The Untold Story of George Gracie The Red Cat Rebel
By Elite Sports on
By Elite Sports on
Table of Contents
- 1. George Gracie’s Details
- 2. George Gracie Biography
- 2.1. Who is George Gracie?
- 2.2. The life of George Gracie
- 2.3. Why is George Gracie Left the Academy and Rarely Mentioned in the BJJ History?
- 2.4. Professional Rivalry with Ono Brothers
- 2.5. George Gracie’s Intricate Relations with his Brothers
- 2.6. George Gracie No-Gi Fight Records
- 2.7. George Gracie and Geo Omori
- 3. George Gracie’s Professional Record Breakdown
- 4. Submission Methods
- 5. George Gracie’s Fight History
- 6. Last Decades of George’s Life
- 7. Top video Link
1. George Gracie’s Details
|Given Name||George Gracie|
|Nickname||Gato Ruivo (Red Cat)|
|Date of birth||1911|
|Date of Death||1991|
|Career Disclosed Earnings||N/A|
|Fighting out of||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Foundational style||Gracie Jiu Jitsu|
|Pro Fight Record||30-11-08 (based on available information)|
|Rank||10th Degree Black Belt|
|Awarded By||Mitsuyo Maeda|
|Head Coach||Carlos Gracie|
|Lineage||Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie -> George Gracie|
|Team/Association||Gracie Jiu Jitsu|
2. George Gracie Biography
2.1. Who is George Gracie?
George Gracie is one of the five renowned brothers of the Gracie family. Together, in the start of the 19th century, they shaped the future of jiu jitsu by owning, nourishing, and teaching the martial art of jiu-jitsu and vehemently advocating its effectiveness and superiority over the other martial arts especially Judo. It was the time when no one knew or accepted jiu-jitsu as a sublime martial art. Judo practices were in vogue and considered the most sublime form of striking martial art across the country even in the forces they preferred to train the soldiers from Judo instructors. In this article, you are going to learn about the personal and professional life of George Gracie and his contributions.
Financial Challenges in the Early Life of George Gracie
In these challenging circumstances, the Gracie family unequivocally stood by their traditional foundations of jiu-jitsu which made the support famous in coming years. As Charles Dickens said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”. Gracie’s family is rightfully considered the founding father of jiu-jitsu. It was a time of political unrest in Brazil and Gracie's family was also financially affected by the loss of the family business.
Relocation to Rio de Janeiro
George was born in 1911 in Belem which is the capital of the state of Para and known as the gateway to Brazil's amazon region. It is important to remember his brothers because they are going to be a part of this memoir all along. At the time of George’s birth, Charles was 9, Oswaldo was 7 and Gastao junior was 5. Helio Gracie was two years younger than George and born in 1913. George came from a wealthy and respectable family in his native town of Belem do Para. Unfortunately, Gastao Sr. faced a potential loss in his business. George was almost 11 years old when his parents relocated to Rio de Janeiro to start a new life and in this way, George's luxury life ended, but no one knew that George was more than ready and prepared to cruise through the challenge of his life.
Origins of The Gracie Academy
George Gracie, Donato Pires dos Reis and Carlos Gracie from left to right. A picture taken at the inauguration of the academy in Rio in 1930.
Donato Pires was an early student at Mitsuyo Maeda’s academy and learned jiu jitsu from Jacyntho Ferro who was the assistant instructor of Maeda around 1921. He also learned boxing in Escola de Pugilismo from Joao Scherr and is regarded as a Judo instructor of Gracie’s. Donato Pires came to Rio de Janeiro in 1928 and requested Charlos Gracie Jr. to join him as his assistant instructor. Finally, Donato moved to Rio and opened his Jiu Jitsu academy in September of 1930 at Rua Marques de Abrantes, in Rio de Janeiro. George and Carlos joined him as assistant instructors. (Piras gave George a bit more senior position than Carlos) It was the first academy in Brazil that was supervised by a Japanese master. (Mitsuyo Maeda)
Pires and Carlos received their training from Jacyntho Ferro who was a senior student of Maeda. They both also worked in Minas Gerais from 1928 to 1930.
Piras was by profession a tax collector and he had to move around the states a lot. Probably that was one of the many reasons why he left the academy right after three months of its inaugural ceremony. Carlos and George took over the academy as head instructors in December of 1930 and started advertising the academy under the name of “Academia Gracie” in Oct 1932.
It is important to mention that George leap-frogged Oswaldo and Gustao Jr. in the hierarchy of becoming the second best instructor in the first jiu jitsu academy of its kind. Because of his fighting, decision making, and leadership skills. His elder brother Carlos Gracie once said in a note to the media:
“George is like a sponge, that absorbed everything I showed to him”.
Brothers: Gastao Gracie Jr, Carlos Gracies, Osvaldo Gracie, Helio Gracie
Sisters: Helena Gracie, IIka Gracie, Marry Gracie
Childrens: Helena, Liana, and George (No sons, only daughters)
Reason of Death: Heart Attack
|Prominent Events of George Gracie Life|
|1911||George was born as the fourth son of Gastao Sr.|
|1930||George recorded his first fight.|
|1930||Carlos and George are listed as assistant professors at the Academia jiu jitsu. George was 19 years old.|
|1931||Won fight against Alexio
Rejoined the academy for a short period of time.
|1933||George was 58 kg and defeated Soledad with RNC.
Fought multiple times with Geo Omori.
|1936||George rejoined the Gracie Academy and then left again.|
|1935-1939||Fought multiple times with the Uno brothers.|
|1940||George fights several times in a year.|
|1947||Joined International Fight Company as a director.|
|1948||Fought his second last fight with Takeo Yano.|
|1952||Fought his last bout with Pedro Hemeterio.|
|1991||George passed away due to a heart attack.|
2.2. The life of George Gracie
Beginning of The New Era
Technically Aleixo is the first Brazilian to start a jiu-jitsu club in 1913. Even Mitsuyo Maeda came to Brazil after the establishment of Alexio’s academy. On December 3, 1931, George challenged the foundations of his school of thought and practices. He fought with Alexio in a Vale Tudo style fight (MMA of that time) and dominated the whole fight and submitted Aleixo via armlock in the second round. This was more of a symbolic fight and it was the end of one era and surely the beginning of a new start which was the Gracie jiu-jitsu school.
George’s Style of Fighting
He was a fearless fighter and liked to fight regardless of weight category. Whereas his brothers were known for negotiating the rules for their benefit. It is an exaggeration to say that he can fight with anyone but this was exactly his approach to fighting. He always agreed to fight regardless of the rule set, weight category, and timing of the bout. Maybe this is the reason he has to face defeat occasionally.
George adopted a more aggressive fighting style as compared to the fighting style of Helio and Carlos. Helio Gracie was famous for his defensive way of fighting whereas George's fighting approach was more attacking and he was famous for his crowd pulling aroma. He never feared losing a match. This fearlessness allowed him to take a more risk taking approach.
George’s Fighting Regardless of Weight Category
People started to call him a “giant killer” because he went from 128 to 154 pounds. But it became his habit to fight with stronger and heavier fighters and wrestles with the difference of 40 to 100 pounds. George fought more matches than any other siblings and almost all of the matches were against those fighters who were stronger and heavier than George.
|Tico Soledade||176 pounds||Vale Tudo||Under 5 minutes||Win||By RNC|
|Manoel Fernandes||180 pounds||Vale Tudo||Win||By Armlock|
|Geo Omori||148 pounds||Sport Jiu-Jitsu||90 Minutes||Draw||-|
|Orlando Americo||182 pounds||No Gi||10 rounds completed||Draw||-|
|Jack Conley||198 pounds||No Gi||Under 7 minutes||Win||By Armlock|
|Wladek Zbyszko||233 pounds||No Gi||Under 15 minutes||Loss
(this was the first loss of George’s career)
|Manoel Grillo||198 pounds||Vale Tudo with Pinfalls||In third round||Loss||By Pinfall|
|Manoel Grillo||198 pounds||Vale Tudo with Pinfalls||N/A||Win||Disqualification|
|Jack Russell||231 pounds||No Gi with Pinfalls||In twenty fourth minute||Loss||By Pinfall|
|Jack Russell||231 pounds||Sport Jiu-Jitsu||In forty fifth minute||Win||Decision|
|Jack Russell||231 pounds||Vale Tudo||N/A||Loss||By Knockout|
|Joe Campbell||216 pounds||No Gi||Second round||Win||By Armlock|
|Benedicto Peres||174 pounds||No Gi||Win||By Armlock|
|Fritz Weber||278 - 296 pounds||No Gi||Sixth round||Win||By Armlock|
|Fritz Weber||278 - 296 pounds||Sport Jiu-Jitsu||Second round||Win||By Armlock|
|Sarquiz Budip||240 pounds||Sport Jiu-Jitsu||First round||Win||By Armlock|
|Sarquiz Budip||240 pounds||No Gi:||Second round||Loss||By Submission|
|Angelo Orlando||190 pounds||Unknown||Second round||Win||By choke|
Unprecedented Fighting Approach of George
His contemporary fighters can only manage to perform one fight in an event. Whereas, George used to take on three fights over a night and secured three wins in a night. Not only that, these three fighters follow different rules and techniques. If one fighter followed No Gi submission grappling, another fell under the category of No Gi submission and the third followed the ruleset of No Gi submission with pinfalls, George used to fight all of them without a second thought.
George Gracie Liked to Make His Decisions
Helio and Carlos followed the business plan of running an academy which also involved incorporating some fighting rules that were far-fetched for a free spirit like George. But he remained in touch with Gracie academy occasionally. George also didn't like to follow the traditional diet plan of Helio. There was some clash of opinions between George and his brothers over his involvement in pro-wrestling events and about collaborating with those fighters whom Helio and Carlos considered their rivals.
George Loved to Move Around
Contrary to his brothers who were busy with the establishment of the Gracie Academy, George liked to move around to different places. George used to travel from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Paty do Alferes, Porto Alegre, and Recife etc.Then he started teaching at any bigger or more reputable established fighting academy. He loved to challenge all the top fighters of the area for a Vale Tudo match. Because he moved quite often, Wherever he went he liked to fight with the top fighters. Then he would relocate to another area or state and repeat the same cycle again. But his brothers didn't have that luxury because they were affiliated with one institution and they too have devoted their lives to the betterment of Gracie jiu-jitsu.
2.3. Why is George Gracie Left the Academy and Rarely Mentioned in the BJJ History?
George Gracie was the most talented and natural fighter among the Gracie brothers. Helio was more loyal to Carlos. When George left the family, money was offered to both brothers to face each other in the ring. Helio refused the offer but George accepted. But the fight never occurred. His participation in pro wrestling, his training, and friendship with the rival fighters and assisting them to open more academies to compete against Carlos and Helio were some of the reasons why he chose to leave the academy and are not mentioned fairly in the traditional Gracie Jiu Jitsu history. George Gracie was also criticized for not following Helio Gracie’s diet routine.
These are a few reasons because of which historians, followers of jiu-jitsu, and the Gracie family itself rarely mentioned the name and contributions of George Gracie.
2.4. Professional Rivalry with Ono Brothers
Yasuichi and Naoiti were skilled in Japanese Judoka and the followers of Mitsuyo Maeda, Geo Omori, and Takeo Yano. They migrated to Brazil in 1934 and challenged the traditional jiu-jitsu fighters despite their smaller body structure, both demonstrated their professional fighting style, competed in events, and started teaching Judo / jiu-jitsu. They became famous in Brazil and attracted the attention of the Gracie brothers. Gracie brothers considered them as a threat to the dominance of traditional jiu-jitsu fighting style and fought with them on multiple occasions.
History of Fights between George Gracie and Ono Brothers
|Date||Name of Fighter||Gracie’s||Rounds/Time||W / L / D||Round / Time||Method|
|Oc3, 1937||Yasuichi||Helio||N / A||Draw||N / A||N / A|
|Dec 5, 1935||Yasuichi||Helio||Five rounds||Draw||All rounds completed||N / A|
|Aug 31,, 1937||Yasuichi||George||Six rounds of 10 minutes||Loss||3rd round||By Choke|
|Oct 2, 1937||Naoiti||George||N / A||Win||52 minutes||By Armlock|
|Oct 16, 1937||Yasuichi||George||Eight rounds of 10 minutes||Win||6th round||Opponent Disqualified|
|Nov 12, 1937||Naoiti||George||Six rounds of 10 minutes||Win||All rounds completed||By Decision|
|Feb 4, 1939||Naoiti||George||Six rounds of 10 minutes||Win||6th round||By Choke|
Arrival of Takeo Yano
The arrival of foreign fighters in Brazil created tension between Gracie’s and Japanese fighters. Because they are not just fighters but they both represented their culture, styles, academies, and above all different political forces.
They faced each other multiple times over the years. Unexpectedly Yano and George became friends and started developing respect for each other’s skills. They competed against each other for many years and often traveled together. They faced each other for the last time on November 4, 1948. The bout continued for 30 minutes and resulted in a draw.
2.5. George Gracie’s Intricate Relations with his Brothers
George had an ideological conflict with his brother Helio. He was a free bird and preferred to make his own decisions. His style of jiu jitsu was more fierce. Helio was considered very defensive in his fights, and George was very aggressive and a crowd puller. Helio’s defensive strategy was effective at preventing loss, and George liked to take more chances. George lost matches from time to time, but his risk taking approach yielded him more wins. George and Carlos were given the responsibility of operating the Gracie Academy in 1930. But he decided to leave Gracie Academy in 1930 to pursue what he loved to do the most, which was fighting according to his own style and preferences.
It was the time of political and social instability and all the Gracie brothers and their rivals were busy finding the best fighters to make the foundation of their preferred fighting style stronger. George traveled a lot and made many friends. Gave training lessons in multiple academies. Helio started to lead the tradition lifted by Carlos and replaced George at the Gracie Academy and they both took over the charge. But Helio took this act of George as a rebellion against the tradition of jiu-jitsu. In response, George temporarily alienated himself from the Gracie Academy. Although, he used to visit his brothers often.
As Reila writes:
“Things were different with Helio. George didn't say anything bad about Carlos, just Helio”.
2.6. George Gracie No-Gi Fight Records
|Opponent||W / L||Events||Methods||Weight lbs|
|Orlando Americo||D||Vale Tudo||N / A||182|
|Jack Conley||W||Vale Tudo||Armbar||198|
|Joe Campbel||W||Vale Tudo||Armlock||216|
|Benedicto Peres||W||Vale Tudo||Armlock||174|
|Euclydes Hatem||W||Vale Tudo||RNC||200+|
|Fritz Weber||W||Vale Tudo||Armlock||296|
2.7. George Gracie and Geo Omori
Geo Omori was a Japanese born martial artist who earned fame in Brazil because of his incredible versatility in Judo and jiu-jitsu. He had his first jiu jitsu fight with George Gracie on April 8, 1933. It has eight rounds of 10 minutes. Omori said George was a more difficult fighter than Carlos. He had a long and legitimate, professional fighting career and would be the most experienced Gracie fighter of his generation. The Match ended in a draw. Omori and George Graice faced each other in a rematch in December 1933 in a Vale Tudo (MMA style of fighting) match of 10 rounds of 5 minutes. This match also resulted in a draw.
George’s Fight with the Student of Helio
The element of rivalry was always evident between George and his brothers. George decided to move back to Rio and open a George Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy in competition with the old Gracie Academy of Helio and Carlos. George's last jiu jitsu match was in 1952 against the great student of Helio, Pedro Hemeterio. Who was twenty-nine years old and in its prime time. Pedro later became the first Non-Gracie fighter to receive the 9th degree red belt. The fight was conducted in memory of a supposed match between Helio and George. In the early years, George agreed to the match with Helio but Helio refused. Unfortunately, Pedro mounted George and finished the match via choke. But George’s loss to a student of Helio potentially gave Helio and Carlos the symbolic and moral superiority over George’s style of fighting and gave Helio a mandate to control the jiu-jitsu’s future.
3. George Gracie’s Professional Record Breakdown
3.1. Bouts Record Breakdown(30-11-08) Based on available information
|40+Matches||Wins: 30||Losses: 11||Draw: 08|
4. Submission Methods
5. George Gracie’s Fight History
|Year||Opponent||W / L / D||Events||Technique||Weight|
|1952||Pedro Hemetério||L||Vale Tudo||Choke||160 lbs|
|1948||Takeo Yano||D||Vale Tudo||Decision||N / A|
|1940||Sarquiz Budip||W||Vale Tudo||Armbar||240 lbs|
|1940||Sarquiz Budip||L||Vale Tudo||Submission||240 lbs|
|1940||Takeo Yano||D||Vale Tudo||Decision||N / A|
|1939||Naoiti Ono||W||Vale Tudo||Choke||N / A|
|1939||Takeo Yano||D||Vale Tudo||Decision||N / A|
|1938||Takeo Yano||W||Vale Tudo||Leg Lock||N / A|
|1938||Giacomo Bergomas||W||Vale Tudo||Submission||N / A|
|1938||Jack Russell||L||Vale Tudo||Head Kick||231 lbs|
|1938||Takeo Yano||L||Vale Tudo||Decision||N / A|
|1937||Naoti Ono||W||Vale Tudo||Decision||N / A|
|1937||Yasuichi Ono||W||Vale Tudo||Disqualification||N / A|
|1937||Naoti Ono||W||Vale Tudo||Retirement||N / A|
|1937||Yasuichi Ono||L||Vale Tudo||Choke||N / A|
|1937||Orlando Américo Da Silva||L||Vale Tudo||Disqualification||190 lbs|
|1936||Zano||W||Vale Tudo||Neck Crank||N / A|
|1936||Roberto Ruhmann||W||Vale Tudo||Choke||N / A|
|1936||Eberle||W||Vale Tudo||Submission||N / A|
|1936||Bartkowiak||W||Vale Tudo||Carotid Compression||N / A|
|1936||Lino||L||Vale Tudo||Disqualification||N / A|
|1935||Ary Martins||W||Vale Tudo||Choke||N / A|
|1935||Takeo Yano||D||Vale Tudo||Decision||N / A|
|1934||Jack Conley||W||Vale Tudo||Armbar||198 lbs|
|1934||Shigeo||W||Vale Tudo||Choke||N / A|
|1934||Wladek Zbyszko||L||Vale Tudo||Armbar||233 lbs|
|1934||Orlando Américo Da Silva||D||Vale Tudo||Decision||182 lbs|
|1933||Manoel Fernandes||W||Vale Tudo||Armbar||180 lbs|
|1933||Tico Soledade||W||Vale Tudo||RNC||176 lbs|
|1933||Jyoji Omori||D||Vale Tudo||Decision||148 lbs|
|1931||Mario Aleixo||W||Vale Tudo||Submission||N / A|
|1931||Jayme Ferreira||W||Vale Tudo||Submission||N / A|
|1931||Eduardo José Sant'anna||W||Vale Tudo||Disqualification||N / A|
|1930||Johann Tose||W||Vale Tudo||Submission||N / A|
Vale Tudo with Pinfalls
|L||Vale Tudo with Pinfalls||Pinfalls||198 lbs|
|1938||Jack Russell||W||Sports jiu-jitsu||Decision||231lbs|
|1938||Jack Russell||L||No-Gi with Pinfalls||Pinfalls||231lbs|
|N/A||Joe Campbell||W||No-Gi||Armlock||216 lbs|
|N/A||Fritz Weber||W||Vale Tudo||Armlock||396lbs|
|N/A||Euclydes Hatem||W||Vale Tudo||RNC||200+ lbs|
|N/A||Benedicto Peres||W||No-Gi||Armlock||174 lbs|
|N/A||Angelo Orlando||W||N/A||By Choke||190 lbs|
|N/A||Tico Soledade||W||Vale Tudo||By RNC||176 lbs|
6. Last Decades of George’s Life
In 1947, George came back to Sao Paulo and started directorship in International Fight Company. This indicated his inclination towards the management of fighting institutions. It was the turning point in George's career as he started to work in the management of the fighting business for the first time. Although his brothers had been managing the fighting institution of Gracie Academy since 1930.
George Gracie would often leave the Gracie academy and then reconcile again with Carlos. Once he left the Gracie academy and competed with Zbyscko Waldek, where George lost via armbar. In 1936, George re-joined the Gracie academy and showed dignity with Carlos once again replacing Helio for a short period. He fought three battles in one night and won all of them. Carlos was entirely against the bout and the Gracie brothers parted ways once again. Although they reconciled later. George continued to teach his style of jiu-jitsu and his students often fought with the students of Helio Gracie. He had left three daughters and a rich jiu-jitsu legacy. He died in 1991 from a Heart Attack and after just two years of his demise, UFC was born it was a tragedy that George never saw the commencement of UFC.
7. Top video Link
George Gracie vs Nove capoeiristas
The silent legend of George Gracie
Gracie brothers VS Ono brothers
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