In 1978, he moved to Southern California where he worked as an extra in movies and television. Attempting to spread Jiu-Jitsu culture, he laid some mats in his garage in Hermosa Beach and invited people he met to try the sport. Rorion went back in 1978 to share his father Hélio Gracie's Jiu-Jitsu techniques, teaching in his garage.
In the early 1980s Rorion met Director Richard Donner and was hired by Willie Simmons , 2nd A.D. , to work with him and his two other martial artists to choreograph the fight scenes for Mel Gibson, Gary Busey and Rene Russo for the series Lethal Weapon. In the late 1980s, Rorion produced the documentaries "Gracie Jiu-jitsu In Action® 1 and 2". They were quick to gain popularity with their novel take on the normally Japanese sport.
In 1993, inspired by countless exhibition matches termed the "Gracie Challenge" (a tradition that started with his uncle and Gracie jiu-jitsu co-founder Carlos Gracie), Rorion teamed with promoter and Business executive Art Davie in the creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC). Davie had always dreamed of an inter-discipline contest, pitting various martial arts against one another to determine the most effective. Rorion was only interested in showcasing his father's style, and demonstrating its dominance. Through this pay-per-view spectacle, he hoped to show that, in a "no time limit - no rules" setting, Gracie jiu-jitsu was the only system of self-defense that would give someone a realistic chance of defeating a larger, more athletic adversary. Davie recruited seven martial artists of different styles to participate in a single-elimination tournament. Rorion enlisted his brother Royce to represent the family style in the competition. Due to his smaller frame and relatively low body weight, Royce would be the smallest competitor, making an excellent Example of the powers of Gracie jiu-jitsu.
In 1994, a small group of high-ranking military personnel, from the most elite unit in the US Army, contacted Rorion and asked him to develop an objective hand-to-hand combat course based on the most effective techniques of Gracie jiu-jitsu. The result was GST - Gracie Survival Tactics, which has been taught to all major law enforcement agencies and military organizations in the US. His techniques are the core of the official US Army Combatives program, and have been implemented by virtually every military and major Law Enforcement Agency in the USA.
Rorion wrote and published the book Gracie Diet in 2011.