Rener Gracie & Eve Torres: “This Is What To Do Against Sexual Harassment In BJJ”

Rener Gracie & Eve Torres: “This Is What To Do Against Sexual Harassment In BJJ”

There are more and more cases of sexual harassment and assault in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu being made public in the recent days. It shines a light on a problem within the BJJ community… But how is the community, itself, supposed to deal with it?
Rener Gracie and Eve Torres took it to social media to share their views on the entire issue.



Rener and Eve explain that BJJ professors are there to provide their students with reassurance. And that reassurance is often given to those athletes that began training due to an insecurity or two (or more) – as many do.
That automatically places the instructors into position of power, because the students credit them for their overcoming of fear. For their improvements and the way they feel on the mats… And because they trust them.

So, when a BJJ instructor breaches that trust, it hurts the very fabric of what Jiu-Jitsu is about. It hurts the other person immensely, among other things also because they’ve first felt empowered through the sport. And now that empowerment has been taken away.



So, what is to be done against this issue? Rener and Eve first make a point that it’s extremely important to perform background checks on instructors. However, it’s equally important to invest training time into explaining to students what sexual harassment looks like on the mats and how to address this behavior.

The most important thing, however, is the culture that’s being developed in the BJJ academy. It shouldn’t be the “kill or be killed” one, where the survival of the fittest is the norm. If the culture is like that, then people will have a difficult time understanding the difference between criminal behavior discomfort and “regular” discomfort that comes from training.
The academy’s culture should be based on mutual support, not on the pecking order. Students need to know that the instructors are there to build them up, that they can talk to them.

So, what if you’re an instructor and someone tells you that they’ve been treated inappropriately? You need to be prepared to have the hard talks. To take on full responsibility for what’s happening; talk with the perpetrator, even report them to the authorities if necessary… Or your academy risks falling apart into a culture that is catastrophic.
Terminating a single student to preserve a growing culture in the academy is worth it. If you aren’t willing to do that, you’re not ready to be an instructor – explains Eve.

Watch her and Rener dive deep on the Instagram video below:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by renergracie (@renergracie)