Roger Gracie: 80% of BJJ is useless in MMA

by Steph Daniels
April 3, 2012

TapouT Radio: Are you happy that you got a boy?

Eddie Bravo: I thought we were going to have a girl, and we were preparing for that, but when we were looking at the ultrasounds with the doctor, you could see a d*ck, and the doctors saw a d*ck. I asked, 'Are you sure? You sure it wasn't like some part of the placenta?' [laughs] I'm so stoked to have a boy. It's awesome.

I would have liked to have had a girl, too. A girl would have been cool because there would have been no pressure on her. My son's going to have a lot of pressure when he starts doing jiu jitsu. He's only three weeks old, and I'm already trying to figure out the best way to approach the jiu jitsu thing without putting any pressure on him, but with a girl, there would have been zero pressure on her. Everything she would accomplish would be extra. It would have been gravy, you know what I mean?

It's going to be interesting, raising my boy in the jiu jitsu world. He could say, 'Dad, I don't want to f*ckin' do jiu jitsu! I don't wanna do it. I wanna paint, man!' He could easily do that, and it would be cool. Whatever he wants to do, it's all good.

I forget the guy's first name, he's a kettlebells master, but his last name is Maxwell (note: Steve Maxwell). He has a 20 year old son, and whatever he did with his son, is perfect. I want to sit down with him and break it all down and pick his brain. His son, Zach Maxwell, is a black belt in jiu jitsu, and he's pretty badass. He beat Kron (Gracie) last week, and it was pretty impressive. To beat Kron, you've got to be a physical specimen, and mentally, you've got to be a fierce, competitive warrior. People are saying he's the one American that has a legitimate shot at taking the Mundials this year.

It's getting me back into the gi, just hearing about this guy and watching him grapple. I don't usually have that much time to watch gi matches. I've got so much no-gi I've got to watch, I just don't have time, but I am starting to make the time to watch some gi matches with Zach Maxwell. I'm a big fan now. Anyway, my point was that I want to pick Maxwell's brain, and figure out what he did with his son, because he did a perfect job.

TR:  Are there any black belts that you think could successfully make the transition, based on their BJJ skills alone?

EB: Roger Gracie said it himself. He said 'Eighty percent of BJJ is useless in MMA.' When someone is trying to punch you, in MMA, you're forced to play a clinching style of jiu jitsu. If you don't understand the difference between a clinching style and an open style, this will sound like German to you. In MMA, when someone's trying to punch you, you clinch to avoid getting smashed. I believe, in order to optimize your jiu jitsu in MMA, the more you can clinch, and the more you can set up submissions from the clinch, and the more you can set up sweeps from the clinch, the more your game is about clinching the upper body, the better chance you'll have in MMA. That's my opinion.

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