Royce Gracie Critiques BJJ Academies For Not Teaching Self-Defense

Royce Gracie Critiques BJJ Academies For Not Teaching Self-Defense

Why did you start training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Perhaps you found out about it by chance and it seemed interesting, maybe a friend recommended it to you, or maybe you were looking to learn how to defend yourself…

Whatever the reason, chances are that it wasn’t because of competition.
Which is exactly why the legendary Royce Gracie doesn’t like what BJJ academies are (not) doing these days.

Specifically, he critiques them for being too geared towards the “sports” side of Jiu-Jitsu.
And not enough towards the reason why a lot of people actually start training.

Here’s what he had to say about the topic in a recent Globo interview:

Nobody enters the martial art because he wants to compete.

No one puts a son to take up martial arts because he wants his son to win a championship.
Parents want the child to learn to defend himself.

A lady, a woman, goes into martial art because she wants to learn to defend herself.

In other words, per Royce Gracie, the academies have “lost their way”:

I think that competitive jiu-jitsu, today, is already very distant from jiu-jitsu perhaps more rooted by Hélio Gracie, Royce, from those first generations to Royce and Rickson.

Because it ended up being very competitive and having rules, which ended up characterizing it as a sport that is going to get points, and often that essence of self-defense, which is behind the construction of the modality, is lost.


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