Roger Gracie talks

Found this for anyone interested.

Eight questions for Roger Gracie
Submitted by: Team TATAME
Posted On 08/19/2005

Text by André Araújo - Team TATAME
Before departing for England where he runs two academies, BJJ black belt world champion Roger Gracie talked to ADCC about the whole controversy in the final against Ronaldo Jacaré at X BJJ Worlds 2005. 'It was not a take down!' states Roger, who now proposes a petition to change the BJJ Confederation's rules. Check out our eight questions where Roger Gracie talks about the BJJ Worlds, his academies in London, about his title at ADCC and Vale-Tudo. 'I guess Arona may surprise Wanderlei. If he uses the right strategy, which is: avoid exchanging on the feet and taking the fight to the ground, he increases his chances to win' Roger Gracie commented about the finals of Pride GP Middleweight.

ADCC - Tell us about the controversial result of X BJJ Worlds open class…
Roger Gracie - Well, once again, I am defeated due to a refereeing mistake. I didn't suffer a takedown. Anyone who knows the rules would never score a takedown. Even Ronaldo Jacaré says an advantage point would work out. This fact proves he agrees with me: It was not a take down! If I stayed on my back or on the side, or he got me down and rode on my back for three seconds, it could be a take down, but that did not happen. If he had scored an advantage point, I would be the champion, because he got a negative point due to him running off the mat 13 times.

ADCC - And what are you going to do about it?
Roger Gracie - Well… to avoid mistakes at the competition, I propose a petition to change the rules of the competition. I think we should have a bigger fight zone, to avoid running away, and three referees instead of just one, like Judo competitions. Mistakes would be avoided. I think that if each athlete had one coach on the mat, it would be easier to avoid all the screaming of the audience…

ADCC - And how does this loss spoil your career? Roger Gracie - It does not spoil me. This year has been great for me. I fought the best fighters and I was the 2 class champion at the ADCC 2005 Submission the States. I fought Jacaré in the final match and submitted him. I also fought other great fighters such as Saulo Ribeiro, Fernando Margarida and many others this year.

ADCC - Saulo Ribeiro retired after being defeated by you. What do you think about that?
Roger Gracie - It was an honor for me. He said he wanted to fight me and after he lost, he retired himself. So that's true because he didn't even fight in his weight division. I felt honored.

ADCC - How do you work on your Jiu-Jitsu far away from Brazil?
Roger Gracie - Well, I reached a high level where I keep a good game even being far away from Brazil and my team. However, I think you can get good in Jiu-Jitsu teaching classes. Train harder is also good because it gives you stamina and strength. But training only harder will not make you better in Jiu-Jitsu.

ADCC - Tell me about your academy in London. Roger Gracie - I have around 100 pupils in two academies in London. I am very concerned about them and when I travel to compete, I always trust fighters in charge of the classes, such as Felipe Souza, Felipe Jerry and Zé Beleza. I also have two other related academies in Kuwait and in South Africa.

ADCC - And about Vale-Tudo? Other BJJ black belts such as Márcio Pé-de-Pano and Ronaldo Jacaré are trying their chances over the ring. And you? Who do you like to watch fighting nowadays? Roger Gracie - I work for Jiu-Jitsu. But I cannot tell you I'll never fight. If I receive an unbelievable proposal, who knows? I like to watch fight Wanderlei Silva, Maurício Shogun, Mirko Cro Cop, Rodrigo Minotauro and Emelianenko Fedor.

ADCC - And about Pride GP? What do you think is going to happen? Roger Gracie - I guess Shogun will not have too much trouble defeating Alistair Overeem and I guess Arona may surprise Wanderlei. If he uses the right strategy, which is: avoid exchanging on the feet and taking the fight to the ground, he increases his chances to win.

I will put out the ref's explanation with the DVD. I have not translated it yet. But, the same ref that took the point away from Jacare gave it to him for the takedown.

I saw the fight a couple of times, and the takedown started in the mat and finished off the mat - the barriers inhibited the full takedown. Jacare did lift Roger in the air doing the fireman takedown ( no small feat). This is what probably influenced the ref to give him the points.

I will post a short clip of the takedown later this week for all to see.

Excellent interview. Roger seems very respectful and mature for his age. It is refreshing to see a top guy with his attitude.

I feel sorry for this guy. That's 2 years running he's gotten hosed. Last
year it was Jacare intentionally going out of bounds to escape the
armbar and ignoring the refs instructions to start back in the armbar

Well, the ref had the option to disqualify Jacare, but didn't.

This fight (Mundial 2005) he didn't get hosed. IMHO

You ae correct. Ultimately, the ref was at fault last year. I'm not sure
there are too many other sports where a competitor can overrule a ref.

thats why they should fight until there is a winner and take the outcome out of the ref's hands

That would require a different tactic for the fighters - more of Rorion's rules. It would also cause a time logistic nightmare for the CBJJ.

a - if the barrier had not been there, he would have been taken down.

b - if jacare was only given an advantage point, then he wouldn't have been given the negative point...i.e. he wouldn't have been running from roger.

I saw the fight and there is no possible way under ANY set of rules that that was takedown points... totally bad call

3 refs for the weight finals and absolute would be an awsome idea
And since usually everyone else is done when the absolute starts, theres no reason they cant have more room

I agree with Amal - I just competed in a local judo tournament (Georgia Games) at the green belt level and all my matches had 3 referees! You would think the Jiu-jitsu World Championships could do this too.

"2005 a - if the barrier had not been there, he would have been taken down"

If your auntie had balls she would be your uncle!!

If I hadn't gone training today I wouldn't have hurt my knee.

If.....etc etc

Well, I probably had the best view besides the ref and the other officials near the mats.

If the takedown was initiated within boundaries then it is a ref's call. As I said, Jacare had him in a firemans carry and had him up in the air. By the time they landed, Roger was hitting the barriers.

I am sure the ref has much more expereince than anyone here on the rules. I provide his translation soon.


I was sitting right there watching it and it was a referees decision type of call like bjj tapes said. I dont think it should have been two because as Jacare could have finished, Roger still could have landed on all fours and defended like he did. That should be an Adv and a standup restart since it happened out of bounds. Takedown calls need to be studied in Brazil because they vary from fight to fight and referee to referee. I get so frustrated watching jiujitsu down here and seeing the discrepency used to score sweeps and takedowns. Ive competed in three tourneys down here and fortunatly either clearly won or gotten my ass kicked but many of my teammates have been robbed and at every tourney down here riots nearly break out due to bad ref calls.

From the CBJJ rules:

"Observation 1: the take down that lands outside of the fighting area and on to the security area will be valid as long as the athlete that applied it stood with both feet in the fighting area while making the take down."

Within the ref's discretion.

bjjtapes, opperative word in that sentance being lands. It didn't land because of the barriers and therefore wasn't a takedown.

Would be interesting to see no time limit matches for the finals. As for the 3 refs thing, I think that it is easier to do in Judo comps than in BJJ just because there are far more experienced Judo refs than BJJ refs.

Q2, Roger is incredibly mature and humble for his age.