Marc Laimon on Royce Gracie’s Jiu Jitsu - It’s actually sh*t. Part 1 of 2.
MMAyou.com got to sit down with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) trainer Marc Laimon
Check out what Laimon has to say regarding Royceï¿½??s BJJ skills, Penn versus Sherk, Bas Ruttenï¿½??s grappling skills, and much much more. This part 1 of a 2 part interview.
MMAyou.com: First, how are you doing?
Laimon: Iï¿½??m doing good.
MMAyou.com: How did you get into Jiu Jitsu?
Laimon: I was doing martial arts as a kid and I always wondered whatï¿½??s really gonna work. It was all hypothetical theory stuff but no one ever really had a Litmus test to see what was really gonna work in a fight. So I started doing research. I use to get a lot of martial arts tapes and study them, and write down what I thought might work or might be good to implement into my game.
I heard about the UFC and I really wanted to see it and I was able to get a copy of the tape. I watched it and I saw Royce fight and it seemed like he was fighting with a system. He had the idea down of what to do. To me it just kind of made sense and I started to get those video tapes and studied it and after that I kind of put it all into (asks me to hold).
So basically I got the UFC tape, I saw Royce fight and it seemed like he was fighting with a system. I was like ï¿½??Wow, I want to see thatï¿½?? and they happened to have some Jiu Jitsu videos available so I ended up getting those, and I started studying them and I was able to basically beat a bunch of people that were higher belts then me in other marital arts. I was like ï¿½??Wow this stuff works that good with me just studying off a video tape, imagine what would happen if I actually was training under someoneï¿½??. I decided to drop out of college. I dropped out with a 3.87 grade point average, was on the Deanï¿½??s list, sold a lot of my earthly possessions, moved to Torrance, CA and started training.
MMAyou.com: Wow, who did you train under?
Laimon: I started training at the Gracie Academy under Royce Gracie and Rorion was the head there.
MMAyou.com: I spoke with Bas Rutten recently and he was kind of upset that so many people donï¿½??t recognize him for his grappling skills. He said one of the people who he has rolled with was you early on in your career. He said he was very impressed with you and that you were very solid and caught on very fast. How would you say Basï¿½??s ground skills are?
Laimon: When I first started rolling with Bas I think I was a blue belt and then I got my purple eventually but man he was doing all these weird leg locks I never saw before, twisting my knees. Man it was… He had a different style. It wasnï¿½??t like a Jiu Jitsu style where it was position heï¿½??d just go for a lot of submissions from different places and he use to beat the crap out of me. I was able to adapt quickly and learn like how to defend the leg locks and after that I got pretty good at defending them and stuff. It was good. He use to beat me up back in the day at Beverly Hills Jiu Jitsu.
I use to have to be at the front desk at 10:00 or 11:00. Heï¿½??d come in at 9:00, beat the crap out of me for an hour and then Iï¿½??d get back to work and then Iï¿½??d try to beat the crap out of somebody in class after that.
MMAyou.com: Nice. He also said you caught on very fast and that if he showed you something one time by the second or third time you already had it down. He said ï¿½??I canï¿½??t imagine where his nowï¿½?? in your Jiu Jitsu game.
Laimon: Yeah I think my gameï¿½??s evolved quite a bit. Ever since 2003 and I saw Marcelo Garciaï¿½??s ï¿½??Taking the Backï¿½?? it really kind of changed my view of Jiu Jitsu and what I should be doing. Ever since then Iï¿½??ve gotten really good at getting good at taking peopleï¿½??s backs and what not. Iï¿½??ve never really competed too much after I learned that and I passed that onto my students and I was able to see what my students have able to do to other people by getting their backs by choking them and their faces. Itï¿½??s been pretty impressive.
I just try to study MMA and Jiu Jitsu as a style. Thereï¿½??s no magic thing. You gotta break it down, test the theory, and once you get a theory that repeats the same result over and over again you can test it in the real world like in the UFC and if it works, you kind of got a little fact going there. To me itï¿½??s not rocket science, itï¿½??s just real simple physics involved. You gotta have an open mind to learn. Never think you know everything. I learn something new every day. Iï¿½??ve learned stuff from white belts. Iï¿½??m like ï¿½??Wow, thatï¿½??s really coolï¿½??. I start to tinker with it and you come up with different variations and different setups and entries. Itï¿½??s a never ending process. Itï¿½??s in a constant state of evolution. To me itï¿½??s just one of the most exciting things in the world.
MMAyou.com: After you beat Ryron Gracie, did any of the other Gracies challenge you?
Laimon: I think some of them did but after that I had a pretty bad back injury. I herniated my L4 and L5 discs with a 7 millimeter displacement and 4 millimeter displacement which doesnï¿½??t sound like much but itï¿½??s incredibly painful. I just was starting to get back into training now but Iï¿½??ve really been focused on training my students and training professional fighters.
Competing in Jiu Jitsu and submission grappling will not pay the bills. Thereï¿½??s no way youï¿½??re going to be able to support yourself doing that. The other route is to have a school and train students and train fighters and thatï¿½??s what Iï¿½??ve been putting my energy into. When I did that match with Ryron I was working full-time on the first season of the Ultimate Fighter I had my gym running in Vegas and then I also had to train myself. So I had to fly down Rapheal Labaco Jr. to basically come live with me for three months and be my training partner. He helped teach classes and help me with the school and I was also working anywhere from four to eight hours on the Ultimate Fighter. So my plate was full but it was a very rewarding time and things turned out good from that.
After that I donï¿½??t really feel like Iï¿½?ï¿½ That was kind of like my coming full circle in my Jiu Jitsu career cause I basically said at the Gracie Academy; I went to the Pan Ams in 1996 and I saw Jiu Jitsu I never saw before and was like ï¿½??Wow, this sh***s awesomeï¿½?? and Rorion Gracie basically said to a whole group of people ï¿½??Youï¿½??re not advanced enough for thatï¿½??. He had guys that were purple belts and brown belts that were training there for years and heï¿½??s says ï¿½??Youï¿½??re not ready for thatï¿½?? Iï¿½??m like ï¿½??Maybe he doesnï¿½??t know whatï¿½??s going onï¿½?? and ï¿½??Maybe heï¿½??s a poor teacherï¿½?? and thatï¿½??s why theyï¿½??re not ready for it.
I saw Vitor ï¿½??Shaolinï¿½?? Riberio choke out Robin Gracie who was Royceï¿½??s youngest brother as a brown belt and I was like ï¿½??Wow, he just tapped a Gracieï¿½??. I started doing some research and I started looking at stuff differently and I was like you know what, ï¿½??Maybe heï¿½??s not keeping up to date with Jiu Jitsuï¿½??. I decided to say ï¿½??you know what, I donï¿½??t believe in Rorion Gracieï¿½??s systemï¿½??. He does the basics but heï¿½??s not keeping up to date. Heï¿½??s not evolving with the sport. Thatï¿½??s when I basically went on my own path and it then it kind of led back full-circle to where I got to fight Rorionï¿½??s son And I beat him at his own game, under his own rules. He couldnï¿½??t defend the first (inaudible) youï¿½??re taught at the Gracie Academy which is how to stand up and base, he couldnï¿½??t hold me down from my guard. It was kind of a vindication of my Jiu Jitsu coming full-circle.
After that I really decided to start putting time into my students instead of being selfish and putting time into myself because I really donï¿½??t feel I have to prove myself to anybody. I would have liked to accomplish a few more things but theyï¿½??re not anything thatï¿½??s going to result in anymore money. You gotta make decisions in life and I have some bills I have to pay and I got two dogs I have to take care of and thatï¿½??s pretty much it. I really decided to focus on my students and my fighters that I work with.
MMAyou.com: How would you rate Royceï¿½??s BJJ and MMA skills?
Laimon: Itï¿½??s pretty poor. Itï¿½??s actually sh** if you want to not mince words, itï¿½??s pretty awful. Matt Hughes SMASHED him on the ground. Took him down, passed his guard, took his back and mounted him. I think Royce is maybe like a good blue belt, maybe a purple belt. I donï¿½??t think heï¿½??s very good at Jiu Jitsu at all. He happened to be doing it at a time when the level was so low, having Jiu Jitsu was like having a weapon. It was like having a gun or a knife in a fight. People donï¿½??t know whatï¿½??s going on, they didnï¿½??t know what to do, they get caught in stuff. Once people started to study the game, video tape doesnï¿½??t lie, once you start studying footage, and understanding the principles and concepts of Jiu Jitsu, you realize itï¿½??s nothing magic. Itï¿½??s just you gotta know where to put your arms and what to do.
You see Matt Hughes a guy from the Midwest, whoï¿½??s a wrestler, basically made Royce look like a white belt. I just think his level of Jiu Jitsu is very very low.
MMAyou.com: How do you see BJ vs. Sherk going down on Saturday?
Laimon: I think weï¿½??re gonna see BJ probably come out there and paw with his jab, and then heï¿½??s probably gonna throw a hook, grab the back of Sherkï¿½??s head and start dirty boxing the sh** out of him. Heï¿½??s probably gonna end up taking Sherk down with a double leg. Heï¿½??s gonna pass the guard directly into the mount and then heï¿½??s going to start (inaudible) him from the mount and then Sherk is either gonna get so bloodied up from that or heï¿½??s gonna turn and give his back and BJï¿½??s gonna pound him out like he did against Joey Gilbert or heï¿½??s gonna end up choking him with an RNC.
If I had to bet thatï¿½??s what Iï¿½??d say. But watch BJï¿½??s passing. He has the sickest passing in MMA and Jiu Jitsu. His passing is second to none in my opinion. But Iï¿½??m just a guy sitting on the coach watching fights so you donï¿½??t have to listen to my opinion.
Be sure to check back with us for part 2 tomorrow as Laimon goes in-depth about Rickson Gracie, the argument between him and Matt Serra on The Ultimate Fighter show, Eddie Bravoï¿½??s system of Jiu Jitsu, and much more.