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The Gracie Way: An Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Martial Arts Family (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series) Paperback – May 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kid Peligro is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the winner of two World Titles. He is a columnist for Grappling and Gracie and the coauthor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Self-Defense Techniques. He lives in San Diego, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Invisible Cities Press Llc (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931229287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931229289
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,186,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

My least favorite chapter in this book is the chapter on Royler.
eugdog106
Unfortunately, despite these good points, the book's author, Kid Peligro, simply doesn't have the emotional distance from the family to cover it objectively.
Jeffery Steele
Royler, Renzo and Royce's defeats at the hands of Sakuraba are covered, as well as the breakup of Carlos's team of champions.
therosen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Steele on July 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is called an "illustrated history" of the most famous family in martial arts. While it has some useful information about the Gracies, it is less a history of the family by an outside and objective observer than it is a celebration of the family's achievements by someone who is almost part of the family himself.
First, the book's good points. The illustrations are beautiful. Many photos are in color, including some that are large enough to cover two pages. There are also a few black and white photos of Carlos and Helio in their fighting prime. The book gives ample space to not only the more famous members of the Gracie family from an American or European perspective -- fighters such as Rickson, Royce, and Royler -- but also to those Gracies who are not as well known -- fighters such as Rolls and Carlos Jr. Finally, the book is generally well-written and well-organized.
Unfortunately, despite these good points, the book's author, Kid Peligro, simply doesn't have the emotional distance from the family to cover it objectively. For most U.S. and European readers, this will be evident when the book turns to more recent events. An especially egregious example is the coverage of Royler Gracie's fight against mixed martial arts legend Kazushi Sakuraba in the Pride Fighting Championships.
To anyone who didn't have a dog in that fight, Sakuraba obviously destroyed Royler. It was such an embarrassing mismatch that in the middle of the contest Royler was reduced to asking -- pleading, really -- for his Japanese opponent to go down to the mat and wrestle him. Near the end of the fight, Sakuraba did indeed go down with Royler and quickly put the Brazilian in an armbar (in what is known as a "Kimura").
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By therosen VINE VOICE on May 18, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is truly a unique write-up of the Gracie family, pioneers of Brazilian jiu jitsu and modern martial arts. The book is organized around chapters from the founders of Gracie Jiu Jitsu (Carlos and Helio) through the family champions (Carlson, Rolls and Rickson), famous instructors (Rorion and Carlos Jr.) and modern champions (Royler, Renzo & Royce).
Behind the backdrop of personal biographies is a history of the art. Brazilian jiu jitsu started with Count Koma, who taught it to Carlos, who in turn taught it to Helio. Helio, Carlson and Rolls all put their own personal imprints on the art while in Brazil. Rorion brought the art to the US, introducing it to the masses through the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Although the book paints a very positive picture of the family, it does cover some of the troubles the family has seen. Royler, Renzo and Royce's defeats at the hands of Sakuraba are covered, as well as the breakup of Carlos's team of champions.
The photographs alone make the book a treasure. Kid Peligro has unequaled family archives, which provides stories not heard elsewhere. In addition, he was able to interview many friends of the family such as Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti and Carlao Valente.
A very interesting book to anyone interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the history. There's something new for everyone. Except maybe technique - that's another book! :-)
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By G. Yam on October 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I fully echo what J. Steele has said in an earlier review. The production on this book is fantastic. If you are a Gracie fan, you will be in heaven. For the layman, this is a really interesting read...if you heed the warnings. For the martial arts historian or fan, this book is severely lacking in the credibility department.
Kid Peligro does indeed have unparalleled access to the Gracie family, and the quality of the family photos and interviews reflects this. The reporting of some of the more controversial events is where the problem lies. An outsider reading this book would not believe that Sakuraba had beaten half the Gracie family soundly in MMA. Gracie losses are mere footnotes, or passed off as no-contests. Similarly the report of Helio's historic loss to Kimura spends more in describing Helio beating Kato, then insinuating that Kimura was bigger, younger and stronger than Helio - well maybe Helio shouldn't have challenged him then. After Kimura breaks Helio's arm, there is the ridiculous suggestion that the whole thing was a ploy for Helio to glean knowledge from Kimura, and in some way this was a victory - Helio had "learned everything he could from Kimura."
Sadly the text is riddled with such obvious and disappointing bias. Just a little less rhetoric would have made this book outstanding.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Alright, I have been won over. I have been practicing the de-fanged form of jiu-jitsu known as judo for quite some time now and always thought it was an effective martial art. But after being bested in tournament after tournament by novices in the devastatingly effective South American art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I decided to buy this book to see what all the fuss was about. I was blown away.
Though it doesn't really include techniques (there are many other books by Royce, Ralph, Renzo, or Cesar that do), it did inspire me with tales of the first family of vale tudo fighting. Each chapter detailing the exploits of a Gracie family member makes me wish I wasn't suffering in this bleak Michigan landscape, but learning from the originators of no holds barred combat in beautiful Brazil.
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