What is the real legacy of Gracie vs. Kimura in today's UFC?

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by ChickenBrother, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. ChickenBrother

    ChickenBrother JCPENNEY $3.98 BELT

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    This is not a hate thread. I've trained both Judo and BJJ and have nothing but respect for both men and their individual accomplishments, which are well documented.





    It's always bothered me that the Gracies appropriated this fight as BJJ propaganda and claim it as a "moral victory" for Helio. However, the weight difference does not appear even CLOSE to 80 lbs as Rener claims, and Kimura was the Japanese JUDO champ, not the Jiu Jitsu champ as he also claims.

    The reality is that Helio, the openweight BJJ champ, called out a bigger guy from Judo and then got his ass kicked, badly and everywhere, at his own game, in his own country and under his own special rules.

    It would be like BJ/GSP 2, except BJ demanding special rules, having the fight in Hawaii and then getting son'ed and having his arm broken, then claiming "moral victory."

    Why haven't Judo guys showcased this fight as evidence of their superiority? I realize that Judo and JJ used to be the same, but by the time this fight took place, they were distinctively different and Judo was on its way to prioritizing takedowns over groundwork, as per current competition rules.

    I'd also note that the Judo guys I've trained with have no idea WTF a "kimura" armlock is (unless they follow MMA/BJJ). It's called Ude garami.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  2. arrmike

    arrmike Brown Belt

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    At least they don't pretend it never happened.
     
  3. ChickenBrother

    ChickenBrother JCPENNEY $3.98 BELT

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    No they don't and they renamed the submission after Kimura, which is cool, but the excuse making and painting Helio as some tragic hero (when in fact he called out Kimura, made him come to Brazil and then brought a coffin to the stadium) is just sad.

    The fact is that when this fight took place, a Judo guy was better at BJJ (a subset of his own style) than the actual BJJ champ.
     
  4. Enders

    Enders Green Belt

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    It's the Gracies honoring their grand dad for taking on the best in the world and not giving up. I have no problem with that. Helio did effectively change the entire world of martial arts, so i don't think nitpicking this one fight changes much one way or the other.

    Analyzing the fight, he did just get his ass kicked. I don;t think the styles had much to do about that though. Even if their disciplines were switched, Kimura would still kick his as.
     
  5. arrmike

    arrmike Brown Belt

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    Royce looked more competitive vs Hughes...
     
  6. Enders

    Enders Green Belt

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    Not much of a BJJ talent pool back then to expect the BJJ champ to be much competition. It's no knock on BJJ, it was just an extremely young art.

    Take the BJJ champ of today vs the Judo champ and i'd venture he'd do better, only because of an increased talent pool.
     
  7. ChickenBrother

    ChickenBrother JCPENNEY $3.98 BELT

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    Yes and that's cool - like I said, nothing but respect for both guys. But should be noted that BJJ was touting itself as the best single style for overall combat (the Gracie Challenge), not just as a sport (as Judo has been positioned since before this fight).

    Helio's legacy led to Rorion's sponsorship of UFC 1 and commercializing MMA as it is today. Meanwhile, pure Judo guys have historically distanced themselves from MMA, and guys like Kimura and Maeda fighting in early MMA matches usually did so against the will of the Kodokan.

    I'm just pointing out that BJJ and Gracies tend to get all the credit for planting the roots of MMA, but Judo had a big unsung role in it as well (as did catch-wrestling, which had cross-style matches with Judo going back well before this fight).
     
  8. ChickenBrother

    ChickenBrother JCPENNEY $3.98 BELT

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    They're both mature and developed sports today, but differences would be mainly due to different emphasis. Judo competition even more strongly favors takedowns vs groundwork than it did then. And BJJ has always emphasized newaza on the ground.

    Because of this, I'd say that new Judo black belts I've trained with are roughly comparable to BJJ blue belts, MAYBE purple belts on the ground. Depends on the gym though, and of course senior belt Judo guys are beasts on takedown offense and defense.
     
  9. Enders

    Enders Green Belt

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    Considering Judo was anti mma as you note, it makes sense that they don't get a lot of credit for the creation of mma.

    The gracies creation of the UFC is a feat nothing short of legendary. They did what 80s movies dreamed about, and now it's a worldwide sport.
     
  10. ChickenBrother

    ChickenBrother JCPENNEY $3.98 BELT

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    But my point is that it SHOULD. Maeda, who taught the Gracies their art, was a JUDO guy. And despite the official position of Judo's governing bodies, doesn't change the fact that BJJ came from Judo.

    And to further drive home the point, in 1951, one generation removed from BJJ becoming its own style, the best Judo guy was still better at BJJ than the actual BJJ champ.

    Today's BJJ is without doubt the premier ground style for MMA, but its practitioners are really specialists at old school Judo newaza (ground fighting). In today's Judo ruleset, these techniques have just taken a backseat to takedown emphasis in competition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015

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