Gracie Jiu-Jitsu History

Mitsuyo Maeda, a member of the Judo Kodokan, was one of five of Judo's top groundwork experts that the founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to demonstrate and spread the art to the world. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries giving demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savate fighters and various other martial artists before eventually arriving in Brazil on November 14, 1914. It was in Brazil where Maeda ultimately accepted Carlos Gracie as a student. Carlos, the eldest of the Gracie brothers, eventually passed his knowledge on to his younger brothers.


At age fourteen, Hélio Gracie, the youngest, moved in with his older brothers who lived and taught Jiu-Jitsu in a house in Botafogo. Following a doctor's recommendations, Hélio would spend the next few years being limited to watching his brothers teach as he was naturally frail. He realized, however, that even though he knew the techniques theoretically, the moves required power and strength which did not suit his small stature. Consequently, he began adapting the Jiu-Jitsu techniques for his particular physical attributes and through trial and error learned to maximize leverage, thus minimizing the force that needed to be exerted to execute a technique. Using these new techniques, smaller and weaker practitioners gained the ability to defend themselves against much larger attackers. Today, the main differences between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is the emphasis on self-defense opposed to sport and competition with a large commonality of techniques between the two.

Our Lexington, South Carolina Head instructor, John Carter, was introduced to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in the Fall of 1997 in the Tampa, Florida area. In December of 2007 he began to regularly train in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with Jack Walker (Valente Brother's Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt) in Columbia, South Carolina. In 2011, Mr. Carter was accepted into the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Instructor Certification Program. Upon his successful graduation, he established the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center in the state of South Carolina.


2011 Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Certification Program Graduates

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Teaching Nihon Goshin Aikido (a blend of Aikido, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo & Karate) since 1997.

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