Carlos and Helio Gracie
Born in Belém, Brazil, Carlos Gracie (1902-1994) was a pupil of Mitsuyo Maeda who taught him Judo and Jiu-Jitsu during his passage in the city.
He passed later his knowledge to his brothers. If he can be regarded as the first to create a new grappling fighting style known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it was Helio Gracie (1913-2009), the youngest of five brothers, who contributed the most to its evolution.
Being short and frail, Helio opted to enhance the ground part through the use of leverage, thus minimizing the force required to perform the techniques.
In 1925, Carlos settled in Rio de Janeiro and opened the first Gracie Academy Jiu-Jitsu.
Carlos has developed not only a new style but also a philosophy and a natural diet, designed by himself, known as Gracie Diet (without having any training in Nutrition).
Carlos began, followed later by Helio, the tradition of Gracie challenges, events in which they invited the most powerful fighters of the time to fight, which allowed consecrate the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil.
The Gracie brothers fathered many children, most of them famous martial artists, so that their surname is synonymous of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Helio Gracie´s oldest son, Rorion Gracie, is one of the founders of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).