Next Generation Gracies

I think it was Renzo Gracie who once compared growing up his famous last name to being a boy named Sue, in that you’d better learn to fight. We’re not sure if there is more or less pressure on being a Gracie these days, but here are three of the youngest who are starting to make their way into the jiujitsu scene. INTERVIEWs W/ GRACIES

GREGOR GRACIE182cm82kgsDate of birth: December 26th, 1985

DM- Where do you train?

Gregor- I spend 6 months of the year here in Brazil and 6 months in the USA at Renzo Gracie Academy.

DM- Who trains you here in Brazil and there in the USA? Gregor- Here in Brazil I train with Rillion and Carlos Jr. and in the USAI train with Renzo and my brothers Rolls Jr. and Igor.

DM- Do you have any problems training in two differentplaces?

Gregor- It’s okay. In the USA the people train more without gi and the game is different. But it’s good because your game develops a lot.

DM- What has the no gi trainings added to your gi training?

Gregor- I think that the guard passing becomes better and theability to take the back as well.

DM- Did you find it hard to train without the gi in thebegining?

Gregor- My whole life I trained with gi. I started going to USA 2 years ago and I felt the difference, because your opponent slips and the catch is different due to the perspiration. But I got used to it quickly.

DM- Do you’ve intention of fighting ADCC?

Gregor- Yes, I do if I have a chance. I fought two events in USA and I won both; Grapplers Quest and NAGA.

DM- Do you train MMA?

Gregor- No I don’t, just submission and jiu jitsu.

DM- So do you have two homes?

Gregor- Yeah, when I go to USA I live in New York with my brothers, and when I’m here in Rio de Janeiro I live in Jardim Botanico with my mother.

DM- When did you begin to take Jiu Jitsu seriously?

Gregor- In 2002. Even though I competed a lot. I just got serious as a blue-beltin 2002. I won some competitions and I loved the adrenaline of the fights.

DM- Which are your main titles?

Gregor- Two times Mundial champion, Brasileiro champion and I took third in PanArm 2001, but I didn’t take training at seriously at that time.

DM- Which of these was you best performance?

Gregor- Brasileiro. But I think with each competition I fight my game improves a lot. I don’t have aproblem with fighting on the feet or on the bottom. I feel comfortable in all positions.

DM You have an important last name in the fightworld. The Gracies name, how do you work on it?

Gregor- When I step on the mat I forget it. I just hear my teammates who are screaming for me and I don’t feel any pressure, but I think my opponents feel it.

DM- What does the Gracie name represent for you?

Gregor- The fight, my family who revolutionized the fights. If Gracie Jiu Jitsu didn’t exist I think that MMA wouldn’t have the same recognition.

DM- Who’s your Gracie idol and the reason?

Gregor- Rolls. I never saw him fighting. But the stories that people tell me about him are incredible. I never hear anyone saying anything bad about him, just eulogies. Not just as a fighter, but as a man.

DM- And do you base your jiu jitsu on some Gracie or are you trying to make your own style?

Gregor- I like Roger’s game a lot.

DM- Would you like to fight MMA?

Gregor I see myself fighting MMA in the near future, 4 more years I’ll start on this game. But it’s a future plan. I’m just 19 years old.

DM- Who’s you favorite fighter?

Gregor- Emelianenko Fedor, because he’s excellent. He studies his opponents and he always adopts the correct game. Each match he fights he makes a different game. From Gracies, Rickson was the best, but nowadays I like Renzo. Lately he hasn`t gotten victories, but his game is very good.

DM- What’s your goal?

Gregor- To continue in Jiu Jitsu and try to win the absolute and my weight class in black-belt. And later to fight MMA.

NEIMAN GRACIE 185cm79-80kgsDate of birth: December 12th, 1988

DM- Your mother is Gracie(Karla Gracie), but your father isa Gracie too, right?

Neiman- Yes, my daddy is a Rolls black-belt, he’s very known by the nickname Marcos Macarrao. So since I was very young I was influenced by my parents.

DM- Where do you train?

Neiman-Gracie Barra

DM- Where do you live?

Neiman-In Rio de Janeiro with my parents.

DM- s Carlos Jr your master?

Neiman- Yes, I train under his supervision. But he’s traveling a lot lately so actually I’ve trained with Marcio Feitosa and Carlos Escorrega’ Lemos.

DM- You’re still young, how do you see the Jiu Jitsu?

Neiman- I never had in my mind that I’d be a competitor. But I always saw the people from Gracie Barra going to fight, like my cousin Kayron, and then I got interested. I started to compete in last year; I took serious in this last year.

DM- But did someone tell you to take it serious?

Neiman-No, I ust followed the steps of my teammates and parents.

DM- How did you see your performance in Mundial?

Neiman- I think I did well. I was very well trained, but I think I hadbad luck since I won two fights and when I arrived at the semifinals the referee made a mistake. But no problem, I didn’t get mad about it, it`s part of the game.

DM- This was your first Mundial. How do you compare your two victories? In which one you were better?

Neiman- I think my second fight was better than the first. Because I pulled to the guard and my opponent had good skills to pass my guard. He nearly passed my guard, but I swept him and when the time was close to finish I sunk a triangle, but the whistle sounded and he didn’t tap. I won by 6-0.

DM- Do you prefer to fight on the bottom?

Neiman- I like to pull to the guard, but I know that to be a good fighter you need to know everything.

DM- Since your beginning you like to fight from the bottom?

Neiman- Yes, since the beginning. Because my daddy was always a guard fighter and it influenced me a lot.

DM- So what do you need to improve from the top position?

Neiman- I think I need to develop all aspects. I already developed my posture. But I’m young, and I know I’ll develop more and more.

DM- Which are the competitions that you took place in?

Neiman- I haven`t competed too much. I took part of some State of Rio de Janeiro Championship and Brasileiro. I’ll try to fight more next year and I’m grateful, because we’ve a lot of events to compete.

DM- What’s does the Gracies’ name represent for you?

Neiman- It means honor and I think I need to keep the name. Because alot of people don’t believe us anymore; but we’re stronger than ever.

DM- Did you feel any obligation when you fought your first Mundial?

Neiman- I don’t care about it. Like I told you, I’m young and if I pay attention on it, it’ll harm my performance. I think that to lost or to win will just help me a lot on learning more.

DM- Do your parents talk to you about it?

Neiman- My father always has conversations about it with me. He tells me to train a lot and that I’ll perform well.

DM- Does your father train with you too?

Neiman-We train at our partment and my father taught me a lot.

DM- Who’s your idol?

Neiman- Rolls. My daddy and my mommy always say good things about him. He was a fantastic person. I’m a fan of Renzo Gracie too, because he has courage and he represents the family’s name well, I’m very proud of Renzo.

DM- Do you base your Jiu Jitsu game on other Gracie member?

Neiman- I try to do it; this is the good thing about to be a Gracie, you’ve a lot of options to base your game. My parents are traveling a lot, but each time I have opportunities of training with them, I take something to add in my game.

DM- Who’s your favorite MMA fighter?

Neiman- We have several good fighters, but I think Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’Nogueira represents Jiu Jitsu well. I like Rodrigo’s game and Ryan’s spirit.

DM- Do you train without gi?

Neiman- I don’t hurry on these things. I want to learn all things from Jiu Jitsu and then go to other horizons.

DM- What can we expect from you in next year?

Neiman- I’ll be very well prepared in next year. I believe my career will start next year, because I’ll train harder than in 2005.

KAYRON GRACIE 1,86cm73kgDate of birth: May, 4th – 1988

DM- You train in Gracie Barra and you live in Rio de Janeiro. But have you already traveled to train in USA?

Kayron- I started this way of traveling this year. I spent three months there and I’ll comeback in September.

DM- Did you enjoy the experience?

Kayron-I liked it, because you stayed more focused on training than going out at night and surfing.

DM- Do you get to share without problems the Jiu Jitsu training and the fun here in Rio?

Kayron- Sometimes I escape from training to get fun, but I take serious when it demands.

DM- Besides your father, who do you with train here?

Kayron- I train with everybody, like my cousins, Carlos ‘Escorrega’ Lemos and my other teammates.

DM- You trained a lot with Marcio Feitosa, but now he’s in USA. How did you manage this situation?

Kayron- Well, I trained with him there in USA. I had a good supporthere with the people that I told you about above. My game is based on Feitosa’s one, good on the top position.

DM- How would you define your JJ game?

Kayron- I don’t have problem on fighting on the top or on the bottom.

DM- Besides being a Gracie, you’re son of the president of Brazilian confederation.

Kayron- So how’s the heavy in your shoulder? I don’t think on it. I don’t have pressure.

DM- When did you start to compete?

Kayron- I competed in the age of 9 years old in Brasileiro de Jiu Jitsu.

DM- How do you see your performance in Mundial 2005?

Kayron- I think this was my best performance ever. But the lack of experience made me to commit mistakes. I like to go to submit my opponents, but I can’t do it all the time. So I should wait a little more in my fights and not hurried.

DM- What’s your best skill?

Kayron- I like lapel choke.

DM- We don’t see much Gracies submitting their opponents using ankle-locks. Why?

Kayron- I don’t like much. I don’t think it’s from submission grappling. I think the pain of this kind of attack is bearable. And I think that if your opponent resist at this attack he can get points over you. There’re fighter who resist a lot and don’t feel the pain. I applied this kind of attack, but this is not a technique that I look for in my fights. You see, I like chokes, if it’s sunk or my opponents taps or he sleeps, there’s no an escape such as in ankle-locks. Anyway you can see two Gracies, Ryron and Rener applying ankle-locks very well.

DM- Who’s your idol in Gracies?

Kayron- My father. He always supported and motivated me to train. So I based myself on it.

DM- Did you see him fighting in International Master&Senior?

Kayron- Yes, I did.

DM- How did you feel?

Kayron- I felt very nervous

DM- Who’s your favorite MMA fighter?

Kayron- I like Renzo in the family, because he doesn’t wait on his opponent, he goes ahead on him. And I like Matt Hughes, Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira and Emelianenko Fedor by the same reasons.

DM- How do you see your career in next year?

Kayron- To train, to train and to train. I’ll fight the most possible.

DM- I know you like surfing a lot. So, you never thought about being a surfer instead of a jiu jitsu fighter?

Kayron- Just when I was youngest. But nowadays the jiu jitsu comes first, I went to USA and I didn’t feel the lack of surfing this was just a phase in my life. Nowadays I surf with my friends and nothing more. Just to relax.

DM- Do you think on follow your father’s steps and become a president of CBJJ?

Kayron-I don’t know, I need to wait for the future. I don’t have will of being president now.

DM- Do you train without gi?

Kayron- I don’t train much without gi here in Rio de Janeiro, but in USA I trained a lot. I want to compete in ADCC, because I loved the experience of support Feitosa in his trainings prior ADCC 2005. I’ve intention of fighting it within some years.

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Denis Martins