Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
and its growing popularity in the media
By College Student Paul V
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in the mass media is the topic I choose to write on. I find this interesting because I’m a communications major and like to see new trends in media and its contrast them to the changes in society. One growing trend that sticks out in my mind is MMA and within that Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. To fully understand the transition and popularity of Gracie BJJ and its part in MMA we must look at the roots to compare and find when it grew in popularity. Carlos Gracie’s brother Helio Gracie founded Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. By 1921 the steps of Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu were being formed and near completion. Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu became more popular in the nineties when Royce Gracie captivatingly won UFC one, two and four. The history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is commonly mentioned in some form in the media, such as in UFC where name recognition and its influences in MMA are often mentioned. Media plays an important part in the popularizing of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu because of the amount of face-time that Royce would get for his victories and use of unique style. The importance of ground fighting was found through his victorious displays as well as the foundation of BJJ becoming a staple for a lot of MMA fighters. Today we see many shows and channels dedicated to MMA such as UFC, Pride, WEC, and Strikeforce. The Gracie name is still seen as an important name and used to hype fights such as an upcoming fight between another Gracie. The fight plan we learned and are continuing to learn are important in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu because they show the fundamentals of defensive techniques. The fight plan is shown by closing distance, establishing a clinch, organizing a take down, and achieving a dominant position. When put in a bad position it’s important to learn how to protect oneself in that position, reverse it, and end the fight with a submission. A lot of viral videos are posted online to show the fundamentals of a good fight plan and defending oneself by practicing Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. On youtube alone a single training clip can hit as many as one hundred forty five thousand, and clips of Royce’s first UFC fight hit half a million views. Truly the popularity of the MMA as a sport and the style of BJJ is growing. In the media the theory of Gerbner’s “Mean World Syndrome” which is linked with cultivation theory which tries to explain the effects of over exposure of certain themes on television to peoples emotions and thoughts. Mean World Syndrome goes further into detail explaining that in our cultures society we have a disproportional viewing of violence and evil acts on the news than in reality. Usually the news shows ten times more violent acts than what actually occurs on average. People handle the rise of fear for ones well being in different ways, one being self-defense classes. These social issues are relevant to our class in that it helps teach proper ways of dealing with conflict and handling oneself in everyday circumstances as well as proper self-defense in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practice. Relating the components of the fight plan to these issues of Mean World Syndrome and other identified problems are done by comparing the affects of fear in the media with fear felt in high conflict situations. Like many fears in life, the problem can be linked with a lack of knowledge. By having a plan like the fight plan taught in this class based off of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu one knows in harsh situations that the proper training and planning along side a calm and collected mind could help in reducing the fear and triumphing over it.