Royler Gracie Interview Exclusively for SwoleScience.com
Royler Gracie is a member of the famous Gracie family that has revolutionized the martial arts world with their unique and virtually unstoppable submission martial art: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Royler Gracie has authored numerous tutorials through books and DVDs on the application of this art. Amassing various world championships, he is considered one of the most technical and complete grapplers of all time.
SwoleScience– Royler, I would first like to thank you for agreeing to the interview and how are you doing?
Royler Gracie- Doing good, thanks for asking.
SwoleScience- You are one of the few people to win the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championship 3 years in a row, what would you say your best quality as a fighter?
Royler Gracie- Well, I have a lot of good things on my side. I was born into the family that I was born into, and my exposure to the technique, which helps a lot. Each time I fight I don’t play defense all the time and this is one of my characteristics as a fighter. People see me going forward all the time and always looking for something- a submission, points, and I just keep going. That’s how I like to fight, that’s Royler 100% and if you see Royler fight, I’m moving forward.
SwoleScience- Having written numerous instructional books and dvds on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, do you think that the traditional grappling techniques need to be modified when used in modern MMA?
Royler Gracie- In my opinion, the basic stuff is the most important thing when you start to learn something. In jiu jitsu, you have an old choke, but if a guy puts his head in that position and you choke, he’s going to pass out. I still use the fundamentals and the basics a lot. Every time you see me fight, you see short, quick and very fast fundamentals. If you learn the basics right, you will use them for your whole life no matter what.
SwoleScience- What does your current training regimen consist of?
Royler Gracie- I try to train at least once a day. Sometimes I surf in the morning and do weights but I don’t really use weights that often. It’s hard because of time, but when it’s a choice- bike, run, surf, or train…and I’m going to go to the gym and train. Your endurance is made in the time you are training, and jiu jitsu is my main thing.
SwoleScience- What is your favorite submission? And why?
Royler Gracie- The one that the guy gives to me. I’m open and like my father said, and I respect that a lot. If you start to only think about one position, lets say you think ’I love armbars’, but you can’t get it, or if you love the choke, and your opponent doesn’t really have a neck to choke, what are you going to do? You need variation.
SwoleScience- What is your favorite form of stand up combat and in your opinion the most effective all around? And why
Royler Gracie- In a stand up position I like to train judo a lot. In my opinion grip makes a big difference, if you have a good grip, you can do whatever you want. As soon as you have the grip that’s it. Everything starts with the grip, you have a good grip, you can control and then start to go for what you’re looking for.
SwoleScience- Can you explain the concept of the Gracie Diet?
Royler Gracie- Well, my father used to say: if you put the bad gas in your car, your car isn’t going to run and if you put bad things in your body, your body is going to work less. We tried to combine and follow what my Uncle Carlos did for us, he gave us a lot all these years by experimenting and giving this information to us. My father lived till 95 and my uncle till 92 years old and these are not average or normal life spans. My father was never sick, I saw him sick once in my whole life. In my opinion it’s the combination of the diet and timing.
SwoleScience- What injuries have you sustained in your career?
Royler Gracie- Well, my elbow gives me very hard time. I have four disc problems and one gives me a very hard time as well. At one point I had to stop training for about six months to a year because of it and that was very tough, stopping and coming back. It feels like everyone is running and your walking, and it takes time for you to adjust yourself again.
SwoleScience- As a 4 time world jiu jitsu champion, what do you think of the points system in grappling tournaments and MMA?
Royler Gracie- Well in MMA its very hard because of the judges, its not the same as judging jiu jitsu so it makes it a little different. I think after all these years they have tried to make the fights go faster and you still do see people adapt themselves every time they see something. You hear people say someone stole a fight- ‘that it was a domination position’. In my opinion they need to make the fights go fast but not let the people hold so much, people use that too much to their advantage, so then people will fight more for the finish. Back then, people tried to finish more but in a different way, but still…a win is a win.
SwoleScience- Do you have any intention on competing in any outlet in the future?
Royler Gracie- No, I don’t think so. I think I gave my contribution to the sport. You can never say never because money talks but, as for jiu jitsu as a sport, I’m pretty sure I won’t compete again. As for MMA, you never know.
SwoleScience- Can you describe and give your opinion on the shocking loss to Eddie Bravo at the 2003 Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championship?
Royler Gracie- It’s not a shock to me, unlike to everyone else. Winning and losing is part of the game. For me, you can’t be frustrated, you have to look back at what you did before and come back. I know who am and what contributions I have done for this sport.
SwoleScience- How did he catch you? and do you think you were prepared for it or was it a newer adaption?
Royler Gracie- He caught me in the triangle. He’s an awesome and a good fighter but in my opinion I made the mistake. In this sport, if you make a mistake, you pay the price. It was fault, I put it on no one’s shoulders, mistakes happen and I’m a human being.
SwoleScience- You had a 10 year mixed martial arts career, why did you choose to fight in Japan?
Royler Gracie– At the time it had the best events in the world. Japan had Pride and K1, with some of the best guys at the time.
SwoleScience- Some grapplers have said that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become predictable, what is your opinion on this?
Royler Gracie- Well they need to come and train. Come and see, its an intense game.
SwoleScience- What dietary supplements do you currently use?
Royler Gracie- Ah, nothing really. I have vitamin B, C, E and those are the only vitamins I use. I don’t even take those everyday, only once and a while. Sometimes I take protein but I don’t think your body needs all those things.
SwoleScience- You are currently touring and providing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminars and lessons, where are you currently based out of? What services do you offer? And where can our readers train with you and book a seminar?
Royler Gracie- I am based out of San Diego, and we just opened an academy. I have seminars all over the world. Just go to my webpage- http://www.roylergracie.com
SwoleScience- What is the most important piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring fighters, grapplers and athletes?
Royler Gracie- First, pick the right place to train. You need good sparring, trainers and teachers. The second thing is don’t hurt yourself and have fun. Later on, you can become a professional if you want. You need to learn one step at a time and enjoy, then start to prepare yourself to compete.
SwoleScience– Thank you so much for the interview Royler and we look forward to speaking to you again in the future.
To book a seminar with Royler Gracie, or purchase one of his instructional systems on book/dvd please visit his website at- http://www.roylergracie.com
Follow Royler on Twitter at- http://twitter.com/RoylerGracie
And Facebook at- Royler Gracie
Thank you to Royler Gracie
(Photos used with permission from Royler Gracie)
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