Royce began competing in tournaments at age eight. He received his blue belt at age 16 and was promoted to black belt in less than two years. Royce moved to the United States at age 18 to live with his brother, Rorion. Together they opened the Gracie Jiu- Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California.
Royce’s career as a professional fighter began in 1993 after defeating three opponents in the first ever ‘Ultimate Fighting Championship’ (UFC). Here he showed Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world. Discipline after discipline was defeated by the slight 6’1”, 180 pound Royce Gracie. The viewers were in awe. His opponents consistently outweighed him by more than 50 pounds. He went on to win 3 UFC titles, and today is the only man in the history of no holds barred matches to successfully defeat four opponents in one night.
The Academy is an official Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu affiliate. We run adult classes on Wednesdays and a Saturday morning mixed kids and adults class. Kids class runs from 10.00am-11.00am, adults 11.00am-12.30pm. Principle instruction comes from Head Instructor Jon Hegan, who received his black belt personally from UFC legend Royce Gracie in 2013, after completing the infamous Valente Brothers Black Belt Test. The first ever person from the UK to have taken the test. In 2016, Jon was awarded his ‘Professor’ bar by Royce, and in 2017 was promoted to 1st degree. It can take a minimum of 8-10 years of consistent training to earn a black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. However, you are encouraged to,
‘Seek the knowledge, not the belt.‘
Professor Pedro Valente
Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a highly developed grappling and self-defence art, which emphasises the use of throws, joint locks and chokes over striking an opponent. We still use strikes, if needed though. Making it an all round self-defence system.
The original Grandmaster Helio Gracie belt system was developed to reward students who practice Jiu-Jitsu on and off the mat. The different levels represented by the colours blue, purple, brown and black recognise the gradual development of Jiu-Jitsu in a person. The various ranks of Jiu-Jitsu are awarded to students upon attainment of knowledge and through performance, as evidenced through many areas of the student’s life. These include technical knowledge, training frequency, ability to perform techniques under resistance, positive attitude, and overall conduct. As a Royce Gracie affiliate, belts can only be awarded by Royce or a black belt instructor. It is important to note that in keeping with Grandmaster Helio’s teaching, a belt, even the black, does not entitle a practitioner to teach. To ensure the high standard of instruction of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Jon trains each year privately with Royce Gracie in the UK, and for a week at the annual affiliate gathering in Miami at the Valente Brothers Academy.
Adults fees are paid by Direct Debit fees are as follows:
A Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu start up package for adults is available to new students and includes:
Package price £199
Our Saturday morning kids class gives your child the opportunity to:
Through our program your child’s concentration, coordination and fitness level will increase.What we offer is a sport and self defence program specifically designed for children. The program focuses on improving children’s listening and motor skills. These skills can help them enter society with more confidence and enthusiasm. There are eight major skills we focus on when training children. Those skills are: Focus, control, balance, memory, discipline, fitness and coordination. Each class we will cover one of these skills with a wide variety of activities that are fun and at the same time educational. All skills are taught in a safe and supervised environment.
Children’s fees are paid by Direct Debit fees are as follows: