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 Contact10/22/97Mike Ely: What type of controversies are there in the field of jiu-jitsu instruction?
Royce Gracie: Controversy? There is not much controversey in teaching jiu-jitsu. We believe there are no bad students, there are bad teachers that teach martial arts that do not work, but no bad students.
ME: What about the controversies of No-Holds-Barred fighting?
RG: I believe all of the controversies come from boxing. No one has ever died in no rules fights, and people die in boxing every year. There are big boxing promoters that try to give no-rules fighting a bad reputation by saying people are going to be killed, people aren’t going to die because this sport is much safer than boxing.
ME: I’ve been hearing rumors that you have challenged Maurice Smith to fight in Japan at UFC XVI in December, is that true?
ME: Really! but Randy Couture is set to fight Smith in December, is SEG going to give you the fight instead of him?
RG: We’re still negotiating, I want to fight him in December but that may not be possible.
ME: Will the fight have no time limit?
RG: I do not want there to be a time limit but we are still negotiating.
ME: Do you feel that you are a better fighter now that you have taken so much time off?
RG: Yes I do, I’ve been training hard, and working on the technique.
ME: When you do comeback are you going to continue to wear a gi?
RG: I will make that decision when the time comes for the fight, I’m not sure right now.
ME: What happened to Vitor Belfort at UFC 15? Everyone had such high expectations for him.
RG: He did too much steroids.
ME: Too much Steroids?!?
RG: Yeah, milk does your body good but not that good! Guys don’t get that big that quickly from eating fruit and drinking milk, especially at 19-20 years old. Steroids will do real good for you in a fight for a real short amount of time, but you saw what happens after a couple of minutes, you get tired and lose. The technique is more important than strength
ME: Do you think Belfort will be back?
RG: Yes, he will probably be back.
ME: Do you think Belfort will ever do as good as he did in his first couple of fights?
RG: He looked the same in his last fight as he did in his all of his other fights. He never really fought anyone.
ME: What happened to Carlos Barreto? He’s seemed really good in his fights outside of the UFC.
RG: Those guys don’t have the technique that it takes to win. They come in and they talk real tough and act real tough, but they win one lose one, win two lose one, win three lose one. The Gracies don’t go into fights and win some lose some we win them all because we have the technique.
ME: I’ve heard a rumor that there is a feud between your side of the family with Carlson, is that true?
RG: Carlson…Carlson sells black belts, you go to his school and you pay for the lessons and eventually he gives you your black belt. That is the problem with Carlson. At our school we make you work for your black belt, and it takes time to get it.
ME: When you said Carlson’s fighters don’t have the technique it takes to win, does that include Renzo and Ralph?
RG: No, Renzo and Ralf are Gracies, they don’t lose.
ME: Can you tell me what happened at Pentagon Combat in Brazil.
RG: The lights started to go out and when Renzo would get close to the fence the other fighters friends started to kick his fingers and his head. Some gun shots went off but nobody got hurt.
ME: I heard Ryan was in some fights in the audience at Pentagon Combat, do you know if he will be competing anytime soon?
RG: I haven’t talked to Ryan for about six month’s so I don’t know.
ME: I’ve also been hearing rumors that Marco Ruas challenged Rickson and Rickson declined, is that true?
RG: That’s not a challenge. If you want to challenge someone get some promoters and put your money where your mouth is. Everyone challenges Rickson but they don’t plan to fight him. You have to talk to promoters if you want to fight someone. I don’t know if Rickson will fight Marco Ruas?
ME: Well thank you for returning my call and taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it.
RG: No problem, take care.