Royce Gracie: Modern BJJ is Useless for the Street

Royce Gracie
Royce Gracie

Royce Gracie is not a fan of modern BJJ. In a conversation with Luke Thomas, the UFC legend spoke poorly of the current state of BJJ, saying:

“[A new BJJ student] doesn’t walk in [to a BJJ school] thinking, ‘Well, I want to learn BJJ so I can compete in ADCC. Or I’m going to…learn BJJ so I can compete in Metamoris or Pan Ams.’ There is no such thing. The person comes in because they heard that it’s some kind of self-defense style, that they saw me fighting and they realized that, ‘Man, Royce fought some big guys, and he was able to defeat them and defend himself. I wanna learn something like that.’”

Royce Gracie on Modern BJJ

Royce gave a similar opinion when speaking with Bloody Elbow in 2017, describing modern BJJ as “horrible.” When asked what was wrong with modern BJJ, Royce had this to say:

“BJJ got really, really bad in the past 20 years. It added so many rules. Like you cannot slam the guy. I just saw a fight, on the internet, somebody was fighting, one guy got the other one, I think in a guillotine. The opponent picked him up, walked, across the cage, and dropped him, knocked him out. In BJJ you can’t do that! Imagine if that fight was on the street, that’ll teach the guy. The guy picks you up, man, let it go. Don’t hang on to him. The guy went for the guillotine, he picked him up, walked across the cage, very calm, stood there, and just dove down to the ground with him. Knocked him out, won the fight. Hey, imagine if that was on a curb.”

Royce Gracie vs. Art Jimmerson
Royce Gracie vs. Art Jimmerson at UFC 1

Royce continued:

“[In modern BJJ tournaments], you cannot slam the guy. Dude, for me not to get slammed all I got to do is let it go. Let go of him. You see, if I just let go, [I’ll be safe]. So, if a guy like in the guard…if I pick you up, for me not to slam you, all you have to do is uncross your legs. And I would never. I can’t pick you up off the ground. It’s dead weight. There’s no way I can pick you up.”

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