Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Metamoris Metamorphosis

The Gracies have once again rudely inserted themselves back into the Jiu-Jitsu conversation.  A conversation that has long been dominated by the sport aspect of Bjj that focuses on points, advantages, weight classes and time limits.   What do the Gracies go off and do to get attention? Have an invitational tournament for the cream of the Jiu-Jitsu crop in which the only way they can win is through submission to prove that you can either finish a guy or you can’t.  Right up the Gracie's Alley!
It’s no secret that I am a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practioner.   Pedro Sauer , my instructor received his black belt directly from Rickson and Helio Gracie.  I am therefore a bit biased.  But I have always respected BJJ no matter what tribe a person came from.  I don’t care whether you are a Competition, Submission, Gi or No-Gi  practioner.  As long as you do Jiu-jitsu then that is ok with me. I just want to see your awesome moves.

The only problem is that those feelings of respect haven’t always been reciprocated back to my art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu both nationally and unfortunately, locally in my area.  In fact, I would say that many “Sport” BJJ Clubs and organizations have such disdain for GJJ that they would prefer that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu go F off and die in a corner so that they, “the anointed ones” can take their “rightful” place in the bjj forefront and not have to be reminded about what foundation this whole sport was started from.

Well, not so fast there sparky.  This past week-end Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was back, in your face and as irritating as ever.  This time for all the haters it was downright  painful.  In the Metamoris tournament the only thing a competitor had to do was shut their mouth and go tap the other guy out.  That’s it..No counting points,  No accruing advantages…Just go get it done with a submission.   Some won, Some lost, Some made excuses…but  the coolest part was that just because one lost or had a draw the respect for participating in this groundbreaking event was overwhelmingly appreciated by all.  It also showed that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu can hang with ANY other BJJ organization regardless of what some sport BJJ experts “predicted” would be the outcome. 

 Metamoris  Metamorphosis is a term that I coined because I couldn’t pronounce Metamoris for one but to also mean that this event has made an almost paradigm shift in how BJJ is viewed.  This event will be a NEW outlet to truly prove who the best elite BJJ players in the world are.  No longer can a person necessarily be a “Champion” by an advantage point.  This will be the place to prove your championship.  You either  Tap, Get Tapped or Draw. Very simple concept. Just like when the UFC was first started.  I do think the time limit should be 30 minutes though, Just because I enjoyed it so much. =).

The last thing I want to say is that I would like to apologize to Gracie Barra for a blog I posted some months back on how I thought they were a particularly “Sport Oriented” organization.  By taking part in the Metamoris tournament I see that they are willing to go for the submission and not just the points and for that I must pay my respect.  It was much appreciated by me, the fan of BJJ. 

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  1. I would like to see an Alliance representative next time too...Also, as a former long time Gracie Barra member, they do teach Self-Defense in every single class, but it's not something they advertise a whole lot. You really have to attend the classes to see that side of the Organization. They seem to showcase more of the competitive side of the Organization than the Self-Defense and Traditional side.

  2. Hi

    My name is Eduardo Rocha and I being practice Gracie Jiu Jitsu for over 20 years. I'm 4th degree black belt under Royler Gracie. I've being training under Gracie Humaita for long enough to understand what is BJJ and where it come from. I wanna share my opinion with you guys because I'm reading a lot baloney this last week after Metamoris. I hearing a lot people repeating the same thing over and over. Ryron does self defense jiu jitsu and Andre does competition jiu jitsu and I wanna say something, all jiu jitsu is for self defense, the way you practice doesn't matter. The structure is the same, the moves are the same, the idea are the same, just the way you practice is different. A lot people are saying that Andre couldn't tap Ryron, because Ryron does self defense jiu jitsu. I say no, it's because Ryron have a very good defensive game. Defensive jiu jitsu doesn't mean better self defense. My Teacher Royler and his brother Rickson never play defensive game, and now you'll tell me they don't know self defense? They don't play Gracie Jiu Jitsu? I will give the example of Carson Gracie who have a official record of 50 "vale tudo" fights undefeated. He always taught his students that in the real fight number 1; keep safe distance,number 2 clinch and fall in the top, number 3 if you in the bottom keep the guy in your guard, 4 look always for the submission and if can't finish the guy from the bottom try to stand up again. My point is, this isn't much different than competition. The points was created to award the fighter who gets more progression, the points are base in the gain of better positions. Matamoris was a good idea, but wasn't the first event in this form, other people try this before and I like it when I can see a good fight, both guys trying to finish the opponent, both guys trying the submission. What I don't like to see is one guy giving everything to win and the another one looking only for the draw and in the end try to turn the draw in his favor and say that's self defense jiu jitsu the real Gracie Jiu Jitsu taught by Helio Gracie. Well at this point I will have to step back and review my conceptions and what I learn from Royler, Rickson and Rolker Gracie at Gracie Humaita school in Brasil. Because no one never told me that play defensive is Helio Gracie Jiu Jitsu, no one never told that is a difference from self defense and competition, for me the difference is only the way you do your training. No one never say to me play defensive is better,the only think I remember that Royler says to me is that defense is important for you don't tap. But for me be on top and attacking all the time it's the way to win, in the streets in the cage or on the mats doesn't matter, when I am in the bottom I'm looking always for the swipe because I know that to be in the bottom it's not a good thing in any circumstance. Jiu Jitsu it's like chess you can play defensive or offensive,it's just matter of style, in the end it's all Jiu Jitsu, and this discussions about what is better than that it wont take us to anywhere. We should look our sport as just one thing and enjoy all his beauty and leave this discussions behind, because this wont move us forward.


    Eduardo Rocha

  3. Thank you for your opinion Professor Rocha! It is much appreciated and valued.

  4. Fantastic words by all engaged here. I just finished listening to an INSIDEBJJ interview with Kron. he said he fights the way he trains and it dawned on me that everyone must be the same.

    If you compete and hold positions after an advantage to beat the clock and get your win, that must be something you work on and drill at the academy. Call it BJJ, GJJ or whatever you want it, but that's no way to train. Heck, that's no way to LIVE!

    If people train in an alive manner and always hunt for the submission at the academy and on the comp mat, that's awesome. If they play a safe and defensive style of jiu jitsu, that's awesome too. Jiu jitsu is big enough to encompass both.

    If people train to get a tiny advantage them hold on, then maybe that's good enough for them, but I think I'd die a little inside if I trained like that :)

    Increase the Peace!

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  6. Hello,

    I believe that there are two things which are mixed up here.
    One is the art and the other is business.

    1/The Art:

    I do not understand why so many practitioners want to train to win.
    I agree on the concept of different mindsets.

    However, the idea of gracie jujitsu is: avoid being punched and submitted.
    Let your opponent getting tired and then finish him off.

    What happens if you have a cold can't train for weeks?
    Techniques based on offensive and stamina won't do it for you.

    I believe it is all about saving energy and wait for the mistake or for the transition.

    Helio Gracie was not a big guy and his technique was for the non athletic people.

    Forcing it and using muscles in order to get on the top at all cost means that you have to achieve a position of domination based on 'EGO'.

    Getting on the top without forcing it requires a totally different mindset. It requires patience.

    If we look at Andre Galvao face, he was completely tired at the end. It is really a pity that most of the jujitsu practitioners roll only for the victory.

    2/ The business:

    Now you have to make a living out of it. Victory will bring you followers of course.
    You will get money from sponsoring etc. Ryron doesn't have to worry about is future.

    But when you are an average guy, without the support of a big family you need to make it happens and bring food on the table to support your family.

    When Rorion started in USA back in the old days he had to challenge kung fu guys in gyms. If he didn't win nobody would have followed him. A draw was not possible!But
    Time was on his side.

    When Rickson was fighting this giant black guy in Brazil, time and patience was on his side too. At the end he got the back.

    Metamorsis is based on 20 minutes only! When you need to make a name for yourself you can't wait 20 minutes to see what is going to happen! Your name, reputation and income depend on it to some extent.

    Ryron and Rener are promoting a concept which is beautiful: the Helio gracie way of fighting. It is a business too, a very lucrative one. But when you are not part of the family, when you do not have achieve yet that reputation ( which was through UFC in that case), what do you do? You do not have the time to wait for 50 years to create a business and to see it flourishing as an empire.

    There is the reality of fighting but there is the reality of life too. A man should know what are the priorities in life and supporting your family is number one. Big bucks are for the winner.

    So, congratulations to Andre Galvao for his determination to win and congratulations to Ryron for his patience.

    They are both great fighters but their life is different and as a result their game must be different.