& Rorion Gracie
Kakutogi Tsushin November 6, 2000, No. 254
by Mr. Anzai & Mr. Kubo at Hilton Hotel, Tokyo on May 2
Translated by Yoko Kondo
of all, how are you feeling today, one day after the fight?
I am feeling very good. It was a good fight. I think Sakuraba
fought with his style using intelligence.
Do you appreciate him as a warrior?
In the position that you were lying down while he was standing
up, you were trying to stand up because he never got into the ground.
Didnft you expect him to get into the ground?
really. It didnft matter to me. All I was going to do was to fight
with him in whatever position , standing or lying down.
you mean his strategy, avoiding ground fight,
didnft make you upset?
No way. I thought he was a smart guy.
How about being turned over or pulled down your gi?
I just thought itfs one of his strategies.
He tried to even take off your underwear.
he seemed to do anything he could do for his victory.
The spectators were excited with it, but honestly speaking it was
the last thing I wanted to see in Vale Tudo.
Royce: He was
wearing tights, so I couldnft hold or take them off according to the
rule. But he did. It made me confused about the rule.
Donft you think Sakuraba should be ashamed of himself for
trying to pull down your gi?
No, he really didnft mean it. He just
pretended to do so.
In the middle of the first round, he tried to get you in arm lock
in a standing battle next to the rope.
No problem. I knew he was trying to make it, but he didnft
catch the right point.
While he was trying to give you knee lock on your left leg in the
end of the first round, you were getting out of it by pushing his butt
with your right leg.
He caught me for two seconds, but I got out of it by maneuvering.
It looked like you were covering your left leg a little bit since
the 2nd round.
No, not really. Everything was OK.
It looked painful when you were kicked with low kick.
There was no problem until I got hurt on the left instep in the
last round. In the 6th round, when I was lying down on my
back, he kicked twice exactly the same place of my left instep.
There was a scene in the 6th round, when you were
standing alone close to your corner without fixing your gi which was
unkempt, that you turned back and turned your eyes on Rorion below you.
What was on your mind at that time?
I told them that my leg hurt.
Did you come up with the idea of stopping the fight then?
No, I just told them about the pain. I wanted to make them
understand the condition that my leg was so painful that I couldnft
move as they demanded. I decided to stop the fight when I got back to
the corner after the 6th round.
Who decided to throw in the towel after all?
(laughing) No mass communication skip this question. Royce said
that his leg was painful, so my father and I discussed it and came to
the decision to stop it. If I had asked him to fight in the next round, he
would have done it, I am sure. But it is not right to
make him do it under that condition.
did you think about it yourself?
My leg was really painful, and I couldnft walk. So I just asked
them what they thought. I would have fought with him
if they had asked me.
Some people simply pointed out the legend that the Gracie family
never gives up.
The Gracie family wonft give up, but at the same time we are
But throwing in the towel means ggive-uph, doesnft it?
It is not a right decision to continue the fight more than that.
We temporarily did ggive-uph that day for further fight to come at a
different time. You shouldnft mix courage with stubbornness.
Then do you accept yesterdayfs fight with Sakuraba as a defeat?
Of course. There is no excuse. Sakuraba was the winner.
If he had not met me in the first match, he would have become the
champion in the tournament.
Do you want to fight with him again?
Do you already have a strategy to defeat him in the next fight?
Your life would be over if you knew it. (laughing)
Are you going to continue to insist on special rules for
There are some I want to ask the promoter for, but itfs a small
Your claims, no time-limit and no decision by judge, are
understandable. But many difficulties will be coming up under the
tournament with eight participants.
Even so, I think we should stick to that way. You
have been watching UFC in the early time, havenft you?
But, nowadays fightersf quality is going up to the almost equal
extent with each other. The level of fighters is
quite different from that in the early time.
It doesnft mean the fighters are better. Itfs
just because nobody knew about jiu-jitsu before. Even Ken Shamrock was
defeated by Royce in one minute in the first UFC.
Right. So you're am saying the situation is completely different
Yes, itfs because everybody learned jujitsu. Maybe there are
some who donft want to admit it, but everybody has started to take
jujitsu technique into the fight by learning jujitsu.
Regarding yesterdayfs fight, however, jujitsu technique did not
necessarily lead him to victory.
Sakurabafs kicks, which hurt Roycefs leg, are not the one,
but knee-lock in the first round originally came from jujitsu. Moreover
I suppose that he could read Roycefs movement because of a
well-preparation for jujitsu. He could defend himself or deliver a
counter blow by predicting what Royce was trying to do.
Well then, what if somebody says that jujitsu is not a best
fighting art any more, and submission wrestling is better than that?
I canft agree with it. Jujitsu is best.
Everybody improved technique by learning jujitsu. Roycefs
loss last night doesnft mean jujitsu is inferior to it.
How is your feeling about yesterdayfs loss? Sad?
I am sad, but itfs not a type of heart-rending sorrow.
I did a good fight. He kicked the right place
and I could not keep on fighting any more at that time. He
deserves to be a winner.
The 90-minute long fight was so great in terms of quality.
Both of you really did a good fight. But it is very sad to see
that some of Japanese people focus on only the result, Japanese Sakuraba
won and Gracie lost.
That is human. We, ourselves, are just human.
(shrugging shoulders as though to express that it canft be helped).
I am glad to hear that. We want to spread
jujitsu to Japan. We donft say that we are born superior to others as
a human or we are physically stronger. But jujitsu is
great. The point is that even a weak man can defeat a
strong man, if you learn. I want them to show their
appreciation for our work on spreading jujitsu, not their hatred for us.
There are some people who understand it. But
it was your fault that you started to claim a change in the rule in the
process of the tournament. You should have proposed a
rule based on your own policy before the fight with Takada.
Yes, right. I am sorry for that. But
I thought after the fight with Takada that the rule should be more clear
and easier to understand. The fight with a man who
had no fighting spirit was decided by judges. Itfs
ridiculous! That should have been judged as a TKO loss of Takada. I
claim a fair and right result. That is a point I
especially want to emphasize when I look at the reality that a small guy
(Royce) has to defeat a big guy (Takada).
2000, Yoko Kondo, all rights reserved.
@**These are where it
started. The basic GJJ technique tapes are still worth seeing not least
of all to learn from Rorion's clear, logical explanations. And the GIA
tapes never get old.
You can order below.