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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.