Music and Jiu Jitsu (and Ralek Gracie)

Is there a single genre of music that embodies jiu jitsu?  I’d doubt it.  The myriad styles, attitudes, and philosophies that make up BJJ are too diverse to be pigeonholed into a single genre.  Some people have slow, methodical styles of jiu jitsu that may be best summed up with reggae or indy rock.  I know many people who enjoy listening to Bob Marley while training – slow, rhythmic beats in songs like Jamming and One Love evoke a patient, carefree atmosphere.  Conversely, we might imagine that faster, heavier, louder music genres embody an aggressive, highly physical style of jiu jitsu.

Despite the innumerable musical genres we might associate with jiu jitsu, one thing is certain: the following song is not one of them.

That’s right – Ralek Gracie, the brother of Rener and Ryron Gracie of Gracie University fame, has burst onto the musical scene with his debut album “Ginagi.”  His first single, titled “G-in-a-gi,” after which the album is named, refers to Ralek who fancies himself a G (i.e. a “gangsta”) who wears a jiu jitsu gi.*  However, with lyrics such as “I rock the kimono like I’m rockin’ with Bono” (0:52) and “shit could get heavy like tons of broccoli” (1:54) I would beg to differ.

Ralek Gracie playing chess

Most definitely not a gangsta

Ugh… having listened to that song more than once to find those gems**, I think it’s only fair that everyone I train with also be subjected to it.  I’m going to sneak this song into the playlist I use for open mat.  On a more personal level, I intend to use it as motivation – if music can represent different styles of BJJ, I intend to train extra hard so that nobody will naturally associate my style of jiu jitsu with “G-in-a-gi.”

*I suppose it’s also possible that the “G” Ralek is referring to is the fact that he is a Gracie.  I hope so, since it would make this song slightly less silly.

**Hilariously (or perhaps because he is in on the joke), Ralek’s Youtube channel describes his music as “surprisingly wide-ranging and thought provoking.”


About Dave

Grad student in Ecology, Blue belt in jiu jitsu.
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5 Responses to Music and Jiu Jitsu (and Ralek Gracie)

  1. thekillerj says:

    Check out Eddie Bravo’s “Smoke Serpent Jiujitsu” song. Still horrible, but slightly better. Slightly.

  2. slideyfoot says:

    It is an impressive achievement to make Eddie Bravo’s music look good. So, kudos to him for that, at least. ;p

    Seriously, it is cool that Ralek is willing to try something new and open himself up to criticism. Although I’m guessing he probably wasn’t expecting quite as much as there’s been. Instant BJJ meme, judging by how widespread this video – and jokes about it – appear to have been.

    • Dave says:

      Yeah, I agree. Even though the music itself is really bad, at least he tried. In any case, I’m still not 100% convinced that this was a serious attempt at good music in the first place; and if it wasn’t, then Ralek deserves major respect for successfully trolling the entire BJJ community.

  3. blakesparks says:

    That was clearly a joke. hahaha!

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