“People who come from dysfunctional families are not destined for a dysfunctional life.” – Bo Bennett
Jiu-Jitsu as we know it today would have never happened if it hadn’t been for the Gracie family. Trying to draw a family tree of the Gracies is a big task as there are so many of them. There are an estimated 500 Gracie family members (coming from the same Gracie family tree from Brazil) living all around the world.
Every family has its share of dramas and the Gracies are no different. They are just like us after all.
Here is list of dramas and misbehaviours of Gracie family members throughout history.
1.Carlos, Helio and George Gracie in Prison
In 1934, brothers Carlos, George and Helio Gracie spent a week in jail. The 3 Gracies had been accused of attacking a former challenger in the street, Manuel Rufino, who then had placed charges against the Gracie brothers.
The 3 brothers were eventually freed after the court didn’t find enough evidence or witnesses.
2.Renzo Gracie spitting at Shungo Oyama in Pride.
This wasn’t the first time that Renzo took part in some trouble. In june of 2002 the Brazilian was defeated by Shungo Oyama in Pride 22, who used a specific tatic to defeat the Gracie. Frustrated, Renzo spat on his opponent during the fight, making his supporters very angry.
Renzo’s younger brother, Ryan Gracie would avenge his brother and fight Oyama and broke his arm.
3.Renzo Gracie Stomping on Opponent’s Head
Judoka Ben Spikijers was also involved with some trouble caused by Renzo. Still in 1995 when he was doing his second professional fight, Renzo stepped on his opponent’s head after submitting him. Getting only a warning from the referee he came back and beat 2 more opponents that same night.
4.Ryan Gracie general violent behaviour
Younger brother of Renzo, Ryan also caused a lot of trouble, especially because of his fights in clubs, bars, restaurants and in competitions. He very fast became a favorite of many Brazilians, even before getting famous. With so many confrontations he ended up making enemies even outside the rings such as Wallid Ismail and Jorge Patino Macaco.
AND, there were also various attacks. The president of the Rio de Janeiro Jiujitsu league, Mauricio Lima said that he was attacked by Ryan Gracie because of a letter, published in a jiujitsu magazine (note from Carioca: O Tatame), where he accused Ryan’s father, Robson Gracie, of being prejudiced against homosexuals. Thanks to this letter, Mauricio was given a homage by the gay magazine SUI GENERIS. But, according to Mauricio, that got Ryan really mad..
“I criticized his father, and Robson did not retaliate. I don’t get it. At the night club, Ryan said I was bad mouthing his dad and punched me in the chin. I didn’t fight back.” – said Mauricio Lima.
After learning about what Mauricio said to the police, Ryan said, Ironically:
“Saddam (Mauricio’s nickname) is an amoeba, and idiot. I never said anything about gays. Only thing is, during my TV show (Ring Heroes), we joked, when a guest of the show said that Mark Kerr looked a little feminine. I have nothing against gays. Saddam, for example, has a candid, delicate soul. Now, if he is gay or not is not my business. Personally, I think homosexualism is an ugly thing, two hairy men touching each other, . . ugh. Now, two women having sex is ok!.
The last problematic story he was involved in, happened in 2007 when he robbed a person in a car and later on a motorcycle. After being arrested he was diagnosed as being in shock and under the effect of drugs. He was wrongly medicated by a psychiatrist and found dead the next day inside his cell. The doctor was convicted afterwards.
5.Roger Gracie shooting at transvestites
In august of 2000, Roger Gracie, still a blue belt was arrested with 3 Jiu-Jitsu team mates for shooting at three transvestites using rubber bullets and paintball guns. He was 19 at the time and didn’t get convicted. His mother then sent him to the UK to keep him away from bad company. H eventually went into the right path and became the champion that we all know today.
His mother Reila Gracie asked forgiveness to the transvestites for her son’s attitude:
“I talked to him and told him that I was very sad. I think it was a bad-taste joke. An absolutely reprehensible attitude. I wanted to apologize on his behalf. It was a surprise, a shock. I disapprove of this, but I’m on his side because he is just a boy who is building his life story.”
6.Rickson Gracie stopped by police in Rio
In may of 2012, Rickson Gracie, one of the stars and legends of the Gracie family was stopped by the police for a check in Rio. Since he refused to take an alcohol test, his driver’s licence was taken by the police. Rickson underwent the following administrative penalties:.. seizure of driver’s license, a fine of R $ 957.70 and lost 7 points in his driver’s license. The offense was considered very serious. Rickson’s car was released after a qualified driver had been presented.
7.Rockson Gracie’s tragic death
In December of 2000 Rockson Gracie, son of Rickson, was found dead at a hotel room in New York and buried without the family being contacted since no one had his personal data. Only two months later his body was recognised. It was found in his blood a mixture of alcool and other drugs which may have caused his death.
BJJ Heroes has the whole sad story:
On October of 2000, at 19 years of age, Rockson decided to leave his parents house in Los Angeles and move to New York with his girlfriend to try a career as a professional model. As the weeks went by Rockson’s contact with the family started being less frequent, and by the end of January 2001, after almost 1 month without contact, Rickson decided to ask his cousin Renzo Gracie (who lived and owned a gym in New York) to track his son’s whereabouts.
Renzo found Rockson’s girlfriend in Miami on the 7th of February, she informed him the couple had split, Renzo returned to New York that day. Now truly worried he started searching the hospitals and police stations. Renzo finally identified Rockson’s body from a police file through Rockson’s arm tattoo which said: “The Best Father of the World: Rickson Gracie”. Rockson had been found dead by the authorities in December due to drug intoxication at the Providence hotel in Manhattan.
Rockson’s body was exhumed from the pauper’s grave where it had been buried, he was cremated and the ashes taken to his favorite Malibu beach where they were spread.
Rickson Gracie, who was set to fight Kazushi Sakuraba that year, in what would’ve been the most anticipated MMA fight in the history of the sport, cancelled the fight and never fought professionally again. He has mentioned on more than one occasion that his son’s loss was by far the hardest thing to overcome in his life and that he didn’t train for almost 3 years when going through his grieving process.
8.Renzo Gracie and co. NYC nightclub brawl
Renzo Gracie, along with cousins Igor and Gregor Gracie and MMA fighter Rafael Barbosa and three other men, were arrested in the early hours of Sunday the 18th of May 2014 after a big brawl in a nightclub in New York. The men were accused of assaulting a bouncer at the club, and to have broken his arm during the fight.
The victim, bouncer Craig Molesphini, 35, suffered a fractured right arm along with bruises and cuts, sources said.
A little under a year after the incident, the Gracies have came off with a slap on the wrist and copped to misdemeanor assault in exchange for 10 to 15 days of community service. Leonardo DaCosta and Gregor Rangel Gracie pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in exchange for 1 to 3 days of community service.
The Gracie cousins showed up at the Meatpacking District club and became furious that bouncer Craig Molesphini had turned away two of their friends the previous week and vengefully attacked him.
According to NYPost:
“All of the seven men were fighting, doing MMA moves on the guards, some of whom were injured,” he said. “In my entire 14-year career, I have never seen anything like this.”
9. Kron Gracie involved in Nurmagomedov-Diaz Brawl
Brothers Nick and Nate Diaz and their camp were involved in a brawl with Khabib Nurmagomedov and his camp. This happened at WSOF event punches, kicks, and even beer were being thrown.
Khabib and the Diaz brothers have been exchanging hostilities on Twitter for months. Kron Gracie, who is the legendary Rickson Gracie’s son, actively participated in the brawl as he was part of the Diaz brothers entourage. Kron trains for MMA with the Diaz brothers.
You can see Kron participate in the brawl here. In the video, Kron with a black shirt and beard is taken down by a member of Khabib’s entourage and is seen giving upkicks from the open guard:
10.The Gracie Challenge That Went Horribly Wrong: Robin Gracie vs Damien Riccio
Back in 2003, Robin Gracie, the youngest of Helio Gracie’s sons, who runs Gracie Barcelona was conducting a seminar in Perpignan, France. Perpignan is about 1h30 drive away from Barcelona. Damien Riccio, a French MMA fighter and karate black belt, had learned of Gracie’s presence in his city and used the occasion to respond to the infamous Gracie challenge (usually challenges for money or honor that the Gracie family issued to different martial artists). So Riccio showed up uninvited to Robin Gracie’s seminar and challenged Robin Gracie to a vale tudo match there and then. Robin accepted even though he wasn’t prepared. Damien won the fight.
Watch the challenge match:
What happened next: The video of the fight went all over the internet and the whole BJJ and MMA community saw it. Royce Gracie, Robin’s older brother sent Damien some threatening emails (Which you can see below) and promised revenge. Royce, Robin and some of his students then crossed the border from Spain to France and attacked Damien in the bar where he was working in Perpignan. There have been many versions as to what happened next and I guess nobody will really know the truth as there are opposing views. Some people say that Royce kicked Damien’s little brother to the floor, and that Damien fired a gun into the air to end the scuffle…The Gracies fled and went back to Barcelona. A lot has happened to Damien since then. He went o having a MMA career fighting mostly in the Uk and even in Japan, with mixed results. His little brother died in a rock climbing accident. Damien was in 2 serious motorbike accidents. Damien’s older brother Matthias (also a fighter) was stabbed in the arm in a road rage incident.
This is the email communication between Royce, Rodrigo Gracie and Damien Riccio as posted by Royce on the Atama BJJ forum himself:
Date: 29-May-03 12:38 PM
Member Since: 01-Jan-01
705 Total Posts The guy show up at Robin’s seminar and started to talk s*it and wanted to fight Robin, so Robin did. Then fought the guy punch Robin and Robin shot in, the guy spralled, Robin pulled guard and punch him from the guard, the blood on Robin’s shirt is from the guys face. Then the fight stopped. Robin said to the guy that they should setup a time anytime he wants to and have a fight for real. The guy started talking s*it about my family and all my borothers and all the Brazilians saying that they are nothing. I am in Spain right now, I am going to take care of this m****er. Robin invited him to my seminar this weekend so that we can have a fight and I will show him what Brazilians are all about, he guy already back down, saying that he has to work that weekend, but he will try. Well if he dont come, I will go see him. that is the story.
For ROYCE GRACIE AND RODRIGO HI
i’m damien RICCIO the guys who challenge your brother Robin during a seminar in My town PERPIGNAN in FRANCE.
You talk very trash about me and something you don’t know.
I DID WHAT YOU ALWAYS DID TO MAKE YOUR NAME KNOWN!!!!
I challenged him very pleasantly respectfull and he agrees. He could say no and i got back but he accept smily and say ok. I got back and let Robin finish his seminar (without loosing any energy with rolling with guys).
I came back for fighting and Robin tapped down after a complete domination.
So what is the problem????
Do you remember one thing :”GRACIE CHALLENGE”!!!????
What can we see in GRACIE IN ACTION!!!???
Where is the problem???
The only problem is that: he accepted and lost in what you claimed to be undefeated :REAL FIGHT.
So I never disrespect your family or Brasilians.
I told to Robin that you were my idol because when I saw royce and rickson for the First time on UFC and VALE TUDO it was for me a dream.
BUT NOW : I saw you insult me and disrespect me and I am very very surprised.
But right now I do not respect you at all for your trash talking about me and I am very disapointed by your attitude.
But right now by these words I know that you are not respectfull people and you will never beat me.
you just act like bad streetfighter and not professional and I know i will crush you.
SO now RODRIGO I tell it to you : you are a son of b*tch and you will be the easier Gracie to beat regarding your poors bad fights in Pride.
ROYCE I am now injure because of two long fight in 2 weeks but i accept your challenge when you want.
But for this week end i cannot fight but my young brother MATTHIAS will be happy to kick your a*s if you come in my town.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see.
By the way we are too 7 RICCIO.
I have a big family like you and we are ready for the war…
sorry for my bad english.
Date: 30-May-03 12:16 PM
Member Since: 01-Jan-01
708 Total Posts
Let me tell you something, in Gracie in Action they came to our school, not challange us in the seminars, and if you saw it, they all got their a*ses kicked.
That is what is going to happend to you your brothers or anyone else.
You want to come and crash seminars, come and crash mine. I am ready for you your brothers and anyone else.
From: Rodrigo Gracie
Date: 31-May-03 01:30 AM
Member Since: 01-Jan-01
15 Total Posts
You call your self a professional?Walking in the middle of the seminar to fight my cousin unprepared? For me you are a nobody and a pussy.Royce is an hour away from you and you already pussy out.All i have to say is “is going to be a surprise party”.I saw your fight and checked your background, YOU REALLY SUCK! If robin was prepared you would be raped. Pride??keep dreaming…This is personal! I’ll see the rest of you soon, after Royce and Robin break your face.