I have to say, I was already a Renzo fan, but after watching Legacy, I find myself even more fascinated by him. How can he be such a family man, such a good guy, be so funny and good natured, yet so crazy and intense?? As a student at a Renzo affiliated school, I get to hear stories and get some insight into the Gracie family. My Professor and owner Amal Easton, was one of Renzo's first American Black Belts and I have to say, everything I have heard about him seems spot on. Renzo just is who he is and doesn't put on for anyone. What you see is what you get.
The movie gives us a little history of the evolution of BJJ and the Gracie family. If you are interested, here is a link to a Gracie Family Tree.
We get to see the evolution of Renzo's career from Gracie kid to Vale Tudo fighter to MMA pioneer. Some highlights are:
-Renzo's last Vale Tudo fight, which erupted into a full blown riot and contributed to the sport's controversial image in Brasil. You will not believe what happens and the way the crowd behaves during the fight.
-The events leading up to his fight with BJ Penn, which show a little bit of the political side of the sport.
-A lot of behind the scenes footage from his fights. This is very interesting to see how a world class athlete reacts before and after fights.
Also there is a lot of footage of him training, including:
-Training Daniel Gracie for his fight with Wes Sims in the IFL. Hilarious, shocking and motivating.
-Rolling with his brother, the late Ryan Gracie. The action on the mat was amazing, some of the best straight rolling I have seen.
Best of all, there is a ton of interview footage with the man, himself. Some great quotes, motivational wisdom and just plain crazy stories from his life.
The movie was very entertaining, flowed well and had excellent narration. My only complaint was that it isn't twice as long! I definitely didn't want it to end and got the feeling that it could have just gone on and on and on.
There is a lot of strong language, but beyond that, I would recommend Legacy to everyone, whether you already are a fan, or are looking for a little insight into an amazing family.
To me, Renzo is what BJJ is all about. He has built himself, his academy and his family through hard work and dedication. He has a great sense of humor, but is one of the most intense guys I have ever seen. He loves to fight and will take on anyone who challenges him. He has overcome adversity and exceeded family expectations. If you haven't seen Legacy, do so, you will not be disappointed.