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Sunday, April 14, 2013
In one sense, Rose Gracie is considered sort of jiu-jitsu royalty, as the granddaughter of the legendary Helio Gracie and the daughter of UFC co-founder Rorion Gracie. But in another sense, she is sort of a rebel, insisting that the jiu-jitsu tournaments she organizes have matches that can only be won by submissions, with no points or judges.
This rule set she describes as "the real jiu-jitsu" which her grandfather did.
Her next tournament is the 2013 Gracie Worlds.
This event is scheduled for June 29-30 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, California 95054, and is being held in conjunction with The FitExpo - Santa Clara. The gi tournament will take place Saturday, June 29, followed by the no-gi tournament Sunday, June 30, with kids' and adults' divisions both days.
We spoke with Rose Gracie by phone Tuesday about the 2013 Gracie Worlds and what she is trying to accomplish.
It was certainly clear from our discussion that her motivations are quite different from most people who run combat sports events.
"You don't always have to do something to gain money from it," she said in this interview. "You gain a lot more by changing somebody's life than you would do by making the money. And when certain people understand how important that is, they change the way they think. It's a lot more rewarding to me to go feed the homeless and give homeless kids presents for Christmas than it is for me to get my own gift."
Teaching children "the right thing to do," protecting the athletes' health and safety, and eventually establishing a non-profit Rose Gracie Foundation are also among the goals of her approach to jiu-jitsu.
We also discussed why she believes that a "rebirth of jiu-jitsu" is needed, how this submission-only format produces matches which are both exciting and easy to understand, the real relation of jiu-jitsu and MMA, the special need to train women and children in jiu-jitsu, and much more in this lengthy discussion.
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