Rener Gracie - Co-Founder of Gracie University and an American Entrepreneur

Rener Gracie - Co-Founder of Gracie University and an American Entrepreneur

1. Rener Gracie Details

Rener Gracie Details
Name  Rener Gracie
Nickname  N/A
Born  Torrance, California
Age  39 years
Date of Birth  10-11-1983
Weight  93kg (206 lb)
Weight Division N/A
Last Weigh in Heavyweight
Height  6’4’’
Foundational Style  GJJ
Career Disclosed Earnings  N/A
College University  N/A
Rank 5th Degree Black Belt
Head Coach  Helio Gracie
Last Fight  Southern California Pro-Am Invitational
Favorite Technique N/A
Lineage  Kanō Jigorō -> Tomita Tsunejirō -> Mitsuyo "Count Koma" Maeda -> Carlos Gracie -> Helio Gracie -> Rorion Gracie -> Rener Gracie
Team Association  Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy

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2. Rener Gracie’s Biography

Rener Gracie was born on 10 November 1983 in Torrance, California. He belongs to the first generation of the Gracie family who was born in the USA. He owns dual nationality and is a USA-Brazilian citizen. Rener Gracie started his career as a BJJ fighter.

Now he is the head coach at Gracie University and founder of Quikflip Apparel. He is among the brilliant entrepreneurs of America.   

2.1. Born in the House of Legends

Rener Gracie opened his eyes in the house of BJJ legends. He is the grandson of the Grand Master Helio Gracie who is the most prominent personality of BJJ like  Carlos Gracie. His father is Rorion Gracie who is honored to bring BJJ to the USA along with Carley Gracie and Carlson Gracie. Rorion Gracie is also the co-founder of UFC

Rener is the second eldest son of Rorion Gracie. He has three brothers, Ryron, Ralek, and Reylan Gracie, and one sister, Segna Gracie. He also has five half brothers and sisters from the first and third marriages of his father. 

2.2. Athletic Childhood

Following the family tradition, Rener Gracie also started his BJJ training in childhood. He spent his childhood training under the big names of BJJ, Rorion, and Helio Gracie. Besides his father and grandfather, he was also trained under his uncle Rickson and Royce Gracie.

At the age of 10, Rener attended his first UFC fight to watch his uncle Royce’s fight. In that fight, Royce gave his nephew and all the other family a chance to celebrate his victory by winning the fight.

At the age of 20, he proved to the world that he is invincible and unbeatable. He showcased a great performance at Pan American and Southern California Pro-Am Invitational.   

2.3. Coaching Career

Rener Gracie started his coaching career at the age of 13. At the age of 19, Rener was among the head instructors of Gracie Academy. At the beginning of his career, he competed in various competitions. In 2004, he retired from competing. Now he is a head instructor at Gracie University.

Rener Gracie is also working as a BJJ coach for MMA fighters. He trained various MMA legends i.e., Brian Ortega. He appeared in the corner of every UFC fight of Brian Ortega. In October 2020, Rener could not attend the fight of Brian due to his COVID-19 positive report.

Because of his good relationship with Brian, Rener Gracie also trained Team Ortega in 2021. Team Ortega appeared in “The Returned of The Ultimate Fighter” against Team Volkanovski.

Rener Gracie is also offering Law enforcement courses and special military courses. Rener’s Gracie University is also offering an online curriculum for every person against street bullying.      

2.4. Why Rener Prefers Teaching Over Competing

After Rener’s brilliant performance in 2003, he left his fighting career and started his professional coaching career. Rener Gracie mentioned in an interview that his father and grandfather fought to prove Gracie Jiu-Jitsu the best martial art. Now, when BJJ is considered the best martial art, there is no need to prove it now. Rener Gracie’s words are

“Growing up in the Gracie family, fighting is in your DNA and you don’t really know anything else. But what happened was that, as I was coming of age – once I turned 19/20/21/22 – the UFC had already been 10 years on the air. So for me, it was really a question of: “Do I want to do what my uncles and my dad did and be a professional fighter and just go fight for the sake of fighting?”

“Because remember; when the UFC started, it was all about proving that Jiu-Jitsu against karate… And ten years later, nobody denies Jiu-Jitsu. So right now, if I’m fighting in the UFC, I’m fighting against the people who are of my same religion. The people who believe in my religion, so there’s nothing to fight about because we agree that Jiu-Jitsu is, at least, the quintessential art in mixed martial arts.”

“So once that agreement was there, the opportunity to fight style vs style was gone. And that was the opportunity that all of my uncles had, my grandfather, my dad… They always had that opportunity, to fight against other styles to demonstrate Jiu-Jitsu’s effectiveness. Once that was gone, I had to weigh my options. And what my brother and I focused on and dedicated our lives to was the teaching of Jiu-Jitsu.”

2.5. Rener Gracie and Principle of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Gracie University is teaching his students the basic techniques for self-defense. Rener Gracie said that people who showed up in any martial art have the basic purpose to learn techniques that are necessary for self-defense and secondarily for fitness and fun.

But the development of Jiu-Jitsu as a sport has reduced the motivation of instructors to prepare their pupils for self-defense in realistic situations. Rener Gracie is more concerned about the street fighting aspect of Jiu-Jitsu than the fight for the competitions.

According to him, a person who has a purple belt or more should be able to defend himself in an unexpected fight. The Words of Rener Gracie are

“My concern is that if that sports growth continues and people don’t remember that that is different in street, its not the same. People learning sports are confused in thinking that they are getting ready for a fight but they are not. It's possible today in your sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world that you get a purple belt or more, and go out in the fight and get beat up. How?”

2.6. Rener Gracie’s Family

Rener Gracie Married a USA actress, a model, and a WWE pro wrestler, Eve Torres on 13 April 2014. Now she is a Purple Belt from Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. She is leading the Gracie Women Empowered Self-Defense Program as a head instructor and spokeswoman. Rener Gracie and Eve Torres have two sons named, Raeven Gracie and Renson Gracie.

2.7. American Entrepreneur 

Rener Gracie is one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs in America. He runs his own BJJ University online which is reportedly a multi-million dollar project. He also made videos on his youtube channel “Gracie Breakdown” in which he explained how you can get a job or start a business in BJJ.

He explained that to start a BJJ business, it is not necessary that you must hold a Black Belt. He also mentioned the example of Johnny Vasquez who started his academy when he was a Blue Belt. He succeeded in enrolling almost 350 students in just three years. 

Along with the BJJ business, Rener Gracie is also co-owner of a company and running youtube channels along with his brother, Rayron Gracie.  

Quikflip Apparel

Rener Gracie started his own company “Quikflip Apparel”. Quikflip apparel’s hoodies are very famous for their comfortable build and feel. “Times” magazine mentioned it as the “Best Product of 2019”. 

YouTube Channels 

Rener Gracie started his two YouTube channels with his brother Ryron Gracie, “The Gracie Way” and “The Gracie Breakdown”. In these channels, they repost the bouts with their own commentaries and suggestions. They highlight the techniques and give their opinion and suggestions.

On “The Gracie Breakdown” a fight between Fabrício Werdum and Fedor Emelianenko was reposted by them with their commentary. This fight was posted on their youtube channel on 28 June 2010. This fight became their top video which earned over 100,000 views in just 24 hours.

2.8. Gracie University

Rener Gracie started his own university along with his brother Ryron Gracie. Both brothers started an online university named Gracie University. Gracie University is offering online curriculums for men, women, and children. The main purpose of Gracie University is to educate its students about self-defense.

Online courses make it available for everyone to join Gracie University and learn self-defense techniques. Gracie University's online curriculum makes it accessible to all people in the world. Till 2023 Gracie University accommodates 70,000 students from 196 countries all over the world. 

Online Curriculum at Gracie University includes Gracie Bullyproof, Gracie Combative, Women Empowered, and the Master Cycle. Another special instructor certification course is also available online. Furthermore, Gracie University is also offering law enforcement courses and special military courses.   

At Gracie University, Rener Gracie gives online sessions to his students. His students practice or spare those techniques with some training partner and record the training procedures and send them to the University portal.

Rener Gracie or his trained instructors check those videos thoroughly. If they observe that the student has learned about techniques and he is executing the required movements for that technique, Gracie University sends their belt through email.

3. Rener Gracie’s Achievements in Jiu-Jitsu

3.1. Fourth Degree Black Belt

Rener Gracie earned his Black Belt from his grandfather and the grandmaster of BJJ, Grand Master Helio Gracie in 2002 at the age of 19. Now he is a 5th Degree BJJ Black Belt. He is honored to receive his 5th-degree Black Belt from his father.  

3.2. Pan American Championship 2003

Rener Gracie is a Bronze winner at Pan American 2003. His Pan American 2003 performance was fabulous. In a match with Fabio Leopoldo, he submitted Leopoldo with a triangle choke. That was a very tight triangle. The opponent could not stand up after that triangle.

The same year, he became champion in another tournament. This was the turning point of his life from fighting to coaching. In 2004, Rener Gracie retired from fighting. He started to give his 100% focus on coaching.   

3.3. Southern California Pro-Am Invitational

After standing third in Pan American, Rener Gracie also appeared in the South California Pro-Am Invitational. It was a 16-man single-elimination tournament. This tournament has a special rule for no time limits. Rener appeared in this tournament wearing a Gi.

He is the only one of all fighters to wear a Gi. This was the best way to represent his family's fighting style. He submitted all four of his opponents and became champion. His opponents include Cassio Werneck who is a BJJ World Champion. While the other three are Joe Stevenson, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, and Tyrone Glover.  

4. Rener Gracie Historic Fights

4.1. Rener Gracie Vs. Eduardo Arrivabene

Rener Gracie faced Eduardo Arrivabene in Pan American 2003. Rener Gracie took an energetic start and applied full guard from the standing position. This was his first effort to take his opponent down. Then he tried to pull Eduardo’s leg to take him to the ground.

He succeeded in taking Eduardo to the ground within one minute. He grabbed Eduardo’s lapels and put all his weight. Eduardo could not bear the weight and moved to the ground.

Rener Gracie crossed his legs around Eduardo’s legs. He strangled one of his feet. Eduardo tried to pull Rener by grabbing his lapel. But Rener did not give him a chance to apply any technique and continued to apply pressure to his ankle.

At the end of the match, Rener Gracie submitted Eduardo Arrivabene with an Ankle Lock.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Weight Class
2003 IBJJF Pan American Championship Eduardo Arrivabene Win Ankle Lock Heavyweight

5. Top Fights Links

Rener Gracie Last Brown Belt Match

Rener Gracie vs Eduardo Arrivabene 2003 Pan Am BJJ

Photo Credit: @renergracie

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