The always-energetic Gracie brothers Ryron and Rener have been known for being very online and their dynamic motivational approach to, well... pretty much everything. Sure, as the family name would indicate, their primary focus is their martial arts life and lineage. Yet they’ve attempted in recent years to maximize their reach with Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and expand their reach even further.
Which is why this week they released a rather odd surprise in the form of an unaired pilot that they had filmed around five years ago. Sadly, the show didn’t get picked up, as it’s easier to say “no” than it is to greenlight projects in the entertainment industry. The concept was interesting — find people that have been on the wrong side of an online fight, bring them in and have them train at their academy in California and focus not only on self-defense, but on character and personality. In a way, we get to see some martial arts instruction, motivation, a little informal psychological analysis and a pathway to improving the life of their guests, without the condescension of a smarmy host that’s never clearly been punched in the face (**cough** Dr Phil **cough**) .
The episode does throw the viewer (and the guest) some serious curveballs, and even a major surprise guest near the end. It makes for interesting viewing overall. You can check it out below (link here if unavailable on page).
It’s curious that the episode was uploaded like this, and it appears that the brothers are dead serious about resurrecting the concept to make it a full-fledged series elsewhere. It’s not unheard of for a series to be given a new lease on life elsewhere, so it’s totally possible that they could shop this around and generate interest elsewhere to get this made.
It’s certainly more complete as a project than the Antonio McKee’s attempt at making his own reality series centered around his family life, or the (sadly) now unavailable Blood, Sweat and Bling, which was centered around promoter Gary Shaw and his son Jared, known affectionately as $kala. Not the highest bar for comparison, but this is a more heartfelt project that shines a very sympathetic light on all parties involved, not just the hosts.
What will the rambunctious Gracie boys come up with next? Time will tell.