BJJ

Carlson Gracie Team Jiu-Jitsu Schools Legacy And History

Carlson Gracie Team Jiu-Jitsu Schools Legacy And History

1. Carlson Gracie Team Jiu-Jitsu School

Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu team, one of the best BJJ gyms in the world, has been serving since the 1960s. Their mission is to teach Jiu-Jitsu a lifestyle. Carlson Gracie Academy is the best place for those who want to learn in a family-orientated environment. Its students and coaches respect and help each other.

1.1. Carlson Gracie Academy Achievements

Carlson Gracie Academy is honored that the lineage of various academies has a direct association with Carlson Gracie Academy. American Top Team, Nova Uniao, Nova Geracao, Brazilian Top Team, and various other academies have Carlson Gracie Academy in their lineage.

Furthermore, Carlson Gracie academy is ranked in the 8th position among all BJJ academies of the world. It is considered one of the top 10 BJJ academies.

2. Founder of Carlson Gracie Team

Carlson Gracie was one of the most prominent figures of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Carlson Gracie was the son of the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos Gracie. Carlson Gracie had a record of 18 fights in MMA with only one loss. He dedicated his complete life to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. On 1st February 2006, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world passed through a big loss when Carlson Gracie passed away in Chicago. His services to BJJ can never be forgotten. Carlson Gracie promoted more than 100 BJJ students to Black Belt in his life.

3. Carlson Gracie Sr. Quotes

Carlson Gracie is the son of Master Carlos Gracie. He was very close to the fundaments of BJJ. He expressed his knowledge of BJJ in his quotes. Some of his quotes are as follows.

“Always enter like a kitten and leave like a lion. But NEVER enter like a lion and leave like a kitten. Always be humble.”

“The best way to get a move to work is to make it so uncomfortable that the opponent gives it to you to stop the pain.”

“Punch a black belt in the face, he becomes a brown belt. Punch him again, purple.”

“If you want to be a lion, you must train with lions.”

“There is no reward without sacrifice.”

4. Current Representatives of Carlson Gracie Association

After the demise of BJJ legend, Carlson Gracie Senior, his son Carlson Gracie Junior became the head representative of the Carlson Gracie Association. Carlson Gracie Junior is 6th Degree Black Belt under his legendary father.

He started his BJJ training at the age of three. Carlson Gracie Jr. is also a Black Belt in Judo under Master George Mehdi. Carlson Jr. won 6 titles in Greco-Roman Fights along with the Brazilian Greco-Roman Team.

5. History of Carlson Gracie Team

5.1. Partnership between Carlson Gracie and Ivan Gomes

Carlson Gracie Academy was thrilled after the friendship of Carlson Gracie and Ivan Gomes, a vale tudo (no-holds-barred) champion turned into a business partnership. They met in a match and became friends. They decided to start an academy together. Their partnership did not last for too long and terminated just after a year. After breaking the partnership with Ivan Gomes, Carlson set his partnership with one of his friends, Helio Vigio.

5.2. Beginning of Carlson’s Own Gym

The end of his partnership with Ivan Gomes initiated the start of a new era. Carlson learned that if he wants to pursue his career in BJJ, he should start his own academy. This was the start of a new academy, Carlson Gracie Academy. Now Carlson Gracie academy is one of the biggest BJJ associations in the world.

5.3. Financial Support to Poor Students

Carlson started to teach the poor students who could not pay their fees. In this way, Carlson crowded his gym with various super fighters in a very short time period.

His desire to financially support poor students crowded his gym with many students who could not pay. Carlson Gracie gym was not a financially paying business at that time. But Carlson was crowded with a lot of students who wanted to devote their lives to BJJ.

He made a rule at the gym that those who won medals can train free of cost. Wallid Ismail was one of those students. Wallid Ismail fought for this association for many years on this rule.

5.4. Rivalry Between Gracie Academy and Carlson Gracie Academy

In 1973, when Jiu-Jitsu was considered a legal sport in Brazil, the Jiu-Jitsu Federation started to organize tournaments. Federação de Jiu-Jitsu da Guanabara was the only Jiu-Jitsu association that was working to spread Jiu-Jitsu at that time.

In the Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, Carlson Gracie’s students fought against the Gracie Academy students. Carlson’s uncle Helio Gracie was the Head Coach at Gracie Academy at that time. These tournaments set a rivalry between both academies as well as in their relationship.

Their relationship became worse when one of Carlson’s top students, Sergio Iris competed against Rorion Gracie, the son of Master Helio, and defeated him. A celebration at Carlson’s academy damaged their relationship.

Another cause of the clash between both academies was their Jiu-Jitsu style. Master Helio was in favor of self-defense while Carlson was more focused on the sport and competitions among different martial arts. Carlson was very passionate about tournaments even when competitions are not organized, Carlson used to gather the students of different academies and arrange a competition between them.

5.5. Reach the Rank of Top Team due to its Distinct Style

The Carlson Gracie Academy was one of the top academies of that time. Carlson Gracie was focused on the fighting style and testing the abilities of his students. Carlson’s students were well-versed in the technical game and therefore their academy became famous for the best fighting style. Carlson’s students also proved their talent in the tournaments.

5.6. Carlson Gracie Declination

In 1990, after the competitions between Jiu-Jitsu and Luta Livre, Carlson’s academy diverted its attention toward Vale Tudo. Then an era of revolution of Jiu-Jitsu in the USA started. Jiu-Jitsu became one of the most participating grappling sports in the USA. Carlson Gracie moved to the Northern USA in 1996. He settled in the Northern USA with one of his adherents, Vitor Belfort.

After Carlson’s relocation from Brazil to the USA, his students in Brazil did not settle down in the academy. His students were still paying the academy from their competition payments. This relationship gap between the students and the coach resulted in an unwanted but necessary vacancy.

As many of Carlson’s big stars left Carlson’s academy and branched out to their one gym. Those students included Ricardo Arona, Ze Mario Sperry, Carlao Barreto, Ricardo Liborio, Allan Goes, and “Bebeo” Duarte.

5.7. Death of the Leader

Carlson Gracie Academy never recovers the position of the academy as before. Other academies like Gracie Barra, Checkmat, GF Team, Alliance, and other academies took their places while Carlson Gracie academy could not get their name in the competent teams.

After the loss of AC 2000, the academy faced another big loss when Carlson Gracie passed away. With the demise of a great BJJ leader, a chapter of a great and competent team was near to close.

But Carlson Gracie Jr. the son of Carlson Gracie Sr. took the responsibility of his father and Carlson Gracie Academy took another flight to the horizon.

5.8. Current Carlson Gracie Academy Ranking

Now Carlson Gracie academy is one of the top ten teams according to IBJJF Ranking. Carlson Gracie academy is the 8th top academy with 313 points. In IBJJF European Open 2023, students from Carlson Gracie Academy won various medals in multiple belt divisions.

Various big names in the BJJ and MMA are arising from this legendary institute. We can hope that Carlson Gracie academy will get its rank again in the future with its competent coaches and skillful students.

6. Carlson Gracie Team Headquarters

Carlson Gracie Academy’s headquarters is found in Rua Figueiredo Magalhães, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro. Master Marcelo Saporito is the head coach in this academy.

7. Carlson Gracie Team Affiliations

Carlson Gracie Team is one of the most well-known academies in the world. They have affiliated institutes in many countries. Here is the list of cities and countries in which Carlson Gracie Academy has its official schools.

Carlson Gracie Official Schools

Some of the affiliated academies of Carlson Gracie Academy are as follow:

  1. Carlson Gracie Tucson
  2. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gold Coast
  3. Carlson Gracie Green Valley
  4. Carlson Gracie Menifee
  5. Carlson Gracie Team, Hungary
  6. Carlson Gracie Westminster
  7. Carlson Gracie Miami
  8. Carlson Gracie Team London
  9. Carlson Gracie San Antonio
  10. Carlson Gracie Sheen
  11. Carlson Gracie NKY
  12. Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Anaheim, California

8. Head Coaches and Instructors at Carlson Gracie Institutes

8.1. Professor André Freire, Instructor at Carlson Gracie Academy Tucson

Professor Andre Freire is the head instructor at Carlson Gracie Academy Tucson. He is a 3rd degree Black Belt in BJJ. Professor Andre started his MMA training when he was 6 years old. At the age of 17, he started training in Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi, and at the age of 18 he shifted to BJJ Gi training.

Professor Andre won multiple gold, silver, and bronze medals in different competitions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Now he is transferring his knowledge to the students who want to learn Jiu-Jitsu and make a career in it.

“Leadership is not about being the best. Leadership is about making everyone else better.” André Freire

8.2. Professor Fabio “Brenda”, Head Instructor at Carlson Gracie Gold Coast

Professor Fabio Brenda is the head instructor at Carlson Gracie Gold Coast. He started his Judo training when he was 6 years old. He started Jiu-Jitsu training at the age of 14.

He was promoted to Black Belt in 2013 under Professor Alvaro “Ganso” and Master Otavio. He opened his Carlson Gracie Gym on Gold Coast in 2015. Now he is transferring his best skills to his students and is happy to see them learn.

8.3. Michel Porfirio Pereira “BUIU”, Director at Carlson Gracie Miami

Michel Porfirio is 5th Degree Black Belt in BJJ. He started his Judo training at the age of 5. But due to relocation, he had to pause his judo training. In 1989, he resumed Karate training. He started his Jiu-Jitsu journey in 1992.

In 1999, he became successful when he received his Black Belt and became the first person to have Black Belt in Nova Geracao. Professor Michel started his coaching career when he was a purple belt.

He gave his best services to various BJJ associations and made a great effort for promoting BJJ. in 2007, he started his own Carlson Gracie affiliated academy in Miami. Now he is the head instructor and coach at that academy. He instructs adults, teens, and kids as well.

8.4. Professor Thiago Mendes, Head Coach at Carlson Gracie San Antonio

Professor Thiago Mendes is a head instructor at Carlson Gracie San Antonio Academy. His father wanted to seek out the problem of his behavior at school. He first sent him to Judo and Karate. But Thiago liked Jiu-Jitsu and shifted his focus and attention to Jiu-Jitsu. 

He started his BJJ training in 2002 in the former Gama Filho (now GF Team) and received his Black Belt in 2014. Professor Thiago worked with the UAE Army for three years. Thiago traveled to various countries for training and coaching. Now he has his own gym where he is transferring his technical knowledge to his students.

8.5. Aaron Thomas, Head Instructor at Carlson Gracie

Aaron Thomas is the head instructor at Carlson Gracie Academy NKY. He is a Black Belt under Carlson Gracie. He was an instructor for more than 10 years and had a very deep understanding of the BJJ techniques.

Aaron Thomas has the ability to apply and teach these techniques to his MMA students. He is one of the best students who can make his students professional grapplers in less time.

9. Famous Students at Carlson Gracie

9.1. Paulo Filho

Paulo Filho is a Black Belt under legendary BJJ coach Carlson Gracie Sr. He started his Jiu-Jitsu journey at the age of 8 in Carlson Gracie academy at Copacabana. He was thrice World and Brazilian National Champion. In 2005, Paulo also won ADCC Trials. Filho executed his best skills in not only Judo but also as a professional MMA fighter.

9.2. Ricardo Liborio

Ricardo Liborio is a Black Belt under Carlson Gracie and is also well known for being one of his top Black Belts.Ricardo Liborio was World Champion in 1996. He is honored to be the first-ever World Champion in the Heavyweight division while weighing 83 kg.

Ricardo Liborio was also a silver medalist in ADCC 2000 and a bronze winner at ADCC 1999. Ricardo Liborio is honored that he never submitted in his BJJ Black Belt career.

9.3. Ze Mario Sperry

Jose Mario Sperry, also known as Ze Mario received his Black Belt under Carlson Gracie. He is World Champion thrice, ADCC Champion in both weight and absolute divisions, and ADCC Superfight champion thrice. Jose Mario did not just showcase his skills in BJJ but also was one of the great fighters in MMA.

9.4. Ricardo Arona

Ricardo Arona is one of the great Black Belt competitors under Ricardo Liborio who was a student of Carlson Gracie Sr. He was a gold medalist in ADCC for consecutive two years in both weight and absolute categories.

He was also World Champion in his Purple and Brown Belt levels and runner-up in the Brown and Black Belt levels. Another achievement Ricardo Arona had is that he only lost one fight in his career.

9.5. Amaury Bitetti

Amaury Bitetti is one of the best grapplers that were produced by Carlson Gracie Academy. He received his Black Belt from Master Carlson Gracie. Amaury Bitetti won two gold medals at World Championships in the open weight category. He was also the Brazilian national Champion twice and once bronze winner at the world championship.

9.6. Wallid Ismail

Wallid Ismail was one of the best students under Carlson Gracie. He competed for Carlson Gracie academy from the 1980s to 2000. He appeared on both grounds in BJJ as well as in MMA. Wallid Ismail defeated various big names like Luta Livre, Renzo Gracie, and Ralph Gracie.

10. Conclusion

Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu school is one of the top Jiu-Jitsu schools which are well known for BJJ and MMA training. Carlson Gracie started his school in 1996 and now his association had various affiliated schools all over the world. When the academy started, Carlson Gracie gave his services to various students without being paid. He showed his deepest feelings and education to Jiu-Jitsu by training students who could not pay fees.

Carlson Gracie academy continuously took steps upstairs until Carlson Gracie moved to the USA as Jiu-Jitsu became a famous combat sport in America. Now, Carlson Gracie Jr. is leading this legendary school after his father and tried to enlist its school in the list of top BJJ academies.

Photo credit: @carlsongracieteamoficial

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