Mitsuyo Maeda Koma
Maeda a Japanese man was in Brazil to over see Japanese immigration into the country. Whilst doing so he became friends with Gastao Gracie who was instrumental in helping Japanese immigrants establish communities in Brazil.
Maeda was a World Jiu-Jitsu Champion and did something that was not usually done by teaching Gastao Gracie’s son Carlos the art of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu circa 1918.
After learning traditional Jiu-Jitsu from Maeda, Carlos passed on his knowledge to the others in the family. He then decided to open the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carlos Gracie was small in stature as were others in the family, so they went on to refine the Jiu-Jitsu Carlos was taught so that anyone of any size could use the techniques. Carlos also brought in the “Gracie Challenge”. This was where anyone could come and test their skill against Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. After Carlos’s brother “Helio” who was the current representative of the family lost to a former student name Waldemar Santana the family looked towards Carlos’s eldest son Carlson Gracie.
Carlson went on to fight 19 professional matches and remained undefeated. Carlson reigned as world champion for 30 years in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
At age 20 riding on his new found fame Carlson Gracie opened his own academy. At that time there were only 2 academies in Brazil under the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Team – the original Gracie academy in the city and Carlson’s in Copacabana.
Carlson had his own approach to teaching Jiu-Jitsu with a more aggressive style of training and a reputation of not holding any information back from his students. When tournaments came around a total of only 2 fighters could represent the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Team. Accordingly, the students from the 2 Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academies would fight to qualify to represent the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Team. This was a cause of tension as Carlson’s students would always qualify for the tournaments.
When Carlson started the academy in Copacabana, he invited Rolls Gracie to come and train with him – which he did and went on to become a great Jiu-Jitsu fighter.
Later Rolls and Carlson had a disagreement which led to a splitting of the team at the Copacabana academy with each Carlson and Rolls retaining their own students but sharing time for use of the mat. Carlson’s students continued to win the qualifying events for tournaments aggravating the rivalry. To put an end to this rivalry, Carlson decided to put his own name to his style of Jiu-Jitsu and no longer used the general term Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, so became “Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu”. This enabled students from the other Gracie academies to qualify for tournaments. After Rolls’s tragic death, Carlos Gracie Jr, who was a student of Roll’s was asked to take over the duty as instructor of Rolls students which he did and moved to Barra.
With Carlson’s unique style of training, conditioning and techniques, the Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy in Copacabana went on to produce world champions in Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Wrestling and Vale Tudo/No Hold Barred. This led to Carlson Gracie becoming one of the most sought after coaches in Jiu-Jitsu history.
Carlson Gracie Jr.
Being the son of a legendary father, it was no surprise that Carlson Gracie Jr became a Jiu-jitsu Champion. Picking up the name “the Prince of Jiu-jitsu” Jr went on to compete and become a champion in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Greco Roman Wrestling and Vale Tudo/MMA.
After taking on teaching duties at the main academy in Copacabana, Brazil and helping to produce some of the best fighters in the world, Carlson Gracie Jr moved to the United States. With a mission to spread his family’s style of Jiu-jitsu and to carry on the legacy of creating champions, Jr now has two successful academies in LA and Chicago.
He is also now the head of the Carlson Gracie Team World Wide after the death of his father. Jr. is known for his superior teaching ability and his wonderful personality. Whether he is making you laugh off the mat, or developing your skills on the mat, he has much to offer in the art of Jiu-jitsu. Carlson Gracie Jr is highly sought after to teach seminars around the world to many different academies and Law enforcement agencies.
Not remembering a time without martial arts, Ben Hall first started training in Judo which is no surprise as his father was a Judo instructor. After training and competing in other styles of Martial arts such as kickboxing, Kung Fu and Karate with success, it was only when he heard about the Gracie family that he really found the style for him.
After years of training Jiu-jitsu Ben was approached by Carlson Gracie Jr at the original Carlson Gracie Jiu-jitsu academy in Copacabana Brazil and asked to represent them in Australia. With great honor Ben opened one of the only Carlson Gracie Academies outside of Brazil and the USA.
Since then Ben has produced Pan Pacific Jiu-jitsu Champions, National Jiu-jitsu Champions and State Jiu-jitsu Champions. Carrying on the legacy of the Carlson Gracie Team Ben is also training up a team to enter into Mixed Martial art events. Ben has had great success himself winning several Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Championships and competing many times in the world’s toughest Jiu-jitsu competition the “Mundial” (World Championships). After many years of teaching in Australia and also seminars around the world Ben Hall is still the sole and only member of the Carlson Gracie Team residing in Australia.