Growth of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
In the middle to late 1970s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu continued to grow in popularity, and in 1978, Academia Gracie relocated to Flamengo, an area in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. In 1982 Relson and his younger brother Rickson began competing and winning black belt divisions of Jiu Jitsu tournaments in their respective weight classes (83 kg and 77 kg, respectively) and "open weight" divisions as well, often sharing 1st and 2nd place. "Open weight" are divisions in tournaments where any weight can compete.
During this time Relson and other family members defended the Gracie name and reputation "in the streets" of Brazil. Even in true "no holds barred" matches, where it was often a matter of survival, Relson and the Gracie family maintained its dominance and proved that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is an effective martial art.
The Gracie family also experienced success in Vale Tudo fights and competitions. On April 25, 1980, "the torch" was officially passed to Rickson Gracie when he defeated Casemiro "Rei Zulu" Nascimento Martins by rear naked choke. Rei Zulu suffered a similar fate at the hands of Rickson again in January 1984 during their second encounter. Relson trained Rickson for both events in anticipation of fighting Zulu himself, but Relson later acquiesced to Helio's wishes for Rickson to make his debut as the Gracie family champion.
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