In this article we will discuss the man behind the Lineage Archimedes Jiu-Jitsu Academy falls under: Carlson Gracie. We will discuss his life and the legacy that he left behind.
Born 13 August 1932 in Rio De Janeiro Brazil to Carlos Gracie and Carmen Gracie. He was the eldest son and nephew of the founders of one of the fastest growing martial arts in Brazil. Carlson Gracie’s contribution to the art is the catalyst that will spark the takeover of the martial art landscape before the end of the 20th Century. Carlson Gracie was trained by his father: Carlos Gracie and his uncle: Helio Gracie. Carlson Gracie was a pioneer in Mixed Martial Arts and led the democratization of Jiu-Jitsu.
At the early age of 20 he fought his first Vale Tudo Fight against Luiz “Cirandinha” Aguiar who was a practitioner of Capoeira. Carlson would go on to win by submission due to mounted strikes. The Vale Tudo Fight that Carlson would be most known for is his fight against Helio Gracie’s former student Waldemar Santana. Waldemar defeated Helio in May of 1955 in a Vale Tudo Fight. Just 2 short months later Carlson would take up the mantle of the Gracie Family Champion when he defeated Waldemar after 39 minutes again by strikes from mount. This victory showcased the direction that the art was heading in. Whereas the style of Helio focused on the technical aspect emphasizing defense, Carlson was the first Gracie to push an aggressive top pressure style that recognized the physicality required to be competitive. He would go on to win 18 fights losing 1 time. Gone were the days of just technique absent of athleticism winning fights. This was a new dawn for the world of grappling.
This aggressive physical style would be proliferated to his fighters that he would coach. Carlson Gracie would press his students in the physical and technical aspects of Jiu-Jitsu. Although the Carlson Gracie School is known for favoring the top game with such students as Wallid Ismail who would choke Royce Gracie unconscious via Clock Choke. His students also came up with one of the most sportive guards. Ricardo De La Riva who developed the De La Riva Guard broke the paradigm of what open guard can be used for. Under his tutelage rose some of the top MMA fighters of their eras such as Vitor Belfort, Murilo Bustamente, and Ricardo Arona.r. Due to a splintering relationship with some of his top students, a lot of the BJJ Schools can trace back to Carlson Gracie. Carlson Gracie would pass away on 1 February 2006 however his legacy continues to echo throughout Jiu-Jitsu History.
In a future next article we’ll discuss how we at Archimedes carry the torch of Carlson Gracie Lineage into the future.