One of our favouritest MMA sites has recently posted a couple of outstanding articles in their MMA Origins series. It is kind of one story split between two articles, telling the story of how Gracie jiu-jitsu started, and their competitive rivalries.
The first article, titled Vale Tudo and The Original MMA Rivalry, explains how the Gracie family developed their style of jiu-jitsu, and their rivalries with Judo and Luta Livre fighters. There is also an amazing video of the fight between Helio Gracie and Masahiko Kimura (unfortunately, no relation to me) from 1951.
Next is Carlson Gracie Changes Jiu-Jitsu and Vale Tudo, which details Carlson Gracie’s influence on the sport, and details his own competitive legacy. Again, there are some really cool old videos, one of Carlson’s fight with Waldemar Santana, and another showing Gracie fighters competing against a Karate school.
If you have any interest in MMA, BJJ, or martial arts history in general, these are must read articles.