Interview with Royce Gracie

Royce Gracie recently came by the Charles Gracie Academy in Daly City, CA to do a seminar. It was incredible.Royce Gracie recently came by the Charles Gracie Academy in Daly City, CA to do a seminar. It was incredible. I only saw day one, but apparently day two was intense with NHB guard techniques and takedowns. Royce and Charles even rolled with both displaying an awesome combination of flowing techniques and patience. For a few seconds, you actually catch the vibe of what it must have been like when the whole family was back in Brazil. After the sweat was done rolling down everyone’s face, he sat down to talk to me.

AB: What’s Royce Gracie been up to?

RG: I`ve been training a few movie stars. For me acting, might be the next big step. So, if the right chance comes along, I’m waiting.

AB: Any NHB plans?

RG: I’m talking to some people in Japan, negotiations are on the table….But just waiting…..I might be fighting by September of next year, maybe before that.

AB: One of the newer debates in NHB is that now that the art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu is so strong, that it actually has made striking a factor. This is primarily due to the fact that guys are more prone to have equal ground skills now, so it forces the striking game of both men to be higher. Do you agree?

RG: No, I disagree. I think that people are studying the rules more. For instance, I get in the clinch I’ll take you to the ground and punch you against the fence. I’ll just throw blows in the air. I might miss half of them. But I’m going to win because I’m on top. The rounds are for five minutes- explosive, you see? Everybody is learning strikes, everybody is cross training. But I don’t think it’s that. I think people are studying the rules. So they find out which things you can do, which things you cannot and play accordingly.

AB: Do you miss the old vale tudo (no time limits, no biting, no shots ot thet nuts and no eye gouging)?

RG: The time limits, the rounds and judges…….The old style of vale tudo defines the best fighters. Today, it’s not all the time that the best fighter wins. Sometimes you get a guy who is willing to fight. He may not even know martial arts. But he wins because he knows the rules and for five minutes, he can throw punches non stop. Does he know any martial arts? No. Is he a good fighter? No. After six minutes on the street, he’ll be drowning.

AB: Are there nay fighters out there right now who you think represent that art of Jiu Jitsu well?

RG: Nogueria. He’s one of the few guys who knows how to fight from the bottom, from the top. He’s patient and calm. Murillo Bustamante is another one.

AB: Another debate I hear a lot is about many of the rules being against the Jiu-Jitsu player. What are your thoughts?

RG: Somewhere, history changed. The idea of jiu jitsu is to give the little guy, and chance to beat the big guy. By putting rounds and time limits, you take that chance away from the little guy. Then they say the little guy is stalling. The idea of Jiu-Jitsu is for the little guy not to lose. Now the rules change and they wanna put pressure on the Jiu-Jitsu guy. If he does not win in five minutes [they say] he’s no good. It’s like, “woah back up here- what happened?” (laughing) I’m the little guy! I’m 178, this guy is 280 and I’m supposed to beat him in 5 minutes? If not I’m no good? Where was that change in history? Because I missed that turn.

AB: Any last words?

RG: I’m just having fun with life……

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Adisa Banjoko