I'm stunned. The family always marketed GJJ as the martial art that allowed a smaller man to beat a bigger one with technique and leverage without relying on strength. I never would have thought Royce would risk tarnishing his family's image by juicing.
There are a a few threads on the UG forum about this but I'm curious to hear the opinions of BJJ students. How does this change your opinion of Royce?
I'm totally disappointed. I'm one of those guys that totally buys into bjj as a means for the less athletic guy to control a physical confrontation against a stronger guy via superior technique. Although I don't, for example, follow the Gracie diet (and never plan to), I bought into the idea that if one were to commit to such a thing, one would be in better health and a better fighter. On the main board, everyone is saying "what's the big deal, all fighters juice, etc, etc." Nonetheless, it's never something I thought Royce would succumb to. This just says to me that Royce has no confidence in his jiu-jitsu anymore (maybe rightfully so, after the Matt Hughes debacle). I'm rambling here, but I'm just really disappointed. I'm sure many of my favorite bjj black belt competitors are juicers, but with Royce, it's somehow different. The worst part is, he totally lost that fight, and it should have been a unanimous decision for Sakuraba, IMO.
Without UFCs 1-4 I never would have gotten into this mess. I don't really even have a problem with steroids in most sports, like if you told me barry sanders was on the juice, I'd be kinda bummed for a split second and then not care anymore. I'm sure it's more prevalent in MMA than we'd like to think, but that's just reality. Some of our favorite fights of all time have probably been steroid fueled, that doesn't really make them any less fun to watch.
With all that said, steroids go completely against the philosphy of gracie/brazilian jiu jitsu. The whole point of jiu jitsu is to use leverage and technique to overcome a stronger, larger opponent. After a few years in the game, you start to apply that philosophy to your daily life as well. Something about using the juice when you are supposed to be the living embodyment of that philosophy just makes me feel a little cheated.
lol at Fredrico - Fatbuddha checking in, no need for the suicide watch...let me just say that Royce strayed from his roots trying to become a modern mma'er with his kickboxing, new agressiveness, etc. and playing with new rules that completely made impossible his original strategy of cooking his opponent and instead having to push the action using strength and power. To me, a Fairtex kickboxer took steriods, not the Royce I know from UFC 1-4 who imo was a better fighter anyway
This is messed up. It's actually kind of sad. The way I see it is this - with modern MMA rules being what they are, there is no way for Royce to win...thus, the almost desperate use of steroids and attempting to play "catch up" to all the other modern MMA'ers just because he wants to continue competing rather than retire and turn the corner from fighter to full-time teacher/coach.
Royce is still the man, IMO. Introduced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world thru UFC 1-5 by beating bigger, stronger opponents.
That being said, MMA is different now and I don't blame any athlete for attempting to obtain an advantage. As far as BJJ goes though, Royce is far from the best in the family and I have noticed that his students that I have rolled against tend to use a lot of muscle. Just my opinion.
I was thinking the same thing, but it's interesting to say "with modern MMA rules being what they are, there is no way for Royce to win" I think this is due to his blindly following his family's (Rorian's ?) propaganda that GJJ was all you needed...no cross training in other arts or hardcore conditioning.
I agree that it seems he took steroids to try to play catch up for all the years of inefficient and incomplete training.
I don't think it's Royce Gracie's fault. Think about it how is he going to keep up? Now you have National level wrestlers with purple belts in BJJ. He's going to need some kind of Juice to keep up with that.
After I heard the news I sent this e-mail out to my students:
(FRAT - sorry)
A Sad Day
I remember when I started Jiu-Jitsu I thought the art was magic. It
fullfilled the promise of the martial arts, to allow a smaller and weaker
person to win against a bigger and stronger fighter by using leverage,
balance, and intelligence.
When I saw Royce Gracie choke out Dan Sevrn with a triangle choke despite
being 80 pounds lighter, I thought it was the greatest achievment in all
Royce Gracie was my idol. I admired his courage - he would fight monsters
despite being about as muscular as my sister. I was a small teenager when
I started Jiu-Jitsu and I would get crushed when I first started, but I
always knew if Royce could do it - I could do it.
Royce never showed fear before his fights because he had faith in the
effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu. He preached technique over strength and
patience over force. He led a clean lifestyle, completely free of drugs,
alcohol, or performance enhancers. I tried my best to take his
philosophies to heart and model my Jiu-Jitsu and in many ways my life
after his example.
Recently Royce avenged his first loss in MMA against the infamous Kazushi
Sakuraba. The fight wasn't all that exciting, but seeing Royce's arms
raised in victory reminded me of when I was 14 and first saw a skinny guy
in a gi choke out Ken Shamrock. What a great way to end a legendary
I found out today that Royce's post fight exam revealed his was using the
anabolic steroid Nandrolone
(http://www.sherdog.com/news/news.asp?n_id=7908). I'm still in shock,
everything that Royce stood for has crumbled to the ground for me. I feel
like Royce lost his faith in Jiu-Jitsu, he followed a path that he
vehemently denounced. What happened? Royce was better than this, smarter
than this, he didn't need this to win - it goes against all of his
principles and teachings.
So tonight my hero died. Royce Gracie sold out and a big part of me will
never be the same.
I just assume that just about every fighter takes steroids, ESPECIALLY that guys that are 40+. It's unrealistic to think that these guys can maintain the training schedule they do and still build muscle.
The sooner we acknowledge how widespread it is in the sport the sooner we can stop acting shocked when someone tests positive and start dealing with the actual problem.
Royce Gracie sold out. What a sad day. We all knew elite wrestlers, elite judokas and you name have all been caught using roids... Royce you and your family were like Final Frontier. Final stronghold for people who does not resort to cheap tricks and go where the fence is lowest. But then you went and sold out.
Plain and simple. I am shocked.
How about you all put your differences aside and get the whole Gracie clan together and train like you used in the old days. You know... Like you all used to train together with Rickson, Rorion, Royler, Relson etc. Best training ever and ultimate way to sharpen your technique.
BUT NO NO AND NO
Instead of that you all have foolish ego's and can not get over some stupid disputes. Instead of that YOU SOLD OUT!
Ok whatever. I am going to go train BJJ (not GJJ ;) tonight like I train every night of the week and I'll still tap those guys who use roids (yeah there are some of those who come to my club to train but they just tap tap tap).
Seriously I refuse to believe that Randy Couture uses roids until proven otherways.
99% of big name MMA fighters have at least 1 time used steroids. Just cause they all don't look like it doesn't mean they haven't. Many of them take a little bit for recovery, others take a lot and it's more obvious.
I'm shocked people think that Randy hasn't. To me it tarnishes nothing. It is a major part of all pro sports. Once in a while someone gets caught or it becomes a media focus. But then there is a media lull and people think steroids went away or something. They are constantly present in pro sports.