We spoke with the Gracie’s about their deathmatches. Because it hurt the industry, it hurt martial arts. Parents no longer wanted to bring their kids to Jujitsu Dojos. The Gracies admitted to us that they went too far with that. Even their cousins the Machado’s told me that they were crazy. You go to the Gracie dojo in L.A. and while your waiting in the lobby. You watch Royce Gracie, running through the streets of Brazil wondering why he is running. Only to find out that he is upset that someone spoke ill of his family name. You see Royce end up running on the beach and clocking a man who never saw him coming. Sometimes when you are poor, all you have is your family name. So when someone speaks ill of your family, you feel you have to respond with violence. So that you can bring honor back to the family. But the Gracie’s were taught by the Japanese, so where was their sense of honor, and grace. Where was the Bushido spirit and practice? Why did it not survive along with the martial art?
Or were the Gracie’s crazy? Like the Machado family had said? They had a practice of not tapping out during matches. And even allowing themselves to lose consciousness from chokes. Only having to be revived, and brought back to consciousness. Just to say to themselves, and the world that they did not tap out. They did not lose. They painted themselves into a corner when they told the world that “They were the world’s greatest martial art”, and took on all challengers. They would even allow their arms to be broken rather than submit. This was their warped sense of honor.
But again, what was this teaching the youth. We lost out on so many young people joining the martial arts, especially jujitsu, because of these antics. Parents began to see Jujitsu as a martial art for thugs. And did not want their kids to be a part of it. Did the Gracie’s know that these antics would have a negative effect on not only the martial arts but also the growth and future, of their own martial arts dojos? Because the youth are the future. Did the Gracie’s set the bar to high? So high that they could not afford to lose. Losing the opportunity to teach the youth a valuable lesson. And that is that, you learn when you win and you learn when you lose.
Again, they had painted themselves in a corner, for what? A marketing campaign to promote what they thought was most important? And that was winning at all costs. My question to this very day is, was it worth it? Was it worth it to say to the world as a marketing campaign, “That you are the world’s greatest martial arts family” while at the same time shooting yourself in the foot. Destroying the future, because the youth cannot face the world and Gracie dojos as losers. For the sske of the legendary Gracie pride.