Renzo Gracie: Gracie Academy Turning Jiu-Jitsu Into Kung Fu Just Trying To Sell Products

Renzo Gracie talks about the real jiu-jitsu


  1. I’m a Kung Fu practitioner, and Renzo is 100% correct. I remember when the Kung Fu guy was the one making fun of Karate, Judo, and all of the other arts in NYC because people grew up doing kung fu lived in poverty and rough neighborhoods back in the 60’s and 70’s. There were bareknuckle tournaments right here in NYC chinatown in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. Once neighborhoods got better and the fighters had their own kids, they wanted them to stray away from all that stuff and go to school and get an education. All types of martial arts are going to have this. You have the fighter or the real deal followed by people who want to use it as a money making scheme.

  2. It gets worse, Royce now is telling everyone that no one teaches jiu jitsu like his father except the Valente Bros in Miami so lookout familia. YOU have been scrubbed, all Royces network schools have been scrubbed, ) no chance of black belt, You want a blackbelt from Royce go to Valente Bros end of year saleabration.

    So if the Valente Bros only offer real jiu jitsu like Helio what the hell has Royce been teaching his afilliates that pay him a monthly fee, must host him annually and everything else?

    Looks like they have been misled? Do they get a refund ?

  3. there is nothing wrong with making money off of selling products for your academy. that’s how smart businessmen make money. dont hate because you’re not willing to make videos or have an online training program or women’s self-defense DVDs or helio100 gis or whatever else they are selling. they are selling to their customers and their clients and people who want to give them their money. this is america and people can give their money to anyone they want to. it’s called a free market. not everyone who trains jiujitsu wants to be ufc fighter or bjj world champion. they are lawyers, doctors, businessmen… etc… they dont want or need “hardcore” do or die training… you don’t need to be a pro athlete to be able to use jiujitsu to defend yourself on the street. majority of people who train don’t want to be “hardcore”. they want to train smart, avoid injuries, have fun!

  4. This is ridiculous, I have been a BJJ instructor for a few years now and recently received my Black Belt a few months ago, with my instructor being direct lineage to Renzo. I have seen all walks of life as an instructor, I myself am a professional mma fighter, but we have doctors, lawyers, college students, women, athletes, non athletes, etc training at the academy. What Gracie Academy is doing is wrong, they’re severely watering down the art and giving people a false sense of security. We make sure that everyone is paired up accordingly while training, we correct techniques when people are doing them wrong, we make sure people are eased into rolling rather than thrown to the wolves and make sure that your rank is earned accordingly. These are all things you can’t do with Gracie Academy. No one to guide you, no one to test your skills against to see if your skills are real, no one to show you why you’re making a mistake or doing it wrong etc. It’s not only wrong on so many levels but unsafe.

    • First, everything I speak to regards self-defense BJJ, and does not apply to MMA or sport.

      I can’t speak to what Gracie University (ie the online program) is offering blue belts and above. For white belts, they are offering a really well broken down curriculum of something like 36 techniques that are meant to work against a potentially bigger but *unskilled* opponent in an unavoidable assault scenario.

      I agree that for this to truly be *self defense* it needs battle testing against highly aggressive opponents using “unskilled attacks* (who of course stop short of intentional serious injury) and who can put you into a fight-or-flight fear state. IMHO, demonstrating that would earn a Blue belt.

      Neither Gracie University (GU), nor traditional BJJ does this. Arguably, traditional BJJ comes closer, because you do face a variety of more skilled and often larger opponents, albeit in a collaborative rather than aggressive atmosphere. Tournaments may help even more.

      GU is very good for instilling proper reflexes with a collaborative training partner (who should continually ramp up the resistance and ask “what if (I knee you right now)” questions). Traditional BJJ for white belts doesn’t seem to address actual strikes at all (not all schools, obviously, but the sport-oriented ones ).

      Rener and Ryron say something like “If you don’t train against a striking opponent at least once a week, you are not doing Gracie JJ”. (That’s meant for advanced white belts and up).

      Anyway, my point is, as far a self-defense readiness goes, neither rolling at a sports academy or testing techniques through GU will suffice. Both will help serious students quite a lot though.

      Then go out with an equally motivated partner wearing serious protection and see how well you do wearing only a cup and mouthpiece. That’s when the real learning might happen.(*)

      *I’ve never done actually done that, but would like to go through model mugging type scenarios once I get a bJJ blue belt and have some ground vocabulary. I have, however, participated in one Dog Brothers gathering, and I learned that being functional in a fear state is a specialized skill that needs to be trained for.

  5. I think underneath it all is a disparity in those that believe in the old ways and don’t want to let them go, versus those pushing the buttons for a new way.

    I don’t believe online training is the most optimized way to learn and I don’t really believe that the Gracie Academy believes that either. I think it is a way to expose people to BJJ who have no other way to learn. Perhaps they live in some remote town with one 7-11 store, and a gas station. It’s better than nothing.

    Is The Gracie Academy a money making venture as Renzo Gracie accuses? Sure it is but so are most BJJ schools especially the ones with trademarks and affiliations. Renzo Gracie’s name, his trademark, his school, and his many books (which ironically tries to teach BJJ outside of a traditional classroom as well) are also money making ventures trying to sell a flavor of BJJ.

    But all the Gracie Academy controversy aside there is a huge duality in what many people say. They believe BJJ should be taught as it always has been taught, and to do otherwise is just cheating yourself. That’s bull! BJJ has one of the highest attrition rates of martial arts. The problem with the traditional method of teaching is its casual, osmosis way of learning.

    It’s not very structured. You are pretty much just thrown into the fray and it’s sink or swim. Your very first class, you have no idea what to do and you are thrown into rolling with someone who is experienced and the feeling of helplessness and beats the hell out of you. Everyone of us knows that, right? It was a rite of passage. But, for the number of people who stick with it how many people quit because they were turned off by the experience? A LOT!

    Now the first thing on your mind might be that those people are not meant to do BJJ. They’re weak, or have no patience so good riddance. But, really, is that a good thing for business? Is it good for your school who struggles to pay rent, and maybe some money for the instructors to make a living when they lose 8 out of 10 people who walk through the door?

    Just because that’s the way it has always been done does not mean it’s the best way. That’s why more and more schools are rethinking the old ways BJJ has been taught. You see more “beginners” and “fundamental” classes where they learn the basics, or use repetitive drilling.

    Finally, people, including the Renzo Gracie, have to remember that not everyone wants to or is able to invest the same amount of commitment to BJJ. There’s a difference between a 20 year old with all the time in the world and ambitions to win the Mundial, versus the 45 year old with a full time job, three kids, and a dog just looking for a hobby to stay in shape while his skis are away. Or maybe the soccer mom looking for a means of self defense.

    Different people have different needs, and many of us do not live in Brazil so things have to adapt and change.


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