In 1997, Carlson Gracie Junior was the first to open a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in Chicago. In the following years, his father, legendary Grand Master Carlson Gracie Senior came to join him and assist with teaching and training the art to which they have both dedicated their lives. As a IBJJF ranked 6th degree black belt, Carlson Junior or “Junior” as he is affectionately referred to, is the highest ranking BJJ instructor in the Chicagoland area. You would have to search far and wide to find someone of his ranking anywhere in the region. As a full time resident of the City of Chicago, Junior is the only member of the Gracie family that teaches in the Chicagoland area. Being that he was the first to bring BJJ to the area, not only has he produced the most black belts, but many of the black belts that are now teaching in Chicago, were under Junior’s tutelage. In more ways than one, Junior is Chicago BJJ.