For those of you in the Mighty 600,000 who live in the United States, you know what it means to stuff ourselves with food on Thanksgiving, which will be celebrated on Thursday. In this episode of The FightWorks Podcast we are going to celebrate by stuffing our ears with more Brazilian jiu-jitsu information than ever. This week we will talk about…
The rumors were true! Royler Gracie has relocated to San Diego. On today’s show Royler tells us why he chose to come to the United States again, and of his intentions to offer seminars and private classes. Currently he has no plans to add to the long list of BJJ schools in San Diego. (If your academy would like to contact Royler for privates or seminars you can do so through the Royler Gracie David Adiv website.)
Big news for submission grappling fans: the ADCC submission grappling world championship announced yesterday that Fedor Emelianenko will be competing in their 2009 tournament! Kid Peligro, who authored the official announcement of Emelianenko’s participation joins us on the show to discuss the impact of this news.
We continue our multi-part series on Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Asia! This week: China!
Dave Camarillo, author of Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has taken up blogging. We bring Camarillo on the show to discuss a recent post on the maturation of a BJJ practitioner over time, culture of BJJ academies, and more. Plus, Dave addresses some of the recent chatter on the internet about his appearance in Renzo Gracie: Legacy.
Finally, as if that was not enough, the dessert in our BJJ feast this week will be the introduction of what I hope becomes a new segment here on The FightWorks Podcast called Ask A BJJ Ref. This time around Brazilian jiu-jitsu referee Andrew Correa, who has been the referee at the ADCCs and International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation World Championships, will answer a couple of questions I received from you guys out there. This time around we start off with a discussion of advantage points in BJJ competition.
Don’t forget that you can contact us to get your questions answered here on The FightWorks Podcast: BJJ Radio too! Just call (877) 247-4662!
EXCERPT FROM INTERVIEW WITH ROYLER GRACIE
The FightWorks Podcast: When did you decide to come [to live in] San Diego?
Royler Gracie: Actually I lived in Los Angeles ten years ago with my brother in Torrance. At that time I preferred to go back to Brazil. It was back and forth all the time, visiting friends here like Kid Peligro, Saulo and Xande Ribeiro moved here two years ago, Regis [Libre] just moved here. And a lot of guys in my association are here. I have a lot of guys in New Jersey, and New York. Like David Adiv. And Megaton (Wellington Dias) in Arizona is really close to here. So that’s one thing that makes me think about being closer to my guys and my association. The lifestyle, and to be more calm, and to have more time for myself besides the association. I am trying to have a little more time to surf a little bit, I can run, I can be on the mats and train for myself and improve a little bit. Because in Brazil I work hard, as I do everywhere. I hope I can have more time here. That’s why I made my decision.
The FightWorks Podcast: Most of us when we think about going to Brazil we think about a slower lifestyle than here. But you’re that this is going to be a slower lifestyle for you here!
Royler Gracie: I’m not like everyone (laughs). That’s what I am pretty much looking for. My idea is not to try to open a school. I am trying to work on seminars, work on my associations, and travel a lot. But I can spend a little more time at home and with the family. And if I need to teach some privates it is going to be easier for me. More personal, I can dedicate my time to this kind of private class.
The FightWorks Podcast: So your plans now are not to open a school, but to do the seminar circuit.
Royler Gracie: Yeah you know nothing is forever. My idea right now is not thinking about opening the school. I have already worked with my academy in Brazil for 25 years. The academy is still open in Brazil and Rolker is still running the place. I am just taking my time from the academy right now. That is my goal for now. We never know… maybe in two or three years I can think about [opening an academy] but that is not my goal right now.
The FightWorks Podcast: So you talked about Rolker running Gracie Humaita back there in Rio de Janeiro. I guess that is going to continue as normal?
Royler Gracie: Yeah I hope so! (laughs) I don’t know if Rolker will decide to move to America one day and stay here for a little while, but he does not have that plan right now. He is not planning that. Besides, I can have a place to stay in Brazil and have a place to train! (laughs) Yeah that is his goal. He is going to stay there for a little while.
EXCERPT OF CONVERSATION WITH KID PELIGRO
The FightWorks Podcast: Kid Peligro can you tell us about the announcement you made over on adcombat.com today?
Kid Peligro: Yeah we got notified by the heads of the ADCC organizing committee that Fedor Emelianenko and Gegard Mousassi both wanted to compete in our tournament. It’s pretty exciting. Fedor is arguably the best fighter in the world right now and Mousasi just won the middle weight tournament. So they are two really high caliber guys. It’s going to be real interesting. Especially with Fedor’s sambo and judo background. I think he is going to do really great. He is a big dude. And we have a bunch of other names that are real interested. It is just crazy. It is crazy how these things develop.
The FightWorks Podcast: Everybody was wondering before, but now even more people want to know the details about when the tournament is going to be and where.
Kid Peligro: We are going to have an announcement probably next week about the U.S. trials. The Brazilian trials are happening, the European trials I believe have happened. The tournament will probably not be as early in the year as before, which is March through May. The location is still not decided. They have a lot of interest from a lot of countries. With [the announcement about Fedor] and the other names I have heard, it’s pretty amazing. You know over the years we’ve had a lot of good guys compete. You know, Royler Gracie, and all the jiu-jitsu guys [like] Saulo Ribeiro and Renzo Gracie, Roger Gracie, Ricardo Arona… We had a lot of guys that were more MMA guys like Tito Ortiz, Matt Hughes, Mark Kerr. I mean Mark Kerr dominated the division and the absolute a couple of times. The only worry I have about Fedor is now Royler is interested in competing again! He always likes to fight the big guys! When we were talking to Guy [Nievens], Royler was getting all fired up.
The FightWorks Podcast: I think one of the biggest things that [the Fedor Emelianenko announcement] does is get people who originally only care about MMA thinking more about grappling and jiu-jitsu.
Kid Peligro: One of the main pillars of MMA is ground fighting and takedowns, and we had a lot of people that actually got their break into MMA through ADCC. And at the same time the guys who are good at MMA always had a question mark in the back of their minds: “Well can I compete with [the ADCC] guys?” Realistically there is no punches, there is no strikes. It’s a healthy environment and they don’t have much to lose, and have a lot to gain. The popularity of the sport is just huge. There are so many associations and federations. There are federations in Europe and the rest of the world. We have a federation here, we have a federation in Brazil. It is growing leaps and bounds. I think ADCC is widely recognized as the submission grappling event. It is every other year and it is a world championship with the top guys. Going back to Mousasi, he just beat Jacare (Ronaldo Souza) by knockout, so that sets up an interesting rematch if Jacare goes back, and then Demian Maia, who is killing it in the UFC, showing how great his ground fighting skills are. That’s a huge match up too.
The FightWorks Podcast: That raises a question: Do we know if the UFC will allow their fighters like Demian Maia to participate?
Kid Peligro: If I am not mistaken, Demian Maia has a clause that he can compete in [ADCC]. I know for sure that for Jacare there is not a problem. The UFC has been very accomodating over the years. They’ve partnered with us. The heads of the UFC have a lot of vision and they understand that it is good exposure for their fighters. They are very good. I think they have done a bang-up job for the sport.