Ben Hall is the Head Instructor of the Carlson Gracie Team in Australia, having been awarded his brown belt by Carlson Gracie Snr and later his black belt by Carlson Gracie Jr, in 2007. It was during one of his many training trips to the original Carlson Gracie Academy in Copacabana, Brazil, that Ben was asked to officially represent the Carlson Gracie Team in Australia.
Whilst representing the Carlson Gracie Team, Ben has had success as a competitor at State, National and International competitions as well as competing with the best Jiu Jitsu athletes in the world at the Mundial Championships in Brazil.
Ben’s knowledge and success as a competitor coupled with his dual diplomas in Sports Coaching and Sports Development ensure a progressive, safe and detailed style of teaching and learning. It was this experienced background that saw Ben take up a position with the Australian College of Sports Development as a Training Consultant, allowing him to up-skill his students and Assistant Instructors to ensure the future of the Carlson Gracie Team is in safe and fully qualified hands.
Carlson Gracie Senior
Carlson Gracie Senior was born August 13th in the 1930s. He was the first born son of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie and his first wife, Carmen. Carlson was immersed and excelled at the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from his infancy. Learning from his father and his uncle Helio, Carlson participated in his first Martial Arts competition at the age of five!
Carlson became an avid competitor as he grew older. He won the first official Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament in Rio de Janeiro: The Campeonato Carioca de Jiu-Jitsu. Traveling with his father and Uncles as a teenager and helping them demonstrate Jiu-Jitsu led to Carlson leaving school at the age of 15. However, Carlson was an avid reader and stressed the importance of learning in all facets of a person’s life. His students would joke how he’d test them randomly with questions he’d read from books he possessed.
Carlson honed his fighting skills against people who challenged the Gracie Academy. He also tested his skills in other ways. When he wanted to refine a move, he’d go down to a beach in Rio that was renowned for being the hang-out for many tough guys, bodybuilders, etc.. Carlson would bet them they couldn’t beat him and he’d work on his Jiu-Jitsu as they did their best to try and win his money. The first true test of his fighting prowess on a large stage came in 1955.
Carlson catapulted to fame at the age of 23 when he avenged the defeat of his uncle Helio Gracie. A former student of Helio's, Waldemar Santana, had defeated the much older Helio during a match in 1955. That match lasted four hours. Carlson's rematch with Santana in 1956 was a much shorter affair: four rounds of vicious vale-tudo combat came to draw. 
After teaching at his uncle's academy for several years, he opened his own, where over the past thirty years many of the greatest names in Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Artists have trained as members of the famed Carlson Gracie Arrebentacao Team.
Carlson's influence on no-holds-barred fighting is extensive as well, for the style of Jiu-Jitsu he taught at his academy was distinct from that being taught by Helio. While Helio's brand of Jiu-Jitsu emphasized defensive techniques aiming to allow the smaller and weaker to defeat the stronger opponent, Carlson and his brothers Carley Gracie and Rolls Gracie favored a much more active, 'warrior style' of Jiu-Jitsu that encouraged physical prowess and barraging your opponent with a series of attacks.
Carlson Gracie died on February 1, 2006, in Chicago, Illinois, of heart failure, apparently the result of complications of kidney stones (and possibly his pre-existing diabetes), following a hospitalisation of several days. At the time of his death he was a ninth degree red belt and was referred to as Grandmaster.
"There is no losing in Jiu-Jitsu. You either win or you learn."