Earlier this, Rickson Gracie shared his thoughts on the evolution of Jiu-Jitsu and he made a claim that nowadays when he goes to teach BJJ seminars to sport BJJ schools, it reminds him of the times when he was teaching Karate black belts in the early 90’s who had no knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu and were blown away:
“In the past, when we arrived in the US, we were teaching Jiu-Jitsu to Karate black belts, who at the time felt like they knew everything. When they got exposed to real Jiu-Jitsu, they would say that they lost 20 years of their lives doing Karate, and now they realised what the real thing is. So somehow when I go to a (BJJ) seminar these days, i get the same impression from Jiu-Jitsu black belts. They’re like “Wow , I never taught that this existed in Jiu-Jitsu”. If we don’t do something very soon, Jiu-Jitsu will lose its fight-dentity.”
Rickson’s comments were heard by many members of the Jiu-Jitsu community. Some supported his views and some were offended. MMA fighter and former ADCC champion Vinny Magalhaes, who used to be one of the top Gi BJJ competitors back when he was still at Gracie Humaita in Brazil, heard Rickson’s comments.
Vinny is known for speaking his mind.
In a recent interview with Jiu-Jitsu Mag on their new App, Vinny commented talked about Rickson’s controversial self proclaimed 400-0 fight record, and even compared it to Renato Laranja’s (invented) 27 times world BJJ champion titles:
“Renato Laranja is a 27 times world champion (smiles). I was just 3 years old when he won his first world title. Even thoughi have just one world title as a black belt, I feel that it means much more than his 27 world titles, because people actually got to see my world title. He’s 27 times world champion but people didn’t see one single match. There’s no footage of that. I would say that its similar to Rickson Gracie’s claim of having 400 fights without one loss. It’s pretty close. Except the numbers are a little bit off. At least Renato doesn’t make up those triple digit numbers (laughs)”
The great Rickson Gracie claimed to have been unbeaten in BJJ, Wrestling, Sambo, challenge matches, Judo and vale tudo fights with 400-0 record which has been disputed by many people.
Rickson like many other Gracies cross trained in other grappling arts with his brother Rolls who tried to integrate the Brazilian national wrestling team with the goal of to competing at the Moscow Olympics but was unsuccessful. in 1980, a Gracie team which consisted of Rolls, Carlos Jr, Rickson, Maurico Motta Gomes (Roger Gracie’s dad) and Marcio Stambowsky (Neiman Gracie’s dad) participated in the wrestling Pan Ams. Rolls came third and most of the Gracies medaled.
Rickson’s older brother Relson Gracie was asked a few years ago by Tatame magazine what he thought about his brother controversial 400-0 fight record.
It’s not that I think it isn’t true. Rickson had these fights without a doubt. He had fights in gyms, challenges. We know he’s got some 13 fights in Japan Vale Tudo and two with Zulu. The Hugo Duarte one was a fight, but he has 400 street fights. He included the fights of Sambo, included training in the academy, championship, which they call a fight, but they are not fighting, they are training. Fights were 14 or 15 in Japan Vale Tudo, and a couple more in Brazil. He made two with Zulu and a 14 in Japan that were considered fights in the arena. The rest is all practice. It’s what my father said. I’m not saying that Rickson did not have the 400 fights, he had the 400, but in this kind of fight, my father had 5000. My father had a much larger market to prove. My father did more tests than Rickson did!
Helio Gracie also disputed Rickson’s claim to have had over 400 fights. According to Hélio, Rickson has only competed in fights that are commonly known and reported: the two against Rei Zulu and those that took place in Japan. Helio Gracie alleged that Rickson uses practice and amateur bouts to obtain a number over 400, and that if he counted his fights like Rickson does, he would have in excess of one million.
At the 1993 U.S. Sambo Championships in Norman, Oklahoma, Rickson Gracie faced World Sambo Champion Ron Tripp. Tripp threw Gracie to the canvas by “Uchi mata” in 47 seconds, thus giving Tripp “absolute” victory under FIAS International Sambo rules. Rickson disputed this loss, claiming he was misinformed of the rules of the event despite claiming to be a 2 time Pan American Sambo Champion.