As an enthusiastic, gregarious guy that's been around the fight game for quite a long time, Renzo Gracie's always been a great interview subject.
However, in his recent interview with The FightWorks Podcast, he took things to a whole new level after being asked about some sensitive topic, notably the long-running Gracie family feuds.
TFWP graciously provided a transcription of their conversation with Renzo, but I recommend listening for the full flavor.
Here are some highlights:
On Rorion Gracie:
"One thing I feel sorry about, is Rorion’s kids. They are very good kids, but their father feeds them nonsense. So, they could be unbelievable fighters, but they are going to end up as mediocre fighters, mediocre people. They are going to go through life as great businessmen. If I was them, I’d be selling self-help books, that’s what they should be doing. There is more money in that, instead of claiming that they are real fighters.
They are far from being real fighters. Far. Believe me. When they created a competition, when my cousin Rorion created a competition and created the rules, so his kids could win, and then tells that his kid is going to win, they couldn’t even win that. Not even the pure jiu jitsu rule that he claims he created, which was nonsense rules. Next thing I see, his kids could win nothing. They were losing to guys on the second tier, like Marc Laimon, he was beating them up. Guys who could not even feature in a world championship! People who could never compete in an Abu Dhabi and do well!"
You know, its become a joke. Let me tell you what the real jiu jitsu is: the real jiu jitsu is the one that doesn’t back away from a challenge. It goes at the obstacle and defends its flag. It’s like, if you want to claim that you have the best fighting style, you should be in the UFC kicking some ass. That’s where the best competition is.
So when people call me, saying "this is the real jiu jitsu," the next thing they are going to say is "I cannot use it, because I could kill you!" [laughs] You know, that’s what I heard my whole life, from those fake martial artists who claim they were better than everybody else. So believe it my friend, I live my whole life watching this and seeing this. We were always against that, and now suddenly one branch of my family is turning into that! It’s claiming that, but doesn’t go on the proving ground to prove it, does not step into the place where he should actually be representing jiu jitsu, to do it.
On the "Who made GJJ?" controversy:
You have to understand, my uncle Hélio was one of the most amazing jiu jitsu fighters I have ever seen. He was responsible for developing a lot of the defence aspect. The fact that he was very weak, physically, but he was able to develop sharpness on the defence.
But, my uncle Hélio never had a chance to meet the Japanese person who actually taught my grandfather. Uncle Hélio never met him, never lay his eyes on Mitsuyo Maeda. So before Uncle Hélio, there was my grandfather Carlos Gracie, there was Jorge Gracie, there was Osvaldo Gracie and there was Gastao Gracie. Those four were fighting before my Uncle Hélio. Uncle Hélio had the chance to represent. Was he an important link on the chain? Yes he was. He was the Einstein, he spent his whole life on the mat, developing and working to make jiu jitsu better. But to claim that he was the creator? He was far from that.
According to a FWP Twitter update, Rener Gracie, son of Rorion Gracie will respond to Renzo's comments in a podcast to be released this coming Sunday. Should be entertaining.