EXCLUSIVE | Eddie Bravo Draws Inspiration From Bruce Lee, Talks Decision To Promote Joe Rogan
BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio got the opportunity to talk a little bit with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Eddie Bravo. Though Eddie is more known to the uneducated fan as Joe Rogan’s buddy, and the one who created the Twister submission performed by the Korean Zombie, he’s one of the highest ranking Jiu-Jitsu fighters on the planet, and in fact Joe Rogan’s Jiu-Jitsu coach at Bravo’s gym 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. A third degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Jean-Jacques Machado Eddie is best known for his win over Royler Gracie at the 2003 Abu Dhabi Submission Wresting Championships.
As we caught Eddie on his way to the gym for a class he jokingly stated that he was in the gym 8-10 hours a day saying, “I’m obsessed I can’t stop” but quickly stated, “No, I’m kidding, I don’t teach 10 hours a day. I think its crazy to teach all day, I couldn’t do it man. If I was teaching 3 classes a day…. and back to back seminars I think I would hate Jiu-Jitsu.”
Eddie stated that he teaches one-maybe two classes a day. “On average I teach two seminars a month and six classes a week. At that pace right there, just for me, its perfect so that I don’t get burned out.” Eddie went on to say that, “Every class I teach I give 100%, every seminar I teach I go 1000%.”
He was asked what makes him such an effective teacher and with a sigh Eddie answered, “You know what, I don’t know man. I had no idea I could even teach until the first day I opened up the school.” Though he was nervous, after that first day he thought, “Damn, I could totally do this, this is easy.” He said, “My brain just snapped into place.”
Eighteen people showed up for that fist day at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. “Eighteen people went out of their way to come to me to help them.” said Eddie, “My brain just made it happen. When people just show up for you… you just make it work.”
10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu has been facing criticism lately for its practice in solely No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu. Some critics even go as far as to say that it’s not Jiu-Jitsu if there is no Gi and that someone who has never trained in traditional Gi Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t really know Jiu-Jitsu.
Eddie was quick to voice his opinion saying, “Its ridiculous. That would mean that there’s never been any Jiu-Jitsu in MMA ever except for what Royce does. Then what’s Nogera doing out there?” He went on to say, “Just because you take off the Gi doesn’t mean you have to sever everything, every ritual, you take off the Gi you’re not doing Jiu-Jitsu, that’s ridiculous. 10th Planet style is a No-Gi style of Jiu-Jitsu… Jiu-Jitsu is Jiu-Jitsu.”
He spoke about how the BJJ community has seemed to become more close minded, “It seems like the BJJ community, a large percentage of it, not all of it, it’s become that traditional martial art they used to bag on.” he said, “BJJ used to say keep an open mind and now the minds have closed. I’d hate to admit it, but there’s such a resistance to what I’m doing, what else could it be?” He went on to say, “All I’m trying to do is help Jiu-Jitsu. Let’s all work together to make Jiu-Jitsu as effective as can be in MMA, that’s where Jiu-Jitsu is the most important, in fighting, real fighting. That’s where you’re going to test it. MMA is about as close to reality as it can be. Nothing is closer to real fighting as MMA.”
Eddie was asked where his creativity in Jiu-Jitsu came from. He stated that, “Honestly, I thought everyone was doing what I was doing.” He went on to talk about how Bruce Lee and his philosophies influenced him and how he figured everyone else would follow suit and keep and open mind, keep evolving, and not “acclaim to any uniforms.”
“My formula for Jiu-Jitsu is just, I’m ripping off Bruce Lee.” said Eddie, “I’ve read his books and I’m like ‘Okay, this is how you are supposed to do it’. He’s so famous you think everybody would be doing it. I’m shocked that more people aren’t doing it.”
We asked Eddie about his coaching relationship with Joe Rogan, and if being his friend affects the way he treats him in training. “I’m not going to just give him his black belt because he’s my friend.” Eddie was quick to dismiss rumors that he didn’t give Joe his black belt sooner because he used too much power saying that it took Joe 7-8 years to achieve his black belt because he’s a “busy guy” and not because he used too much power. He did credit Joe by saying that he never once asked when he was going to get his black belt and voiced his distaste when student ask for their belt promotions.
Eddie has many instructional videos such as “Mastering the Rubber Guard” and “Mastering the Twister” and has online shows as well. Check him out at www.10thplanetjj.com
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE: