BJJ

Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Schools Legacy and History

Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Schools Legacy and History

1. Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu History

1.1. Where It All Began

Cesar Gracie is related to Carlos Gracie Senior by his mother, Sonja Gracie-Gronning. Gracie’s father left his mother when he was a child, so he was raised only by the Gracie side of the family which instilled the grappling talent in him. In the 1970s, Gracie moved to the United States with his mother and joined the U.S. Marines for training.

1.2. Cesar Gracie Started Training at the Gracie Academy

In 1990, Gracie returned to America and started training at the Gracie Academy in California, which was founded by Rorion Gracie in the 1980s. He received his black belt in 1992 within this academy.

1.3. The foundation of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu 

The first Gracie Academy was established in 1925 by Carlos Gracie. In the 1990s, after being trained at the Gracie Academy and being promoted to the black belt, Gracie moved to the Northern side of California, where he started his jiu-jitsu school, Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. He brought his cousin Ralph Gracie to his academy to work with him. The academy got prominence in the late 2000s after the success of a close-knit group of Gracie students known as the “Skrap Pack.”

1.4. Thought Behind the Academy    

Gracie was attracted to martial arts from a young age because of his unique link with the  Gracie family. He started training at a very young age and eventually became an expert in martial arts.  His experience and expertise in martial arts encouraged him to establish his jiu-jitsu academy. His purpose was not only to develop an institute, rather he wanted to contribute his knowledge and experience of jiu-jitsu to the development of future athletes. Cesar Gracie’s words on the purpose of his academy:

“We build Champions and are here to get you to realize your goals. Whether you are looking to learn how to defend yourself and your loved ones, compete at the top level, or just learn the wonderful art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we are here to guide you through every step of your journey.”
(Cesar Gracie)

1.5. Headquarters of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu  

Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy is found in Northern California, with branches in Pleasant Hill and Brentwood. 

1.6. The Unique Style of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy

The uniqueness of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu School lies in its Gracie linkage. The academy has the best black belt instructors. The primary goal of this academy is to train children, women, and adults in martial arts. It also provides competition classes with the best instruction to test your game.

1.7. Coach of the Year

In 2010, the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu fighters won the championship in three out of five weight classes in the Strikeforce Promotion. This achievement made Gracie secure a position among the “Coach of the Year” nominees at the Fighters Only World MMA Awards

1.8. First Jiu-Jitsu Academy of Northern California

Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was the first academy in Northern California and has developed the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the U.S. Many professional fighters, who have competed in various MMA Championships, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), DREAM, AND Strikeforce, got training from this academy.

2. Won the 2005 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship

The 2005 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, held at Long Beach, showcased  a great number of talents and skills from some of the world’s best jiu-jitsu practitioners. Among the competitors was the Cesar Grace Jiu-Jitsu men’s team, who delivered a brilliant performance in the featherweight division, earning a gold medal. This victory was a notable achievement of the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

3. A Platform of Future Champions

When Cesar Gracie founded the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu School, he was resolved to build a platform where young athletes could shine in their fighting abilities. Today, his academy has become famous for its excellent children, women, and adult training, which has featured some of the best fighters in martial arts, including Jake Shield, Gilbert Melendez, and many other  prominent athletes.

Out of his foremost students were the Diaz brothers, Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz, who started training with Gracie as a teenager. The Diaz brothers quickly illustrated great skills and dedication, and their talent thrived under the instructorship of Cesar Gracie. During their training at the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, they won many martial arts bouts. Now, the Diaz brothers are the best fighters in MMA. Even after establishing their own BJJ academy, the Diaz brothers continue to train with Cesar Gracie, benefitting from his extensive knowledge of the jiu-jitsu principles. As a result, they are conveying Gracie’s vision and teaching methodology to all the students who train at their academy. Thanks to Cesar Gracie and his athletes, fighters who are not directly associated with the Cesay Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy manage to discover their personal goals and become seasoned BJJ practitioners. Just like the Diaz brothers, there are many other accomplished black belts from Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu who are achieving great things after getting training from a legendary instructor.

4. Legacy of the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

When Cesar Gracie laid the foundation of his academy, there was no other BJJ academy in Northern California that opened floodgates of opportunities for BJJ aspirants. Being one of the most prominent BJJ and MMA fighters, Gracie quickly became the most revered coach in the region. His academy has helped many BJJ students discover their passion for combat sports and helped them achieve the heights of fame and success by realizing their goals. As for the BJJ community, Gracie has also served the BJJ world by providing excellent martial artists.

Even after all these years, Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy continues to inspire young athletes and train them to overcome the challenges of the BJJ world. Cesar Gracie has dedicated his life to combat sports. Even though he is no longer competing, his students keep him alive in competitive settings. His skills and vision are reflected in their moves and strategies. His legacy will continue to evolve and add value to jiu-jitsu and the lives of the practitioners.

5. Academy Ranking

Year Championship Record Division
2011 UFC 125 12-1 Welterweight
2013 UFC 166 22-3 Light Featherweight
2018 UFC 218 15-4 Welterweight
2019 UFC 241 20-11 Welterweight
2022 UFC 279 21-13 Welterweight

6. Famous Certified Black Belt of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Champions Belt Rank
Nate Diaz 3rd Degree Black belt
Nick Diaz 3rd Degree Black Belt
Gilbert Melendez Black Belt
Daniel Roberts Black Belt
Jake Shields Black Belt
David Terrell Black Belt

7. Iconic Fighters of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Champions Belt Rank
Bret Bergmark Brown Belt
Cody McKenzie Brown Belt
Leslie Smith Brown Belt
Gil Castillo Brown Belt
Nate Diaz 3rd Degree Black belt
Nick Diaz 3rd Degree Black Belt
Gilbert Melendez Black Belt
Dave Bautista Brown Belt
Daniel Roberts Black Belt
Jake Shields Black Belt
David Terrell Black Belt

8. Conclusion

In the highly competitive world of MMA, the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy has had the privilege to quickly rise to eminence thanks to the sheer dedication and hard work of instructors and students alike. The fact that BJJ aspirants who train at the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy are taught discipline, ethics, and other core principles of BJJ along with the grappling skills make this institution distinct from other BJJ academies. All the BJJ black belts, MMA professionals, and world champions who have trained from the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy demonstrate excellence on and off the mats.

Photo Credit: @graciefighter

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