Monday, 29 March 2010

Royce Gracie: Lessons From Legends

When it comes to submission grappling, one of the names that will stand for all time is Royce Gracie. Coming from the most successful grappling family to ever live, Royce gave the world a taste of Gracie Jiu Jitsu in the early 1990’s that left peoples jaws hanging. He dominated the early UFC’s and along with Ken Shamrock became the first UFC Hall of Famer.

Royce has had some great battles throughout his career and because of these, we are able to learn a thing or two from him.

Grappling matters – To be a successful fighter for the street or in competition, one must learn how to grapple when standing and on the ground. Without this knowledge, one will quickly learn that they are defenseless from these combat positions. Even for the streets, ground grappling is needed so one can know how to get up off the floor as quickly as possible.

Flexibility and relaxation when caught in submissions –Against his fight with Matt Hughes and Hidehiko Yoshida, Royce was caught in an arm lock and a foot lock which many fighters would have tapped out from. Through a lifetime of grappling however, Royce has learnt that being flexible is an important attribute to have for grappling, but most of all relaxation is needed. When one starts tensing there limbs it is then that joint locks can be applied most successfully on them.

Size doesn’t always mean success – Royce Gracie was one of the smallest fighters in the early UFC’s. However, because of his grappling knowledge and technical prowess he was able to dominate fighters much bigger and stronger than him.

Trust in ones abilities – Because of his size, people thought and said that Royce would get pummeled in the cage. However, because he had complete trust in his martial arts skills, he didn’t let these comments bother him.

Because of Royce Gracie and his family, grappling finally got the recognition it deserved and made people realize that it is vital for becoming a complete martial artist. Everyone who studies martial arts and who understands that grappling is important has Royce Gracie to thank and because of this he goes down in history as one of the greats.

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