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Filthy

Bad. Like Jesse James
Jun 28, 2016
21,261
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I think what sets Rener and Ryron apart is that they've actually bothered to invest time in the idea of pedagogy and public speaking whereas most BJJ instructors are just people who enjoyed the sport and got a teaching gig or had capital to open an academy. As the inheritors of the trademarked Gracie academy, Rener and Ryron were offering what was perceived to outsiders as a "premium" product so they had to put a bit more shine on it. This followed the same model Rorion used in building the Torrance Academy in the first place and spinning it off into several associated ventures.

So they're good at their niche, but these days BJJ is largely a competitive sport as much as it's a self defense system and kids recreational activity, if not more so. To be the best instructor, you have to have success in all dimensions. Seminars are not the norm of instruction. For the main Gracie academy, seminars have been their default business model, so they've had to call back to their great grandfather's carny roots to promote their type of instruction. It's not a bad thing, but it can't be said to be the best, particularly when there are plenty of unheralded instructors out there whose names few people know who have quality self defense curricula, quality kids programs and strong competition success. Rener inherited an empire and smartly professionalized it because he had a wealthy clientele. My hope is his innovations in presenting techniques will be replicated, but it takes more than a good presentation style to be the best instructor.
ummmm....most of that is incorrect. To say they 'spun off their Dad's business' indicates that you aren't that familiar with how things were ran on Carson, how things changed on Artesia, and how things are run now. I don't know where the gap in history is for you, but it's huge. Rorion didn't even want to have affiliates

I don't think you have insight into the business they inherited, how they disrupted their industry, and how they've adapted/modified improve it. That probably comes off as a uber-fan or something, but I don't think they were particularly ingenious - just that their competitors are that disconnected from running a business.

and sport BJJ gets a lot of internet press, but it's still not the main revenue generator. Kids and Self-Defense hold that spot, Sport/Competition is the 'niche' - and it's a much harder business model to keep going for decades
 

kneeblock

Drapetomaniac
Apr 18, 2015
11,659
21,533
ummmm....most of that is incorrect. To say they 'spun off their Dad's business' indicates that you aren't that familiar with how things were ran on Carson, how things changed on Artesia, and how things are run now. I don't know where the gap in history is for you, but it's huge. Rorion didn't even want to have affiliates

I don't think you have insight into the business they inherited, how they disrupted their industry, and how they've adapted/modified improve it. That probably comes off as a uber-fan or something, but I don't think they were particularly ingenious - just that their competitors are that disconnected from running a business.

and sport BJJ gets a lot of internet press, but it's still not the main revenue generator. Kids and Self-Defense hold that spot, Sport/Competition is the 'niche' - and it's a much harder business model to keep going for decades
I didn't say they spun off of their dad's business. I said they use the same presentation style. Rorion was well known for his teaching style being distinct among his family members. Even among the brothers he was considered an excellent instructor, but it was largely because he paid attention to things like self presentation, clarity, and systematic goal oriented instruction. Carlinhos was good at the last of these as well, but not as good with his own distinctive Barra model as Rorion was well before Torrance.

Rener and Ryron have extended the model, added several components Rorion never would've dreamed of and even things he outright disagreed with, but what we're discussing here isn't the business model, but teaching ability. Being the best instructor isn't contingent on the revenue model, but it does require people who can win when it counts. Helio's lineage in particular have de-emphasized the importance of this aspect of the game since at least the 1990s, but that's mostly because its more lucrative to do so.
 

SongExotic2

ATM 3 CHAMPION OF THE WORLD.
First 100
Jan 16, 2015
31,663
48,380
I didn't say they spun off of their dad's business. I said they use the same presentation style. Rorion was well known for his teaching style being distinct among his family members. Even among the brothers he was considered an excellent instructor, but it was largely because he paid attention to things like self presentation, clarity, and systematic goal oriented instruction. Carlinhos was good at the last of these as well, but not as good with his own distinctive Barra model as Rorion was well before Torrance.

Rener and Ryron have extended the model, added several components Rorion never would've dreamed of and even things he outright disagreed with, but what we're discussing here isn't the business model, but teaching ability. Being the best instructor isn't contingent on the revenue model, but it does require people who can win when it counts. Helio's lineage in particular have de-emphasized the importance of this aspect of the game since at least the 1990s, but that's mostly because its more lucrative to do so.
All Gracie dojos can fuck off. With Thier shitty gi's you must wear and the bitch ass warmups. It's a cult.
 

Filthy

Bad. Like Jesse James
Jun 28, 2016
21,261
25,124
I didn't say they spun off of their dad's business. I said they use the same presentation style. Rorion was well known for his teaching style being distinct among his family members. Even among the brothers he was considered an excellent instructor, but it was largely because he paid attention to things like self presentation, clarity, and systematic goal oriented instruction. Carlinhos was good at the last of these as well, but not as good with his own distinctive Barra model as Rorion was well before Torrance.

Rener and Ryron have extended the model, added several components Rorion never would've dreamed of and even things he outright disagreed with, but what we're discussing here isn't the business model, but teaching ability. Being the best instructor isn't contingent on the revenue model, but it does require people who can win when it counts. Helio's lineage in particular have de-emphasized the importance of this aspect of the game since at least the 1990s, but that's mostly because its more lucrative to do so.
how are you quantifying "great instructor"? If you're just saying that it's whoever has the best competition record amongst students, that's open to far too many variables.

I'm basing it on how many people they can teach, and how well those people learn what they paid to learn.
 

kneeblock

Drapetomaniac
Apr 18, 2015
11,659
21,533
how are you quantifying "great instructor"? If you're just saying that it's whoever has the best competition record amongst students, that's open to far too many variables.

I'm basing it on how many people they can teach, and how well those people learn what they paid to learn.
You used the hyperbole the best instructor in the world. And I've repeatedly said it's not "just" one thing, but requires skill in all of the dimensions of the sport. If we go by quantity of people one can teach, all we're saying is that a person is a good presenter that makes people feel good after they hear their presentations. If we say the students can learn something well, that indicates they would be able to perform it exceedingly well at the highest levels.
 

Filthy

Bad. Like Jesse James
Jun 28, 2016
21,261
25,124
You used the hyperbole the best instructor in the world. And I've repeatedly said it's not "just" one thing, but requires skill in all of the dimensions of the sport. If we go by quantity of people one can teach, all we're saying is that a person is a good presenter that makes people feel good after they hear their presentations. If we say the students can learn something well, that indicates they would be able to perform it exceedingly well at the highest levels.
Rener is teaching self-defense, is MMA demonstrating the highest level of self-defense?
because this is a thread about that student he has that's fighting for the belt.

please give me the metric of 'greatness' in an instructor.
by all the metrics I know, Rener is the greatest instructor. If you want me to go into exhaustive detail, you're going to have to put some parameters on great instructors.

Is John Danaher the greatest instructor?
 

kneeblock

Drapetomaniac
Apr 18, 2015
11,659
21,533
Rener is teaching self-defense, is MMA demonstrating the highest level of self-defense?
because this is a thread about that student he has that's fighting for the belt.

please give me the metric of 'greatness' in an instructor.
by all the metrics I know, Rener is the greatest instructor. If you want me to go into exhaustive detail, you're going to have to put some parameters on great instructors.

Is John Danaher the greatest instructor?
Yes, the greatest BJJ instructor in my view should have:

1) A systematic process of instruction that is to a certain degree replicable, but more importantly has clear expectations so it can be passed on to affiliates who can move their students through the art without arbitrariness or ambiguity

2) A number of students who have mastered and proceeded through the self defense curriculum with testimonials of its efficacy e.g. via LEOs or others who actually face combat so it's not just McDojo self defense.

3) A robust kids program that focuses on youth development, fun, and giving kids exposure to either internal or external competition.

4) A stable of students at every rank rather than a deluge of white and blue belts.

5) Several black belts, at least a couple of whom went from white belt to black belt with the instructor.

6) Champions in local and regional competitions at the white through purple belt levels or at least a high number of students who make it to the podium.

7) Champions at the world (IBJJF or ADCC) level at brown and black belt and/or other high level professional competitions. Absent champions, at least consistent top 3 finishers.

8) At least a few MMA fighters who they have coached who have competed and performed credibly on the mat in the top promotions (currently UFC, Bellator, Rizin, One).

Now when you look at this, there are very few instructors who could conceivably be the GOAT. Carlson, Helio, Carlinhos, Relson, Renzo, Jacare (the original), Yuki Nakai, the Machados, Liborio, Pederneiras/Lemos, Galvao, Ricardo Almeida and loath as I am to admit it, Lloyd Irvin probably could lay claim to this. There are probably others as well, especially in Brazil or the UAE that I don't know. Rener could also lay claim to it, but for student competition success, though he and Ryron certainly competed well themselves at times. There are also US and European instructors I'm probably forgetting but Greg Nelson is one that stands out, as does whomever you want to credit as the head of ATT. Imo, being the greatest instructor is a tall order, but it requires time spent in the sport and fluency in teaching all of its dimensions. Self defense is probably the least utilized and easiest to teach aspect of the sport and I certainly understand why the Gracies in particular have emphasized it as it's fairly lucrative. But we don't know and respect the art because of its hypothetical street fighting efficacy against randos. We do so because it stands up to the tests on the street, in high level competition against other grappling arts and as an indispensable tool in total competitive combat involving well rounded athletes.
 

Filthy

Bad. Like Jesse James
Jun 28, 2016
21,261
25,124
I don't think any of the people you listed off have #1, and certainly not to the degree of Rener. Not even in the conversation, and I think that is probably the most important thing for measuring the greatness of an instructor. As an individual, you can only teach so many people, but if you can teach others to teach, there's no limit to the reach of your instruction. Rener (and Ryron, though to a lesser degree) revolutionized that aspect of BJJ instruction.

Regarding your list of instructors who are in that rarified air, very few of the 2nd generation have #2 (Galvao? Almeida?) and #8? I don't think you're aware of the number of UFC fighters who Rener/Ryron train, or who seek him out for training as part of their camps.
most of them don't have #7 (year over year, or for any length of time), or #8...especially compared to guys who made their name in tournaments where no one punches you.

Rener and his school have all of those things on a scale and to a degree that none of the others have, but because his students aren't competing at ADCC, he falls short of Galvao? That's comical.

Show me Galvao's self-defense curriculum, and put it up against Combatives.
Show me Liborio's (or anyone's) children's program, and put it up against Bullyproof. Have many kids are being taught? is it in the 10s of thousands?
Show me the Gracie Barra's instructor/affiliate compliance standards, and put it up against Rener's instructor certification and CTC program.
And remember, Gracie Barra's affiliate/instructor program was completely revamped to mimic Rener's program. (Spoiler: I'm very familiar with both)
Show me Yuki Nakai's program for women's self-defense, and put it up against Women Empowered.

Do you think any of the people you listed have a "stable" of the size, consistency, and competency of Rener?
I know plenty who compete (and win) at the local and regional level, but someone if your school isn't winning the highest level of international wrestle-centric tournaments, you can't be the greatest instructor.

K.


FWIW- Rener isn't my friend, I just respect what he's been able to accomplish :)

EDIT - the fact that you include Too Limp Irvin in your list is indicative of just how perversely you've weighted your criteria.
 
Last edited:

SongExotic2

ATM 3 CHAMPION OF THE WORLD.
First 100
Jan 16, 2015
31,663
48,380
Yes, the greatest BJJ instructor in my view should have:

1) A systematic process of instruction that is to a certain degree replicable, but more importantly has clear expectations so it can be passed on to affiliates who can move their students through the art without arbitrariness or ambiguity

2) A number of students who have mastered and proceeded through the self defense curriculum with testimonials of its efficacy e.g. via LEOs or others who actually face combat so it's not just McDojo self defense.

3) A robust kids program that focuses on youth development, fun, and giving kids exposure to either internal or external competition.

4) A stable of students at every rank rather than a deluge of white and blue belts.

5) Several black belts, at least a couple of whom went from white belt to black belt with the instructor.

6) Champions in local and regional competitions at the white through purple belt levels or at least a high number of students who make it to the podium.

7) Champions at the world (IBJJF or ADCC) level at brown and black belt and/or other high level professional competitions. Absent champions, at least consistent top 3 finishers.

8) At least a few MMA fighters who they have coached who have competed and performed credibly on the mat in the top promotions (currently UFC, Bellator, Rizin, One).

Now when you look at this, there are very few instructors who could conceivably be the GOAT. Carlson, Helio, Carlinhos, Relson, Renzo, Jacare (the original), Yuki Nakai, the Machados, Liborio, Pederneiras/Lemos, Galvao, Ricardo Almeida and loath as I am to admit it, Lloyd Irvin probably could lay claim to this. There are probably others as well, especially in Brazil or the UAE that I don't know. Rener could also lay claim to it, but for student competition success, though he and Ryron certainly competed well themselves at times. There are also US and European instructors I'm probably forgetting but Greg Nelson is one that stands out, as does whomever you want to credit as the head of ATT. Imo, being the greatest instructor is a tall order, but it requires time spent in the sport and fluency in teaching all of its dimensions. Self defense is probably the least utilized and easiest to teach aspect of the sport and I certainly understand why the Gracies in particular have emphasized it as it's fairly lucrative. But we don't know and respect the art because of its hypothetical street fighting efficacy against randos. We do so because it stands up to the tests on the street, in high level competition against other grappling arts and as an indispensable tool in total competitive combat involving well rounded athletes.
You sound like a danthewolfman fan
 

kneeblock

Drapetomaniac
Apr 18, 2015
11,659
21,533
I don't think any of the people you listed off have #1, and certainly not to the degree of Rener. Not even in the conversation, and I think that is probably the most important thing for measuring the greatness of an instructor. As an individual, you can only teach so many people, but if you can teach others to teach, there's no limit to the reach of your instruction. Rener (and Ryron, though to a lesser degree) revolutionized that aspect of BJJ instruction.

Regarding your list of instructors who are in that rarified air, very few of the 2nd generation have #2 (Galvao? Almeida?) and #8? I don't think you're aware of the number of UFC fighters who Rener/Ryron train, or who seek him out for training as part of their camps.
most of them don't have #7 (year over year, or for any length of time), or #8...especially compared to guys who made their name in tournaments where no one punches you.

Rener and his school have all of those things on a scale and to a degree that none of the others have, but because his students aren't competing at ADCC, he falls short of Galvao? That's comical.

Show me Galvao's self-defense curriculum, and put it up against Combatives.
Show me Liborio's (or anyone's) children's program, and put it up against Bullyproof. Have many kids are being taught? is it in the 10s of thousands?
Show me the Gracie Barra's instructor/affiliate compliance standards, and put it up against Rener's instructor certification and CTC program.
And remember, Gracie Barra's affiliate/instructor program was completely revamped to mimic Rener's program. (Spoiler: I'm very familiar with both)
Show me Yuki Nakai's program for women's self-defense, and put it up against Women Empowered.

Do you think any of the people you listed have a "stable" of the size, consistency, and competency of Rener?
I know plenty who compete (and win) at the local and regional level, but someone if your school isn't winning the highest level of international wrestle-centric tournaments, you can't be the greatest instructor.

K.


FWIW- Rener isn't my friend, I just respect what he's been able to accomplish :)
It really occurs to me we should've moved this discussion to the BJJ forum.

In every variation of our back and forth here, your suggestion has been one of quantity, i.e. Rener teaches more people, has more curricula, has more kids, etc. Would you expect any less from the official Gracie Headquarters that has historically been the most well marketed and funded BJJ academy in the US? Would you expect any different outcome from the lineage that once trademarked the name and didn't allow any other family members to use it until Carlinhos sued? Like many people do in many contexts, you are attributing success through grit, determination and some special skills to people born on third base. Rorion had one of the wealthiest academies on earth at one time in terms of capital inflows, largely based on the success of Royce in the UFC. He passed it on to his kids and to their credit, they did revolutionize it, opening up what was until then a fairly closed academy and systematizing their brand of BJJ. But even then they were doing it in response to having emerged onto a BJJ scene where people had already started opening things up considerably and where the myth of Gracie invincibility had been shattered in the US and the myth of BJJ invincibility in MMA was also long gone. They changed because they had no choice, but they also were smart to do so as many instructors didn't and paid a price later. They knew they had the most valuable brand in martial arts (not just BJJ, but really all martial arts at the time) and they leveraged it to build an empire rather than just focusing on the insular world of competition.

But even this was an old trick. Rorion and all of his brothers except Royler had de-emphasized the importance of competition years before. Why? Because it was damaging to the brand. Self defense and the mythologizing of poor frail little Helio fighting guys hundreds of pounds heavier than him were a much more lucrative market. They mystified a lot of this by saying things about "real" Gracie jiu jitsu, and set about creating their own tournaments with unique rulesets when they did deign to compete. Only Royler stuck with it and he became one of the greatest competitors ever in the process, though he struggled back in Brazil maintaining Humaita as a competition team and Gracie HQ did little to support him financially or otherwise, eventually prompting him to move. Rorion's priority was always setting things up for his kids, which is certainly understandable.

So when you say "show me this curriculum" and put it up against one of the most well resourced academies in martial arts history, all you're really saying is that the latter was able to codify and market it better because they were already advantaged compared to the field. Also, if you reread my post, I said these are the logical criteria to be considered the greatest. It doesn't mean you have to have the most students, but it does mean you have to have all of these components, which all of the names I mentioned either currently have or had for in some cases decades in the past (see Jacare for example). Also, to compare Bullyproof to Liborio's work teaching BJJ to disabled kids is laughable. Bullyproof was launched during a time when the idea of "bullying" was taking off in educational spaces so there was money to be had for offering martial arts instructors an anti-bullying curriculum. Similarly, Rapesafe emerged out of increased attention to sexual assault and feedback from female students. There had already plenty of analogues in the martial arts community, including IMPACT in the So Cal area and various other programs.

I'm not sure what you mean by instructor/affiliate compliance system here. Do you mean fidelity to curriculum (what I was talking about) or paying association fees?

Every major millionaire gym that doesn't produce high level competitors has their excuses for it. "Wrestling centric" is maybe one of the oldest ones. "Time limits" are another old cannard. "Leglocks" or "athleticism" were common for awhile, but thankfully those seem to be disappearing. At the end of the day, it's not any of those besides the fact that the academy has chosen not to pursue that area of the sport diligently. It doesn't mean they're a bad instructor. It just means that they can't be called the best. One hilarious example of this was when Rener and Ryron started giving out belts through video testing and their newly minted blue belts got destroyed at tournaments and quickly found out the system was trash. The entire family turned on them for that one and they eventually reconfigured it, but that's because it was a scam.

To your final point, I respect what Rener has built as well. He's got infectious enthusiasm, high energy, very good pedagogical skills and an ability to simplify very complex concepts for mass presentation. His father was similar. All I'm saying is that to say someone is the greatest in the world or ever requires extraordinary proof and so far, most of what you've said is a lot of people go to him because he's a good self promoter. In the business of martial arts, that's a victory in and of itself, but if it's at the expense of what most of the community considers a vital attribute, it equals simply being great, not the greatest.
 

John Lee Pettimore

Further south than you
May 18, 2021
3,846
3,758
It really occurs to me we should've moved this discussion to the BJJ forum.

In every variation of our back and forth here, your suggestion has been one of quantity, i.e. Rener teaches more people, has more curricula, has more kids, etc. Would you expect any less from the official Gracie Headquarters that has historically been the most well marketed and funded BJJ academy in the US? Would you expect any different outcome from the lineage that once trademarked the name and didn't allow any other family members to use it until Carlinhos sued? Like many people do in many contexts, you are attributing success through grit, determination and some special skills to people born on third base. Rorion had one of the wealthiest academies on earth at one time in terms of capital inflows, largely based on the success of Royce in the UFC. He passed it on to his kids and to their credit, they did revolutionize it, opening up what was until then a fairly closed academy and systematizing their brand of BJJ. But even then they were doing it in response to having emerged onto a BJJ scene where people had already started opening things up considerably and where the myth of Gracie invincibility had been shattered in the US and the myth of BJJ invincibility in MMA was also long gone. They changed because they had no choice, but they also were smart to do so as many instructors didn't and paid a price later. They knew they had the most valuable brand in martial arts (not just BJJ, but really all martial arts at the time) and they leveraged it to build an empire rather than just focusing on the insular world of competition.

But even this was an old trick. Rorion and all of his brothers except Royler had de-emphasized the importance of competition years before. Why? Because it was damaging to the brand. Self defense and the mythologizing of poor frail little Helio fighting guys hundreds of pounds heavier than him were a much more lucrative market. They mystified a lot of this by saying things about "real" Gracie jiu jitsu, and set about creating their own tournaments with unique rulesets when they did deign to compete. Only Royler stuck with it and he became one of the greatest competitors ever in the process, though he struggled back in Brazil maintaining Humaita as a competition team and Gracie HQ did little to support him financially or otherwise, eventually prompting him to move. Rorion's priority was always setting things up for his kids, which is certainly understandable.

So when you say "show me this curriculum" and put it up against one of the most well resourced academies in martial arts history, all you're really saying is that the latter was able to codify and market it better because they were already advantaged compared to the field. Also, if you reread my post, I said these are the logical criteria to be considered the greatest. It doesn't mean you have to have the most students, but it does mean you have to have all of these components, which all of the names I mentioned either currently have or had for in some cases decades in the past (see Jacare for example). Also, to compare Bullyproof to Liborio's work teaching BJJ to disabled kids is laughable. Bullyproof was launched during a time when the idea of "bullying" was taking off in educational spaces so there was money to be had for offering martial arts instructors an anti-bullying curriculum. Similarly, Rapesafe emerged out of increased attention to sexual assault and feedback from female students. There had already plenty of analogues in the martial arts community, including IMPACT in the So Cal area and various other programs.

I'm not sure what you mean by instructor/affiliate compliance system here. Do you mean fidelity to curriculum (what I was talking about) or paying association fees?

Every major millionaire gym that doesn't produce high level competitors has their excuses for it. "Wrestling centric" is maybe one of the oldest ones. "Time limits" are another old cannard. "Leglocks" or "athleticism" were common for awhile, but thankfully those seem to be disappearing. At the end of the day, it's not any of those besides the fact that the academy has chosen not to pursue that area of the sport diligently. It doesn't mean they're a bad instructor. It just means that they can't be called the best. One hilarious example of this was when Rener and Ryron started giving out belts through video testing and their newly minted blue belts got destroyed at tournaments and quickly found out the system was trash. The entire family turned on them for that one and they eventually reconfigured it, but that's because it was a scam.

To your final point, I respect what Rener has built as well. He's got infectious enthusiasm, high energy, very good pedagogical skills and an ability to simplify very complex concepts for mass presentation. His father was similar. All I'm saying is that to say someone is the greatest in the world or ever requires extraordinary proof and so far, most of what you've said is a lot of people go to him because he's a good self promoter. In the business of martial arts, that's a victory in and of itself, but if it's at the expense of what most of the community considers a vital attribute, it equals simply being great, not the greatest.
Interesting points. Care to elaborate?

🇳🇿
 

Filthy

Bad. Like Jesse James
Jun 28, 2016
21,261
25,124
It really occurs to me we should've moved this discussion to the BJJ forum.

In every variation of our back and forth here, your suggestion has been one of quantity, i.e. Rener teaches more people, has more curricula, has more kids, etc. Would you expect any less from the official Gracie Headquarters that has historically been the most well marketed and funded BJJ academy in the US? Would you expect any different outcome from the lineage that once trademarked the name and didn't allow any other family members to use it until Carlinhos sued? Like many people do in many contexts, you are attributing success through grit, determination and some special skills to people born on third base. Rorion had one of the wealthiest academies on earth at one time in terms of capital inflows, largely based on the success of Royce in the UFC. He passed it on to his kids and to their credit, they did revolutionize it, opening up what was until then a fairly closed academy and systematizing their brand of BJJ. But even then they were doing it in response to having emerged onto a BJJ scene where people had already started opening things up considerably and where the myth of Gracie invincibility had been shattered in the US and the myth of BJJ invincibility in MMA was also long gone. They changed because they had no choice, but they also were smart to do so as many instructors didn't and paid a price later. They knew they had the most valuable brand in martial arts (not just BJJ, but really all martial arts at the time) and they leveraged it to build an empire rather than just focusing on the insular world of competition.
I don't think you understand the lawsuit, what predicated it, and the outcome if you think that Rorion initiated it by trademarking the name "Gracie". Literally, if he had a lawyer who could look up Anderson v Anderson he would have taken a completely different legal strategy. But he didn't initiate the situation, and bringing up what are 'old wounds' of Gracie Academy when Ryron/Rener were adolescents seems misplaced. I'm attributing their success as a relative measure, not as an absolute. Simply put, they started on 3rd with bases loaded and nobody out with an 0-2 count and STOLE HOME. Meanwhile, Galvao is getting getting to first when Keith Mooreland baubles a routine grounder and you're telling me about his greatness has a ball player... I'm still not sure why competition success at one specific level is so heavily weighted as to make up for everything else.


But even this was an old trick. Rorion and all of his brothers except Royler had de-emphasized the importance of competition years before. Why? Because it was damaging to the brand. Self defense and the mythologizing of poor frail little Helio fighting guys hundreds of pounds heavier than him were a much more lucrative market. They mystified a lot of this by saying things about "real" Gracie jiu jitsu, and set about creating their own tournaments with unique rulesets when they did deign to compete. Only Royler stuck with it and he became one of the greatest competitors ever in the process, though he struggled back in Brazil maintaining Humaita as a competition team and Gracie HQ did little to support him financially or otherwise, eventually prompting him to move. Rorion's priority was always setting things up for his kids, which is certainly understandable.
that reads like a lot of sour grapes, and I love training at Humaita. But where are the MMA fighters that Royler trained? or half the people on your list? People pay a helluva lot more money to see Brian Ortega fight than they do all the other "elite" tournaments pay out in a year. IBJJ will pay a max of $34k if you win worlds Gi/NoGi and collect all the bonuses. When people fight for real money, they train with Rener. It's a 15m drive from Rener's place to Black House. You don't give Rener credit for training ADCC champions, but I know Werdum and others have trained with the brothers to prepare for ADCC. If guys at that level are seeking out Rener to up their game, isn't he performing at the same level as Royler or Lloyd Irvin?

So when you say "show me this curriculum" and put it up against one of the most well resourced academies in martial arts history, all you're really saying is that the latter was able to codify and market it better because they were already advantaged compared to the field. Also, if you reread my post, I said these are the logical criteria to be considered the greatest. It doesn't mean you have to have the most students, but it does mean you have to have all of these components, which all of the names I mentioned either currently have or had for in some cases decades in the past (see Jacare for example). Also, to compare Bullyproof to Liborio's work teaching BJJ to disabled kids is laughable. Bullyproof was launched during a time when the idea of "bullying" was taking off in educational spaces so there was money to be had for offering martial arts instructors an anti-bullying curriculum. Similarly, Rapesafe emerged out of increased attention to sexual assault and feedback from female students. There had already plenty of analogues in the martial arts community, including IMPACT in the So Cal area and various other programs.
Again, Gracie Academy has been teaching a class for blind and disabled kids for 15 years. They teach special needs classes AND do all the other stuff. My point is that none of those other "greatest instructors" have a kids program on par with Bullyproof. They don't teach Civic Responsibility as part of the curriculum, but they teach Butterfly Sweeps to 8 yo's. It's not simply about the breadth of impact, it's about the depth. The name Bullyproof is "recent", and demonstrates a level of business acumen that other instructors don't possess, but the program has been structured that way by Rener/Ryron since early 2000s. And as much as I love the name "Rapesafe" and the comedy gold of asking Rorion about that name, it is not in the same discussion as Women Empowered - especially since Eve took over the program and revamped it with Victoria. Twice.

having a "me too" solution is not an indicator of greatness in an instructor. Rener was the pathfinder, and now that the way has been cleared you think every should get equal credit for 'having one'. That doesn't make sense.

I'm not sure what you mean by instructor/affiliate compliance system here. Do you mean fidelity to curriculum (what I was talking about) or paying association fees?
the ability of affiliates to replicate the experience of learning from the GOAT.

Every major millionaire gym that doesn't produce high level competitors has their excuses for it. "Wrestling centric" is maybe one of the oldest ones. "Time limits" are another old cannard. "Leglocks" or "athleticism" were common for awhile, but thankfully those seem to be disappearing. At the end of the day, it's not any of those besides the fact that the academy has chosen not to pursue that area of the sport diligently. It doesn't mean they're a bad instructor. It just means that they can't be called the best. One hilarious example of this was when Rener and Ryron started giving out belts through video testing and their newly minted blue belts got destroyed at tournaments and quickly found out the system was trash. The entire family turned on them for that one and they eventually reconfigured it, but that's because it was a scam.
That never happened. Literally, I can post videos of "online blue belts" winning their division at local and regional tournaments. Carlos selling belts out of a magazine was shameful, what Rener and Ryron did was drag BJJ learning in to the 21st century. Look at Gracie Barra and their online curriculum, they were just shitting on what they didn't have until they could copy it. I will reiterate that Gracie U and affiliate students do just fine at local and regional tournaments, especially considering they don't spend an entire class period drilling a 3 point transition.

To your final point, I respect what Rener has built as well. He's got infectious enthusiasm, high energy, very good pedagogical skills and an ability to simplify very complex concepts for mass presentation. His father was similar. All I'm saying is that to say someone is the greatest in the world or ever requires extraordinary proof and so far, most of what you've said is a lot of people go to him because he's a good self promoter. In the business of martial arts, that's a victory in and of itself, but if it's at the expense of what most of the community considers a vital attribute, it equals simply being great, not the greatest.
no worries, it's productive. It puts me in an awkward position when I have to defend Rener's reputation and "greatness" - because it's a relative measure. VERY relative. He's the greatest because no one else is even trying. He's not a good self-promoter, he's kind of basic. Everyone else just sucks that bad.

But if you leave Marcelo Garcia and Pedro Sauer out of your list of "greatest instructors" and include Lloyd Irvin, your definition of greatness is not aligned with mine.
 

kneeblock

Drapetomaniac
Apr 18, 2015
11,659
21,533
I don't think you understand the lawsuit, what predicated it, and the outcome if you think that Rorion initiated it by trademarking the name "Gracie". Literally, if he had a lawyer who could look up Anderson v Anderson he would have taken a completely different legal strategy. But he didn't initiate the situation, and bringing up what are 'old wounds' of Gracie Academy when Ryron/Rener were adolescents seems misplaced. I'm attributing their success as a relative measure, not as an absolute. Simply put, they started on 3rd with bases loaded and nobody out with an 0-2 count and STOLE HOME. Meanwhile, Galvao is getting getting to first when Keith Mooreland baubles a routine grounder and you're telling me about his greatness has a ball player... I'm still not sure why competition success at one specific level is so heavily weighted as to make up for everything else.




that reads like a lot of sour grapes, and I love training at Humaita. But where are the MMA fighters that Royler trained? or half the people on your list? People pay a helluva lot more money to see Brian Ortega fight than they do all the other "elite" tournaments pay out in a year. IBJJ will pay a max of $34k if you win worlds Gi/NoGi and collect all the bonuses. When people fight for real money, they train with Rener. It's a 15m drive from Rener's place to Black House. You don't give Rener credit for training ADCC champions, but I know Werdum and others have trained with the brothers to prepare for ADCC. If guys at that level are seeking out Rener to up their game, isn't he performing at the same level as Royler or Lloyd Irvin?



Again, Gracie Academy has been teaching a class for blind and disabled kids for 15 years. They teach special needs classes AND do all the other stuff. My point is that none of those other "greatest instructors" have a kids program on par with Bullyproof. They don't teach Civic Responsibility as part of the curriculum, but they teach Butterfly Sweeps to 8 yo's. It's not simply about the breadth of impact, it's about the depth. The name Bullyproof is "recent", and demonstrates a level of business acumen that other instructors don't possess, but the program has been structured that way by Rener/Ryron since early 2000s. And as much as I love the name "Rapesafe" and the comedy gold of asking Rorion about that name, it is not in the same discussion as Women Empowered - especially since Eve took over the program and revamped it with Victoria. Twice.

having a "me too" solution is not an indicator of greatness in an instructor. Rener was the pathfinder, and now that the way has been cleared you think every should get equal credit for 'having one'. That doesn't make sense.



the ability of affiliates to replicate the experience of learning from the GOAT.



That never happened. Literally, I can post videos of "online blue belts" winning their division at local and regional tournaments. Carlos selling belts out of a magazine was shameful, what Rener and Ryron did was drag BJJ learning in to the 21st century. Look at Gracie Barra and their online curriculum, they were just shitting on what they didn't have until they could copy it. I will reiterate that Gracie U and affiliate students do just fine at local and regional tournaments, especially considering they don't spend an entire class period drilling a 3 point transition.



no worries, it's productive. It puts me in an awkward position when I have to defend Rener's reputation and "greatness" - because it's a relative measure. VERY relative. He's the greatest because no one else is even trying. He's not a good self-promoter, he's kind of basic. Everyone else just sucks that bad.

But if you leave Marcelo Garcia and Pedro Sauer out of your list of "greatest instructors" and include Lloyd Irvin, your definition of greatness is not aligned with mine.
Sorry, I haven't gotten to reply to this because I'm very busy this past week, but just a couple quick things:

1) I'm not sure what the technical points of the lawsuit have to do with why I brought it up, which was to demonstrate the relative strength of the Gracie Academy TM vs other gyms and the resources, marketing and student base that accompany it.

2) As I said a few times, competition success of students has always been an important aspect of BJJ. This is especially true in Brazil before it came to the US and took on its current hyper commodified form. The mundials and the many events that preceded them were a way to validate what the family was doing internally. Carlson of course was really the architect of this ethic and elevated it instead of his father's weird cultlike mysticism or his uncle's catering to the Brazilian elite, including officials in the dictatorship. This also allowed the non-Gracie lineages of jiu jitsu and other grappling arts in Brazil to demonstrate what their instruction was doing under the open competition mindset the art was founded on. After all, the "Gracie challenge" was built on that public competition aspect and of course Maeda's own judo was a competitive art. To pretend the BJJ was ever only about self defense is a mistepresentation. That rebranding even in Brazil was largely only a response to popular sales tactics for martial arts and reactions to a lot of the violence in Brazilian society. When Carlson and also Rolls inaugurated competition, it was to demonstrate the nuance the sport had evolved and restore what had been Carlson's own claim to fame, namely as a competitor.

3) When you mention giving credit to Rener, it's again all for things having to do with his elite status, which he was literally born into. You talk about how much people are willing to pay him and how much people pay to see a particular fighter. You also mention high profile names who dropped in, which is obviously not the same as having been their primary instructor. Obviously Rener is a good enough instructor that he has great insights to offer people, but again, that doesn't make someone the best. It just makes them a useful coach. No other sport would call someone the best coach because a high level athlete dropped in with them for a camp or some side training. In MMA alone, the bar for what we'd consider the greatest striking coach remains incredibly high. We have to have a standard that we can apply relatively easily.

4) You mention the Gracies programs for the disabled, which I'll admit I wasn't aware of, but Liborio has obviously made this a core element of his practice owing to his own daughter's condition. As far as Bullyproof, you mention "civic responsibility," but by what credentials does the Gracie Academy teach such a thing? It's a fairly non-controversial idea in martial arts to include some areas of "self discipline" or "respect" or say it enhances self confidence, but most studies of martial arts programs show they actually have little to no discernible impact on increasing pro-social behaviors and can in some cases have the opposite effect. I worked in youth development for 16 years and can tell you that none of the empirically proven cornerstones of positive youth development are part of the Bullyproof curriculum. I had the curriculum and video resources at the time and even taught my own free BJJ classes to low income kids. I can tell you, the Bullyproof stuff is incredibly useful and it makes teaching kids so much easier because it's very systematized and easy go use. But many of its assumptions about even what "bullying" is are half baked and flimsy. It's the BJJ equivalent of DARE. I personally found the Play as the Way curriculum to be much more effective, though it came from a relatively unheralded instructor.

5) Regarding the idea that online blue belt failures "never happened" is ahistorical. I wish I could dredge up old forum posts of people who got these belts and posted their own experiences going go academies and getting embarrassed or other posts by people who ran into these people at tournaments or during gym interactions because they were plentiful enough. I'm sure there are a few in the Bullshido archives and I know there are some on Sherdog and the old Atama forum on mma.tv. Here's at least one such weird example on video.

View: https://youtu.be/72qnWgGzGJw


I don't mean to denigrate online learning. I went years personally in the 90s and early 2000s without instructors around me and watched a lot of videos to stay up on what was happening, which at least allowed me to not completely embarrass myself when showing up to gyms, but generally I sucked. I was fortunate to start with direct instruction, but the gap between me and people who were training routinely was quickly evident just in terms of timing and mechanics. There's nothing wrong with dragging instruction into the 21st century, but assessment was obviously controversial, which is why, following family pressure, they retreated from much of the practice at least somewhat.

6) Regarding your last point, I thought about including Marcelo but left him off because to me, most of his success as an instructor was only preparing people for competition and not necessarily having a well rounded program. That may have since changed, but if so I don't know it. Also, I personally know several of Marcelo's guys and most of them tended to be carbon copies of him unless they were poached from elsewhere (which happened a lot when he first arrived back in NYC from Florida). Ironically, despite being a snake, Griffiths developed a more well rounded type of academy, at least in the NY area. Pedro Sauer was of course voted best instructor in the US multiple times and I should've included him, but forgot. My list wasn't meant to be comprehensive, but was mostly people who came to mind who had developed most of the same components Rener had, albeit not with the same commercial success in some cases, but also seemed to still be capable of producing high level competitors. This is proof that it's possible to do so and more evidence that lacking that achievement is a fairly glaring gap in making a claim to being the greatest of all time.

Just as you feel in an awkward position defending Rener, I feel the same criticizing him. I think he's great generally, but I think it's important we demystify things in BJJ, especially as an art built on concrete results. We can't overlook the class dynamics of the art either. The Gracies engaged in a lot of myth peddling since they came to this country and most of it has since been corrected. Because of that mythology, it's easy to fall prey to the temptation to bestore lofty honorifics on Rorion's kids in particular, especially if you've encountered them personally and see how affable and almost magical they can come across. It's important not to drink the watermelon juice.
 

Filthy

Bad. Like Jesse James
Jun 28, 2016
21,261
25,124
Sorry, I haven't gotten to reply to this because I'm very busy this past week, but just a couple quick things:

1) I'm not sure what the technical points of the lawsuit have to do with why I brought it up, which was to demonstrate the relative strength of the Gracie Academy TM vs other gyms and the resources, marketing and student base that accompany it.

2) As I said a few times, competition success of students has always been an important aspect of BJJ. This is especially true in Brazil before it came to the US and took on its current hyper commodified form. The mundials and the many events that preceded them were a way to validate what the family was doing internally. Carlson of course was really the architect of this ethic and elevated it instead of his father's weird cultlike mysticism or his uncle's catering to the Brazilian elite, including officials in the dictatorship. This also allowed the non-Gracie lineages of jiu jitsu and other grappling arts in Brazil to demonstrate what their instruction was doing under the open competition mindset the art was founded on. After all, the "Gracie challenge" was built on that public competition aspect and of course Maeda's own judo was a competitive art. To pretend the BJJ was ever only about self defense is a mistepresentation. That rebranding even in Brazil was largely only a response to popular sales tactics for martial arts and reactions to a lot of the violence in Brazilian society. When Carlson and also Rolls inaugurated competition, it was to demonstrate the nuance the sport had evolved and restore what had been Carlson's own claim to fame, namely as a competitor.

3) When you mention giving credit to Rener, it's again all for things having to do with his elite status, which he was literally born into. You talk about how much people are willing to pay him and how much people pay to see a particular fighter. You also mention high profile names who dropped in, which is obviously not the same as having been their primary instructor. Obviously Rener is a good enough instructor that he has great insights to offer people, but again, that doesn't make someone the best. It just makes them a useful coach. No other sport would call someone the best coach because a high level athlete dropped in with them for a camp or some side training. In MMA alone, the bar for what we'd consider the greatest striking coach remains incredibly high. We have to have a standard that we can apply relatively easily.

4) You mention the Gracies programs for the disabled, which I'll admit I wasn't aware of, but Liborio has obviously made this a core element of his practice owing to his own daughter's condition. As far as Bullyproof, you mention "civic responsibility," but by what credentials does the Gracie Academy teach such a thing? It's a fairly non-controversial idea in martial arts to include some areas of "self discipline" or "respect" or say it enhances self confidence, but most studies of martial arts programs show they actually have little to no discernible impact on increasing pro-social behaviors and can in some cases have the opposite effect. I worked in youth development for 16 years and can tell you that none of the empirically proven cornerstones of positive youth development are part of the Bullyproof curriculum. I had the curriculum and video resources at the time and even taught my own free BJJ classes to low income kids. I can tell you, the Bullyproof stuff is incredibly useful and it makes teaching kids so much easier because it's very systematized and easy go use. But many of its assumptions about even what "bullying" is are half baked and flimsy. It's the BJJ equivalent of DARE. I personally found the Play as the Way curriculum to be much more effective, though it came from a relatively unheralded instructor.

5) Regarding the idea that online blue belt failures "never happened" is ahistorical. I wish I could dredge up old forum posts of people who got these belts and posted their own experiences going go academies and getting embarrassed or other posts by people who ran into these people at tournaments or during gym interactions because they were plentiful enough. I'm sure there are a few in the Bullshido archives and I know there are some on Sherdog and the old Atama forum on mma.tv. Here's at least one such weird example on video.

View: https://youtu.be/72qnWgGzGJw


I don't mean to denigrate online learning. I went years personally in the 90s and early 2000s without instructors around me and watched a lot of videos to stay up on what was happening, which at least allowed me to not completely embarrass myself when showing up to gyms, but generally I sucked. I was fortunate to start with direct instruction, but the gap between me and people who were training routinely was quickly evident just in terms of timing and mechanics. There's nothing wrong with dragging instruction into the 21st century, but assessment was obviously controversial, which is why, following family pressure, they retreated from much of the practice at least somewhat.

6) Regarding your last point, I thought about including Marcelo but left him off because to me, most of his success as an instructor was only preparing people for competition and not necessarily having a well rounded program. That may have since changed, but if so I don't know it. Also, I personally know several of Marcelo's guys and most of them tended to be carbon copies of him unless they were poached from elsewhere (which happened a lot when he first arrived back in NYC from Florida). Ironically, despite being a snake, Griffiths developed a more well rounded type of academy, at least in the NY area. Pedro Sauer was of course voted best instructor in the US multiple times and I should've included him, but forgot. My list wasn't meant to be comprehensive, but was mostly people who came to mind who had developed most of the same components Rener had, albeit not with the same commercial success in some cases, but also seemed to still be capable of producing high level competitors. This is proof that it's possible to do so and more evidence that lacking that achievement is a fairly glaring gap in making a claim to being the greatest of all time.

Just as you feel in an awkward position defending Rener, I feel the same criticizing him. I think he's great generally, but I think it's important we demystify things in BJJ, especially as an art built on concrete results. We can't overlook the class dynamics of the art either. The Gracies engaged in a lot of myth peddling since they came to this country and most of it has since been corrected. Because of that mythology, it's easy to fall prey to the temptation to bestore lofty honorifics on Rorion's kids in particular, especially if you've encountered them personally and see how affable and almost magical they can come across. It's important not to drink the watermelon juice.
I appreciate you taking the time, it's good to talk to someone with a different perspective and the same background. And I appreciate you making the bullet points, so I'll follow form.

1) the lawsuit is wildly mis-represented in the popular mythos. Go read any Barra telling of that part of the history of BJJ...Carley is the White Knight who sued to stop Evil Rorion from using the legal system to hoard all the BJJ students for himself. The lawsuit was actually a frivolous money-grab by Carley. He had stolen the logo, Rorion demanded Carley respect the TM his father had given Rorion or pay to use it, so Carley sued because he thought he could bankrupt Rorion and get a piece of UFC. Rorion prevailed on everything in the lawsuit except the TM of "Gracie Jui-Jitsu" - which should have never been granted, or even applied for - and Carley had to pay Rorion $725k. And Carley appealed that verdict all the way to the 9th Circuit (lost on everything again).

But the Carlson lineage keeps posting BS narratives and revisionist history to try and make Carley less of an opportunistic asshole than Rorion (they're about equal). The brand isn't strong because Rorion used the law to squash competition, it's a valuable brand because it's a superior product for a large portion of the available consumers. Rorion didn't try to harm anyone's business, but he's not as good at PR as IBJJF.

2) Gracie University students have competition success. Lots of students that train with Rener/Ryron compete on the local and regional level, and they do quite well. And I think you hit the nail on the head as to why the Carlson lineage puts so much emphasis on "sport" - because Carlson was really good at it and could market himself as an authority. But historically, the Gracie Challenge was a marketing tool that hinged on the Gracie's ability to fight anyone, any time, with no rules and be victorious. That's why Rickson put down his cereal bowl and fought Duarte on the beach and why he got on his moped and rode down to Rorion's place to throw a beating on Yoji. It was never about sport, or crowds, or points, or belts and medals. It was about putting aside all the excuses and fighting like your life depended on it. Of course the cultural backlash against that "street tough" mentality and associated gang violence meant that there was an opening for a structured sport to emerge, and the sport is amazing. But it's not a sport first, it's a fight for survival.

3) I give credit to Rener (and Ryron) for being born in to elite status and yet being innovators and disruptors. If it was up to Rorion, each of his sons would have opened an affiliate Academy, and their sons would have opened affiliates, and so on. But they did something amazing. They took the teaching style they were taught, and figured out how to teach that instead. Then they figured out how they could use the reach of technology to deliver not only the instruction on how to learn BJJ, but instruction on how to teach BJJ. I've trained at a bunch of 10P schools, they're all different vibes. Same thing for IMPACT, Humaita, and Gracie Barra - although Barra has dramatically changed their model and they were becoming much more standardized when I stopped travelling a lot (2017-ish). No bad vibes, no bad people...but every class and instructor are different. Rener/Ryron have (IMAO) the best teaching method, and I'll back it up by saying that they did their research and spent many years aligning the way they teach with the prevailing knowledge in 'How to Teach'. But let's also acknowledge that Rener possesses the knowledge and competitive record to follow Carlson's well-worn path just like all the people you hold up as greater.

4) Rener and Ryron don't have any disabled children. Isn't it more self-less and show more humanity to serve a need that doesn't impact you directly? I hope you get I'm not casting shade at Lobrio, but the program that Rener/Ryron have built for kids is unparalleled. The trophy case at their school doesn't have medals, it has report cards. letters from teachers. civic commendations. things like that. They could have easily applied their teaching to advanced butterfly sweeps for 8 yos, but instead the kids in their program spend time outside class becoming better citizens - not better guard passers. The typical martial arts program works from the premise that by learning the martial art you learn humility, selflessness, empathy, etc. The Bullyproof program takes the opposite tack - if they spend the time teaching Responsibility, Health, Respect, Citizenship, Manners, and Caring the kid will get good enough at submission wrestling just by showing up and doing the drills. That's why Rener has the greatest kids program. :)

5) you're confusing volume for relevance. I'm not going to waste effort debating what "someone on the internet said". People say all kinds of true and untrue things that serve their objectives. And I personally had people talk shit about my BJJ, but only when they had already talked shit about my BJJ before they met me. No one who's just rolled with me ever said anything beyond my coach was a sandbagging me. :) I don't know the guy who posted. I know guys like Kris Ratte or Jeff Greekas. Those guys are online-only students who learned the way I did with my friends - by watching the videos and drilling the techniques. So here's some videos of people who I know for a fact only learned through the online curriculum and doing some open mats at local schools.

online-only student who went up a weight class at a regional NAGA, took silver because he didn't know to fight the half-ass hip bump at the end.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5OyeXCwfZs


These two guys are both online-only students, they went down an age bracket and closed out the division. It's not fantastic, but it's blue belt level BJJ.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSQXBmzS1Yk



I've personally trained all over the world, and I've never felt out of my league. But the notion that there was some groundswell of dissatisfied online students, and that's what drove change is ridiculous. Here's the 'news' from that time:
What happened was that GU did an audit of some very prolific instructors and their affiliates, and found that a whole shitload of them were teaching Combative and telling their students to sign up for GU as individuals, thereby reaping the benefits of the instruction without having to pay GU affiliate fees or go through the process of getting certified in Rener/Ryron's teaching methods. Some of those affiliate owners were the same ones saying that BJJ couldn't be taught online. Awkward, to say the least.So they approached those affiliate owners with the situation, and they found resolution. The only change to the GU program was the condition that blue belts be awarded only after a minimum learning time (which was already in effect but not in writing) and after sparring with an instructor. That's it. That's the only thing that changed - go spar with an instructor for 6 minutes and then you can have your blue belt. But you'll notice that right about that time is when GB started their GB-Online in earnest. :)

6) I often say that they're might be someone in BJJ who's as good of a person as Marcelo or Pedro, but there can't possibly be anyone better. :) And as much as Rorion tries to push a narrative, he's nowhere as good at it as Carlson. ALL the Gracies have been involved in A LOT of myth-peddling, that is for certain. But I think you mis-attribute Rener's success to his birthright when the reality is that he's bucked the path set forth by his birthright at every turn, and found success because he's created a superior product with superior instruction for a much larger portion of the population. The business model that ATOS and TLI follow is known. You burn through a lot of students getting that core competition team. The purpose of the competition school is to serve the school and generate revenue for the owner. Any benefit to the community is ancillary. But the schools that Rener has out there aren't built around competition success, they're built around community integration and sustaining the business as critical to the community. Affiliate owners from Checkmat aren't having that conversation Leo and Rico, but all CTC owners are having it with Rener and Ryron. I think Rener has more than enough competitive championships for himself and his students to show that he can follow that model, a model built on the name-recognition of the champion. If we acknowledge Rener's unique name-appeal and his obvious skill at competing and teaching, why should we think that it's anything more than a difference in business model? And I want to point out one more time that you included an admitted attempted-rapist and a guy who fixed a match at ADCC (to fuck Marcelo) as "greatest" instructors based simply on the competitive record of their team. That's a big reason why I think competitive record means very little for the greatness of the instructor.

FWIW - I don't think many folks who've been around BJJ would confuse me someone who drinks the watermelon juice. I find that aspect of their business, the "veneration of the master", as the repugnant part. But everybody in every martial art does it...I'm just not the target demographic.
 
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