Anthony is among the growing list of celebrities to make this claim. All of us who practice BJJ know that it is the most legitimate martial art that exists today. Celebrities continuing to share their love of the sport through well-established conventional media outlets will raise awareness and cause our sport to grow at a greater rate, which will further serve to legitimize our sport in the eyes of the world.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s appeal is spreading primarily because it is (1) a healthy sport to practice, (2) it teaches self-defense that is equally applicable to men, women and children, and (3) it is plain, outright fun. Jiu Jitsu primarily takes place on the ground, however punches, kicks and takedowns are also taught as part of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s self-defense curricula.
Anthony and Ottavia Bourdain
Anthony was introduced to BJJ by his wife, Ottavia Bourdain. Mrs. Bourdain revealed how she got her celebrity husband interested in the sport when she was interviewed on “This Week in BJJ”.
Chael Sonnen interviewed Nate Diaz for his new talk show recently. At the end of the conversation the two discussed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the gi. Below is the transcript:
Chael Sonnen: I am retired, but I’m staying active. I don’t want to gain too much weight. I don’t wanna lose my shape so I’m staying active in the gym. I joined a Gracie Barra gym, Coach Fabiano Scherner, and I’m doing gi Jiu Jitsu on a nightly basis.Every night we go in at 6:30 and we’re doing gi training. Is that good? Is that gonna help me if I close my eyes at night and see myself as an MMA fighter? Am I gonna benefit from the gi? I know you’ve trained a lot in gi. Am I gonna benefit from the gi or is it a totally different sport? Because right now I’m feeling like it’s a different sport.
Nate Diaz: Oh it’s completely different, completely different. But I like the gi. I still train in it. I trained gi yesterday. I’ll fight for a little bit of time, but I’m gonna do martial arts, Jiu Jitsu and stuff, forever. You know what I’m saying? I enjoy Jiu Jitsu. One thing that people don’t understand is that in MMA people will call you out and they don’t train in the gi and these things. The fight starts when you run your mouth, right away. It’s like, “I wanna fight this guy.” Well you know what? Be careful for what you wish for. They’re like, “I don’t do the gi.” Then you go out to a club in Vegas, or where ever you’re gonna go, and there’s this fighter talkin’ s–t and calling you out. That’s when you forget that it’s winter time and you’re wearing a jacket and pants (laughs). Now you’ve never trained in a gi right? You might just get thrown down 10x easier with clothes on then without ’em so..
Nate Diaz: I dig the whole gi thing. I’m a martial artist. I think that it’s a fun workout as well, since you want to workout and be athletic. But, it is a different type of workout. If I don’t want to burn-out, get tired and overtrain when I’m trying to lose weight or something, I’ll put the gi on. It slows down the motions, let’s you get a little bit of a recovery workout. Not that it’s not hard. It’s hard too, but it’s slower than wrestling. I think it’s a good idea to train in the gi always.
Chael Sonnen: Alright well that’s encouraging. You’ve inspired me.
One would think that by the time you were a Purple Belt you would have a solid idea if you were going to benefit from the gi or not. You would also have actualized that BJJ is indeed a different sport. Oh Chael...
It was on this fateful day one year ago that we lost a great man. Paul Walker was not only a BJJ Brown Belt and beloved star, but he was also the founder of Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW), an organization that assists victims of catastrophic events that occur around the world. He was 40 years young.
The desire to win is intrinsic to human nature, however sometimes it can manifest itself in rather malodorous ways. All of us who practice Jiu Jitsu share a general camaraderie with one another to the extent that when we face an “opponent”, we can see in their eyes someone who has wrangled with the same hardships that we have. That mutual recognition bequeaths us treat each other with a mutual level of respect; generally speaking.
One of the first lessons we share with the brand new white belt is the slap-and-bump before beginning combat. It is a simple gesture that represents the notion that, “We are friends, and now we do battle.”
In this recent BJJ match that went to sudden death overtime, one of the competitors in the heat-of-the-moment, forgot our code of sportsmanlike conduct. I’m sure it was a spur of the moment error and accidental, however this video can serve as a lesson to white belts, that winning, is not worth a loss of honor.
What do you think? Was this a deliberate unsportsmanlike action or a heat-of-the-moment accident?
Spreading the word about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu used to be done in a manner that varies greatly from today’s internet marketing strategies. Jiu Jitsu spread by word of mouth via the testimonials of those who either saw Gracie Challenge VHS tapes, or by those who witnessed the challenges in person. The video below is a prime example of this martial arts propagation methodology. In the video Gracie Jiu Jitsu Legend Pedro Sauer shares a bare-knuckle brawl with gargantuan bodybuilder Lance Batchelor. I don’t want to spoil the video for you, but I will tell you that Lance would not be doing any “Mr. Utah” competitions for a few weeks after the fight.
BTW I love the time stamp of 8:56 in the morning. “Wake up fellas. There is a fight to be had today.”
What are some of your favorite Gracie Challenge videos?
We probably have the smallest store in all of BJJ. Todd and I are way better at entertaining then we are at selling things. Proof being that you probably don’t even know that we have a store. That being said, we have come up with some “exciting” and “obligatory” Black Friday deals for you! You can begin taking advantage of these deals at midnight tonight! All deals will be first come first serve and if to many of you begin buying stuff…(I’m so sure right?)…we reserve the right to pull the deal. It’s not like we are sitting on a massive inventory ya know?
So here are the deals that we have for you: (Before checking out the deals please stare at this hypnosis thing for 60 seconds. We heard something about subliminal marketing! Stare at your own risk.)
OK quick, start shopping!
White Belt BJJ 5″ x 5″ Gi Patch: Normally $9.99 – Lowered to $4.99!
“Gag Fortune Cookie “Your Guard Sucks”: Normally $4.99 – Buy 1, get 2 for FREE
“BJJ” Destination Sticker: Normally $4.99 – Lowered to $2.49
“Never Give Up” BJJ Wristband: Normally $4.99 – Lowered to $2.49
WBBJJ Mouthguard: Normally $49.99 – Buy 1, get Gi patch, Wristband, Fortune Cookie and BJJ Destination Sticker for Free! (Only 1 Available)
– What the heck in the universe are you thinking by completely abandoning BJJ in the gi?! We were surprised by it at Metamoris 3. We were teased with it at Metamoris 4 when we were given a match of legends in the gi in with Saulo Ribeiro and Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros. As exciting as it was, much of the action took place on the feet, neither fighter wanting to succumb to the takedown efforts of the other. I can’t be the only one who was left with the impression that BJJ in the gi was, “the old way”.
To clarify, Metamoris 3 had few matches in the gi. This would cause 2 opinions to emerge. Opinion group 1 would say, “There were no matches in the gi, and I’m happy with this” and group 2 would say, “There were no matches in the gi and I’m unhappy with this”. Metamoris 4 comes around and the gi is given another try, and the result is a not the most exciting matchup in the world coming from the seasoned veterans. Now the anti-gi people can say, “See? Look how slow/boring the gi came is”.
2 out of 6 matches in the kimono would make any BJJ player happy (using myself as a litmus test). I was excited for Metamoris 5 don’t get me wrong. But it would have been 10x more exciting if there were at least a few more high level submission only gi matches going down from some of the card’s superstars.
2) Bring back ladies matches.
– Seriously. It is almost becoming weird that there were ladies in the second event, but none in the last 3. The ladies match was epic and action-packed. There are tons of ladies practicing BJJ! It is awkward to not see them represented in a sport that demands equality, especially on the mats. Gi or no gi, please bring back at least one ladies match if not more!
3) Make the “secret match” a bit more compelling.
– This has to be something stellar and shocking. Let’s say for instance you tell me a secret, “tomorrow it will be cold”. That is fine and well, but it is certainly not something that needed to be kept a secret. I enjoyed the both Metamoris secret matches for sure! Jeff Glover follows us and we are fans of both him and Baret Yoshida. Jake Shields and Roberto Satoshi are a good matchup as well but when I hear “secret match” I’m thinking something that would need to be kept secret; like nuclear weapon launch codes or something similar. Again, this is no stab at Jeff, Baret, Jake or Roberto but it seems that Metamoris secret matches are between a relatively known fighter versus someone who is not as widely known as their opponent. Renzo vs Sakuraba is a fantastic main event! However this caliber of match is what I think many of us are hoping for when we hear “secret” match.
4) Bring Back Rener.
– I know Metamoris brass doesn’t want the event to come off as having a greatly biased slant toward the Gracie Family that started the event (and um…the UFC). Trust me. Everyone is cool with having the Gracie Family attached to any Martial Arts event. Some of us will even go so far as to say that it lends credence to the event!
Rener’s commentary was absolutely spot on and detailed! During the match with Roger Gracie and Buchecha he was explaining each grip and predicting what each fighter was thinking and intending to do. I would like some more of that please.
5) Please make the event feel aesthetically ominous again.
– The early Metamoris venues were dark and ominous emitting a sense of danger, because of the background darkness and the elevated brightly lit mat. The simulated “no escape” feeling kind of goes by the wayside when I can see the door in the background. It can’t be that bad if I can just run out the front door. From a production standpoint this is something that should perhaps be considered in the future. When you watch a UFC event that doesn’t have many people in attendance, they will pan the cameras in specific ways that are always sure to keep the viewer from seeing the empty seats. Metamoris’ will constantly be sold out events. There are camera tricks that can be utilized to keep the front entrance out of streaming audience view.
Metamoris 5 takes place in about 24 hours! The event takes place in Southern California at the Long Beach Convention Center. Heralding this epic event is the Final Countdown Promo Video! I don’t know about you but I am totally pumped up for tomorrow! Check out the final countdown video below, along with the rest of the promo videos that have been being released during the build up toward this event (in case you missed them).