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Royce Gracie on What Happened When Gordon Ryan Asked to Roll with Him

Royce Gracie on What Happened When Gordon Ryan Asked to Roll with Him

In a recent episode on the Joe Rogan podcast, MMA legend Royce Gracie shares a memorable encounter with jiu-jitsu phenomenon Gordon Ryan. Gracie, a pioneer of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in mixed martial arts, spoke highly of Ryan, describing him as “very respectful” and a “beast” on the mats. The conversation occurred during a casual meetup in Chicago where they decided to roll together.

Ryan is widely regarded as the greatest No Gi grappler of all time, due to his dominant run in the ADCC which is reminiscent of Roger Gracie’s in the Gi.

Royce Gracie talked about the experience:

On Gordon Ryan’s approach: “Gordon Ryan came up like, man can we roll a little bit? Like sure, let’s roll… We were going very light and he’s going easy on me.”

On the playful exchange: “I was giving him the arm and he was giving me the neck… we like both give each other very respectfully.”

On Ryan’s dedication: “That guy works out three 365 days a year. There’s no Christmas, [expletive] you; your birthday, [expletive] you. Every day they train.”

Gracie highlighted the humorous and light-hearted nature of their roll, emphasizing that both were not trying to win but rather were giving each other opportunities to execute techniques. He admired Ryan’s discipline and continuous training regimen, noting that Ryan trains every single day of the year without taking breaks for holidays or personal occasions.

This highlights their personal interaction but also on the evolving level of skill in the jiu-jitsu community, with Gracie noting the high caliber of practitioners like Mikey Musumeci and the Ruotolo brothers. He appreciates the technical skill that defines modern jiu-jitsu, influenced heavily by coaches like John Danaher, who also came from the Renzo Gracie lineage.

This offers a glimpse into the camaraderie and mutual respect among top BJJ athletes in the sport, emphasizing the blend of competitive spirit and respect that defines Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.