HERITAGE

Gracie Bahrain was founded to bring the authentic and original form embodied in Gracie Jiu Jitsu to Bahrain and onwards to the rest of the region. We are therefore only a chapter in the long history of Jiu Jitsu and its association with the Gracie Family.

The timeline below briefly describes 13 of the most significant occurrences that took place over the three generations the Gracies have been teaching jiu-jitsu. Learn more about this legacy navigating through the Gracie Museum.

1925

The Gracie Academy
is born

Carlos Gracie establishes the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1928

The transformation
begins

Carlos Gracie is late for a private lesson, so Helio offers to teach the class in his brother’s absence.

1931

THE FIRST
TEST

Helio defeats Antonio Portugal, a much heavier boxer.

1947

the boxing
dispute

Helio Gracie publicly challenges world heavyweight boxing champion, Joe Louis, to a no-holds-barred fight to refute an article published in Reader’s Digest arguing for the superiority of boxing over jiu-jitsu.

1951

THE ULTIMATE
CONFIRMATION

Helio Gracie fights Masahiko Kimura, the best Japanese Jiu-Jitsu fighter of his day. 

1955

the longest
fight

Helio Gracie, 41, fights Waldemar Santana in the longest uninterrupted no-holds-barred fight in history

1978

THE GARAGE
DAYS

Helio’s eldest son, Rorion, leaves Brazil for the United States determined to share his father’s revolutionary system of self-defense with the rest of the world.

1980

THE GRACIE
CHALLENGE

Rorion invites anyone of any size or discipline to fight him to prove his superiority of GracieJiu-Jitsu over all other martial arts.

1989

THE GRAND
OPENING

Rorion, with brothers Rickson, Royce, and Royler, opens the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California, to meet the overwhelming demand for instruction in this unique Brazilian self-defense system.

1993

THE GLOBAL
AWAKENING

On November 12, Rorion Gracie changes the martial arts world forever with the airing of the Ultimate Fighting Championship®.

1994

The U.S. army
goes gracie

The U.S. Army, the world’s most powerful army, chooses Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as the basis for its military combatives program.

2008

The global
training program

Rorion’s sons, Ryron and Rener, launch the Global Training Program to preserve the effectiveness of the art as a self-defense system.

2020

the bahrain
opening

Gracie Middle East opens in Bahrain, aiming to bring the Gracie way to the
entire region.

1925

The Gracie Academy is born

Carlos Gracie establishes the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1928

The transformation begins

Carlos Gracie is late for a private lesson, so Helio offers to teach the class in his brother’s absence.

1931

THE FIRST TEST

Helio defeats Antonio Portugal, a much heavier boxer.

1947

the boxing dispute

Helio Gracie publicly challenges world heavyweight boxing champion, Joe Louis, to a no-holds-barred fight to refute an article published in Reader’s Digest arguing for the superiority of boxing over jiu-jitsu.

1951

THE ULTIMATE CONFIRMATION

Helio Gracie fights Masahiko Kimura, the best Japanese Jiu-Jitsu fighter of his day. 

1955

the longest fight

Helio Gracie, 41, fights Waldemar Santana in the longest uninterrupted no-holds-barred fight in history

1978

THE GARAGE DAYS

Helio’s eldest son, Rorion, leaves Brazil for the United States determined to share his father’s revolutionary system of self-defense with the rest of the world.

1980

THE GRACIE CHALLENGE

Rorion invites anyone of any size or discipline to fight him to prove his superiority of GracieJiu-Jitsu over all other martial arts.

1989

THE GRAND OPENING

Rorion, with brothers Rickson, Royce, and Royler, opens the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California, to meet the overwhelming demand for instruction in this unique Brazilian self-defense system.

1993

THE GLOBAL AWAKENING

On November 12, Rorion Gracie changes the martial arts world forever with the airing of the Ultimate Fighting Championship®.

1994

The U.S. army goes gracie

The U.S. Army, the world’s most powerful army, chooses Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as the basis for its military combatives program.

2008

The global training program

Rorion’s sons, Ryron and Rener, launch the Global Training Program to preserve the effectiveness of the art as a self-defense system.

2020

the bahrain opening

Gracie Middle East opens in Bahrain, aiming to bring the Gracie way to the
entire region.

The founding principles

Grand Master Helio Gracie was introduced to the Japanese art of jiu-jitsu by his brother, Carlos, at such a young age that, as time passed, he no longer remembered many of the techniques in their original form. However, he vividly recalls experiencing great difficulty when he attempted to use the techniques on a larger opponent and, as a result, had to modify nearly everything he had learned to accommodate his frail physique. He points out that, despite the overall effectiveness and value of the Japanese techniques, nearly all of them had one or more limitations that prevented them from being fully useful to him. In most cases, he attributed the limitations to: 1) inapplicability against a striking opponent in a real fight, 2) overreliance on strength or speed, and/or 3) dependence on body movements that were awkward or uncomfortable for him. Accordingly, he began modifying the art to ensure that every technique was fully street applicable, energy efficient, and based on natural body movements. Using these principles as a guide, he spent several years developing a complete system of self-defense consisting only of techniques that he could successfully apply against larger opponents. Confident in his adaptations, he spent the next thirty years of his life proving his system’s effectiveness by using it to defeat numerous challengers, including several opponents who outweighed him by as much as 100 pounds.

THE Gracie GUIDELINES

After nearly a century of testing in a wide variety of settings, Grand Master Helio Gracie’s system of self-defense remains fundamentally sound and intact. To be sure, three generations of Gracie family members and other equally committed practitioners of the art have evolved the original techniques and added to the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu arsenal. All of these changes, however, strictly adhere to the Grand Master’s requirements for street applicability, energy efficiency, and natural body movement. Today, we call these requirements the “Gracie Guidelines.” On your path towards Gracie Jiu-Jitsu mastery, your knowledge of the Gracie Guidelines will serve you in two important ways. First, it will enable you to solve problems on your own by modifying techniques in accordance with the guidelines, and second, it will enable you to recognize the multitude of impure techniques that are being developed by instructors who do not know, or choose not to adhere to the founding principles of the art.