Will Roger Gracie be able to reach the same heights in MMA as he has in sport Jiu-Jitsu? That was the question posed by Portal do Vale-Tudo reporter Marcelo Alonso to Carlos Gracie Junior, uncle and teacher to the three-time absolute world champion who will next fight in Strikeforce on the 29th.
“Unlikely,” was the answer.
Why would Carlinhos, the president of the IBJJF, think so? For a few reasons, as the Portal TV video below reveals (in Portuguese). Some of them are: “Because in MMA a lucky punch can end the fight.” “Because in MMA these days you need to be physically built to withstand a lot of blows.” “Because the UFC champions these days can withstand a lot of blows to the head.”
As Carlinhos reminds us, in the MMA of today “if both guys know Jiu-Jitsu, the stronger one wins.” And, lastly, “Roger is big but skinny, he’s thinner,” with less muscle mass than his opponents.
The Gracie Barra master also exclaimed: “Look how thick Cain Velasquez’s neck is!”
In the interview with Alonso, taken during the last South American championship, the last IBJJF tourney of the year, Carlos Gracie Junior celebrates Jiu-Jitsu in Abu Dhabi, defends good manners in academies, and even reveals what his greatest dream is.
Check out some of the lessons from the master, extracted from the complete interview:
“My dream is for people to understand that in the end Jiu-Jitsu is an art that helps people.”
“If Jiu-Jitsu were to enter every strata of society, people would see life differently, investing in things of greater value and less superficial.”
“Roger is already a star in Jiu-Jitsu, he doesn’t need to risk himself in MMA. The time he spends training and fighting he could be dedicating to opening more academies in England and making more money.”
“In the old days Jiu-Jitsu was a territorial thing, now it’s international. These days, the public goes to the World Championship like they would to a concert, totally calmly, without any stress at all.”
“There are still fewer academies in the USA than there are in Brazil. But the academies in the USA have more practitioners than they do in Brazil.”
“To make a comfortable living from Jiu-Jitsu, the teacher needs to bring normal people into the gym, to have 200 to 300 students.”
“Why do so many women do aerobics and so few Jiu-Jitsu? One of the reasons is that the environment in most academies is not inviting to them. You wouldn’t take your wife or daughter to a place where everyone walks around without a shirt, curses, and does what they want. The academy becomes a fight club instead of a school.
Carlos Gracie Jr.