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It was an event to shape history, the arrival of Mitsuyo Maeda in Brazil. Maeda (1878 - 1941) is considered one of the greatest fighters in the world. As a member of the Kodokan, Maeda had traveled the world challenging all who would heed his call. He competed in over one thousand matches, including gi and no gi grappling, as well as matches that included kicking and striking. He was determined to prove the efficiency of his style of fighting. Upon reaching the shores of Brazil, Mr. Maeda met an established Brazilian businessman named Gastão Gracie. Mr. Gracie assisted Mr. Maeda in settling into Brazil. It was this friendship that began what is known today as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
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Carlos Gracie was Gastão’s son and was eager to learn from Mr. Maeda. Maeda accepted Carlos as his student, teaching him the art of Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos later taught Jiu-Jitsu to his brothers. It is this familial bond that has strengthened Gracie Jiu-Jitsu into the art that it is today. The Gracie Family then developed the now famous ‘Gracie Challenge’. Ads were placed and word quickly spread that the Gracie Family would take on any and all challengers. The fights commenced and so, too, did the victories for the Gracie Family. Determined to prove Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as the ultimate fighting art, the Gracie Family did just that with the Gracie Challenge. From the beginnings in the early 20th Century to dominance in the 21st Century, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a philosophy, a way of life and a system of self defense.
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Daniel learned his family’s art from the son of Carlos Gracie, Carlinhos Gracie, at the world famous Gracie Barra Academy. Years of sacrifice and training at Gracie Barra created in Daniel the will to be a Champion. Earning his Black Belt at the age of twenty-three, Daniel is now a Fourth Degree Black Belt. Daniel often conducts seminars to promote the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Carlinhos has recently received his Coral Belt, a symbol of over forty years of teaching excellence as a Black Belt. The Coral Belt was awarded to him by Renzo Gracie. Carlinhos is the founder and figurehead of the famous Gracie Barra Academy in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. This academy has produced many champions, including Renzo Gracie, Ralph Gracie, Ryan Gracie, Roberto ‘Gordo’ Correa, Vinicius ‘Draculino’ Magalhães, Alexandre ‘Soca’ Carneiro and many, many more.
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Daniel is proud to carry on the tradition of the Gracie Challenge. As an MMA fighter and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, Daniel is ready to take on any and all comers whether in the cage, ring or on the mat. Daniel's BJJ and MMA academies are throughout the world and he is proud to represent his cousin Renzo Gracie at Renzo Gracie Philly!
Fighting is the best thing a man can have on his soul.
Renzo Gracie
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These photos were taken before the PRIDE Bushido 1 event in Japan back in 2003. In this event, the Gracies fought against Japan. It was an incredible night, Rodrigo, myself, Ryan, Ralph and Renzo all fought against a different Japanese opponent. Rodirgo and Ralph both won by decision. Renzo and I both lost by decision (even though we both smashed our opponents...). It all came down to Ryan. He was the final fight of the night. He had to win to secure a victory for the Gracies. It was short and sweet, finishing the fight by knockout. Pure aggression and passion during the fight, afterwards the consummate professional fighter as always. The Gracies were victorious!