Robson Gracie, prominent member of the Gracie family and one of few 9th degree BJJ black belts on the planet, has sadly passed away at the age of 88. He originally learned Jiu-Jitsu from his father Carlos Gracie and his uncle Helio Gracie, and has since passed it on to a countless number of students underneath him. Robson was born in 1935 in Rio De Janeiro and was the second son of Carlos, and just like many members of his family he quickly followed in the footsteps of the generation before him.
Robson competed in Vale Tudo on several occasions throughout his career and managed to emerge victorious against tough competitors. Although he spent a long time training and teaching Jiu-Jitsu along with competing in early mixed martial arts matches, Robson is perhaps best known for his involvement in the political sphere. This began all the way back in the 1960s when he served as the bodyguard to Leonel Brizola, brother-in-law to then-President of Brazil, Joao Goulart.
This involvement led to him being imprisoned during the 1964 Brazilian military coup for 64 days until he was released thanks to the intervention of the rest of his family. Although he was much more involved in politics in his youth, Robson Gracie was also involved with another more recent President of the country; Jair Bolsonaro. Back on October 25th, 2018 he presented Bolsonaro with an honorary black belt shortly before he won his bid for presidency and was elected on January 1st, 2019.
Robson Gracie also continued the family legacy in another way, as he had several children who went on to make an impact in the sports of BJJ and MMA as well. His surviving children are Charles, Keila, Ralph, Flavia, Robson Jr., and Renzo Gracie while the family sadly lost his other son Ryan Gracie in 2007. His grandchildren also made a name for themselves in combat sports as Kyra Gracie became one of the pioneers of women’s Jiu-Jitsu and Neiman Gracie still competes in MMA today. Robson Gracie passed away on the night of April 28th, 2023, although there is no information released as to the cause of his death just yet.