#230 Rorion Gracie

Rorion Gracie Brazilian jiu-jitsu
From left to right: Renon, Rorion, Roran, and Rener Gracie at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California. Click photo to enlarge.

Rorion Gracie is the oldest son of Helio Gracie. He is responsible for introducing the world outside Brazil to jiu-jitsu as we know it today.

After his cousin Rolls returned to Brazil from a trip to New York, Rorion became enchanted with the idea of the United States. Before the age of twenty Rorion left Brazil alone and came to Los Angeles, where he fell in love with the country despite suffering very difficult economic conditions.

A series of trips between the United States and Brazil would follow, and Rorion would eventually settle here in the early eighties. As a result of the “challenge matches” that took place as he worked to convince disbelievers that jiu-jitsu was the ultimate martial art, he would go on to create the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which spreads Gracie jiu-jitsu to all corners of the world. Today Rorion runs the Gracie Academy in Torrance with help from his sons, where he continues working to spread the message that jiu-jitsu is the best form of self-defense in the world.

This is the first of two FightWorks Podcast episodes in which we sit down with Rorion himself to hear his story, which is probably also the story of how the jiu-jitsu you train came to be. As is often said when someone receives a belt promotion in jiu-jitsu, this interview is “long overdue”. So sit back and enjoy. As this is our last episode of 2010, the second half of our discussion will be available January 9, 2011.

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7 Replies to “#230 Rorion Gracie”

  1. Fantastic interview – this is great stuff! Laughed out loud at the first challenge match story where Rorion sat on the instructor in front of his students.

    I can’t believe we have to wait until January for the next half… 🙂

  2. Nice Show , but nothing that we haven’t heard or read already…don’t get me wrong that was still a great show ..Kudos Caleb !!!!

  3. One of the most important interviews? Definately
    Two parter? Awesome
    3 week long “To be continued..”? Whaaa!?

  4. Loved the bit about Roll’s suitcase and the humble beginnings in the US – this is the stuff of folklore.

  5. What’s really funny is that the tae kwon do instructor Hee Il Cho–that Rorion embarrassed in front of his students–in the April 1994 issue of Black Belt Magazine participated in an article about how shotokan karate, tae kwon do, wing chun kung fu, kyusho-jitsu, and jujitsu stylists would fare against a jiu-jitsu stylist. Anyway, Cho’s solution to a charging jiu-jitsu stylist was to do a jumping axe kick to the person’s collarbone. Talk about living in a fantasy world!

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