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BJJGround Forum >> Gracies & The Birth of Vale Tudo DVD Review


7/1/13 5:19 PM
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hackett
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Hey guys/gals --

I posted this on an MMA blog I write for last week in the buildup for Roger Gracie's debut at UFC 162 on Saturday. It occured to me that some new fans who aren't as informed about the Gracie family might be interested in it.

It's a much different thing writing to them than to a BJJ forum, but I gave it a shot. I assumed they knew who Renzo Gracie was, but beyond that, I kept it pretty basic.

Link:  MMAFrenzy.com : The Gracies and the Birth of Vale Tudo DVD Review

Whatever side of these disputes you find yourself on, or whatever you feel about this family — it’s clear they’re at the heart of the sport we love. The Gracies and the Birth of Vale Tudo isn’t perfect but maybe it shouldn’t be. The story isn’t finished. In fact, it continues next Saturday as Roger Gracie fights at UFC 162. If you enjoy the fights, you’ll enjoy this film.

Any feedback is welcome. Thanks!

7/1/13 9:48 PM
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hackett
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TTT.

And here's a Kyra Gracie pic:

Thanks

 

7/2/13 12:29 AM
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Kneeblock
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The movie was amateurish and had a clearly biased narrative structure. It's obvious Helio and Rorion did some messed up things, but to hear that coming from Carlinhos and knowing what we now know from Reila's book about his father, it seems like they're a fairly complicated family. 

The documentary could've been much better if it was more measured instead of being a Barra propaganda piece. Also would've liked to seem more on the current generation of Gracies and what it means to be a Gracie today. The parts with Ryan were good though.

7/2/13 7:28 AM
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Hunter V
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Knee, it was made that way to give a different look on the past history of the family as it wasn't known as much in the US. I was talking to Renzo at the Mundials and he said it was important for a lot more of the past history to be shared and to give credit to guys like Carlos, Robin, and esp Rolls. And alot of the supposed biased is stuff that a LOT of people have talked about for years, so if anything is confirmation. And yes the family is complicated, it def did not set out to show that one side was good and pure while the over evil. Just that although complicated they are a family but that they are far from the perfect image that some have tried to perpetuate.
7/2/13 11:11 AM
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bjh13
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Hunter V - Knee, it was made that way to give a different look on the past history of the family as it wasn't known as much in the US. I was talking to Renzo at the Mundials and he said it was important for a lot more of the past history to be shared and to give credit to guys like Carlos, Robin, and esp Rolls. And alot of the supposed biased is stuff that a LOT of people have talked about for years, so if anything is confirmation. And yes the family is complicated, it def did not set out to show that one side was good and pure while the over evil. Just that although complicated they are a family but that they are far from the perfect image that some have tried to perpetuate.

Sorry man, I have to disagree with a lot of what you are saying.

The earlier parts were good, but basically gave us the same history we have heard a hundred times, still no credit or mention of the various BJJ athletes of the earlier decades doing their part in Vale Tudo fighting and improving jiu-jitsu (I really can't wait for that Red Belt documentary). The parts covering Rolls were fantastic.

After that it quickly becomes something of a mix between character assassination of Rorion and promo piece for Carlos Jr and Renzo. Yes, a lot of the family have talked about the issues with Rorion for years, and have had conflicting stories depending on which side of the argument they are on. Instead of giving both sides of the story, we got Ryan Gracie mouthing off, not exactly your best source of information and probably the last Gracie that should have been attacking someones personal character.

You say it didn't set out to show one side being good and the other evil, but the video couldn't even give Rorion proper credit for his role in spreading jiu-jitsu despite his flaws.

Hopefully one day we get a truly neutral documentary about the family and the history of BJJ, but this one was not it. The only real value was the video of Rolls and Rickson training. That was fantastic.
7/2/13 12:49 PM
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BigEyedFish
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" Instead of giving both sides of the story, we got Ryan Gracie mouthing off, not exactly your best source of information and probably the last Gracie that should have been attacking someones personal character."

THIS
7/2/13 1:20 PM
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mrgoodarmbar
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Kneeblock - 

The movie was amateurish and had a clearly biased narrative structure. It's obvious Helio and Rorion did some messed up things, but to hear that coming from Carlinhos and knowing what we now know from Reila's book about his father, it seems like they're a fairly complicated family. 

The documentary could've been much better if it was more measured instead of being a Barra propaganda piece. Also would've liked to seem more on the current generation of Gracies and what it means to be a Gracie today. The parts with Ryan were good though.


This seems to be a self contradicting statement...
If any part could be considered amateurish or biased, it would be the Ryan part.

I thought it was fantastic and not a GB propaganda film at all. It was very complimentary of the innovations of Helio and towards Carlson. The only thing disparaging was towards Rorion with respect to Rickson (in the Ryan part). I do think that a lot of the less than flattering parts about Rorion were likely true. He was in the shadow of Rolls trying to live up to expectations of his father.

It even mentioned that George was the best of the fighters at the time. I wish it got a little more in depth on him. And I would've like to have heard a little more about Relson and some of the others.

I thought it was very interesting to hear from different parts of the family (Carlos' girlfriend and Helio himself) that Rolls was given to Helio to raise as a family gesture. Also very interesting to hear about Why Carlos had moved across the country due to family illness and dedicated a great part of his life towards his daughter's health.
7/2/13 1:30 PM
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sword69
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I too was fascinated with the footage of Rolls. This is someone we have been hearing about for 20 years but have never seen in action. I think the whole worth of the video is in that alone. If they want to label something a "Documentary" then they should have put opposing views on much of this and got both sides. It would have made for a more interesting and legitimate documentary.

The video certainly falls short when it comes to "The Birth of Vale Tudo" idea. Their has got to be many guys that were around in the 40's and 50's that can give first hand accounts of what it was like back then yet we are watching Ryan, Rodrigo and Roll's widow put in their 2 cents instead. I think they would have been better off focusing the piece on Rolls and naming in "The Birth of Modern Jiu-Jitsu".
7/2/13 4:17 PM
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hackett
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Great to see the responses. Thanks to anyone who read the article.

I think the brevity of this film is one of its drawbacks, but I took it for what it was and enjoyed it. It's Renzo's side of the Gracie family story. It's far from the last word, but it was still a good contribution in my opinion.

Knee, yeah Pedreira describes Carlos having a "complicated relationship with the truth," was definitely eccentric. But I liked how this film at least tried to assemble what's known about him.

Mrgoodarmbar, I agree that Ryan's segments were extreme but for better or worse I think that's part of the Gracie family story. It would have been great to get more of George -- but at least he received mention and some credit. He received none in the past.

Sword69, a lot of us had seen Rolls in action on the "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Action" tapes but yeah, I know what you mean. His footage was a highlight for me, too.

Again, I'm writing for the audience: a mainstream MMA blog which gets a lot of casual fans. I'm hoping the article gets people interested in the Gracie family story, but also encourages them to cast a critical eye.

7/2/13 6:06 PM
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Aaronrodgers=GOAT
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PrisonMattressPuncher -

I agree with Kneeblock, i was saddened that it appeared to be a giant promo piece for Gracie Barra. It didn't show any other history of BJJ as related to Vale Tudo, it just mostly showed the known stuff and hyped Gracie Barra side. I'll perhaps watch it once again and then get rid of the DVD.

Can I have it ? Phone Post
7/8/13 3:05 PM
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Mark Hunter
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I completely disagree about it being Gracie Barra propaganda. Most of the Gracies in the film are not only not affiliated with GB, they complete against GB for students (ie, Rilion, Rodrigo, Renzo, etc.) When I think of that film, it strikes me of being more of a chance for the Gracies who don't appreciate the re-writing of history to minimize Carlos Sr.'s impact to tell their story.

If you listen, you don't really hear Helio's signficance minimized, but rather a general sense that Helio and Carlos were BOTH EQUALLY responsible for the family's success. To me, the most telling part of the film was Rilion's interviews. It was clear that he wasn't happy about things Rorion did, but he never bashed . . . he simply said that he would rather not discuss it.

With Rorion's prior lawsuits against family members, does it really surprise anyone that Ryan would be that only one that would directly call him out? This was one of the elements of the film that I found LEAST surprising.

All in all, I thought the film was great. I can't wait for Reila's book to be released in English.
7/8/13 4:52 PM
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Gamebred
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Ttt for later Phone Post
7/8/13 5:12 PM
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MickColins
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" I can't wait for Reila's book to be released in English."

From what I read, its never going to happen.


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