Interview with Carlos Gracie Jr. 2002


Had a chance to sit down with Carlos Gracie Jr. to see where he was coming from with this new Tournament idea.Had a chance to sit down with Carlos Gracie Jr. to see where he was coming from with this new Tournament idea. It seems to be on the lines of breaking though some politics and growing the sport as an International sport instead of a club sport. Maybe this is the beginning of seeing more people cross training. The top Americans and the top Brazilians? Here are the questions you guys sent us.

OTM: What gave you the idea for this event?

Carlos Gracie Jr.: The idea is that now that the sport is grown to start an International competition. Now the idea is each country has a selection. The competitions today are clubs against clubs, because Jiu Jitsu has not grown enough in many countries. So other countries are not ready to fight against a Brazilian team. But, I think now as the US is growing it is a good time to start a new kind of competition to help further develop Jiu Jitsu in other countries. Athletes have to a goal; everyone wants to be on the American team, just like everyone in Brazil want to be on the Brazilian team. This motivates people to train and to get better.

OTM:Are there free tickets to Brazil for the winners?

CG: In the beginning I wanted to bring the Brazilians to America to fight and then the Americans to Brazil to fight. We are working on getting sponsors for this. When we ask people to sponsor this in the past it has been very difficult because companies don`t want to help one guy from a club team to travel. When you have a national team then the government helps people to travel. That is our idea, we are asking for the governments to help and asking them pay for the tickets. Then it will be much easier to get sponsors to pay for the American team or Brazilian team.

OTM: Will the winners from the USA fight as a combined team or as separate teams like Royler Gracie USA, Carlson Gracie USA?

CG: What happens is, it is like a football game people train for LA or NY but when you make a selection team. The team represents the United States or Brazil all these guys don`t care what team they come from they will represent their country. All the guys will fight for their country. The goal will be for club`s to see how many people can you put in the section team. So how many guys come from Gracie Barra, how many guys from Carlson Gracie from, Royler Gracie from other schools.

OTM: Will guys from USA affiliated Barra schools be fighting Brazilian Barra guys?

CG: That`s why to competed in this tournament person has to be an American citizen or have changed his nationality. No Brazilian can fight against Brazil on American team.

OTM: What about guys from Canada or Mexico can they fight?

CG: The guy from Canada has to represent Canada he cannot fight on the American team. He can go in any other division but he can`t fight in Adult division, masters or seniors are ok.

OTM: Do you need a CBJJ ID or just a regular USA ID?

CG: Just a driver`s license. Can prove you are an American.

OTM: Why is there no Women`s Team event?

CG: Will be a woman`s, masters, seniors all of them. Must just start with one and then can grow for everyone.

OTM: How will the Team event run in Brazil & when is it?

CG: We will choose some guys; here in Brazil we already know who are the guys at the top. We don`t need to make a selection with everybody; we just take the categories and choose some guys that used to win the contests. We put them to fight and then choose one.

OTM: Will the Brazil vs. USA event be like a bunch of super fights or a tournament?

CG: The 1st time it will be one guy, because we need a sponsor for forty guys total. Ten for each belt that is 40 guys we need to get tickets for. For the first time it will be only one guy and as we get more sponsors we can put 2 and the more the better.

OTM: What are the weight classes? Normal or just light, middle & heavy like the CBJJ teams event?

CG: The classes are the same as regular tournaments.

OTM: Will black & brown be combined like in the Brazilian teams?

CG: No separate.

OTM: Why can`t people fight in both the masters and adult divisions?

CG: Because in serious competition the guys have their own categories. If they are master and they think they can go to the Adult and win, go to the adult and win. But, if he cannot, it is a rule for a long time not to. Because, it makes the contest more full and more difficult. In any kind of serious competition the guy cannot compete different categories. Many times in the masters the contest is not so full. Guys are already winning in Masters to they just go to try to win in adult. It is not fair. Just makes the categories harder for other guys just for fun. Not fair.

OTM: How can guy help get sponsors to grow this tournament?

CG: They can go to the website and find me there by email.

OTM hopes to see schools come together to get their teachers, their top guys get there to represent. It would be a shame if guys can`t make it. I wonder is either of the USA best Jiu Jitsu guys are going Bj Penn & Matty Serra? Another question we will get answered.

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Scotty OTM