Saturday, September 8, 2012

Renzo Gracie and Sport-wide Reputation

This whole hullabaloo over Renzo Gracie and the would-be muggers that got their comeuppance...I've kinda ignored it the last couple of days...I'm just not one to jump on hype too quickly. After seeing some memes posted on Reddit, and realizing this thing wasn't going to die, I went to take a look. I found a write up about him tweeting while waiting on said muggers.

For the life of me, I don't know why someone with as much at stake as he has would put that much evidence out there that could be used against them if the muggers ever decided to press charges for assault. They could EASILY claim they were just looking for a cigarette (as they said), and he'd be in a mess. Sounds crazy, but it happens.

Then I started wondering about what this means on a larger scale. He didn't call the cops and now these two guys are still on the street. Contrary to those who applaud his potential contribution to the safety of the streets in NY, I'm quite sure that if they WERE actual criminals, that they wouldn't magically become upstanding citizens just because one guy gave them a couple black eyes.

Then there's our reputation. We're still a small enough world where outsiders (the people who will be the growth of the future of the spot) will not differentiate between people and practice. He isn't some random practitioner and the Gracie name is inseparable from the sport. All those schools out there promoting anti-bullying programs...everyone promoting jiu jitsu as a gentle art and trying to make a living off the fact that it's not just a sport for ruffians, bullies and fighters...they could all likely pay for this. People do use Google afterall. Right now it's low key, but it's exactly the kind of story that could blow up (easily with the help of people who don't want to see MMA flourish...boxing folks maybe?) and cost the entire community dearly. I've seen students commenting that they were embarrassed--that's sad. Hammurabi's code all you want, but sometimes there's more at stake than just the moment.

His tweets? really rough to read. Of course it's possible those dudes got EXACTLY what they deserved for their intent or previous deeds.  Still...reading through someone relishing and wallowing in revenge like that...


scottstev said...

Renzo further explains the situation here and it sounds like they actually put hands on him before he responded. However your other concerns still stand.

I think it's a result of culture where in Brazil, law-enforcement is not as thorough or professional, leaving citizens to handle things on their own. I wouldn't recommend anyone trying something similar unless they are left with no choice. You never know when someone will be armed. Training only improves your odds and prepares you psychologically for violence. It is not a magic bullet or shield.

Megan said...

Totally agree. I've never been to Brazil, but I've heard enough stories from enough different people to believe that there are areas where the cops are basically useless.

That said, dude's likely lived in NY a some point (preferably immediately), you've got to familiarize yourself with the laws where you live.

The thing about the guy putting hands on him...he's got no proof. If one of the guys came forward, he could easily say he didn't...and even if he did, only one guy touched Renzo. He already admitted the second guy didn't do anything.