Last month at the No Gi worlds, Ralph Gracie made the news when he elbowed Gracie Barra director Flavio Almeida while speaking to him by the mat. Ralph Gracie was hoping to keep his incident under wraps – as per the statement he released against the advice of his attorneys.
Ralph Gracie’s Attorney James Cook contacted BJJEE and released the following statement:
I am the attorney who intends to represent Ralph Gracie in the event there are subsequent legal disputes. I reviewed the video and I had an opportunity to discuss the incident with Ralph Gracie. Ralph would like to tell his side of the story about events leading up to the altercation. However, I strongly advised him to say nothing.
I cannot disclose too many details about Ralph’s side of the story given attorney-client considerations. However, I can say that the video does not capture the full spectrum of words and actions leading up to the incident. To view the video within the full context, it is easy to conclude that altercation should be characterized as mutual combat.
It’s worth noting that the incident took place at a combat sporting event, where the spectators are usually competitors. As such, the line between regulated competition and real-life competition is often blurred. Frequently, emotions run high and the contest continues off the mats and after the buzzer. Flavio Almeia and Ralph Gracie are iconic competitors and instructors for our sport. They are not strangers to off-the-mat confrontations. I believe that any further dispute can and should be resolved quickly and without court intervention.
The fight occurred at Nogi worlds December 17th and to an outside observer it looked like Ralph Gracie unexpectedly threw a muay thai elbow on an unsuspecting Flavio Almeida as seen below:
Flavio Almeida. Ryan recently talked about the whole incident on the DJJK podcast:
“I could have kicked the sh*t out of this bas*ard. Right here right now. He’s much smaller than me, older than me. But if I had done that, I would have dragged the whole Gracie Barra organization down.”
“At no point were Gracie Barra people like Yeah come one, let’s Dojo Storm them.”
On the violent and thugish culture in many BJJ schools:
At some point, I don’t know when, things started to go haywire. People started to teach Jiu-Jitsu with thug mentality.
You can here the whole statement from 37:55min. Time stamped here:
You will also want to take advantage of the new instructional series by the legendary Bernardo Faria, Foundations of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Bernardo is a five time world champion and one of the most sought after instructors in the world. As one of the sports most accomplished competitors, he has done something that many athletes are unable to do. He has been able to translate his BJJ knowledge in a way that is applicable to EVERYONE. You do not need to be a gifted athlete to benefit from Bernardo’s knowledge. Do not miss this one. You will not be disappointed.