On August 10th, ETC Denver hosted a small seminar taught by IBJJF Hall of Famer Professor Roger Gracie. Roger is the grandson of Carlos Gracie, and became a black belt under his uncle, Carlos Gracie, Jr., in 2004. He is widely considered the best BJJ player of all time, and hasn’t been finished in a competition since his days as a blue belt. He currently holds a record of 74-8, including wins at some of the biggest Jiu Jitsu competitions in the world. He is a fourteen-time world champion, with twelve of these victories earned since receiving his black belt.
See him in action:
Professor Easton has known Roger since his time living in Brazil in the ’90s, when Roger was a teenager. When Professor Easton heard that Roger would be coming to Colorado to teach another seminar, he invited him to teach one at ETC, and Roger gladly accepted. The seminar was open to purple belts and above, and was capped at 20 attendees. The event included an hour of technique and an hour of training.
While many world-class BJJ black belts will use complex and advanced techniques to finish opponents, Roger is well known for the simplicity of his game. Between 2009 and 2010 Worlds, he won 13 out of 14 black belt matches with techniques that are familiar to most white belts. During his seminar, he taught fundamental techniques, including a sweep, back take, and an armbar from closed guard, and a lapel choke and armbar from the back. Soft-spoken and analytical in his approach, Roger showed each technique in minute detail, explaining everything step-by-step, and emphasizing the importance of perfect execution. During the training portion, he showcased the effectiveness of simplicity–even when his attacks are obvious, it is incredibly difficult for even black belts to defend them. His style is incontrovertible evidence that good fundamentals truly are the essence of good Jiu Jitsu.