Royce Gracie Interview Exclusively for SwoleScience.com
Royce Gracie is a member of the Gracie Jiu Jitsu family, who has defined not only the modern world of mixed martial arts but that of self defense, combat and strategy. He was the first and consecutive UFC no holds barred champion, holds the record for the most submission victories, was the first inductee into the UFC hall of fame and holder of the longest modern mixed martial arts bout in history. Royce Gracie introduced the world to mixed martial arts by popularizing brazilian jiu jitsu and defeated larger and multiple opponents in the same night. Royce Gracie is a world champion who helped and continues to build what mixed martial arts is today.
Royce Gracie Interview for SwoleScience.com conducted by Papa Swole
SwoleScience- Royce, I would first like to thank you for agreeing to the interview and how are you doing?
Royce Gracie- Doing Great.
SwoleScience- You won 3 UFC titles, hold the record for the longest modern MMA match in Pride Grand Prix 2000 with 90 minutes and the only person in MMA history to defeat 4 opponents in one night. What are the best tools for conditioning and stamina that you would recommend?
Royce Gracie- You want to condition for swimming, you have to swim. You want to condition for running, you have to run. You want to condition for grappling, you have to grapple. If you get the best boxer, who just boxes all day, and get him on the floor, he’ll die. Same thing with being the best grappler; if you just grapple all day, and then try and kickbox for just three minutes, same thing will happen, you won’t make it. So you want endurance for this type of sport, you have to do this sport, no other way around it. Everything else helps, I bike, run, swim but at the end of the day you have to do the grappling, the jiu jitsu, the standup, and just fighting.
SwoleScience- Having recently publicly took interest in the UFC returning to Brazil, will we see you return to the octagon with the advent of the UFC returning to Brazil?
Royce Gracie- Don’t know yet, but we are still talking.
SwoleScience- What does your current training regimen consist of?
Royce Gracie- In the off-season I’m teaching a lot but I’m always training. A lot of running, biking, and my usual lifting weights. I don’t have a regimen where everyday ‘I do this or that’ but not a day goes by I’m not doing something- running, swimming, biking, snowboarding, skiing, doesn’t matter but I have to do something.
SwoleScience- In your opinion what is the most effective takedown and submission in MMA and for self defense? And why?
Royce Gracie- The one that you can pull off, and to me nothing makes it ‘better’. There’s guys that like the hip throw, guys that like the single leg, so it depends on whatever you can pull off. It varies from person to person what they are going to feel comfortable pulling off. Still, I like the armlock a lot but if they guy gives me his foot, then hey go for the foot. Whatever submission or takedown you can pull off. I don’t believe in the ‘best one’ or the one that I ‘like’, I go for the moves that work.
SwoleScience- What is your favorite form of stand up combat and in your opinion the most effective all around? And why
Royce Gracie- I like Muay Thai. I go over and train with the muay thai guys a lot.
SwoleScience- What is your opinion on the new ‘new’ forms of Jiu Jitsu that say they have evolved Gracie jiu jitsu?
Royce Gracie- You have to know the basics. Like a house, how can you build a house with only new colors and furniture but you don’t have the foundation? You have to have a foundation of basics. Once you have the basics, it becomes a personalized style and everyone is different. I’m 6’1 180, if you are 5’5 135, our styles are not going to be the same. It’s a personalized style, and the basics of jiu jitsu are there, without the basics nothing works.
SwoleScience- What is your stance on dietary supplements in combat sports? and what supplements do you or have you used for pre-workout or recovery?
Royce Gracie- I use a lot of muscle milk, I like the taste and I drink a lot of it. I also eat a lot of acai, that’s my breakfast right there, acai from Sambazon. It gives you a lot of energy and its great, it’s a meal right there, acai is a meal. If I could, I would eat three meals a day of just fruit and drink my muscle milk as a supplement. When I’m home, breakfast, lunch and dinner is fruit and protein. I take about eight packs of acai, with apple juice, honey and cream cheese in the blender and that is breakfast right there. On the road sometimes I skip meals because I get so tired of eating cooked meals when I can’t get fruit.
SwoleScience- You are 6’1 180 pounds and have beaten opponents as big as 6’8 486 pounds, what is your secret?
Royce Gracie- Technique. You have to know what your doing at all times. Using the right technique with the right leverages at the right time. Had nothing to do with ‘new jiu jitsu’, if you watch my fights, its all basics. If you watch Nogueira, all basics, St. Pierre, all the same basic stuff and the same goes for Machida, and Shogun- All Basics. I love when people come up and say ‘aw man we got a new move’, I say ‘come on man’. Its all the same basic takedowns, armlocks, and submissions, and why? Because it’s what works.
SwoleScience- What is the difference between ‘Gracie Jiu Jitsu’ and ‘Machado Jiu Jitsu’?
Royce Gracie- Just the teaching method. The Machado’s learned from my family but in doing business they are not allowed to use the Gracie name, but they learned from my cousins.
SwoleScience- Can you describe your game plan and what was going through your mind during the 90 minute Sakuraba fight?
Royce Gracie- I remember in the second round, I said ‘fuck the rest of the tournament’, because you had to come back and fight again in this tournament. I just had to try and finish this fight, and lets just see who can go the furthest.
SwoleScience- Past or present, who would you like to fight as your ultimate opponent?
Royce Grace- I’ve been there and done that. I don’t choose opponents, I never did, and I always fought the top or biggest guys.
SwoleScience- Current MMA rules and configuration have changed drastically from their Vale Tudo inception and over the past 20 years. What is your opinion on the current unified MMA rules and configuration?
Royce Gracie- I understand the rules but I don’t agree. I understand that they have to have the time limit, the weight divisions, but in a real fight on the street, you can’t pick your opponents. If a guy comes up, pinches your girlfriends butt, what are you going to say? ‘Excuse me, how much do you weigh?… o no we can’t fight your too heavy for me’. Come on, there’s no time limits, weight divisions, or rules on the streets. I understand that as a show they have to do it, but for me, its like the street- there’s no rules. When my brother Rorion created the UFC there was no rules, no time limits, no weight divisions, but I understand they had to change it to keep the UFC going.
SwoleScience- You are currently touring and providing seminars and lessons for athletes and law enforcement, where are you currently based out of? And where can our readers book a seminar?
Royce Gracie- I am based out of L.A. and I live here in L.A. To book a seminar please go to www.roycegracie.tv From there, my schedule and contact information is there. I spend seven months a year on the road.
SwoleScience- What is the most important piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring fighters, grapplers and athletes?
Royce Gracie- Get up and do it! You have to train, and just go do it. Don’t wait for people to call you, never wait. Get up and train. What I see the most is- ‘he’s so tough’ or ‘he’s so talented’, but being talented and tough won’t take you to the top. You have to have discipline to get up and train, to get up and do what you have to do! Talent? we have a lot of that, tough? we have a lot of that. You need Discipline.
SwoleScience- Thank you so much for the interview Royce and we look forward to speaking to you again in the future.
To book a seminar with Royce Gracie please visit his website at- http://www.roycegracie.tv
Follow Royler on Twitter at- http://twitter.com/realroyce
And Facebook at- Royce
Thank you to Royce Gracie
(Photos used with permission from Royce Gracie)
(This is an original post and exclusive interview that is copyright to SwoleScience.com, credited to the aforementioned author. Its reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved to the original authors of any quoted or embedded material)