Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

Carlos Gracie Junior “Carlinhos”

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. > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior

Main Achievements:

  • Pan American Sambo Champion (1980)

Favourite Position: N/A

Weight Division: N/A

Team/Association: Gracie-Barra

Carlos Gracie Junior Biography

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 from an early age by his uncle Helio Gracie and trained at the Gracie Academy under Helio’s from when he was a todler. Although “Carlinhos” Gracie trained at his uncle’s academy, he followed much of 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 older 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. Although Carlos Junior spent most of his training time with Rolls, when the time came to be graded his brother passed the honor to the family’s patriarch, uncle Helio. The grading occurring sometime around 1977.

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 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 poor accessibility to the center 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 (1986). The project was started in a combined effort between Carlos Junior, Crolin Gracie, Rilion as well as their good friend “Zé Beleza”, who used the name Gracie-Barra to differentiate Carlinhos’ Academy from that of his uncles. 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.

In 1992, with the help of José Leao Teixeira (the aforementioned Zé Beleza), and Jean Jacques Machado, Carlinhos Gracie  forms the “Associação de Jiu Jitsu da Barra”, a federation that would grow fast organizing a series of successful competitions, set on the Veiga de Almeida campus in Barra da Tijuca. The success of this small association combined with the fact that different jiu jitsu academies were starting to open all around Rio de Janeiro would set the ground for the creation of the Confederação Brasileira de Jiu Jitsu (CBJJ) which later resulted in the IBJJF. The CBJJ was created in 1994.

Carlos Gracie Junior also launched the Jornal Gracie in 1994, a jiu jitsu related newspaper. The idea behind the Jornal Gracie was to advertise the jiu jitsu’s sporting facet to a broader audience.  and for that he asked for the collaboration of his student Luca Atalla. JG grew tremendously in it’s first years, changing its format to a magazine style publication and the name to GracieMag. Gracie Mag became a reference in jiu jitsu’s specialized media for many years.

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 (7th degree), and in 2015 his white and red belt (8th degree) one of the greatest honors in the jiu jitsu world.

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)


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