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9/21/13 6:40 PM
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Underground Blog
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MixedMartialArts.com
 

UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie took a contrarian stance on the family's underwhelming record of late.

it is widely held that MMA has developed from its Vale Tudo origins, drawing now from striking, BJJ, and above all, from wrestling. The Gracie family has been faulted for not keeping up with the changes in the sport.

However, in an interview with MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz, Royce says the reason Gracie family fighters are not doing well is in fact because they are cross training.

"Jiu-jitsu is enough," said Royce. "I’ve trained boxing in the past to learn the distance, trained wrestling to understand how he would take me down, but I won’t get there to fight my opponent’s game. The guys from the family want to complement their game, like if jiu-jitsu was incomplete. I guess they forgot a little about history."

"I do jiu-jitsu my whole life, so why would I try to stand and bang with Mike Tyson? I’m going to learn boxing in six months because my opponent is good in boxing? That makes no sense."

"Roger (Gracie), like any other member of the family, is trying to learn wrestling, boxing. I believe in pure jiu-jitsu. That’s what I’ve done in the past. You have to go back to your roots and train Gracie jiu-jitsu."

Royce's nephew Rener, son of UFC co-founder Rorion, took a more nuanced view in a recent interview.

"The funny part is Royce is right, and Royce is wrong," said Rener. "He’s right in that, jiu-jitsu by itself is a complete martial art. It addresses a standing strategy, and it addresses a ground strategy. We teach our students in the back of the Academy to get ready to use self-defense in a street fight, and they’re not incomplete. They can close the distance, they can neutralize strikes and effectively neutralize the opponent. And in that sense, Royce is right, all you need in jiu-jitsu. Going back to the roots, if I had to fight some beast of a man in a street fight, I wouldn’t need amazing wrestling and amazing striking to do well against him. I would need jiu-jitsu and to manage the distance so I didn’t get knocked out.

"But if I had to fight that same beast in three five-minute rounds, with judges who don’t train martial arts watching me, I cannot pull guard and defend for 20 minutes? When Royce fought Dan Severn, which was an amazing battle, Royce lost in the judge’s minds until the very last second when Royce run (at the 15:49 mark of the fight). In MMA rules today Royce would have lost to Dan Severn. So, in that sense, you have train the striking aggressively. You have to train the wrestling -- not because it might be the most energy efficient way to fight, but because the judges will only score in your favor if you fight according to that game plan. It’s part of the newly accepted ideal way to fight a fight. As long as the game is being judged under those circumstances? Guess what, you better train in those arts, otherwise you’re asking for trouble in the eyes of the judges.

"I think that Royce and my dad and my uncles, all those guys, being the generation two -- old school, proving it against every other martial art, as they did so perfectly -- they get a little emotional sometimes seeing how things are evolving now. And I think their viewpoints are…they’re right, but they’re wrong, because you have to play the game."

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9/21/13 6:42 PM
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teamquestnorth
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I agree 100% Phone Post
9/21/13 6:43 PM
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jujubre
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Rener is good with words Phone Post 3.0
9/21/13 6:52 PM
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Rudi
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Rener is correct. Phone Post
9/21/13 7:10 PM
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slowdiver
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Sometimes being wrong... feels so right. Phone Post
9/21/13 7:32 PM
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cm81
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The Winter Soldier -

Yeah, so Rener is saying, "according to Royce's rules all you need is Gracia BJJ". Add soccer kicks, stomps, knees to ground opponents, biting, eye gouging, hair pulling, etc., and add any one with sub-defense right now, and Gracie BJJ is FARRR from a complete martial art. All Royce and Rener are doing is moving the goal post, from UFC Rules as how they now stand, to favor their style of fighting.

Royce fought NHB in a time when stomps, hairpulling, headbutts etc were allowed. He did fine. Phone Post 3.0
9/21/13 7:58 PM
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Stephen Eakin
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A prime Dan Severn wouldn't have ever lost a 3x5 fighy Phone Post 3.0
9/21/13 8:27 PM
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Mr Mike from NC
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The Winter Soldier - 

Yeah, so Rener is saying, "according to Royce's rules all you need is Gracia BJJ". Add soccer kicks, stomps, knees to ground opponents, biting, eye gouging, hair pulling, etc., and add any one with sub-defense right now, and Gracie BJJ is FARRR from a complete martial art. All Royce and Rener are doing is moving the goal post, from UFC Rules as how they now stand, to favor their style of fighting.


"soccer kicks, stomps, knees to ground opponents" would only work if Rener or Royce were nearly out on the ground. Most likely, they'd be on your back, or on top of you! If there were buddies involved, they would be able to do those things, but there may be a bunch of Gracie's and, their students stopping that from happening. As long as you keep the attackers hands under control, the eye gouges won't happen. Another good tactic is to use kuzushi(off-ballancing) to take advantage of your opponent's desire to stay on his feet and, avoid falling. But, I don't think the Gracie's teach that. Probably not something Maeda taught Carlos, or made much of an impression on Helio.
9/21/13 10:10 PM
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BshMstr
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The Winter Soldier - 
cm81 - 
The Winter Soldier -

Yeah, so Rener is saying, "according to Royce's rules all you need is Gracia BJJ". Add soccer kicks, stomps, knees to ground opponents, biting, eye gouging, hair pulling, etc., and add any one with sub-defense right now, and Gracie BJJ is FARRR from a complete martial art. All Royce and Rener are doing is moving the goal post, from UFC Rules as how they now stand, to favor their style of fighting.

Royce fought NHB in a time when stomps, hairpulling, headbutts etc were allowed. He did fine. Phone Post 3.0

They are talking about now, not in 1993. That's the whole point of the conversations. Rener is saying it would still be as effective if there were no time limits, which is not correct. People know bjj now, and a decent wrestler with sub defense and amateur striking would kill Royce. Rener is saying if the UFC changed its rules to no time limits and not 3 minute times rounds, Royce is right, and Royce is not right, even with no time limits favoriing a BJJ player. I think Matt Hughes showed how you have to be a well rounded fighter in this day and age to be at the top of the food chain in the UFC. 


where are you getting that from? he said Royce would have lost to Severn, had he not gotten the submission.... and he said that Royce would have lost under today's rules as well.

here ya go again:

"The funny part is Royce is right, and Royce is wrong," he said. "He’s right in that, jiu-jitsu by itself is a complete martial art. It addresses a standing strategy, and it addresses a ground strategy. We teach our students in the back of the [Gracie Jiu-Jitsu] Academy to get ready to use self-defense in a street fight, and they’re not incomplete. They can close the distance, they can neutralize strikes and effectively neutralize the opponent. And in that sense, Royce is right, all you need in jiu-jitsu. Going back to the roots, if I had to fight some beast of a man in a street fight, I wouldn’t need amazing wrestling and amazing striking to do well against him. I would need jiu-jitsu and to manage the distance so I didn’t get knocked out.

"But if I had to fight that same beast in three five-minute rounds, with judges who don’t train martial arts watching me, I cannot pull guard and defend for 20 minutes? When Royce fought Dan Severn, which was an amazing battle, Royce lost in the judge’s minds until the very last second when Royce run (at the 15:49 mark of the fight). In MMA rules today Royce would have lost to Dan Severn. So, in that sense, you have train the striking aggressively. You have to train the wrestling -- not because it might be the most energy efficient way to fight, but because the judges will only score in your favor if you fight according to that game plan. It’s part of the newly accepted ideal way to fight a fight. As long as the game is being judged under those circumstances? Guess what, you better train in those arts, otherwise you’re asking for trouble in the eyes of the judges.

"I think that Royce and my dad [Rorion] and my uncles, all those guys, being the generation two -- old school, proving it against every other martial art, as they did so perfectly -- they get a little emotional sometimes seeing how things are evolving now. And I think their viewpoints are…they’re right, but they’re wrong, because you have to play the game."
9/21/13 10:20 PM
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Sadyv
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Stephen Eakin - A prime Dan Severn wouldn't have ever lost a 3x5 fighy Phone Post 3.0

Until he went against Kerr, Coleman, Erikson, Randleman, Couture, and any other wrestler that was better than him.
9/21/13 10:40 PM
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JoeHurley
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Royce with only BJJ against Severn with only wrestling is very different than going against a modern cross trained fighter comfortable with striking and grappling.

Being one dimensional makes it easy to be nullified with a good gameplan. Phone Post
9/22/13 5:30 AM
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12SixElbow
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Edited: 09/22/13 5:31 AM
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I think Rener and Royce have points, and I think Dan makes a great point as well.

A lot of people know a lot more about martial arts than I ever will, I think GJJ/BJJ is great for self defense, and no I don't think for 90 percent or more of the population you'd need to train in anything else. But in Mixed martial arts of modern times, clearly its one tool in the toolbox you've got to have to compete.

 

EDIT.

I wanted to clarify, I think that ANY martial art is good enough for most of the population, not just BJJ. I think if you do kickboxing or judo, etc... You're going to be fine. The bulk of the population doesn't need to be cross training in 10 different things and worrying about boxing footwork and wrestling while taking BJJ classes.

9/22/13 5:56 AM
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TSMontana
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Who can stay on their back for 20 minutes in a self-defense encounter, working like Royce did against his opponents? If you can't finish, sweep, or escape from under bottom (or even on top, dominant position) in a short amount of time, you're f*cked once that person's friends decide to join in.

I love the principles of BJJ and the use of leverage and gentleness versus brute force, but, in a lot of ways, MMA not only exposed the folly of only knowing how to strike, but also only knowing how to grapple. If high-level grappling was enough, we'd be talking about Demian Maia in the same way we talk about Silva, Fedor, or Jones. "Gracie In Action" has been replaced by "MMA In Action".
9/22/13 6:04 AM
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Koga
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"They can close the distance, they can neutralize strikes and effectively neutralize the opponent. And in that sense, Royce is right, all you need in jiu-jitsu." What about a wrestler who does a takedown and stays in side control, takes no damage and does not get submitted? Can't happen now with standups for inactivity from a dominant position.

A lot of the rules in mma are against wrestlers, not bjj guys. See Mark Kerr in his first mma event smashing Fabio Gurgel, one of the most accomplished bjj guys ever to fight mma, with headbuts.
9/22/13 3:49 PM
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armbarseverywhere
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old schoolers dropping knowledge in here :)

I think Royce has a really good point. BJJ is a complete martial art and can be used effectively in the UFC today. The problem with a lot of guys in the UFC is that they're not "perfecting the intricacies of maneuvers that don't have a name yet." We saw this problem when BJJ guys wanted to "show they have hands too." Fuck that. Stick with BJJ and make it work.

I think once again we're going to start seeing creativity burst from the world of BJJ and grappling. As soon as BJJ fighters start making improvements in adjusting BJJ for strong competitive wrestlers and "Jab and Jog" strikers.
9/22/13 4:03 PM
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georgejonesjr
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KingofBJJ - 
Koga - "They can close the distance, they can neutralize strikes and effectively neutralize the opponent. And in that sense, Royce is right, all you need in jiu-jitsu." What about a wrestler who does a takedown and stays in side control, takes no damage and does not get submitted? Can't happen now with standups for inactivity from a dominant position.

A lot of the rules in mma are against wrestlers, not bjj guys. See Mark Kerr in his first mma event smashing Fabio Gurgel, one of the most accomplished bjj guys ever to fight mma, with headbuts.

What rules are against wrestlers that don't apply to BJJ?


Not allowing knees to the head on grounded opponents (wrestlers shots aren't stuffed often except against other wrestlers so that doesn't hurt them, but knees to the head from north-south and side would be god-sends for wrestlers), and not allowing headbutts (excellent if you're on top, don't work well if you're underneath).

I suppose not allowing slams onto the top of the head as well, though I suspect most wrestlers wouldn't do that even if the rules allowed, because no one wants to paralyze someone.
9/22/13 6:38 PM
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12SixElbow
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TSMontana - Who can stay on their back for 20 minutes in a self-defense encounter, working like Royce did against his opponents? If you can't finish, sweep, or escape from under bottom (or even on top, dominant position) in a short amount of time, you're f*cked once that person's friends decide to join in.

I love the principles of BJJ and the use of leverage and gentleness versus brute force, but, in a lot of ways, MMA not only exposed the folly of only knowing how to strike, but also only knowing how to grapple. If high-level grappling was enough, we'd be talking about Demian Maia in the same way we talk about Silva, Fedor, or Jones. "Gracie In Action" has been replaced by "MMA In Action".

In fairness, you're almost always fucked once someones friends decide to join in.

Top, bottom, standing, etc...

9/23/13 2:37 PM
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TSMontana
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12SixElbow - 
TSMontana - Who can stay on their back for 20 minutes in a self-defense encounter, working like Royce did against his opponents? If you can't finish, sweep, or escape from under bottom (or even on top, dominant position) in a short amount of time, you're f*cked once that person's friends decide to join in.

I love the principles of BJJ and the use of leverage and gentleness versus brute force, but, in a lot of ways, MMA not only exposed the folly of only knowing how to strike, but also only knowing how to grapple. If high-level grappling was enough, we'd be talking about Demian Maia in the same way we talk about Silva, Fedor, or Jones. "Gracie In Action" has been replaced by "MMA In Action".

In fairness, you're almost always fucked once someones friends decide to join in.

Top, bottom, standing, etc...


Yes, you pretty much have to GTFO...and even while standing that can be a challenge to disengage and escape safely.
9/23/13 2:45 PM
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TSMontana
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armbarseverywhere - old schoolers dropping knowledge in here :)

I think Royce has a really good point. BJJ is a complete martial art and can be used effectively in the UFC today. The problem with a lot of guys in the UFC is that they're not "perfecting the intricacies of maneuvers that don't have a name yet." We saw this problem when BJJ guys wanted to "show they have hands too." Fuck that. Stick with BJJ and make it work.

I think once again we're going to start seeing creativity burst from the world of BJJ and grappling. As soon as BJJ fighters start making improvements in adjusting BJJ for strong competitive wrestlers and "Jab and Jog" strikers.

You can't show your grappling, if the strikers know how to keep distance and counter-wrestle. Chuck Liddell and Mo Smith made whole careers on doing just that.
9/23/13 3:33 PM
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BubbaRayGracie
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I can't believe that it's 2013 and anyone is still talking about the need to crosstrain like UFC 8-165 haven't taken place.
9/23/13 3:36 PM
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s98ronin
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The Winter Soldier - 

Tell that to Sakuraba. 


Rener little brother already told Saku...
9/23/13 3:41 PM
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PrettyBoy
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It's a paradigm on how they view success. I don't want to come off as disrespectful at all. I have a lot of respect for the Gracie's.

In my opinion the Helio line of the family always views a fight on what would happen if they didn't know Jiu Jitsu. And it just so happens that they almost always classify their opponents as being bigger faster stronger and more athletic then themselves... Even if it's not the case. Therefore in their mind as long as they don't lose or get knocked unconscious ... They effectively won the fight. Because if they didn't know Jiu Jitsu that wouldn't have happened. It's more of a if he can't beat (finish) me then I win. They assume for the most part that eventually the tide will or would have turned in their favor... Which is not always the case.


Where as Carlson line seems to be more in line with Americans way of thought. Where you are either the hammer or the nail. And if you are the nail more then the hammer then you lost. Phone Post 3.0
9/23/13 5:14 PM
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Osbot
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Rener is right, but he is being I think intentionally dishonest (not in a bad way) to respect his family.

Fact is the sport has evolved, no rules, no time limits, a guy like Royce is never, in a fucking bazillion years, going to beat GSP, or Matt Hughes.

They know enough BJJ to not fall into the traps, and are good enough everywhere else to punish a pure BJJ on the ground or standing.

Rener is right, BJJ isn't enough anymore, but he's being very respectful of his family by saying "because the rules changed".

9/23/13 5:31 PM
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jimbonice
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cm81 -
The Winter Soldier -

Yeah, so Rener is saying, "according to Royce's rules all you need is Gracia BJJ". Add soccer kicks, stomps, knees to ground opponents, biting, eye gouging, hair pulling, etc., and add any one with sub-defense right now, and Gracie BJJ is FARRR from a complete martial art. All Royce and Rener are doing is moving the goal post, from UFC Rules as how they now stand, to favor their style of fighting.

Royce fought NHB in a time when stomps, hairpulling, headbutts etc were allowed. He did fine. Phone Post 3.0
In, fact Royce did all of them. Phone Post
9/23/13 5:34 PM
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Wade Garrett
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As being stuck on the bottom for twenty minutes being beaten by the guy you're fighting's friends....I think that's more of an argument in favor of making friends of your own than it is against GJJ.

Also, Maurice Smith is one of the unsung legends of MMA, but he did get submitted by Renzo Gracie.


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