15 Feb 2005

Meeting a legend

Last night Royce Gracie came down to take the mat and it was a great seminar. What amazed me most was two things. Firstly, for a man who makes his living by smashing huge opponents to pieces, he is remarkably devoid of any ego or pretension. Just a normal bloke who is mad about martial arts like the rest of us. He was happy to chat, offer advise and correct our awful technique.
The second thing I really admired was that the techniques he showed us were incredibly simple. They progressed and built up into a nice sequence covering attacks, defences, counters and counters to counters. They could be used in sport BJJ, no rules NHB or self defence. In all the techniques, Royce demonstrated some clever use of the body to lever, fake or manoeuvre the opponent to your advantage. It was priceless stuff but again, nothing here a complete beginner (and there were quite a few non-BJJ students last night) could not perform themselves.

It was also a surreal evening. One chap brought his young son along so there was Royce, a fighting legend explaining the secrets of his mastery, and some little toddler is running around playing Ninja turtles completely oblivious to everything going around. There was also an odd chap that no-one seemed to know. I can only describe him as being a bit of a ‘geezer’ – mixed with a smattering Tourettes - very loud and boisterous. Royce showed great humour by handling his outbursts eloquently. At one point the man took great offence to another in the crowd who appeared to mock him and there was much eyeballing and chest puffing. I don’t know, all this excess testosterone, the calmest man on the mat seemed to be Royce himself!

Anyway, I think I’ve improved a few things thanks to Royce and can take away a couple of nice techniques to add to my slim armoury. I also shamelessly queued up for autographs, photos and branded merchandise like some little kid at a movie premier.
There is talk of getting younger brother, and grappling sensation Royler Gracie down soon – another must-see seminar if that ever happens.

This is one damned happy Meerkat right now.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Anonymous said...

I was proud and pleased to be part of the event. Furthermore, Royce's dedication and personnality has certainly touched all of us and I felt very honoured to exchange some words in French with him, telling me that he practices kickboxing with his friend who is an intructor in France. Not only the legend is a master in his art but he can speak fluent French!!
My girlfriend was really delighted to have such an exceptional Valentine's present this year.
We are more than ready for the coming of Royler....

slideyfoot said...

Cool - a youthful white belt Meerkatsu with an almost entirely unblingified gi. :)

Meerkatsu said...

I miss that MKimonos gi - shrank too much :(


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