BJJ Poll: Which Would You Rather If You Had to Choose: Take a Time Machine & Learn Jiu-Jitsu from the Gracie Family in the Early Days in Rio, or Learn BJJ as It Is Today?


Tough question, no? The nostalgia factor of going back in time to learn jiu-jitsu with the Gracie family in the early days is pretty sweet. But on the other hand, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu of today is more evolved and arguably richer. So which would you choose? Discuss!

16 thoughts on “BJJ Poll: Which Would You Rather If You Had to Choose: Take a Time Machine & Learn Jiu-Jitsu from the Gracie Family in the Early Days in Rio, or Learn BJJ as It Is Today?”

  1. Tough to answer since jiujitsu is better now but only a fool would pass up the opportunity to go back and become a billionaire with investments.

  2. I think it is easy to make the mistake and think that just because BJJ “is richer” it is also better. The argument could be made that there are a lot of things that were done then that are not so popular now. Someone ignoring that would get surprised and embarrassed (hypothetically speaking).

    I have often thought about this kind of thing before but I decided that it was probably best that I didn’t grow up knowing BJJ. I could handle myself pretty well growing up and had few problems. But if I knew BJJ I think I would have made a lot of enemies.

    In a fight it was okay if you won but if you humiliated someone, as BJJ has the potential to do, then you had an enemy for your middle school and possibly high school life.

  3. The basics are the foundation for jiu-jitsu. Why would not want to go back in time and have a super solid foundation from the Gracie Family.

  4. 100% go back with the Gracies. For me my age and lack of experience earlier on in life make me wish for the time machine. I am not complaining, I say it is never too late. Just wish I would have started earlier than in my 40s. I currently work with the brothers at the Torrence academy and really enjoy every opportunity to learn from them.

    Things have really evolved and so many more people are training so it seems tougher to really stand out. This art has evolved just as all other sports have. People are training more and are more physically fit, techniques are getting better and more instructors are teaching. This is a great art and I am glad that we are spreading the word of Jiu-Jitsu. Much Mahalo to all that do~!!!!

  5. While it would be fascinating from a historical perspective to experience the early days, in terms of technique and training methodology, I much prefer the refined product we have today. I also would find the Helio self defence focus (I’m assuming that in the 20s and 30s there would have been lots of ‘escape from bear huge’ compliant drilling type stuff, but perhaps it was more dynamic than that) a very dull training environment.

  6. Going back in time would be cool, but the main reason i would go back in time is to start BJJ younger am on my late 30 and which i would hav learn about it earlier

  7. I think you should get a proper job and stop doing this idiotic polls asking idiotic questions about idiotic trainning and BJJ, Get a life!!!

  8. Going back to my teens and training in the original styles would be amazing, but todays jiu-jitsu is evolved and improved but I would like to see the self defense aspect more in todays training, it seems to too focused on the sport and not balanced enough with teaching both aspects.

  9. I voted to train BJJ as it is today, but like everyone else has said – tough choice!

    Today the art has so much more depth, and (speaking personally) my school maintains a focus on the self defense aspect of Jiu Jitsu so I think that today’s BJJ is more dynamic, more exciting and if trained properly you still get all the benefits of the old school BJJ (headlock escapes, knife defense, etc etc).

  10. well I would have like to Train under Rolls for sure… but enough with the nostalgia … we have an amazing choice nowadays.

  11. I voted go back in time and it seems for similar reasons to many– I wish I’d started this art earlier in my life, earlier in my youth. And I’d love to be able to say I trained regularly (not just seminars) with some of the biggest names in its creation. I think today’s jiu jitsu is ornate and complex and very worth learning, no doubt, and I agree with Slidey that perhaps the more street-fighting focus would be a bit aside from my goals in the sport, but whatever, if I could have started this 20 years ago, I would still be able to learn “today’s” jiu jitsu today! 🙂

  12. If I could go back and learn from Rickson directly I’d go back for sure as it’s almost impossible now to get that much access except for Seminars which are rare.
    Other than that I’d stay where I am 🙂

  13. first, Jorge you are the one who needs to get a life. i know the dudes who run the site in real life and you are waaaayyyyy off base.

    secondly, i would go back in time, but only to say 1990. hit the first wave in the US of bjj. that i think would be the best.

  14. It would be awesome to train @ Rolls’ original School Because you had so many greats in one place; Rolls, Rickson, Carlos Jr, The Machado Bros, Jacare Cavalcanti, Mauricio Gomes, (I’m sure I’m missing some too) & you even had Carlson & his guys sharing the same building!

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