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Jiu-Jitsu, translated as 'the gentle art,' is the oldest form of martial art. It has also been defined with terms like yielding, softness, subtleness, and pliability. Its origins date back to India more than 2,000 years before Christ. From there it spread throughout Asia and eventually settled in Japan.

In 1914, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu champion Esai Maeda arrived in Brazil to help establish a Japanese immigration colony. Once in Brazil Gastao Gracie, a Brazilian scholar and politician of Scottish decent aided him. To show his gratitude, the oriental master taught the basic secrets of that ancient fighting style to Gastao's son, Carlos Gracie. Carlos taught Maeda's techniques to his brothers: Oswaldo, Gastao, Jorge and Helio and in 1925 they opened the first Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Botafogo, a district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is where the brothers prompted by Carlos, essentially designed and laid the foundation for 'Brazilian' Jiu-Jitsu.

Carlos Gracie, who was interested in stree-tfighting and was also a boxer, quickly modified the classical techniques he learned from Count Koma to meet the demands of real, "no rules" fighting in the streets of Brazil. The young Carlos Gracie then tested and refined his system through constant matches, open to all comers, constantly working to make it more effective. At one point, he even advertised in newspapers and on street corners for new opponents upon whom to practice and further refine his art. He fought anyone and everyone who was willing, regardless of size, weight or fighting style. Even though he was a mere 135 pounds, his style was so effective that Carlos Gracie was never defeated and became a legend in Brazil.

This tradition of open challenge is a part of the heritage of the Gracie style of Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos Gracie taught his style of Jiu-Jitsu. to his four younger brothers (Oswaldo, Gastão, Jorge, and finally Helio) and to his older sons (including Carlson and Carley), and they in turn taught their brothers, sons, nephews and cousins. After Carlos retired from the ring, he managed the fight careers of his brothers and sons, continuing to challenge fighters of all styles throughout the world. This tradition of open challenge has been continued by his sons, grandsons, brothers, nephews, and students, who have consistently demonstrated the superiority of the Gracie style in real fights and minimum-rule matches in rings throughout the world.

Carlos Gracie had 21 children and his youngest brother Helio had 7 sons, creating a virtual dynasty of Gracie fighters and instructors who dominate the world of "no rules" fight contests today. In these events, Gracie representatives have consistently demonstrated, in open competition against title holders from other martial arts styles, that the Gracie style of Jiu-Jitsu. is the most effective fighting art in the world today. No small wonder that the Gracie style of Jiu-Jitsu is the "hottest" item in martial arts today.

Carlos Gracie, Jr., one of Carlos' sons, opened the Barra Gracie in Rio de Janeiro and has, since its inauguration, trained several champions in Brazil. The Ultimate Martial Arts is proud to have Paulo Castro teaching Carlos Gracie, Jr.'s techniques at our school in Boca Raton, FL.

Carlos Gracie Jr. - The man behind Barra Gracie.

Carlos Gracie, Jr.