Royce announced to the world on January 29, 2009 the passing of hs father, Helio Gracie.
Today,my father, Helio Gracie, passed on at the age of 95. I am honored to be the son of such a great man! He was an inspiration to me throughout my life. As a Grandmaster of Jiu-Jitsu and the father of "Vale Tudo" he brought Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the forefront of martial arts. He was a man of small stature but his heart was that of a giant. He proved with Gracie Jiu-Jitsu that even a small man could overcome a bigger stronger opponent by using leverage and technique. He was truly an innovator. Just look around and you can see how his success gave birth to the sport of mixed martial arts that we all enjoy today.
Many of you may think that the greatest thing my father ever gave me was Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. But I want all of you to know that I will remember him most for what he taught me off the mat. He taught me how to be a man, a husband and a father. He showed me how to be honorable, respectful and diligent. He taught me how to be a whole person.
I ask that together we celebrate the remarkable life of my father, Helio Gracie. The greatest tribute you can to pay to my father is to continue to train and share Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, remembering to never lose sight of the fact that what you do off the mat counts more than what you do on the matt. Face life's challenges with confidence, dare to pursue your dreams and live to the fullest just as my father did.
God bless us all!