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 cold-cocking a man who never saw him coming. Sometimes when you are poor, all you have is your family name. So when speaks ill of your family 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, grace, where was the Bushido 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. 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. Did the Gracies know that these antics would have a negative effect on not only the martial arts but also the growth of their own martial arts dojos? Again, they had painted themselves in a corner, for what? A marketing campaign to promote what 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, by destroying the hopes and dreams of your future, and that is the youth of the martial arts?