BJJ as a sport and as a martial art attracts the attention of many people from all walks of life. Most of them keep practicing BJJ as a hobby in their spare time. They get better with time, but they are no world-class material. That being said, there are some practitioners that fall in love with the art as soon as they first step foot on the mats. Many of these people end up becoming BJJ world-class experts and some of them even attain legendary status in the game. And one of the BJJ’s greatest of all time is definitely Roger Gracie. He recently – much to the dismay of BJJ fans around the world – retired from professional competition in BJJ. That being said, there are several reasons as to why he may be considered as the greatest of all time.
Why is Roger Gracie G.O.A.T in Jiu-Jitsu
He’s fought and beat some of the best in the game.
BJJ is a highly volatile game. Most people would say that their records are “win some, lose some”. It takes another kind of skill and dedication to the game to only attain wins. Well, Roger Gracie has beat some of the world’s leading practitioners in BJJ. Among them are world-class names like that of Buchecha, Jacare Souza, and Xande Ribeiro. He beat all of them by way of submission – not by points, so there is no argument as to the skill he wields in the game. As a recent example – there’s his battle with BJJ legend Marcus Almeida “Buchecha”. It was a highly publicized bout as the two of them had a bit of a rivalry as the sport’s biggest names. After a somewhat lengthy begging of the match in which they struggled to take the match to the ground – Roger managed to take Buchecha’s back and choke him out.
He uses the simplest BJJ techniques with a devastating efficiency.
You may expect to see that Roger Gracie’s arsenal consists of dozens of different over-the-top techniques. But this isn’t really the case. He has mastered a few of the simplest and most plain-looking techniques and implements them well in his battles. One of his patented chokes is the cross-collar choke from the mount positions. It’s often said that this is a devastating move and that once Roger gets into the mount, it’s very difficult to get away from there. Many people believe that, as your skill advances in BJJ, it’s natural and even necessary to start implementing flashier techniques in your game. Well, Roger Gracie proves that the reverse of this is the case.
He was never submitted during competition.
Truth be told, Roger Gracie has had some losses in his professional career. But you can count them on the fingers of your hand – and his wins are in the dozens. That being said, for the few times he has lost in his professional career he has never been submitted. Again, this is very much unlike what practically all the other BJJ practitioners have experienced. Even the top names in the game have registered some losses in their careers by way of submissions. But Roger Gracie seems impossible to submit – and this is one of the many reasons for his legendary status in the game.
He has a complete game.
The Gracies are known as the forefront pioneers of the martial art of BJJ. They have developed it into a system and they have popularized it around the world – in big way through Royce and Rickson’s exploits. That being said, the Gracie system, if developed properly, can be impenetrable to other competitors. Case in point – Roger Gracie. He has the most complete Gracie jiu-jitsu knowledge that we have set eyes on. The way he uses certain techniques and he attains better positions and escapes from inferior positions is simply impossible to grasp. To that end, Roger Gracie is one of the few BJJ practitioners that has a complete game.
His jiu-jitsu is a pleasure to be seen.
Most of us are used to seeing clunky jiu-jitsu on the mats where we train. Even many of the instructors in BJJ schools can’t really say that they have top-level jiu-jitsu skills. One of the biggest elements that show how good someone’s jiu-jitsu actually is – is how good does it look on the mats. And we’re not talking about how good it looks when a black belt is toying with a beginner white belt. We’re talking when a true black belt of BJJ is in competition against another BJJ black belt.
This is the true way to see if someone’s jiu-jitsu stands the test of skills. Roger Gracie’s jiu-jitsu is a pleasure to be seen – even when he competes against the other masters of the world. He has such fluidity of motion and skill that it looks like something out of this world. Just watch some of his many fights against the top competitors of the world and you will see what we’re talking about immediately.
Roger Gracie World Class Coach and Competitor
So, there are many competitors that can be considered as world-class. However, if there is one man that we can pinpoint as the greatest of all time – it would have to be Roger Gracie. And there are several reasons as to why we believe this is the case – several more than the ones that we have mentioned in the list below.
The best way to get an introduction to this man’s life work is to actually sit down and watch some of his matches. You will get to learn a lot just by looking at him – and your appreciation of the martial art of BJJ will dramatically increase as a direct result to this. Moreover, he’s retired from professional competition – but this doesn’t mean he’s retired from BJJ altogether. He still holds classes for people eager to learn in his academy in London. Your best bet is to actually come and visit and learn from BJJ’s greatest athlete in the history.
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