Monthly Archives: June 2013

More Metamoris Fallout

So if you’re following the saga, Ralek Gracie has responded to the fallout from M2, no doubt due to the hammering that Metamoris and the Gracie Brothers are taking from virtually everyone as a result of what took place (*cough Shaub*)….

First of all, big props to Ralek.  He is still a young guy who is looking to carve out something of his own, living in the shadows of family giants.  Metamoris is a well intentioned and clever alternative to those who do not value the IBJJF format.  It is a more realistic competitive application to the Helio Gracie style of jiu jitsu and many of us, present company included, were really hoping something like this would come along.  Like all new ventures, this one has had its shares of ups and downs and in light of M2, and the offensive behavior/comments by everyone from Brendan Schaub himself to Ryron Gracie, the downs keep digging deeper and deeper.

This guy is a G in a ditch
This guy is a G in a ditch

Enter Ralek Gracie.  The young brother attempting to step up and face criticism.  Im not sure how I feel about this video but I have respect for him listening to what people want (despite the fact that they are ignorant and “just spectators” – not my words).  Allow me if you will, to address Ralek’s points in sequence:

  • “…we don’t want people to be concerned with losing ground (in a match)..”    This is what Metamoris supporters expect.  We expect a break from the IBJJF mentality and a willingness to allow flow and execution to dictate strategy.  It reflects better on jiu jitsu, it reflects better to the spectator watching at home (certainly the less experienced spectator).  The idea of taking out the judges complements this as well and I suspect that most Metamoris fans will like this reversal of policy.  Props again to Ralek for listening and keeping in touch with his roots and with supporters of his event.
  • On Inaction: Although I think the prompting of these new penalty rules is unfairly attributed to Braulio’s strategy against Rodolfo, I see the wisdom in creating a stalling rule, for lack of a better term.  Yellow cards are good, and removal of partial competitor’s purse is the ONLY way to ensure action and prevent stalling since points and referees now mean nothing (thankfully).  Dipping into a competitor’s purse is the only way to enforce these.
  • On Schaubing:  Ralek astutely Monday morning quarterbacks: “if youre a top level jiu jitsu competitor or athlete, you shouldnt be concerned with being in any position.”  I found this statement while correct, to be odd and misplaced.  It is running contrary to the horseshit that his camp (namely his eldest brother) is speaking in the media.  Its contrary to what Schaub and Ralek were trying to say in defense of themselves during the horrific and embarrassing post-Metamoris 2 press conference.   I think that interestingly, it belies the struggle and conflict that is happening right now at The Gracie Academy, since even they start to see that they are not only contradicting their own past statements about what jiu jitsu is, but are doing real damage to the Gracie Jiu Jitsu brand.  Ralek in this video insinuates that what Schaub did is without honor and he is right.  Its good to hear it come to the surface, albeit in a rather ambiguous and veiled reference…. You’re right Ralek, there is nothing wrong with going in there and getting caught.  Everyone knows this, even the “ignorant”paying spectators.  It is Brendan who has no clue and makes us all wonder if he even understands what jiu jitsu is all about (not to mention how he managed to get to brown belt).  


So in light of this video, which could not have been easy for Ralek to make I humbly submit my prescription for moving forward, and it is quite simple in its execution:

  1. Vis a vis the rules:  Penalize bad behavior harder (it must impact the purse), reward wanted behavior more.  Competitors need to come to Metamoris thinking they can be successful in submitting their opponent.  Think about that statement and all that comes with it because it is important.
  2. Decide whether to follow or lead:   This one is important.  Decide what is more important – the image of The Gracie Academy, or the image of Gracie Jiu Jitsu.  It seems like that is a redundant phrase but I assure you it is not.  Metamoris was created to show the effectiveness of the GJJ philosophy.  What this means is calling a spade a spade and when someone like Schaub messes up, or your big brothers say the wrong things, do not be afraid to be your own man and disagree.  Great men carry with them great principles and being principled is never easy.  It most often means making tough decisions and following the difficult path.  If that weren’t the case, there would be so much more men of exception in this world but it is not.

M3 is a turning point and most likely the sink or swim moment for this franchise.  I wish you well Ralek.



And On That Day, Not A Single F*%# Was Given!


You have to see this ^ guy hit a banana split….

‘That Day’ that is referred to in the title of this entry should be every day and no, you should not be concerned with your day on the mat.  I mean, yes hold yourself to an elevated standard by all means, but when it comes down to what you are doing, or what is being done to you – stop caring.  New players care an awful lot that they don’t know anything and are the meat that is cast to the lions every day.  By the time your belt turns blue, you care that you hadn’t seen that move before (damn you, YouTube)!  Gotta know it!!!  At the Purple level, you care about defending and projecting your newfound baddassery.  Ya you just became a badass and you know it.  When the dignified Brown Belt is tied around your waste, you care about the obvious….

All of this equates to caring about what is actually happening to you, by the hand of others, during training.  But you have to stop.


I’m not a World Champion.  I’m just your average guy who stuck with it because I couldn’t think of stopping.  I got there, and I think it’s because of what I learned one day rolling with an instructor of mine.  When I pushed him over, he rolled over.  When I did it again, he did it again.  No resistance.  He just went over.  So I stopped and looked at him, suspect that he was playing games with me (over and above the me not being able to do anything to him part).  Then I paused.  I said to him proudly and knowingly, ” You don’t give a shit, do you?”  He looked back at me with a huge smile and eyes wide opened, “Nope”.

This was the big light bulb moment for me.  This was it.  I understood at that point that at my level, I needed to get very good at absolutely every position.  It didn’t matter to me if I was under side control, mounted, had my back taken, etc….I had to know how to deal with it and that could only come through relaxation and proper defense.  Oh yes, that thing I learned in my very first  week – worry about defense and everything else will come.


Flowing with the Go, going with your partner’s energy – you will not only get great at your escapes, but your timing gets better.  You relax in bad positions because you’re used to the harsh feelings and pressure that come with them.  Essentially, many of the things that you can’t be taught in a technique can become refined.  If you don’t care then there is no rush, no propensity to do something stupid, to strain, to get injured.

When I’m old and gray, I expect to be dropping my cane matside and stepping onto the tatami to begin my session.  I’m going to be doing this until my last breath and plan on being as healthy and injury free as possible until that day.  I can’t afford to care.

They Say To Never Meet Your Heroes

Not that I considered any of the children of Rorion Gracie heroes…but that family changed my life forever and for that I am grateful.  But the recent Metamoris 2 event really threw a wrench in to my worldview of BJJ/GJJ, one that I had proudly cultivated over almost the last 20 years from my journey from white to blackbelt.  I have trained a ton of times at The Gracie Academy and in my younger years received my blue belt there.  I have a special attachment to that place, but after last week’s Metamoris 2 event, I find myself wanting to create distance and here is why: 

Ryron Gracie’s words after the shameful performance of Matt Schaub, ” …people who spectate have no idea, that’s why they spectate. Great job not jumping into his attack. So many black belts have made that mistake”.


Hmmm……….grrrrrr… know Ryron, those who watch and pay for the M2 stream are almost exclusively BJJ enthusiasts and practitioners.  Many among them are students of the art, students of your father’s, students of YOURS.  How could it be that the entire audience knows nothing?  Could it be that Ryron is the one who is wrong? Is he doing what his father was so adept at – promoting and defending the legitimacy of GJJ as the one and only form of the art?  Perhaps, but the kid is as Eddie Vedder poetically waxed ‘not (his) former’…..

What Ryron needs to know is that we ignoramuses (or is it ignorami?) understand, at the very minimum, the following:

  • Grappling events are for grappling and as such, combatants need to enter grappling range
  • It is next to impossible to force a takedown on a combatant that is moving backwards all the time if the venue has no boundary and/or a steep drop off
  • You don’t signal for the other person to stand up during a grappling match if they are trying to get you to grapple
  • If you don’t want to get on top of someone, your options include:  Execute a takedown, pull guard, do anything…anything at all….for the love of god.
  • GJJ incorporates real techniques that people actually do to others in order to neutralize an attack.  In all my years training GJJ, I have never been told to run away from someone the entire time they are trying to engage me.
  • You pretty much need to touch someone (not only push the head while standing) to actually do BJJ/GJJ


Now, I LOVE the Metamoris format.  Love it.  Im a traditionalist and I think its all about the struggle, the strategy, and the submission – three things that the IBJJF rules obfuscate.  I thought M1 was fantastic.  I would liked to have seen some  contrition by the Gracie Bros but we got not even that.  We got instead, a press conference  where Ralek defended his buddy.  We get an Instagram post where Ryron tells the world they are ignorant.  Am I the only one that feels he lost his connection to his roots?  I just dont know…..

BTW, I have a Gracie Academy gi, heavily used for sale. Just come and get it.  Ill give it to you.