Vagner Rocha Fires Back at His Critics Calling Jiu Jitsu Soft

Vagner Rocha Fires Back at His Critics Calling Jiu Jitsu Soft

Critics Calling Rocha's Approach Dirty

Vagner Rocha has been under the microscope lately surrounding some of his recent wins and his aggressive style of BJJ. Recently employing a nasty wrist lock at Kasai Pro 3, then smothering an opponent in a combat jiu-jitsu match in Florida has left some questioning his methods, and he’s fired back at his critics.

Rocha has issued a statement in which he defends his stylistic choices by describing his experience of coming up through the ranks and also attempting to remind the world of the combative heritages of BJJ. Referring to the BJJ black belts of 20 years ago as, “untouchable to a regular civilian in all aspects of self-defense,” Rocha seems to feel jiu-jitsu has entered a softer stage in its lifespan. He continues with criticizing the type of training that puts constraints on techniques for the adaptation of a competition ruleset. Rocha states, “Jiu-Jitsu is a self-defense art and there has to be more influence on chasing the submission at all cost.”

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Rocha Says Jiu Jitsu Has Lost Its Way

The fact is, the techniques that Vagner is using are not illegal. They may be unconventional, but they are still a part of combat. You can choose to view them as dirty, or cheap, to express your disdain, but if you’re not ready to face someone one with that kind of toolbox, maybe your preparation for high level opponents is lacking. Rocha is no less of a technical and accomplished black belt than any of the other practitioners in the same arena, and his style may be more brash, but it’s highly effective and legitimate.

On the other end of the spectrum, you could also argue that jiu-jitsu has evolved to extend its reach to people of all walks of life. Everyone deserves the opportunity to train in BJJ. Not every person who gets involved is looking to study the art in a kill or be killed environment.

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Has “the gentle art” become too soft? Maybe in some aspects it has become more accessible. If hard-nosed, tough training is what you seek, I truly believe it’s still available at many academies around the world, but if it isn’t your cup of tea, it shouldn’t mean there isn’t a place for you in BJJ.

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