Monday, January 23, 2012


Grapplers, here's a  treat for for you from the mind of my teammate and fellow black belt, Daniel Rodriguez aka Da Rod aka Akume.  Daniel is a talented coach and a Pan American Gold Medalist.  He's contributed to DSTRYR/SG a number of times, most recently by doing Jiu Jitsu at.13,000 feet (i.e., while skydiving).  He also has, hands down, the most magnificent beard in all of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Check it:

After watching recent documentary on Rodolfo Vieira (here on DSTRYR/SG), I gotta say I'm a little upset. Not at Rodolfo. Trust me, I don't wanna pick a fight with that guy, but at the IBJJF. I'll explain. In watching the video, I learned that Rodolfo comes from a complete non-Gracie lineage. I had to stop for a second and ask myself how was this possible. If the red belt is limited to the founders of brazilian jiu jitsu, then everyone who learned jiu jitsu must have come from the Gracie tree. Much to my surprise, this wasn't the case. As it so happens Mitsuyu Maeda had a non-Gracie student, Luis Franca. Franca would then take a student of his own right around the time that Helio started training, Osvaldo Fadda. Fadda's line would lead to schools such as Nova Uniao and GFTeam. One only wonders if there were other names not so widely known that Maeda taught. It also makes me stop and question this list as being a little incomplete:

  • Carlos Gracie
  • Gastão Gracie
  • George Gracie
  • Hélio Gracie
  • Oswald Gracie

If the red belt (i.e., the 10th degree red belt) is supposed to be limited to the pioneers of this art, then why isn't Franca's name on this list, why isn't Fadda's name on this list? One can argue that they had as much of an impact on the art as the Gracie's listed above. If you think the same, then maybe a campaign should be started to acknowledge these men.

For more info check out:

- Akume


  1. You just figured out? Shame on you guys. :D

  2. Maeda wasn't the only Japanese teaching jiujitsu/judo in Brazil. Takeo Yano was such a man, who once had a challenge match against Helio Gracie, and ending in a draw. He taught in Pernambuco, and some of his students include Jurandir Moura & Ivan Gomes ( Ivan Gomes fought Carlson Gracie Sr. several times always ended in a draw) The entire gracie myth was invented by Rorion Gracie to make money......

  3. Carlos was taught judo by Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese emigrant to Brazil who was then a 4th dan Kodokan judoka. Carlos then passed the teachings on to his brothers Oswaldo, Gastão Jr., Jorge, and Hélio. In 1925, the brothers opened their first academy in Brazil, marking the beginning of the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It has always been my understanding that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is about the changes that the brothers made to what they were taught, that makes it BJJ. Not just the fact that it was Judo/jiu – jitsu taught in Brasil.

    1. duh.....everyone is aware of all that already, did you even read the article? the point that you're totally missing, is about the other lineages of jiu jitsu in brazil

  4. Gracies took an existing art and refined,modified and added to it but they didn't invent ju-jitsu,the armbar or gi/no gi grappling. There are many forms of grappling that pre-date the Gracies that have similar or the same armbars,leglocks,chokes and takedowns. SO in fairness, the Gracies were the ones who exposed the world to their version of jujitsu/judo. Could Oswaldo's lineage have done the same? Yes, but it didn't... well not as well much or as well.

  5. The Gracies are about making money off of their name. Scott Epstein has a story from when he trained at Ricksons in LA,on how they changed rates, and increased seminar prices for members of his own flagship gym in LA. Mad respect for what they've done, but at the same time theyre like all the fat girls around the world who perpetuated that they give the best 'dome'. Simply isn't true.
    They wouldnt even teach non members any more than basic transitions and sweeps & subs for the longest time, like they thought they were Samurai or something, they're Scottish( the ones who introduced scalping to the native americans)

  6. read this, its well worth it

  7. I hate to be 'that guy', but this entire argument seems to be based off of a common misconception that the red belt necessarily equate to a 10th degree. This is not the case. Oswaldo was 'only' a 9th degree which is also a red belt. The scant few sources you'll find on the internet (including BOTH of the abovementioned links) correctly source him as 9th. Whether or not this is fair or whether the Gracie's are great or despicable people is an entirely different matter...

  8. Good point. I'm aware of that (as is Daniel, my teammate who wrote this short piece).

    I think it's a question of what is appropriate, given that the 10th degree red belt is the highest level/honor and it is reserved for the pioneers/founders.

    Plenty of room for other opinions.

  9. It is also debatable whether it's accurate to say GFTeam is a non-Gracie lineage. That team developed out of Gama Filho, which was started by Pinduka, a Carlson black belt. Julio Cesar was a member of that team, so although HIS lineage is the Franca-Fadda line, GFTeam itself has connections to Carlson.

  10. Gama Filho was a college team first and had a number of coaches from Gracie and Non-Gracie Lineage when the college decided not to continue with funding and Julio Cesar then got seprate funding but had to move from the college and it then became GFTeam and Julio Ceasar became head Coach and is now firm linage of the late Profesor Oswald (Oswald is not as famous as the Gracies as he teached in the poorere parts of Rio and was less prpulorised)

  11. Actualy guys, kano ju jitsu used a dan grade system thar contained theoretical ranks higher than a tenth degree red belt. Kano himself was a 12th dan. Are franco and fadda graded in gracie jujitsu. Ic the are then the rules imposed by the gracies apply to them inl no 10th dan. If not then they could under traditonal rules imposed at the time of maeda and kano be promoted up a dan after they died and be graded that way.

  12. I'm from a non-Gracie lineage. Maeda>Franca>Fadda>Ricardo>Alexander>Bastos
    I'm not sure what rank Franca was, I assume 9th red. Fadda was a 9th red, that's why he isn't on the list. He is also the fist person to beat Helio Gracie in competition.
    Truse me non-Gracie jiu jitsu is alive and well.
    Nova Uniao. Osss

  13. I don't believe Luiz Franca held a rank in the modern BJJ belt ranking system. Remember that up until the 1960's the Gracie brothers wore different shades of blue belt and red belt didn't even exist. I'm pretty sure he's honorifically considered a red belt though, even if he never actually wore one...