The Legacy of Carlson Gracie: The Rise and Evolution of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Carlson Gracie Sr.

Born to Greatness

Carlson Gracie Sr., born on August 13th in the 1930s, was the firstborn son of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie. From an early age, Carlson showcased prodigious talent in Jiu-Jitsu, participating in his first martial arts competition at just five years old. 


Carlson’s journey through the martial arts world was marked by significant milestones. He won the first official Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament in Rio de Janeiro, The Campeonato Carioca de Jiu-Jitsu. He refined his techniques on the beaches of Rio, challenging and honing his skills against all comers. His relentless pursuit of excellence catapulted him to fame, particularly after he avenged his uncle Helio Gracie’s defeat in 1955, elevating him to a national hero at just 23. 

Historic Images of Carlson Gracie Sr
training sessions and notable students
Photos of the academy

Training Ground for Champions

Building on his success, Carlson founded his own academy, which became a training ground for some of the greatest names in Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. His teaching emphasized an active, ‘warrior style’ of Jiu-Jitsu that stressed physical prowess and a relentless offensive strategy, contrasting the more defensive styles prevalent at the time.

Continued Legacy

Carlson Gracie Jr. took up the mantle and continued to expand the influence of the Gracie family in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Under his stewardship, the Carlson Gracie Academy became a hub for innovation and excellence, nurturing numerous fighters who would go on to dominate the world of competitive Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts. His contributions have been crucial in adapting the teachings of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the needs of modern combat sports, particularly in MMA and UFC, where the techniques have become foundational. 

CGT photos from international events

Beyond Techniques

Carlson Gracie’s contributions extended beyond techniques and trophies; they shaped the very ethos of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, making it a global phenomenon that deeply influences major competitive circuits like the UFC and MMA today. His legacy is not just in the techniques perfected or the championships the academies won but in the spirit of resilience and relentless improvement it instilled in his students. 

The Tradition and The New

This legacy now continues in Australia under Professor Ben Hall. Awarded his brown and black belts directly by Carlson Gracie Sr. and Jr., Ben represents a direct lineage to the Gracie family. His extensive experience is bolstered by success in international competitions and a deep commitment to teaching.

Ben Hall’s Carlson Gracie Academy in Melbourne is the crucible where the traditional and modern aspects of Jiu-Jitsu meld, offering students the authentic Carlson Gracie combat style that is effective, tested, and continually evolving. 

Photos of Ben Hall in training
academy photos and competitions

Join the Legacy

Join us to not only learn Jiu-Jitsu but to inherit a legacy of combat excellence and personal resilience. 

legacy of combat excellence and personal resilience

Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Melbourne

Start your BJJ journey with one of Australia’s most established and respected academies.

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