Carlson Gracie UK was founded by Wilson Junior and Luca Menagacci.They met while training at one of the UK’s first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clubs at the world famous Budokwai in Chelsea,London.In the year 2000 they decided to set up Carlson Gracie London. Wilson was a brown belt from Carlson senior in Copacobana,Rio and wanted to teach the hardcore work ethic and Carlson Gracie style of BJJ in his classes in London and continue the traditions and techniques of his lineage.
A small group of students joined Wilson and Luca Mengacci in the new club, including future Black Belt Instructors Simon Hayes, Dickie Martin, Barnaby Gorton, Alain Pozo and Denis Kelly. Wilson’s Instructor, Nelson Solari also had a big influence for many years as coach at Carlson Gracie London.
The team continued to grow at an amazing rate when people saw the first rate competition results of the students and the team spirit the club displayed on the burgeoning UKBJJ tournament circuit. The club’s reputation as being a tough and authentic place to learn the Gracie family’s Jiu Jitsu in London began to get world wide recognition as students became more and more successful on the International competition circuit. During this time,as the club grew, facilities got better and better, moving from its humble beginnings in a disused bar under a hotel in Earls Court to the basement of a youth hostel in Royal Oak known infamously as “The Boiler Room”. By the time the club moved to Hammersmith into a disused warehouse in Barnes in 2006 Simon Hayes and Dickie Martin had taken over management of the club from Luca who had to concentrate on his business.
The club relocated to its present location in 2011 and flourished, the mixture of a high quality dojo and a club that had retained many of its original members created a unique and very positive atmosphere. With classes offered full time in a variety of disciplines all chosen carefully to complement Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and assist the members in achieving their goals, from fun and fitness to self defence all the way through to international Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts competitions.
The present location in Richford Street,Hammersmith,W6 has a weights room and two dojos as well as large changing rooms and showers.During this time the Carlson Gracie UK Team has also grown in other locations with full time dojos in Kent, Surrey, Farnborough, Essex and part time academies in Oxford and Camberley.
The ethos,drive and commitment has not changed and authentic Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu is still being taught by all of Wilson’s Black Belts who now help to pass on the techniques and lifestyle of Jiu Jitsu he taught them.In 2014 Carlson Gracie Team UK won the IBJJF British Nationals,the most prestigious international competition in Great Britain proving we are the undisputed best academy in the UK.