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Ryron Gracie
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Ryron Gracie

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Heel Hook Instructional by John Danaher

Ryron Gracie is Helio Gracie‘s grandson and the eldest son of Rorion Gracie, being part of the third generation of jiu-jitsu’s most illustrious family, the Gracies. A recognizable figure within the jiu-jitsu community, Ryron Gracie became also a familiar face among mixed martial arts (MMA) fans after a series of web episodes named “The Gracie Breakdown” where Ryron and his brother Rener Gracie go over techniques utilized in UFC events. Ryron Gracie is also an instructor at the Gracie Academy.

Ryron Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Ryron Gracie

Nickname: N/A

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie >Ryron Gracie

Main Achievements:

  • GT Gracie Worlds Champion (2012)
  • GT Gracie International Open Champion (2003)
  • GT United Gracie Champion (2001)

Favorite Position/Technique: N/A

Weight Division: Peso Médio (82kg/181lbs)

Team/Association: Gracie Academy

Ryron Gracie Biography

Ryron Gracie was born on December 1st, 1981, being Rorion Gracie’s firstborn son. Ryron was raised on the mats of the Torrence academy, beginning his training as a toddler. Ryron also started teaching Gracie jiu-jitsu from a very young age, and by the age of 12, he was already coaching children under his father’s guidance. At that same age, Ryron was involved in the historical first UFC event, a competition created partly by his dad. Ryron had the chore of cleaning the mats after each bout. Having a 12-year-old clean blood off the mats was not taken lightly by the crowd, thus forcing Rorion to replace him with an adult after that first event.

Even though he taught classes regularly at the Torrence academy when growing up, Ryron Gracie still managed to compete often in jiu-jitsu, including against his own cousin, Crosley Gracie, in 2001 as a brown belt, a fight that lasted 90 minutes and ended with Crosley giving up due to a knee injury. Ryron Gracie earned his black belt in 2003 from the hands of his grandfather, Grand Master Helio Gracie, after his victory at the Gracie International Open.

In 2004, a challenge was issued to Ryron, to fight a former student of his father, the controversial Marc Laimon, a fighter who had been very vocal about Rorion’s lack of knowledge regarding the evolution of BJJ, and about his lack of commitment towards his students. Ryron Gracie accepted the challenge against Laimon at the American promotion Grapplers Quest, but (according to an interview given by Marc to the website Grapple Arts) on the day of the fight, then there was a change in the rules of the super-match requested by the Gracie’s. Marc Laimon complained, but the fight proceeded with Laimon winning by one takedown and two guard passes.

A great focus of controversy regarding Ryron, brother Rener and father Rorion Gracie was the release of the Gracie University, an online program that provides instruction and rank in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The fact that rank could be given through the world wide web caused a major uproar among jiu-jitsu practitioners, competitors, and coaches around the world including some illustrious family members such as the legendary Royce and Rilion Gracie who did not believe in long-distance teaching. Though the project continued being severely frowned upon by many, the Gracie University module prospered and progressed as a business with students from well over 100 counties.

Ryron and his brother Rener became known among mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiasts through a series of YouTube videos called: The Gracie Breakdown. In these videos, the Gracie brothers broke down grappling techniques used on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce in some of the promotions most important fights.

Not an avid competitor due to the nonbelief in the point system applied by the majority of jiu-jitsu organizations, Ryron opted to display his grappling prowess by competing mainly in “submission only” tournaments such as the Gracie Worlds and Metamoris.

Ryron Gracie 1st Match at the Gracie Worlds (2012)

Ryron Gracie vs Cassio Werneck

John Danaher BJJ Escapes

36 Comments

  • tyrone says:

    So this Ryron is considered a "bjj hero" for cleaning the mats of the first UFC? Or losing a match to Marc Laimon? Or was it that the only significant vicotries of Ryron were in "Gracie" international events? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Ryron is a good black belt, but I'm not certain what it is (other than his lineage) that would constitute his addition to a list of icons.

    • mansy says:

      Last night he proved he could hang with the worlds best BJJ competitors.

      • Andre says:

        Well, not really. He proved he is hard to tap I guess.

        He was taken down easily, his guard was passed at will, he showed absolutely nothing from his back (no guard, halfguard any guard). People were cheering submission escapes like he was winning the fight. He was demolished as expected. Nothing taken from the guy, good of him to stick his neck out there, but I would hardly call that a success.

        Modern BJJ > Gracie Jiu Jitsu after seeing that

        • J says:

          Most people that have been rolling for a while leave their gaurd open because you have to open to escape or get submissions

        • Will Storer says:

          Did you miss the point where Galvao got swept and then ran from him for the last 4 minutes of the match? Obviously, you did.

        • Matt says:

          I'm glad you think the way you do because that way you will never understand how superior Gracie Jiu Jitsu is, and you will never benefit from it. Don't get me wrong, I wish everyone could understand what you don't, the world would be a much better place, but not everyone will nor are they deserving of such knowledge, so I'm glad people like you who talk trash on the internet will be denied true BJJ knowledge and be stuck with nothing but submission wrestling technique… which proved to be inferior to GJJ when Galvao couldn't submit Ryron and then had to run and pull guard for the last five minutes to keep from getting his ass beaten.

    • Will Storer says:

      Along with his brother, his expansion of the availability of quality jiu-jitsu instruction to a world-wide audience over the internet is enough by itself, to make him an icon.

    • Pedro Veiga says:

      His is really not a bjj hero. But he is a great teacher and famous in the bjj community.

  • Chris says:

    I'd argue for his semi-"iconic" status based partly on the popular Gracie Breakdown videos and partly on him being the de facto figurehead of modern GJJ.

  • tyrone says:

    @ Chris: You make a good point. Looks like we will get the chance to see Ryron Gracie take on André Galvão in a gi match at the 1st Metamoris Pro Cup in San Diego on October 14, 2012. Despite the event being put on by Ralek Gracie and the Gracie brothers having already decided on the rules when they invited/challenged André Galvão, I think it will be a good opportunity to see Ryron in a match with one of the best.

  • Fergus says:

    The above is probably fair, but to give Ryron credit, don’t forget he beat Jeff Monson: who is a former ADCC and world BJJ no-gi champion.
    Here’s an old post about it from Bullshido:

    ” Although all the matches were exiting the most impressive one was the one between Ryron GRACIE (199lbs) and Jeff MONSON (235lbs). GRACIE won after hour and ten minutes.”
    Read more at http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=

    I just did an interview with Ryron this morning about why he is competing again. It will be released on podcast just before the fight on Oct 14th. If you are interested it will be on my blog <a href="http://www.intothefire.org.uk” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://www.intothefire.org.uk” target=”_blank”>www.intothefire.org.uk

    • ABB says:

      I was there for this match. Ryron had a gi and Monson no-gi. Monson kept trying to pass guard but Ryron kept recovering. I can’t remember the exact year but I’m pretty sure that Ryron was still in high school. It was impressive. A friend of mine, who was back in the locker rooms after the match, said that Monson was sitting on a bench, clearly drained, and his hands were still shaking from the amount of exertion during the match.

  • tyrone says:

    Credit given where credit is due. Ryron stepped up in a new event, representing his family, himself and his particular brand of Gracie Jiu jitsu and did remarkably well. Respect.

  • John says:

    Dear Admin,

    IMHO Ryron Gracie's bio here deserves to be written more positively. After all, there is more to BJJ than just an athlete's competitive accomplishments.

    Cheers!

  • tony says:

    the fight against Andre proved that Ryron is legit. You try to hang with a world champion and not get tapped! They usually are able to find a way to set you up and tap you. Ryron showed that he was able to neutralize a stronger opponent.

    • Odin says:

      Ryron only showed that he knew how to lay on his back and not get tapped. Supposedly this is considered survival, however Andre was not even throwing strikes, which would have put Ryron's laughable guard even more at risk. He did not "neutralize" anything, as stated above, he was taken down, passed and attacked AT WILL. Not to mention his condescending attitude.

      • tyrone says:

        I don't think referring to strikes makes sense in a jiu jitsu match in the gi. If Ryron was able to survive bad spots with a player the caliber of Galvão's putting 100% pressure then such a player would surely be able to capitalize/escape from those same positions should André create the space necessary to deliver a strike. Besides, I believe the longer the match went on, the more Ryron began to have the advantage over a gassed Galvão. Rematch between the two, no time limit would be fantastic. Wallid vs. Royce style =).

      • Matt says:

        Wow, you’ve been listening to what other haters were saying about that match because what you say never actually happened. Yes, Andre is a world class competition grappler who could not finish Ryron, but why is it none of you haters talk about the last five minutes of the whole fight when Andre did nothing but pull guard and stall because he had fallen right into Ryron’s trap and gassed himself forcing a finish? The hate Ryron gets because everyone though Andre would tap him and didn’t is astounding.

        • DG says:

          You know, you guys talk about Galvao, world class grappler etc. Ryron is not the underdog here. He’s the guy that’s been training Jiu Jitsu since birth. He’s the guy that should be on top attacking and pushing the pace.

  • AnT says:

    I SEE ALOT of bias towards Ryron and the Gracie Family! MUCH Respect to them, No Doubt, but I agree with alot of those saying he just "layed and prayed!" OF COURSE just laying there the attacker will get tired and he could POSSIBLY get a tap on his opponent, but we can't say that with a definite answer, it's a "what if" statement… IF you think he would have found ways to escape and guard if there was strikes, have him do MMA… Have there be a match that you can't just lay and pray or you get DQ'd!

  • wolfgang says:

    Those that can DO. Those that wish TALK. With the exception of a few of you, I'd like to see one of you couch-potatoes roll with Ryron…or Andre…or Roger…or any of them. Go back to your UFC video games and GracieMags, and leave the jits to those that do jits. To all of those that DO….much respect.

  • pfff says:

    i believe he followed the strategies he's trying to teach. Galvao was clearly stronger so he had to wait to tire him out. u guys saying he has no results so he isn't good are idiots. he's an amazing teacher and a great guy.

  • justo says:

    i feel like there is a lot more to be said for Ryron in regards to his ability as a teacher, and his 'keep it playful' movement. do some more thorough research and add to this page!

  • Rishi says:

    ryron looked like a purple belt against a black belt. Galvao finally got tired of working him over is what it looked like to me. Gracie jiu jitsu is supposed to be a more defensive style geared towards real fights with no time limits. If this were a real fight Ryron would have been done in the first minute. He demonstrated lousy jiu jitsu skills, basically no guard, no submissions…..The Gracies need to stop being so proud and actually start training cuz honestly they suck these days.

  • Andy S says:

    Ryron went the distance with Xande in his first match at black belt, beat Lovato at brown belt and beat Cassio Werneck after Cassio had won gold at Mundials. You can't really say that his bjj sucks.

  • mr juse says:

    ryron himself comments on this match on a gracie breakdown video. every comment i read here about the galvao fight is incorrect. coming from his own words he knew the fight was going to be 20 min. he decided to let galvao pass his guard at will because he felt he couldnt be tapped. there is a moment in the fight where galvao mounts ryron who uses a trap and roll and easily switches the position when he felt threatened. galvao was nervous to mount again. anyway his stategy was to relax and tire him for 15 min and if a good opportunity presented itself he would to finish the fight. this does not mean trying to ‘make something happen’ because only 5 mins are left. he is intelligent and took what galvao gave him. its what he teaches and preaches so it makes perfect sense. if it were up to ryron there would most likely be no clock and he would have fought as long as it took to win. that is his philosophy. 20 min is a tight window against an opponent of galvaos caliber. i watched galvao myself at metamoris 2 and he was an absolute animal. very technical, fast strong and explosive. an acrobat even at time. these were two of bjj’s best clashing. look further into the footage not for what you want it to be, but for what it is. great jiu-jitsu

  • Eric says:

    Metamoris showed that Ryron has excellent submission defense. He and his brother are both very technical and articulate instructors.

    However, these grappling matches without time limits do not represent a real fight as accurately as a grappling match with points and time limits. You don't get to "chill" on the bottom in side control against any opponent who is good enough to put you there. Stalling is weak. Improve your position or get off the mat.

  • J.R.A. says:

    I can tell you one thing: Ryron is only concerned about what a select few think of him. Mostly his family and a few others that he respects. I am pretty sure none of those select few posted on here. I have only met him a handful of times. He is humble, respectful and an incredibly patient teacher. That is all!

  • Tommy says:

    Gracies are the greatest at picking matches which favor them.

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, like when Ryron accepted the point based, time-limited fight against Marc Laimon, because, that system is exactly the kind that only favors Ryron and not Laimon at all. I can understand haters, they are legion, but when haters just make up dumb stuff to say, that's weird cause it makes them look silly.

    • Jason says:

      The rules were set ahead of time. Did anyone hold a gun to Andre's head and force him to compete under that rule set? Didn't think so.

  • Joe says:

    I can’t people how truly clueless some of you people are. Watch Ryron’s breakdown of the match with Galvao he let Galvao, who by the way has been killing everyone in the tournaments and at ADDC, do whatever he wanted. His guard wasn’t “passed at will” and if you saw the fight and were half knowledgable in jiu jitsu you could tell he wasn’t defending it. His philosophy on jiu jitsu differs from that of maybe yours or mine, and that’s why he’s where he’s at and us here. He was just keepin it playful baby! There are tons of youtube videos of Ryron tooling black belts, but what does that prove? Nothing. For him to hang with someone as technical and explosive and powerful and competition oriented as Galvao, especially since he hasn’t competed in God knows when, is remarkable. Keep it playful ladies and gentlemen! His brother Rener has a video rolling and tooling a purple belt without using his hands. This is what they do, this is their job, and to think your or my opinions matter, is, well, silly. Merry Christmas to all in advance.

    • Matt says:

      I would say their opinions do matter, in the sense that even wrong opinions matter, and the brothers do a really good job of trying to help those who don't understand GJJ understand it. So in that sense it matters because I'm sure they would love to educate as many as possible, but unfortunately you can lead a horse to water… Other than that I agree their opinions mean nothing… until one of them can submit Ryron that is.

  • Sporty Spice says:

    Wow, you Bee Jay Gay fanatics don’t know jack about real Jiujitsu. You think the game you play with your time limits and weight classes and no strikes actually means something in the real world. You’re deluded. Ryron vs Galvao was perfectly executed Gracie Jiujitsu the way GM Helio would have done it. Ryron was in total control. Everything that happened, happened the way he wanted. If this was a no time limits match Galvao would have been done for – he was saved by the bell. Adding strikes like some fool suggested would have only hastened his demise. Real self defense Jiujitsu includes strikes and the means to defend against them – sport bee Jay gay does not.

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