View Full Version : Gracie tales, lies?

25th July 2002, 14:49
I don't intend to start a flame war. I was innocently looking on the chinese arts and found a Wing Tsun Site and on this site i found an article on the gracies dated back to 1994.

if youd like to look it up the address is:

Is this the truth revealed or just another con?

I tried to find more info on the subject but failed but i also came accross another article by carlson gracie pinpointing out the corruption (lies) of the (some) other gracies..... actualy i couldent understand this one correctly so i will leave it up to you to gudge.

this is the address.

Please i would appreceate some decent replies.

26th July 2002, 05:19
I remember reading about the challenge matches in Blackbelt magazine. Emin is pretty much telling it, that he was challenged when they were trying to make a name for themselves (and yes, they also challenged Mike Tyson to a fight) and then Emin challenged them back and from what I remember they put so many stipulations on it, the fight never happened. Emin was already a name in the martial arts scene before the Gracies came along, Emin wasn't trying to bank on them.

Over on the "Underground Forum", I have read a lot of stuff in other instances where the Gracies were caught in lies that they had told, and then made excuses on why. For Example, Rickson claims to be undefeated in something like over 700 matches but he was beat in a sport compeition one time, but that didn't count because it wasn't jui-jitsu. Also, that Helio lost also when they were claiming they were undefeated for 60-70 yrs or whatever.

BTW: I don't really care for either side, I just don't like the excuses/lies that I have seen them do to promote their style.

26th July 2002, 07:25
They're claiming that

"Now in the U.S., Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been considered the most effective form of Martial Art."

This is a quote from Carlson Gracie's site. I'm waiting to hear the result of a street altercation in which a person who studies this gets stomped into next week because he used this system to defend himself against an attacker and as he was busy wrestling this guy to the ground and the attacker's while his friends were punching and kicking him. This is wrestling, not jujutsu. It won't be too long before it is an Olympic sport.

26th July 2002, 08:52
Real judo is already an Olympic sport. It doesn't need the Gracies.


26th July 2002, 09:23
I don't like it when people bash me because i stepped on their infected toe!

I have always had a cany sense of feeling about the gracies. not that i hate them because i dont hate anyone but i dont like their attidtude. I hate their attitude not them personaly!.

But looking at some old photos of them saying they fought copera and so and won.....i was actuly questioning how much of a fight it was. It doesent look violent at all. Some of them are more like Judo games. (with all respect to the beautifull art of Judo, created by one of the best Martial Artists ever).

Looking at the original Jujutsu concepts and techniques i wonder where bjj came from. They profess about having evolved Jujutsu because its stagnated in Japan. Sorry but evolved into what? wrestling?

Jigaro Kano evolved his Jujitsu into Kodo-Kan Jujutsu and he was responsible enough to realize that it was changed so much from the original concepts of Jujutsu that it wasen't Jujutsu anymore but it became a way of the Ju. Judo.

Why don't the gracies get their own name for their style considering its that much changed from the original Judo they learned? Why not give it a brazilian name since they call it brazilian? why take a nations pride and give it to another?

These are all questions i had for years and i am sure some others feel the same as me.


28th July 2002, 06:06
I read about that challange awhile back. Someone had taken the time to get all materials from both the Gracies and the Wing Chun fighter. From reading it, it sounded like both parties didn't really want a piece of eachother, more so on the Gracie side. All I've heard is stories, so you don't really know unless you have first hand experience. But, I've heard from lots of people that the Gracies lie about lots of things. There's lots of stories like this, Ricksons undefeated record, lots of people beg to differ about this. Brazilian JuJitsu stylist, Walid Ismail seems to hate the Gracies with a passion, and often curses them out in any interview he's in. He calls them liars and cowards. He seems like a zany guy, he definitely contradicts the typcial Brazilian JuJitsu stylist sterotype in some ways. He's the only Brazilain I have heard say Japanese JuJitsu is the best JuJitsu. I've heard that he beat up two Gracie school members when they jumped him in the streets of Brazil. Likewise, I've heard of a Karate guy who beat them in their own school, and then beat them when they jumped him later. Some Brazilians who practice Hsing I said that a Wing Chun man from China beat one of their high ranking guys, and it was hushed up because the head of the Gracie family spoke with the Chinese's teacher. Then there are the stories of Rorion swindling people left and right. These are all stories, and I have nothing to back them on. But, I've heard them and thought I would add them to the topic. My opinion, I think it's pretty probable that they lie.

29th July 2002, 08:19
Not that Im any expert, but I also heard somewhere that Emin Bozteppe is a "thug and a bully" who watied for William Cheung (who is 'getting on' nowadays) at one of his seminars, then jumped him from behind and rolled around on the floor with him for a while. All to make a name for himself.

Hes also recently left the Leung Ting Organisation to start his own.

As I said, this is not my personal info, just heard it somewhere and thought it might be relevant

29th July 2002, 14:34
I know zilch about the Wing Chun person. I know him saying he has 300/0 real fight record sounds fake to me, like Rickson's 400/0. Emin does have some good press from what I know though (His site has letters of accodation from the Marines and FBI among others, I don't know if they are legit or not). I read some favorable things about that fight between him and William Cheung. Emin's supporters of the story say that the fight went something like this-

William Cheung had been going around a long time saying he was the deadliest man in the world, he was the sole heir of Wing Chun, ecd. At one point, he sent two of his students to challange Emin. Instead, they fought Emin's students and were defeated. Later on, William Cheung said in a magazine interview something along the lines of that he would fight anywhere, anytime. Emin went to one of Williams seminars with the intention of taking him up on the challange. Emin approached William with the magazine in his hand, citing his challange. William said he would be glad to fight, but after the seminar. Emin said no, they had to fight now, that Williams challange was anywhere, anytime. William again said after the seminar, Emin informed him he would attack after he counted to 10. He did, and beat William. Supposedly, the story about Emin attacking William from behind started when William was shown a recording from the event that did not have the beginning of the fight, and he made up that he was attacked from behind.

I have no clue or real care if this is true, but it's another side of the argument.

29th July 2002, 20:02
Hello All,
Okay, letís take an objective look at this thread: itís an outlandish mismatch of claims and counter-claims. Emin Boeztep claims he has beaten everybody and the Gracies are scared of him. William Cheung claims Emin jumped him. Nobody has any substantial proof of their claims, except for the vague rumors that float around the martial arts community, like having to register your hands with the police department when you get a blackbelt. B.S. The Gracies are definitely full of a lot of hot air regarding their win-loss record, but I will say this: they lay it on the line! Thereís in the ring all the time, taking on fighters who generally outweigh them by 20 pounds. Iíve seen the 40 year old Rickson destroy in 12 minutes Japanese pro-fighter ten years younger and ten pounds bigger. And where was Emin when this was going on? Holding his hands up in ďguardĒ around his waist and hocking his spastic-looking self defense tapes. I realize this is a bit emotional, but I get very irritated with ďtraditionalĒ martial artists incessantly bad-mouthing MMA/UFC/the Gracies. That the Gracies are their own biggest fans is inarguable, and that they stretch the truth is likely. But at least they have the guts to get in the ring.

My two cents,
Josh Gepner

30th July 2002, 10:59
Wtih all respect,
As to Traditionalists bad mouthing MMA/NHB/Gracies, lets see where it all started. When NHB and so came in action, who was badmouthing who? NHB'ers calling traditionalist Paper tigers, inefective bla bla bla. Traditionalists are only defending them selves. If "modernists" spat it out then its up to them to swollow it back!

As to the term "modernists". Its a bit of a misjudging term. Wrestling has been around since medival times.

As to "at least they have the guts to get in the ring". Emin is pretty much saying the same. They do have the guts to get in the ring but what about outside of the ring?! They fight in their own enviorenment. Its reasonable but. Its easier to fight with your own rules rather then with your oponents rules and enviorenment.

Some people refer to traditionalist like its an occult.
I refer to traditionalists as, originalist, pureists, realists in the sense that if they say they do 'this' art then they are pretty much doing it and not doing a "mix mash" style and still refere to it with traditional name of a style!.

Jujitsu is not ground wrestling. The credit for the effectiveness of ground grapling should go to Jigaro Kano, Judo when it comes to japanese martial arts. Hes the creator of Judo.

Jujitsu is Jujitsu not wrestling, Judo is Judo, Karate is karate not kickboxing not muay tai. Ive seen poeple claiming to do Karate and they actualy are more like boxing, kick boxing and free street fighting strikers. Just beacause it is striking, it doesent mean its Karate.

The original Jujutsu, when it came to contests. Many People died in such bouts. That was totaly realy no rules. That is why Many Koryu Jujutsu don't do Bouts anymore. It was banned by the emperor back then. That is why the large Japanese groups nowadays stress the point of Education in Martial Arts. Also they don't whant to limit their techniques, because (one who studies koryu can confirm here) Koryu Jujitsu has a lot of techniques that are applied in the areas of the neck andlower head and also the Spine wich are proven lethal (striking and pressure points).
In NHB its banned!

Now tell me why should a Koryu expert enter such bouts when he knows that the aerias of attacking he is confident in, he cannot attack!

This could also be why the gracies and others only fight in their own enviorenment, with their own rules and thir own "ways of how a fight should be won". Pretty much playing their own game. If someone chalenges me i would say "you do what you do and i do what i do, full stop, no your game and no my game" how fairer can it get?. Its also Pretty much what Emin is saying.

Since i dont know exectly the situation beetween Emin and the gracies i don't know on which side i should get hold to. But the challange is stil on Emin's web site for everyone to see including the gracies so i don't think Emin is realy scared. My opinion is that he is not hiding it. But its only my opinion. Who knows how the situation realy is?

But i could say one thing, if i had my own schools, i woulden't get into this stuf because it just never ends! I wouldent like to get famous this way. I prefare to stay infamous working friendly with other schools, organizing found raising events and so. The general puplic wouldent be so "Lens fan" this way but at least i would be able to say, "hey, i have no troubles in my clubs."

Mike Williams
30th July 2002, 11:50
Didn't Emin Boztepe take out a full page ad in Black Belt a year or two back whining about how the MA community was treating him unfairly?

It was pretty hard to take him seriously after that.

As to the paper tigers thing, well yes, there are a lot of them out there. Fact remains that the only safe, legal way to 'put it on the line' and face up to your challengers is in the ring or the octagon.

If you're not prepared to do that, why make the challenges in the first place? (this applies equally to Gracies, Boztepes and Ashida Kims).

In fact, how juvenile is it to go around issuing 'challenges' anyway?

Teach what you teach, study what you study, and if you want to get competitive about it, step into the ring.



30th July 2002, 12:36
Fact remains that the only safe, legal way to 'put it on the line' and face up to your challengers is in the ring or the octagon.

Thats very ture, but another fact also remains that in order to realy see who is better, then a fight sould be in order without taking anything away from the fighters rather than competeing. No rules, no technichal disarment, no safety because real fighting is not safe. This way it would be very clear who the winner realy is.

As to the paper tigers thing, well yes, there are a lot of them out there.

yes i agree, but not just traditionalist. As much as there are bad traditionalist, there are also alot of very good traditionalists. And this also goes for modernists. Its not the style, its the person.

In fact, how juvenile is it to go around issuing 'challenges' anyway? Teach what you teach, study what you study.

Excelent line. I totaly agree. It would be easier for everyone this way. Many people would be happier of doing Martial Arts this way. I have seen and heard of many quiting training because of club wars and bad attitudes. But i hardly think this good attitude will actualy be ever done by everyone. It's a pitty. So many nice styles and so many itneresting Martial Artist to learn from but the occult of hate and vs's in this world makes this kind of impossible to reach.

:cool: Cooooody coooooody, im off for a little holiday in 3 hours. Going to rest in a 5 star hotel with my girlfriend. I realy needed this. Il be back next Monday. Take care.:wave:

Later friends,

PS: i'm in my 40's but i'm getting married in 2 months time. My first real love. Just never had the time before. Aaaa well, i guess god whanted it this whay. Cheers. (Just tought i would like to share something personal, which im happy about, with my online budo friends).

30th July 2002, 17:46
Your argument about Koryu practitioners winning the UFC is deeply flawed. Sure, eye gouges and other ďlethalĒ techniques are currently prohibited in the UFC (although the first couple, it really was anything goes), but the octagon/vale tudo is the closest you can come to real fighting without somebody dying. And the fact is mixed martial artists absolutely demolish purists/traditionalist/ whatever you want to call them. Itís just the nature of being well-rounded, supremely conditioned, and a professional athlete. Now, most martial artists donít want to compete on that level. Its wonderful if I want to practice an art because I love it, but I shouldnít go telling everyone Iím the baddest man in the world. Iíd be curious to hear some Koryu practitioners on this board express their feeling on how they feel Koryu would do in a no-holds barred fight. Itís generally gendai arts like karate, ninpo, etc, that try to claim to be both spiritual paths of enlightenment and ultimate warrior training. The fact is, and it has been proven by hundreds of talented men, that mixed martial arts is the most effective in real brawling. Every match Iíve seen, the ďtraditional stylistĒ landed maybe one kick or punch before being taken down and submitted. If they canít even stay on their feet, what makes you think theyíll pull off a crippling spine strike? Itís not going to happen.

Now, for the record, Iíve studied traditional karate for many years. Itís a lovely art and thereís much that I admire about it, and I think itís definitely sufficient for my self-defense needs. But its B.S. to try to have my cake and eat it too without stepping up to prove it. The fact the Emin still has his challenge posted on an obscure website (I got very into wing chun on line a few years ago and read many sites, but never saw his) hardly makes it a brave challenge. I doubt the Gracies are searching yahoo web pages for challenges. If Emin really wanted to fight, he could show up at any of the Gracie dojo. Iím sure theyíd be willing to fight outside on the lawn or concrete if he felt stading on a mat was too much of an advantage.

One last correction: credit to refining Judoís Ne-waza into what we now call Gracie or Brazilian JJ belongs to Maeda if anyone, and to the Brazilians . Sure, it stems from Judo, but has changed quite a bit. It would be like giving Gichin Funakoshi all the credit for the kicking techniques of Tae Kwon Do, since that art evolved from shotokan. And that would be greatly disrespectful to the many Korean stylists who worked long and hard moving their parent art in a new direction.

The ďitís not the style itís the personĒ argument is ALWAYS used by the loser. Why did the Muay Thai boxers consistently demolish kung fu and karate fighter from the 70ís to the 90ís? Think there just happened to be 20 years of luckily genetically blessed thai fighters? Nope, it was because muay thai was superior in the ring. Similarly, why does the USA always win gold in basketball in the Olympics and never come close to placing in the fencing? Think Americans are genetically superior at basketball and inferior at fencing? Nope, itís because they have a strong program in basketball and a weak program in fencing. In these cases, and in the Octagon, itís the style, not the person. Thatís why everyone is using mixed martial arts now Ė because itís the best ring style, and so the best man really does win.

Have a nice holiday with your girlfriend. And good luck with your marriage! Congratulations!

Josh Gepner

Kit LeBlanc
30th July 2002, 19:11
Oi, guys, learn some history!!

Judo is NOT a departure from jujutsu. It IS jujutsu. Otherwise why would Kano Jigoro call his last written work Judo (jujutsu)?

How's this:

"Let me now explain in this connection the meaning of these words Kodokwan, judo and jujutsu. Kodokwan literally means "a school for studying the way," "the way" being the concept of the life itself.judo and jujutsu are composed of two words, ju meaning "gentle" or "to give way," jutsu "art" or "practice," and do "way" or "principle." Thus,judo means the way of gentleness or of first giving way in order ultimately to gain victory, while jujutsu means the art and practice of judo. "

(emphasis mine)

Kano Jigoro, Judo (jujutsu) p. 8, originally released as a pamphlet in 1937 as an information pamphlet by the Japan Tourist Library, and now available from Buyu Books ( www.buyubooks.com on the web).

Sure Kano wanted to 1) see to it that people could practice full contact without the crippling injuries and loss of training time that was happening in the jujutsu randori and challenge fights of the Meiji era and 2) add the aspect of SPORTSMANSHIP (NOT sport)to it inorder to separate his students from the jujutsu thugs of the time.

He pretty much proved the superiority of his training method with the police matches, and with the fact that various masters of various other jujutsu methods all came to Kodokan and adopted its doctrine. The idea that the (koryu) jujutsu masters that fought in the police matches were at a disadvantage because they couldn't use their "dangerous" techniques is fallacious....there was extensive randori and challenge fighting going on at the time amongst the various jujustu schools, and the rules for these matches were very much along the lines as those in the police tournament. All the styles represented had experience in the rules as presented, or they were not engaging in matches at all, which may have been the reason for their downfall. Besides, the winners (from the Kodokan) were all jujutsu masters as well, from a variety of styles. They just all happened to train with Kano at the time. Seems to have paid off for them and maybe answers the question as to what they saw in training with Kano.

There are also numerous accounts of Kodokan members being successful in actual street altercations, some against multiple opponents and in where the judo men caused fatalities "back in the day." If we want to play dueling tale spinning, Kodokan has its share of killer combat senseis, too!

As a koryu jujutsu stylist with several years in one style and an ongoing research in others (I just love judo/jujutsu history), MOST koryu jujutsuka would get CREAMED in UFC or Pride (present or the earlier "fewer holds barred" ones). Those that would not would be those who 1) highly trained in judo as well as koryu jj or 2) train in freestyle methods very similar to judo or submission grappling.

There is a pronounced lack of conditioning, lack of contact training and the friction, fog and pain it produces, lack of adaptive resistance (its too dangerous to fight out of that technique!) and lack of tested realism in technique as currently practiced in a large portion of the koryu jj I have seen on video, seen demonstrated in person, felt from koryu and traditional jj practitioners, and heard about from my seniors from several different ryu. Everyone should read Ellis Amdur's article in Keiko Shokon, the last Koryu Books volume (koryu.com) for a much more authoritative and in depth critique of classical jujutsu as practiced today.

Maeda is less responsible for Gracie JJ than the Gracie's are. Tanabe (a koryu practitioner from the Fusen-ryu) inspired the development of judo newaza with his defeat of Kodokan's representative (Koryu jj ground stuff IS different from judo newaza to be sure, but many of the tactics and techniques are the same, just with a different purpose.)

Maeda took his skill in newaza and brought it to the Americas, honing and adapting it to challenge matches with boxers and wrestlers, and the Gracies learned from him for a few years then went their own way. What they do is still judo, though granted an individual expression of it which expanded from there.

They call it jujutsu because the terms were used interchangeably in Japan and out at the time, and Maeda may have had reason to distance himself from Kodokan judo and thus chose not to use that term.

The reason (I think) it looks a lot like Kosen judo (Maeda was NOT a Kosen man) is because 1) human beings have the same anatomy no matter where you go and 2) the principles of judo(and jujutsu) are based on efficient manipulation of our own and our opponents anatomies as proven in empirical demonstration of the effectiveness of those methods. (i.e. making it work against adaptive resistance, unlike present day traditional JJ).

They are the same principles applied the same way and with a very similar, though amdittedly differently flavored result.

You can argue the "combat effectiveness in a real fight with no rules" all you want, it means nothing if you are not regularly actually doing so with your art in the present day. You may have faith in your system but now we are talking religion and not practical application of fighting arts.

What some guy did hundreds of years ago, or what your teacher did tens of years ago or even last week has little bearing on what YOU can do with it today. Your menjo won't be an issue in the street, and no one will take you seriously as any kind of expert in the field if you have little to no experience in actually applying what you think you know. You may as well be a virgin or somebody been laid once or twice teaching sex education...you can learn all the clinical details, even "technique," but still know nothing about what it is like to be wrapped up in the throes of passion with a warm, wet body. The two are WORLDS apart in my mind.

30th July 2002, 19:28
Damn, Im still at home punching my brains out. The Hotel receptionist scrued the reservations. The hotel is full untill tomorow morning. We had a 3 hour drive and back for nothing. Well its only another night home and then on holiday finaly :cool:

actualy "hopefuly".

zoyashi. I agree with you on some terms. Obviusly mixed martial arts could have the upper hand on 1 stylists. But its stupid to say this art is better than the other.

I agree with you that you need to be a hard conditioned fighter for NHB and so. Thats where styles don't come in but the persons do. Thats why its not the art its the person. Its how you do your art.

I have heard loads and loads of people saying Karate is bull, it dosen't work and so on. So i guess the persons who created karate styles where only ballet dancing practitioners!! I have seen Karate people, very hard conditioned artists kicking the sh=t out of other big street tuff guys. I was in Karate my self and know what karate holds. Its stupid of those who never did the art to comment on it this way.

Another thing. I never said MMA is not efective. But i do say that no MMA style can claim to be Jujutsu or Judo or Karate just because it has some background of it. Jujutsu is Jujutsu, Judo is Judo, Karate is Karate, Aiki is Aiki in all their merits and legacies. And yes these art are damn well efective if they are practiced properly. Thats what i always say.

If you whant NHB than you should have some proper body conditioning training, hard workouts. Dosent matter what your art is as long as you do it properly, i belive then you have a good chance of doing well. Obviusly the more styles you have knowledge in the better you could do. But this dosent mean on diferent arts, it could also mean doing different styles with in the art you chose. If you love Jujutsu so much and whant cross training than why not train different styles of Jujutsu ryu's. There are many Japanese Jujutsu ryu's and all have something different and new for you to learn.

In short.... It depends alot why you whant to practice martial arts, then there is some training for you and some not for you.

See ya after next monday friends. Nice talking to ya ;)

30th July 2002, 19:41
Kit LeBlanc,
It depends the way you understand history. Judo is Judo, Jujutsu is Jujutsu. Just because Judo came out of Jujutsu dosent mean its jujutsu. Its concept where changed and diferent techniques where evolved for judo. Judo was called Jujutsu before but then one day Judoka/jitsuka realized. Wow.... we are doka not jitsuka. wow.... we are doing a way of the ju and not the art of ju. Watching the two arts you would realize how much it realy is changed from the original concepts of the Ju. There you go, its a diferent way of the ju but not the Jitsu of Ju.

Anyway better stop it here because arguments like this never stop.

See ya after monday folks

30th July 2002, 19:48
The Gracies have adone a good deal to promote and propogate their art. And granted some of the claims of in the ring unbeatability may be well founded, but that's where the line should be drawn.
The moment you instigate a set of rules you are removing some aspect of realism. Where it might be natural to tear off an ear, gouge out and eye, etc, now you are not allowed to and thus handicapped in some small way. This should be taken into consideration when judging some of this.
Great grappling skills are deffinitely an asset to MA training, reagrdless of style. But in themselves should not be considered the and all and be all of it.
As real life has shown, while you are busy trying to wrap your attacker up in a perfect pin, his buddies are laying into you with various sets of size 12's.

Kit LeBlanc
30th July 2002, 20:39

That quote I posted was from Kano himself. He did not seem to make as great a distinction at it seems you are, and never intended to break from jujutsu, seeing his judo as perhaps a morally and technically and educationally superior way to practice what he recognized were and are jujutsu methods and principles. Take his words for what you feel they are worth.


But kata in the so-called "combative" styles has its own set of rules and creates its own limitations in practitioners, because you can't rip ears off and gouge eyes there, either (neither of which I would personally count on to end any serious fight, BTW). You also often can't strike with any real power, can't throw certain ways because it will damage joints etc.

My comment at the end of my post was meant to convey that only real fighting is fighting, no training can hope to duplicate it. Some training is better than others at approximating the more important elements and developing appropriate attributes that lead to victory.

Your last point is a good one. It is also moot, I am afraid, because in "real life" no martial art period will be able to keep his buddies from putting you down and doing the same. Grappling ability might be able to give you an edge, maintain a better position so that you can escape, but you seem to recognize that. Even the grapplers are finding out in MMA that if someone knows enough to keep from getting mounted or to reverse it, and to mount and keep from being reversed, he can pretty much go to town with ground and pound and turn the guys that play guard and look for submission into mush.

30th July 2002, 21:03
Good points Kit. I think that a lot of the nuances of the "realism" in various arts can only be taught via the instructor. It's hard to convey that in type LOL.

The Gracies( IMO ) have done almost a disservice to the jujutsu comunities by singling their own derivitave of jujutsu as the only good one. They have done what many experienced Judoka do, and that is to create a set of specialized and personalized techniques. And while they may have added those techniques to their syllabus, they in no way created any of the artform that led to it.

I will admit however that I have taken part in only one Gracie seminar ( which was enough to turn me off of it )and therefore can offer up very little by means of personal experience. Only my impressions can be conveyed, which could be far from accurate! LOL

Kit LeBlanc
30th July 2002, 21:45
I think BJJ gets a bad rap, though it is clearly the fault of its own practitioners. Like any martial art there is a lot of hyperbole involved, but with BJJ there are plenty of young, highly competitive males involved including in the Gracie family, that have given it a "
we are the baddest" stigma that is not necessarily true of the art as a whole when you meet and train with different people from different groups, or hear some of the older, less competitive, more holistically minded individuals talk about the art.

The fact that BJJ-ers get beat just like everybody else in their own tournaments against non BJJ-ers, in submission grappling events like Abu Dhabi, and in UFC/Pride shows that it IS the individual and not the art that makes the difference, so long as the art itself is based in pressure tested strategies as opposed to pantomime simulations.

I have found a similar arrogance in some judoka, who think that pure judo is the be-all and end-all of grappling arts, better than the classical JJ it sprang from, and that BJJ is a poor second cousin with techniques that don't work. Not true.

There IS a difference in BJJ vs. judo. I still think it IS judo but there is a definite different feel and strategic approach between skilled ground fighters in both arts, enough that it is a separate stream of the tradition, Gracie-ha Judo if you will. Kano would probably not want it called "Kodokan."

I think the difference is because both arts focus on a different aspect of the total package, but I don't think we can say that BJJ is "just judo newaza" any more than we can say that the many judoka that cross train in wrestling, sambo, BJJ, or what have you are doing "classical judo."

Or can we? I think it bodes ill for the continued progress of these arts if we try to make such distinctions. Kano never did...he mixed elements of many different classical JJ methods (themselves derived from mixtures of other classical JJ methods) with sumo and, supposedly, Western wrestling to make himself more effective. I think he saw the ossification that set in with many classical JJ ryu and worked to prevent that in his own method.

Technically, there is nothing wrong with changing methods and practicing things differently, I think thats how the art stays strong and evolves. I wish the rules were not so restrictive, but I don't see that as the death knell of practicality. What makes it practical is not in the techniques themselves, it is in how the techniques are tested and refined.

I also see no problem with a competitive emphasis on victory over others, either. The problems arise when the game becomes the sum total and you train to do things that are not practical or efficient (or safe when translated to "real life") because the rules allow it, or even encourage it. THAT is going down the wrong road.

31st July 2002, 05:01
Congratulations Lens!

Its always good to hear cheerful news here at E-Budo

And good luck for your future together.:p

ben johanson
31st July 2002, 05:14
Interesting discussion. I just have a few ideas and opinions to throw into the pot.

First off, I totally disagree with the assertion that "judo is jujutsu," regardless of what Kano may have said. As I think someone pointed out, the words jujutsu and judo were used interchangeably for a long time and it took a while for them both to acquire the exact meanings with which we are familiar. The distinction that Kano makes in the quote Kit provided I think is obviously his own (Kano's) and makes little sense in light of the way these terms are used today. In particular I'm referring to the quote "...jujutsu means the art and practice of judo." This interpretation is clearly different from the way we currently understand these words. If jujutsu preceded judo, how can the former be the art and practice of the latter? Kano, and most likely many of his contemporaries, had much different conceptions of this terminology from those of today. So I don't think this quote supports the notion that "judo is jujutsu."

Also the goals, training methods, principles, and execution of many of the techniques differ enormously between judo and jujutsu. I wouldn't go so far as to say judo is a total "departure" from jujutsu, as they are both based on the same very basic concept (that of ju), but judo is definitely a very different animal from its predecessor.

Secondly, much has been said about the supposed merits and weaknesses of koryu jujutsu and BJJ. I think they are difficult things to compare, since they are so different, despite the fact that the one is derived (indirectly) from the other, but it's interesting that all the comments thus far have been limited to the respective training methods of the two arts, not specific techniques or more importantly, the principles upon which they are based. Don't get me wrong, training methods are absolutely imperative and I agree that those of the koryu are often too limited and detached from the realities of combat, but many tend to ignore the most important aspect of any art with regard to realistic combat, which is the principles that govern the art.

I study a koryu that includes jujutsu as a part of its curriculum, and in my opinion it is based upon the most combatively sound principles imaginable, forged and developed through the extensive real world combat experience of its practitioners, both ancient and recent. And I don't think it is alone in that respect. My personal opinion is that, all though their training methods are conducive to developing strong combat skills, the whole concept upon which BJJ is based (ďget to the groundĒ) is not very realistic or applicable to a real fight. Its place is in a sports arena of some kind, not out on the street.

So although training philosophy is something to consider, it is not the only aspect of a martial art that should be focused on in determining combative applicability. Much more important is the art's doctrinal outlook on combat, and in that respect I think koryu have the upper hand over BJJ and for that matter, judo as well. For the weaknesses in koryu training methods can be supplemented by sparring or grappling training, but if the very core of the art is based upon unsound principles, no amount of realistic training will make up for those deficiencies.

Bruce Mitchell
31st July 2002, 05:19
Hello All,
Would the koryu chap get to arm himself? In western dueling tradition, doesn't the person being challenged get to choose the weapon used for the fight? :saw:

31st July 2002, 06:11
I'm sorry, but as far as the comment about going to the ground being unrealistic is totally false because grappling and going to the ground is not always an option and is something that can happen so being prepared to take somedown or being takedown and knowing how to grapple while on the ground as well as standing is an effective to fight. I would not consider it the only way and the best way to fight, but it is option as well as something that happens in fighting like it or not whether you want it to happen or not. Plus, bjj is not total about grounfighting is has standing applications and so does judo for that matter too.

Mike Williams
31st July 2002, 10:19
Originally posted by shinchaku
The Gracies( IMO ) have done almost a disservice to the jujutsu comunities

Actually, I think the Gracies have done a huge service to jujutsu in general: First by promoting the early UFCs which gave jujutsuka a chance to see something resembling their art performed in real-time combatative situations, and second by provoking so much (heated) debate about training methodologies, kata vs. sparring, etc.

It's been a wake up call very much along the lines of that famous Police Tournament.

I don't know how many jujutsu schools included resistive grappling randori in their classes before the UFC/BJJ/MMA boom - but I'll eat my gi if a lot more of them aren't doing it now.



31st July 2002, 11:58
Much more important is the art's doctrinal outlook on combat, and in that respect I think koryu have the upper hand over BJJ and for that matter, judo as well.

The quote from Kano Jigoro was more of a translation and not an EXplanation, but this happens in all Japanese budo, or western fighting arts.

So how do you define a koryu combat art? I won't comment on the BJJ simply because I've little or no exposure to it, but before you go on about combative aspects of any martial art, you have to consider the timing of it as well.

I don't believe the Koryu/gendai division exists at all. I am more inclined to believe all fighting arts (japanese fightings arts since that is the subject) are on a continuum so at the first mention of jujutsu compared to judo takes a lot more convincing argument to place them in any order. Even historically, judo existed much earlier than did Kodokan Judo.

However, saying that, Judo is a refinement of unarmed jujutsu techniques which also borrowed from fighting styles from outside the Japanese arts of the time. This isn't much different than any ryuha of jujutsu. There is a reason they all look so similar. They borrowed a lot. There was great need for it, since jujutsu ryha were dying faster than different ones were born. A service IS owed to Kano for that reason.

First, consider that Kano was the first academic to take apart the techniques of some jujutsu schools and refine them to a newer rule of the principle of Jiu. This is all fuzzy and nice, but just how did Kano refine jujutsu waza?

Consider first that most schools of jujutsu of that time were producing little more than street punks who were pushed into proving their technique. Since Kuzushi and tsukuri were terms for something which only existed with a bit of luck, most nage waza and katame waza, for that matter, were saved for the big and strong. Strength was the major assessment for those who would learn throwing. Feet spread apart, balance achieved by foot placement and an enemy who would run at you, and the "hooking" of a throw only done when strength was abundant in its practitioners. Thoughts of throwing technique on two feet close together was crazy, and throwing while standing on one foot? Unheard of, for sure.

Kano's judo, therefore was conceived on the newer principle of off-balancing and entry. This wasn't a guess, most of judo kata is there to explain the movements in judo and jujutsu. Secondly, Kano detested a lot of what he saw in the local jujutsu dojo, and worked to changed that, but with staying within the Jiu no michi framework that he did love. After all, most of what he learned, he did so with fervor as did many, but some things bothered him. What he created was not what the public had come to know. It was unseemly to learn jujutsu then, in that society. So along with an effective MA, the first UFCs were held, but without the injury. Full out competition wasn't meant to be a game or even a sport, but it was to satisfy that thirst to win and the necessity of losing. Here, he became very inventive and the "shi-ni-ai" or shiai was the conclusion to ran, something very old in Martial arts (see anything on jikishin ryu, but not jikishin-kage ryu). The contest is as old as the ryu itself, probably older but I'll stick to the realistic age of the ryu.

So we now have combat, combat in which no one, hopefully, is injured so that he cannot continue to the next class time, but now we have symbolic combat. This is judo. BJJ in many ways is very similar. After all, it is still symbolic combat no matter how many rules you don't attach to it or even if you do. All combatives have rules.

What is called koryu, with the ever-debated year of 1868, certainly was practiced for combative purposes. However, I am positive the sword and other weapons were so important as to teach a minimum of one on one, empty handed technique. They had their contests, as well. Think of kyujutsu and were there not contests of and with the bow? I think, logically, we have to say yes. But then, comes the argument that while they were held, that wasn't the purpose of contest before 1868. I would agree to a point, but what then of the technique of empty hands and the jujutsu, empty handed technique which was probably caused more by the time than anything else. No swords, no knives. Budo taijutsu became more popular than ever. Remember how it is that jujutsu schools are so similar. Stealing technique was not above anyone. Eventually, one school used what was effective, becoming closer to being the same with every dojo arashi, or other challenges.

Without going into quotes, what Kano created was centered on a lifestyle as well as combat. What kind of combat? Symbolic combat, with rules of fair play, but which could be played full out, testing oneself in the wa of the tatami. In those days, Ippon was given for the contestant who forced the other to not be able to continue, but of course, the judge imposed his own rule of who could and could not continue. Even in submission only (not so far away from judo. Submission is still a big part of judo), Ippon exists. Later, it would become much more controlled, but the symbolic Ippon or indeed, submission is very apparent in the judo dojo. Ippon, your dead, and the other gets a trophy.

So those who consider "koryu" to be so very different, it isn't. To those who don't consider judo at all, well, koryu jujutsu has a place. Randori is finally becoming a more routine envirnonment in all Japanese fighting arts today because it must. The time continuum says so.

I'll gently step off the soap box now. Sorry for the inconvenience.:cool:


Kit LeBlanc
31st July 2002, 19:18
Originally posted by Bruce Mitchell
Hello All,
Would the koryu chap get to arm himself? In western dueling tradition, doesn't the person being challenged get to choose the weapon used for the fight? :saw:

Sure. But since several Gracie's advocate the use of handguns, they can be armed, too.



Good discussion points. I think for modern reality you are probably right, there IS a big difference between judo and jujutsu. I should probably have said that is not how Kano saw it or wanted it to be. The difference in technique is because I think judo, and judo-derived or related arts like BJJ or sambo have continued to evolve their skills, putting the principles they espouse under real pressure, where many koryu styles have not.

But I think you have too limited an understanding of BJJ and the "get to the ground" philosophy. That is BJJ's approach to the ring, granted, but they do not advocate that for the street. They advocate ability on the ground because many altercations do end up there, particularly if any kind of clinch or grappling ensues, and they advocate the ability to gain and maintain dominant position when and if it does go there.

RE: koryu jujutsu; Is it REALLY "combative?" Many of these ryu changed with the times...they added to their curriculums or adapted their curriculum to the changing realities of jujutsu. Draeger seems to indicate that most enervated, particularly the more theoretical styles. They changed to arresting arts, commoner streetfighting arts AND to competitive shiai style fighting. Admittedly probably in many cases more dangerous than today's competitions, but still, I think a lot of koryu, even the old battlefield methods, is now simply older style competitive jujutsu or Edo self defense and not the "battle hardened" stuff people seem to want it to be.

Kiraku-ryu is a sogo bujutsu with many different weapons, "for the battlefield," yet it also contains chigiriki, jutte (a police badge/arresting tool) and some jujutsu moves that are clearly more of a competitive nature (throw, control the arm, put your leg over and drop into juji gatame). Ryushin katchu ryu, derived from Tenjin Shinyo-ryu, originally a self defense style art but clearly popular in competitive jujutsu later...it has a kata as follows: tomoe nage, followed by three attempts at a collar choke, which gets defended and the tori snatches the arm and drops into juji - can anyone say BJJ? Look at Sekiguchi-ryu for an interesting trip through jujutsu history..it has katchu kumi uchi, kogusoku, and what are clearly meant to be self defense or competitive grappling on mats. Araki-ryu had a whole section of techniques that seem meant for shiai style figthing. I remember going over an Araki Shin-ryu scroll with one of my teachers and there was of all things a flying armbar!

These are just some examples off the top of my head, but I think it goes to show that we cannot blindly assign combat practicality or valid combat strategy to an art based on its age or reputation. Many of these arts have changed a great deal over time, and later ossified and ceased to progress, so at best we are often looking at an amalgam of some combative stuff, some old fashioned competitve stuff, or airy fairy theoretical stuff, none of which has been tested, refined or progressed in many, many years. Judo's atemi-waza is in the same place.

Permit me a tangent, but its the people that actually use it on a regular basis that should be the ones to determine what is combat effective and what isn't. Should we go back to traditional Japanese hojutsu (firearms) just because it was used on the battlefield? No. Why have we not seen traditional hojutsu applied in battle recently? We have progressed with great strides technologically, tactically, and in terms of our understanding of training since then. Might there be some things in there that are useful in modern CQB tactical situations? There probably is. Who is best qualified to determine that? Those actually involved in modern CQB and tactical situations, familiar with the application of weapons and tactics, and with the know how to read between the lines to glean what is useful from the traditional teachings.

Why should jujutsu be any different?

ben johanson
1st August 2002, 02:45
Kit wrote:

"The difference in technique is because I think judo, and judo-derived or related arts like BJJ or sambo have continued to evolve their skills, putting the principles they espouse under real pressure, where many koryu styles have not."

This is undoubtedly true for some if not many koryu, but we have to remember that during the early part of the twentieth century, taryu jiai was pretty common and many koryu engaged in it. The Japanese government didn't enact more stringent dueling laws until the '60's I believe, at which point it fell out of favor, although it surely still goes on to this day. Also recall that taryu jiai is not sportsman-like competition, it is all out no holds barred combat between practitioners of different styles of martial arts, with probably even fewer rules than you'd find in the early days of the UFC. Koryu instructors utilized it as a training tool to gauge how well their students could apply what they learned to real hand-to-hand combat. So the point is, the current generation of koryu practitioners is still reaping the benefits of the real world experience of those students, now teachers in their own right, who engaged in taryu jiai. My teacher's teacher was one such student in his day, and now my fellow students and I are lucky enough to be studying an art that has been recently tested in real combat.

Now admittedly I have had little actually contact with other koryu practitioners, so I can only comment on what I know from studying the school I belong to, but I'm willing to bet money that there are still many koryu out there being taught by teachers that have practical experience gleaned from such practices as taryu jiai. Itís a slippery slope trying to generalize too much about such a complex and varied phenomenon like the koryu, as many try to do.

Also, just let me clarify that at no point was I ever trying to besmirch the names of judo or BJJ. I was simply trying to put them into what I consider to be their proper context. They are sports. Yes, many of their techniques and principles are applicable or adaptable to a street fighting situation, but that doesnít take away from the fact that the main thrust of both judo and BJJ training is geared towards competition in a sporting arena. And thereís nothing wrong with that! They are what they are. They certainly have their places in the martial arts universe and they can definitely teach practitioners valuable lessons about real fighting.

And I definitely acknowledge and understand the importance of grappling training in learning how to fight. Grappling on the ground is an essential skill with which I will undoubtedly one day augment my koryu training. But although BJJ has techniques to be used from a standing position, I think it is undeniable that their main focus is bringing the opponent down and grappling him to submission. And it is that philosophy I donít agree with and I think would be lacking in a street fight.

Kit LeBlanc
1st August 2002, 05:50

Nicely put. I gather from your location that you are training in Kashima Shin-ryu? Your case might be different there, for reasons including Kunii Zenya the man and what he did and was about, as well as his requirement that his students engage in taryu shiai to prove their skill.

Also, if I remember from reading Dr. Friday's book both Kunii and Dr. Seki have also re-examined and re-arranged the curriculum where they felt it needed it to keep pace with the times. It is not a "ko" ryu in the sense that it is a preservation society, but one that lives and breathes and adapts. I have heard some very positive things RE; KSR swordsmanship from some koryu people to whom praise does not come easily, so you are pretty lucky if KSR is indeed what you practice. Love to see it some time.

But I think it was Cameron Hurst's book that mentioned that after taryu shiai was outlawed, the number of koryu demonstrating publicly multipied many times.

I think we would quibble about the details of some of your other points, but in general we are pretty much in agreement. I still am of the belief, though, that your teacher's or your teacher's teacher's experience is not yours. They can guide you along the path of what might be effective for you, but only you can prove that to yourself...they can pass on knowledge, only you can translate it into skill. The best martial art tradition in the world is useless if YOU can't make it work.

ben johanson
1st August 2002, 09:28

Good guess. Yes I do study Kashima Shinryu under Karl Friday, which is why my outlook on koryu might be a bit different from most people's. But I still have to believe that KSR cannot be the only koryu that has retained (or regained) its vitality and dynamism. I don't know, maybe its just something I want to believe is true whether or not it really is, but I don't think so. There are probably still a number of schools out there that would surprise us all.

And regarding Hurst's book, I think you're right. If I remember correctly, the reason public demonstrations increased after taryu jiai was outlawed was because after that they knew nobody would challenge them to a fight, so they would never have to prove if what they were demonstrating actually worked! :p

And lastly, I totally agree with your final point. It's great to have experienced teachers, but unfortunately experience can't be taught. It has to be acquired through living, through actually walking the path, not just learning about it.

Good Discussion.


1st August 2002, 17:47

Good points all around. We all have different motivations and desires for training. These are reflected in the diversity of the arts practised. I just taught a seminar for the JAA/Tomiki Aikido group here in the US. Interesting to see the different dynamics at work when Aikido is done with competitive rules in place. I am convinced competition/shiai provides the most value on a psychological level. At a technical level the rules of competition run the gamut from being just restrictive to downright counterproductive.

A balanced training regimen that embraces theory (kata), practical application (henka waza) and psychochemical stress (kumite) has worked best for me and was the method embraced by my teacher Takamura Yukiyoshi. His methods raised many eyebrows in koryu circles when he first started teaching them.

Kit LeBlanc
1st August 2002, 18:02

Thought so.

Don't get me wrong, I see a lot of value in koryu. I just don't think that we should automatically accept that because any art was at one time a combative system that it remains effective training for same...since that is largely a function of what the present generation of caretakers do with it rather than what some warrior in the distant past did. I also don't think we should accept that because SOME people are good fighters within a tradition that everyone within the tradition will have the same capabilities...that it is ALL in the training and nothing is in what the student brings.

Some seem to want to rest on the laurels of someone else's legacy without having to undergo the same rigor, pain and fear that made their forebears what they were.

I also don't think that just because a system was "always trained this way" that it should necessarily always BE trained this way. I think that was what Kano was getting at. Dr. Friday and other scholars have written that what we accept today as how such things were trained is not necessarily how they actually WERE trained back in the day. It is simply how they have evolved and come to be trained TODAY.

The reason I mentioned Kashima Shin-ryu is because it does seem to be one of the few (only?) traditions that publicly acknowledges the importance of the experience of the rigor, pain and fear I mentioned above through challenge matches. Certainly there may be other koryu that still do the same, but I'll bet in the majority of cases students and teachers are unwilling to do so. Hasn't Dr. Seki also removed taryu shiai as a requirement for advanced practitioners?

Many talk and write about their tradition and it being for "battle," and comment on how arduous and dangerous their training is and how effective it makes them, but FEW seem to require that their exponents, at least at senior levels, PROVE their ability under pressure by seeking others out, challenging them to personal combat in taryu shiai (I agree, in this situation it would be far more stressful that competition and much closer to actual fighting) and demonstrating the superiority of their heiho. (Hmmmmmm, starting to sound like the Gracie approach, no?)

Kunii sensei no doubt realized that other than engaging in actual physical combat, taryu shiai, moreso than any randori or (modern day)competition, is the best indicator of applied skill. Since it isn't like the really old days where the guys practicing kata all the time were going out and actually engaging in fighting and dueling on a regular basis, something has to take the place of that.

In the absence of being able to do taryu shiai most people that practice fighting arts today have to rely on competitive randori and on competition, and/or get into a lot of street fights to accomplish something that is at least similar. It is not the same, but it is about as close as they can get.

It is far easier to say that because X sensei beat a judoka, a ninja, and a wrestler 50-100 years ago, those of us practicing his same system today can therefore of course do the same.

Well, 'nuff on this. It has been a fine discussion.

Aaron Fields
1st August 2002, 19:10
I don't know about everyone else, but I practice because I enjoy it. The whole "combative" aspect is neither here nor there. An who can kick who's ass really dosen't matter since nobody needs to take anyone else's lunch.

Meynard Ancheta
1st August 2002, 19:11
Great post Kit! :-)

Tony Peters
1st August 2002, 21:48
I like the way this thread has turned out very positive.
I saw a MPEG video a while back on the net of the Emin/Cheung "fight" posted by one of Emin's supporters (supposedly) it looked a lot like a mugging. One guy surrounded in a gym by a whole lot of unfriendlies getting bum rushed. What I saw lasted no more than 20-30 seconds and looked nothing like any Wing chun that I have ever seen (admittedly very little other than movies). As to the authenticity if the footage I have no idea but it did show an older man getting beaten.