GTR Archives 2000-2021


Jiu-Jitsu Books 


Roberto Pedreira











Global Training Report



Interview with

Helio Gracie, Royce Gracie, and Pedro Valente Jr.[1]

after Loss to Yoshida Hidehiko[2

August 28, 2002

Updated July 23, 2016

from SRSDX

October 10, 2002

 Translated by Roberto Pedreira


"I'm disappointed with Yoshida. The guy's a liar!!" [吉田に失望した!あいつはうそつきだ!] 

--Helio Gracie


[Note: a comment enclosed in brackets like these: [  ] indicates additional explanatory material provided by Roberto Pedreira.]


Helio: This newspaper came out today?  What the hell is this! First,  listen to what I want to say about yesterday's fight.

Q: Yes.

Helio: We regret the hasty decision given by the referee. Moreover, Yoshida lacked courage and morality.[3]

Q: Morality?

Helio:  Yoshida didn't admit the misjudgment by the referee. Royce wasn't unconscious at that time. Yoshida himself, he understood that well enough. and that's why I say he has no morality.  Can I  continue to talk? Unless the fight ends as a "No Contest",  I regret to say that we will consider the Japanese people to be unfair just like the referee. 

Q: All Japanese people!?

Helio: Yes. That's why I want the fight to be "no contest".

Pedro: And there is one more thing we want you to understand. An interview is acceptable, but Royce won't answer the questions. So either Helio or I will answer. 

Q: I understand. I also think the decision was a complete misjudgment. And....

Royce [Abruptly]: Can I ask you something?  What is written in this newspaper? [note: the newspaper in question stated in its headline on the front page that Yoshida killed Royce with a choke [ "よしだロイスを締め殺す”]. Don't you think that's strange?  This newspaper wrote that Yoshida won, didn't it? However,  all the reporters who came for an interview today admit that it was a misjudgment.  Then how come the article comes out like this?

Q: I think it's because at that time the decision was that you lost, so it was written like that. I think it must be regrettable for you.

Royce:  Hmmmmmmmm.

Q: But, after the fight, Yoshida said that he felt that the power was coming off from your body.

Royce: If Yoshida said that, he is a liar. That is only thing I can say about it. 

Q: Well then, you didn't pass out, right?

Pedro: (to Royce) I will answer it. The reason why Yoshida is a liar is that he tried to apply sleeve choke [袖車、sode guruma], but it was not a complete sleeve choke. He was just preparing for it. Royce was defending it. So at the moment when the referee stopped the fight, the choke was completely ineffective. 

Royce (to Pedro): Show them how the choke was [Below, Royce demonstrates how he was defending the sode guruma, showing that Yoshida's second hand was blocked from Royce's  throat, and thus he was in no danger].



Q:  After all, you couldn't be choked unconscious?

Pedro: That's exactly right. Royce was completely defending the choke. Even though the newspaper wrote that he was KOed unconsciously, such a stupid thing could never happen. After all, Royce immediately got up, didn't he? If he had really been unconscious, he couldn't have been expected to have gotten up like that. 

Q: Did you watch the video of yesterday's fight?

Pedro: I watched it.

Q: This is my impression of watching the video with my unprofessional eyes, but when Mr. Yoshida was applying the choke, the hand of Mr. Royce appeared to have lost its strength.

Pedro: That is completely wrong.  Because he was blocking Yoshida's hand.  In jiu-jitsu, power is not used. If it looked like Royce was out of power, it was because he was relaxing so that he could catch Yoshida's movement. 

Royce: In a fight there is a win and a defeat. But being said that I was defeated the way like this is past my endurance. I admitted my loss in the fight with Sakuraba, didn't I? Therefore,  I don't mean I'll never admit my loss. What is regrettable is I was compelled to be a loser by a misjudgment. I have pride.

Q: Does Mr. Helio think the same way?

Helio: Of course.

Q: With such a result, it is meaningless that the rule meeting was continued until one day before the fight, isn't it?

Pedro:  Regarding the rule meeting, there is something I want to say. Royce didn't demand any change in the rule. I want to make this point clear. What Royce has been emphasizing was that he wants to fight by the rules determined at the first contract. It was the promoter's side that wanted to change the rules. That is the truth. 

Q: I understand.  Apart from the outcome, what was your impression of fighting with Yoshida, a judo gold medalist? Was [his] judo strong?

Pedro: Yoshida was an Olympic champion and Royce was the UFC champion so I thought it would be a great fight. (Suddenly Royce tries to leave the room.)

Q: Oh, excuse me,  could you give us one word about your impression of Yoshida?

Royce: I don't want to hear anything about Yoshida. I am too excited to talk about him. At first I wanted Yoshida's autograph. Because I was a fan. But not any more.  I'm disappointed. He's a liar. (Royce leaves).

Q: Well then, Mr. Helio, how did you see Mr. Yoshida's judo?

Helio: He didn't do any judo at all, did he? He just seemed to try to be doing some bad jiu-jitsu.

Pedro: Yoshida tried to do a leg lock, but that technique isn't a judo technique, is it?

Helio: In the fight, Royce was the one attacking. Yoshida was only on defense, wasn't he?

Pedro: I think you can understand if you watch the video, but Royce grappled Yoshida at 7 seconds after the fight started and went for a leg lock at 10 seconds. Even looking at the entire fight, it developed in a manner that Royce attacked and Yoshida defended, didn't it? Except for his attempted leg lock, Yoshida didn't attack at any time.

Helio: Speaking clearly, Kimura, unlike Yoshida, came attacking me He was truly a man with courage and he was great as a human being too. Besides,  in the fight with Kimura, Carlos threw in the tower, and the referee asked me to make sure if it was OK with me. Everything was different from the fight this time. Kimura attacked, but Yoshida only defended. [4]

Q:  After the fight, Yoshida announced that he had confidence. Probably, he meant "this is all there is to Gracie jiu-jitsu?"

Pedro: Yoshida has confidence because the referee helped him. I think that's a shame. I don't think Yoshida could sleep well last night.

Q: Is it because Yoshida was lying about Royce being out?

Helio:  Right. In this fight. It is Yoshida who was afraid of losing in this fight..

Q: Concerning a rematch, do you insist that this first fight must be declared a "no contest"?

Pedro: Yes.

Helio: It was really unfair. If it is not declared "No contest" there won't be any next time, I think. We are at a loss to understand the promoter's judgment.

Pedro: In this situation, the Japanese people will never know the truth.

Q:  Therefore, don't you think a rematch is in order?

Pedro: First, it should be declared "no contest".  After that, we can think about it. 

Helio: Can I show you the choke now?  I want to show you what a real choke is. I'm so frustrated [kuyashii]. A man who has been made unconscious cannot quickly stand up. Even if he gets up, his mind will still be vague.. So that means that he [Royce] wasn't unconscious.

Pedro: I proclaim that "He was 100% conscious"

Q: Immediately after the "Stop", what did Royce say?

Pedro:  He turned to the referee and said "why did you stop it?", you know. "Why? why?" he said. 

Q: While grabbing Yoshida, Royce said something to the sponsor. What did he say? 

Pedro: He said that Yoshia should tell the truth to the referee. He said he wanted Yoshida to testify that it was a mistake. Yoshida was an Olympic champion, so he should have noticed the referee's mistake.. He wanted him to admit it honestly, but he didn't do it. It is disappointing. 

Q: The Yoshida team and the Gracie team seem to have completely opposing positions about this. 

Pedro: There are many opinions, but there is video now. If you watch it, everything will be clear. To an expert of kakutougi, when they watch the video, they will understand that Royce's claim is correct. This is what we are saying. Royce was defending the choke successfully. To repeat, the fight should be declared the improper result of the referee's misjudgment. And what we want to say to Yoshida is, "are you OK with this result?" Everyone! Please watch the video!"


Other Interviews and articles on GTR about Royce and Helio Gracie

Royce 1

Royce 2 

Royce 3


Royce & Rorion (explaining why Royce lost to Sakuraba

Helio Gracie talks about fight with Kimura)

Helio Gracie Playboy interview (talks about sex, street-fighting, beating up homosexuals, and jiu-jitsu)

(c) 2002, Roberto Pedreira. all rights reserved.

Revised May 12, 2015.

Revised July 23, 2016. Picture, notes, and minor clarifications added.




1. Pedro's name is written Pedoro Barento (ペドロバレント). He is actually Pedro Valente Jr., whose father was a student of Helio Gracie.

2. Yoshida's name is written in katakana, as ヨシダ, rather than in kanji, 吉田, in order to give the impression that non-Japanese people are saying it because foreign language words (other than Chinese) are written in katakana. When the interviewer refers to Yoshida, Yoshida's name is written in kanji, 吉田. Even writing a native Japanese word, or newly coined word (a product name, for example) in katakana rather than kanji (or hiragana) gives Japanese readers a sense that there is something Western about it, perhaps that it is more logical or scientific for example. If we gave matched samples of Japanese people the names of various drugs along with  descriptions of their intended therapeutic effects, some written in katakana, presented to sample 1, the same products written in kanji presented to sample 2, respondents would generally assume that the former were  products of Western laboratories, while the latter were traditional oriental medicines.

3. Similarly to the point above, the word courage is written in kanji, 勇気 but "morality" is written in katakana, モラル, partly (it seems) to give the impression that there is something foreign about the concept. Helio's original Portuguese expression wasn't included but it was probably "moralidade", which for Helio generally meant "manliness." There is a Japanese word for morality [道徳] but because it derives from Confucianism (儒教) Japanese readers would wonder what it had to do with ring fighting. It such cases, translators often simply write the foreign word as is, in katakana. The translator didn't do that with 勇気 because 勇気 means just about what coragem (which is undoubtedly what Helio said) means in Portuguese.

4. Similarly to the above, when Helio mentioned Kimura, Kimura's name is written in katana、キムラ. Otherwise it is written in kanji, 木村政彦.



 Gracie in Action and  GJJ instructional dvds can be ordered below: