HEAD INSTRUCTOR LINEAGE
A member of the Judo Kodokan, Maeda was one of five of Judo's top groundwork experts that the founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to demonstrate and spread the art to the world. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries giving demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savate fighters and various other martial artists before eventually arriving in Brazil on November 14, 1914. It was in Brazil where Maeda ultimately accepted Carlos Gracie as a student. Carlos, the eldest of the Gracie brothers, eventually passed his knowledge on to his younger brothers.
At age fourteen, Helio Gracie lived with his brothers who taught Jiu-Jitsu. Following a doctor's recommendations, Hélio would spend the next few years limited to watching his brothers teach as he was naturally frail. He realized, however, that even though he knew the techniques theoretically, the moves required power and strength which did not suit his small stature. Consequently, he began adapting the Jiu-Jitsu techniques for his particular physical attributes and through trial and error learned to maximize leverage, thus minimizing the force that needed to be exerted to execute a technique. Using these new techniques, smaller and weaker practitioners gained the ability to defend themselves against much larger attackers. Today, the main differences between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is the emphasis on self-defense opposed to sport and competition with a large commonality of techniques between the two.
RORION, RYRON & RENER GRACIE
In 2007, our Head instructor, John Carter, began to train in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with Jack Walker (A Valente Brother's Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt) in Columbia, South Carolina. In 2011, he was accepted into the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Instructor Certification Program. Upon his successful graduation, he established the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center in the state of South Carolina.