Weight Class
1st 1980 -80kg

2.8. Takes Control of Rolls Academy

On the morning of 6th June 1983, the Jiu-Jitsu world felt a wave of grief when Rolls Gracie met with an accident in Maua during hang gliding. He left his wife, two sons, and a running BJJ school.

Carlinhos shared his grief in an interview:

“That was a sudden shock for everybody because Rolls was a person of enormous charisma, he had a huge influence on all of us, a natural born leader. At that time, he was the person leading Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil, gathering the respect of most people as being a great Jiu-Jitsu leader at that time.”

After his death, someone had to take control of the school. Roll's wife, students, and Carlos Jr’s brother asked him to take control of his school. Carlinhos accepted their requests and took over the Rolls school.

He taught for some years at Rolls school and worked for its growth and success. Then Cralinhos decided to move to Barra da Tijuca and start his own school.

2.9. Laid Base of Gracie Barra at Barra da Tijuca

Carlinhos decided to move to Barra da Tijuca to open his own BJJ school. Various students of Rolls’s school also went with him. Barra da Tijuca was an underdeveloped and poor area. Various people advised him not to go into a poor area like Barra.

But Carlos Gracie Jr. did not underestimate his idea and started a school in Barra da Tijuca. He named the school, “Gracie Barra”. Carlos Gracie Jr. was not alone and led the base of this school. Some other helping persons included Crolin Gracie, Rilion Gracie, and Ze Beleza. (a close friend of Gracie's)

Carlos Gracie named his school Gracie Barra instead of Carlos Gracie school because his cousins and nephews were also involved in this project. So, he named his school Gracies of Barra, which later changed into Gracie Barra.

2.10. Exponential Growth of Gracie Barra

Gracie Barra became one of the most popular and growing BJJ schools in Rio de Janeiro. Carlinhos started his school with only 20 students which increased to 200 after one year. The students of Gracie Barra became the reason for the publicity of Gracie Barra.

Later Gracie Barra spread all over Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. Gracie Barra became the institute that produces top-class Black Belts and champions.   

2.11. Nicknamed “Carlinhos”

Carlos Gracie Jr. was named “Carlinhos”. Carlinhos is a Portuguese word that means “little Carlos”. As Carlos Gracie Junior was named similarly to his father, Carlos Gracie Senior. So he was called Carlinhos by his friends and family. 

2.12. Carlos Gracie Junior’s Family

Carlos Gracie Junior had three children, two sons, and one daughter named Kayron Gracie, Kyan Gracie his daughter Caroline Gracie. Kayron Gracie got his Black Belt from his father. Kayron is now working as a Coach in Gracie Barra Rancho Santa Margarita.

2.13. Carlos Jr.’s Students Are His Reflection

Carlos Jr. promoted various students to Black Belt. He spent more than 10 to 15 years with his students. He is such a good coach who spent most of his time with his students rather than with his own family. His students in the gym are like his family. 

Carlos Gracie trained his students and led them to a key position so that they promoted Gracie’s family legacy and fighting style. Most of his students are well-trained. He wants to make them front-line warriors of Gracie Barra. He wants his students to spread BJJ with the same origin and purpose which is the basics of Jiu-Jitsu.

Gracie Barra is now a world organization. Carlos Jr. did not visit various schools of Gracie Barra. But he wants these schools to follow the rules as in his own school. To fulfill this task, Gracie Jr. remains in touch with all the Gracie Barra schools in the world.

His students are also his reflection. So he sent his top students to various schools so that they can pass on the same thought and origin of BJJ which is the requirement of this combat sport.

2.14. Carlos Gracie Jr.’s Goal

His words are:

“One of my goals nowadays is to be alive to see and witness a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in each city of the world. All my work and contributions to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu were done so one day I could see it happening.”

3. Carlos Gracie Junior’s Achievements

3.1. Promoted to Black Belt

Carlinhos trained in most of his career under Rolls Gracie. But at the time of his Black Belt promotion, Rolls Gracie was honored to receive the Black Belt from the most prestigious personality of the family, Helio Gracie. Helio Gracie promoted Carlos Gracie Junior to Black Belt in 1977. 

3.2. Promoted to Black and Red Coral Belt

Carlos Gracie Jr. became the most prominent person in the BJJ world. In 2008, Carlos Gracie Jr. was promoted to Black and Red Coral Belt (7th Degree). Coral Belt is an indication of his 40 years of Black Belt services in BJJ. He received his Coral Belt from his cousin Renzo Gracie.

3.3. Promoted to 8th Degree Red and White Coral Belt 

In 2015, Carlos Gracie Jr. was promoted to the 8th Degree Red and White Coral Belt. This is the second highest rank of BJJ.

4. Carlos Gracie Jr.’s Services to BJJ

4.1. Founder of the World’s Largest BJJ School, Gracie Barra

Carlos Gracie Junior is the co-founder of the world’s largest BJJ school Gracie Barra. Gracie Barra has passed 37 years of success and produced Word, Pan, and ADCC champions every year.

Furthermore, Gracie Barra has 800 affiliated schools all over the world. By 2025, this number will expand to 1000 schools all over the world.    

4.2. The Founder of CBJJ

Gracie Barra showed exponential growth and became one of the biggest Jiu-Jitsu schools in Brazil. Carlos Gracie Jr. became a prominent personality in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos Gracie Jr. started to organize his own BJJ competitions in Gracie Barra in 1990.

After successful events in Gracie Barra, Carlos Jr. decided to make his own Jiu-Jitsu association. With Ze Beleza and Jean Jacques Machado, Carlos Jr. started the first Jiu-Jitsu association. They named it the Jiu-Jitsu Association of Barra.

After successful events were held in the Jiu-Jitsu Association of Barra, the association expanded very rapidly. Association became a national organization and its founders renamed it Confederacao Brasileira de Jiu Jitsu(CBJJ).

CBJJ is the first ever BJJ organization which was established in Gracie Barra. Carlos Gracie Jr. became its president.        

4.3. Co-Founder of IBJJF

Till the 2000s, CBJJ was the largest BJJ organization that organized competitions. CBJJ organized the first-ever BJJ World championship. This world championship gave him the idea to spread BJJ on an international level. Carlos Gracie Jr. wanted to promote BJJ competitions on an international level.

In this way, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) was established. IBJJF became the first BJJ international federation. Due to the struggles of Carlos Gracie Junior, IBJJF took BJJ competitions to the Walter Hall Pyramid in the U.S.    

4.4. Took IBJJF to Europe and Asia

After organizing BJJ competitions in the U.S. Carlos Gracie Jr. did not stop his efforts to expand BJJ in the world. He started organizing BJJ competitions in Europe named IBJJF European Championships. Carlos Jr. also organized BJJ tournaments in Asia.

He conducted these tournaments in different countries to promote and expand BJJ. Now, BJJ competitors are training in every region of the world and come to participate in world championships.  

4.5. Producer of Gracie Mag

In 1994, Carlos Gracie Jr. gave another service to BJJ lovers. Along with his student Luca Atalla, he started BJJ magazine. This magazine named Jornal Gracie had all the information about BJJ tournaments and competitors.

In the first years, Jornal Gracie was only available in Brazil. But now Jornal Gracie is in an international magazine. Its name was later changed to Gracie Mag. Gracie Mag is now the most purchased BJJ magazine. To ensure its spread on the international level, Gracie Mag is also available online.

Photo Credit: @graciebarra_hq

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