Wednesday, May 24, 2006

UFC 60 ~ The Storyline

Wow, I am excited for this one!!!! Royce Gracie, the man who started it all, back in the cage to prove that he's still got it and that Gracie Jui Jitsu is still the best. If you've seen any of the hype you've probably heard some of this before. Let me kind of run down what this boils down to, in Bruceleeroy's terms.

1) Since the dawn of martial arts until about 13 years ago most people got into a style, studied that style, lived that style. Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwan Doe, Jui Jitsu, Aikido, Muay Thai....Whatever your poison. All taught throughout the globe by instructors who will tell you that any man or woman of any size can take out any aggressor with the right amount of skill.

2) Back in 1993 the UFC began, it's goal was to find out what martial arts style is the best and would be the most practical in a close to real fight atmosphere. Royce, with his family name Gracie Jui Jitsu, dominated. A 170 pound man defeating a who's who of fighters in minutes, often times fighting people 20-40-100 pounds heavier than him. Having been at the 1st 2 UFC's live I can tell you that very few people had much of an idea of what was going on, including myself. If you rent the video's you will actually hear people booing because they don't know why the fights are being stopped. Royce went on to beat Boxers, Savate practitioners, Karate, Wrestling legends (real wrestling not WWE) and anyone they put in front of him. It was in a word, impressive.

3) Since the early 90's MMA has evolved to where most people will train in 3 areas, Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jui Jitsu. (Training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu often translates to Gracie Jiu Jitsu) In the last couple years or so many 'new era' fighters and/or people who train have began to revolt against the Gracie family stating that they are stubborn in only training 1 style, that Royce walked through a bunch of people who had no idea what they were getting in to.

4) The match between Royce Gracie and Matt Hughes is signed in and the questions arise.

Is Royce "washed up" or even "never meant to be"?
Is Royce not prepared to step into today's UFC where so many people are actively training in a stand up game and a ground game?

The answers to these questions will all be answered on Saturday night. But the results of Saturday night will not change the following facts.....

Fact - Most Mixed Martial Arts fighters inthe U.S. would not be where they are at this moment had it not been for Royce Gracie. Anyone who says different is just plain wrong. Like him or dislike him his theory was proven. 1 on 1 Gracie Jui Jitsu dominated the other styles. Once you get a Karate guy off his feet, he's about worthless unless he now trains a ground game.

Fact - Royce has not lost in the UFC. He is 13-1-2 overall. He is one of a very few fighters still around who will go out of his weight class to fight people. (In a noted rivalry Tito Ortiz, 205 lbs, and Ken Shamrock, 235 lbs, wanted to get it on. Tito would not agree to the fight against Shamrock unless it took place at 205 so Ken would loose size and strength. Gracie weighed 180 when he fought Shamrock and won.) Gracie, at 170-180 throughout his career, fought Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock twice, Kimo Leopold, Keith Hackney and most recently Aekebono, giving up anywhere from 20-80 pounds in most fights, well over 100 pounds to former sumo wrestler Aekebono.

Win lose or draw he and his family have done more to change martial arts in the last couple years than anyone has in the previous 2000.


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