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Publisher Avatar Renzo Gracie posted

THE PRINCE OF JIU-JITSU - Part 1


This incredible story begins in 1996, with an episode as mysterious as it is extraordinary, when an Arab entered Renzo's academy in New York. Renzo didn't know who he was; the man identified himself as Ben and said he was a student of Nelson Couto Monteiro, a GRACIE BARRA master in San Diego, California.
 
Renzo received him kindly, as he does all beginners; gave him a kimono as a gift and started the day's class. The apprentice, a blue belt, trained hard and, at one point, received an elbow to the face that made his nose bleed. Renzo lent him a towel to stop the bleeding, then asked if everything was ok. Ben replied, smiling: "It's all great: my opponent hit me, but he didn't pass my guard!"
 
At that moment Renzo realized that the new member of the group was a warrior: “I became a fan of him right away!”
 
After training, the student invited Renzo to have lunch together the next day. Renzo accepted; at the appointed time, he arrived at a hotel in the Midtown. He was surprised by the fact that the place was completely empty – no guests at the reception or in the corridors: “The hotel was huge, luxurious, but I thought it was crap, because there was nobody…” Renzo walked towards the restaurant, where Ben was waiting for him alone.
 
During lunch they talked about Jiu-Jitsu, and that apprentice's passion impressed Renzo more and more. When they finished eating, the excitement was so great that they moved tables and chairs away and started practicing positions on the carpeted floor – the place was empty and the maître authorized it.
 
“We started training right there, thinking about the game, analyzing possibilities: he was very excited about it all!”
 
As the student had informed him that he would be leaving the US that afternoon, Renzo asked him what time his flight would leave.
 
“At 5pm", was the reply.
 
Renzo looked at his watch: it was already past 2pm.
 
“You need to get to the airport in a few minutes or you'll miss your plane…” Renzo said, worried.
 
They went back to training a few more positions and discussing technical aspects related to takedowns and submissions. When Renzo looked at his watch again, it was already 4pm. “Champ, you need to run NOW or your plane will leave!”
 
Then Ben smiled placidly: “Master, the plane is mine. I don't think it'll take off without me..."
 
(to be continued)

Publisher Avatar Renzo Gracie posted

UNIQUE


In 28 years of experience in MMA, Renzo has built a record of 23 fights, with 14 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw and 1 no contest.
 
He was one of the sport's pioneers and has been in every major competition in the world, including One, Pride, Rings, IFL, UFC and K-1.
 
He achieved unforgettable victories against 4 UFC champions: Oleg Taktarov, Carlos Newton, Pat Miletich and Maurice Smith.
 
Renzo also beat a fifth champion of the organization, Frank Shamrock, although this is not a fight to which noble qualities can be attributed: Shamrock lost by disqualification (determined by referee Herb Dean), after applying two knees to the back of Renzo's head.
 
(It is still relevant to point out that Renzo's career as a fighter was not limited to MMA. At the same time, he continued participating in Jiu-Jitsu and grappling sports championships between 1993 and 2014, becoming a two-time champion in the ADCC-ABU DHABI COMBAT CLUB (in 1998 and 2000), the most prestigious grappling competition in the world.)
 
During his career in the arenas, many vectors have forced him in different directions, demanding his attention. Renzo was never able to train exclusively, like most professional athletes. But his ability to overcome challenges and setbacks in the ring, face the pressure of building himself up as the master, trainer and manager of one of the most successful gym networks in the world, while continuing to fight (and winning most of the matches), is undoubtedly extraordinary.
 
In recent times, fighters with impressive cartels have emerged, but how many of them faced opponents 66 pounds heavier? Or fought 3 times in the same night? Or coached world champions while maintaining an intense championship career? Or entered the ring at the age of 51?
 
It is excellence on each of these fronts – and the sum of all of them – that make Renzo Gracie a truly legendary figure in the territory, both beautiful and brutal, of the martial arts. A point outside the curve. Unique.

Publisher Avatar Renzo Gracie posted

AFFECTION AND HONOR


In his fight against notorious UFC champion Dan Henderson at PRIDE 13 in 2001, Renzo suffered the first knockout of his career. In an attempt to grab Henderson's legs, he violently threw his head into the opponent's fist, causing a shock that made him pass out in the ring.
 
His brother Ryan, who was in the corner, jumped into the arena, and what he did next is something as rare as it is touching in the eminently violent world of MMA: supporting Renzo, Ryan held his head as if to protect him, and gave him many kisses on the face, while whispering words of support.
 
An extraordinary act of affection: for a moment, the two brothers returned to being the children who played together in childhood in their house in Rio de Janeiro, and the world around them, as well as the fatality of that defeat, lost their meaning and importance. If Renzo had been the father figure who had so often cared for Ryan, now the roles were reversed. All that remained was a younger brother's love for his older brother and his willingness to protect him in his arms against the adversities of the world.
 
------
 
In the fight against Shungo Oyama at PRIDE 21 in 2002, there was an episode that to this day causes heated discussions on social networks: the spit that Renzo threw at his opponent during the fight. Analyzing the case, it can be seen that Oyama played a psychological game of insistent provocation: the Japanese made jocular gestures from the beginning of the first round, mocking Renzo's strikes, as if to indicate that the Brazilian was weak and incapable of facing him... In addition, he tried to tie the fight in at least one moment (when Renzo had gotten a takedown and was in the dominant position), in an attitude that earned him a warning from the referee, with the consequent loss of score.
 
The succession of Oyama's antics (which intensified in the second round, with a pantomime of typical Sakuraba moves) progressively irritated the Brazilian who, in a show of contempt, ended up spitting in the Japanese's direction, less to hit him and more to show his displeasure at the adversary's continued disrespect.
 
It could be argued that taunts are part of the MMA world and are a strategy used by many fighters to destabilize opponents. But for someone who, like Renzo, comes from a background in which the concept of honor is precious, contempt for disrespectful attitudes can erupt as a visceral reaction – exactly what happened in this episode.

Butterfly guard pass with low underhook

When he tries to smash-pass the butterfly but the guard player finds room to adjust themselves and regain the hooks, Shawn Williams likes doing a low underhook, as if hugging his opponent's back just above the waist. This type of control eliminates any space between the fighters' torsos; note how Williams takes advantage of that to control a leg with his fingers in a V shape. Then he gets past one of his opponent's legs and gets across side.

Butterfly guard pass with low underhook

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Publisher Avatar Renzo Gracie posted

THE SPEED OF WISDOM


The battle against Yuki Kondo (42-year-old athlete with an impressive record of 107 professional fights and 61 wins, PANCRASE champion on multiple occasions) at ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: REIGN OF KINGS in July 2018 in the Philippines is notable not only for being victorious, but above all because of the fact that Renzo was 51 years old at the time.
 
51 years old – which makes him one of the oldest fighters in the entire history of MMA.
 
Apparently little happened in the first round, with Renzo and Kondo studying each other and measuring distances.
 
The referee complained to them; Renzo replied that he knew what he was doing.
 
(At the end of the match, it would be Renzo's turn to question the referee: “Do you understand now?”)
 
The apparent lack of action masked a strategy: having studied Kondo's previous fights, Renzo knew the Japanese would act on the counterattack.
 
“He was anxiously waiting for a rash attack on my part. But I wouldn't give him that”, declared Renzo after the fight.
 
Having frustrated the Japanese's expectations throughout the first 5 minutes, the second round began. And that's when Renzo acted, precise and relentless: with 1 minute of combat, he grabbed Kondo's right leg and took him to the ground, after positioning himself on his opponent's back. Then he landed a perfect choke, leading Kondo to give up in a few seconds.
 
“I did what my family has been doing for 100 years: choking people”, joked Renzo.
 
After the fight, in an emotional speech, Renzo stated that if he at the age of 51 could step into the ring and claim victory, then anything was possible for those who believe.
 
RENZO: People think that when you get to a certain age, it's like you've reached the highest possible height in your life, and then you start going downhill... I tell you: when you go downhill is when you gain more speed!
 
The thousands of people in the stadium gave him a standing ovation.

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Latest Comments

Mario commented:

Amazing!!👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

July 02, 2022 20:47

Martin commented:

Always the deepest respect

July 02, 2022 15:39

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