Royce Gracie was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is one of nine children, seven of whom are boys. His training in Jiu-Jitsu began at a very early age as a nothing more than playing jiu jitsu games with his father, Grandmaster Helio Gracie. By the age of 8 Royce began competing in tournaments. He received his blue belt at age 16 and was promoted to black belt at the age of 18. Shortly thereafter Royce moved to the United States to live with his brother, Rorion. They began teaching private classes out of their garage, sometimes for more than ten hours a day. Together they opened the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy twenty years ago in Torrance, California. Although Royce no longer teaches there, it remains one of the largest martial arts schools in the country.
Royce’s legendary career as a fighter began in 1993 after defeating three opponents in a single night during the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship in Denver, Colorado. His brother Rorion came up with this innovative challenge as a way to show Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world. Discipline after martial discipline was defeated by the slight 6’1”, 180 pound Gracie Jiu Jitsu master. Viewers were in awe as they watched Royce defeat opponents that consistently outweighed him by more than 50 pounds. Royce has amassed 3 UFC titles in his career and today is the only man in the history of no holds barred matches to successfully defeat four opponents in one night. After leaving the UFC Royce went on to compete in MMA events in Japan further cementing his legacy as an icon in the martial arts world.
Royce is still active in the fight world and holds the record for the longest MMA match in history: 90 minutes against Japanese superstar Kazushi Sakuraba in PRIDE Grand PRIX 2000. He also showed total domination of the Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Hidehiko Yoshida and his largest ever opponent Sumo Grand Champion Akebono (6′ 8″ 486lbs). Royce vs. Akebono was the main event of K-1 Premium Dynamite New Years Eve show on New Year’s Eve in 2004. Royce defeated the giant in just 2min and 13sec with a shoulder lock. Royce’s continued success has opened the eyes of many disbelievers to the importance of leverage and technique in grappling.
In November of 2003, Royce Gracie became the first fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame along with fellow UFC veteran Ken Shamrock. Since then Royce’s face has has been seen on countless martial arts magazines such as Black Belt, Inside MMA and Tapout. He has also been featured in Men’s Health and Fitness and GQ. His recognition spans the globe to include fans on most every continent.
Today Royce is privileged to spread the techniques perfected by his father and made famous by his family all over the world. Throughout his busy fighting career Royce has maintained a rigorous travel schedule of seminars and classes. He currently oversees more than 50 US and international Royce Gracie Jiu-jitsu Network Academies. Scranton MMA is one such academy. Royce has been mentoring and instructing the instructors at Scranton MMA for over 15 years! Royce will once again visit Scranton MMA on Thursday August, 2011 to meet, greet, visit, and teach! The event is open to the public and you can learn further information on this event by calling the academy.
The techniques of Gracie Jiiu-jitsu have become mainstream and people everywhere are racing to learn and implement Gracie jiu-jitsu into their training regimen. Royce has taught many silver screen greats such as Chuck Norris, Ed O’Neal, Guy Ritchie, Jim Carrey, Josh Duhamel and Nicholas Cage. He has also very active with the CIA, FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Army Rangers, Army Special Forces, Navy Seals and many sheriff and police departments. Despite the global demand on Royce he maintains an impressive training regimen, which includes running, weight training, cross training, meditation and countless hours of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. He is always prepared to fight, a full time professional athlete who eagerly awaits his next challenge. Most recently he completed a 40 mile run with his long time trainer, James Strom. In Royce’s own words, “Go ahead, tell me what I can’t do!”