BJJ fighters are afraid to pull guard in MMA, says Rickson Gracie

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Rickson Gracie

Rickson Gracie.

Since his retirement from the rings and mats, coral-belt Rickson Gracie has been dedicated to teaching BJJ in his L.A. academy, and also to aiding his son Kron in his MMA career. Two weekends ago, Rickson was in Kron’s corner as Kron defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri. In an interview with, Rickson had some good things to say about his son.

“I’m very proud about the result and for the work that is done objectively for MMA,” he said. “Kron’s preparation is not just technical; it’s physical, mental, and is being worked on in a very harmonious, complete way, to the point that he performs at 110% in all areas. I don’t see the result as news or a surprise — I see it as the confirmation of a work. Without any doubt, this was the biggest win of his career.”

Kron Gracie.

Kron Gracie.

According to Dad, one thing that sets Kron apart from many other BJJ fighters trying their hand at MMA is command of the self-defense guard.

“Kron isn’t a striking expert,” he pointed out, “but he has developed his to the point where he feels comfortable standing. He doesn’t feel forced to take the bout to the ground. When he feels it is the ideal moment, without hesitation, he does and displays a specific guard for MMA, much different from the one used in competitive BJJ. The difference is that, on the self-defense guard, you keep your opponent under pressure in order to have room to strike. BJJ fighters are afraid to pull into guard, because they don’t know the self-defense guard.”

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