A well-known mixed martial artist made an appearance in Port Alberni last month.
Royce Gracie was at Dragon Martial Arts Academy on Aug. 20-21 for a two-day skills seminar. Royce Gracie is a retired professional mixed martial artist, a UFC hall of famer and a member of the famed Gracie family, known for their development of Brazilian or Gracie jiu-jitsu as a system of self-defence.
The seminar was open to all genders and ages. Participants came from both Dragon Martial Arts Academy and affiliate schools.
Gracie said the seminar was made up of “mostly self-defence” moves.
“I believe martial arts was made for you to learn how to defend yourself,” he explained. “For you to be able to avoid confrontation. I’ll show the moves in different situations and they practice.”
Since the early 2000s, Gracie has been visiting Dragon Martial Arts Academy academy in Port Alberni annually to teach some hands-on workshops. Gracie says his favourite part of the annual seminar is watching students improve each year.
“I will leave, and a year from now I’ll come back and see people who are here today,” he said. “I’ll see how much they’ve improved. That’s the best part, for me.”
Gracie also presented several students with promotions at the end of the workshop on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Dragon Martial Arts Academy is one of the only dojos in Canada certified to teach the Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Network curriculum. Instructor Warren Lee was only the fourth person in Canada to receive a black belt in Gracie jiu-jitsu.