Carlos Gracie Junior, also known as Carlinhos Gracie is one of the most highly regarded Brazilian jiu jitsu coaches in the world, having been responsible for the tuition of hundreds of world champions including Hall of Fame competitors “Roleta” and Kyra Gracie. Carlos Gracie Jr. is also the founder of jiu jitsu’s longest and most prestigious governing body, the Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu (CBJJ) also known as International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) as well as one of the top jiu jitsu teams on the planet, the famous Gracie Barra.
Carlinhos Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Carlos Gracie Junior
Nickname: Carlinhos means “little Carlos”, because his father was named Carlos. The “inho” at the end of a name in Portuguese is often used as a “Junior” in the English language
Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior
- Pan American Sambo Champion (1980)
Favourite Position: N/A
Weight Division: N/A
Carlos Gracie Junior Biography (Gracie Barra)
Carlos Gracie Junior was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 17th, 1956, being one of sons of Gracie jiu jitsu founder Carlos Gracie (senior), he was raised in his early days by his uncle Helio Gracie and trained at Helio’s academy from a very early age. Although Carlinhos Gracie trained at his uncle’s academy, he always followed his brother Rolls‘s views on jiu jitsu and cross training, often venturing with his brother, to sambo (sombo in the US) and wrestling competitions. Rolls Gracie was the main instructor at the Gracie Academy, and when he left to work with his other brother Carlson Gracie, Carlinhos stayed behind to help run the main Gracie school together with his cousin Rickson Gracie. He spent two years there teaching, but his first steps as a coach came to a halt when he was accepted as a nutrition student at a Rio de Janeiro University. Around the time Carlos Junior enrolled in the University, Rolls Gracie started teaching on his own, separating his jiu jitsu class from his older brother’s class (although they still shared the same facilities). Rolls asked his brother Carlinhos Gracie to come and help him as an assistant coach, and as the University was close to the gym Carlinhos accepted.
When Rolls passed away due to a hang gliding accident, his students and Rolls’ wife asked Carlos Gracie Junior to be the main coach at the Copacabana academy, an invitation which was accepted by the grieving Gracie. Carlinhos maintained his coaching position at the academy for a few years, before he decided it was time to open his own gym in Barra da Tijuca.
Barra da Tijuca was then a very small suburb of Rio de Janeiro, with a tremendous beach, but with weak accessibility to the centre of Rio. Every close friend of Carlos advised him that moving to the “Barra” was a bad idea, still Carlinhos went on with the project and so Gracie-Barra began. The name Gracie-Barra was used to differentiate Carlinhos Academy from his uncle’s. Even though many said Gracie-Barra was a bad idea, in little over one year the students grew from 20 to 200, most were either surfers or/and local hard men looking for a challenge. With time different jiu jitsu academies started opening all over Rio de Janeiro, many formed by Carlson Gracie’s black belts. Carlos saw a need for an organized competition and a credible federation, being the visionary that he is, he created CBJJ – “Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu“ which later grew into IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation).
Though there has been some opposition specially in the early stages of the organization, against CBJJ’s for the lack of a democratic election, lack of prize money’s for the competitors or even the over pricing of it’s competitions, the matter of fact is that many federations have come and gone, and the CBJJ is still standing as the most prestigious and best organized federation in jiu jitsu and it’s titles are still regarded as the most prestigious by the jiu jitsu community. In the mean time, in between opening academies and federations, Carlos still managed to produce some of the very best BJJ fighters and coaches the world has to offer and have the most successful BJJ team in History, the one with the most international titles all around.
Carlos Gracie Junior will always be remembered as a true ambassador of the sport/martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and as a token of that status, he was awarded his Coral Belt in 2008, one of the greatest honours there is in the BJJ world.
Carlinhos Gracie Rolling with World Champion Marcio Feitosa (P1)
Carlinhos Gracie Rolling with World Champion Marcio Feitosa (P2)
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)