Mixed martial arts legend and pioneer Royce Gracie came to the Capital Jiu-Jitsu Club in Arlington, Virginia near Washington DC yesterday in order to conduct a seminar as part of his Royce Gracie seminar network. He kindly gave us some insight into the skills that placed Gracie Jiu-Jitsu on the map and also granted us some time to conduct a brief interview.
MMAWeekly: So, Royce, what brings you to Capital Jiu-Jitsu?
Royce Gracie: The club is part of the Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Network, and I am here to conduct a seminar. I normally spend six months of the year conducting seminars and have just returned from running seminars in England. I usually run two seminars here a year, but the club is also used to seeing Rodrigo.
MMAWeekly: Regarding Rodrigo, what are your thoughts on his loss [to Shungo Oyama] and the loss of Crosley [to Melvin Manhoef] this past weekend?
Royce Gracie: It is difficult. They are back now, and we have talked about it, but unless you get in and fight, you never know what will happen.
MMAWeekly: Whilst being undeniable pioneers, do you feel that the sport of MMA is evolving out of the reach of the Gracies?
Royce Gracie: No. We are the leaders. We started this. There are a lot of fighters coming up who will continue the Gracie name.
MMAWeekly: At nearly 40 years of age, how long do you feel you want to compete in MMA?
Royce Gracie: I will still compete. I just want to see my family grow and look after my children.
MMAWeekly: Are you under contract to K-1 or the UFC? Do you have any fights lined up?
Royce Gracie: I have a contract with K-1, and I am due to fight on the K-1 New Year's Eve show in Japan.
MMAWeekly: Do you have an opponent?
Royce Gracie: No.
MMAWeekly: Anyone you want to fight?
Royce Gracie: Been there, done that. I will fight anybody as long as they are not a loser.
MMAWeekly: Do you want a rematch with Matt Hughes?
Royce Gracie: Of course
MMAWeekly: Are you in negotiations with the UFC to make this fight happen?
Royce Gracie: We are talking to them. We shall see.
MMAWeekly: Touching on Hughes, did you learn anything from the fight? Did he surprise you?
Royce Gracie: No, we knew what he was planning to do. We worked out his gameplan before the fight, and he did exactly what we expected. I over-trained for the fight. That was all. I started training too much, too hard, for too long. He did exactly what we expected.
MMAWeekly: With the training for the fight, who did you work with for stand-up?
Royce Gracie: Fairtex.
MMAWeekly: Did you adjust your training specifically for Hughes? Did you bring in any wrestlers to roll with?
Royce Gracie: No, we only trained with Fairtex outside of our team.
MMAWeekly: Did you not feel that training with a strong wrestling camp would have benefited you?
Royce Gracie: No.
MMAWeekly: What would you do differently?
Royce Gracie: Not over-train.
MMAWeekly: Final couple of questions, as I know you have to leave shortly. Can you tell me how you train during the year? Is it full MMA, or mainly Gracie Jiu-Jitsu unless you have a fight lined up?
Royce Gracie: I train MMA always; always striking; always GJJ.
MMAWeekly: Even when running seminars, you still find time to train MMA?
Royce Gracie: Yes.
MMAWeekly: Finally, you are running seminars in the US at the moment. When are you next planning to return to Europe?
Royce Gracie: In February, I shall be in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Italy. We will be looking at adding more places to the list, but for more details, keep looking at the website www.roycegracie.tv
MMAWeekly: Thank you for your time, Royce, and we look forward to seeing you fight at the end of the year.
Royce Gracie: You're welcome. Thank you.