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.