Years ago, the Gracie family was the single most respected and feared family in all of combat sports. They took the fighting world by storm and introduced Brazilian jiu-jitsu to a generation of people who thought kung-fu was the deadliest martial art in the world.
Royce Gracie will always be remembered as a legend who changed the way combat is seen forever. Royce’s family members who fought during the same era as him were relatively successful and did good by the family name. The new generation of Gracies, however, are not doing so great.
This past weekend the family went 1-2 at WSOF 5, and before that Roger Gracie was cut from the UFC. Royce is very unhappy, and recently made a statement to MMAfighting.com, saying, “Jiu-jitsu is enough. I’ve trained boxing in the past to learn the distance, trained wrestling to understand how he would take me down, but I won’t get there to fight my opponent’s game. The new guys from the family want to complement their game, like if jiu-jitsu was incomplete. I guess they forgot a little about history … I do jiu-jitsu my whole life, so why would I try to stand and bang with Mike Tyson? I’m going to learn boxing in six months because my opponent is good in boxing? That makes no sense … Roger, like any other member of the family, is trying to learn wrestling, boxing. I believe in pure jiu-jitsu. That’s what I’ve done in the past. You have to go back to your roots and train Gracie jiu-jitsu.”
The approach Royce is taking regarding only the use of jiu-jitsu is a famous philosophy which Carlson Gracie preached more than anybody else. Though it is a great concept, it is not practical for MMA today. Roger Gracie is widely regarded as the best jiu-jitsu practitioner in the world and jiu-jitsu alone is not enough, even for him. Nevertheless, this is Royce’s opinion and he is entitled to it more than anyone in the world. Who knows when the next Gracie star will rise up? It’s bound to happen when an entire family is raised fighting.