This Article originally appeared on BJJ.org. The entire archive of information is now available on OntheMat.com
Interview originally published on The New Full Contact1) What age did you start training in GJJ?
4 and a half. Just a little pup!
2) Who was your instructor growing up?
My father Robson then Carlos sr.
3) What belt have you achieved in GJJ?
3rd Degree black belt.
4) Was there a particular fighter you idolized growing up?
Many of my family members. We all fought a lot. Rickson was one in particular.
5) What is your training regimen?
2-3 hours of Jiu-Jitsu per day. Some boxing and lots of pushups. Diet?Fruit, Fruit and more fruit. You might want to call me a monkey instead of a pitbull for all the fruit I eat. I also eat a lot of chicken.
6) Do you have any students we should look out for in the near future?
We have a lot of students doing real well in both sport and Vale Tudo fights. David Camarillo and Kurt O. at our Pleasant Hills Academy have all done real well in BJJ tournaments. My students in the Richmond, VA Academy are undefeated in Vale Tudo fights and will be competing in the Feb 9th Gracie Open Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Richmond Va. Lloyd Irving and Dave Womack are the two best in Richmond.
7) What titles/events (BJJ or NHB) have you won?
Three times Gracie Cup Champion, EFC Lightweight and Brazilian Vale Tudo Champion in 1993. Many sport titles but I’m most proud of the NHB titles.
8) Describe your match against Murioko in EF 1.
Murioko was a nice guy. But he would not tap out. I had to fully choke him out to win and he fought the whole way till he passed out. Lots of guys who fight now are not as tough.
9) Was there any animosity between yourself and Steve Nelson?
Nelson said his dream was to fight a Gracie. I fulfilled that dream for him. He had a lot of talk in him. Not much anymore.
10) Describe your match against Nelson in EF 2.
I wanted to make sure his request to fight a Gracie was not repeated. So I pounded him instead of doing a choke.
11) Describe the incident that occurred between Eugenio Tadeau and your brother Ryan.
Eugenio pulled a gun on Ryan to shoot him in a night club. This is real bad. In Brazil we learn to fight for ourselves. Using a gun shows a lack of confidence in your own ability to defend your self. I did not like Eugenio doing this.
12) What will your strategy be against Eugenio in EF 3?
Pound him! No chokes or submission just pounding.
13) Is there any fighter outside of your weight class that you would like to fight?
14) If you could fight anyone, who would it be?
The guy with the biggest mouth and reputation.
15) Would you like to face John Lewis?
No interest. He was supposed to fight me before. Now he is training in BJJ and wants to be on the same team. John has said he will not fight me. If a man won’t fight me then I have no interest in fighting him.
16) What do you think of Lewis’ recent promotion to a blackbelt in BJJ?
Fastest I have ever seen or heard about.
17) Is there any fighter you really dislike?
Eugenio Tadeau. Also those with big mouths but who won’t fight anyone.
18) Who, in your opinion, is the best NHB fighter currently fighting?
Members of my family. Renzo and Rickson are the best.
19) Who is the best non-BJJ fighter currently fighting?
Mark Coleman. He is big and strong with good balance on the ground. Maybe he will do an article and show me his weight lifting workout so I can look like him to.
20) How would you handle a match against a large grappler (ie. Severn or Coleman)?
Use my speed to take their back or I might fight out of the guard. I have fought many a big guy before, including much bigger family members, and this plan will work. Our families system of fighting allows us to take on much larger opponents. In Brazil it is common to see fights with big guys fighting smaller guys. As long as their is no time limit I have no problem with a bigger guy.
21) What do you think of Royce’s refusal to fight in the UFC under time limits, since you do so regularly under EF rules?
He is very smart. Why fight with time limits.
22) What are your overall impressions of Battlecade/Extreme Fighting?
John Perretti is the worst commentator in the business. Ha ha! John and I would not be good roommates. They are really trying to have a good show though.
23) What did you think of UUFC ’96?
Too many guys with good weight lifting programs. Of Don Frye, the winner? Glad he won. He seems like a good guy with a normal weight lifting plan. Good stand up skills and balance on the ground. I wish they would have a super tournament with Gracie fighters vs. the best of world.I would love to represent my family in this type of event. This would be great.
24) Would you ever consider fighting in the UFC or MARS?
Of course. I’m a professional fighter that is how I care for my family. My manager, Max Coats, is in discussion with them. I will have to see. My contract with the EFC is up and I will like to keep fighting.
25) What did you think of Renzo’s recent win over Oleg Taktarov?
Beautiful! I was real happy to see my brother win. As you know we are raised within our family to fight. So any time we see a family member win it pleases all of us.
26) Who is the best fighter in the Gracie family, in your opinion?
We have many. Each of us expresses our family’s style through our personalities. That is why you see some of us more aggressive then others. Rickson is the best though.
27) Are there any tensions between Carlson sr.’s side of the family and Helio’s?
All families have tension. Look at our family; we are all fighters all trying to make a living like the rest of the world. You then look at what we are faced with here in the US as we try and make a living. There are fighters all over the place practicing and studying our style to try and beat us.They all want to be the first to beat a Gracie. People will come and train with one family member for a while and then come and fight another family member. Outsiders try to stir up things within our family all the time.We are often miscast as disrespectful of other fighters. We are humble people who just like to fight. My whole life I have been raised to fight in NHB events. I was raised and taught by family members to be a fighter. So have my cousins and brothers. You look at people who have handed down their business from one generation to another they have a lot of pride in the skills they have learned to run their business and of course have a lot of pride in their name. We to have a great deal of pride in our name. Not arrogance but healthy pride. We respect all styles of martial arts. This is the truth. We have learned a style that has been passed down for many generations and take pride in defending its reputation vs. those who think they are better.Just as a business man takes pride in defending his(or hers I’m learning about Political Correct sayings) products against the competition. Plus we earn our living via our skill as fighters. So when you add all these variables together you are certain to have tension. Even the Brady Bunch would have problems if they were faced with all the things the “Gracie Bunch” is faced with.