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"If we fight for money, I’ll stop hitting you when you ask me to. If we fight for honor, I’ll stop hitting you when I feel like it.”
The incident took place at Chute Boxe Academy in Sierra Vista, Arizona, an affiliate of arguably the greatest team in MMA history. While newer fans may balk at the "greatest" description, Rudimar Fedrigo's Chute Boxe produced:
•Arguably the greatest male fighter of all time, Anderson Silva:
•Arguably the greatest female fighter of all time, Cris Cyborg:
•The best fighter in the UFC's deepest division today, Charles Oliveira;
•MMA legends Wanderlei Silva and Shogun Rua;
•Vale Tudo legends Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons and Jorge "Macaco" Patino; and,
•Countless other stars and star-making coaches.
Thus it was not a shock to see a video showing an old-school beat down complete with soccer kicks, delivered by a Chute Boxe coach, purportedly after a bodybuilder dojo stormed the academy.
Pride Never Die.
The video, in two parts, opens with the fight already on the mat; the bloodied coach is on top. Dialogue follows ...
Bodybuilder: "I'm out of gas. Finish me if you want."
Coach: "No, you're gonna fight."
Bodybuilder: "I'm just exhausted."
Coach: "I don't care."
In textbook fashion, the coach works from top side, to mount, to back mount, to rear naked choke, to getting the tap. Then it doesn't stop.
The coach ignores the tap, doesn't fully apply the choke putting the bodybuilder unconscious, and eventually goes all PRIDE Rules, stomping and soccer kicking the far larger man.
Eventually, the coach backs off and lets the bodybuilder up. They fist bump. The bodybuilder apologizes, and the coach says, "come back a different man and we'll be best friends, but not today." The man is ushered, stumbling outside, whereupon he sits down on the pavement, apparently trying to recall his own name.
These are the videos. The coach's explanation of what happens follows. It turns out this wasn't a Dojo Storm, but was more of a Mutual Combat, allegedly initiated by an assault by the bodybuilder, who was also purportedly an MMA fighter.
BJJ World reached out to the academy, and received a full backstory, obviously from their perspective. As a side note, the use of the term "professor" below, and in BJJ circles generally, is often misinterpreted as being boastful, and equating a black belt with a doctorate. Professor is just the word for teacher in Brazilian Portuguese, so its use is identical to a teacher of a Japanese martial art using the term sensei.
This incident happened approximately four years ago and at no time was this an “Old School BJJ Challenge.” This was a conflict settled between two consenting adults in a non-public setting.
The incident began while the Jiu-Jitsu professor was leaving a nearby supermarket. Without warning the aggressor punched the professor in the back of the head from behind. When the instructor confronted the assaultive individual by asking why he punched him, the individual stated that he had mistaken him for someone else.
Then for no apparent reason, the individual started acting belligerent and shouting vulgarities in public. He then claimed that he was a professional MMA fighter and began threatening the instructor, saying he was going to beat him up. It is very important to point out that the instructor had never met this individual prior to this encounter.
The Jiu-Jitsu professor informed the individual that he too was a professional fighter and that he was an MMA instructor at a gym in town. So as not to disturb the public, the instructor offered to settle this issue at the nearby gym, and the angry individual accepted the invitation.
The edited video that was posted on YouTube and shared via various social media platforms only shows the last five minutes of the fight. This altercation however lasted approximately 30 minutes as both professional fighters exchanged kicks and punches from both sides. Although not seen in the video, the individual who originally attacked the Jiu-Jitsu professor landed some hard strikes that injured the instructor, cutting his face and injuring his leg. As a response, the instructor took the fight to the ground and reverted back to his old training of Vale Tudo fighting with Chute Boxe Brazil.
Surely the viewers of this video will form their own opinion for good or bad as it relates to combative sports. Regardless of any indifference, the Jiu-Jitsu professor shown in the video is a very well-mannered, friendly, and respected practitioner who teaches respect and humility to his students. He is well-liked and continually serves his community in countless ways.
Obviously, it would be important to hear the bodybuilder's perspective. Unfortunately, an account linked to Andre Quiles, who owns the Chute Boxe Academy, indicates that the bodybuilder had died of a drug overdose, and provided further details.
The instructor was attacked in a supermarket in daylight by the larger guy, 90 pounds weight difference and 15 years age difference. On the same day, the aggressor attacked an old lady who did not press charges because she knew the big guy and his drug abuse. He was kicked out of the military for drug use, with a very extensive criminal history.
The local authorities did investigate the case, and edited the entire video which is 45 minutes long, with both sides trading punches. The edition of those 4 minutes does not show the truth. The instructor is a very respected member of the BJJ community, and loved for his code of conduct. Unfortunately, the aggressor passed away with a meth overdose four years after the fight.
Besides the fact of two pro fighters in a mutual combat, the video shows the instructor asking many times to the aggressor if he wants to stop, and he never stopped. That's why the instructor had to go that far. Everyone that knows this instructor knows he wasn't kicking hard it was just to show dominance.
The video was made with both fighters' agreement that whoever wins keeps the video; this way they would not need to fight again. The members of the community who know the truth are proud of the old man and his heart. Not many instructors in their 50s with that much weight difference would be able to handle a younger and heavier fighter. I would like to have my kids become someone that effective.
The first 35 minutes was 100% Muay Thai, because the instructor thought the aggressor was a grappler. After a heavy head kick landed by the aggressor, the instructor took the fight to the ground and realized the big man was a striker not a grappler. Basically, the big guy messed up with the wrong person. It could be any of us and when someone punches you in a public place from your back, you would probably be mad too.
Do you think this went too far or not. and why? There are competing visions of jiu-jitsu at play here.
In 2018 Gordon Ryan signed up for IBJJF World No-Gi Championship, and wrote on his social network, “Hey, guys…. stay the f*** home.”
BJJ legend Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu was not impressed.
“I see You still didn’t grow up with your black belt and learned about respect," he wrote. "The BS u create around yourself is not what BJJ is all about. It will never be about the medals and titles my friend. I thought your coach had already taught you that. Your acting takes from the champion you could be. I’m fighting since you were in diapers kid. Learn to respect. And you can bet I’ll be ready for you.”
Ryan then responded with a quote that is hard to forget, and has some relevancy here.
“I love how people say 'BJJ is built around respect and honor.' No, it’s not! It’s built around savage Brazilians kicking the s*** out of people just because they could," wrote Ryan. "Storming gyms of other martial arts and fighting their instructors just to show how superior BJJ was. And while I think that’s f***ing awesome, it’s not the fairytale you guys tell about respect and honor. This sport is built around real men who didn’t give a f*** and took what they wanted.”
At the No Gi Worlds that year, in the male ultra-heavyweight finals, Abreu was disqualified from the entire event for slapping Ryan, who went on to win the absolute division as well. Take from that what you will.
There are legal considerations at play, and they do not favor the coach. However, there are ethical considerations as well. If a gigantic MMA fighter punches a far smaller, far younger man - for no reason - and then agrees to go somewhere safe to settle it like men, was that old school, Chute Boxe beatdown really out of line? That was, after all, a gentle beatdown, by Chute Boxe standards.