UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie is Heading to Plymouth
"Why on earth is Royce Gracie coming to Plymouth?" I hear you say, granted it's a far cry from his native Brazil or even the bright lights of Vegas. Well the winner of the UFC 1, 2 & 4 tournaments will be taking a seminar in under a month's time, so I'll step back and let Danny Macmillan of Macmillan Martial Arts Academy tell you all that you need to know....
AddictedMMA: Hi Danny, It's good to catch up again. I understand you've got a very famous face doing a seminar for you in Plymouth soon!
Spill the beans....
Danny: Hi Steve it's great to catch up with you again too. We've bumped in to each other a lot recently haven't we, your definitely the busiest man in MMA (laughs)...and yes we have a very famous face for sure, MMA Legend and UFC Hall of famer Royce Gracie , we are very lucky and honoured to have him do a second seminar for us, the last one was July last year. The seminar will take place on Wednesday 3rd April 7pm till 10pm at the Plymouth Life Centre.
AddictedMMA: So now we know that UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie is in town tell us how your club first started its affiliation with Royce?
Danny: Well I first trained with Royce in 2004 at a seminar in Great Yarmouth and every time he has visited the UK I have travelled to train with him, mostly at Tony Bebbington's Academy in Liverpool and it was only last year at a seminar at Andy Roberts Academy in Farnborough we decided it was time to Affiliate to the Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu Network.
The journey so far as been amazing, I've travelled a lot, some of the places I have been include; Portugal in Lisbon and the Algarve to Helio Perdigaos academies and to a few schools in Demark, where I helped Royce teach a few seminars with my good friend Bobby Thompson who is also a Brown belt under Royce and has an Academy in Jacksonville Florida, who I travelled around with when I went to America to train.
I travelled with Royce to various locations in Florida, including a week stay at the Valente Brothers Academy in Miami. Here all of Royce's Brown Belts were taking the Black belt test, that was a great experience and I learnt so much from his Black belts and made some good friends. I also taught a class at Bobby's school in Jacksonville at the end of our trip and met his students, I will be going there again this year they are a great group of guys, so a big shout out to them at Xequemate BJJ.
AddictedMMA: I believe you're a Brown belt under Royce so you can tell me from experience; what are the main benefits to learning BJJ under Royce Gracie and his affiliated clubs?
Danny: Yes you're correct I'm a Brown belt under Royce which is a great honour for me that he thinks I'm worthy on this rank. The main benefits for me of learning Jiu Jitsu from Royce is that he is more focused on the self defence instead of the sporting aspect of Jiu Jitsu. We also train against weapons unlike other schools and we practice effective techniques to avoid strikes in the street , real techniques based on leverage and correct body positioning so that the weak can defeat the strong and of course this is Master Helio Gracie's (Royce's fathers) philosophy and the reason Jiu Jitsu was created, because when all your physical attributes like strength, speed, power for whatever reason maybe being old age, illness or even just fatigue in a hard fight etc, just one day decide to up and leave your body, and all you have tried to rely on through your training were your personal physical attributes, and you don't have correct technique, I'm sorry to say your screwed because now you have nothing.
Technique and knowledge is power and you will still be able to defend yourself even without strength, speed and physical power against much larger opponents if you have correct and efficient technique.
We compete at BJJ competitions and we obviously do very well but it is not our main goal to win medals, our goal is to be safe and not to get injured in the street, it means more to me then a point or a medal even though we have enough of them also (laughs). 90% of our students don't compete and we have a mixed bunch male, female older, younger, children and they all join wanting to learn to defend themselves and to feel confident in the street, if they want to compete later that's fine, if they don't that's fine also and we only allow certain people in to our academy with the right attitude, if they don't live up to our virtues they are asked to leave.
Another great thing with being under Royce is that the quality of all of his representatives is really high not just in technique but in virtues, we are all on the same page because Royce sets a good example of how to live to the highest standard on all levels.
AddictedMMA: Tell us a bit about the seminar with Royce then Danny? What can those attending expect to get out of the evening?
Danny: Sure, Royce will be teaching some self defence and important techniques which helped him win his MMA fights throughout his career for the first couple of hours of the evening, then he we hold a question and answer session where he will answer anything from Jiu Jitsu, MMA, health and nutrition, including the Gracie diet which I follow and is really beneficial for anyone not just athletes.
The seminar will finish with a signing and photo session, so it's a great opportunity to get a new facebook profile pic (laughs).
AddictedMMA: How many places are available and how many spaces are left for those wanting to attend?
Danny: There are only 50 to 60 spaces, not many are left as you would expect with a Royce Gracie coming to Plymouth seminar, how often does this kind of thing happen man? (laughs)
AddictedMMA: BJJ appears to be the main fighting style for your fighters. Harry McLeman and Jamie Reynolds to name two have picked up MMA wins via submission over the last twelve months. Does it give you extra satisfaction when the guys pick up wins via submission?
Danny: Yeah it appears to be that way because Harry has submitted three of his four pro opponents by rear-naked choke in the first round the last being Sam Mensah from Trojan, the other win being by KO from the mount. Jamie submits or dominates everyone when the fight hits the floor also.
We train nearly every day in the Gi so when people say you don't need to train their Jiu Jitsu in the Gi for MMA they need talking to (laughs)....but all jokes aside I think we do so well because our approach is for real fights so our Jiu Jitsu is better suited for MMA then most schools. We don't use crazy positions that could put us in danger to get punched in the face too much or to be to exposed to submissions, our Jiu Jitsu is simple but effective, which is starting to show through at the highest of levels with Harry climbing the ranks in the middleweight division and many others from our Academy looking to do the same, and yes it does give me an extra satisfaction when my students win by submission for sure.
The striking at our Academy as always been good also because I've trained in many forms of striking arts from the age of 3, my Dad is a 5th Dan in Environmental Combat system and integrated Kenpo and trains regularly with Bob Rose a Kenpo 10th Dan trained Under Ed Parker one of Bruce Lees instructors, my dad started teaching me from a very young age and is still teaching at our Academy now and he is the best striking and weapons instructor around by a long shot!
AddictedMMA: Is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to?
Danny: Yes! I have a few people I would like to give a shout out to...first of all my Father Danny (Snr) for getting me into Martial Arts in the first place and guiding me through my career, without him I wouldn't be doing all this in the first place, and to my Mother Donna for supporting me also and driving me everywhere for the love of it, before I was able to drive (laughs), I hope I can help my son and daughter as much in life with their goals.
I would like to thank everyone at Macmillan Martial Arts Academy for their belief in our Academy and for their sacrifice of blood, sweat and tears. My fiancé Jemma for helping me push through tough times and putting up with me with my nonstop nagging about Jiu Jitsu and support to my travels and work. Shaune for taking my classes while I've been injured.
And finally Royce Gracie for is confidence in me to carry on the task of teaching his father's system.
AddictedMMA: You're not getting away without answering our signature question.... What is Danny Macmillan Addicted to?
Danny: I'm addicted to Jiu Jitsu
AddictedMMA: Great, thanks for your time Danny and I'll see you soon!
Danny: Anytime thank you for having me, keep up the great work your doing amazing things for MMA in this country.
AddictedMMA: Thanks Danny.
Event Info: https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/341692522598543
Photos provided by Danny Macmillan.
Published by Steve Wickett - Tue, 5 Mar 2013 20:03