Thursday 4 August 2011

DVD: UFC Ultimate Royce Gracie

Back in the early 90’s I saw a vhs tape of The Ultimate Fighting Championship, a no-holds-barred fighting tournament involving eight participants, each a master of their chosen style. The winner was Royce Gracie, a smallish man from Brazil who used his family’s own discipline, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed, it was marketed as a savage tournament with fists flying and blood spraying everywhere. What Royce Gracie did was use his superior skill to take the violence out of the fighting, he would tie these brutes up in knots and have them begging for mercy, and he made it look so easy.

Gracie went on to win 3 out of 4 of the first Ultimate Fighting Championships and was the first inductee into the UFC Hall Of Fame.

This dvd explores the past of the man known as the Father of modern Mixed Martial Arts and delves into the origins of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu which was born in the mind of Royce’s Father, Helio. There is also revealing interviews from Royce himself as well as some of his opponents alongside footage of the fights.

The UFC now has weight divisions and many rules that the fighters must obey and although I’m still a fan this journey back to the days when the only rules were no biting and no eye gouging feels like a breath of fresh air. If only we could go back to a proper no rules event where the winners progress and fight again on the same evening leading to a final involving two battle weary warriors. I’m pretty sure that most of today’s competitors couldn’t hack it.

An absolute must for any fan of mixed martial arts, especially those who appreciate brain triumphing over brawn.

Ric’s Rating: 94%


  1. A character in the book I wrote last year was into MMA. Wish I'd known about this movie then. Do you do this stuff yourself, Ricky?

  2. The main problem I have with Royce Gracie is that he has turned into a myth. Yes, he introduced BJJ BUT the guys he beat had no clue what was going on. They were Karate guys, Kung Fu guys, wrestlers. And sometimes, he pained to beat them. He's a pioneer, the way Gentleman Jim Corbett was to boxing, but he's not a legend.

  3. I've always fancied having a go Michael but nowadays I can barely drag myself to the local gym a couple of times a week. Curious about your character.
    Ben, when I saw this I (like many others, including the participents)hadn't seen anything like it before. Gracie blew me away and he remains my favourite fighter but like he says himself, UFC isn't about competing styles any more. The Gracies set out to prove their discipline was the best and the fact that everyone now uses it speaks for itself.

  4. I'll have to check this out. Always been a big UFC fan, and you're right, there's nothing like those old days when everything was so new, and Royce Gracie was throwing arm bars on guys twice his size while commentators like Don "The Dragon" Wilson looked on. Great stuff!

  5. Yep, it's just not the same these days.

  6. He was indeed a legend. He also hated to get hit, so he avoided it by staying attached to his opponent. I think quite a few MMA guys would dominate in the old days (if they were transported by time machine back to those days) because they aren't only versed in one discipline like the old time guys were. Great review!

  7. Thanks Pat. The battle of styles was great in the early days of UFC but it makes sense that the guys are well versed in many disciplines these days.


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