Global Training Report Archives 1997-2016






Global Training Report


From Brasil, Thailand, 

Japan, and Korea

Est. 2000



November 3, 2016

What Is Jiu-Jitsu?

 By Roberto Pedreira

Posted November 3, 2016

There was a brief but frantic "craze" for jiu-jitsu in America and a few European countries during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), stimulated in part by the fact that the most prominent person on the planet, American president Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) happened to have an obsession with the "Japanese game" as he called it. Contrary to myth, his interest was superficial and short-lived (he took five or fewer weeks of lessons in 1902 and seven or fewer weeks in 1904). 

The jiu-jitsu fad was also promoted by Japanese propagandists who coordinated with American and English journalists and other opinion-molders to foster a positive impression of Japan in general. The fad faded away by the end of 1905 for several reasons, one being that fads are always temporary, another being that American wrestlers consistently beat alleged jiu-jitsu masters and champions in contests. 

Jiu-jitsu survived, as a form of entertainment in circuses, on vaudeville stages, and in professional wrestling shows,  as a genre of self-defense, and surprisingly, transmogrified into a a scientific educational system created by Jigoro Kano[1] who originally considered his Kodokan Judo as an eclectic style of jiu-jitsu (at least that is how he described it to foreigners, as we will see below, or more exactly, as "jiujutsu"). 

Continue here.




October 1, 2016



"A Jiu-Jitsu Elf"


with Kyra Gracie

from 柔術主 King of Jiu-Jitsu

2004 (pp. 90-91)

Original Interview by Martins Denis

Pix by Levy Ribeiro

Translated (Japanese --> English) by Roberto Pedreira


Q1: Can you talk about the composition of your family?  

Kyra: My mum was born a Gracie. My gramps [祖父ちゃん] is Robson Gracie. My uncles are Renzo, Ryan, Charles, and Ralph.   

Q2: You were surrounded by legendary uncles and you had the name of Gracie.  Did you feel a lot of pressure? 

Kyra: Of course, in the house it wasn't something like that. But outside, for sure, I can't say that I didn't feel pressure. Especially before a tournament, totally, it was like people were, like, "Oh, a Gracie is competing" or "Oh, a Gracie is stepping  up". I could hear things like that. So the first time I competed, before that, I had to overcome that. It goes along with the name of Gracie to be the center of attention. You can't enter a tournament where it isn't like that.

Continue here.....







September 26, 2016

Kron Gracie vs. Hideo Tokoro

and other Fights

Rizin 2

September 25, 2016

Kron Gracie and former sumo wrestler Baruto impressed in Rizin 1. Could they keep the momentum? Kron's opponent in Rizin 1 was Kid Yamamoto's inexperienced brother, Erson. Baruto's opponent in his debut MMA fight was also an MMA newby, but vastly experienced (and old). Unfortunately his experience was in K-1, and Baruto didn't stand still and exchange kicks and punches with Aerts. Baruto was not merely a sumo wrestler, but a good "wrestler" and judoka as well. He went all Gracie on Aert's ass, deposited him on the ground with an ashi-gaki, and kept him there the remainder of the fight. Aerts never had a chance. 

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September 3, 2016

Negative Judo

Japan's Reaction to 2016 Rio Olympic Judo Results

Translated and Comments by Roberto Pedreira

 Japan's male judokas brought home no gold medals from London in 2012 and the overall result was the worst for Japan since Seoul in 1988. Ni-kan Sports  [日刊スポーツ] declared the results of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games a "judo resurrection" for Japan [柔道腹活] and rejoiced that "for the first time in history!! all male team members won medals" [史上初!!男子全階級メダル]. Japan's men brought home two golds, one silver, and four bronze medals. The ladies pulled their weight too, earning one gold and four bronze medals, which although better than London, was their worst medal haul since Seoul.  

But not everyone was happy. In fact, those in the know expressed disappointment, not so much at the results, as the general direction of judo. Two of the best qualified to comment were 1992 Barcelona 71. kg. gold medalist Toshihiko Koga [古賀稔彦] and Kôsei Inoue[井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 井上 康生], 2000 Sydney 100 kg. gold medalist and currently coach of the Japanese team. 

Koga contributed his thoughts to two major newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun [読売新聞], and Ni-kan Sports on August 14, 2016. In the Yomiuri Shimbun, he wrote:

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August 30, 2016

Myths,  Misconceptions, and Misinformation about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Japan[1]

  By Roberto Pedreira

August 30, 2016

Some readers may be surprised to know that Maeda Mitsuyo [前田光世] (aka Mitsuyo Maeda, Count Koma, Conde Koma, and several other names) is not a living legend and national hero in Japan. In fact, he was virtually totally forgotten in his own country until Rorion Gracie mentioned his name in Gracies in Action, or more exactly, until Japanese promotion companies decided to import UFC style events on a large and well-capitalized scale in 1994, cashing in on the Gracie family's clever marketing campaign and the sudden availability of exotic fighters who could deliver the goods without the need for elaborate choreography. (See interview with Pride president Naoto Morishita). The Japanese already had a surfeit of pro wrestling companies, and the Pancrase organization evolved out of one of them just a few months before the first UFC. In fact two of the first UFC contestants were veterans of either Pancrase or the UWF, namely Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau.  

Suddenly, Japanese became interested in their forgotten Kodokan judo heroes, Masahiko Kimura [木村政彦] and Mitsuyo Maeda [前田光世]. 

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August 18, 2016

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu versus Japanese Judo Revisited

1951 and 2002

Part 1: The Gathering Storm

 Text and Translations by Roberto Pedreira


When in 2002 the Japanese promoters decided to stage a fight commemorating the legendary 1951 Kimura versus Gracie match in Rio, who were they going to call? Royce Gracie of course. Royce was the Gracie point man. It was he who led the "Gracie Invasion" in 1993.[1] Royce was the first UFC champion, a feat he repeated twice more. He wasn't the best Gracie, let alone best Brazilian, but he was the best known outside of Brazil. Royce paved the way, blazed the trail, set the standard, and demonstrated the possibilities (all master-minded by his Machiavellian brother Rorion, of course). Among all those kooky cosmic energy focusing Brazilian names, Royce was the one everyone knew.  

The August 28, 2002 Royce vs. Yoshida match was promoted as a Jiu-Jitsu vs. Judo challenge, explicitly as a reprise of the Kimura vs. Helio Gracie match in October 23, 1951.[2. reprise judo vs jiu-jitsu]  The 1992 Barcelona Olympic 78 kg. judo Gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida [吉田秀彦] represented judo. 

Continue here.....




August 18, 2016

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu versus Japanese Judo Revisited

1951 and 2002

Part 2: Aftermath

 Text and Translations by Roberto Pedreira

 Royce weighed 88 kgs. Yoshida weighed 100.6. kg. according to the official ring announcement. Yoshida said in an interview two days later that he had weighed 102. kg. Royce probably weighed a few kg. more as well. The weight difference was therefore about 12 kg., approximately the same as between Kimura and Helio 51 years earlier.

Royce wanted the fight to be grappling only, in order to better pay tribute to his father's October 23, 1951 match with Kimura and also, Royce said, to ease Yoshida's entry into MMA.  Pride had different ideas about what the fans wanted to see and planned to toss Yoshida into the deep end of the pool for a baptism of fire (so to speak). As it turned out, no punches, kicks, knees, elbows, or head-butts were thrown, other than two tentative step kicks that Royce used to set up his guard-pull. So it was a submission grappling match after all, with kimonos, just like Helio and Kimura's match in 1951.

There was a major difference though and it was a difference that became the origin of a legend, myth, mystery, and even academic blunders....

Continue here......



July 25, 2016


Top 13 Classic Historical Myths and Misconceptions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 

 By Roberto Pedreira

July  25, 2016

The GTR Myths & Misconceptions articles have so far begun with a short introduction. This one deviates from the pattern. There is an introduction, but it's not at the beginning, it's at the end. In fact, it is Myth # 13. If you want to be conventional, FF to the end and read it first. Or wait. Doesn't matter, either way. The beginning and the ending are the same.


Myth 1: "In order to avoid confusion with judo, the original Gracie belt system consisted of white belt for students, dark blue belts for instructors, and light blue belts for masters."

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June 18, 2016

Four Questions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A Reader comments that some people on the internet are confused about what they have learned from the Choque trilogy and the Myths & Misconceptions series. (And no wonder, if their only previous sources of information were the exact texts in which the myths were originally propagated). He provides some illustrations:


"According to Choque, we are entitled to think that the early Gracies like Carlos and Helio learnt and knew just a bunch of basic Judo moves and were not grappling experts at all (Choque reports that Geo Omori basically said Carlos knew nothing about jiu jitsu). However, Helio avoided being submitted by stronger and seasoned submissions grapplers like Ebert and Zbyzsko, and draw with Kodokan black belts and even choked Kato.  It is hard to believe that someone with just basic Judo skills could do something like that. These Helio's achievements, although modest, are largely inexplicable if all he knew was basic Judo newaza.  Even Carlos avoid being submitted by a more seasoned fighter like Rufino... which again is surprising if Carlos was just the Brazilian version of Matsuda."

Fact: Not only Geo Omori but also Donato Pires dos Reis and George Gracie, said that Carlos knew nothing or almost nothing about jiu-jitsu. Even Helio agreed (here). Indeed, Carlos Gracie's lack of jiu-jitsu knowledge and skills was a necessary foundation for the Rorion-Helio alternative narrative (or Gracie Myth, if you prefer). It was Carlos' (alleged) lack of jiu-jitsu ability and knowledge that both allowed and forced Helio to create his (alleged) innovations and improvements. 

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June 1, 2016

Top 3 Myths and Misconceptions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Gracies in Action 2 

Gracies in Action 2 did not expand much on Gracies in Action 1. Rorion reiterated that fights sometimes go to the ground, that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a good ground system, and that Helio Gracie created Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, was a national hero and living legend, invented a unique and supremely effective teaching methodology,  and was the greatest fighter in Brazil. 

GIA 2 was mostly an excuse to show video of challenge matches in Torrance and ring fights in Brazil. 

One gets the impression from GIA 2 that such fights were everyday events. In fact they were extremely rare. The fights on GIA 2 took place in 1991 (August 31) and 1992 (January 1) which is probably why GIA 2 was produced at all. There were no other vale tudo fights involving Gracie representatives between November 30, 1984 (shown on GIA 1), with one known exception. That was March 17, 1989, in Belém. The jiu-jitsu representative was named Sucuri. His opponent was the fearsome street fighter Zulu.

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May 11, 2016

Top 24 Myths and Misconceptions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Pat Jordan's 1989 Playboy Article about Rorion Gracie

Pat Jordan was an experienced journalist who had contributed a fair number of articles to Playboy. Playboy paid generously (as Roberto knows from personal experience), so no doubt Pat was generally on the look-out for suitable topics. Why he choose an obscure Brazilian wannabe movie actor is anyone's guess. Indeed, in 2013, prior to the publication of Jiu-Jitsu in the South Zone, 1997-2008, Roberto Pedreira contacted Pat Jordan inquiring about that very matter. Pat Jordan never replied.

The article would have ended up buried in Playboy's archives, along with interviews with Bertrand Russell, Stanley Kubrick, Miles Davis, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and many others. But along came Art Davie, and the world as we knew it changed. A basically forgettable fluff piece became the foundation of myths and legends, believed by millions of fans, cultists, and people who should know better.

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May 9, 2016

Roberto Pedreira

Quebra Silêncio!

 In 1997, GTR founder and CEO Roberto Pedreira went to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to learn jiu-jitsu. He had already trained at Rickson's academy on Pico Street, in Los Angeles, since the fall of 1994. He wasn't much, if at all, interested in martial arts history. He lived by Gene Lebell's philosophy (here and here): It doesn't matter what you call it or where it came from. What matters is whether it works and you can do it. And, it should probably be added, whether you can learn it from the person who is offering to teach you.

But Roberto was mildly intrigued as to why so little was known and so many vague, implausible, and conflicting stories were told. After all, if Helio Gracie really was a living legend in Brazil, wouldn't someone outside of a Gracie affiliated jiu-jitsu academy have heard of him? 

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April 19, 2016

 Top 18 Myths and Misconceptions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 

from Gracies in Action 1 

By 1992, Rorion had decided that the truth was important. At least that's what he said. In 1988, he felt free to make stuff up (actually, he did it in 1992 too, and didn't stop then). Making stuff up is what entertainment and marketing are all about. Rorion Gracie with his legal education and Hollywood career understood this very well. It made him rich. 

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April 8, 2016

Back Up Your Grappling Style with Muay Thai!

Roberto Pedreira's  first encounter with Muay Thai didn't impress him.  "What kind of martial art is that supposed to be?" he thought. Grabbing a man's head, driving knees into his ribs, kicking his legs. It seemed more like a street brawl or Hollywood cowboy saloon donnybrook. (This was more than a decade prior to Changpuk Kiatsongrit's consciousness-raising and eye-opening visit to the USA, about which, read more below. Gracie jiu-jitsu didn't even exist in those days).

But Roberto had missed the point. Muay Thai isn't a martial art (in the sense that Americans understand it). Muay Thai isn't designed to socialize children and bring spiritual enlightenment to bored housewives and identity-seeking college students. 

What Muay Thai is designed to be is brutally efficient at destroying adversaries. It is also eminently adaptable to the street. Eventually, Robert figured that out the first time he held a Thai pad and felt the power of a correctly executed Thai kick. It was a satori [悟り] experience. Subsequently he has never missed any chance to train Muay Thai every time he goes to Thailand....

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March 16, 2016

Updated May 24, 2016

 Top 30 Myths and Misconceptions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 

 Almost everything everyone believed about BJJ up until the recent past derived from three sources, which were Gracies in Action 1 (1988), the 1989 Playboy Rorion Gracie article by Pat Jordan, and Gracies in Action 2 (1992). In all fairness to Rorion, he probably wasn't trying very hard to deceive anyone. He was simply marketing his school while trying to solidify his place in what he knew (if he was successful) would be a stampede of competitors from the ranks of his own family and anyone else who wanted to cash in. He didn't invent the story entirely. His uncle and father were saying most of the same things in Brazil before Rorion went to Hollywood to be a movie star. Rorion's unique contribution was to vastly exaggerate his father's ring record and historical importance, which of course benefited himself and enraged the other factions of the family, who ignored the harsh reality that the demand for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in America was essentially zero (and near zero in Brazil also, at the time), until Rorion created that demand. 

 Continue here




 January 1, 2016



Kron Gracie vs. Asen Yamamoto 

and other Fights

December 29 and December 31, 2015

Saitama, Japan


Rizin Fighting Federation is a new organization in Japan whose objective is to resurrect the fighting arts as a form of popular entertainment and source of income for fighters and promoters, managers,  and everyone else involved. In other words, all of the usual reasons. If successful it will be welcome news for anyone who trains or teaches any martial art in Japan, among other places, because these events are primarily what drive enrollments and retention of students.

The inaugural events took place on Tuesday December 29 and Thursday December 31 (Japan times) and were broadcast free on channel 8. The scheduling was intended to allow fighters participating in the tournament sub-event to recover from their elimination matches. The finals were held on Thursday. Fights were presented so as to provide a little of something for all tastes, including K-1 (Muay Thai without clinch and elbows), shoot boxing, and MMA, known in Japan as 総合格闘技 [sougoukakutougi]. Some relatively new faces were introduced. Some veterans were dusted off. Former super-stars came out of retirement, in some cases successfully, in others disastrously. People who had no business going anywhere near a ring were somehow induced to defy common sense and their own physical well-being to do precisely that. Money perhaps? It's been known to motivate people to do things that they shouldn't do, so why not? Several retired sumo wrestlers made appearances and were among the surprises of the event.  A former Olympic judo champion found that judo without a 道着 [dougi] and with punches is not easy. Two representatives of the legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu family, Rickson and Kron Gracie showed up, one to fight, one to lend moral support, reminisce, be on display for the benefit of adoring fans, and probably, to provide continuity between the glory days of Japanese kakutougi and its (hopefully) bright shining rebirth.

So how did it go? 

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Archives 1997-2016













GTR Publications





Choque 1, 3rd Edition (June 1, 2016)




Choque 3, 1961-1999

(Updated June 1, 2016)





Choque 2, 1950-1960 

 (Updated June 16, 2016)




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Jiu-Jitsu in the South Zone, 1997-2008 







Digital Editions are also available

GTR Archives 1997-2016