This past weekend, nearly a hundred people were gathering in St. Louis, Missouri expecting to see world renowned Jiu Jitsu Master, Renzo Gracie for a scheduled seminar.  Then, the impossible happened! Due to inclement weather, ALL flights were canceled from New York.  There were NO flights available.  Not even out of Pennsylvania and DC.  The seminar was

Team Rodrigo Vaghi Gracie Jiu Jitsu had scheduled Master Gracie on Saturday, August 20 for the seminar and planned on numerous individuals from surrounding states to attend.

No one would have asked Renzo Gracie to drive 15 hours from his home state of New York to a seminar held in St. Louis Missouri after his flight out of New York area got canceled due to inclement weather. Further, Master Renzo had not slept for 24 hours and to think he was just going to hop in his car and drive through five states would be unthinkable!

But they forgot the passion and absolute devotion that Master Renzo Gracie had to Gracie Jiu Jitsu and his zeal was equal to driving 1000 miles to share the Gentle Art with nearly hundred attendees.  Rodrigo Vaghi Black Belt, Todd Fox, a personal friend of words of Renzo’s friend, gives a more personal view of Master Renzo’s unthinkable decision:

Renzo’s flight got canceled last night due to a major thunderstorm on the east coast. All flights out of NYC, PHL, DC were canceled. We tried to get him out for Saturday…all flights booked…Sunday…sold out. This is on the eve of a seminar with a 100 Jiu Jitsu guys/girls from five states. Many who saved months for the seminar. I asked Renzo if he wanted me to cancel. He said, “no way!” After being up 24 hours he said he was gonna jump in his car and drive 15 hours. I didn’t know if he was serious. I took him at his word and didn’t tell anyone. I got a call from him that he would be 20 minutes late. He was here! He even had an accident and some speeding tickets to show me on his arrival. I couldn’t f’ing believe his dedication to showing up!

It was arguably the best seminar I have ever been to or witnessed. He started by greeting the students and joking with many of them. Very casual, super approachable. He told great stories throughout and taught great submission techniques. His famous guillotine and ezekiel from all positions were the highlights.

He used one of our blind students and a student with cerebral palsy to demo and set up techniques…all while giving them a hard time. Renzo talked a lot about life and gave some great analogies. Even without the Jiu Jitsu it would have been well with the price of admission. Great, great, great. That’s Renzo…every day. ALWAYS EPIC – Todd Foxx, Rickson Gracie Black Belt

Renzo shows the wear and tear of his 15 hour trip.