Roger Gracie: ‘Team Mate Close-Outs Show A Lack Of Professionalism. It’s Amateurism’

Roger Gracie: ‘Team Mate Close-Outs Show A Lack Of Professionalism. It’s Amateurism’



Closing categories is one of the most controversial topics in Jiu-Jitsu . Every year, critics and defenders of the practice argue on the subject,.

Some say that world championships titles being decided by a hand shake or even a coin toss and in any other way without actually fighting mat are harmful to Jiu-Jitsu.

Arguably the greatest BJJ competitor of all time, Roger Gracie has faced friends and teammates in competitions, something that many do not agree with.

Roger said in an exclusive interview with Tatame magazine:


“Jiu-Jitsu is not like MMA, which has physical aggression of the opponent. Jiu-Jitsu is mastery, competitive spirit. The only factor that could perhaps closing a closing category, would be in the case of blood brothers. But, friend and training partner, no. I am 100% against the closing. In my view, this is an injustice. When athletes ‘close’, there aren’t two champions. For those who won, great, he won effortlessly. But the partner, for whatever reason, gave the victory to the other, has lost the championship. All the sacrifice was in vain. That’s lack of professionalism, amateurism by the athletes. It’s absurd. This idea that there are two champions is pure illusion. One lost, the other won. From my point of view, it is an absurd thing. ”

“Closing is a step back for the sport. Imagine a TV channel filming Jiu-Jitsu, where the focus, of course, is on the final. Then, at the time of the 10 finals, nobody fights and just closes categories. No TV in the world would agree with that. , I can not understand how an athlete gives victory to another voluntarily. He does not even want a chance to try to be champion. ”


Other top Jiu-Jitsu stars voiced their opinion:

Rafael Mendes: he has already closed a few times with teammate Bruno Frazatto at the time they were both the Atos. However, his mindset has changed:
” Bruno’s one of my best friends and always added a lot in my training and learning. He is a brother to me, but we met in finals together, and we ended up not fighting. We reflected on this and realized that we were devaluing the championship and hard work in training. The fact that there was no final in category devalued our achievement. Since then, we decided that we would fight, because only one is recognized as the champion, and that is the purpose of training. The fact that people say they will fight changes nothing. Nothing will interfere with our friendship, we just want to be as professional as possible so that our results are always recognized, and not devalued.”

Rodolfo Vieira disagrees with his countryman. For him, it makes no sense to face a teammate. Rodolfo believes that the clash between members of the same team would create an unnecessary rivalry and put the friendship at risk:

“To say that a person will fight with a friend, then he is not a friend. Brother fighting brother is normal in judo, but in Jiu-Jitsu, is an entirely different thing, it’s another philosophy. We’re not used to, it never was like that. I see no problem in ‘closing’, and could not fight my friends from workout, ever. If we come to a final of a major championship, or I would give the title, or we would come to an agreement. I think friendship is much further ahead than that. I am not in favor. Each has his thoughts, and mine is this one.”

Xande Ribeiro:

“A lot depends on each one, how they train together, where they came from or where they go. I do not see Rafael Lovato fighting me because I’m his teacher. If it was the case of Olympic games, then, yes, we could fight. ”