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The term “legend” is likely over-applied in sports like ours. Great competitors come and go, and some truly stand out. But all Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners who hear the name Rolls Gracie would agree that “legend” is an apt way to describe him.
Rolls Gracie’s name is brought up often in our interviews with Brazilian jiu-jitsu classics Carlos Valente, Fabio Santos, and Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti, all of whom attest to Rolls Gracie’s historic role in the development of Brazilian jiu-jitsu at a crucial point in its early history. Despite a premature death due to a hang-gliding accident in 1982, his willingness to integrate grappling techniques that were not a part of Brazilian jiu-jitsu opened the door to a new era in the sport, an effect that some say prevented the sport from sliding into stagnation.
Last week here on The FightWorks Podcast, cohost Dan and I discussed nutrition with wrestling legend and nutrition expert Bob Anderson. Bob stayed on the line with Dan and I and was kind enough to share his experiences of training with Rolls Gracie in the mid- to late 1970’s. As you’ll hear, the two met rather coincidentally and the exchange of ideas that took place between them had an impact on the sport we know today as Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
And before we shut the show down, we’ll have an installment of The Black Belt Corner. We’ll speak with none other than Carlos Gracie Jr.! Carlos, also known as “Carlinhos”, is the creator of the International Federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-jitsu which run the largest BJJ tournaments in the world: the Mundials, Pan American and European Championships.