Rickson Gracie has made some specific choices in the last couple of years. Notably after condemning Gracie University – he’s reconciled with them and he and his affiliates joined up with Rener and Ryron.
He famously talked about the anti jiu jitsu practitioners on the Chael Sonnen podcast:
In order to do that in jiu jitsu today they’re not only learning how to pass the guard and defeat the opponent but they’re also learning in a very big way how to stall the fight. How to be able to stop the match at will and keep you recognizing points and advantages as victory. And that’s jeopardizing our culture in terms of being a progressive fight, dynamic fight to the end. So the rules have to be regulated immediately and to make adjustments, consistently adjustments to make the athletes not be stalling, holding sleeves – what I call the anti jiu-jitsu game which sometimes I can’t relate to. I see 10 fights of black belts, 9 I feel like what they do in there – they don’t even want to fight they just want to win the match by a little advantage or so.
This is where an Andre Galvao black belt Josh Hinger stepped in and wrote to flograppling:
It is well known that Rickson has made other negative statements about sport jiu-jitsu practitioners.
I have a problem with these statements and RIckson’s consistent belittlement of jiu-jitsu athletes who chose to exercise their skills in a tournament setting.
First of all, the sport-based branch of the activity does not negate the essence of a martial art…
Without rules, very few people would care to practice them, especially not children. If there were no rules, I would just bite every single person who tried to touch me.
Further Hinger went on to claim sport jiu jitsu is practical for self defense which might be a controversial stance:
Sport jiu-jitsu is very practical for self-defense. Sport jiu-jitsu as an activity promotes a laundry list of attributes that can help an individual become a formidable opponent against any non-professionally trained combat athlete.
Just because a BJJ competitor chooses to pull guard in jiu-jitsu competition does not mean that he or she is stupid enough to pull guard in a street fight…
…Sport jiu-jitsu competitors are better at (improvising game plans and reading the opponent) than anyone else. They have razor-sharp senses, finely tuned motor skills, and impeccable cardiovascular conditioning — and most importantly, they have mind that is trained to win. They are trained to dissect and solve positional problems in seconds. In my opinion, jiu-jitsu competitors will always run circles around non-competitors, and even more so against untrained aggressors.
Are Rickson Gracie’s views on Self-Defense and Sport Jiu Jitsu Outdated? Old school BJJ black belt under Ralph Gracie, Gumby shares some very important points: