Martial Arts vs Guns

— Viewer Discretion is Advised — 
This video is about a BJJ Black Belt who was fatally shot during a road rage incident. It’s fairly graphic, so discretion is advised.

I just watched this video that was posted on GracieBreakdown YouTube channel. Both Rener and Ryron Gracie took a few minutes to share their thoughts on the event that transpired in the video. As a quick summary, a gentleman by the name of Tiago Guma, a BJJ Black Belt, was fatally shot during an altercation during a road rage incident.

There is some indication in the video that Tiago was overconfident in his capacities and decided to fight the armed opponent which led to him losing his life. Here, I quote Rener who said in the video:

“[…] the challenge here is that we thought his confidence in Jujitsu played a role in his decision to pursue when retreat was possible. And as a result of that, this discussion must be had by us, with our instructors and with anyone else out there […]” [12:40]

First, I’d like to present my condolences to Tiago’s family. Chances are that they will never read this blog post, but my heartfelt condolences.

Secondly, I’d like to applaud Rener, Ryron and the Gracie Jujitsu family for doing something that I feel was extremely responsible and correct. They didn’t need to comment on this but they took ownership when they say that BJJ might have had a role in this and took it upon themselves to send a clear message of what BJJ is really about.

Gentlemen, if you read this: kudos!

I’ve seen several instances that instead of facing a specific situation and talk about it, that the situation is hidden to save face. This shows your level of integrity and speaks volumes of your characters.

Third, I’d like to point of out how stupid and awfully ridiculous some of the comments were. You can skim through if you’d like but some comments were around how Tiago didn’t control the weapon properly, or that he could have done X or Y. This is disgraceful. This is a sad event that I also believe could have been prevented. Please have some respect to the victim and also, to the words of these two gentlemen.

Comments like those are the reasons why Martial Arts are no longer taken seriously. Not only internet troll or keyboard warrior, but students who believe they – or Tiago – could have survived if they had done a or b. The truth here is that he didn’t survive. He made an error in judgment that cost his life.

I join myself to the efforts of Rener and Ryron. I call out to all martial arts teachers (not only BJJ)  to show this video to their students and have this conversation with them. It is extremely important to understand the reality of violence in the world and what should be done in cases like these. Like Rener said: now is the time, in a safe place, to sit down with our students and discuss this.

Be smart and be safe out there.

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