Rorion Gracie

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Rorion Gracie
Born (1952-01-10) January 10, 1952 (age 66)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Residence Torrance, California
Style Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Teacher(s) Helio Gracie
Rank 9th Degree Red Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Spouse Silvia Gracie
Notable students Rener Gracie, Ryron Gracie, Ralek Gracie, Chuck Norris[1] John McCarthy, Ed O'Neill, Michael Clarke Duncan, Eve Torres, Javier Vazquez, CM Punk

Rorion Gracie (Portuguese: [ˈʁɔɾjõ ˈɡɾejsi]; born January 10, 1952) is a Brazilian American Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Grand Master, a prominent member of the Gracie family, writer, publisher, producer, lecturer, and the co-founder of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is the oldest son of Hélio Gracie[2] and one of the few people in the world to hold a 9th degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,[3] and is widely recognized as one of the men responsible for introducing Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to the United States and the world following the arrival of first cousin, Carley Gracie in 1972.

Early life[edit]

Rorion started Jiu-Jitsu at a young age, doing demonstrations and classes. He spent his youth learning how to teach under the tutelage of his father, Grand Master Hélio Gracie

In 1978, he moved to Southern California where he worked as an extra in movies and television. Attempting to spread Jiu-Jitsu culture, he laid some mats in his garage in Hermosa Beach and invited people he met to try the sport.[4] Rorion went back in 1978 to share his father Hélio Gracie's Jiu-Jitsu techniques, teaching in his garage.[5]

In the early 1980s Rorion met director Richard Donner and was hired by Willie Simmons , 2nd A.D. , to work with him and his two other martial artists to choreograph the fight scenes for Mel Gibson, Gary Busey and Rene Russo for the series Lethal Weapon.[6] In the late 1980s, Rorion produced the documentaries "Gracie Jiu-jitsu In Action® 1 and 2". They were quick to gain popularity with their novel take on the normally Japanese sport.

Growth of the sport[edit]

In 1993, inspired by countless exhibition matches termed the "Gracie Challenge" (a tradition that started with his uncle and Gracie jiu-jitsu co-founder Carlos Gracie), Rorion teamed with promoter and business executive Art Davie in the creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC). Davie had always dreamed of an inter-discipline contest, pitting various martial arts against one another to determine the most effective. Rorion was only interested in showcasing his father's style, and demonstrating its dominance.[7] Through this pay-per-view spectacle, he hoped to show that, in a "no time limit - no rules" setting, Gracie jiu-jitsu was the only system of self-defense that would give someone a realistic chance of defeating a larger, more athletic adversary. Davie recruited seven martial artists of different styles to participate in a single-elimination tournament. Rorion enlisted his brother Royce to represent the family style in the competition. Due to his smaller frame and relatively low body weight, Royce would be the smallest competitor, making an excellent example of the powers of Gracie jiu-jitsu.

In 1994, a small group of high-ranking military personnel, from the most elite unit in the US Army, contacted Rorion and asked him to develop an objective hand-to-hand combat course based on the most effective techniques of Gracie jiu-jitsu. The result was GST - Gracie Survival Tactics, which has been taught to all major law enforcement agencies and military organizations in the US. His techniques are the core of the official US Army Combatives program, and have been implemented by virtually every military and major Law Enforcement Agency in the USA.[6]

Books and education[edit]

Rorion wrote and published the book Gracie Diet in 2011.[8]

Rorion attended the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, graduating with a degree in Law

Instructor lineage[edit]

Mitsuyo "Count Koma" MaedaCarlos GracieHelio Gracie → Rorion Gracie

See also[edit]


  1. ^ MMANationDotCom (4 December 2012). "Chuck Norris talks about his first time training with the Gracies" – via YouTube. 
  2. ^ "Rorion Gracie". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  3. ^ "Gracie, Rorion - On the Mat - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - MMA - More". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  4. ^ Jordan Crowder, Intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Part 1 -- The History Published: October 3, 2014
  5. ^ ""Interview with Rorion Gracie," by James Williams and Stanley Pranin". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  6. ^ a b Active Interest Media, Inc. (June 1992). Black Belt. Active Interest Media, Inc. ISSN 0277-3066. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Davie, Art (2014). Is This Legal?: The Inside Story of The First UFC from the Man Who Created It. Ascend Books. p. 272. ISBN 978-0991275649. 
  8. ^ "The Gracie Diet - Kindle edition by Rorion Gracie. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  9. ^ Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]