Today in the Rickson Interview: Rickson on women in MMA, "Maybe one out of 100 [women] that makes a very special desire to confront, to go, and feels like, 'Okay. I'm born to do this.' I have to respect that."
BJJ Legends: How about Kyra? When she was on her path towards MMA... It's been temporarily set off for even better reasons now. Bless you and your family for that. What are your thoughts on her competing or women competing at large? I know I've heard you talk about Ronda a little bit. You seem very enthusiastic and encouraging about her, but there's some questions.
Dana White, himself, said you'd never see women in the UFC, which essentially meant you hardly ever see them in MMA. He changed his mind. Ronda Rousey made him change his mind. I've seen Kyra compete a number of times in Jiu-Jitsu competition. Lovely girl. I had the opportunity of interviewing her as well.
What are your thoughts on a member of your own family, who's a female, competing in MMA, as capable as she is? And how does that apply to other women as well, to the sport?
Rickson Gracie: If you pick generally 100 women, at the most, 10 will like to compete in something like that. I don't believe, based on my experience, women have this appealing desire to compete in such a violent and aggressive element.
Normally they don't belong to that kind of competitiveness. It's not common. It's not for everyone. Even for men, it's a kind of little fraction there who doesn't fit. Imagine for women, but that is maybe one out of 100 that makes a very special desire to confront, to go, and feels like, "Okay. I'm born to do this." I have to respect that.
For those very small percentage, Jiu-Jitsu competition, Vale Tudo or MMA will fit. But for the 99% who doesn't kind of have the appealing for that, they'll still be very motivated to learn self-defense, to learn how they can be able to deflect some aggressor, how to stand up from a guy who's trying to keep her and force her or something.
So the idea of deflection, the idea of empowerment, the idea of defense is appealing for any women or any children. The aggressiveness, the competitiveness, the toughness, and the willing to sacrifice every day and get punched, that's not appealing for every woman.
For these few who like it, I encourage and be positive about it, but that's not exactly... I don't believe every woman has to compete or even to have the pleasure to see a fight. Some don't even like it. They see the fight. They turn it off.
They put on something. So I'm favored to help those too. I think Jiu-Jitsu has a place to favor those general women, like soft art. That's why Jiu-Jitsu is also called soft art.
Tomorrow: We get Rickson's thoughts about Ronda Rousey stating she could beat any BJJ female in a BJJ competition.
Today in the Rickson Interview: Rickson, "I think the MMA today is a completely different sport than was developed Vale Tudo, because back then, there was no time limit and no weight division."
BJJ Legends: Let's switch tracks a little bit, not too far off, but we're still going to talk about Jiu-Jitsu here and the role that the JJGF provides. Now, we're going to talk about the athlete. For much of the conversation, we discussed some elements of amateur aspect of Jiu-Jitsu and how that helps individuals. But what about the professional?
We talk about professionals in terms of instructors. We can talk about professionals in terms of competitors on the Jiu-Jitsu scene. Of course, the other element of the art of Jiu-Jitsu is the Vale Tudo element, what we call now MMA, specifically, although I understand that you believe there's a difference between Vale Tudo and what we now call MMA.
For MMA, you have a son who's approaching MMA. Kyra was talking about MMA until very... Roger Gracie had an opportunity to make his foray into MMA. External to the Gracie family, but part of the Jiu-Jitsu community, we have Braulio Estima.
So there have been some contemporary Jiu-Jitsu competitors who have been making and are making their foray into MMA. What are your thoughts on making that transition nowadays, from Jiu-Jitsu into professional MMA?
Rickson Gracie: I think the MMA today is a completely different sport than was developed Vale Tudo, because back then, there was no time limit and no weight division. As you engage, you have to approach with a full capacity to adapt, sometimes by using techniques to defend yourself, to be resilient, to wait for the opportunity, and then come up with a submission, whatever.
Those days, the rules are very short, like five-minute tournaments, rounds. So that makes a much more explosive, much more physical, and much less time for you to approach strategy or techniques. So the MMA today translates more in the individual.
Of course, back then, everybody fights a style against a style. So Jiu-Jitsu has pretty much a comfortable way to deal with all those elements. Now, everybody training the same. Everybody train Jiu-Jitsu, box, wrestling, and so on. So they're cross-training.
Also, the fights are much shorter, much less explosive, and also the technology on the sport. That means a guy who walks around with 200 pounds, he competes at 185. If you have 185, and you go in the competition in the 185 pounds, you're in deep problem because the guys are much stronger in the weight division.
So in order for you to be comfortable with those new setups of rules and of engagement, you have, of course, to try to use the best technique you have, but you also have to do all the other protocols, like Chrome, for example.
He walks around with almost 180 pounds. He's going to compete 155. You know? His training is not only a Jiu-Jitsu comfortable training. He has to learn and develop the cage. So he has to breathe the environment. He has to train with the boys, and he has to be familiar with the rules and with the attention. The guy don't want to fight on the ground. He wants to... So he had to adapt to the new game and be very physical, be very explosive, like everybody else. Plus, if he had the edge of sharp techniques, I believe he can win.
Tomorrow: Rickson talks about his thoughts on women’s MMA.
Today in the Rickson Interview: BJJ and the family unit - I don't work for the family. I work for the individual. When they become a better individual then they become a better family.
BJJ Legends: Family is the umbrella under which all that falls, whether it's children or even a police officer who's a father, a mother, as you noted. That's a very important structure, unit structure, in American society and other parts of the world. What role do you feel, within the family unit, Jiu-Jitsu can offer?
Rickson Gracie: Man, you tell me how children can become better children, how the mother can become a better mother, how a father, executive, police officer. They will always have something to learn and to improve with Jiu-Jitsu, individually. So I don't see the function in Jiu-Jitsu work in their relationships or the family itself.
I make the children become more respectful to their parents, more capable to control emotions, and more capable to handle pressure. So I make the father more confident, more peaceful, more empowered than he normally is if he don't have that kind of self-confidence. I make the mother more...
Everything can be transformed positively. So I don't work for the family. I work for the individual, and they become a family, and they become a better family.
I think by doing a good job in Jiu-Jitsu, they completely will fulfill that need, from police officers to mothers to children to executives and competitors. I think a good Jiu-Jitsu school can really present itself as a community service academy. So I feel very confident. A good Jiu-Jitsu school can provide a great service for the community as a whole.
Tomorrow: Rickson talks about making the transition from Jiu-Jitsu to professional MMA.
On the day of the first Eddie Bravo Invitational in June 2014, Geo Martinez and his brother, Richie, arrived at a dark and empty downtown Los Angeles at 4am. They rode a red-eye bus from Las Vegas, after breakdancing all day in a major competition. They had not eaten in twelve hours and had barely slept. Tired and worn, they were sitting against a badly-lit corner of a building, hoodies over their heads, looking like two homeless dudes waiting for a shelter to open for breakfast. Unbeknownst to Geo at the time, this would be the final morning of the last day of Jiu-Jitsu anonymity. Some time later, their ride arrived to get them ready to make their professional jiu-jitsu debut at Florentine Gardens in Hollywood later that night.
Geo won the EBI tournament, defeating Jeff Glover in the finals. To say that Geo, a.k.a. Freakahhzoid, twenty-seven years old, from San Diego, had a good year would be an understatement. In January of 2014, he received his Jiu-Jitsu black belt. This feat was accomplished after only three years of training. He started under Sean Bollinger, then Ryan Fortin, and finally, received technique polishing from Eddie Bravo himself.
This year, he went undefeated in all his tournaments. He conquered the regional tournaments nearby. He also captured gold at larger venues like Gracie Nationals. His breakthrough, and his debut to the world, though, came at Eddie Bravo’s submission-only tournament. The first one was held in June, in which Geo defeated the well-respected Jeff Glover. In October, he fought again, at the second EBI, this time beating Fabio Passos (a Cobrinha black belt) in the finals.
The world at large, though, really took notice after his performance at the ADCC North American Trials in early December. Geo submitted all his opponents, some as fast as forty seconds with a rear naked choke, a calf crank, a kimura, and a variation of a D’Arce choke. When asked about competing at IBJJF events, he said he would have loved to compete in the NoGi Worlds of the IBJJF. However, he was denied entry because he did not meet the IBJJF’s time-in-rank requirements at purple and brown. Jean Jacques Machado vouched and signed Geo’s registration, but was denied by the organization.
IBJJF notwithstanding, the right people have taken notice of Geo. He was scheduled to fight at Metamoris 5 against Rubens Charles "Cobrinha" but an undisclosed hitch held that match up. Rumors are, Geo will fight at Metamoris 6.
Who would he face? Who does the jiu-jitsu world want him to face? Geo’s preferred fighting weight is at 135lbs. This puts him in the range of Caio Terra, Bruno Malfacine, Paulo and João Miyao, Gui Mendes, Rubens Charles “Cobrinha,” Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes, and Gianni Grippo. To those not in the know, to place Geo in this list seems incredulous. Those that have had a chance to train with and compete against Geo would love to see him go against one of the above. This writer hopes Ralek complies.
10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu had a lot to be thankful for in 2014. Eddie Bravo’s performance against Royler Gracie in Metamoris 3 in March didn’t so much “redeem” his victory against Royler from the 2003 ADCC, as it completely obliterated a decade of misinformation and prejudice his style of Jiu-Jitsu has faced. This new era has brought new attention to Eddie’s Jiu-Jitsu, which he doesn’t like to call a system, but more of an approach, or a philosophy: to have an open mind, discard with what doesn’t work, and use what works.
With this new regard, Eddie has been able to showcase one of his star fighters, Geo, who along with Denny Prokopos, Nathan Orchard, Richie Martinez, and Sean Bollinger, are coming to represent a new wave of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu fighters in what perhaps can be classified as the second significant era of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.
I had the good fortune to interview Geo over the holiday weekend. I found him to be incredibly humble but passionate; intelligent and intuitive. I and many others look forward to what 2015 will bring.
Interview with Geo Martinez.
Seeing how most of the people that will read this are from outside of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, could you briefly give us your biography and jiu-jitsu biography? Who were your instructors? How was it possible you got black belt in 3 years?
I was born in 1987. I’m twenty-seven. I started training jiu-jitsu 4 years ago. I started training with Sean Bollinger then Ryan at 10th Planet Vista. Honestly, I just kinda got obsessed with it and trained every day. My brother, too.
Your brother, Richie, is an awesome jiu-jitsu, fighter, too. He took Garry Tonnon to the limit at the first EBI final. Do you and your brother, Richie, keep count of who has tapped who? What’s it like to train with your brother?
It’s a blessing to train with my brother. We’ve been doing everything together, bboying, video games, and doing jiu-jitsu. We want each other to be better. No one’s keeping count but it’s always nice to compete against someone who wants you to be better, too.
What sort of training methods and philosophies allowed you to get your black belt so quickly? Did your skills from breakdancing help your transition into martial arts?
Breaking taught me discipline, to be with a crew, and rely on others for your training. We train hard. Breakdancing is very difficult for your body. So I’ve been training my body for complex moves and sets for a long time. As a dancer, I understand techniques as a pattern. Bboying also helps you take risks. You know, you gotta go for it, throw yourself on your head and spin. Is that why you like the rolling kimura attack? Oh, yeah, I love that attack, and the trucks and rolls to the truck. Feels natural to me.
What attracted you to 10th Planet in particular?
Eddie. Simply Eddie. He was the freakshow in jiu-jitsu. He got hated for it a lot. But he’s always been kind to me and is a generous, open teacher. Eddie inspired me beyond movement and technique. He accepted me and my crew (all in my crew do jiu-jitsu). He helped me in my life. He never wanted to do anything to harm anyone. He just loves jiu-jitsu. He’s open to anybody. Has a laid back mentality. Ben Saunders, an American Top Team fighter, is one of Eddie’s new friends. You can come from anywhere and he’ll accept you.
Do you have a theory of jiu-jitsu? In your documentary before EBI-1, you said, “Jiu-jitsu, B-boying, what’s beautiful about it is endless patterns.” Can you elaborate on the idea of “endless patterns” and its connection to jiu-jitsu?
Jiu-jitsu patterns are the foundation of our movements and our opponent’s movement. Everyone has a particular “set” they do from this or that position. It’s less about “seeing” patterns than about feeling them. The less you think, the better. When you’re free, your movements are a lot more creative, and you feel your rolling partner’s patterns. When dancing, you’re performing and you have to execute the move.
Tell me about your nickname Freakahhzoid and your crew’s name The Freakshow.
Being a freak means we accept everybody, and we don’t wanna be robots. When we started dancing, it felt like everyone was the same. Personally, I’ve always been an opposite’s dude. I like taking the detours, because that’s when you are yourself.
The truck. Is that your go to position? Do you finish most of your fights from there? Or where?
I’d rather take the truck than the back. There’s only a few counters to the truck. I get a lot of my submissions from there. But the submission I hit the most is the kimura.
Do you think you’d ever transition to MMA?
I’m a sucker for MMA, am a huge fan, but I know it’s a lot of work. I still want to battle, dance, do jiu-jitsu. My brother’s opening a new 10th Planet San Diego, and I got my school in Oceanside. If I do anything, I have to dedicate it all.
Finally, any shout outs?
I want to thank Phalanx. They’re my biggest sponsor. They’ve believed in me since I was a purple belt. Great company and great gear. A huge shoutout to my brother, Richie; and, of course, Eddie.
Geo Martinez is available for workshops, seminars, or camps. He is a highly regarded teacher. He gratefully accepts inquiries through:
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: What kind of BJJ community do you envision?
BJJ Legends: So when we left off, you were talking about the under-represented, under-served portion of the community. A large portion of the community is served by the current structure, but there is an element out there that is not top competitors, but the general person that wants to come into Jiu-Jitsu or the blue belt or even white belt that's starting to compete in Jiu-Jitsu, as an element of the community.
I'm curious also about the community at large, the place in which the businesses actually reside, what you see, if anything, as a responsibility of the Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, in particular black belts and instructors and school owners, have to serve the community at large.
Rickson Gracie: I think by doing a good job in Jiu-Jitsu, they completely will fulfill that need, from police officers to mothers to children to executives and competitors. I think a good Jiu-Jitsu school can really present itself as a community service academy. So I feel very confident. A good Jiu-Jitsu school can provide a great service for the community as a whole.
Tomorrow: Rickson discusses what role Jiu-Jitsu plays in the family unit.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: What are the Master and Development Councils and what’s the difference between the two?
BJJ Legends: To further that and help facilitate that, my understanding is you have two councils. There's a Master's Council and a Development Council. Is that correct? Can you explain to us the difference between the two?
Rickson Gracie: The Master's Council is a roundtable with the guys who have been forever in this sport. They're all graduates. They're all guys who have a good understanding of the needs. They have a complete view about the sport, the evolutionary process, what is good, rules. They know everything. They've been around forever. So those guys are an important voice to be heard by the community and also to be part of our council to create some kind of voting system, to create a democratic system to resolve the problems which are still to come.
The Development Council is different. The guys don't have the senior aspect of being masters, but they have three, four schools. They've been around. They participate, very active in tournaments. They bring a lot of guys to compete. So their force is in the community, in terms of generating competitors and also understand the motion of Jiu-Jitsu, the growth of the students, the diminish of...
So they know everything about class programs, what has worked, what has not. So they can facilitate, and also they can speak to the community about what is really functional for the sport.
Tomorrow: Rickson explains his vision for the BJJ community.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: How did you choose your executive team Carlos Gama and Tony Pacenski?
BJJ Legends: Overlooking all of this is your executive team. Tony is here with us today. You are fortunately here with us today. Carlos Gama. I haven't seen him, haven't met him yet. How did you go about selecting your executive team?
Rickson Gracie: Our culture is very simple. First, I don't believe in coincidences. People get attracted by the motion of the positive motion. So the way we met, me and Tony, was a very magical way. When we met, we felt like we have a lot in common, based on his desire to accomplish something, based on my possibilities and my vision.
So immediately got a very important synergy, but the whole idea for our culture here is to provide service and also to give us the feeling where our motivation is based on the result. That means I expect nothing less than steady growth. If the growth doesn't happen, something's wrong. So let's fix what's wrong.
If the wrong is on the executive, he has to go. If the wrong is on the platform, we have to rearrange. So the idea here is production, is results. So I'm not here trying to bring my friends and cousins to work with me. That's not about hanging jobs. It's not about facilitating things. It's about to be in a highest level of service.
So I expect nothing less than everybody to ask for the Federation and make a question. I expect nothing less than he be heard and answered. So that is very easy because, for me, it's strictly business. We are in the business to provide service, and our mission is to restore effective.
So whoever is embracing that cause will be welcome, will be part of the force. Whoever wants to have private intentions or personal endeavors, that's not going to fit in our culture.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us about the Master’s Council and Development Council and what’s the difference between the two?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: What do the belts mean in BJJ? What do you expect from a blue belt, purple belt, brown belt and most of all a black belt?
BJJ Legends: Speaking to that preservation, it's important to manage people's expectations across the board, so that people know what they're getting into. It seems as though you're making a good effort to do that. The belt system is something that I think we use to broadcast to others and within, what you can expect from that individual.
In past interviews, I've talked to other black belts, and I've asked the same question. We can talk about your ranking system within, that you propose within the JJGF, but what I'd like to talk about more is what those belts mean, both to the layperson and to an individual.
I know Royce said... Royce told me once that Helio said, "The belt only covers two inches of your waist. You have to protect the rest." What do we expect from... What do you expect from... What does the Federation expect from a blue belt? A purple belt? A brown belt? And most of all, a black belt? Because you make some distinguish... You distinguish on your website between black belt instructors, of course, and referees, in terms of the expectations you have of them, as opposed to, say, just a normal participant.
Rickson Gracie: Yeah. First of all, and most important, we are not here to divide. So everyone who has a belt in his waist, if he's legit, if he's promoted by somebody, if he has a record, we will validate. So we're not here to say he don't deserve the belt he has on. That's not the case.
We firmly suggest to him to understand the level he's supposed to be, as he has his belt in his waist. So it's more like a reference, a guidance of what you expect from a student in that level, what he's supposed to know. That is the suggestion.
We give them a reference to know because, for me, the black belt... When he comes in, just from a tournament perspective, he can be a very tough guy, but he's just an amateur black belt. If he becomes professional black belt, that means a teacher, he's supposed to have the whole full program of self defense.
If he don't have, I'm not saying he don't deserve the black belt. I will suggest him to open his eyes and see what he needs to fulfill that gap, because his school will be better, and everyone else will be pleased with his work. So if I don't have self defense in my program to teach, I will be no more than 25% than I am, by teaching only competition Jiu-Jitsu.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us how he choose his executive team, Carlos Gama and Tony Pacenski.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: What's in the JJGFs Code of Ethics
BJJ Legends: The Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation has a code of ethics... coming off of these things that you were talking about. Can you explain to us what the code of ethics is for? And what gives the Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation the authority, morally, to impose a code of ethics on those that participate within the federation?
Rickson Gracie: I think in order for us to have confidence to portray a good federation, a good institution for the benefit, we had to be involved in the educational aspect. We cannot just expect people to do it. We have to guide them how to do it, because that's the way, how you go in a university and start to lecture. You have to learn first.
So we have to expose for many of those instructors and school owners what Jiu-Jitsuu is about, from the roots, from our beginning, and allow them to learn that concept. I think this is crucial for us. With that education, also coming what we believe is a code of ethics for any professional, in Army, in Jiu-Jitsu, in politics, or any other institution, we should have a code of ethics which, as the guy at least reads that, as the guy agree with that, he put himself in a position where he represents that kind of entity. He represents that kind of force, positive force.
If the guy has no ethics, how I can validate him as a person if one day or another, he starts to be a pervert or be a... So he can be for anything he promised. Okay. I have my integrity. I have my values. I agree with everything has been said here. I don't impose to nobody because that's not something I impose, but I like to make sure he's reflecting about it, and he's agreed.
We're in a positive environment. We are in a positive idea to enhance the community. Anyone who disagrees with that, from the beginning, should not participate at all because from the perspective of a school owner, a teacher, a competitor, a practitioner, or even independent promoter, I think any of them are supposed to have a code of ethics, because that's just crucial in any situation to preserve the integrity and the positive vibe.
Tomorrow: Rickson talks about the belt system in BJJ.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: What does BJJ offer to someone who has never had BJJ?
BJJ Legends: I think I heard you say or somebody said, "Courage is essential for the warrior." What do you think BJJ offers to someone who's never had BJJ in their life before?
Rickson Gracie: I think it's experience, experience with confrontation, experience the idea of . . . In a very recreational and a very friendly environment, he starts to experience his animal within. He has to develop. In a same group class, I can see a guy who's lazy, and I'm going to say, "Hey, man. Don't allow this. Go, go, go, go." The other guys are so tense and so stressed. I say, "Hey, man. Just breathe and relax and try to find your pace."
So regardless the elements in the class, the opinions, the advice is different from student to student because as I analyze the whole group, I can see this guy is too tense. This guy is too lazy. This guy is just not sharp enough. This guy is kind of insecure about himself. So I have to view the possibility and show him where he's strong and he don't know. Show the invisible power. So all those components are there to enhance their possibilities and be positive influence in their lives.
Tomorrow: Rickson talks about the JJGF Code of Ethics
Since I own 3 other gi’s made by 93 Brand, Kris Shaw, whom I train with at Tinguinha Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Yorba Linda, CA and also the owner of BJJ Legends Magazine asked me to review the latest gi by 93 Brand, the Zodiac. I haven’t wrote anything other than a email since my last English final essay in college 15 years ago, hopefully I don’t make too much of a mess out of this.
Manufacturer’s description of the gi: The gi features a 350gsm pearl weave gi top, 10oz rip stop pants, and interior yoke panel plus customers get to choose from any of the twelve circular zodiac patches designed by BJJ artist Meerkatsu.
First impression: When I took the gi out of the bag, it felt very light. The gi is minimally patched, which I prefer, and the color combination of white and blue look sharp. There is a small strip of patches on the shoulders with the company name. The side vents on the gi top and the gi pants have blue tape with stars on them to keep with the theme of zodiac. It kind of reminds me of the U.S. Air Force uniform. I don’t usually like ripstop pants due to being too stiff, but these pants felt softer than other ripstop pants I own. The gi also came with a patch with my zodiac sign, Aquarius, which depicts a guy holding a water jug. There are some cool looking patches that come with other zodiac signs, such as Pisces, Scorpio, or Leo, but as my luck will have it, I got a guy holding a water jug.
Measurements (all measurements in inches):
After 3 washes;
After 15 washes;
As you can see, there is minimal shrinkage with the gi. I always washed the gi with cold water. Gi top were always hung dried but the pants were put in the dryer at medium heat after the 3rd wash but the pants never shrunk.
Review: I have trained in this gi for three straight weeks, 5 times a week. This was possible due to the gi being so light that even after being washed and hung to dry, it usually dried within few hours. Although the material is very thin, I did not notice the gi being stretched when it was soaked in sweat and my training partners tugging on the sleeves/pants etc. As for the fit of the gi, I am 5’11” tall and weigh 165 pounds and the A1L fitted me like a custom made suit. I have gotten many compliments from my training partners regarding the look of the gi along with how great it fits.
Conclusion: If you need a great fitting, light competition gi or a gi that you can hang dry and wear every day, this will be a great addition to your collection. I can’t wait to patch it up with my school flag and add to my collection.
Josh Barnett of the UFC, Erik Paulson of CSW and Feargus McTeggart, head coach of Brea High School wrestling and the Brea Wrestling Club. They have worked together and created the California Catch Wrestling Association, CCWA.
Catch Wrestling is a turn of the century wrestling hybrid that combines wresting with submission holds. It was popularized by wrestlers traveling with fairs and carnivals. The rules are very similar to BJJ with the big difference that a match can be ended win a grappler is pinned. (Both shoulders/center spine on the mat)
Matches were 5 minutes long. Out of 30 some odd matches not one ended in a draw and all but one ended in submissions or pins. Neither wrestlers or BJJ guys clearly had an advantage. Wrestlers were susceptible to leg attacks and BJJ guys to the cradle and pin.
“Our goal is to bring the sport of Catch Wrestling back to the public eyes and back people back on to the mats as another addition to the existing styles of amateur wrestling (Folkstyle/Freestyle/Greco-Roman).”
A simple breakdown of the rules are:
-Win by pin, submission, or points -A pin is when a wrestler's shoulder are pinned to the mat for a silent 3 count. A pin cannot be score while in a wrestler's scissor (guard) or if caught in a submission (catch) -A submission is when a legal hold makes a wrestler give up either verbally or by tapping the mat or opponent 3 times -Points are scored as follows: 2pts takedown, 1pt escape, 3pts high amplitude throw or takedown. -Matches are 5 minutes in length -Shoes are allowed -Headgear is allowed -Illegal hold and techniques: Heel hooks Spiking an opponent on their head or neck Scissor takedowns Throwing submissions -No guard pulling or stalling
BJJ Legends: If you would talk about how this rule set prevents stalling or maybe makes it less of an occurrence.
Erik Paulson: First of all, the time limit is shorter, so it makes it more of a spectator sport. The pin, people don't jump to their guard or flop on their back because of the pin. If your shoulder is hit, you lose. So guys are fighting from the top trying to get the other guy on their back. And the submissions are faster, a little more diverse.
Like right there, that's a pin, that's a pin right there.
McTeggart: Yes, and that was part of the equation, was really to try to amp up the risk-taking because of the short time. The idea was to promote not only the submission aspect, but the wrestling, and really try to ingrain wrestling into the submission process. To immerse it in it, if you will; embed it, if you will. We want wrestling to be the primary transitionary part of grappling. Because in wrestling, true wrestling, freestyle, Greco, folk style, you don't go to your back. So if you go to your back, you have a three-count to get off your back. Other than that, you can do pins.
So what we're hoping is that wrestling will then smoothly transition then into MMA, into grappling. It's the next exhibition sport in the Olympics. We know wrestlers are specifically trained to stay off their back. On the other hand, when you're going for submission, you might give up a take-down. But if you're going for a submission, you can be rewarded with a two-point and/or get the submission. But at the same time, as long as you're on your back, you're fighting to stay off your back. So it stays really close to its origin of wrestling, and that's what we're trying to do.
BJJL: Are the parents upset that you're allowing submissions?
McTeggart: No, it's only for kids of a certain age. So we don't teach it to little kids, they have to be anywhere from 18 and above. We've gone down as low as 14 years, which is the high school level. So if anything is taught correctly, be it karate or judo or wrestling, provided that kids are taught to respect their opponents and do the right things.
BJJL: How was your turnout today?
McTeggart: Pretty good, for the first time around.
BJJL: Do you know how many competitors you had?
McTeggart: In the submission was 20 competitors, ranging three different weight classes. We also had four girls compete, as well.
BJJL: I saw a lot more submissions, nothing went to a draw, and I saw some crazy submissions.
Josh Barnett: Some of the exotic stuff comes from the 10th Planet guys. They're used to using an open, somewhat- It's not like it's unrefined, it is refined, but it's very, I don't know. It's inventive. And plus, our environment doesn't place a lot of restriction on submission. So we want people to go out there and come up with stuff off the top of their head, or create a killer unusual move and use it.
BJJL: The cradle was messing up the BJJ guys.
Josh Barnett: As far as cradles are concerned, well, I mean that's just a- Let's just say you're in a fight, you get cradled up, and you get your head kneed into oblivion. So part of the reason for the pin is to help teach and refine techniques that will be useful for fighting. But if you're getting cradled, you should be kicking out, working.
BJJL: Oh, I'm going to work on it when I go back to the academy.
Josh Barnett: There's options to go off their legs, there's all kinds of stuff. But the thing is you just cannot hang out, you can't try to work, just sit around and wait to maybe get a reverse hold. You can't wait to do anything, you got to be active.
BJJL: Very nice. Now are you happy with the turnout? Because this is the first event.
Josh Barnett: Yeah, I'm happy with the turnout. It wasn't a massive amount of people, but we had enough to get some good pools going. And we did just that, we pooled everybody. So we round robin everyone, wrestled everyone, some people go three matches today even with only four opponents.
BJJL: And the next catch wrestling tournament will be?
Josh Barnett: We don't have a set date yet, I'm sure it will be piggybacked on another wrestling tournament. But part of the reason why we want to be at these wrestling tournaments is to try inspire and show these amateur wrestlers a style that is also, it's not entire foreign to them, that’s complementary.
So I want to get wrestlers involved in getting on the mat and using submission again. And that's the main thing about this. That and I can't stand stalling, I mean there's so much stalling in the grappling world.
BJJL: The IBJJF is trying to change the rules, we've got two new leagues trying to change the rules, Rickson is changing the rules, Rigan is changing the rules, everybody is trying to get rid of stalling. And, today, I saw no stalling.
Josh Barnett: The easiest way to get rid of stalling is put the power on the refs and then make them use it. And there you go, pull the trigger on people. If you're stalling, you pull the trigger. "Hey, warning, warning." Three stalling calls and you're DQ'ed out of this tournament. You have no business being on our mats if you don't want to go out there and engage, take down, throw, submit, pin these people.
BJJL: Right on. Well, thank you very much, sir, and much success in your future endeavors.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Jiu-Jitsu for everyone; Jiu-Jitsu is like a church
BJJ Legends: So for you, Jiu-Jitsu then is for everybody, men, women, children.
Rickson Gracie: Yes, I feel Jiu-Jitsu more like, instead of sport, more like a religion because you can really interact in a sense where you develop in yourself as a God. You're improving your patience. You improve your strategy. You improve your emotional control. You improve your capacity to handle pressure. So all those improvements make you feel enlightened and more capable to resolve the matters in your life. So I feel it's a very positive thing. When you go to academy, for me, it's similar to coming to a church because you just go for the self-improvement and become a better person.
Tomorrow: Rickson answers, What does BJJ offer to someone who has never had BJJ in their life before?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: We ask Rickson Gracie If he struggled with the path that was chosen for him?
BJJ Legends: I started Jiu-Jitsu a little bit late, my late 20s. I've been doing it ever since, past 14 years. It hasn't always been easy. It took some time for me to understand some things about myself along the way. You were born into the family. Everyone around you did Jiu-Jitsu. For me, it was a brand-new discovery, but what I found was, as I progressed through the belts, I also progressed as a person, in terms of how I understood myself and what I saw as elements of myself that either needed modification or didn't.
Sometimes I was resistant to the changes that Jiu-Jitsu was affording me. Did you find that for yourself, as a child growing up, even though you had excellent examples all around you? Did you ever have an internal struggle as to the path that had either been chosen for you or that you saw laid out in front of you?
Rickson Gracie: No, I never felt uncomfortable in any situation. Well, something I have to learn is how to manage my extreme confidence in myself, how not to be aggressive or impose my desires or my position to others. So in one point, I felt like I have to just express how good I am, how tough I am, and the way I want.
Then I realized all this power becomes even stronger when I start to respect people and become more concerned about how they think and how I should approach people. So as I'm getting bigger in my confidence and my self-esteem, I start to feel like how important for me is to level up myself and make everybody feel confident to approach me, to talk to me.
Even sometimes I have to apologize in another matter. It's not about me. I'm tough guy in the streets. So whatever I say is right. It's not like that. I feel like it's given me the sense of apologizing if I'm wrong, respect people in the line, and so on. So that's a great learning process.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us that Jiu-Jitsu for everyone; Jiu-Jitsu is like a church..