This video biography of Rorion Gracie was presented during his induction into the 2006 Black Belt Hall of Fame as Instructor of the Year. The son of Brazilian jiu-jitsu founder Helio Gracie, Rorion founded the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California. In a 1987 issue of Playboy, he issued what became known as the Gracie Challenge: He invited anyone—regardless of style, weight or reputation—to prove his skills in a no-holds-barred match against Brazilian jui-jitsu. In 1993 Rorion Gracie and associate Art Davie created, financed and produced the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which brought mixed-martial arts competition into the mainstream. Rorion Gracie continues to teach at his academy and present seminars around the world. In addition to his Brazilian jiu-jitsu curriculum for youths and adults, Rorion Gracie developed a self-defense system called Women Empowered, as well as programs that focus on the needs of military personnel, law-enforcement agencies and air marshals. Rorion Gracie has received more than 100 Recognition Coins from the U.S. military and various government agencies, including the FBI, Department of Justice and United Nations Security Council. To ensure that the Gracie tradition lives on, he’s groomed his sons—Ryron, Rener and Ralek—to teach the grappling art. For all his business and educational innovations, and for his dedication to sharing Brazilian jiu-jitsu with students across the globe, Black Belt is proud to induct Rorion Gracie into its 2006 Hall of Fame as Instructor of the Year.


Black Belt Magazine has a storied history that dates back all the way to 1961, making 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the world's leading magazine of martial arts. To celebrate six decades of legendary martial arts coverage, take a trip down memory lane by scrolling through some of the most influential covers ever published. From the creators of martial art styles, to karate tournament heroes, to superstars on the silver screen, and everything in between, the iconic covers of Black Belt Magazine act as a time capsule for so many important moments and figures in martial arts history. Keep reading to view the full list of these classic issues.

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