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January 10, 1952 |
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Rank||9th degree Red Belt|
|Children||Ryron, Rener, Ralek, Reylan, Segina|
|Notable students||Ralek Gracie, Chuck Norris, John McCarthy, Ed O'Neill, Michael Clarke Duncan, Dr. Robert Rey, Eve Torres, Javier Vazquez, CM Punk|
Rorion Gracie (English / /; Portuguese: [ˈʁɔɾjõ ˈɡɾejsi]; born 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 and one of the few people in the world to hold a 9th degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is widely recognized as the man responsible for introducing Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to the United States and the world.
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 Helio Gracie, the creator of Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
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 and invited people he met to try the sport. Rorion went back in 1978 to share his father Hélio Gracie's Jiu-Jitsu techniques, teaching in his garage.
In the early 1980s Rorion met director Richard Donner, and after demonstrating a few jiu-jitsu moves, he was hired to choreograph the fight scenes for Mel Gibson, Gary Busey and Rene Russo for the series Lethal Weapon. 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
By 1989, Rorion was teaching 630 private classes a month out of his garage. Eventually he opened a commercial school, calling it the Gracie Jiu-jitsu Academy®. Soon after he produced various instructional video tapes: " GJJ Basics®", "GJJ Intermediate®", "GJJ Advanced®", and Gracie Street Self- Defense®" as well as the jiu-jitsu CD-Rom: "Gracie Total Defense®." With the addition of Gracie brand clothing and the first of several jiu-jitsu cruises, Rorion was on his way to making "Gracie" a household name. Currently, the Gracie Academy is headquartered in Torrance, California with a second studio in Beverly Hills, and an official "online academy" called Gracie University.
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 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. 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.
Next, came the civilian version, "Gracie Combatives®" and "Women Empowered®", a specialized course developed to enable women to defend themselves from sexual assault
By 2002, it was time for the "Gracie Museum", a collection of memorabilia, news paper clippings and photographs, that goes back almost a century, where visitors from around the world can virtually experience the Gracie Family saga. Since 2007, it has been relocated to the new, state of the art facility located at the Gracie Jiu-jitsu Academy in Torrance, California. When Rorion decided to pay homage to his father by publishing the Grand Master's first ever instructional book, he teamed up with talented photographer Tommy de Soto, for the coffee table masterpiece "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu® - The Master Text", which had the first edition practically sold out even before it was released by Gracie Publications.
The "Gracie Bullyproof®" DVD series, explains how Rorion was introduced to jiu-jitsu by his father, and how he taught his own children about self-confidence. This is a character building course, where parents can learn how to teach their children to deal with the nightmare of bullying in the comfort of their own homes also available via the site of Gracie Academy. Along with his sons Ryron and Rener, he launched Gracie University the online learning division of the Gracie Jiu-jitsu Academy. With over 100.000 subscribers from 196 countries, it provides access to learning from the source to anyone, anywhere, any time.
Having fulfilled his dream of sharing his family's self-defense system with the world, Rorion has for the last few years, embraced a much bigger mission:
Books and education
Rorion wrote and published the book Gracie Diet in 2011.
Rorion attended the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, graduating with a degree in Law
- "Rorion Gracie". Gracieacademy.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "Gracie, Rorion - On the Mat - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - MMA - More". Onthemat.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- ""Interview with Rorion Gracie," by James Williams and Stanley Pranin". Blog.aikidojournal.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- Active Interest Media, Inc. (June 1992). Black Belt. Active Interest Media, Inc. ISSN 0277-3066. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- 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.
- "The Gracie Diet - Kindle edition by Rorion Gracie. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- https://web.archive.org/20100128060155/http://www.blackbeltmag.com:80/archives/719. Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2010. Missing or empty