This is no way meant to be a comprehensive list and obviously you are free to disagree and suggest alternatives.
Carlos Gracie is credited with establishing BJJ with the influence and drive of his mentor Master Mitsuyo Maeda.
Helio Gracie, who won his first fight in 1932 at the tender age of 18.
Pedro Hemeterio, arguably one of the Carlos academies most dedicated students who then went on to establish Gracie Jui Jitsu in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.
Carlos Gracie the son of the founder Bjj who competed for many years, he also revolutionized the art by pioneering group instruction as opposed to individual sessions. The team and its gi patch became recognised as one of the strongest in BJJ well into the 1990’s
Oswaldo Fadda, the first coach not from the Gracie school of Bjj who also fostered links with teams such as Nova Uniano and team GF.
Osvaldo Alves, Strongly influenced by his Judo lineage he is credited with incorporating grappling techniques into BJJ. This provides an example of the importance of a distinctive gi patch, which should create the identity of how a particular team fights in a Bjj competition.
Ivan Gomes, after the Gracies he was one of the most competitive men in the sport and after retirement from competition opened an academy with Carlson Gracie.
Rolls Gracie was one of the most innovative names in the sport. He combined judo and wrestling and expanded the sport technically and competitively, throughout the decade. He worked with the great teams of the sport allowing them and their gi patches to be recognized as medal winners.
Carlos Gracie (jnr), launched a Gracie academy in what was the outskirts of Rio De Janerio. The team it produced went on to become a genuine powerhouse of Bjj. As president of the Jiu Jitsu federation he elevated the sport onto the international stage.
Roberto Correa, Nino Schembri and Roberto Magalha are recogonized for their contribution to the technical development of the sport.
The 21st Century
The brothers Saulo Ribeiro and Xande Ribeiro have between them won 11 international gold Bjj medals, they have competed and beaten every fighter in their class and have produced a burgeoning stream of young talent from their California academy.
Contact for further information on the inspirational personalities who have made Bjj what is today.