Ryron and Rener Gracie address possible underlying reasons as to why “the jiu-jitsu community has reached an all-time low.”
For many in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) community, the integrity of the art was rocked when news broke that two students from Lloyd Irvin‘s BJJ academy in Washington D.C. allegedly raped a female Lloyd Irvin student.
People today often know of BJJ through its use in mixed martial arts, where its success has been proven time and again. But few know that as a martial art it is considered by many to be the gold standard when it comes to self-defense against rape. And perhaps even fewer know the history of the art form through the eyes of Grand Master Helio Gracie, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Helio, a frail and sickly young man, further shaped the art into something meant for safety and meant for a smaller, weaker opponent to be able to survive against one far larger and stronger. He achieved this by truly unraveling the science of the art. He studied body mechanics and principles of leverage and then tested his theories repeatedly and against some of the world’s best fighters, quite often at the expense of his health.
While the UFC can highlight jiu-jitsu’s effectiveness when it comes to choking people unconsciousness or breaking arms, those truly rooted in the art – like Ryron and Rener Gracie, the eldest grandsons of Helio – live and breathe the core values every day. Here’s their response to the alleged rape. There are insights here for any martial artist and any person, man or woman.