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Carley Gracie

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Carley Gracie

Carley Gracie
Born Rio de Janeiro (state) BrazilRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Residence San Francisco, California
Nationality Brazil Brazilian
Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Teacher(s) Carlos Gracie, Carlson Gracie[1]
Rank     9th degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Carley Gracie, nicknamed "The lion of the Gracie family", is a Brazilian-born martial artist and a prominent member of the Gracie family.


Carley was born at sea, off the coast of Natal, Brazil, and was raised in Rio de Janeiro and Teresopolis, Brazil.

Carley is the 11th child of Carlos Gracie and was the last member of the Gracie family to actually be trained by his father Carlos Gracie. Carley is one of the few people in the world to hold a 9th degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is known to be one of the most technical members of the Gracie family.

From 1969-1972, Carley was the Brazilian national champion in both jiu-jitsu and vale tudo. He received his black belt at the unprecedented age of 22, and is currently certified a 9th degree red-belt by the Federation of Jiu-Jitsu of Rio de Janeiro (the first certifying organization for the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu).

In 1972, Carley moved to the United States, where he fought challenge matches and trained students up and down the eastern seaboard. Carley was the first member of the Gracie family to teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the United States, and gave classes at locations in Virginia and Florida before moving to California in 1979. He eventually opened a school in San Francisco, California, where he currently teaches.[2]

In 1994, Carley interceded in a family dispute over use of the Gracie name in jiu-jitsu. His cousin Rorion Gracie had obtained a federal trademark registration for the term "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu" and was demanding that other members of the Gracie family stop using their surname (Gracie) in connection with jiu-jitsu instruction. Carley, who was the first Gracie to teach in the United States, challenged Rorion's registration and a lengthy legal battle followed. Carley ultimately won the lawsuit over the Gracie name, when the jury found that Rorion did not have a valid federal trademark registration for the name "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu." The jury also found that Carley had infringed a triangle logo trademark, which was designed by the late Rolls Gracie and used by many Gracie family members in Brazil but had been registered in the United States by Rorion, who was awarded $108,000 in damages (along with attorney's fees). Both sides appealed, but Rorion's appeal was dismissed. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Carley's favor, affirmed his victory over the Gracie name and ordered the District Court Judge to cancel Rorion's federal trademark registration.[3]

Instructor lineage

Mitsuyo "Count Koma" MaedaCarlos Gracie, Sr.Carlson Gracie, Sr. → Carley Gracie[4]

Personal life

Gracie is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, in California. He has one daughter Tanya Gracie and two sons: Clark Gracie[5][6][7] and Ralston Gracie.[8] Both of his sons train and teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The photogenic Clark Gracie has an academy in La Jolla, California. Ralston Gracie is currently teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Brentwood as well as at Carley's academy in San Francisco, California.


External links

  • Carley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy
  • Gracie Family Tree
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