Gracie "Barra" USA Mayhem

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by spanklock, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. spanklock

    spanklock Orange Belt

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    Usually I'm not into reposting stuff from other forums but this shit just seems so bizarre I had to share it. Anyone got the scoop on this crap?




    From: Steamfitter
    Date: 11/25/05 09:44 PM
    Member Since: 01/01/2001
    28394 Total Posts Ignore User


    Lu comes across as a complete scumbag in this article.
    from graciefighter.com.

    Gracie Barra founder, Carlos Gracie and his top instructor, Marcio Feitosa, have both been unceremoniously released from their positions at the Gracie Barra school in Orange County, California. Apparently there was a rift between Carlos Gracie and the legal owner of the academy, James Lu.

    James is a long time student of Rigan Machado and co-founder of the company BJJTAPES.com. BJJTAPES regularly films and sells the Brazilian "Mundials" and instructionals from various BJJ experts, with a heavy emphasis on the Gracie Barra athletes. Lu worked closely with Carlos and shortly afterwards struck some profitable deals with the legendary instructor. It is rumored that in these deals that Rigan Machado was squeezed out of the company's profits and decision making.

    Lu would later move Carlos and Feitosa to the U.S. with the promise of a new school and entry into the lucrative American market. After some reported money indescrepancies the relationship soured, with Lu then changing the locks to the school. Carlos' students were left in limbo since their contracts were with the school and not the instructors. The contracts however later vanished and the students were free to leave. Lu, in an attempt to salvage the school contacted Rigan Machado with an offer for Rigan to take over the school. We spoke with Rigan about the situation.

    "James called me with a proposal while I was away doing seminars. I told him we'd talk when I got back. He then went to my school and enlisted a couple of my blackbelts to teach at his school, telling them I had approved the plan. When I arrived I found out about the announcement of my taking over the school, the photo of myself on the GRACIEBARRAUSA.com website and that Lu had literature printed out stating I would be teaching there. I contacted my attorney and asked him to let James know to desist from using my name or likeness immediately."

    James Lu responded to GRACIEFIGHTER.com by stating: "It was actually more of a mutual agreement to go our separate ways. I wished them good luck. My school was later broken into with someone crow-barring the front door and then stealing the student files and some of the gis. I called the police and there is an investigation pending. I later heard that they (Carlos and Feitosa) are planning on opening a school just a couple blocks away and there would be legal ramifications if this does happen. My original wish was to just let sleeping dogs lie."
     
  2. The Sickness

    The Sickness Ichizoku

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    All I'm gonna say is this. Boycott BJJtapes
     
  3. ClubberLange

    ClubberLange Green Belt

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    Tripping. I just read that post on the underground literally just then.
    That Lu dude sounds a bit dodgy, but to be fair I don't know the details.
    I was just curious how there can be legal ramifications if Carlos opens a school around the corner?
    I don't understand. Wouldn't it be like a take-away, or video store moving close to a similar store and trying to drive them out of bussiness?
    Good luck competing with Carlos Gracie for students. LOL
     
  4. spanklock

    spanklock Orange Belt

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    There may have been what is referred to as a "no compete" clause in their contracts. This is not uncommon in the businesses world when a business is bought by another business or when a top manager, executive, or other key personnel leaves.

    I like the boycotting idea as well. On principle only though since I have no affiliation or interest in Barra other than this wild ass shit.
     
  5. Green Whale

    Green Whale Green Belt

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    There is a lengthy thread about this on www.jjgear.com in their forum. Lots of guys from California post there so there is a lot to read for anybody interested in the gossip. lol

    Bottom line, I think Feitosa and Carlinhos will suceed no matter where they open their school, it's just too bad that this had to happen and now thousands of us on the net know about it without knowing the whole story.

    www.greenwhaleproductions.com
     
  6. Sherdog_Mutt

    Sherdog_Mutt Purple Belt

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    This was already discussed here:

    http://www.sherdog.net/forums/showthread.php?t=309767

    So much drama. It's sad to see the Orange County BJJ community like this.

    It seems like Carlinhos and Marcio have now recruited away one of Cleber's guys, Mike Buckle, into the fold. Mike's school is now listed as Gracie Barra Costa Mesa. Talk about politics and intrigue.

    For drama-less BJJ with no politics, just pure training and fun in the OC, come check out Tinguinha's.
     
  7. DreamKeella

    DreamKeella Orange Belt

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    wow, isn't carlos's name on the logo?
     
  8. Sherdog_Mutt

    Sherdog_Mutt Purple Belt

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    I really hope that BJJTAPES does the right thing and let these students leave. They signed up, and are paying a premium, in order to get instruction from Carlinhos and Feitosa. It would be dishonest to hold them to their contracts like this.

    In any case, it looks like James Lu (BJJTAPES) has posted the following on JJgear in response to all the talk floating around:


    Lu worked closely with Carlos and shortly afterwards struck some
    profitable deals with the legendary instructor. It is
    rumored that in these deals that Rigan Machado was
    squeezed out of the company's profits and decision
    making.


    Not true.

    Carlos' students were left in limbo since their contracts were with the
    school and not the instructors. The contracts however
    later vanished and the students were free to leave.


    No, the students are not free to leave. They are still contractually bound to the academy. The "thiefs" thought this was a loophole to explore - wrong.


    the
    photo of myself on the GRACIEBARRAUSA.com website and
    that Lu had literature printed out stating I would be
    teaching there. I contacted my attorney and asked him
    to let James know to desist from using my name or
    likeness immediately."


    This was an unintentional mistake. No attorneys were called - I changed it the next day since Rigan was getting so much crap. Alot of the Gracies went into convulsions and I apologize.
     
  9. Sherdog_Mutt

    Sherdog_Mutt Purple Belt

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    Yes. There appears to be a lot of confusion by people not familiar with the Gracie Barra situation. Here's a brief summation of all the drama going down in south Orange County.

    Carlos is still in charge of the Gracie Barra lineage of schools throughout the world.

    The actual physical school named "Gracie Barra USA" located in Lake Forest, CA, is the physical location he was fired from. This school is actually owned by an investor James Lu, the guy who also owns www.bjjtapes.com. For some reason (lots of speculation about this), Mr. Lu decided to change the locks on the school while Carlos and Marcio Feitosa were away. He then notified them via mail that they were now fired. He also evicted them from the apartment that he had been housing them at.

    When the students came in after this, they were shocked to find all the pictures of Carlos were no longer there. Instead, there were pictures of Rigan Machado everywhere and the place was now called Rigan Machado Orange County. In fact, even the Gracie Barra USA website: www.graciebarrausa.com had pictures and the biography of Rigan Machado on it. Now it seems, that Rigan Machado is saying that he never gave Mr. Lu permission to use his name, likeness, or otherwise for this purpose and that he has contacted his attorneys to force Mr. Lu to cease and desist. The website has now been taken down. A Rigan Machado black belt was teaching classes temporarily but it looks like he's no longer there. I have no idea if the school is still open and, if so, who's teaching classes now.

    Mr. Lu is claiming that after he cut out Carlos and Marcio Feitosa, the academy was broken into. He is saying that the thiefs stole nothing of value to common thiefs (computers, dvd player, TV) and instead stole all of the students' files (contact and payment information). In addition, the thiefs stole the gis at the school. This situation is purportedly currently under investigation by the police.

    This situation is even more murky given how James Lu owns the rights to all of the Gracie Barra instructional videos (Pe de Pano and Feitosa's) out there. Additionally, it looks like Carlos and Feitosa have recruited Mike Buckles (a Cleber black belt) to leave Cleber's organization and join Gracie Barra. Mr. Buckles' academy is in Costa Mesa. The Gracie Barra website now lists a Gracie Barra Costa Mesa as an official academy. Now it seems like Feitosa and Carlos want to open up a new school just a few blocks away from the old one.
     
  10. spanklock

    spanklock Orange Belt

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    Here's what someone wrote at that link provided above. I guess its from a student stuck in a contract. This James Lu comes across as a first class shithead. I mean it's like one lie or stupid decision after another....



    BJJ tapes originally told us he would let us out of our contracts, even offering one month free to try the new instructor. Everyone wanted out. We are all loyal to Carlos & Marcio. BJJ tapes had us write our names down on a sheet of paper if we wanted out. We all did that. Now he is saying we are still under contract? Thats not what you told us to our faces. BJJ tapes you need to make this right.
     
  11. spanklock

    spanklock Orange Belt

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    Just noticed this. Interesting.
     
  12. Soz

    Soz Yellow Belt

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    Mike came on his own. We are proud to have him.
     
  13. guardpasser

    guardpasser Tudo Bem Bjj

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    drama and politics.
    it seems to pop up everywhere lately
     
  14. Jimmy Cerra

    Jimmy Cerra Amateur Fighter

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    IANAL, but aren't those clauses in contracts deemed unenforceable by law in California?
     
  15. Dr. BadAss

    Dr. BadAss Guest

    I train with James and he's a great guy. You guys should get the whole story before you start talking shit about him.
     
  16. johil d'o

    johil d'o Thought Warrior

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    No - agreements not to compete are enforceable in CA in certain limited circumstances and if properly circumscribed, including those cited above. They are common in the sales of businesses and the employment of key individuals.
     
  17. Sherdog_Mutt

    Sherdog_Mutt Purple Belt

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    Preach on counselor. That's some free legal advice to you all.
     
  18. spanklock

    spanklock Orange Belt

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    so is there an update?

    are c jr and feitosa still teaching in costa mesa? did many students follow them there?

    did the crook keep the students locked in to the contract?
    how's morale at the fake "barra?" do students still come to class? who's their new instructor?

    WHAT A FIASCO!!!
     
  19. Soz

    Soz Yellow Belt

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    Well spanklock, they didnt go to costa mesa, but they have pretty much the whole school following them. Who is the "crook"? BJJJTapes is the one who deals witht he contracts. The moral at the Real Gracie Barra is just fine!
     
  20. spanklock

    spanklock Orange Belt

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    lol ya by crook i meant bjjtapes aka the fake barra aka the guy looking to enforce all contracts. good to hear you guys and the real barra are fine...wherever you guys ended up.
     

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