MMA legend comes to Hastings

From left: Tom Watson, Royce Gracie, Paul Bridges (SUS-140514-090455002)
From left: Tom Watson, Royce Gracie, Paul Bridges (SUS-140514-090455002)

Legendary martial artist Royce Gracie was in Hastings to teach a packed two-hour Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminar.

The winner of the first-ever UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) demonstrated techniques to almost 50 people at the Dark Star Jiu Jitsu Academy.

Head instructor Paul Bridges said it was an honour to have such an influential figure share his knowledge. “It was an awesome seminar,” he said. “He has achieved an enormous amount in martial arts and it was great for the students to train with such a legend.”

After teaching various ways to defend against attackers, he answered questions and posed for photographs. Royce, whose father Hélio pioneered the art, is widely viewed as one of the most important figures in the world of mixed martial arts.

During his long career he won three UFC tournaments – no-holds barred fights between different martial arts – despite being heavily outweighed. His remarkable bouts included victories against fighters skilled in boxing, wrestling, karate, judo and Taekwondo.

Royce, who spends seven months of the year travelling the world teaching Jiu Jitsu, has trained actors such as Nicholas Cage, Jim Carrey and Ed O’Neil.

Dark Star Jiu Jitsu runs daily classes at the Hastings Kickboxing Academy on Ivyhouse Lane Industrial Estate in Hastings. Contact Paul Bridges on 07967 659867.