If Butt-Kicking has a first family, it's the Gracie clan. Decades after Helio Gracie learned a fierce form of jujitsu in Brazil, his son Rorion, 47, helped create the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993. Another son, Royce, 32, won three of the first four UFC titles. For $30 a session you can learn their secrets at Gracie academies in Torrance, Calif., and Thornwood, N.Y. "Any technique Royce Gracie used in the UFC, you'll see in the beginners' class," says instructor Stephen Kardian, 41. But don't expect ultraviolence. The goal of Gracie-style grappling isn't to thrash the other guy but to get him in a leg lock or choke hold that forces him to submit. When Kardian (below) puts that choker around your neck, you'll be the one saying, Goodnight, Gracie.
Purists may soon be pining for the good old days of the X Games. In July 2000, Lake Placid, N.Y., will host the inaugural Great Outdoor Games, featuring events for men, women and dogs. In September of that year—a week before the Sydney Olympics kick off—the first Fringe Games will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand. "There's a hunger for new and exciting events," says Fringe founder Burton Silver, 53, a writer from Wellington, New Zealand. Silver will satisfy novelty-starved fans, those hordes bored by boardercross and street luge, with such events as running in formation, slalom running, synchronized cycling, the assisted high jump and mechanized running, in which wheels and sails are banned but springs aren't. With a wink at the Olympics, the Fringe Games bill mechanized running as a race "between mechanically assisted athletes as opposed to chemically assisted ones." The assisted high jump, promoters say, "will be a big hit with prisoners." Let's hope Silver has enough silver to sign the celeb mascot he needs: Wile E. Coyote.