Rho-associated protein kinase 1 (ROCK1), a serine/threonine protein kinase, affects cell invasion and migration by changing the status of the cytoskeleton. In recent years, ROCK1 was found to be overexpressed in a variety of tumors. However, the information of ROCK1 in glioma still remains elusive. In our study, the expression of ROCK1 in glioma tissues was examined by real-time PCR and the relationship between ROCK1 expression and clinical characteristics of patients with glioma was also analyzed. With the inhibition of ROCK1 expression by RNAi, the effects of ROCK1 on biological behaviors of glioma cells including cell viability, cell cycle, and cell invasion were probed in the U251 cell line by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay, flow cytometer analysis, and Transwell invasion experiment. In addition, the effects of ROCK1 on the regulation of Ki67, cyclin D1, matrix metalloproteinases 9 (MMP9), and E-cadherin were also investigated. The results indicated that ROCK1 messenger RNA (mRNA) was increased significantly compared to that in the adjacent normal tissue (P < 0.05) and the expression level of ROCK1 mRNA in high-grade malignant glioma tissue was significantly higher than that in low-grade malignant glioma tissue (P < 0.05). MTT assay and flow cytometer analysis revealed that the cell viability and cell proliferation in the ROCK1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection group were markedly lower than those in the blank or negative control group (P < 0.05), and no obvious differences were found between the blank group and negative control group. The Transwell invasion experiments showed that the invasive ability of U251 cells in the ROCK1 siRNA transfection group was obviously lower than that in the blank or negative control group (P < 0.05), and there were no visible differences between the blank group and negative control group. Western blot demonstrated that the protein levels of Ki67, cyclin D1, and MMP9 in the ROCK1 siRNA transfection group were distinctly lower than those in the blank or negative control group (P < 0.05) and that the protein level of E-cadherin displayed an opposite variation (P < 0.05). In summary, the expressions of ROCK1 in glioma tissue were visibly upregulated and the increase of ROCK1 had a positive correlation with the malignant grade of glioma. The results implied that the proliferation and metastasis of the glioma cell could be inhibited by suppressing the expression of ROCK1, and our findings would provide a new target for intervention and treatment of glioma.