This past week-end I attended two Ryron Gracie Seminars. Ryron is a 5th degree black belt, the Grand Son of Helio Gracie and Co- owner of the Gracie Academy. My friend Greg Gordon and I hosted Ryron at my school in Boise and I and several friends spent a 6 hour car ride with him for his second seminar at Pedro Sauer Black Belt Jared Emfield’s School in Idaho Falls Idaho.
It was quite an honor to spend the time with Ryron and get a better sense of his Jiu-Jitsu philosophy. We had a ton of questions for him ranging from what Grand Master Helio was like to the Metamoris Tournament to rolling with many famous people. It was a great time!
The one thing that I got out of these seminars besides some great moves was some validation of my Professor, Pedro Sauer’s brand of Jiu-Jitsu. Ryron uses the term “Keep it Playful” to describe his style of rolling. Professor Sauer has said the same thing many times to his students including feeling free to liberally tap when you want to and not having a death match or prove anything every time you roll. He also pointed out that you don’t have to always attack and you can merely defend until your opponent literally forces you to take a pass or a submission. Ryron and I are very similar in philosophy in that aspect. When I mentioned that to him he seemed a bit shocked like “Wow, not very many people are like that.”
Ryron likes to roll with people at his seminar and made it clear that he didn’t really care what your belt color was. I decided to step up and try my hand at rolling with a Gracie (Roy Dean did as well). The cool thing about Ryron was that he wasn’t afraid to tap to show case his skill at Keeping it Playful. He didn't really care.
I however, came out on the tapping end of this deal but watching us roll you can tell that we were trying our best to use the technique and the attitude of ” Keeping it Playful.” He and I could have turned it up another 50%, but really, why? We wanted to use the purest of technique we could and there is no way I’m going to insult a Gracie by using brute force to “try” to overcome technique. My only regret is that we didn’t train for another hour, it was so much fun!
The last thing I would like to say about Ryron is he is such a trash talker! I say that in a light -hearted way because he is trying to get into my head the whole time…that didn’t work…but I can see how it could for others. I‘ve been around the block a time or two and tried to verbally turn it around on him…Good Times!
Keith Owen vs. Ryron Gracie-Keepin it Playful!
At around the one minute mark you hear him say “take it” on my submission attempt. I say “I don’t want to”..lol
Keith Owen on Playing Jiu-Jitsu. Listen around the 8:15 mark to hear me talk about playing in Jiu-Jitsu from a seminar I did in June 2009. This is what Professor Sauer taught us and mirrors Ryron's philosophy.