Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie believes you have a responsibility to your community to teach the minute you put a black belt on your waist.
BJJ Legends: I noticed that you said you wouldn't be a Jiu-Jitsu fighter without self-defensive aspect, will not be a complete fighter or inability to teach. What responsibility do Jiu-Jitsu artists have to share the art, to share the sport, supportive aspects of the art and the self-defensive aspects of the art with others?
Rickson Gracie: I think, I mean, you can compete, you can have no responsibility of anything. But at the moment, you become famous, you put a black belt in your chest, I mean in your waist, and you open a school. You should have the compromise to serve the community in a complete way. I think if you just gotten, I mean, I heard another day, a student coming to his teacher, his Jiu-Jitsu teacher and asked for self-defense. And he said, No, if you want a self-defense, you learn Krav Maga. We hear training Jiu-Jitsu competition, and I feel like this is just like killing the sport, that's killing our traditional culture. Because the first generation, the second generation of the Jiu-Jitsu family, when they go on the street, they feel comfortable while they're competing. And why this doesn't translate anymore? Is just because the competition becomes so specific, so much detailed in grips and stalling, which doesn't translate in effectiveness anymore.
And on the schools, the programs of self-defense have been forgotten, just because 'let's train, let's roll, let's have fun.' But the community service, the need for the community is much more than just having fun, or get sweat or get busted ears. You have to know how to protect yourself from a slap, or a knife or a gun or something. You have to have chances, nobody is going to be unbeatable, nobody is superman. But more elements you have to fulfill the need, the more you going to feel better, walk around, talk better, everything will be better for you. And the Jiu Jitsu I learned all my life, the Jiu Jitsu I teach all my life, has none of those strategic elements to the medal.
It's all bout effectiveness, it's all about what works for you on the mat, on the street or in the cage. And that's I feel like, that's crucial for us to preserve our culture and leave Jiu-Jitsu to the future with some kind of reference. Because now, or a few, the Jiu-Jitsu is going in that direction. And the roots and the effectiveness and what we believe is being forgotten. And Jiu-Jitsu maybe ten years from now, will be like Judo, with great athletes, tough guys, but doesn't translate to reality anymore. It's like Taekwondo, which same thing, great athletes, super moves, but completely unrealistic if you put the guy on the cage or in a self situation, on a self-defense.
Tomorrow: Rickson gives us one of several gems not to be missed: Effectiveness (being able to protect yourself) vs Efficiency (winning tournaments)
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson answers is it still practical in the application of self-defense Jiu-Jitsu to control my opponent until help arrives?
BJJ Legends: It's been said that in a self-defense situation, a realistic consideration of holding on until help arrives is a viable option. What are your thoughts on that?
Rickson: Depends. I mean, if you're talking about self-defense in a situation where I'm in a regular equal situation, I can hold the guy for the cops arrive or whatever. But if I know, by holding the guy, his friends will come, or if I'm a fragile woman who has just gotten space and get out of there, it's a completely different feeling of how you have to protect and survive. I feel like jujutsu's capable to give to the opponent a very complete spectrum of the possibility, either to deflect the energy and try to escape, either to kick the guy's butt, whatever it is, the need. In some cases, the opponent is bigger, stronger, meaner, you wanna just the deflect, get space and get out of there as quick as possible. The options are there and the way you're gonna use it will depend of the need.
Tomorrow: Rickson answers the question, Do we still need self-defense taught in Jiu-Jitsu Schools?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson answers the question, Do we still need self-defense taught in Jiu-Jitsu Schools?
BJJ Legends: I spoke with a Jiu Jitsu black belt who told me that he felt that self-defense, the self defensive aspects of the art, were no longer necessary. His opinion, the capable blue belt would be able to handle themselves on the street in a self-defense situation, if they had experience competing under the supportive elements. This sounds like to me that you don't believe that.
Rickson: I definitely don't believe that.
BJJ Legends: Why, why not?
Rickson: Because you know, I've been doing seminars all over, and they may know how to [inaudible 00:00:38], how to guard, how to be the action, but they don't know how to avoid punches in the guard. They don't know how to feel comfortable in a stand up situation. They don't have no ideas of how to use the side kick, the blocking. So the fight doesn't start and or end on the ground. A lot of things can happen in between and I feel like, not only for the competitor, because if you think every guy going to go in your school to learn how to compete, you're very wrong. I mean, the self-defense program is to feel women, children, who has sometimes like a little intimidation, they feel like shy or insecure.
So you cannot expect this kid will be a great competitor. You have to feed them with what they need so they don't get bully on the streets. So just by learning how to not be pushed or not fall easy is already a great positive valuable thing for him to learn. The elements Jiu Jitsu has to favor the community cannot be just forgotten because somebody's just had [inaudible 00:01:43] years and try to compete. I think competition is a great aspect of the sport to develop the atheletics by the competitive result of the athletes, but not to fulfill their needs of a different purpose like a law enforcement, women, and so on.
So I'm totally disagree with that. And for me, the Jiu Jitsu who don't know self-defense, he's incomplete, he may even can handle himself, but he don't have no elements to teach his daughter or his weak cousin to be what he does. So for me, our culture is based on self-defense.
Tomorrow: Is it still practical in the application of self-defense Jiu-Jitsu to control my opponent until help arrives?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series Rickson tells us if he will award points or advantages for sub attempts.
BJJ Legends: In Budo Challenge, you set up a situation where competitors are awarded points; eight points, I believe, for attacks, near submission attempts. We saw this many years ago. There was a similar rule in there that rewarded attempts at submission. Will you look to incorporate something like that in the current rules into new rules?
Rickson: No, the idea of Budo Challenge was make something even more sensational for TV was like extreme, only for top athletes, not exactly for like the academic, not for competitions, not even visualizing amateur sport. So we highly… pushing the guys to go for submissions and let everything out. The time limits are smaller, pushing one to explosiveness, so the idea was to create a very dynamic explosive grappling action. I mean, the results are great and this 75% of the fights were finished by submissions. So we have great result at the time. But this concept for the federation is completely different. It is more like attending the vision of becoming Olympic, attending of one vision of unifying the sport and making all the great grapplers. Kind of feel like they belong to one important community which ranking them is a unified system and giving to them the possibility to grow including to a bigger medium, you know.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series Rickson describes us what is wrong with the current tournament rules for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ Legends: Interviewer: So lets talk about the rules then a little bit because this is obviously something that is a concern to you and you feel it's at the heart of what the problem is currently at least in jujitsu, where the division lies and an element of the artistic aspect. The rules as they exist now, do you feel that they facilitate or promote stalling?
Rickson: Definitely, I feel like the rules are a big problem for us today. Because the intention of the rules are the best, but people start to use the rules in their favor to become more confident to get the medal. So they start to develop, within the rule, situations to be legal and still be able to keep the pace under control. I feel like this is completely against the actual progressive aspect of the fight. So the rules, I mean, I don't want to reinvent the wheel, so the classic points will stay.
The advantage has to go, because the advantage is a very gray area which now they are being used by the top fighters as a point. It's like imagine basketball game where the ball in the rim counts or a soccer game where the ball on the post counts. So people are not going to be paying attention more to making the basket. They will, if anything, touch the ring, okay, it's a point, so they start to play with this kind of advantage as a solid point. And sometimes, you see a ten-minute fight be decided by one advantage. So that kind of downgrades our expectations in terms of action. So by taking that advantage off, keeping the points, the real points on and also penalizing stalling by warning, minus a point, minus two points and DQ, we completely give the athlete the compromise to move, to act, instead of just waiting in a holding position which has no purpose in real life. We develop, we push him to keep moving and if he's in a bad position, make sure to get out of there. If in a good position, make sure you escalate, but you cannot just stall and just jeopardizing the sport, the patience of the audience and so on. So the sport has to be a continuous dynamic action. So I feel like that adjustment in the rules, you create a different, progressive, dynamic fight, which is better for everyone.
Daily Rickson interview series 1of24: What is the Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation?
BJJ Legends: Hi, Rickson. My name is Mafu Kobus. I'm here for bjjlegends.com. Welcome.
Rickson: Thank you, my friend. It’s a pleasure to be here with you and with the audience.
BJJ L: Thank you very much. Look, if you don't mind we will just jump right in this. Lately you’ve been promoting the JJGF. Everywhere I have seen it, on the internet. Anywhere I go I see your face, talking about the JJGF. Why don’t you give us a brief introduction to what the JJGF is?
Rickson: Nothing can put me on the position to be more motivated than have this kind of special feeling of work for the sport and for the community. I feel like JJGF got me in a very needed time because we are not here to compete with any assistant, federations, associations, or so on. We are here to provide a very important service to the community and to the sport. I think service has to be our mission in order to fulfill the need, to resolve our biggest problem which is losing effectiveness. So in order for us to restore effectiveness in our beloved art, we have to work in a very complex way, and that is what the JJGF had been doing. We create a very nice digital platform to cover three different aspects of three different pillars of action. The first one is communication. Included in that communication aspect, we are going to try to inform the community with all the elements in jiu-jitsu from tournaments, to what is going on.
We’re going to have a master's council. We are going to be there to be the voice, be active for the community. We are going to have a development council which made not from the high masters but from the guys are hands on, guys with many schools; they know what the problems are. So we are going to listen to them. We are going to create a personal profile for every athlete who would like to be involved a Facebook-like kind of thing because we believe by having their voices and asking to the masters, talking about what they feel about the community, about the sport, that will improve our sensitivity to get there. We will also create a very important element of not only communicating and listen, but also, like a directory. A free directory for every school and a paid directory for affiliated schools. But I believe the federation has to be compromised to expose everybody who do jiu-jitsu.
So if you have a jiu-jitsu school, you will be listed in our federation. So based on that communication aspect, I feel like these unifies the community and give a voice for everybody who has some kind of passion about the sport. That is the first important pillar for our federation. The second one is the competitive aspect which like for today is no matter if you are association, if you have a federation, or if you are just an independent promoter, in the today's global competitive aspect, it is a big split. I mean, some associations or federations have tiny events a year. Some has 20 or 30. Some others have 10. So it is always split like a cake. And because they are not unified, because they are not thinking the growth of the sport, they all become different corporation. Which translate them and a good business for them but does not translate in the unified view of the sport. You cannot create a ranking.
So everything makes difficult for the sport to grow for the next stage. So I believe in order for us to reach the next stage which is unified rules, like for example, from the IJJF, they have 30 events a year. We can pick maybe 5 events, the top events they have. We can pick 5 events of NAGA. We can bring 2 or 3 from grappling class and U.S. Open. So we can get a bunch, maybe hundred events a year we produced. We may get 10 or 15 events to make our worldwide circuit. And giving a different flavor because if we can get in, that’s big sponsors, major sponsors like Galax, Nike, Bench, whatever. So in that way, if the sport is unified in a sense, we can grasp the possibility for Olympics. We can grasp all the possibility to make our huge growth, not only for the fighters as a premium top selected group of athletes, but also for the promoters, also for the audience, everybody who want to take advantage of it.
In order for us to create that unified rules, it is important for us to think about the future of jiu-jitsu. And if we are talking about the rules today, maybe this is the biggest element that jeopardizing the quality of our beloved art. Because, like I said in the beginning, our problem is restore effectiveness. Why I say that is because from the last 20 years or so, the evolutionary process of the tournaments, made the athletes be very strategic, very smart in a way for the medal. But that efficiency into going to the medal, does not translate an effectiveness in real life, in the cage, or any other self-defense situation. So what I try to bring back is the concept of training in tournaments is a good step to make you comfortable in life, to make you comfortable in any self-defense aspect which does not translate today. I mean, I love tournaments, I love to see fights, but at least 8 in 10 fights, I feel boring to them.
It is just positions, I call anti jiu-jitsu moves which are developed to give to practitioner more control to the situation, more capabilities in one's move, able to get advantage or get a point or whatever, and then they stall again, and then they win the tournament. It is great for that medal but that is jeopardizing our culture which is dynamic action, motions, going to the cue, and by getting this progressive way. It does not matter if you would fight in the tournament or if you will fight in a real life situations. That is kind of very similar. But if you start to add those anti jiu-jitsu moves which are developed to exactly to stall the motion, and to keep everything in that visible control situation, you’re definitely jeopardizing the effectiveness of the sport. So, my intention is to bring back a new rule which keeps the fighter progressively looking for submission. And that hopefully would change the dynamic of the action and makes the effectiveness back to the sport.
Well renowned and a bit controversial early this year Submission Fight Co was under fire for the distribution of selling non hemp kimonos to their customers. It was later revealed in a recent statement on their blog site that they were victim to a misleading distributor overseas in Pakistan that supplied them with the false merchandise without their knowing. Looking to rebound off its past scrutiny Submission FC is determined to make right of it wrongs to the BJJ community with future participation in charity events such as the upcoming “Grapplethon: Team Liam's Fight” and the release of its new BJJ Hemp T-Shirt collection which hopes to take the brand in a more positive direction and innovative in clothing fashion off the mat.
Their first batch of Hemp Shirts sets the tone in motion which I can concur combines all around comfort with stylish appeal in representing the BJJ lifestyle where ever you go. Top testing facility SGS Lab conducted a test on these new Hemp shirts. The results show that these shirts are made of 55 % Hemp and 45 % Organic Cotton. Now you may be asking yourself how this differs from other fabric material. For those that are not familiar, Hemp material carries a stronger, lighter, and is more resistant for retaining bacteria thus making it an all-natural shirt.
The shirts are Pre-Shrunk so the buyer won’t have to worry about the shirt shrinking after it comes out of the washer. Speaking of washing details from performing the procedure myself it is recommended to wash the shirt in cold water and hang dry it to prevent damage of the product thus retaining its appearance.
The physical features of the shirt are a standout quality that can attract any buyer. The artwork is what caught my attention which surprisingly carries a hidden message behind the design.
Probably inspired by the recent Sharknado craze Submission FC's Ocean Blue “The Ground is My Ocean" Shirt features a Shark springing out the water to attack his foe. The name behind the shirt is a famous quot by Carlos Machado* used many years ago clarifying his superb skills on the ground which adds deep value when you wear it something I’m sure every grappling practitioner carries with them especially when facing an opponent in competition.
The second model Submission FC's Natural White "If Size Mattered the Elephant Would Be the King of The Jungle" Shirt features a Roaring image of The King of the Jungle himself a Lion. Once again carrying a powerful meaning in its product, the message is a quote from another BJJ Legend Rickson Gracie which every person can identify with growing mentality, physically, and technically to become better as a BJJ fighter.
Comfortable, Stylish, All Natural, and Making a Strong Statement Submission Fight Co Hemp BJJ Shirts is everything a grappling practitioner could ask for. Without question their Gi's have made an impression on us all which looks to continue with the first batch release of these great Hemp shirts.
Looking forward to see what Submission FC has in store for us in the future.
In the words of Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa, "Everything is worth it if the soul is not small." The day she was born, no one could know what a major impact Professor Yvone Magalhaes Duarte, First Female Black Belt (1990), would have on the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The more you grow in the sport, the more you want to know about the roots of your new found addiction. BJJ has grown substantially since Professor Magalhaes Duarte received her black belt. This trailblazer paved the way for today's women in the sport. Knowing how she did it and the strength it took during the time she did it (mid 70s-90s) should make us all want to leave a more profound legacy for BJJ generations to come.
Professor Magalhaes Duarte's start in BJJ began with her brother and mentor, now a coral belt, Master Pascoal Duarte. She came along during the "golden age of Jiu Jitsu when the best BJJ fighters showed up, the best time in all times, Royler Gracie, Cassio Cardoso, Rolls Gracie, Sergio da Penha, De Larriva, Jan Jack, Marcelo Behring, Rickson Gracie, Otavio Peixotinho, Fabricio Costa, Paulo Caruso...and many others! The best time of BJJ!" She rose through the ranks alongside Marina Alcantara, Laila Zalfa, Ana Maria D'Avila, Fernanda Bulhoes and Lucia Moraes. Unfortunately the other women never received their black belts.
Early on in her career Professor Magalhaes Duarte recognized developing her own unique approach to her matches was crucial to ascend in the sport. She trained as often as possible. She was a petite fighter and was explosive. Her ambition was as admirable as her drive noting "during different periods Jiu Jitsu was the major thing in my life. I have always wanted to fight! I want the honor to teach my grandchildren." She originated from the academy of the renowned 9th degree red belt, Master Osvaldo Alves. Diversity at this academy ran the gambit from professional fighters to philosophers.
Rio was a melting pot and anyone willing to take up the noble art of Jiu Jitsu was welcomed with open arms. Once Professor Magalhaes Duarte received her black belt in October of 1990, one part of her journey had come full circle. She had become THE FIRST...The first of many to come. After receiving her black belt she became an instructor at the Police Academy, her classes grew immediately. Fast forward to the present and Professor Magalhaes Duarte is still as dynamic as ever. She makes her presence known fighting for sociopolitical and economic deficits. "My fights today are for others. I am working and fighting for human rights. I fight for the demarcation of indigenous lands. I fight for a society without inviolable refuge!” These words for are explosive and indicative of why the professor has become such a major pioneer not just for women in Jiu Jitsu, but for the world of Jiu Jitsu. She displays passion for what she loves. She is a pioneer full of grace, poise, and knowledge that hopefully future fighters will aspire to.
Professor Magalhaes Duarte has nothing but fond memories as a competitor, no regrets indicating "my Jiu Jitsu victories are now good memories; I have given my contribution. The principles of this fight are still with me and I want to keep sharing with others." She currently resides in Rome and lucky for the BJJ world, there are no signs of her slowing down. If you want to find out how far a culture has come, you need only look to its foundation. In order to know where you are going, you must remember where you have been. Our history can do one of two things for us. It can provide us with building blocks for future success or condemn us to a perpetual state of arrested development. The path is ours to choose. This pioneer has blazed the way from the CBJJE to the IBJJF, who’s got next?
Rickson Gracie, Rolyer Gracie and Flavio Canto Join Forces for Rio Benefit.
Wednesday, January 19th at 8:30 PM at the Escola de Educação Física do Exército, in Urca, three BJJ Legends are donating their time to assist in alleviating the effects and devestation in Rio this past week. Brothers, Rickson Gracie and Royler Gracie will join Olympic medalist Flavio Canto and conduct a seminar for the victims of the tragedyf rom Região Serrana do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.