Anyone who’s kept up with GRACIEMAG.com is on top of the training session Roger Gracie and Fabio Gurgel shared (see here). In the exclusive report the Alliance general commented on his visit with the Gracie in London. Now the one reporting on the meeting of champions is Roger.
“It was an excellent experience and opportunity. Fabio is a generation ahead of me, so ever since I was a kid, when I was a blue belt, I watched him compete. He was always a top athlete, one of the best. He was an inspiration to me.”
But the encounter wasn’t merely a training session between mat sharks: Gurgel was invited to teach some techniques, and together they promoted a student they had in common.
“Ricardo (Lewandowski) is a student of mine who also trained with Fabio for a while. I didn’t feel it would be right to promote him to black belt alone. Fabio is a phenomenal fighter and teacher. He taught some positions to the students and everyone thought it was great. I always heard he was tough, and I had the opportunity to feel that up close,” he says.
According to Roger, the experience with Gurgel, besides being enriching, broke some paradigms.
“The coolest part of it all was the exchange. I come from Gracie Barra and he’s one of the leaders of Alliance. Rarely does an encounter like this one take place. There’s no need for the escalated rivalry between one academy and another, for people not to be able to have such exchanges. It was a friendly sparring session without any rivalry. Simply put, it was like we’d always trained together,” he finishes.