Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Royce Gracie is the sixth son of Grand Master Helio Gracie. He received his blue belt at age 16 and was promoted to black belt in less than two years. Royce moved to the United States at age 18 to live with his brother, Rorion, and quickly adapted to the schedule of teaching private classes out of their garage, sometimes for more than ten hours a day. In 1989, Rorion, Royce, Rickson, and Royler established the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California.
In 1993, Rorion created the Ultimate Fighting Championship® and selected Royce to represent the family. At 6’1” and only 178 lbs., he was the smallest fighter in the tournament. However, Royce shocked the world by defeating three opponents in the same night to become the first ever UFC champion. His victory proved, once and for all, that leverage and technique can overcome size and strength.
Always outweighed by his opponents, Royce went on to win three UFC titles. Until today, he is the only man in the no-holds-barred fighting world to have successfully defeated four opponents in one night.
His largest opponent to date was Sumo Grand Champion Akebono at 6’8″ tall and weighing 486lbs. In the main event of the K-1 Premium Dynamite New Years Eve show on December 31, 2008, Royce defeated the giant in 2 minutes and 13 seconds with a shoulder lock. Royce’s success opened the eyes of the few remaining disbelievers to the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu against larger opponents. In November 2003, Royce Gracie was the first fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame along with fellow UFC veteran Ken Shamrock.