Sometimes we forget just how deep the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu family tree really is. For generations now the Gracie family has been on a mission, fighting all challengers in an effort to prove the superiority of Jiu-Jitsu to all other fighting systems.
Legacy follows Renzo Gracie through a period of 10 years, from his last bare knuckle fight in Rio, that turned into a 400 person riot in the stadium, to his defeat of Pat Militech in an IFL ‘super fight’. We get a rare, unpolished look behind the scenes of the professional MMA world. From Renzo's NYC school, to BJ Penn's school in Hawaii, to backstage at Pride and IFL, and more.
We also get a deep look inside the mind of one of the greatest, and least appreciated, mma fighters of the modern era, Renzo Gracie. The mental toughness that Renzo displays as he works to overcome obstacles is truly inspiring and humbling.
As the movie closes, Renzo is training at an old school boxing gym when one of the camera men asks him about retiring. Renzo takes him over to a quote stapled on the wall that looked as if it had been there for 30 years. It was from the speech “The Man in the Arena”, given by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. Renzo read it out loud to the camera.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this movie if you are at all interested in the history of our great sport. And if you think you might be pro fighter material, I would watch it and make sure you’ve got what it takes. It’s a great documentary.
- Bill Thomas