Flew out to see my uncle Royce Gracie fight Ken Shamrock. The best part isn't even seeing the fight live but rather to see family.
I haven't had the chance to see Royce in a solid 7-8years.
I also had the chance to see and catch up with this dude! Last time I saw him was 6 years ago... We, as in my family, need to start organizing a family get together so we can see each other more often!
Last time I saw Pedro I was 10 years old give or take. A great time all around catching up with family.
I went into the venue for Bellator 149 with my father-in-law, one of my students and a friend of my father-in-law's.
As we patiently waited for Royce's turn to fight I started thinking a lot about Royce and his accomplishments.
Over 20 years ago Royce was chosen to represent the family in an event created by Rorion in order to showcase my grandfather's art to the world. Royce was prepared by his brothers and cousins and by his father for this event.
Royce did not disappoint. In the conclusion of the very first UFC, several things happened: 1. He displayed his father's art to the world 2. He proved to the world, much like my grandfather and other uncles and cousins proved in Brazil that Gracie Jiujitsu is the superior art form 3. By accomplishing #1 and #2 he forever changed the word of martial arts and of combat sports, thousands of people would change their training and fighting strategy in order add Gracie jiujitsu to their arsenal 4. He influenced thousands of people to want to learn this "magical" art that would allow for someone of average stature, like Royce, to defeat opponents much larger than themselves.
No one will never know how tough it must be to not only fight but to fight and continue to fight in order to defend and represent something as large as the Gracie legacy.
Much like over 20 years ago, Royce's career solidified with a fight with the worlds most dangerous man Mr. Ken Shamrock himself, it is only fitting that Royce's legacy is solidified by fighting one last fight with the same man..
Once again like 20+ years ago the family got together to help Royce prepare and prosper as he once more stepped up to represent and defend Gracie jiujitsu, his fathers legacy, the Gracie family's legacy, his legacy, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu's legacy.
And much like 20+ years ago...
Royce did not disappoint...
I am sure of is that my grandfather is a happy man right now, not only because his son won... But because the family's art is still undeniably the most superior form of self defense as well as the most superior Martial Art much like he envisioned decades ago.
Thank you Helio Gracie, the world has never been the same since your presence influenced it.