So people still believe this?

Monkey Turned Wolf

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As a side note to this, they actually put in Royce Gracie because he was smaller and worse than a couple other gracies. Rorion wanted to prove that with BJJ, you didn't need to be the tallest or the best to beat the best of other styles. From what I've read a few of their family avidly disagreed with this, but clearly it worked out.
 
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Hanzou

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As a side note to this, they actually put in Royce Gracie because he was smaller and worse than a couple other gracies. Rorion wanted to prove that with BJJ, you didn't need to be the tallest or the best to beat the best of other styles. From what I've read a few of their family avidly disagreed with this, but clearly it worked out.

Theres also the very real possibility that Royce could have gotten beaten, which would have completely unraveled their plans.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Theres also the very real possibility that Royce could have gotten beaten, which would have completely unraveled their plans.
Yup, which is why some were so against it. But to me that discounts the idea that they were rigging it-if rorion didn't truly believe BJJ/the gracies were superior, he would have put someone else in there.
 

skribs

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1. There was another grappler in the first UFC, and he wasn't some chump.
2. There's nothing wrong with wanting to promote/market your martial art.
3. Zero fighters have ever come forward to say that any of the fights were fixed.
4. It's quite clear on video that Royce didn't use his belt to submit Shamrock.
5. Bjj's prevalence in MMA almost 30 years later proves that the Gracie win wasn't a trick or a fluke.
6. Royce wearing a gi actually made him MORE vulnerable in his fights.

  1. If I remember right (and I could be misremembering) that fight ended before the grappler wanted it to, with him at a loss. Gracie never fought him.
  2. We'll come back to this.
  3. A fight doesn't need to be officially fixed in order for it to be fixed. Let's say I want to challenge someone to a Taekwondo match. That someone is a boxing expert, but has never done Taekwondo before. I've been training for several years, several hours a day, 5 days a week. The referees would score the match fairly. It isn't fixed. But the fact that boxer has never kicked before, nor has he competed in this ruleset before, is going to make a huge difference. This will be the second thing I come back to.
  4. Uh...okay. Your eyes are different than mine, I guess.
  5. We'll come back to this (when I come back to #2).
  6. If they knew how to use his gi against him, then yes. But they didn't. This goes back to the point in #3, which I'll expand on in a minute. It was a "liability" in the sense that against another BJJ guy or a Judo guy it would be a liability. But it wasn't against boxers and the like.
Regarding advertising: there is no problem with advertising your art. But there needs to be an understanding of the difference between advertising and reality. I've watched a lot of BJJ videos, including the advertisements that the Gracies put out. They make a lot of grand claims in their videos. For example, they claim that BJJ is the only martial art where you try to control your opponent, instead of just trading punches until one of you is KO'd. Well...
  • There are many other grappling arts, which also seek to control your opponent
  • There are very few striking arts that act the way he says they do. Most striking arts are how to hit your opponent while not getting hit yourself. How many boxers, kickboxers, or TKD fighters go in ready to trade blows? Muay Thai guys cover up and block/check what they can. Maybe Kyokushin? There are some fighters that like to trade blows, but most prefer to dodge/block and then counter, instead of just trading.
Now, that's great for an advertisement. But when other martial artists hear this, the first thought is, "really? So is he lying, or does he just not know what he's talking about."

That's not to say BJJ is bad. BJJ is, in my opinion, equal to many arts at the top of the game. I do believe it is rivalled in groundfighting only by wrestling, and even then I'd say BJJ might have the edge (where wrestling is better in takedowns). But that's only one aspect of fighting. Even though their tagline is that all fights go to the ground...that isn't true. There are plenty of fights that end in a KO, or end before any serious blows are thrown. I've been in fights where after I throw the other person down (and remain standing) they've given up. I was in plenty of fights in middle school, and none of them ever went to the ground. BJJ is great if the fight goes to the ground, or if you want that to be your strategy. But it's not the godsend of martial arts that the Gracies claim it is.

Regarding a fight being "fixed" and the skill level of the opponent. As others mentioned, Gracie was the only one in UFC1 that really had a lot of experience fighting other martial arts. Pick any two martial arts. We'll say Martial Art A and Martial Art B. If Fighter A takes on Fighter B of similar skill level in a competition in Art A, then Fighter A will win 95% of the time (if not more). Put me against a boxer, wrestler, kickboxer, MT fighter, judoka, or BJJ fighter in Taekwondo, and I will most likely beat them. Put me against them in their art, and they will most likely beat me.

In that situation, whoever has the advantage can be more aggressive than they usually would. I could use a lower guard against a boxer in Taekwondo, because they probably can't kick me in the head. A BJJ fighter could probably use more risky moves against me, because I'd be less likely to exploit any openings he gives me on the ground.

Similarly, if I were to train kicks against punchers and grapplers, and then I were to fight against punchers and grapplers who have no experience doing anything but their art, I should have a big advantage in an MMA situation. If they don't know how to deal with my kicks, I should be able to use them to great effectiveness. So to claim that his gi was a liability...to whom was it a liability?

The following statements are not mutually exclusive:
  • UFC1 was rigged (not fixed) so that BJJ would look better than it is
  • BJJ is a great martial art
 
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Hanzou

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  1. If I remember right (and I could be misremembering) that fight ended before the grappler wanted it to, with him at a loss. Gracie never fought him.

It was Ken Shamrock in UFC 1. Royce fought him and beat him via RNC.

2. A fight doesn't need to be officially fixed in order for it to be fixed. Let's say I want to challenge someone to a Taekwondo match. That someone is a boxing expert, but has never done Taekwondo before. I've been training for several years, several hours a day, 5 days a week. The referees would score the match fairly. It isn't fixed. But the fact that boxer has never kicked before, nor has he competed in this ruleset before, is going to make a huge difference. This will be the second thing I come back to.

Please explain how UFC's rules benefitted BJJ on the level that TKD competition rules benefit a TKD practitioner.

3. If they knew how to use his gi against him, then yes. But they didn't. This goes back to the point in #3, which I'll expand on in a minute. It was a "liability" in the sense that against another BJJ guy or a Judo guy it would be a liability. But it wasn't against boxers and the like.

A gi would be a liability against a wrestler though, since wrestlers tend to grip and grab. Someone wearing a jacket and pants is easier to hold on to than someone who is shirtless.

Regarding advertising
: there is no problem with advertising your art. But there needs to be an understanding of the difference between advertising and reality. I've watched a lot of BJJ videos, including the advertisements that the Gracies put out. They make a lot of grand claims in their videos. For example, they claim that BJJ is the only martial art where you try to control your opponent, instead of just trading punches until one of you is KO'd. Well...
  • There are many other grappling arts, which also seek to control your opponent
  • There are very few striking arts that act the way he says they do. Most striking arts are how to hit your opponent while not getting hit yourself. How many boxers, kickboxers, or TKD fighters go in ready to trade blows? Muay Thai guys cover up and block/check what they can. Maybe Kyokushin? There are some fighters that like to trade blows, but most prefer to dodge/block and then counter, instead of just trading.
Now, that's great for an advertisement. But when other martial artists hear this, the first thought is, "really? So is he lying, or does he just not know what he's talking about."

That's not to say BJJ is bad. BJJ is, in my opinion, equal to many arts at the top of the game. I do believe it is rivalled in groundfighting only by wrestling, and even then I'd say BJJ might have the edge (where wrestling is better in takedowns). But that's only one aspect of fighting. Even though their tagline is that all fights go to the ground...that isn't true. There are plenty of fights that end in a KO, or end before any serious blows are thrown. I've been in fights where after I throw the other person down (and remain standing) they've given up. I was in plenty of fights in middle school, and none of them ever went to the ground. BJJ is great if the fight goes to the ground, or if you want that to be your strategy. But it's not the godsend of martial arts that the Gracies claim it is.

I have no issue stating that Rorion Gracie (where most of that comes from) is a blow hard, and maybe even a con man who is mainly out for personal interest even to the expense of his other family members. I even take some personal delight in the fact that Bjj as a MA has grown beyond his personal desires to control every aspect of it.

However, business 101 says that if you have a great product, you advertise it to the masses, and that's what the Gracies did. If martial artists don't like what they're saying, then they could have accepted their "challenge" and disprove what they were saying. Since they never did that, and just sat in their corners and pouted while the Gracies put their butts on the line to prove their art in a public fashion they deserve all of their rewards.

As for their claim that the majority of fights go to the ground, I don't think that's ever been scientifically proven. However, it stands to reason that a lot of fights do end up on the ground, a lot of women are assaulted on their back, and if you're dealing with someone larger and stronger than yourself, you have a good chance of getting forced on the ground. I happen to watch a lot of those World Star HipHop street fights, and a LOT of those fights end up with people scrambling on the ground.

Now the question is this; When you're on your back and under the weight of someone else, how much control do you want to have? Do you want to have zero control, which puts you completely at their mercy, or do you want control to the point where you actually have an advantage? Saying "I won't get taken down" really isn't a good answer.

Regarding a fight being "fixed" and the skill level of the opponent.
As others mentioned, Gracie was the only one in UFC1 that really had a lot of experience fighting other martial arts.

Yeah that false. Art Jimmerson, the boxer in UFC 1 had over 30 professional boxing matches before he fought in the UFC. Gerard Gordeau fought in over 30 professional kickboxing and Karate tournaments. Ken Shamrock was one of the founders of Shootfighting in Japan, and fought a variety of fighters before the UFC.

The only professional fighting experience Royce had before the first UFC was fighting his brothers, and participating in the Gracie challenge matches in their dojo.

Similarly, if I were to train kicks against punchers and grapplers, and then I were to fight against punchers and grapplers who have no experience doing anything but their art, I should have a big advantage in an MMA situation. If they don't know how to deal with my kicks, I should be able to use them to great effectiveness. So to claim that his gi was a liability...to whom was it a liability?

If they don't know how to deal with aspect of fighting, that is a flaw in their training method and their martial art. I'm old enough to remember what karate and kung fu people used to say about grapplers (I was one of those people btw). They would say if a wrestler gets too close, they'll kick or punch them in the head and knock them out. It was complete BS of course, but it was what we believed because it made sense.

Part of the reason the first UFC changed the world of martial arts is that it eliminated a lot of the BS in the world of martial arts. As much as I'm not a fan of Rorian Gracie's bravado, I'll take his superiority claims over the garbage that was coming out of the martial arts world leading up to that night in 1993.
 

Gerry Seymour

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A gi would be a liability against a wrestler though, since wrestlers tend to grip and grab. Someone wearing a jacket and pants is easier to hold on to than someone who is shirtless.
In general, against folks not accustomed to training/fighting in sturdy gear, it's probably a wash. In reality, there are a couple of things a gi allows that can't be done no-gi (using your own gi as an anchor), but that IMO is offset by the simple grip advantage. Even if your opponent doesn't take a handfull of sleeve/collar/whatever, he has a better grip on your arm/body because of the friction of the gi. So, some techniques become available to you if you have your gi on, and the other guy gets a better grip on you. Probably a wash, unless you specifically work on moves they won't be used to (so not prepared to defend). That probably makes it a slight advantage to the wearer IF that person is really good at setting up those techniques, a wash if they aren't, and a disadvantage if the opponent (who for this argument we assume isn't wearing one) has some skill at using the gi against the wearer.
 
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In general, against folks not accustomed to training/fighting in sturdy gear, it's probably a wash. In reality, there are a couple of things a gi allows that can't be done no-gi (using your own gi as an anchor), but that IMO is offset by the simple grip advantage. Even if your opponent doesn't take a handfull of sleeve/collar/whatever, he has a better grip on your arm/body because of the friction of the gi. So, some techniques become available to you if you have your gi on, and the other guy gets a better grip on you. Probably a wash, unless you specifically work on moves they won't be used to (so not prepared to defend). That probably makes it a slight advantage to the wearer IF that person is really good at setting up those techniques, a wash if they aren't, and a disadvantage if the opponent (who for this argument we assume isn't wearing one) has some skill at using the gi against the wearer.

Well Dan Severn practiced Judo, so at the very least he knew techniques available in the gi. In fact, Royce got beat by a Judoka in Pride partly because the Judoka used Royce's gi against him. After that, Royce stopped wearing a gi in the ring.
 

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Watch this;


This is Royce Gracie vs Dan Severn at UFC 4. Severn was a high level wrestler with over 75 lbs on Gracie, and Gracie beat him with a Triangle choke.

Please tell me again how BJJ isn't the dominant ground game in MMA. It literally grinds a superior wrestler's top pressure to a halt. If Bjj isn't the dominant ground game in that sport, what is? Pretty much every fighter entering the Octagon needs it to be competitive.
Take a look at this, you really need to do your research.

Which Fighting Styles Generate the Most UFC/MMA Champions?
 

dvcochran

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I care because people are spreading lies and falsehoods, and it leads to the propagation of nonsense that unfortunately still infects the martial arts as a whole to this day.
Aww, poor baby; aren't you doing the same thing with TMA? You just cannot paint either with the same brush.
 
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Hanzou

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Never said you were. I did say you may be spreading mis-information. Potato/potatoe.

Please don't deflect with semantics. If you have examples of this, please share.
 
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Hanzou

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Don't need to. You are the one who posted the two pictures. And yes, that does say a thousand words.

You mean the pic of a non competitive group of Martial Artists and a pic of a competitive group of Martial Artists, of which even you said the non competitive group looked sad.

How is that misrepresenting TMA when we have no idea what style the group in the top pic practices?
 

dvcochran

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You mean the pic of a non competitive group of Martial Artists and a pic of a competitive group of Martial Artists, of which even you said the non competitive group looked sad.

How is that misrepresenting TMA when we have no idea what style the group in the top pic practices?
So you are suggesting they are from BJJ?
 
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Hanzou

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So you are suggesting they are from BJJ?

Theyre obviously from a Korean-based MA. I would say either TKD or Tang Soo Do. However us saying that they look sad isnt misrepresenting TMAs.
 

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The "get off my lawn" tone is strong with Bill Superfoot Wallace in the original post's video. Do I agree with what he says? No. I think the Gracies were conscious about portraying BJJ in a good light, but I don't think anything was rigged.

Am I going to rage about what an awful person Superfoot is for doing this interview? Nope. He's the real deal and a full contact kickboxing legend, and after his career he has totally earned the right to be a grumpy old man from time to time.

It's like elderly boxers who think kicking or ground-and-pound is "dirty." I don't agree, but with their age and experience, I'm not going to berate them for their opinion.
 
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