BJJ vs Luta Livre - Who Wins ?

BJJ vs Luta Livre - Who Wins ?


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Luta livre esportiva, often simply called luta livre, is a Brazilian style of catch wrestling. This grappling art made its way to Brazil via Rio de Janeiro in the early 20th century, brought by European immigrants. It quickly gained traction among the local tough guys. By the 1930s, luta livre had become a fierce rival of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. One of the most notorious feuds of that era involved Carlos Gracie and Manuel Rufino. The split between George Gracie and his brothers Carlos and Helio in the mid-1930s is believed to be partly due to George's association with the luta livre crowd, whose matches were often dismissed by the Gracies as fixed.

In 1940, a pivotal fight took place between George Gracie and Euclydes Hatem, the renowned Master "Tatu" of luta livre. Although the specifics of the match's honesty have faded over time, what remains recorded is Tatu's victory by americana (key-lock) submission. This win significantly boosted luta livre's reputation. Throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, luta livre was a dominant force in vale-tudo, though tensions with jiu jitsu only truly flared up in the early 1980s.

The Gracie Invasion of the Naja Academy, 1982

The conflict between jiu jitsu and luta livre initially sparked through a clash involving tae kwon do/muay thai fighters. Just before the 1982 carnival, Mario Duma, a tae kwon do/thai boxer from the Naja academy, had an altercation with Charles Gracie, which escalated into a fistfight. Charles relayed the incident to his uncle Rolls Gracie, who, incensed by the attack on his young nephew by an older man, gathered his students and went to Duma’s academy to settle the score. At Naja, they found a class in session. Rolls challenged Marinho (Mario) to a fight, which he won easily. Different stories emerged about the incident, with the Gracie camp claiming Molina was only restrained, while Molina's side insisted he was assaulted. Despite differing accounts, this invasion set the stage for future conflicts.

Marco Ruas vs. Fernando ‘Pinduka’ (JJ vs. Martial Arts Challenge) 1983

To address the animosity between the Naja and Gracie academies, Robson Gracie organized a vale tudo event where three fighters from each gym would face off. Notable matches included:

  • Renan Pitanguy (GJJ) vs. Eugênio Tadeu (Naja)
  • Marcelo Behring (GJJ) vs. Flavio Molina (Naja)
  • Fernando Pinduka (GJJ) vs. Marco Ruas (Naja)

Marco Ruas, who trained striking at Naja and grappling with the luta livre crew, prepared his teammates at Santa Luzia academy. The results were mixed: Behring defeated Molina, Tadeu defeated Pitangy, and Ruas held Pinduka to a draw, showcasing the growing prowess of the luta livre/thai boxing alliance.

Rickson Gracie vs. Hugo Duarte at Pepe Beach, 1988

The feud continued as Marco Ruas was suggested as a potential opponent for Rickson Gracie. However, when Rickson visited Ruas' gym, Hugo Duarte volunteered to fight instead. A confrontation ensued at Pepe Beach, where Rickson defeated Duarte in a public showdown. This fight, filmed under chaotic conditions, only intensified the rivalry.

Luta Livre Invades the Gracie Academy, 1988

In retaliation for the Pepe Beach incident, a large group from the luta livre community, armed and ready, invaded the Gracie academy. Helio Gracie, then 76, managed to defuse the situation and arranged for Rickson to fight Duarte in the parking lot. Rickson won quickly, and although the police interrupted the subsequent fight between Royler Gracie and Eugênio Tadeu, the animosity persisted.

Luta Livre Invades Nastra Cup (Jiu Jitsu Competition), 1991

Tensions simmered until Wallid Ismail’s incendiary comments about luta livre being a poor imitation of jiu jitsu reignited the feud. This led to the luta livre crew invading the Copa Nastra, a jiu jitsu competition. Carlson Gracie stepped in, arranging a public challenge that culminated in the 1991 Jiu Jitsu vs. Luta Livre event. Broadcast nationally, the event saw jiu jitsu triumph in all matches, significantly boosting its popularity.

Pentagon Combat - Renzo Gracie vs. Eugênio Tadeu, 1997

The rivalry resurfaced with the Pentagon Combat event, featuring prominent fighters like Renzo Gracie and Eugênio Tadeu. The volatile atmosphere led to a riot during the main event, with widespread chaos and injuries. This incident had far-reaching consequences, including the temporary ban on vale tudo in Rio and the end of Sheik Tahnoon's investment in the sport, pausing the longstanding jiu jitsu vs. luta livre feud.


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You Can Help By Expanding It | Know Your Meme

Well, as wikipedia says, you can help to expand the list by provoking new rivalries ^^ JK ! (don't do it, its stupid)

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