GTR Archives 2000-2022

 

Jiu-Jitsu Books 

by 

Roberto Pedreira

 

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From Brasil, Thailand, 

Japan, and Korea

 

Est. 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Top 14 Lessons Learned from 

Extreme Fighting 1

Roberto Pedreira

The historic event that (almost) killed the Golden Goose

Posted November 23, 2022

Read Here.

 

 

 

 

BJJ in Poland

 Guest Contributor, Jaroslaw Chmiel

 November 1, 2022

Has Poland lost its leading role in

popularisation and evolution of BJJ in Europe ?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu  entered the Polish scene in 1996 with Karol Matuszczak, who is regarded as the pioneer of the sport in Poland. Mariusz Linke was awarded the first black belt in Poland in 2006. Our country has long played a major part in combat sports such as Judo, boxing, Karate, freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, and so on. From the moment BJJ’s popularity kicked off after UFC 1 and IBJJF being established in 1993, it was just a matter of time until it reached Polish borders. 

Continue here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orlando Saraiva 

Conversation with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pioneer

Robert Drysdale

October 8, 2022

Master Orlando Saraiva was an orphan who found jiu-jitsu inside the government institution where he spent much of his youth. It was there he met one of Carlson’s friends and student Master Osvaldo Paquetá.[1] For his part, Master Saraiva trained under Carlson as well.[2] After moving to São Paulo, Saraiva became alongside Otávio de Almeida and Oswaldo Carnivalle one of the fathers of jiu-jitsu in that state. While jiu-jitsu was little known in Rio in the 70’s and 80’s, it was even less known in São Paulo during that same period. 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

The 40 BJJ GOATs 

The All-Time Best, by the numbers. Who are they?

Trigger warning: It isn't who you thought 

By  Robert Drysdale

September 1, 2022

Continue here.

 

 

The Rise and Fall of Jiu-Jitsu in MMA  

Robert Drysdale

Posted August 22, 2022

MMA has learned a lot more from jiu-jitsu than jiu-jitsu has learned from MMA. The respect for jiu-jitsu, despite claims to the contrary, is so obvious that few MMA fighters would venture inside a cage without a fundamental understanding of it. What about jiu-jitsu? Does it still watch MMA as closely as MMA fighters are learning from jiu-jitsu? I doubt it. Most jiu-jitsu practitioners have completely abandoned their interest in real-combat.

Continue here.

 

Gene LeBell 

Confronts 

Muhammad Ali 

 

"And I says, Ali, I know you boxers, you lie a bit...."

 

Roberto Pedreira

Posted August 1, 2022 (JST)

In a 2012 podcast interview with Daniel Theodore, Gene LeBell insisted that Muhammad Ali and Angelo Dundee were wrong when they said that Ali (then known by his slave name of Cassius Clay), was influenced by a pro wrestler named George Wagner, more commonly known as Gorgeous George. Actually it wasn't Gorgeous George, Gene says. It was Freddie Blassie.

Gene's version goes like this:

"Ali first fought for my mother at the Olympic after he was an amateur and she made him wear a button that says "I'm the greatest." He says "Mrs. Eaton I'm sorry, I couldn't wear that. What would people say?" 

Continue here.

 

 

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The Fallacy of Submission-Only 

 Robert Drysdale

Posted July 23, 2022

".... had that been a real fight with elbows and punches, the end result would have been a very different and bloody story."

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

Colorization

カラー化

The Politics of Color in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu

Translated with Comments by Roberto Pedreira

Posted July 18, 2022 (JST)

.....After a period of noble resistance, Japan finally bowed to the "trends of the times" and foreign pressure (外圧). In the end, it doesn't seem that much harm has been done by colorization. Japanese people who train judo recreationally in Japan still wear white uniforms. Japanese tournaments can require white uniforms. Or if Japanese judoka totally want to make fashion statements they can train BJJ.   

Brazilian jiu-jitsu lutadors also wear uniforms (called quimonos, aka kimonos). Being an offshoot of Kodokan judo, white quimonos were required for competition in events sponsored by the Federação de Jiu-Jitsu do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, as of 1975: "O quimono deverá ser branco..." ("The uniform should be white"). 

 

Continue here:

 

 

 

 

Malandragem and Winning 

in Jiu-Jitsu 

Robert Drysdale

 Posted July 9, 2022

       

When I was a BJJ purple belt, like the rest of my friends and training partners, the thought of securing myself financially or developing a career outside of jiu-jitsu wasn’t even considered as something of concern or as a viable option. Naturally, we all struggled financially and took advantage of the Latino tradition of having the luxury of living with our parents for as long as we needed to in order to develop a career and/or get married. 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Masahiko Kimura 木村政彦

Discusses Judo and Life with

Yasuhiro Yamashita 山下泰裕  

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Translated with notes by Roberto Pedreira

July 1, 2022

 

 

Read Kimura interview here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Breathe: A Life in Flow”

By Rickson Gracie

Rev. by Robert Drysdale

June 26, 2022

 

  

Breathe: A Life in Flow

"Jiu-jitsu needs an undefeated hero.”       

The story of Rickson’s life through jiu-jitsu in many ways parallels the story of a mythical hero. From an aggressive youth surrounded by other warriors who saw in warfare a means for status and turf dominance; to the trials of maintaining this dominance through war; to the political landscape as it develops alongside the hero’s victories; from the heights of popularity to the trials of the falls the hero must undergo; and finally, to the calm that follows the end of every storm.

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

The ADCC Blind-Spot 

and how to fix it

Robert Drysdale

June 18, 2022

 

"Different Rules, Different Game."

ADCC made its debut in 1998 on the coattails of the Royce Gracie and UFC revolution of 1993 as well as the initial growth and interest in BJJ lead by Royce and the same revolution that shortly after took shape in the hands of CBJJ/IBJJF. 

The story of how H. H. Sheikh Tahnoon came to be introduced to BJJ is a real-life reenactment of Eddie Murphy’s “Coming to America ” where life did indeed seem to imitate art. A curious story to which jiu-jitsu as a whole owes much to. I know I do. This story has been told elsewhere so I won’t rehash it here. What Sheikh Tahnoon did was essentially to give birth to one of the most prestigious and popular grappling events in the world. 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Win at Jiu-Jitsu 

while Keeping it Real

 Robert Drysdale

“Winning takes care of everything.”

--Kevin Randelman

June 9, 2022

As anyone familiar with sports well knows, once you create a rule-set, the first thing seasoned competitors will do is to figure out ways of winning by minimizing risk and effort. A reality that Brazilians happen to be particularly good at in terms of figuring out where these thin lines are, as well as treading them carefully enough.

Continue here.

 

 

 

Creonte:

 Loyalty versus Self-Perfection 

in Jiu-Jitsu

 

"a crime once exposed, only finds refuge in audacity."

Robert Drysdale

May 24, 2022

  

Having recently been promoted to brown-belt by Paulo, I was well aware that the competition was about to be a lot tougher and training with white-belts and blue-belts wasn’t going to be enough for the level I was aspiring to win in. Couple this with the fact that guys like Fernando Terere and Demian Maia (at a time when Terere was making Marcelo Garcia tap in competition) were personally calling me to invite me to train with them. It was all too tempting and despite having deep respect and admiration for Paulo and everything him and his team did for me, I don’t regret making the selfish choice I made.....

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

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桜庭和志

Learning to Lose 

Roberto Pedreira

Posted May 21, 2022 (JST)

"We are all ready to win, just as we are born knowing only life. It is defeat that you must learn to prepare for."   --Mr. Han

Mr. Han expressed Oriental pessimism, or some would say, realism. Williams, being a veteran of the US Army in 'Nam, didn't buy it. Losing wasn't part of his game plan. He didn't even think about it. There was no plan B. Defeat was unacceptable. Looking good was his game, which was logical; often it's easier to look good than to overcome a formidable obstacle. The Gracie Family agreed with Williams and 1960s American self-esteem theorists. Defeat is not OK. Being less than the best is intolerable. Death is better than losing. In fact, losing is an illusion. Any outcome is a victory, at least in some sense. Not losing is winning, losing is winning, everything is a victory, if not for yourself personally, than for your style, your team, or your teaching method.

Sakuraba, being Japanese, believed (some would say he knew) otherwise. Sometimes someone has to lose. 負ける時負ける, 死ぬ時死ぬ. When it's time to lose, or die, one will lose, or die. 負けるは負ける (losing is losing). That was Sakuraba's mentality. Some would call that pessimism, even tragically low self-esteem. Others would call it undeluded objectivity.

Continue here.

 

 

Coolness versus Efficiency

The Crisis in Jiu-Jitsu

 Robert Drysdale

Posted May 18, 2022

The term “jiu-jitsu” has been under constant change since it was first introduced in the West in 1892 and remains devoid of any clear definition. Yet, for the purpose of this article, I will stick to my own definition, which I believe isn’t too far from a universally accepted definition: Jiu-jitsu is that the purpose of jiu-jitsu is to practice combat as realistically as possible and within measured boundaries that allow for efficient learning on one end, while minimizing serious risk of injury on the other and with entertainment only as a side benefit.

Continue here.

 

 

American Jiu-Jitsu's 

Most Devastating Weapon

 足緘

 

Roberto Pedreira

Posted May 13, 2022 (JST)

As everyone has read or heard, the Gracie family of Brazil, Carlos and Helio in particular, improved and Brazilianized the inefficient and power based jiu-jitsu that Carlos learned in his lessons with a student of Maeda Mitsuyo (Conde Koma) named Jacyntho Ferro. 

Gracie jiu-jitsu proved to be efficient for real fighting in the first two and the fourth UFCs. Or at least, Royce won his fights using something he called "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu" that looked like a combination of rugby and judo. (It was unclear what UFC 3 proved except possibly that winning and losing are matters of degree and interpretation, as discussed here.) Rorion later admitted that it actually was judo here, with possibly some minor modifications. 

But there was plenty of room for improvement.....

Continue here.

 

 

 

To Gi or not to Gi? 

 Robert Drysdale

Posted May 4, 2022 (JST)

It has been a widely discussed topic among jiu-jitsu practitioners in gyms and on forums, the merits and differences between practicing jiu-jitsu in the gi and in no-gi as well as their purposes for competition, the reality of combat as well as for the future of the sport. Truth be told, the debate is far from new but that, nonetheless, lingers in our contemporary practice.

Continue here.

 

 

The Americanization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

What Went Wrong?

By Robert Drysdale

Special to GTR

April  20, 2022

 

The 2019 edition of the ADCC event was unique in the history of Jiu-Jitsu, but not due to the evolution of competitors and their techniques, There was nothing “unique” in that because technical evolution is normal whenever impediments are not in place to stifle it. 

What was so unusual was that for the first time in the history of Jiu-Jitsu, there was an attempt at creating a rift between practitioners of different countries. 

For the first time, this attempt at division was obvious for everyone to see, and what had originally been a cohesive effort in the name of the growth of Jiu-Jitsu, was now being crafted into a game of “us” vs. “them.”

Continue reading here.

 

 

BJJ’s Closely Guarded Secret Weapon

The Matsuba-Gatame (松葉固め)

 

Roberto Pedreira

Special to GTR

April 12, 2022

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu representatives seem to have a fondness for triangles. Maybe it's mostly the Gracie family. Their preferred logo design is triangular. Inside may be various images with perhaps esoteric meanings or aggressive animals. Reyson and Ryan liked Tasmanian Devils. Carlson liked Bulldogs. The Machados liked triangles but preferred seeing them in a circular frame, the circle perhaps indicating "inclusiveness" which they endorsed. They were happy to learn from their wrestler students, tweak wrestling techniques, and incorporate them into Machado Jiu-Jitsu. It may have had something to do with not trying to promote "pure water" jiu-jitsu as created and perfected by a particular individual "master."  

Before we get to the deadliest weapon, a brief historical review is in order. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available for a limited time! In both new-wave digital and old-school print editions. Unabridged and unadulterated.

The Forbidden Fortress of Professor Pakchang Tong

by Roberto Pedreira, author of Jiu-jitsu in the South Zone, Choque 1-3, and Craze 1-3.

 

 

 

Keeping it for Real with BJ Penn 

Posted February 26, 2022 (JST)

BJ Penn is a legendary BJJ artist and MMA champion. Does he have what it takes to be a winner in the brutal, cut-throat, free-for-all that is American politics, which honestly, makes the UFC look like Disneyland in comparison? 

Robert Drysdale comments below.

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"On October 5th 2021, former lightweight and welterweight UFC champion BJ Penn announced that he is running for Governor of Hawaii in the upcoming October 2022 elections."

Continue here.

 

 

 

BJJ Destroys Judo!

Roberto Pedreira

November 9, 2021

 

Roughly fours year ago, on November 27, 2017, GTR reported on a bizarre incident in which a judoka won a local BJJ tournament by defeating some BJJ stylists. It was provocatively titled Judo Destroys BJJ.  

Obviously there was a catch. The BJJ representatives were recreational blue belts. The judoka (wearing a blue belt) was a two-time Olympic Judo gold medallist.

Now the tables have turned.

Continue here.

 

 

Redbelt

rev. by Jake Jacobs

September 13, 2021

 

There are some neat fights in Redbelt, though fewer than in most films of the genre. I have a question for BJJ experts. Imagine you are standing behind your opponent, choking him into submission. Suddenly, he runs up a handy wall, and does a back somersault over you, ending up right behind you. My question is: which breaks first, your grip or his neck?  

Continue here.

 

 

Craze 3, 1915-1934 

available September 1, 2021

Summary and information here.

 

 

Worth Defending: 

How Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Saved my Life

 by Richard Bresler with Scott Burr

 Rev. by Robert Drysdale

July 01, 2021

 

 

 

Why do people train Jiu-Jitsu? It is physically exhausting, hard on the body, can be full of frustrations, and expensive. Is it the glory? The self-confidence? Fitness? The social prestige that comes with the gained respect? At its core, “Worth Defending: How Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Saved my Life" tackles these questions, with Richard’s memories as Rorion Gracie’s first student in the U.S. in 1979, jiu-jitsu in the U.S. in its infancy and also the story of the UFC as backgrounds. But more than this, the book is the story of a man who, above confidence, self-defense and social ranking, was after something of far greater significance: meaning.

Continue here.

 

Lost Pictures 

of George Mehdi

 By Robert Drysdale

April 26, 2021

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

ブラジリアン柔術

セオリー&テクニック

(Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Techniques)

By Renzo Gracie and Royler Gracie 

assisted by John Danaher and Kid Peligro

Rev. by Roberto Pedreira

Posted December 16, 2020 (Japan Time)

Serendipity recently brought Renzo and Royler's book[1] to Roberto's attention. It was published in Japan in 2003 and is mostly old news but contains a few points of current interest. Hence this review. The original English version was published in 2001. The Japanese edition includes an introduction by Yuuki Nakai 中井祐樹, who at that time was the head (会長) of the Japanese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (日本ブラジリアン柔術連盟.)

Renzo and Royler need no introduction. John Danaher is described in the book as a graduate of the Columbia University Philosophy Department and a student of Renzo and an instructor (指導員) at the New York Academy. Kid Peligro is described as a MMA journalist and jiu-jitsu black belt. All are obviously well-qualified to write about some aspects of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Apparently none of them are historians or can read the Japanese language fluently. Where did they get their historical information? Read on if you dare.

Continue here.

 

 

 

Closely Guarded Secrets

By Roberto Pedreira

October 19, 2020

 

"Do you want the power to easily defeat any human aggressor under any circumstances?" Hell, yeah, what American adolescent male wouldn't want that. The power can be yours. All you have to do is learn some "closely guarded secrets." Fortunately they aren't that closely guard. Anyone, literally, can possess them for mere pennies a day.

Does that sound like an ad for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu? It should because it is, at least it was back in 1998. In its defense, the Gracie family needed to pay the rent and ads like this were the way everyone sold their VHS tapes and books. (Actually the most successful ads were even more ludicrous, suggesting that their target demographic was 13 year old English speaking boys who were interested in pressure points and delayed death touches. See any martial arts magazine from the 1990s for examples.) 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

October 17, 2020

Opening Closed Guard

by Robert Drysdale

Rev. by Roberto Pedreira

 If you were wondering how much money Rorion Gracie would want to be interviewed for a documentary about the factual history of BJJ, you will find out in this book. If you were curious about how much Reila Gracie would demand for the same, you will also find out here. It will reveal the answer to the jealously guarded secret about why they aren't in the documentary. And more. Much, much more.

Continue here.

 

 

July 20, 2020 (JST)

 

The Man who Defeated Gracie Jiu-Jitsu 

(グレイシー柔術を倒し男)

Masahiko Kimura 木村政彦 

Discusses Judo and Life with 

Yasuhiro Yamashita 山下泰裕

Translated with notes by Roberto Pedreira

Exclusive to GTR

 April 18, 2020 (JST)

Updated July 20, 2020 (JST)

Continue here.

 

 

July 20, 2020  

The Greatest Gracie?

Who was he or she?

Carley Gracie Reveals the Answer

Roberto Pedreira

A GTR correspondent writes: [According to Carley Gracie] "from 1969 to 1972, he was the most highly regarded fighter in the Gracie family and was undefeated even among the Gracie fighters. He says that no Gracie ever beat him. Do you know if Carley had this fame among the members of the Gracie Family? Is there any evidence that no Gracie ever beaten him or were afraid of him?"

The correspondent poses the following specific questions about Carley's claims and asks if Roberto knows of any evidence as to whether they have a foundation in fact and reality, or rather are (or were) simply Carley's subjective impressions and wishful thoughts.

1. Was Carley Gracie the first Gracie to teach BJJ in the United States (invited by the American marines)?

Continue here.

 

 

 

May 12, 2020 (JST)

柔道の真髄:道と術 

Judo no Shinzui: Michi to Jutsu

 1965 revised edition Tokyo: 誠文堂新光社, by Mifune Kyūzō  (三船久蔵), 

Rev. by Roberto Pedreira, May 12, 2020.

 

Continue here.

 

 

 

May 11, 2020 (JST)

 

 

 山下泰弘闘魂尾柔道:必勝

Yamashita Yasuhiro Tōkon no Judo: 

Hisshō no Waza to Kokoro

1991 東京: ベースボールマガジン社

Rev. by Roberto Pedreira

Continue here.

 

 

May 1, 2020 (JST)

Interview with George Foreman

George Foreman talks about Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, the Gracie Family, MMA, Brazilian boxers, barbeque, and more.......

Gracie Magazine # 83, Dezembro 2003, Ano VIII, pp. 14-16

By Raphael Noguiera

Translated by Roberto Pedreira

Vovô Chapa-Quente

 Introduction by Raphael Noguiera

 "I'm going to quit soon," says Mister Foreman, about his retirement as a fighter of boxing.1 His declaration smells like marketing. Now 54 years old, the 125 kg former heavyweight champion has just signed a large (400 milhðes de dolares) contract with a company that makes barbeque grills (churrasqueiras). In other words, why would an out-of-shape rich man return to the ring? Mister Foreman answers, "In order to show people over the age of 50 that they can still live their dreams. My return to boxing will serve as an example to people who have lost their motivation for living." So said the 1.90 m Big Man (grandalhão) on his final day last month in São Paulo where he was introducing his line of grills (grelhas).

Continue here.

 

April 28, 2020

The History of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

From

 

Part 2

 

Section 3 pp. 31-32:  Mitsuyo Maeda's judo style for real fighting [前田光世の実戦柔道スタイルそのもの]

There are undoubtedly many people who have the feeling that current jiu-jitsu and judo are rather different. So, where did that style come from? The roots of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu are said to be heavily influenced by Conde Koma, or Mitsuyo Maeda. Mitsuyo Maeda's accomplishments were introduced in various sources including  世界横行柔道武者修行. and 世界横行第二新柔道武者修行 and others (など ). Inquiring about the story of Maeda's fights everywhere is very interesting. For example, like this: ”Well, a question was what were the rules of a fight with judo. The first rule was the opponent had to wear a training uniform. And, there was rule for how to surrender. Judo striking techniques and kicking were not used. ...... There were some foreign wrestlers who wrestled naked...... Maeda was not afraid of losing to naked wrestlers but it wasn't easy to win. It was difficult to throw them because they were naked. So the only options were naked strangle (hadakajime) or hugging neck strangle (daki kubishime)

Continue here.

 

April 25, 2020

 

Vitor Belfort 

Critica de Vitor Belfort

Gracie Magazine Ano III, N0 16

1998

 Translated by Roberto Pedreira

Instead of punching him out as people had by that time come to expect, Vitor decided to out-grapple Joe Charles in Ultimate Japan Super Fight in 1997. Eddie Goldman didn't like that. Vitor explained why he did what he did.

 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 April 18, 2020 (JST)

Interview with

Masahiko Kimura 木村政彦 

The Man who Defeated Gracie Jiu-Jitsu 

(グレイシー柔術を倒し男)

With Yasuhiro Yamashita 山下泰裕

Translated with notes by Roberto Pedreira

A taidan ( 対談) is a formal, public conversation on a circumscribed topic for the benefit of audiences, readers, or reporters. Such a taidan took place between Kimura Masahiko (木村政彦) and Yamashita Yasuhiro (山下泰裕)  in 1981 sometime shortly after the Maastricht 12th World Judo Championship (第十一回世界選権). Judging from Kimura's references to Yamashita's match with Saitō Hitoshi ( 斉藤仁), parts of the taidan must have taken place after the Japan International Championship (日本国際大会) in November. It, or some part, of the taidan was initially was published in the November 1981 issue of the magazine Kindai Jūdō (近代柔道, Modern Judo), and was later included as a supplement to Kimura's second memoir 我柔道 (My Judo, originally published in 1985 and 1988).1

Continue here.

 

 

 

April 15, 2020 (JST)

Q & A with Rickson Gracie 

Rickson Lays it Down

From Gracie Magazine Ano III, No 16

 1998

Translated with notes by Roberto Pedreira

April 15, 2020 (JST)

 

After his resounding triumph over the pro wrestler Nobuhiko Takada on October 11, 1997, at the Tokyo Dome, Rickson began preparing for a rematch. Takada had not performed up to the fans' expectations. Rumor had it that Takada "was not at full strength" for the fight. The rematch was set for October 11, 1998. Despite his rigorous training schedule, Rickson found time to go to Hawaii to watch the IV Pan-Americano de Jiu-Jitsu, held at Kaiser High School in Honolulu on February 7-8, 1998.

After the tournament Rickson held a Q & A, attended by various jiu-jitsu black belts, brown belts, blue bets, and others without belts. They included Saulo Ribeiro, Bruno Severiano, Eduardo 'Velho', Tatá, Vinicius Draculino, Fernado Vasconcellos, Mauricio Mariano, Barret [Yoshida], Rockson Gracie, Shaolin,  Pascoal, Ryan Gracie, Sarruça, Carlos Soneca, Hideki Azaoka, Yuki Nakay [Nakai], and Rumina Sato.  

Continue here.

 

 

Interview with  Gracie Jiu-Jitsu 9-grau Red-Belt

Armando Wriedt

9-grau faixa vermelha  

(October 17, 1924--August 29, 2018)*

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Armando Wreidt talks about people and places in the history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Interviewed and with notes by Roberto Drysdale

 April 11, 2020

From left to right: Fabio Takao, Jay Coleman, Armando Wreidt, Robert Drysdale, and Steve Jeter.

The following is the transcript of an informal interview between researchers and the late Armando Wriedt, one of Helio Gracie’s earliest Black-Belts. The interview took place at his ranch in Brasilia, where he lived his last days. 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

April 9, 2020 (JST)

 

What is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Part 1

By Roberto Pedreira

Rorion Gracie went to the USA to be a movie star. He ended up begging on the streets [according to his 1989 Playboy interview with Pat Jordan]. But only temporarily. Unexpectedly, his family's "jiu-jitsu" turned out to be very popular (thanks in no small part to Art Davie, Morishita Naoto, and a few others). It didn't happen suddenly or without some random luck.

One of the pieces of good luck that aided jiu-jitsu's rise to global dominance was tangsudo karateman/movie actor Chuck Norris's meeting with certain members of the Gracie clan in Brazil. Chuck was an open-minded guy with some judo background and was impressed with the Gracie's application of Brazilian common-sense to certain martial arts puzzles, such as, how do you win a fight, or avoid losing, to a large aggressive assailant who wants to beat you down with rapier-quick, devastating punches or back-alley Irish boot kicks? The Gracies had a solution. Chuck invited Rorion and a bunch of his brothers and cousins to explain what it was. 

Continue here.

 

 

 

February 27, 2020 (JST)

Prof. Kano's Villa in Abiko

 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 19, 2020 (JST)

Yamashita Yasuhiro (山下泰裕) talks about Judo and the Spirit of Olympism

Gendai (ゲンダイ), February 14, 2020, p. 26

  By 春日良一 (Kasuga Ryōichi)

Translated with notes by Roberto Pedreira

JOC Chairman Yamashita's Mission should be to Spread Olympism, rather than to Win a Certain Number of Gold Medals (山下JOC会長の使命はメダル数よりオりンピズム普及だ)

 

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 1, 2020

Craze 2 (The Life and Times of Jiu-Jitsu 1905-1914) is now (Jan. 1, 2020) available in Kindle.

      

 

 

 

2019

 

November 6, 2019 (JST)

Remembering George Kastriot Mehdi

By Robert Drysdale

It is difficult to credit the impact and depth of influence of someone who did so little in regards to his self-promotion during his lifetime, and yet did so much in furthering the growth of martial-arts in Brazil in a responsible and ethical manner. George Kastriot Mehdi was the prototypical martial-arts Master whose teaching went well beyond throws and submissions. He witnessed and helped kickstart a revolution that would ultimately culminate in MMA and BJJ, yet he never wanted anything to do with any of it, let alone to take any credit for it.

George Mehdi moved to Rio de Janeiro as a teenager where he would initiate his martial-arts practice there. The late Armando Wriedt tells the story:

“Hey kid, have you got the courage? You said you’re a fighter and so on." After all, he was really a strong kid. He would dance that ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’, he could dance that pretty well, he was good! Well, one day, he accepted, saying he wasn't afraid of anyone because he was strong. So, they took him over there. Getting there, the poor kid. Soon he faced off with Carlson […] So, Carlson did what he wanted to George, and George didn’t know what to do. So, Helio asked him, ‘Kid, you said you just arrived in Brazil’ […] ‘Come stay with us’. They didn’t have a guy to take care of the clothes. Valdemar [Santana] had already left, and so they put George in charge of the clothes. And George trained. He was strong.”  

Continue here.

 

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Posted October 22, 2019 (JST)

Updated November 6, 2019 (JST)

Top 20 Myths about Mitsuyo Maeda

 By Roberto Pedreira

Rorion Gracie reintroduced jiu-jitsu to the world partly by skillfully hyping his dad, Helio Gracie (for four early examples, see here, here, here, and here). He was criticized for favoring his dad at the expense of his uncle Carlos (most volubly by Reyla Gracie). And by Eduardo Pereira and others for ignoring Carlson, Robson, and numerous other legends. But what Rorion did was neither unusual nor new. Hype and obfuscation have always been part of the business of martial arts, and jiu-jitsu in particular. The founder of Kodokan Judo, and indirectly BJJ, Jigoro Kano (嘉納冶五郎) himself pointed it out in 1889 and he wasn't immune to its attractions (here). In fact, Kano innovated many of the methods that are still used today to promote martial arts. Moreover, Kano's own jûjutsu/judo odyssey began when he was attracted by choreographed martial arts shows not unlike the pro-wrestling and jiu-jitsu stage shows that followed. Possibly without even realizing, Rorion was following in the footsteps of the ultimate "Asian master". The methods were tried, they were true. And as we can see, they worked and are still working (here).

Not exactly by design, the Gracies, and even more so, their followers, over-hyped a Kodokan judoka named Mitsuyo Maeda (aka Conde Koma), who, they say, taught Carlos Gracie "real jiu-jitsu" which he, Carlos, improved and Brazilianized. Maeda's jiu-jitsu, although real, was not real enough for Carlos Gracie. Either Maeda neglected to teach his best student (according to Carlos, himself), about leverage, or Carlos forgot about it when he Brazilianized and improved jiu-jitsu. Along came Carlos' younger brother Helio, who added the leverage that had been missing. 

Actually the Gracies have had relatively little to say about Maeda. None of them met him, with the possible but by no means certain exception of Carlos, who was an unreliable source of information about virtually anything and everything. Most of the misinformation floating around the internet and in popular UFC-inspired mass-market books about Maeda comes from other people, including researchers, martial arts teachers, academy owners, and anonymous forum posters. Following are the 18 Top Myths about Mitsuyo Maeda.

Continue here.

 

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Craze 2

The Life and Times of Jiu-Jitsu 

1905-1914

By Roberto Pedreira

Available October 14, 2019

In January 1905, Mitsuyo Maeda,1 Kodokan 4-dan, and Prof. Tsunejiro Tomita 6-dan, arrived in New York by way of San Francisco and began attempting to plant the seeds of judo in the USA. They were following in the footsteps of Prof. Yoshitsugu Yamashita, Kodokan 7-dan, teacher of the American president. They were sooner or later joined by other Kodokan representatives, (acting on their own behalf), Akitaro Ono 3-dan, Nobushiro (aka Shinshiro) Satake 4-dan, and Tokugoro Ito 4-dan.2 Their rseults were small compared to those of jiu-jitsu promoters whose backgrounds were questionable at best, namely Irving Hancock, Katsukuma Higashi, and Yae Kichi Yabe.3  On the other side of the pond, Sadakazu Uyenishi, Yukio Tani, Taro Miyake, and Ernest Régnier, were exposing the public to jiu-jitsu in England, Wales, Scotland, France, Spain and Portugal. Jiu-jitsu representatives and self-proclaimed champions soon emerged in Australia and New Zealand.

Continue here.

 

 

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September 4, 2019 (JST)

QT Meets Bruce Lee

 Rev. of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

By Guest Reviewer Jake Jacobs

 I know, I know! You are dying to find out the scoop on the Bruce Lee scene in Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood. I have you covered.

The action takes place during a flashback, as Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), erstwhile stuntman, ponders why a certain stunt coordinator won't hire him.  After begging for work (backstory, which you don't need) he gets a chance on a Green Hornet.  A bunch of production people are hanging around while Bruce Lee, in costume as Kato, expounds. He says something along the following lines.

Bruce: "Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston, and Joe Louis - the black Joe Louis, not that white kickboxing asshole - they are warriors. I respect that."

Continue here.

 

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July 7, 2019 (JST)

The US Marines versus UFC Fighters? 

Who is More Badass? 

GTR's take on this Perennial Question

By Roberto Pedreira

No, Dana White didn't dream this one up. The UFC is not going to go lock-and-load toe-to-toe with the US Marines. This a serious question that deserves serious consideration.

Continue here.

 

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Short Book Notices

July 6, 2019 

Gene Lebell, Marcelo Garcia, Larry Hartsell, Dr. Pitisuk Kraitus, Udo Moenig....Udo Moenig? And others. The only thing they all have in common is that they wrote books about martial arts.  Some are old, some are newer. All have something to offer, if only food for thought, but some much more than that.

Continue here.

 

 

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 June 27, 2019 (JST)

Recovery

The Secrets of Taking Your Game to the Next Level

By Roberto Pedreira

Book Notice

 

Most, many, or at least some, people who train UFC, BJJ, MT, or other performance-focused, reality-oriented combat sports would like to take their game to the next level, or to put it in regular English, to increase their knowledge and skills, to improve, to get better. One way to do that is to train more and harder (and better). Unavoidably, we are limited in how much and how hard we can train by the wear and tear of the training itself. So training must be broken into sessions, with "Recovery" determining how long, how often, and how intense the training can be. Everyone therefore is or should be interested in the subject of recovery. The problem is, what is the best way to "recover"? There are plenty of people who would like you to purchase their products and services and will give you their advice trying to point you to their online shopping cart. There are many opinions, and personal anecdotes on the internet, along with plenty of  plain unadulterated old-school BS. What does SCIENCE have to say?

Continue here.

 

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 June 1, 2019 (JST)

 

MMAで戦うのなら、いますぐギ を焼き捨てろ!

 (If you are going to fight MMA, burn and throw away your gi right now!)

--Eddie Bravo

Eddie Bravo Interview 

(The original interview was conducted and published in 2004 in the Japanese Mook, 柔術王, pp. 43-47. English translation and commentary published June 1, 2019)

 

Rubber-Guard, Transforming MMA (ラバーガードがMMAを変える)

 Introduction:

-The man who submitted Royler Gracie.

-An "ordinary man of his time" whose great accomplishment at Abu Dhabi in May 2003 [actually it was the Abu Dhabi Tournament in Brazil] and at the same time introduced a revolutionary technique called "rubber-guard" and became known to billions of people [probably not literally billions].

-And, his face became familiar as an interviewer and commentator in the UFC and KOTC broadcasts.

-His radical remarks often caused ripples.

-He is the revolutionary kid of the American MMA world.

-He is a man who shook things up.

-We paid a visit to his new dojo in the heart of Hollywood, where he shared his thoughts with us.

Continue here.

 

 

 

 

 

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BJJ Goes to Cuba

"Training is training everywhere"

 By Robert Drysdale

May 22, 2019 (JST)

 

Cuba has always been an article of curiosity to me. I had the opportunity to visit the island for the first time in 2005 for a 10-day vacation in the two cities of Havana and Habana-del-este. The possibility of a second visit was originally suggested by a friend and Cuban National who suggested I treat my injuries in Cuba. His friends would take care of me: “Just go and have a good time. Relax a bit.”

In exchange for the help and connection, I offered to teach a BJJ seminar where a friend of my Cuban friend held classes of traditional jiu-jitsu (a style founded by a Japanese called Morita who migrated to Cuba in 1947 and created his own local lineage) at a municipality just outside Havana. They promptly accepted the offer and the seminar got booked immediately after the new year’s celebration.

Continue here.

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Why Rickson Gracie Doesn't Like Rubber-Guard

 By Roberto Pedreira

May  11, 2019 (JST)

 

In the early 90's Rickson Gracie marketed himself as Brazil's greatest vale tudo fighter, undefeated in ten years. (Helio Gracie, who did pretty much the same, did not take Rickson's PR seriously, but certainly understood why it was necessary. If you want people to pay to see you rolling around on the floor with another man, you have to give them feuds, back-story, and drama). It was not totally a phony story. There was a grain of truth to it. But it was grossly and deliberately misleading (see interview with Yori Nakamura). Gullible Americans (the types who read martial arts magazines, and some others, but few or no Brazilians) ate it up. In the process Rickson boxed himself in with his own subterfuge. He could not afford to risk losing for less than top dough (see interview with Morishita Naoto). 

Continue Here.

 

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Science and Sanity in BJJ

by Guest Contributor Robert Drysdale

Posted January 17, 2019 (JST)

 

One of my earliest experiences in Grappling was meeting a senior black-belt named Roberto Lage. He would have been in his late 40’s when I met him in the city of Itu where I grew up as a child and where I first began training. After rolling, Lage went on to compliment my skills (which boosted my moral and ego since I was an eager beginner) and went on to ask for my age, I told him I was 16, which seemed to surprise him. He said he thought I was 13 (I was a small teenager) and in a joking friendly manner said that the compliment should be cut in half (placing my ego right back where it belonged). Lage followed this with some advice that, although I remembered, I never took too seriously: “Take care of your body.”  

Continue here:

 

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Smiles and Tears at Rizin 14 

By Roberto Pedreira

Posted January 1, 2019 (JST)

Rizin decided to do without the Gracie family in 2018, and maybe from now on. The decision was probably not motivated exclusively by short-term cost-cutting considerations, judging by the size of Floyd's check (especially in relation to what he had to do to get it).

Rizin's plan seems to be to invest minimally in new, cheap, young, local talent, with a few affordable foreigners to spice things up from the fans' POV.

Was there anything of interest to the knowledgeable MMA fan?

Not much, but something is more than nothing so here it is.

Continue here.

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Is The Oswaldo Fadda Lineage a Non-Gracie Lineage?

 By guest contributor Robert Drysdale

Posted January 1, 2019 (JST)

In recent articles and internet forums much attention has been given to Oswaldo Fadda and his students as members of a non-Gracie lineage. Fadda was a student of Luiz França (aka Luiz França Filho, Luis França) who claimed to have learned directly from Mitsuyo Maeda (aka Conde Koma). For example, one of França's students, Antonio Vieira, testified that "O Luiz de França falava que aprendeu o que ele sabia com o Maeda que usava o pseudonimo de Conde Koma. O Conde Koma morreu em 41, então ele ficou sem professor" [Luiz de França said that he learned what he knew from Maeda, who was also known as Conde Koma. Conde Koma died in 1941 so after that he [França] was without a teacher].

Continue here.

 

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Mitsuyo Maeda Promotes Five Brazilians

 By guest contributor Robert Drysdale

Posted November 26, 2018 (JST)

On June 19, 1920 in the Northern Brazilian city of Belém do Pará, Mitsuyo Maeda promoted five of his students to the rank of primeiro galão.

The students were Jacyntho Ferro, Guilherme de La-Rocque, Dr. Matheus Pereira, Waldemar Lopes, and Raphael Gomes. The promotion of these five Brazilians is significant in that it is the only documented promotion ever made by Maeda. This is interesting because in 1928 Maeda reportedly claimed that he “never awarded a black belt to any student in Brazil.”  

Continue here.

 

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Posted November 7, 2018 (JST)

Updated December 9, 2018 (JST)

Floyd Mayweather vs. Nasukawa Tenshin

Japan was all abuzz Tuesday morning November 6, 2018 with the news that retired, undefeated, and fabulously wealthy, five-weight class world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. will return to the ring December 31, 2018. His opponent will be a 20 year Japanese kick-boxer named Tenshin Nasukawa (那須川天心). Tenshin will give up 10 kg and 11 cm to Floyd. In compensation, he has (some) ground skills and MMA experience. (Tenshin weighs in at 58 kg and stands 162 cm. Floyd is 68 kg and 173 cm). 

Continue here.

 

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Posted October 30, 2018

The Day BJJ Lost

 In which Masahiko Kimura proves that judo is the strongest kakutōgi by crushing Helio Gracie

By Roberto Pedreira (Special to GTR)

October 30, 2018

 

Everyone knows Helio Gracie fought Masahiko Kimura. Helio's first born son, Rorion, made it the centerpiece of his campaign to deify his dad, incurring Reyla Gracie's ire as a consequence. Everyone also knows that Helio lost (more accurately, was annihilated), and also that he didn't believe that he "really" lost because he didn't give up (instead he let his brother throw in the towel for him).

That's ok. Rorion wasn't writing a history dissertation. It's what Brazilians call "marketing."

Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics. It's the second time for Japan. The first was 1964 in which judo was introduced as an Olympic sport. Japan of course dominated. Since then other countries have had good success in judo. Japan wants to stay on top. Most Japanese people, contrary to stereotype, don't train judo and don't really care that much, but they like it when Japan wins. They also like to see good, classical judo no matter who does it, but especially when a Japanese judoka does. Anyway, the various martial arts groups in Japan are now working to arouse enthusiasm and support.

One manifestation of that is the comic book series devoted to Kimura's life and career published in the magazine Budo (武道). Kimura of course was born too soon to participate in any Olympic events, but he did something that resonates even more with ordinary people here: He beat Helio Gracie. The July 2018 issue describes how the event came about. 

 

 

Continue here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craze 1 

 The Life and Times of Jiu-Jitsu, Vol.1, 1854-1904

Available October 10, 2018

Information here

Order here

Kindle Edition available from October 23, 2018

 

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Did Oswaldo Fadda's Teacher Luis França Learn Jiu-Jitsu from Conde Koma?

 By guest contributor Robert Drysdale

September 1, 2018

The initial inspiration for this article came after some mild flak I received after an interview I gave for a podcast in regards to the “Closed-Guard” documentary film about the origins of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil. During this interview I made a comment about it being my personal suspicion that Luis França, Oswaldo Fadda’s teacher, was mostly self-taught given the lack of evidence available in regards to his apprenticeship under Mitsuyo Maeda the famed “Conde Koma.” The notion seemed to upset some people who, perhaps, felt I was being disrespectful to that lineage. In fact, much to the contrary, one of our goals is precisely to shed some light on the neglected and under-known history of Oswaldo Fadda and his important role in the development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) as an art. More to the point of the article however, it is my opinion that all practitioners are, at least to some extent if not mostly, self-taught.

Continue here.

 

 

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Roberto Drysdale Reflects on the Evolution of BJJ

 By guest contributor Robert Drysdale

August 2018

Based on my research, Carlos and Helio Gracie did not advance the evolution of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) technically. Instead, they preserved a niche style that was ground-oriented as opposed to its Judo mothership that was becoming increasingly more stand-up oriented. That was what later became known as BJJ. 

The notion that Carlos and Helio improved or invented an art is unsupported by reliable evidence. Unless we agree that they "evolved" ground-fighting in the same way every practitioner on the planet does every evening: by making small contributions to techniques. But nothing special there, since all practitioners are responsible for evolution in this sense, with varying degrees according to one’s time and effort on the mats.  

Continue here.

 

 

 

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Do Vale Tudo Brasileiro ao "Mixed Martial Arts"

by João Alberto Barreto

Rev. by Robert Drysdale

Special to GTR

 May 2, 2018

 João Alberto Barreto was one of the original "Heroes of the Rings" in Brazil. Recently he released a book telling his story and explaining his philosophy of fighting. Robert Drysdale reviews it here.

 

 

 

 

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March 24, 2018

Rickson Gracie and the Art of Thai Tae Tad

By Roberto Pedreira

 

Rickson Gracie believes in self-defense. Jiu-jitsu should be about self-defense, he insists. Guys who want to devote their careers to 50-50s, worm guards,  and berimbolos are welcome to do that, he says, but if the self-defense needs of ordinary non-super-athletes, are not addressed, jiu-jitsu will "drown". And it is drowning, he thinks. 

Rear naked chokes work very well, if you can get behind an aggressor without getting damaged. Obviously, people who have done their training against punchers and kickers will be able to do this with a reasonably high success rate. However, based on Roberto's experience, not many BJJ people actually do this sort of training, or not enough of it. So their lethal rear naked will not avail them of much more than the TKD stylist's deadly ax kick. 

Train your rear nakeds, by all means, but know that you need more. For beginners, the ordinary people with self-defense needs that Rickson is worried about, even rear nakeds or any other jiu-jitsu techniques, are not enough and may not even be needed. Rear nakeds are not the answer to every problem and are not without limitations.

Continue here.

 

 

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Jiu-Jitsu in Action

How Jiu-Jitsu Can Save Lives and Keep You out of Jail

Posted February 14, 2018

A drunk Australian named Benjamin Robb, age 43, decided he needed to choke one of the bar ladies, Roong-arun Sangsuwan. He grabbed her by the neck and squeezed until "her face turned blue", according to witnesses. 

Instead of letting the Thai staff and Thai police deal with it, Jose Manuel Polanco Jr., decided to step up and do the right thing, or play hero, depending on your point of view. Benjamin objected. Jose punched him. Benjamin fell. He was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Continue here.

 

 

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Posted February 13, 2018

Who was Oscar Gracie and who taught him Jiu-Jitsu?

 By guest contributor Robert Drysdale

Did Carlos Gracie learn the gentle-art of “jiu-jitsu” under the auspices and intimate paternal supervision of Mitsuyo Maeda, aka Conde Koma, as he and his supporters claimed (and still do), invariably without any substantiating evidence. 

A recent discovery throws important light on the question.  

Continue here.

 

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January 1, 2018

A Judo Visit to France

Saiin Shizuko 5-dan in France  Brest Le Télégrame July 3, 2017 (January 1, 2018)

 

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 2017

Judo Destroys BJJ

By Roberto Pedreira

The age-old question has now been answered.

The question derives from the assertion that a BJJ blue belt can beat a judo black belt in a BJJ competition.

Not many people would deny that other things being equal, BJJ guys are better at ground, and judo guys are better at stand-up. But what if other things are not equal? Suppose that BJJ guy is a typical blue belt and the judo black belt is an Olympic gold medallist.

Merely hypothetical! Could never happen! 

Wrong.

It happened Sunday November 26, in Samukawa [寒川], Japan (a small town about 30 minutes south of Yokohama).

Continue here.

 

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Posted November 6, 2017

The Theory and Practice

of the Jab

 By Roberto Pedreira

 Originally Published in 2003, revised and updated November 6, 2017

 

Ringside at the Mike Tyson vs. Tyrell Biggs fight (October 16, 1987) Sugar Ray Leonard observed that "a good step-in jab can be very effective against Mike Tyson. It remains to be seen if Biggs can keep this up.”

Tyrell couldn't and was knocked out in the 7th round. But on February 11, 1990, Buster Douglas shook up the boxing world. Unintimidated by Iron Mike, Douglas confidently used his jab to set the champion up for power shots and ended up stopping Tyson in the 10th round, capturing the sports world’s most prestigious prize in the process.

Continue here.

 

 

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Posted September 1, 2017

The Art of Selling Self-Defense

Guest Column 

by Robert Drysdale 

 

Robert Drysdale's BJJ and grappling accomplishments are too well-known to need retelling here. Below, he shares his opinions on "self-defense" in the martial arts industry.

Perhaps the most overly debated topic within Martial Arts, as well as its biggest financial draw, is the category of “Self-Defense.” It is virtually inseparable from combat disciplines and are often bundled up into the same category. People seek Martial Arts, for a number of reasons, Self-Defense likely being the prime one. The possibility of acquiring skills that could potentially save one’s life, or that of a loved one, has secured the Martial Arts a role in the upbringing of millions of children and adults worldwide as well as an entire industry that capitalizes on this. Fear is indeed a powerful sales tool.

 We should begin by defining and distinguishing the ends of the spectrum between Combat, Martial Arts, Competitive endeavor and practice....

Continue here.

 

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Posted August 27, 2017

Post-Fight Analysis of GTR Pre-Fight 

Predictions for 

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

August 25, 2017

Most of GTR's predictions (here) for the Floyd vs. Conor Fight of the Century turned out to be wrong.  

Conor boxed better than expected for the first few rounds, but being in shape for 12 rounds is part of the job. He fell apart after round 7. But at least he tried to make it a real boxing match, respecting the Noble Art. Floyd was Floyd, more so than usual.

Continue here.

 

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Posted January 25, 2017

How Floyd Might Kill Conor

and Vice-Versa

Written August 25 (Japan time), 2017  (before the fight)

GTR's prediction for Floyd vs. Conor is that it will end in a pro wrestling pandemonium scene. Conor will do a MMA move. Floyd will object, everyone will spill in and out of the ring. Someone will attack the referee, of course. Conor will pay huge penalties (supposedly) if he does that, but so what? He'll earn it back in the rematch.

Continue here.

 

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Posted August 8, 2017

Planos de Pagamento

How much does it cost to train in Rio? Answer not much, at least, not in 1999, which this is from. 

What kind of training do Cariocas want to do? Answer: Almost everything. 

What is a Carioca? Answer: If you don't know what a Carioca is, check out Vocabulary and Giria for the essential vocabulary and giria needed to training in Rio. (Don't know what giria is!? It's there too).

Continue here.

 

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Posted July 18, 2017

Rorion Gracie:

"The Gracie Family Launched Luta Livre"

     A GTR reader writes:

"Hi Roberto,

One of the realizations that I got from Choque, Vol 1, is how strongly pro-wrestling/catch wrestling influence was part of Brazilian jiu-jitsu from the beginning. 

The pro-wrestling vs BJJ modern debate which began with Sakuraba's wins over the Gracies, continued with Rickson's victories over japanese pro wrestlers, and currently continues after Josh Barnett's recent and easy victories over eminent BJJ blackbelts, actually was the tip of an iceberg of a close, historical relationship between both styles which goes deeper than previously thought.

Choque was the first to uncover this.

Continue here.

 

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Posted July 7, 2017

Rickson is Wrong about BJJ Innovations 

Guest column by Robert Drysdale

Rickson Gracie doesn't like jiu-jitsu techniques that aren't designed to finalize the opponent. A Jiu-jitsu match is like a hunter versus a prey. Hunters don't try to get points, medals, or trophies. Why should a BJJ fighter?  Accordingly, Rickson scorns such innovations as berimbolo and 50/50. (Read Rickson's views here).

Some people agree with him. But not everyone. World BJJ champion Robert Drysdale disagrees. Here, in an exclusive comment to GTR, he explains why.   

Continue  here.

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Posted July 1, 2017

"I was Skeptical about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu History"

Guest Column by Robert Drysdale 

 From time to time, ever since the beginning in 2000, GTR's editorial offices receive letters with questions, comments, and suggestions.  Some of them form the basis for GTR articles. Sometimes we revise articles based on corrections or suggestions from readers. In the present case, the letter below, dated May 28, 2017,  is interesting enough to justify reproduction (almost) in full, with the writer's permission.

Continue here.

 

 

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Posted June 12, 2017

Why Rickson Hates Berimbolo (and 50-50)

By Roberto Pedreira

On July 10, 2015, Revista Tatame asked Rickson Gracie for his thoughts on the berimbolo. Tatame explained, for those who hadn't heard, that berimbolo is a position that occurs when the guardeiro (the guard player) turns and inverts and thereby attempts to desequilibrar (destabilize) the opponent. Having done so, he will then have accomplished a raspagem (shave, or sweep) and will have a chance to take the adversary's back.

Continue here.

 

 

 

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Posted June 5, 2017

 Rickson's Favorite Fighters

"Rickson Gracie cita lutadores que mais gosta de assistir em ação"

By Roberto Pedreira

June 5, 2017

Rickson has high standards. It is easy to disappoint him. Almost everyone has holes in their game or what they are doing isn't his idea of real "jiu-jitsu" or they are too focused on "winning medals."

Is there anyone Rickson likes? Actually yes. Helio Gracie is without a doubt, the best and most technical BJJ fighter in history, Rickson believed in 1995, and possibly still does. Rolls Gracie was technical and fast, and almost equal to Rickson when he (Rickson) was 17. Royler was excellent too.

Continue here.

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A Conversation with Rickson Gracie

and Yori Nakamura (中村頼永)

Translated by Roberto Pedreira

May 22, 2017

The original conversation took place April 6, 1994 at the Cheesecake Factory in in the Marina del Rey Yacht Harbor, Los Angeles, USA, about 15 minutes by car from the Dojo (Rickson's, apparently, but it's actually closer to the Inosanto Academy, where Yori taught shooto and Jeet Kune Do), to promote the Vale Tudo 1994 Japan tournament held July 29 at NK Hall in Tokyo. It was published July 8, 1994, and republished in Kakutōgi Striking Sprits (格闘数トライキングスピリッと) May 1, 2002. It is presented here for the first time in English, with some comments by the translator, Roberto Pedreira.

Continue here.

 

 

 

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu versus Chinese Tai Chi

By Roberto Pedreira

May 6, 2017

Updated May 12, 2017

Could Rickson Gracie and his jiu-jitsu defeat a bona fide Tai Chi master? Probably, but that is speculation. Until Rickson accepts the challenge, gloves up, and climbs into the ring, we'll never know for sure. If a promoter comes up with the money, the mystery will be solved. Make it happen, Dana!

In the meantime, a somewhat similar test recently took place in China. (see here for video, note that it will probably not be up long). It isn't exactly BJJ but it's close enough. An MMA guy needed no more than 10 seconds to wipe the floor with a Tai Chi representative, proving that MMA is the best style. Right?

Continue here.

 

 

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 "Jiu-Jitsu is Gonna Drown"

But Rickson Gracie plans to do something abut it....

By Roberto Pedreira 

Posted April 11, 2017

Roberto Pedreira's first exposure to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ as it's now called, was via martial arts magazines featuring Rickson and the usual suspects. He was unimpressed. Pictures didn't do the art justice. It didn't matter that much because he was far away from any place where he could learn "BJJ", even if he wanted to.

Continue here.

 

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Posted February 1, 2017

The Greatest 

Heavyweight Champion

 By Roberto Pedreira

According to someone who would know, namely George Foreman, the job of the heavyweight champion is to make as much money as possible without losing the title.  

Continue here.  

 

 

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Posted January 1, 2017

Kron Gracie vs. Kawajiri Tatsuya

and other Rizin 3 Fights

The View from Japan

By Roberto Pedreira

Pride got into trouble, rumor has it, by borrowing from organized crime. The former president of Pride Nobuyuki Sakakibara is the founder of Rizin and evidently intends to avoid needing to borrow, by keeping costs down.  

Continue here.

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2016 Articles 

November 3, 2016

 

October 1, 2016

 

September 26, 2016

 

September 3, 2016

Negative Judo

Japan's Reaction to 2016 Rio Olympic Judo Results

 

August 30, 2016

 

August 18, 2016

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu versus Japanese Judo Revisited

1951 and 2002

Part 1: Before the Storm

 

August 18, 2016

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu versus Japanese Judo Revisited

1951 and 2002

Part 2: Aftermath

 

July 25, 2016

 

June 18, 2016

 

June 1, 2016

 

May 11, 2016

Top 24 Myths and Misconceptions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 

in Pat Jordan's 1989 Playboy Article about Rorion Gracie

 

May 9, 2016

 

April 19, 2016

 

April 8, 2016

 

March 16, 2016

 

 January 1, 2016

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