Welcome To FightWorks Jiu-Jitsu Academy

Master Relson Gracie

Being a female, that was the hardest step – coming to terms with the idea of grappling a man in some pretty compromising positions, but I made the leap and have loved the sport ever since. Dan made that transition incredibly easy by being very professional and open to questions, conventional or not. Starting with Dan as my first instructor was probably one of the reasons I even entertained the idea of sticking with Jiu-Jitsu – not only is he extremely knowledgeable but he also emphasizes technique over athleticism…… Read More

Dan Wallen

The Upstate’s Home for Authentic Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

jiujitsu greenville SCJapanese Jiu-Jitsu was introduced to the Gracie family in Brazil around 1914 by Mitsuyo Maeda, who was also known as Conde Koma. Maeda was a champion of Jiu-Jitsu and a direct student of Judo founder Jigoro Kano, at the Kodokan in Japan. He was born in 1878, and became a student of Judo in 1897. In 1914, Maeda was given the opportunity to travel to Brazil as part of a large Japanese immigration colony. In Brazil, in the northern state of Para, he befriended Gastão Gracie, a businessman, who helped Maeda get established. To show his gratitude, Maeda offered to teach traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to Gastão’s oldest son, Carlos Gracie. Carlos learned for a few years and eventually passed his knowledge to his brothers.

Helio Gracie, the youngest son of Gastão Gracie’s eight children, was always a very physically frail child. At age fourteen, he moved in with his older brothers who lived and taught Jiu-Jitsu in a house in Botafogo, a borough of Rio de Janeiro. He learned traditional jiu-jitsu by watching his brother, Carlos, teach it, but his small frame made it difficult for him to execute the moves. As a result, he adapted techniques to fit his limited physical ability and gave rise to modern-day Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A modern-day legend, Helio Gracie gained international acclaim for his dedication to the dissemination of the art and is recognized as the creator of Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He passed away in 2009 at the age of 95.