Rodrigo Gracie. Photo courtesy Rodrigo Gracie.
Bruce Hoyer, a regular contributor to the FightWorks Podcast and owner of Next Edge Academy sends us this quick interview with Rodrigo Gracie, author of several books on Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts fighter.
The FightWorks Podcast: Growing up a Gracie when did you start training Jiu-Jitsu?
Rodrigo Gracie: I started training at 4 years of age. Growing up being a Gracie can be a bless or a curse. You have to be tough and exceptional cause otherwise it will be a curse.
The FightWorks Podcast: For folks that don’t know you, give a little background on yourself?
Rodrigo Gracie: I’m the grandson of the founder of Gracie jiu jitsu Carlos Gracie and the son of Reylson Gracie. I was taught under my Father,but I also trained with my uncle Rillion, my cousin Renzo and I’m currently living in California where I train with my cousin Royce.
- Pride 19 and 24 Champion
- Pride Bushido 1 and 2 Champion
- K-1 heroes Champion
- Abu dhabi Champion
- New York Grappling Challenge Superfight Champion
- 4 time NAGA superfight Champion
The FightWorks Podcast: You wrote Path to a Black Belt, what made you write this book?
Rodrigo Gracie: I wanted to make Gracie jiu-jitsu easier for people to teach and learn. The book its great for instructors and students to improve.
The FightWorks Podcast: In the book you breakdown basics more than most books, do you feel this is an area where other books are lacking?
Rodrigo Gracie: There are a lot of great books out there but some of them don’t explain the whys. A lot of practicioners of the art when they execute the techinique have no idea why it works or why they put their hand, feet, head, shoulder, hip, etc in a certain way. Every little step has it reasons.
The FightWorks Podcast: Also in the book you speak of subjects like using different body types and strengths like taller guys developing good guards, can you expand on this?
Rodrigo Gracie: Gracie jiu-jitsu its like water,it adapts to any form.It doesn t matter if you are tall, short, fat, flexible, strong, etc, you can find the right techniques that will be good for your body type. An example is the triangle from the guard: it doesn’t mean that its impossible for a person with short legs from applying a triangle on a big partner but for a person with long legs it will be easier to do it.
The FightWorks Podcast: When some one first comes to you to learn Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, what are some of the ideals you try to instill in them?
Rodrigo Gracie: Lots of repetitions and lots a drilling. The teacher has to know the right time for the student to start sparring. I’ve seen many people getting injured or frustated cause they don’t know what they are doing.
The FightWorks Podcast: Any plans for another BJJ book?
Rodrigo Gracie: Yes, I’m coming out with a advanced no gi book.
The FightWorks Podcast: We saw you compete several times in the ADCC’s, but not much as of recently, what are you plans for BJJ competitively?
Rodrigo Gracie: I love watching those talent guys going at the ADCC but I prefer training for MMA. I’ll be back in the cage in 2010! Took some vacation time but I know where I belong.Time to have some fun in the ring again.
The FightWorks Podcast: Who are some of the guys that helped shape your style of grappling?
Rodrigo Gracie: My father and my cousins.
The FightWorks Podcast: Where are you teaching these days?
Rodrigo Gracie: I travel in the US and overseas teaching seminars. I currently live in Los Angeles , I go train in Long Beach at Neutral grounds with Evaldo Lima and to Hollywood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Shawn Williams.
The FightWorks Podcast: We haven’t seen any crazy hair colors from you lately. Was that just a phase or will we see them again?
Rodrigo Gracie: That was some crazy times lol.
The FightWorks Podcast: Where can folks get more information about you? and anything you would like to bring up?
Rodrigo Gracie: Go on my websites: