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Global Training Report

From Brasil, Thailand, Japan, and Korea

Est. 2000




Book Review

Carlos Gracie: O Criador de uma Dinastia

Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2008

By Reila Gracie

Reviewed by Roberto Pedreira  

Posted  January 27, 2013


Chapter 28

1948-Introdução ao Jiu-Jitsu

At the end of 1948 Carlos published the only book that he wrote. The cover had a picture of Carlos and Helio, taken in 1934, both suited up in kimonos, in the shape of a triangle which would much later become the logo mark of the academy.

The book was Introdução ao Jiu-Jitsu. Given the title, readers might have been expecting to learn something about the Japanese game of self-defense. If so, they would have been disappointed.

The book was dedicated to Oscar Santa Maria, with a preface by editor Henrique Pongetti. Pongetti described Carlos and Helio in super-heroic terms. Carlos and Helio had defeated champions of luta livre, capoeiragem, and boxing, enormous brutes who were accustomed to intimidating opponents merely by exposing their half-naked bodies. Not only that, the oldest and youngest of the Gracie Brothers had even defeated the Japanese masters at their own game. 

[This is what Pongetti said, not Reila. Pongetti was misinformed. Neither Carlos nor Helio had ever defeated a jiu-jitsu master at his own game. Carlos had never even tried.]

The book was divided into five chapters: (1) Conhece-te a ti mesmo, (2) Mente sã, (3) Corpo sã, (4)  Álcool, and (5) O Fumo. Carlos knew that readers would want to learn about the secrets of specific jiu-jitsu techniques, so he promised to write more books about that later. He promised to update them every year too, as his opinions evolved. He did not want "jiu-jitsu Gracie" to become stagnant and weak as had happened in Japan. 

Reila describes the content of each chapter. There is nothing about the techniques of jiu-jitsu. Indeed, there is nothing about jiu-jitsu. The content is what Carlos thought about "self-knowledge", "mental health", "physical health", "alcohol", and "smoking."  

Not surprisingly, as Reila says, the book was not a commercial success. 


Chapter 29


(c) 2013, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.