Chalk this up as something I wasn’t expecting to be writing about today. Royce Gracie, while known to many as the face of BJJ (in the UFC era) is questioning why Ryron and Rener are misrepresenting their lineage and their grandfather Helio’s work.
Don’t worry, this isn’t crotchety old Royce making a stink with the youngsters, he’s got a point. The crux of this has to do with the belting and ranking of students through Gracie Academy’s online classes.
Royce took to Instagram of all places to call out his family:
“I wonder if Gracie Academy Students paying $200 know that all they need to get good at jiu-jitsu is to join online Gracie University. I find it ironic that worlds like Gracie and Online learning are somehow tied into worlds like Helio Gracie. It’s a shame when your own family changes the concepts of everything you stood for then uses your name and then is actually tying to convince the world that it’s better to learn from a screen then a person specially the art as complex and technical as jiujitsu. And on keepingitplayful. Helio Gracie has a saying “two men playing I smell blood” #ikeepithonest. @realroyce”
“With all due respect, our nephew’s curriculums and online programs are not a true representation of the teaching method, belt grading, and philosophy that we learned from our father, Grandmaster Helio Gracie. They have the right to modify our battle-tested jiu-jitsu system as they see fit, but we feel that it is our duty to ensure that our father’s name is not misrepresented. While videos, books and online resources may serve as supplements to jiu-jitsu practitioners, provenly, they can never, by any means, substitute live lessons in a qualified academy.”