Royce: Rener & Ryron are misrepresenting Helio's work


Modern mixed martial arts owes its existence to the Gracie Family, notably Helio's line. Helio developed the technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His son Rorion popularized it. Now Rorion's sons, Rener and Ryron, have taken it upon themselves to educate people about BJJ.

Controversially, part of that process is their online courses, in which they award rank via video. After just six years, their Gracie University reportedly has 90,000 students in nearly 200 countries. The practice has received wide criticism, including most recently from their uncle, UFC Hall of Famer Royce.

Royce made his feelings clear when he shared on his Instragram account a statement from manager Mike Kogan:

“I wonder if Gracie Academy Students paying $200 know that all they need to get good at jiu-jitsu is to join online Gracie University. I find it ironic that worlds like Gracie and Online learning are somehow tied into worlds like Helio Gracie. It’s a shame when your own family changes the concepts of everything you stood for then uses your name and then is actually tying to convince the world that it’s better to learn from a screen then a person specially the art as complex and technical as jiujitsu. And on keepingitplayful. Helio Gracie has a saying “two men playing I smell blood” #ikeepithonest. @realroyce”

?Royce then posted on the subject directly, again, via Instagram.

"With all due respect, our nephew's curriculums and online programs are not a true representation of the teaching method, belt grading, and philosophy that we learned from our father, Grandmaster Helio Gracie. They have the right to modify our battle-tested jiu-jitsu system as they see fit, but we feel that it is our duty to ensure that our father's name is not misrepresented. While videos, books and online resources may serve as supplements to jiu-jitsu practitioners, provenly, they can never, by any means, substitute live lessons in a qualified academy."

In an interview with Tatame, Rener offered a defense of the practice, saying it is an fact a superior alternative to learning BJJ in an actual academy.

"Some people do not understand that online study is even more effective than learning in the traditional classroom," said Rener, via Google Translate. 


Recent Comments »

PrisonMattressPuncher site profile image  

3/21/14 4:47 PM by PrisonMattressPuncher

Ok, I'm no6t a huge fan on Royce's mouth - but that story about Royce just giving someone a purple is complete BS. Blue is easy from him, purple not so much.

MMAdotCOM site profile image  

3/21/14 4:04 PM by MMAdotCOM

I can vouch for that but at least I got to meet him 2x!

12 site profile image  

3/21/14 11:54 AM by 12

ok you got me, if you put it like that

ChrisBJJ site profile image  

3/21/14 11:50 AM by ChrisBJJ

Came to say this, I have spoken with guys that I now train with that have received their blue him when he showed up for a seminar. He said looking back it's ridiculous, Royce shows up has no clue who you are and just gives you a blue because your coach thinks you are one. I've even heard a story where a guy went to Royce and explained how he thinks he should be a purple belt and Royce just gave him one. Complete bullshit imo.

Ringworm74 site profile image  

3/21/14 11:48 AM by Ringworm74

Ha! Like I said in my first post bjj is a journey! Today im poor I live in little town and practice with my friends bjj maybe attend marcelo garcia seminars after working all summer to save. Then I get a good job and move to big city. Then enroll in bjj school become blackbelt through the same hard work from when I was in GU and then open my own academy.

BigEyedFish site profile image  

3/21/14 11:38 AM by BigEyedFish

  IMHO that is sorta learning BJJ, not learning it.    There have been a lot of entries here about the intangibles of a BJJ education (in a real academy) - things like testing yourself, learining about yourself and your limits, understanding and giving respect, creating a brotherhood, creating character and strength....things like that are important (at least in my mind) to the whole BJJ equation.  These things are impossible to replicate by training outside of an academy.   To this Ill add that the muscle memory that you create by rolling with different people/weights/styles/mindsets/capabilities is VITAL to getting good at actually employing BJJ in a physical situation.  I am not trying to bash GU.  Ive seen a lot of the content and the instruction is excellent.  I think its a GREAT idea for people in remote areas to get a taste of BJJ when there is no school around.  But again, IMHO, no one is going to refuse money from a person that lives near a BJJ academy, but is too lazy/shy/whatever to actually show up and learn in a class.  To me, this is where the concept opens itself up to (justifiable) criticism.   There are some things in life that are hard and take a long time to understand.  BJJ is one of them.  There are no shortcuts.   I edited this because I want to explain that Ive walked the walk.  When I was a student, I was poor.  I got a credit card and put plane tickets and hotels on it and flew from Canada to Gracie Torrance a couple dozen times in mid 90s - 2000s.  I would take privates and classes and come home and drill and teach the stuff for about 6 months or the time it took me to pay off that visa bill.  Once it was paid off, I would fly back down to the academy.  This is how I learned.  I flew across the continent because I wanted the best and I wanted to be for real.  I sacrificed a ton for this and looking back, it was just a huge moment in my life in terms of how it has defined me as a person and an instructor now.   You dont get that sort of shit on the internet.  Anywhere.  

Ringworm74 site profile image  

3/21/14 11:30 AM by Ringworm74

Exactly! They may get beat but they are good training partners... and I tell u this if thet show up and get submitted 100 times they probably are learning more than the person submitting them. lets take for example a person who through the years has taken bjj on and off for 5 years. He knows the basics but just wants to keep rolling with a few freinds. Doesn't want to pay $120-200 a month for an extended contract. Joins gracie online to pick up some variations to moves he already has practiced in the past.... like maybe put your body in this position instead of this position, they both work but he just learned something new. Im not saying its better just a different avenue.

BigEyedFish site profile image  

3/21/14 11:20 AM by BigEyedFish

rolling and tapping  =/= competing against.   Its not the same.  Its like saying a white belt in karate can compete against a black belt in bjj on the mat.  We all know that it would not be a competition.  'compete against' to me at least, means offering significant resistance (at the least) and presenting a threat at times (at the most).   Guys that have no instructor and 'learn from youtube' are not doing it right.  Im sorry, but you cant learn BJJ that way.  What you can learn, is to make a lot of errors and bad habits that no one is there to correct.  Any decent purple would shred someone like that.  

12 site profile image  

3/21/14 11:15 AM by 12

why ? i dont think they can beat any of the above mention,but roll and get tapped is the same thing i see at a lot of tournies

BigEyedFish site profile image  

3/21/14 11:12 AM by BigEyedFish

" They can walk into any bjj school and definitely compete against blues and maybe purples. " I highly doubt that.