Gracie Challenge


The Gracie challenge was an open invitation issued by some members of the Brazilian Gracie family, known for their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) mastery, to martial artists of other styles to fight them in a Vale tudo (‘anything goes’) match. A precursor to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the purpose of these challenges were to prove the effectiveness of the Gracie style of BJJ.

The Gracie challenge was first issued by Carlos Gracie in the 1920s to promote and develop the Gracie’s style of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and as an attempt to show that it was superior to other styles of martial arts. The matches typically featured a smaller Gracie versus a larger and/or more athletic looking opponent, and became increasingly popular. Carlos and later his brother Hélio Gracie and both of these men’s sons defeated martial artists of many different styles such as boxing, judo, karate, and wrestling, while experiencing few losses.

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