Six months ago undefeated MMA fighter and renowned BJJ and grappling champion Robert Drysdale launched an online distance learning program. Drysdale had previously joined a number of prominent figures in the community who sharply criticized Rener and Ryron Gracie‘s Gracie University. In a recent interview on MMAjunkie Radio, Drysdale said there is no hypocrisy on his part, as he doesn’t give belts online, and is upfront that distance learning can supplement training at a gym, but is, practically speaking, worthless on its own.
“I want to make it very clear that it’s a supplement,” explained Drysdale to MMAjunkie. “This is something for you to have an idea, and try it at the gym. At the end of the day, there’s no better instruction than on the mat. It’s lots and lots of mat time.”
“There’s no (belt) promotion. And I make it clear and I make a case of this, if you don’t practice at all and you just want to learn a few things, online will give you a few ideas. But that’s never going to help you in a real situation.
“It’s like watching Tiger Woods play and then claiming you know how to play golf. That’s kind of what some of these guys believe in.”
“All of these people are trying to sell that if you keep watching these videos, you’ll become competitive in a real situation or a life-threatening situation. And to sell that as self-defense is not only unethical, it’s risky, because you’re telling a lot of people they’ll be able to defend themselves based off they’re watching online, and that’s not true. You can risk hurting yourself, and I think it’s dangerous. Frankly, I think the word is not only unethical, but dangerous.”
Drysdale also took issue with the Gracie Breakdown videos, in which the brothers detail what went right and wrong in a fight, from a BJJ perspective.
“For someone who’s never competed, not even in a jiu-jitsu tournament, for them to tell what a UFC fighter is doing wrong is very bold,” said Drysdale. “I don’t have the balls to do that. How the hell would you know?
“Not to toot my own horn, but I could make better judgments than they can. I have not only experience fighting, but experience cornering and teaching, and I’ve been doing that exclusively for the last eight years. I feel uncomfortable doing it. But they have no problem saying, ‘Yeah, listen up GSP, this is what you’re doing wrong.’ That’s some nerve when you’ve never fought.”