The Gracie style was created in Brazil in the early part of this century by Brazilian jiu-jitsu pioneer Carlos Gracie, who studied traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu as a teenager under the great Japanese champion, Mitsuyo Maeda (known in Brazil as Conde Koma — the “Count of Combat”).
Carlos Gracie, who was interested in street self-defense, quickly modified the classical techniques he learned from Count Koma to meet the demands of real, “no rules” fighting in the streets of Brazil. The young Carlos Gracie then tested and refined his system through constant matches, open to all comers, constantly working to make it more effective. At one point, he even advertised in newspapers and on street corners for new opponents upon whom to practice and further refine his art. He fought anyone and everyone who was willing, regardless of size, weight or fighting style. Even though he weighed a mere 135 pounds, his style was so effective that Carlos Gracie was never defeated and became a legend in Brazil.