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#434649 - 02/21/12 05:12 PM The Death of BJJ in MMA, by Rickson Gracie
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
Fascinating (but short) recent interview with Rickson Gracie. In it Rickson states that BJJ is a fading force in MMA. He said he sees the long term survival of the art outside of MMA by being taught more as a self-defense system.

From the interview:

I see it as a new race of fighter developing, something thatís been invented. There are no more style matchups. Now, everyone knows everything. Itís about the strengths of the individual. The time of fights was shortened, the weights were equalized and technology was incorporated into training. There is no more romanticism in seeing a smaller guy fight a bigger guy for two hours. Thinking of that, I believe jiu-jitsu has lost the capacity to be put into practice in todayís MMA, because itís an art you have to wait for the right moment with. Now, MMA is a sport for the better-prepared fighter, the guy who can absorb more punches and still win. Thereís still an admiration for the art by those who practice it, but thereís a decline in how itís working in MMA. My motivation is completely focused on the concept. Thatís where I believe I can make a difference: in making the shy kid feel normal, in making the weak woman believe sheís strong. I want people to have a sense of self-defense and a concept of the invisible power. Thatís where jiu-jitsu will achieve its eternity.


Full interview: http://www.sherdog.com/news/interviews/6-Questions-for-Rickson-Gracie-36352
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#434654 - 02/23/12 02:19 AM Re: The Death of BJJ in MMA, by Rickson Gracie [Re: Prizewriter]
Leo_E_49 Offline
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Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Interesting point of view, I guess that ultimately it really does come down to the individual rather than one art vs another.
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#434655 - 02/23/12 04:09 AM Re: The Death of BJJ in MMA, by Rickson Gracie [Re: Leo_E_49]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
I certainly think the advantage BJJ enjoyed in the early days of MMA has been eroded. People with a Wrestling base seem to do best in modern MMA. People in MMA still need to have a ground game, but BJJ isn't the force it once was. Look at the plethora of top BJJ players who have come unstuck in MMA in the last few years. People like Marcelo Garcia and Roger Gracie (probably two of the best BJJ players ever) have lost early on in their MMA careers in quite conclusive fashion.

There does seem to be a shift from the Gracies (from the Helio side, anyway) as teaching BJJ as a method of self-defence first and foremost. Royce, Rorion and Rickson have all said that BJJ is about a smaller person being able to defend themselves against a bigger person, not necessarily winning BJJ competitions or MMA matches. Being able to use BJJ to defend yourself and using it to win Tournaments are mutually exclusive though.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#434657 - 02/23/12 10:00 AM Re: The Death of BJJ in MMA, by Rickson Gracie [Re: Prizewriter]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
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Loc: York PA. USA
I wouldn't necessarily say that they are mutually exclusive, but the emphasis is certainly different. I'm surprised that Rickson would be worried that BJJ is dying out of MMA. Lost it's prominence, sure. But it's still an intregal part of MMA that can't be skipped. Ask Chael Sonnen, LOL.

It's not disappearing, but it has been subsumed in the overall repetoire of MMA. You have to be well rounded today more than ever.
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#434660 - 02/23/12 11:25 PM Re: The Death of BJJ in MMA, by Rickson Gracie [Re: MattJ]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
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Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
I think he is way off based. Just because it doesn't win nearly every fight now doesn't mean it's a fading force or not very applicable, I see at least as many fights won with slick BJJ/submission wrestling as striking. If he was right submissions would be a rare occurrence. If anything the importance of intensive training in it has never been greater because EVERYONE knows a lot now even at low levels of competition. It has changed quite a bit but that's it.

And no self defense and competition skills are not mutually exclusive. I've used BJJ on the street before and I'm also halfway decent in competition. You can be really good at both though many people won't. I highly doubt joe blow from the local bar would win a street fight with Paul Harris or Roger Gracie for instance. Or Braulio. You don't have to only train for one or the other, and even if you do only train for competition you'll still probably be able to handle 99% of guys on the street if it goes to grappling because most people suck at fighting. That's not ideal for self defense but it's absurd to think you can't use it effectively in self defense if you focus on training for competition.
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Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#434669 - 02/24/12 06:12 AM Re: The Death of BJJ in MMA, by Rickson Gracie [Re: Stormdragon]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
I think the reverse is also true. There are people who are training BJJ as a method of self-defence or self-improvement who have done really well in competitions. Kron Gracie (Rickson's son) placed very high in the World Championships and the ADCC too, even though he trains for self-improvement/self-defence.

Here's Kron's philosophy on training (and the importance of breathing!):

_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#434673 - 02/24/12 01:15 PM Re: The Death of BJJ in MMA, by Rickson Gracie [Re: Prizewriter]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Interesting guy, good link thank you. And you're right, self defense oriented people won't be the best competition guys but they can do very well. Actually, 80's and 90's BJJ competition looked more like the self defense approach than what we see in competition today.
He gives a good explanation of the art in this video. BJJ traditionally has some weaknesses though they are improving with exposure to other arts through mma (due to tradition and competition rules for example very few leg locks and neck cranks till black belt and even then you can't do certain things) but boy does it make you good on bottom and teach leverage and technique and patience over muscle and forcing things quickly. And that translates to both self defense and competition. The core concepts are the same really.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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