Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Gracie Jiu Jitsu… The name conjures up the image of a tall skinny Brazilian by the name of Royce Gracie. Royce Gracie stepped into the cage to prove the effectiveness of his family’s style in combat against various martial artists and brawlers who were much bigger and stronger than him in Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). Royce single-handedly turned the martial arts world as we knew it upside down on that night and again in subsequent UFC’s by the apparent ease of which he dispatched his opponents using the devastatingly effective techniques taught to him by his father Helio Gracie.

An old photo with one of my idols Royce Gracie

With the wide-spread popularity of MMA and the UFC it is important to remember the contribution made my this man and his family. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, BJJ or Jiu Jitsu as it is now commonly referred to was once a relatively obscure art form lacking the respect that it rightfully has earned. Helio Gracie was the genius and pioneer who adapted the techniques of Japanese Jiu Jitsu through the use of leverage into the art we now refer to as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Gracie Jiu Jitsu was the name their family used to differentiate their art from the traditional Jiu Jitsu of bygone eras. And as Gracie Jiu Jitsu made its way into the USA and around the world somewhere along the lines the name sort of morphed into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after various politics amongst some of the Gracie family.

However it is important to recognise and give credit to the Gracie family for opening our eyes to the true nature of combat and given us the gift of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. And when questioned in an interview about the name I remember Rickson Gracie saying “I am Rickson Gracie, I am from Brazil and I practice Jiu Jitsu”. Simple, direct and humble. A lot of people these days are critical of the Gracie family or say that Jiu Jitsu is not as effective in MMA as it once was however nothing is further from the truth. Modern day strikers and wrestlers wouldn’t be able to fight at the higher levels without a thorough knowledge of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and how to defend against its deadly submissions. Without Gracie Jiu Jitsu and the truth it has inspired in combat modern mma as we know it wouldn’t even exist!

Master Royler Gracie and I

So on behalf of myself, my students and Jiu Jitsu practitioners all around the world I say thank you to the Gracie family. You have my deepest respect and gratitude for this wonderful art and you have inspired and touched the lives of more people than you can possibly have imagined!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom


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