#43 Vinicius Draculino Magalhaes


Vinicius Draculino Magalhaes has dedicated his life to advancing and expanding the sport of Jiu Jitsu. So much so that Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Jr. entrusted Draculino with opening the first Gracie Barra school outside of Rio de Janeiro.


Draculino grew up in Rio. He started his martial arts journey at the age of seven but it wasn't until his early teens that he began the sport he loved, Jiu Jitsu. Draculino knew from the start of his training days that he would be involved in Jiu Jitsu in some capacity for the rest of his life. But it wouldn't be until his twenties that he would realize just how much Jiu Jitsu would dominate his world.


When he began his Jiu Jitsu journey in the early 1980s Draculino started because his friends were doing it, he grew up with Gracie family members Ralph and Renzo and wanted to be considered a "badass" like them. Within a year of training, Draculino had switched from his first academy to the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Club where he received his purple belt under future legend Jean Jaques Machado. After receiving his purple Carlos Gracie Jr. took over the club, renaming it Gracie Barra. Draculino would receive his brown and black belts from Grandmaster Carlos Jr. and as recently as 2019 was recognized as a 6th-degree black belt under his master.


Draculino dedicated himself academically as much as he did to Jiu Jitsu. Along the way, his dedication paid off with a Law Degree from the Federal University of Rio De Janeiro. It was around that same time that Carlos Jr. had approached Draculino with the opportunity to open the first Gracie Barra affiliate outside of Rio. Draculino was faced with the decision of pursuing a lucrative career in Law or continuing a life dedicated to Jiu Jitsu. Grandmaster Carlos Jr. had a vision for the sports continued growth outside of Rio, and new Draculino had the necessary tools to help spread the Gracie Barra name worldwide.


Along the way, Draculino became what many consider one of the best featherweight competitors of all time. Among many other titles and accolades, he has won the Pan Ams as a black belt in 1995, 96, and 98, Worlds Silver medalist twice, No Gi Pan Am Champion, and a four-time Brazilian National Champion.


In 2006 Draculino set his sites on the United States. He now has not one but two successful Gracie Barra academies in Texas. Draculino is also an incredible instructor. He has produced several world champions and has promoted hundreds of Jiu Jitsu practitioners to the rank of black belt. Promoting so many individuals to that rank is something he feels is one of his greatest achievements and something he doesn't take lightly. He has stated that he will hold people back if they are technically proficient but not mature to hold the rank and said he will never promote a person, no matter how good their Jiu Jitsu is if that person is lacking in character.


Draculino continues to be a great ambassador for the sport of Jiu Jitsu. Along with teaching at his academies, he travels the world giving seminars and has an incredible online training platform. Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Jr. saw something special in Draculino all those years ago and Draculino proved his master correct by carrying on the great Gracie family legacy.


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