The speed that information travels, thanks to the internet, may be the defining aspect of the era we live in. But alongside content that has relevance and quality, we have witnessed the rise of fake news — and it travels just as fast. In BJJ, as in any other field, fake news can be dangerous, as they spread wrong philosophies or give credit to harmful practices.
So we decided to invite a few teachers to say what, in their opinion, is the biggest piece of fake news about BJJ that they’ve heard. Here are their thoughts.
Fabio Gurgel: “The biggest piece of fake news? Wanting to turn the new generation of BJJ into Nutella. These kids are too tough!”
Roberto Godoi: “The most fun piece of fake news is that one popularized by UFC fans, about Steven Seagal. It was always hilarious to see the movie star give that final ‘polish’ moments before an athlete would go in for a fight.”
Zé Mario Sperry: “The biggest bit of fake news I’ve seen lately in the BJJ community is that athlete that posts a picture with a medal on his chest, boasting — and the title came after just one match, and won by W.O. at that. Brilliant.”
Bernardo Faria: “Tough one, but something that is fake in BJJ is when that higher-ranked guy turns to you and proclaims, ‘Oh, that position doesn’t work.’ I will never agree with that. Maybe that technique doesn’t work for you but fits great in someone else’s game. My half-guard is an example: When I started doing it, I’d let all my opponents arrive on top and gain the underhook, and I heard over and over that I could never let that happen, that it was a mistake… But I’d always end up sweeping everybody from there. In BJJ, there’s no right or wrong, and everything can work, as long as you comprehend the position deeply and know the right time to use that technique.”
Rafael Dallinha: “Fake news in BJJ is the matter of learning only online, without ever having trained on a mat with a real master, and getting promoted even so. I’m not chastising online learning in any way, which presently has many very high-level teachers helping students through this format; but I believe that in-person classes are vital to the total comprehension of the gentle art, its history and its benefits.”
Rolles Gracie: “In this age of fake news, the world of BJJ isn’t free from it. There are many frauds out there teaching in schools or showing techniques on Instagram. The student must watch out, do their research well to avoid getting duped.”
Muzio De Angelis: “Easy one: Fake news in BJJ is saying that Renzo Gracie will retire one day. We all know that Renzo will be fighting until the last day of his life — like, really old. Renzo, my man, you will be doing MMA at 70. Oss!”