THE ACADEMY

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Gracie Museum

Located within the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy headquarters in Torrance, California, the Gracie Museum has been open to the public since 2002. Showcasing everything from historical newspaper clippings and photos from the early 1930s to the actual gi Helio Gracie wore during his legendary battle with Masahiko Kimura, the museum provides visitors with an in-depth look at the most influential family in martial arts history.

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Museum Highlights

  • Helio Gracie Statue
  • Helio Gracie Statue

Helio Gracie Statue

This bronze statue of Helio Gracie was done in 1955 by the renowned sculptor Edgard Duvivier in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Duvivier was a personal friend and a student of Helio Gracie.

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  • Helio Gracie's Gi
  • Helio Gracie's Gi

Helio Gracie's Gi

This was the gi /kimono worn by Helio Gracie in his fight against Masahiko Kimura for the world championship on October 23, 1951. It was hand made by his wife Margarida.

This historical match marked the first time that a World Jiu-Jitsu Championship was fought outside of Japan.

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  • Gracie Summer Retreat
  • The Gracie Summer Retreat

The Gracie Summer Retreat

Located at the mountain resort of Terezópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this estate was the Gracie summer retreat. It had 21 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms. There were 18 uniformed employees working at the house, who had amongst themselves 14 children. There were 25 in-house telephones and a switchboard that enabled 6 people to talk to each other at the same time. A record of 37 kids of the Gracie family stayed at the house at one time, ages varying from 1 to 17 years old. Add to that 2 or 3 dozens of adults and there would be over one hundred people staying at the house during the busy summer weekends. There was an in-house laundry with industrial machines that washed 650 gis a week to provide for the academy in Rio. The tall building in the front is a 15,000 gallon water reservoir and a meditation room used by Carlos Gracie. At the center grass area is the canvas which was always ready to serve as a training area for the Gracie family members of all ages at any time.

Twice, there were carnival parties for over 1,200 guests with live band music and food. In the center of the main building the little bell hanging on the wall identifies the two kitchen windows. The kitchen, like a busy restaurant, would prepare hundreds of meals a day - all prepared according to the Gracie Diet, starting with breakfast for the employees, then for the children, and finally for the adults and guests. On every Christmas Eve, Helio Gracie would dress up as Santa Claus and ride his black stallion, "Quilate," up towards the main grass area and stop at the bottom of the veranda. He would then get off the horse, climb up a ladder into the main living area (with the three glass windows in the front) and hand out the presents to the little kids. For those who had the privilege of experiencing the full impact of the Gracie lifestyle it was an unforgettable experience. For the children it was paradise.

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