INTERVIEWS — 01 December 2011
Interview: Carlson Gracie: “Living Legend”

Classic Carlson Gracie interview: “Living Legend”

From O’Tatame magazine (Brazil)
Translated by Tatiana Andres (Asst. to Carlson Gracie)

This interview took place soon after UFC 15, at the end of 1997.

______________________________________________________________

Tatiana:
Who was the best in Jiu-Jitsu: Rolls or Rickson?
Carlson Gracie:
Of course it was Rolls. He was a lot more technical, a phenomenon.
Tatiana:
And in Vale-Tudo? Who is the best fighter that you’ve seen?
Carlson Gracie:
Until now, it’s Vitor Belfort. There are a lot of good ones, but Vitor is the best.
Tatiana:
Liborio has the fame of being the best Jiu-Jitsu fighter from your team. Everyone says that he’s a finisher. Do you think he would beat Rickson in a sport Jiu-Jitsu fight?
Carlson Gracie:
For sure he would win. I have no doubt.
Tatiana:
Why doesn’t he fight Vale-Tudo?
Carlson Gracie:
Because he’s sponsored by Banco do Brasil (one of the largest Brazilian banks) and they don’t agree with Vale-Tudo, but it’s being discussed. In Vale-Tudo, he’s a phenomenon. I guarantee.
Tatiana:
In your academy, there are fighters with a very high level of technique, for example: Murilo, Ze Mario, Crezio, Amaury, De La Riva, etc. Until not long ago, Wallid was the Gmost well known. Was he really the best fighter from your team, or was his fame more of a self-promotion?
Carlson Gracie:
Wallid is one of the good fighters that I have, but was never the best. There are a lot of people ahead of him.
Tatiana:
Wasn’t there any jealousy from the fighters that were mentioned in the previous question towards Wallid?
Carlson Gracie:
No. Even though he did a lot of self-promotion, there wasn’t any jealousy of that kind. In fact, the marketing of Wallid helped promote the other fighters from the academy also. Then it ended up being good for everyone.
Tatiana:
Do you think Amaury would’ve had a better performance in the UFC, had he been trained by you? What do you think of him as a Vale-Tudo fighter and how is the relationship between the two of you?
Carlson Gracie:
Look, the relationship between us is great. I don’t know what happened with him in that Vale-Tudo in the U.S. He was dead, with no physical conditioning, with no technical conditioning. If I had been his trainer, the way he had been performing, I wouldn’t of let him fight. There he would lose to anyone. Even though I think he’s a great Vale-Tudo fighter.
Tatiana:
What can you tell us about names like Marco Ruas & Hugo Duarte?
Carlson Gracie:
They are good fighters, but are not among the top. Proof of that is that they don’t want to fight my fighters.
Tatiana:
How is the relationship with your family? What do you think of the accusations that Reylson made against you?
Carlson Gracie:
Reylson is mentally retarded, crazy, and should be in a mental hospital. I have no answers for a famigerado (asshole/troublemaker). About the rest of the family, everything is fine right now. Even though there’s little things that I don’t agree with. But in the ring, I don’t care. My Jiu-Jitsu is completely different from theirs, my technique has nothing to do with “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu”. I AM CARLSON GRACIE and that’s the way it is in the ring. Who ever shows up on the way in, is going to have to fight against my fighters.
Tatiana:
How was your beginning in the U.S.? How is your life there nowadays? Has it been worth it for you in all aspects, including financial?
Carlson Gracie:
Look, in the beginning, it was a disaster. I was working with an asshole named Frederico La Penda. This guy was the biggest swindler in L.A. I don’t know how a man like that can promote Vale-Tudo events here in Brazil. So because of that, I was doing very badly in the beginning. Nowadays, even though I don’t have my own academy, my situation is very good. Now in November, I’m going to open a big academy. I’m expanding Jiu-Jitsu to the whole world. I have fighters in big events. For me it’s great.
Tatiana:
How did you meet Al Stankie, and how did he start training Vitor for boxing?
Carlson Gracie:
One day Vitor went to train at the L.A. Boxing club (one of the biggest in L.A.). Al Stankie saw the training and went to talk to him and told him that he had huge potential and would like to start training him. That was it.
Tatiana:
What do you see in the future for Vitor?
Carlson Gracie:
Well, in Vale-Tudo, he’s already at the top. In boxing, according to Al Stankie, he has a big future ahead.
Tatiana:
What do you think of him leaving the Vale-Tudo and staying only with boxing?
Carlson Gracie:
This doesn’t exist, it’s only gossip from the opposition. He’s going to fight in both.
Tatiana:
You wouldn’t let him leave Vale-Tudo now?
Carlson Gracie:
Who am I to tell him not to fight. I would be against it, but if he wanted to leave, what can I do? But I think not, he loves Vale-Tudo, it was Vale-Tudo that gave him the fame. I think that he can do both at the same time perfectly.
Tatiana:
You always complained about the referees in Jiu-Jitsu competitions. How do you see this problem nowadays? Give some examples of doubted results for a clear explanation.
Carlson Gracie:
I’ve seen the biggest, most absurd referees here in Brazil. There was a fight with Royler against Joao Roque in the National championship of ’94. It was incredible what they did with the boy. Have you seen a fighter win from a 5-0 deficit and lose from a 4-0 advantage because of the referee. Joao Roque had five points clearly on Royler, (I have the video of the fight to prove it) and the referee, Redley, didn’t give it to him. And the boy without going anywhere was incredibly punished with the loss of four points by Redley. Actually, in the same fight, even if there weren’t any points, Joao Roque would’ve won. The tape doesn’t let me lie. There is this guy named “Big Head”, he’s the biggest rat in refereeing, I don’t know how he can go home and look at his wife and kids. He’s a rat. There’s people that commit errors because they don’t know, but there’s also people that commit errors on purpose. Another example: Royler was a referee of a fight with one of my students in the Pan-American games, it was between Anderson and Claudio Moreno in the finals. (before another final in the same competition, Royler told me, “look Carlson, now I want to see your student against mine”) His student had finished five fights and was going to the finals against Daniel Christoph, then I said, “Is you student going to fight that blond guy there? Man that guy would even beat you. Stop talking shit, if your student doesn’t tap, it doesn’t count.” Then after two or three minutes, Daniel had dominated the fight and finished his opponent. Then I had my moment to laugh. Just after that Carlinhos called Royler to referee Anderson’s fight. What he did was too much; it was truly a crime. Anderson had seven points, and Claudio Moreno had only two. Royler raised Claudio’s hand. He knew he cheated. It was 7-2 for Anderson. I think that Royler was told to do so. I think Carlinhos told him, that if Anderson won that fight, my academy would have taken the title.
Tatiana:
Speaking of that, how is your relationship with the Federation?
Carlson Gracie:
I don’t have a relationship with them. I was in the world competition as a protest and now my academy will not participate any more. Not only do you pay a lot for the registration, (basically equal to a month’s minimum wage salary) but also you get cheated. We are making our own federation now, were going to make better competitions where the athletes will basically pay nothing, because that’s the way it should be. It’s absurd; the fighter makes the show and still has to pay to be involved. All this money goes in the president of the Federations’ pocket.
TTatiana:back to normal”.
Carlao
“For me, Carlao won that fight, I think that he didn’t do everything that he was doing when training. He eats all day long, not even giving his body a half-hour rest to regenerate. It can only be that, because the training was perfect.”

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I am a Purple Belt and Assistant Instructor for Draculino at Gracie Barra Texas. I also shoot a lot of videos and created a Youtube channel for Gracie Barra Texas, which got me the nick name "Paparazzi" due to my running around with cameras all the time.

(5) Readers Comments

  1. do you have the audio to this?

  2. Hi ,
    I Love BJJ , And I live In Iran(Persian-Asia),In Iran IsNOt BJJ CLUB ,
    Where is BJJ club in Iran ?
    I Training bjj whit dvd SIX Years OLD , and MY Rank is black belt in JUDO ,
    Can I Give BJJ Certificate ?

    ((BJJ IS MY LIFE))

    • BJJ is very different from Judo ne waza. Goals are very different in strategy as it’s for modern fighting while ne waza in judo is more similar to jujutsu whom strategies revolve around opponents in a battlefield whom are also armored. BJJ is also a living martial art. New techniques are created very often making it even more different. I have no doubt however with your experience you will get a black belt very quickly in BJJ. No certificates exist. Getting your belt awarded to you by someone with a big name in jiu jitsu gives your skills a great lineage and with it credibility. Come to Los Angeles. Many greats open up gyms here ,also, there is a very large persian/iranian community in Los Angeles. You will never be homesick, you will have many people to speak farsi with and restaurants that serve persian food.

    • hi.you can come to train with us here in tel aviv israel.you just have to work for us(MOSSAD)

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