We often talk about Helio and Carlos Gracie and all that they have done for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but a person who I think deserves a great deal of credit for the popularization of Jiu-Jitsu is Helio’s son Rorion Gracie. Rorion is the one who really helped popularize Gracie Jiu-Jitsu thru the “Gracie Challenge”, his "Gracie in Action" Videos and his invention of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
I occasionally hear people say how much they dislike Rorion because he is “money oriented” or he is “dishonest” or “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is weak” or “they give away belts” or for any other number of unfounded reasons to hate this great man. I have met Rorion on several different occasions and even watched a UFC with him. I think the sentence I would use to describe him is “Passionate about Jiu-Jitsu.” I am sure he is probably very blunt and hard headed like his dad was, but that wasn’t a fault for Grand Master Helio, why should it be for Rorion?
I know that in my career I have achieved a small level of notoriety and I understand how critics can hate. I’m cool with that and I think that Rorion Gracie is ok with what people think of him as well. He has helped carry on the legacy of his father and uncle and whether you like him or not I think he deserves the credit that is due.
Think about this….What if Rorion Gracie never came to America and never made Gracie Jiu-Jitsu popular through his efforts? Where would you be in your training?
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