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BJJGround Forum >> Carlson Gracie MMA Hall of Fame profile


3/16/13 11:43 AM
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hackett
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Edited: 03/17/13 10:58 PM
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Few names are universally respected in the world of MMA, and perhaps none more than Carlson Gracie (1932-2006).
 
Carlson Gracie championed the Gracie name in vale tudo competition in the 1950’s, and then became one of the sport’s most successful trainers in the decades to come. His influence is easy to spot today, as MMA champions continue to emerge from Brazilian Top Team (founded by several Carlson Gracie black belts, including Murilo Bustamante), American Top Team (founded by several Carlson Gracie black belts, including Ricardo Liborio), Nova União (founded by Wendell Alexander and Carlson Gracie black belt André Pedernairas), and more.
 
The eldest son of the family patriarch Carlos Gracie, Carlson’s vale tudo journey began at the age of seventeen, with a victory against a capoeirista named Cirandinha on the cement basketball court of club Vasco de Gama. Per family historian Kid Peligro, Carlson’s vale tudo career spanned nineteen fights, with only one defeat on record, a decision loss to Euclides Pereira. Gracie would find fame in a series of bouts under both jiu-jitsu and vale tudo rules with Waldemar Santana, where he would avenge Santana’s defeat of the previous Gracie family champion, Carlson’s uncle Helio Gracie. These successes, especially a 1956 vale tudo victory over Santana at Maracanãzinho arena in Rio, are credited with regaining momentum for the Gracie family following Helio’s defeat. Carlson would draw Santana twice, and defeat him four times.
 
While noted as Gracie family champion of his era, Carlson would receive greater acclaim as a teacher, heading teaching duties at the Gracie Academy alongside Helio Gracie before opening his own academy in 1968.  His students would shine in jiu-jitsu and vale tudo competition for years to come. As modern MMA developed in the 1990’s, Carlson Gracie Team included champions and contenders like Zé Mario Sperry, Allan Goes, Murilo Bustamante, Vitor Belfort, Carlão Baretto, and Wallid Ismail. He also headed the vale tudo challenge in 1991 which saw the jiu-jitsu side go undefeated against a team of luta livre fighters.
 
Among his final wave of students were WEC champion Miguel Angel Torres and TUF 1 finalist Stephan Bonnar. Reflecting on Gracie’s death in 2006, Bonnar remarked: “What was great about him was he didn’t hold anything back. I know a lot of jiu-jitsu guys that will kind of save their best techniques. If you had a question, how do you defend this? He would answer. It really didn’t matter who you (were), your first day of class. He was honest and open about it; his jiu-jitsu and about other things too. You know? He would give you the last dollar in his wallet. He was a real good person. I mean, honestly. I just wouldn’t say that about anyone… like a really, really good person Carlson was.”
 
Perhaps that’s the best way to remember Carlson Gracie: a champion, a trainer of champions, and a champion in life.
3/16/13 1:35 PM
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cumprido1
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VTFU Phone Post
3/16/13 4:11 PM
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hackett
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Thanks for reading man, I'll probably send this as-is with minor revisions.

3/16/13 4:21 PM
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EazyG
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Nicely dodne.

Maybe put some of his old school guys in such as del la riva, cardoso, bitetti, fernandez, clovis, bolao, ponduka...

Maybe mention his love of rooster fighting?!

And his tremendous comittment to,his students. He was a father figure to many many. Over 100 black belts.

And mention his son Carlson Jr.

Aalso of note he was the oldest of 21 kids includidng Carlinhos, founder of gracie barra
3/16/13 4:22 PM
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EazyG
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I think his copacobana academy was often call The Champion Factory
3/16/13 4:46 PM
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hackett
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EazyG - Nicely dodne.

Maybe put some of his old school guys in such as del la riva, cardoso, bitetti, fernandez, clovis, bolao, ponduka...

Maybe mention his love of rooster fighting?!

And his tremendous comittment to,his students. He was a father figure to many many. Over 100 black belts.

And mention his son Carlson Jr.

Aalso of note he was the oldest of 21 kids includidng Carlinhos, founder of gracie barra

Thanks for the kind words!

I agree, you could go all day listing the great fighters he produced especially if you're considering sport jiu-jitsu. But since it's for the MMA Hall of Fame I tried to stick to the guys who either won a MMA or vale tudo title/tournament or were in contention for one. That's why I didn't mention Carlson Jr or De La Riva.

Yeah, I'd have loved to get more into personal stuff like cock fighting and music, but there's only so much space. Hopefully that last quote from Bonnar expresses how much he touched people's lives.

Thank you again

3/16/13 7:08 PM
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MickColins
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I wrote up one for a website I did for Junior awhile ago. Here's a link.

3/16/13 7:41 PM
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hackett
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Hey! I checked that out when I was writing this one. Great work man.

Really loved the quotes at the end of your profile. "You know a thousand moves and you suck at every one of them!" Hilarious


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