Renzo Gracie, Twitter and self-defense: a case study of what not to do, Part Two

I figured it wouldn’t take long… I just checked my mail and the haters are pouring in their bile after my “Renzo Gracie, Twitter and self-defense: a case study of what not to do” post.

For the benefit of the slow:

  • I did not insult Renzo, nor did I say MMA doesn’t work for the street (though you have to admit it is pretty ironic that a Gracie prefers boxing techniques when he’s attacked in the street over taking a guy down to grapple with him. :-))
  • What I said is that Renzo broke the law and was stupid in tweeting and doing interviews about it. The only thing that needs to happen for him to get arrested is those two guys filing a complaint or the DA deciding to prosecute him.
  • Both those options were made a very likely reality by Renzo’s own actions of spreading incriminating information. In a court of law, this is called “evidence” and it is used to put you in jail. Given the amount and the nature of the incriminating evidence he has given, I don’t see how he can avoid a guilty verdict if it goes to court. I could obviously be wrong, as I’m not a lawyer. But I’ve had lots of law enforcement professionals, police officers and Alain Burrese (who is both a lawyer and a self-defense expert) confirm that Renzo is potentially in big trouble.
  • What most haters are failing to understand: this incident isn’t about MMA. It’s about the law. According to my understanding of the law, Renzo Gracie was wrong on so many levels it’s just sad.
  • If you want to make it about something other than the law, you’re missing the point. If you refuse to accept that the law applies to everybody, even MMA champions, then you are sadly out of touch with reality.
  • And once and for all, I couldn’t care less about those two thugs. If they were in fact trying to rob Renzo, then I really don’t care if they got beat up for it. That’s their problem. What I wrote about was Renzo’s actions and his lack of judgement; those two thugs are irrelevant in that specific discussion.

The whole purpose of my blog post was to make two points:

  • Just because you are a MMA, muay Thai, whatever champion, doesn’t mean you understand self-defense. Combat sports and self-defense are different animals all together. Renzo just proved this for the whole world to see.
  • When you are involved in an incident like this: shut your mouth and get a lawyer. Don’t give the opposing side ammunition to put you in jail.

Anybody who fails to understand these points or wants to bring up something else in an effort to make Renzo into a hero for what he did, don’t bother sending it to me. I have a lot of respect for him as an athlete; the man is a legend in the Octagon. But in this incident, he was legally in the wrong. And he was stupid in announcing his actions to the world. That’s all there is to it.

Anything else you want to mention in his defense is not relevant to this incident. It may be relevant to other things, but not this incident. 

I hope I made myself sufficiently clear. If not, then I can only shake my head, walk away and tell you “That’s all I’ve got.”

Renzo Gracie, Twitter and self-defense: a case study of what not to do

Last night, Renzo Gracie was apparently involved in an attempted mugging. In and of itself, that’s not such a big deal; people get mugged all the time. What is special about this case is two things:

  • It’s Renzo Gracie, an MMA legend.
  • He posted live updates on his Twitter account before, during and after the whole thing.

As far as I can tell from Renzo’s account, here’s what happened:

  • He was in New York, walking to his car at night, when two guys follow him.
  • He spots them following him and confronts them.
  • He knocks one of those guys down with two punches and the other one runs. Renzo chases him for half a block.
  • Then Renzo goes back to the first guy and hits him a few more times.
  • Renzo gets his car and decides to go looking for the runner.
  • He spots him, drives a bit further to park his car and then ambushes the runner by jumping on his back and choking him out.
  • Then he punches the unconscious guy in the eyes to make sure he has two black eyes.
  • He repeats the process two more times: he chokes him out and punches him, speaking to the guy in between chokes to scare him.
  • He takes off and goes home.

I’ll get to the finer points of how stupid Renzo acted in a bit but first, here’s the whole twitter feed he posted about the mugging: [Read more…]