Photo: Sonny Parlin http://sonnyparlin.com
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is growing all around the world. Sport style Jiu-Jitsu is flourishing while the traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for self defense is instructed by a few dedicated instructors. Parts of the Gracie family are maintaining the tradition and not wanting to teach sport based techniques that do not have much use in a street fight.
Royce Gracie recently appeared on Submission Radio where he talked about his view of the current situation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“For example a BJJ school, the person doesn’t walk in thinking ‘Well I wanna learn BJJ so I can compete in ADCC. Or I’m gonna find out and learn BJJ Bazilian Jiu Jitsu so I can compete in Metamoris or Pan Ams,'” explained Gracie. “There is no such a thing. The person comes in because they heard that it’s some kind of self defense style, that they saw me fighting and they realized that ‘Man Royce fought some big guys and he was able to defeat them and defend himself. I wanna learn something like that.’
“But then the instructor will guide them into a point system and teach them how to score points, and how to compete in tournaments. Yah, it bothers me that Martial Arts in general are becoming not martial arts, but martial sports.”
He compares Jiu-Jitsu’s evolution to Taekwondo:
“What’s ruining martial arts today is tournaments. Tournaments like point system tournaments. Like a taekwondo for instance. Taekwondo wasn’t built to score points. It was built to hit and knock the person out, but then the tournaments now, they don’t even have to hit the opponents. If they get close enough they score the point. It’s teaching the fighters how not to hit somebody. It’s like people want to compete. No. People want do martial arts. They don’t do the martial art because they’re interested in competing. They look for martial arts because they want to learn some kind of self-defense.”
While Royce Gracie was responsible for the explosion of the MMA and the UFC, he has also competed in sport Jiu-Jitsu. His uncle Carlson Gracie, in this interview talks about his nephew’s less than brilliant career at sport tournaments.
“T: What’s the reason for your disagreement with Helio Gracie?
CG: I have nothing against him, the only problem is that he’s going around telling lies, you know what I mean? He goes around saying that his sons are the biggest & best fighters in the world and that they discovered the invincibility. His students lose everything here in Brazil. OK, Royce did well in the U.S. He beat everyone there, but no one knew anything then. Here in Brazil, I’ve never seen Royce win ONE championship. He lost to everyone. He lost to De La Riva, who was so much smaller than him. He tapped out to Paschoal. He’s a good fighter, but never won anything here. He’s not this “phenomenon” that they talk about.”