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Through a Gracies Eyes

March 23, 2012

Through a Gracie's Eyes
May 2012
By Marlon Ransom

Ryron Gracie talks about his famous uncle Royce and his father's influence on MMA

Rorion Gracie, along with Art Davie, is the man credited with creating the UFC, Rorion's youngest brother, Royce, won three out of four of the first events. These two have ensured that the Gracie family name will forever be cemented in combat sports' history.

It has been quite a while since a Gracie competed in the UFC, but that doesn't mean there isn't a Gracie making an impact. Ryron, Rorion's oldest son, has been working with a slew of high-level fighters on their ground games for years. In the following story, Ryron strolls down memory lane.

Did your father, Rorion, have any idea the UFC would be this successful?
He believed in his product, and I'm sure he is proud of what it's become.

Does the UFC today represent what he envisioned?
No, America wants entertainment, and my father wanted to see the true ultimate fighter. He envisioned the UFC being a competition in which you placed two fighters in a cage and you allow them to fight until one fighter can no longer continue. There would be no rounds, no judges, no referees and limited rules like no eye gouging and biting. You would, without question, find out who the best fighter is.

How about you? Any plans of competing in MMA or the UFC?
It would be fun and a great experience, but our academy is dedicated to self-defense so doing MMA shifts the focus of what we teach to our students.

If you did fight, who'd you go against?
Well, any fighter who is at the top of his game with great skills, like Anderson Silva, GSP, B.J. Penn or any fighter that has yet to acknowledge the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Your uncle Royce won UFC 1, 2, and 4, but many would say that your uncle Rickson is the top Gracie. Who'd win that fight?
I would choose Royler. Just kidding. Seriously, it would depend on who had the better breakfast or who got the better nights sleep. Funny questions get funny answers.

Being the eldest son of Rorion, do you feel any extra pressure to keep the Gracie legacy going?
Not really. Pressure is self-generated, and I try not to put any pressure on myself. I keep the legacy moving forward because I want to give back to the universe.

How would you describe your father and late grandfather's impact on MMA?
They created it. My grandfather built the car, my father put the key in the ignition, and started it, and the Gracie family still drives it today.

What have you learned from training in jiu-jitsu since childhood?
Patience, empathy, compassion and attention to detail come to mind, but to this day, I am continuing to uncover wisdom from past lessons.

Other than UFC fighters Jake Shields and Mark Munoz, who trains with your regularly?
Jake and Mark are the only two that I work with on a regular basis, but there are always fighters who come through and roll with not only me but with my brother Rener.