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jwinch2
6/12/2016 9:09am,
Hi everyone,

My apologies in advance for what might be a loaded, or ridiculously broad, question. What is the take at this point on the state of Gracie Barra? What is their focus?

Several allegations and a great deal of discussion was had here: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=122202&highlight=barra+ibjjf

It is also my understanding that they have the reputation for being more sport rather than defense focused (sorry for the sport vs. street argument, yet again). However, I saw that they had updated their fundamentals curriculum, which supposedly put some self-defense back in along with some mma focus (striking on the ground, etc.), which should certainly be valuable for self-defense purposes: http://gbsanclemente.com/2012/11/fundamentals-2-0-new-self-defense-curriculum-goes-live-this-week/

Any thoughts on this? I like the fact that they have a defined fundamentals curriculum, and it seems like a good deal of thought went into it.

I'm honestly not as familiar with the lineage of GB as I am of that from Helio (though I recognize they all trained together at one point), so anything there (good, bad, or neutral) is appreciated as well.


Thanks in advance, and mea culpla if I am beating the proverbial dead horse here.

Raycetpfl
6/12/2016 9:22am,
Hi everyone,

My apologies in advance for what might be a loaded, or ridiculously broad, question. What is the take at this point on the state of Gracie Barra? What is their focus?

Several allegations and a great deal of discussion was had here: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=122202&highlight=barra+ibjjf

It is also my understanding that they have the reputation for being more sport rather than defense focused (sorry for the sport vs. street argument, yet again). However, I saw that they had updated their fundamentals curriculum, which supposedly put some self-defense back in along with some mma focus (striking on the ground, etc.), which should certainly be valuable for self-defense purposes: http://gbsanclemente.com/2012/11/fundamentals-2-0-new-self-defense-curriculum-goes-live-this-week/

Any thoughts on this? I like the fact that they have a defined fundamentals curriculum, and it seems like a good deal of thought went into it.

I'm honestly not as familiar with the lineage of GB as I am of that from Helio (though I recognize they all trained together at one point), so anything there (good, bad, or neutral) is appreciated as well.


Thanks in advance, and mea culpla if I am beating the proverbial dead horse here.

Relson, Rickson,Royce,Royler and the Valente's are very self-defense first and sport second. Relson was voted the best self defense teacher in an online poll. I Believe it's correct to say thats.

My Bjj Black Belt
Helio>Relson >Phil Migliarese & Ryan Diechert > Rayce

Barra is the exact opposite in most cases. They have the techniques in their curriculum but they aren't focused on really.

There are going to exceptions to this rule but generally Barra is an IBJJF Tournament school.

jwinch2
6/12/2016 10:27pm,
Relson, Rickson,Royce,Royler and the Valente's are very self-defense first and sport second. Relson was voted the best self defense teacher in an online poll. I Believe it's correct to say thats.

My Bjj Black Belt
Helio>Relson >Phil Migliarese & Ryan Diechert > Rayce

Barra is the exact opposite in most cases. They have the techniques in their curriculum but they aren't focused on really.

There are going to exceptions to this rule but generally Barra is an IBJJF Tournament school.

Thanks. I'm have been training at a Relson school for about the past month or so, but I'm not as thrilled with things as I would like to be, unfortunately. As such, I have looked into some other options locally, and the Gracie Barra school came up. I like the idea of them having a fundamentals program, which is something that does not exist where I am at now. I may check out a class there and ask to see their SD curriculum and see where it goes. What about the issues with the IBJJF scandal? Is that still impacting GB? Is that something that a newer student should worry about in regards to a training location?

Raycetpfl
6/12/2016 11:34pm,
Thanks. I'm have been training at a Relson school for about the past month or so, but I'm not as thrilled with things as I would like to be, unfortunately. As such, I have looked into some other options locally, and the Gracie Barra school came up. I like the idea of them having a fundamentals program, which is something that does not exist where I am at now. I may check out a class there and ask to see their SD curriculum and see where it goes. What about the issues with the IBJJF scandal? Is that still impacting GB? Is that something that a newer student should worry about in regards to a training location?

There really isn't a scandal so much as everyone just assumed they were a governing body but they are really just a very profitable private tournament circuit.

It's good people realize what they say isn't law or the final word in jiu jitsu.

ChenPengFi
6/12/2016 11:37pm,
Thanks. I'm have been training at a Relson school for about the past month or so, but I'm not as thrilled with things as I would like to be, unfortunately.

What are your misgivings about your current school?

Ulsteryank
6/13/2016 1:10am,
I can only comment on my personal experience and school, but my relationship with Gracie Barra has been very good. We're very self defence oriented, probably the most in the whole of Ireland, as well as having one of the strongest competition teams. Every class begins with a self defence technique, and from then on every one is given from a street, MMA, and competition perspective. There are separate competition classes for competitors.

That probably comes from my instructors' lineage. They received their BBs from Braulio, but much of what they know came directly from Mauricio and Roger. I actually drive out of my way to attend, because I wouldn't be anywhere else. It's like a family. Every guest we've had for seminars keep in touch on a personal level, and we're looked after abroad. My instructor and his son just got back from GB HQ for the Worlds, and the ones I visited from my home town were good hosts as well.

The only downsides I could see is when I was visiting home I couldn't get over the membership prices. I don't know if that was GB in particular or a BJJ thing because another club I visited wasn't much different. Fair enough they're kind enough to let me train for free when in town, but if I moved back home would struggle to pay that!

This doesn't happen at our school, but another thing I've heard, and my training partners' have experienced, is the strict GB uniform policy. We can wear whatever we want, however are asked to wear GB Gis for competition. I've had friends not allowed on the mats in England for not having a GB rash guard at a No Gi. I don't even own a GB rashguard, and noticed even in the Gi when I was visiting home, got a few looks for being the only one without one. That's the only thing I think they could chill with!

jwinch2
6/13/2016 1:49am,
What are your misgivings about your current school?

It really comes down to pedagogy. Everyone has been kind and welcoming, so no issues there.

jwinch2
6/13/2016 1:52am,
I can only comment on my personal experience and school, but my relationship with Gracie Barra has been very good. We're very self defence oriented, probably the most in the whole of Ireland, as well as having one of the strongest competition teams. Every class begins with a self defence technique, and from then on every one is given from a street, MMA, and competition perspective. There are separate competition classes for competitors.

That probably comes from my instructors' lineage. They received their BBs from Braulio, but much of what they know came directly from Mauricio and Roger. I actually drive out of my way to attend, because I wouldn't be anywhere else. It's like a family. Every guest we've had for seminars keep in touch on a personal level, and we're looked after abroad. My instructor and his son just got back from GB HQ for the Worlds, and the ones I visited from my home town were good hosts as well.

The only downsides I could see is when I was visiting home I couldn't get over the membership prices. I don't know if that was GB in particular or a BJJ thing because another club I visited wasn't much different. Fair enough they're kind enough to let me train for free when in town, but if I moved back home would struggle to pay that!

This doesn't happen at our school, but another thing I've heard, and my training partners' have experienced, is the strict GB uniform policy. We can wear whatever we want, however are asked to wear GB Gis for competition. I've had friends not allowed on the mats in England for not having a GB rash guard at a No Gi. I don't even own a GB rashguard, and noticed even in the Gi when I was visiting home, got a few looks for being the only one without one. That's the only thing I think they could chill with!

Thanks for that. I saw the Gi thing as well, and was a bit surprised. If I make the switch, I will have two gis that I can't use, which stinks, particularly since the GB ones are far more expensive. Having said that, if the instruction is excellent, then I am wiling to bite the bullet on the gis. As for the rest, I will take a close look at the Self defense aspect of things. Have you found anything different along those lines with the updated fundamentals curriculum?

submessenger
6/13/2016 6:51am,
Thanks for that. I saw the Gi thing as well, and was a bit surprised. If I make the switch, I will have two gis that I can't use, which stinks, particularly since the GB ones are far more expensive. Having said that, if the instruction is excellent, then I am wiling to bite the bullet on the gis. As for the rest, I will take a close look at the Self defense aspect of things. Have you found anything different along those lines with the updated fundamentals curriculum?

Echoing Ulsteryank, a bit. My school used to be a GB affiliate, now he's on his own. I get the impression that YMMV when it comes to GB affiliates. They used to sell just the patches, but I think they did away with that; my school was lenient on this policy of only GB-branded gis, you were allowed to recycle GB patches onto other gis.

I've trained a few times with Gigantinho, as well. His lessons seemed to be SD-heavy, but I would agree that overall it's a sport-focused organization.

I've heard that many will let you visit without a mat fee, as long as you wear your GB gi, so you do get the sense of being part of a larger team/family. I think the best thing about the curriculum and policies is that it is very friendly to total noobs.

Raycetpfl
6/13/2016 11:21am,
Echoing Ulsteryank, a bit. My school used to be a GB affiliate, now he's on his own. I get the impression that YMMV when it comes to GB affiliates. They used to sell just the patches, but I think they did away with that; my school was lenient on this policy of only GB-branded gis, you were allowed to recycle GB patches onto other gis.

I've trained a few times with Gigantinho, as well. His lessons seemed to be SD-heavy, but I would agree that overall it's a sport-focused organization.

I've heard that many will let you visit without a mat fee, as long as you wear your GB gi, so you do get the sense of being part of a larger team/family. I think the best thing about the curriculum and policies is that it is very friendly to total noobs.

Overall it's a sold squad. I am a huge fan of Roger and The Estima Brothers.

goodlun
6/13/2016 2:58pm,
Too much rigmarole, pomp and circumstance, and formality for my own taste.
As far as quality of instruction? Its fine, although a bit more traditional than once again I personally like.
The best bit of advice go try a class and see if you like them.

jwinch2
6/13/2016 3:33pm,
The best bit of advice go try a class and see if you like them.

That's my plan, I just wanted to get a bit of background before I did.

Thanks!

Ulsteryank
6/13/2016 5:09pm,
Thanks for that. I saw the Gi thing as well, and was a bit surprised. If I make the switch, I will have two gis that I can't use, which stinks, particularly since the GB ones are far more expensive. Having said that, if the instruction is excellent, then I am wiling to bite the bullet on the gis. As for the rest, I will take a close look at the Self defense aspect of things. Have you found anything different along those lines with the updated fundamentals curriculum?

No worries!....not really actually. It's like you did the 13 weeks or whatever it was, the cycle repeated and repeated, then all of a sudden they were slightly different. They're all useful, and will probably change again.

They only thing I can think of is what we touched on in that Gracie University thread about rolling. Some people want to jump right in, and others don't. The GB curriculum recommends having at least a 3rd stripe to roll. You have to have it to attend advanced classes which isn't an issue, but I guess it's whether or not your club adheres to the rolling thing. We do positional sparring for fundamentals, but have plenty of open mats and competition classes for all. When I visited the St. Louis GB they rolled, but under supervision.

I guess it's just up to what you prefer. I think most offer a free 2 week trial, so that should hopefully give you a better glimpse...what's funny is we have a Brazilian at our Academy who purposely went out of his way to find a BJJ club other than Gracie Barra because apparently in Brazil they have a prestigious reputation for being high fulootin&expensive, but after checking us out saw that wasn't the case here, and is now GB gung ho to the core, so it might just depend where you're at too.

jwinch2
6/13/2016 10:11pm,
No worries!....not really actually. It's like you did the 13 weeks or whatever it was, the cycle repeated and repeated, then all of a sudden they were slightly different. They're all useful, and will probably change again.

They only thing I can think of is what we touched on in that Gracie University thread about rolling. Some people want to jump right in, and others don't. The GB curriculum recommends having at least a 3rd stripe to roll. You have to have it to attend advanced classes which isn't an issue, but I guess it's whether or not your club adheres to the rolling thing. We do positional sparring for fundamentals, but have plenty of open mats and competition classes for all. When I visited the St. Louis GB they rolled, but under supervision.

I guess it's just up to what you prefer. I think most offer a free 2 week trial, so that should hopefully give you a better glimpse...what's funny is we have a Brazilian at our Academy who purposely went out of his way to find a BJJ club other than Gracie Barra because apparently in Brazil they have a prestigious reputation for being high fulootin&expensive, but after checking us out saw that wasn't the case here, and is now GB gung ho to the core, so it might just depend where you're at too.

Great information. Thanks again.

plasma
6/14/2016 3:46am,
I only trained at a Gracie Barra once while traveling. Very clean and organized. White Belt class was very structured while Blue Belt+ was more free flowing. Over it was a good experience.

jwinch2
6/17/2016 9:52pm,
I only trained at a Gracie Barra once while traveling. Very clean and organized. White Belt class was very structured while Blue Belt+ was more free flowing. Over it was a good experience.

Thanks for that.

I traveled recently and spoke with another instructor after a drop in class I took. The instructor, who is a Black Belt in the Caique Organization, was of the opinion that having a dedicated fundamentals class and set curriculum is going to benefit me far more than training somewhere without it, even if the focus is more sportive than I would prefer. When I explained things to him, he strongly advised me to check out the Gracie Barra group even though I am more interested in the self-defense aspect of the art. I'm a big believer in a solid curriculum and fundamentals. As such, I think I'm going to try a class or two there this week and see what it is like.

Kudos to Chris David and everyone else at Des Moines Jiu Jitsu for allowing me to drop in last week a couple of times, and for giving me some free advice while I was there. Great place to train if anyone finds themselves in Des Moines, IA for whatever reason.