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Monday, February 02, 2015

No Holds Barred: Rose Gracie on Gracie Nationals 2015, Education, and Sugar 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Rose Gracie.

Our main topic was the latest edition of the Gracie Nationals.

This submission-only grappling event will take place Saturday, February 7, and Sunday, February 8, as part of TheFitExpo. The location is the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California 90015.

A gi tournament will be held Saturday while a no-gi tournament will be held Sunday. Men, women, teens, and kids are all welcome to participate.

Besides various seminars including one by Renzo Gracie, there will be two no-time-limit, submission-only superfights. In these, Javier Vazquez will face Garry Tonon, and Denny Prokopos will face Eddie Cummings.

The event will also pay homage to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and MMA fighter Joe Camacho, who passed away in December 2013 at the age of 41.

We spoke with Rose Gracie by phone Sunday.

"I'm excited for one more time to be leading the way for the submission-only movement. That's what we call it now, where matches are ended by a submission only," she said.

In the tournaments, before the finals, and because of the large number of competitors, 15-minute time limits have been put in place. If there is no submission when time expires, both competitors are eliminated from the tournament. Thus, she said, "It works as a qualifier for the actual final match."

The finals of each tournament have no time limits.

"The two competitors go against each other with no time limit, no points, no advantages, until somebody actually submits," she said. "So we have matches that go very quickly, because their mentality once that is going on is very different, but we have matches that go on a very, very long time. So it's just a fun and more exciting way to watching these matches."

The only exceptions are the kids' tournaments, where no winners are declared, the competitors are sometimes restarted in positions to try to make the matches more competitive, and all kids receive first-place medals.

The idea is that they "cater to the whole family."

Plans are also being made to post live streams of the superfights and black belt matches, with details to be finalized shortly.

We discussed the thinking behind these submission-only events, which she emphasized is carrying on the legacy of her late grandfather, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu co-founder Helio Gracie.

Besides being passionate about continuing in the traditions of her family by putting on these submission-only events, Rose Gracie is passionate about fighting to reverse the wretched state of the American educational system and its failure to teach students how to think. We discussed that at length, including her own experiences dealing with the bureaucracies in her daughters' schools.

In addition, she is also passionate about the health dangers created by the dangerously high amounts of added sugar in so many common foods and beverages in the typical American diet. Diseases such as obesity and diabetes are rampant in America, including among the youth. Many of these problems can be dealt with simply by changing one's eating habits. Thus, she is engaged in a battle to eliminate junk and sugary foods and beverages from what is served to children in many schools.

And we discussed the plans for holding several more of these tournaments this year, the background of many competitors in them, getting the word out on these events, and much more.

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