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Roberto Pedreira











Global Training Report



Interview with 

Rorion Gracie

From K-Files vol.6 “Sokuho”

Feb. 1, 2001

Interviewed by Takao Kondo


Translated by Roberto Pedreira



 (the 21st century transmit the real jiu-jitsu)


TK: The 20th century will soon come to a close. Could you summarize things up until the present?

Rorion:  It's a long story but I’ll try to be succinct. One of the greatest achievements of the 20th century has been the demonstration of the  effectiveness of Gracie jiu-jitsu.

TK: That might be true. Well, what is your prediction about how things will be in the kakutogi [vale tudo, NHB] world in the 21st century?

Rorion: It is my hope that in this century the effects of what has been done will be clearly revealed.

TK: What does that mean?

Rorion: In other words, a martial art is not only punching and kicking. Ground grappling is the very foundation of  martial arts and martial arts can never become separated from ground grappling. From now on into the future, it  can be expected that ground grappling will  spread more widely and more deeply. Various styles of martial arts [kakutogi] have become mixed and this trend will continue. But as before, jiu-jitsu will remain the center of the martial arts. 

TK: Oh. What do you think will happen in the jiu-jitsu world?

Rorion: Jiu-jitsu will continue to spread. As far as kakutogi goes, the matter has already been settled. Among all of the various styles of fighting, jiu-jitsu reigns supreme. Everyone has come to that realization at last. Bruce Lee's  JKD was conveyed to the public in movies, but we Gracies conveyed our conception of jiu-jitsu in a more convincing manner, by way of actual fights. We thought that was more realistic.  We expect jiu-jitsu to extend everywhere. I am confident of that.  

TK: Don’t you want your sons to fight in vale tudos to continue to prove that jiu-jitsu reigns supreme?

Rorion: There’s nothing to prove anymore. My sons are already fine representatives of jiu-jitsu. If they want to participate in vale tudos to polish their jiu-jitsu and for their personal growth, then that must be there own decision. I can only offer my support. I have achieved my purpose of introducing jiu-jitsu to the the world during the 20th century.

TK: Your job during the 20th century was to spread jiu-jitsu far and wide. What is your theme for the 21st century?

Rorion: I think my job must be to educate people to appreciate the difference between genuine jiu-jitsu and fake jiu-jitsu. A genuine martial art [like jiu-jitsu] incorporates a certain kind of philosophy  [translator's note: the interview uses the expression 理念, which Japanese dictionaries render as ideology in English, but Rorion probably had something like philosophy, or spirituality, or morality, in mind, rather than ideology with its political connotation]. Real jiu-jitsu teaches self-control.  When I teach private lessons, I try to teach philosophy at the same time.  I hope my students acquire a sense of self-confidence and self-efficacy [実感」

When you really understand jiu-jitsu, there's no need to get into fights. That's what I think. A person with self-confidence, a person with character, will try to challenge him or herself on a different stage [rather than fighting] and will be a kind and friendly person. Such people know the techniques of self-control.  For example, there are really bad places to be. When walking alone in such a scary place, where one might need twenty police officers for protection, you can walk alone in a carefree way [thanks to jiu-jitsu]. Jiu-jitsu gives you the power equal to twenty police officers. Jiu-jitsu should not be used for violence. Jiu-jitsu is a thing that gives you the ability to defend yourself, while at the same time leading the way to peace. That's real jiu-jitsu.

TK: I understand what you mean by real jiu-jitsu. For example, In Brazil, there is still a problem with jiu-jitsu gangs, isn’t there?

Rorion:  I understand that there is a trend among certain crowds and cliques, to resort to violence. I feel that this is [unjustifiably] smearing the name of  jiu-jitsu. The Gracie name has been well known in Brazil for a long time. Recently various negative things have happened. Young kids destroy bars, for example. In Brazil, incidents like this happen every day. If the kids happen to be wearing Gracie T-shirts, the newspapers write about it as though it were our fault. This is the kind of problem that has been increasing. If some kids wearing Nike shirts commit a crime, no one starts calling them the Nike Gang, do they?

TK: In the future, are you thinking about going back to Brazil? Or, do you intend to continue living in America instead?

Rorion: At present I have various plans and projects underway, and until they reach fruition, I'm not in a position to make any major changes in my living arrangements. I travel back and forth between Brazil and America all the time. Since my wife is Brazilian, she doesn't think it would be a bad idea to move back to Brazil some day. But I like the way things are done in America. If you accomplish something in America, the world takes notice. For the foreseeable future, I'll continue shuttling back and forth between America and Brazil.

TK: I understand. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me.

Rorion: There's one last thing I'd like to say.  I'm looking forward to seeing a movie about me made by some Japanese investors  (laughs).


Translator's note: This is a translation into English of an interview in Japanese that was originally translated from English. The Japanese language tends to be somewhat vague. It is not totally impossible that some of the nuances have gotten altered in the tortuous process.  Apologies to Rorion if his views have been misrepresented in any way as a result.

(c) 2001, Global Training Report, all rights reserved.

Revised November 8, 2009.


Rorion is recognized widely as one of the best teachers of the fundamentals of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His original tapes are still worth seeing--or reviewing. His sons have learned from their dad the vital art of teaching. This (the teaching method) in fact is what Rorion says makes GJJ different from the ju-jutsu it came from. And in case you were wondering whether GJJ works, the GIAs never get old. You can order below.