Rickson recent statement

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Dead_pool, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If you follow social media, you'll no doubt be aware that it has become common knowledge that a BJJ Blackbelt who has trained under Rickson, was also convicted of a low level sex crime a few years ago, so long story short, this is Rickson most recent statement

    Jiu Jitsu Global Federation

    "This statement is in regards to my association with David Arnebeck. I take full responsibility for allowing Mr. Arnebeck to continue his membership in the JJGF. Considering the final court ruling that he was permitted full unrestricted normal contact with minors, which declares that Mr. Arnebeck was not to be considered as a danger to minors or to society and that I know him, his wife, his daughter and his work as a Jiu Jitsu instructor for fifteen years, I decided not to impose further penalties on Mr. Arnebeck other than those already given by the court. In doing so, I took the personal position that people who demonstrate the will to change and to pay for past mistakes should not be ostracised and excluded from society.

    However, as of today, the JJGF is adopting a zero tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct. We believe it is necessary to unequivocally condemn any case of sexual misconduct, and Mr. Arnebeck has been expelled from the JJGF. We encourage any member from the Global Jiu Jitsu community to help us to enforce this policy and communicate any wrongdoing they are aware of.

    I condemn in the strongest words predatory behavior that takes advantage of others. This type of behavior is intolerable and contrary to my life mission and the mission of the JJGF. I am passionate to empower protectors and self-defense through Jiu Jitsu.

    Gracie Jiu Jitsu, in its purest form, is a system designed to give the weak tools to protect themselves from the strong. Decades after the art’s birth, the Jiu Jitsu Global Federation still believes in this mission.

    We believe that Jiu Jitsu should be used to empower individuals, and we do not condone any person, group, or organization who would prey upon the vulnerable. We expect our members and supporters to be the best representatives of Jiu Jitsu, and that means upholding standards of morality, standards of character, and standards of ethics.

    Individuals who would use Jiu Jitsu to do harm or who would put members of our community at risk are not welcome and will not be tolerated.

    For those of you who work tirelessly to do good for your students and to represent the best ideals of our art, thank you. We need your work continue.

    -Rickson Gracie"

    Which is very good news.
    It's a pity the IBJJF can't do something about DJ Jackson now.
    axelb likes this.
  2. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Been reading up on this since you posted this.

    His statement sounds like it is a little too late. A move not made for moral reasons, but because he was being called out by too many others and couldn't get away with what he has been doing for years. He was supporting this guy who was convicted of abuse to a 15 year old., letting him stay in his Federation, train with him, and TEACH KIDS after said conviction. He tried to ignore the other high level BJJ people calling him out. He went so far as to delete peoples concerns on his website? Only when it blew up on the Internet and wouldn't go away, did he act. It seems like it is damage control for his business and reputation- not a sincere concern about abuse from a teacher in his Federation.

    I have lost any respect I had for him. I don't follow BJJ closely, but in general respect the Gracie's for their contribution to Martial Arts. Not Rickson any more. You cover up and support someone who committed crimes against a child/ teen, you are scum in my book. It is that cut and dried simple to me.

    And it sounds like the crime happened when a 15 year old student had a sleep over at this Arnebeck's house? How the heck does even that happen? A sleepover of a teen student at an adult instructors house? That shouldn't be happening period!!!!!

    This is exactly one reason why I am so glad my school has a strict no fraternization policy between students and instructors.

    In my reading up on this, I found this page, including the video at the end, most informative.

    Warning: Adult topic discussing this crime. Not graphic or anything, but be careful where you watch this.

    Gracie Black Belt Calls Rickson a Fraud For Supporting Convicted Child Molester
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    philosoraptor, Monkey_Magic and axelb like this.
  3. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    The initial conviction is a strange one too, he essentially pled guilty but drunk. And the judge let him off from being registered etc, (which is why I can see there was wiggle room, if he's not banned by the law from teaching kids, and he's the one telling this to rickson, I'm sure he could spin it) and then the guy goes into legal damage limitation. And contradicts his initial story.

    Either way its very very late, but now it's done, and will be done to others, his getting banned by the org is a good thing.
  4. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    aaradia likes this.
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Not that I'm excusing this toe-rag but my daughter trains at the same club as me (she's 8), I occasionally teach at the club, my daughter is friends with other kids at the club and is going for a sleep-over with one of them in a couple of weeks (I'm friends with her mum, who also trains, and it was her that suggested it). We'll probably return the favour at some point and have the girl over to our house.
    I don't think that's what is going on here but it could be said that this other child would be "having a sleep-over at her instructor's house" in our situation.
    Some clubs are very "us/them" when it comes to instructor/student relations while others are more friendly.
    Mangosteen and axelb like this.
  6. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    I'm not sure I agree here.

    Like Smitfire said it doesn't excuse anything, obviously, but depending on the relationships in the club, I think it might be okay.
    Abusing a minor is an entirely differenly, compared to a simple sleepover.

    And to be honest, I really doubt that a no fraternization policy makes a difference, when it comes to sexual abuse, especially of minors.
    "These people" know how to chose their victims and how to handle the situation, that it can come to the actual abuse.

    I do have one question though, as I am a bit confused:
    In the beginning the article says: "... I take full responsibility for allowing Mr. Arnebeck to continue his membership in the JJGF. ..."
    Later on: "... However, as of today, the JJGF is adopting a zero tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct. We believe it is necessary to unequivocally condemn any case of sexual misconduct, and Mr. Arnebeck has been expelled from the JJGF. ..."

    It's probably what aaradia meant, but I am not entirely sure, if I miss something due to language, or if I understood it correctly :oops:
    Does that mean he was kept as a member/ teacher/ whatever until they decided their "as of today" statement and than got kicked out?

    If so... yeah... a bit late, maybe?!
  7. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    I think it means Rickson allowed him to stay originally but as of now he is gone

    And yes that does seem a bit like "well if its going to cause that much of an issue we will have to do something..."
    axelb, Knee Rider and Dead_pool like this.
  8. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Yeah, that is what it means.:mad:
    He was convicted in 2013. Thrown out of the JJGF in the last couple of days. Rickson and others in the JJGF were made aware of the convictions YEARS ago and chose to keep the convicted abuser as a training partner & teacher/ head of several affiliated schools in his Federation anyways. From what I can gather, Rickson posted an image of him and Arnebeck training together last week. Several BJJ Black Belts posted Instagram expressing their dismay. Those links got deleted and their concerns got ignored. Until it blew up so much it could not be covered up. Then and only then Rickson and this Federation took action. It's appalling really.

    Look at the link I posted and click on the video at the bottom. It was the clearest explanation I found when googling the situation.
  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    To be completely fair, the judge said the abuser wasn't a risk to others, and they're was no legal limits placed on him. So rickson statement rings true, (not ideal, but I can see it happening, especially considering the level of crime, and the age of consent in Brazil.
    (I'm also definatly not saying I agree with it)

    what doesn't ring true is David A's behaviour since then in blaming his victim, for what happened, and then claiming he was innocent after pleading guilty. Scumbag actions, from a scumbag.

    But legally David A will still be able to teach kids classes, so what now?
  10. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I don't care what the judge said, common sense dictates otherwise. That judge should be thrown off the bench. And the law that allowed such a plea should be changed.

    BTW, the court case happened in the USA - not Brazil.
    Brandon Hetzler
    Googling Hennepin County district shows it is in Minnesota USA. His three schools are in Minneapolis MN, USA.

    What should happen is the word needs to get out, the parents of his schools need to be notified, the ostracizing from the MA community needs to continue. Same thing with any situation like this.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  11. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I didn't say the offence was in Brazil, I'm saying rickson, living and growing up in Brazil, might at first of been influenced by the environment he grew up in, when being informed about the conviction, I obviously don't agree with it, but I'm not going to judge him harshly for changing his viewpoint.

    David A has a page on his website explaining away the conviction too, he sounds like a right slippery scumbag.

    Truth | David Arnebeck

    This is Great example of someone muddying the water, of a simple case, he was charged, pled guilty and was sentenced, if you only read this page, you wouldn't think that is what had happened.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    axelb likes this.
  12. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

  13. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Regarding the sleepover, I found some article stating that after the 15 year old woke up being molested by him, the teen went into the room of another juvenile who lived on the premises.
    So it sounds like the sleepover was organized around his kid.
  14. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    When my niece has sleepovers with friends, the kids all sleep in the same room. Same thing when I was a kid. Isn't that the point of a sleepover?
    axelb likes this.
  15. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I think it depends on the layout... when I was a kid I was at sleep overs where some overflow spilled into living rooms/etc, sleeping on couches, floor, etc.
    Maybe the teen felt the couch or wherever she was was more comfortable than a spot on the floor with a sleeping bag? Dunno.
  16. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    I think it might depend.
    Some parents will separate the kids when it's boys and girls.
    I do admit though: No matter where I slept, I slept in the same room or tent as the other kid, not matter the gender.

    But we also had an "awesome weekend" where I had two friends over the night, a boy and a girl. It ended, that they shared a room and I was in another one (I had broken my arm in the evening, but the Doc didn't see it on the x-ray and sent me home with nothing. Therefore I had so much pain, that we decided at least the other kids should be able to sleep :D )

    I also won't defend Arnebeck and I do think that he should have been kicked out right away; after all it was a kid he molested, which is even worse compared to an adult.
    But I'm not sure how I think about Rickson still training with him; if they were friends (what it sounds like to me), I can see and understand why he wouldn't entirely turn his back on Arneback.
    Especially, if it's more or less a sure thing, that it's something that won't happen again (I haven't had time to read more about the case or watch the video; just came home).
    I do think though, that the personal relationship should be differentiated from his staying in JJGF
    Dead_pool likes this.
  17. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    wow,I recall reading about this, and for a moment thought this was a thread necromancy.

    that's a long time you not action it, definitely sounds like damage control, rather than an action based on moral obligations.

    most clubs I know of in UK only allow instructors cleared of CRB check at their clubs. I feel that is a good standard when children's classes are involved.
  18. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    That's part of the issue, the guy is still teaching, and would pass the US version of a CRB check.

    Thats why he wasn't kicked out by rickson straight away.
    axelb likes this.
  19. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    I take it CRB is the british(?) version of a criminal record certificate, that can be asked?
    (I could have googled it, but then there would be no need for a forum ;) )

    If so, I am always torn as it's on one side a useful tool to pre-check the instructors if they're not known to the club already.

    On the other side: Let's be honest - what child molester would go an ask for a position to train kids, if they know that there will be asked for a criminal record/ CRB (probably)?
    Exactly, the ones that don't have a record and are not known for being criminals (at least in that... "area of crime").
    (I ignore the 1%, yes personal guess, that would apply for a position when it's known that there will be asked for a CRB; we'd like to think otherwise but "they" aren't as dumb as we want them to be).

    Therefore I'm afraid the best thing is, if the instructor is known beforehand if possible (still no guarantee, I am aware of that), either by the people running the club or by confident people, they trust.
    And the usual, which I even have to admit: In "my" club we don't do that.
    Never being alone with the children, separate changing rooms.

    I'm afraid the most secure thing is, to raise the kids in a form that they will become not the victims (easier said than done obviously; and no, I certainly DON'T mean that it's the kids or parents fault! But often there is a certain type of child that becomes a victim) and that they will trust to come right away to trusted people, if there is something weird going on - where we get into the "problem zone" as how we explain that to children, without them getting scared by situations that aren't risky or anything.

    For me at least, that is a very difficult subject.

    Where is the line?
    When I left "my" kids on Thursday I wished them nice holidays and the such and a nine year old came running to hug me.
    I hugged back.

    A six year old always likes to get carried on the arms a moment.
    A five year old will always grab my leg and sit on my foot.
    I let them.

    I also play with them at times, which ends on the ground, half a dozen children crawling all over me.
    I let them.

    The "problem" from certain MAs not included, that they require to lay partially upon them (holds and the such).

    Now, watch that prom the perspective of former victim; to not get people go all nuts, one that hasn't dealt with his trauma, since obviously not every one of them will jump up and down crying and yelling, because of the harmless examples above.
    Or, more scary, watch at it from a perspective of a potential offender.

    What we do is the following: We let the parents watch the first few times, when the kids come to train with us, to be as transparent as possible.
    And all now and then they can watch during normal training. For the moment when ever they ask if they could (it's not often at all, so I'm fine with it).

    When I took over the class a few weeks ago and added an additional hour of training only for the kids that are about to get tested in January, I even asked the parents, if they want to watch; not because I was afraid for the subject here, but so they can see, what I do and how I do it, when I am alone with the kids, as it was, after all, the first few times, that the entire training lay in my hands, not the ones of the other coach.

    I also talk to the parents if there is something that needs to be addressed, they have questions or sometimes just for a bit smalltalk; for me it's stressful but I want to be open for the parents as well for the kids, as I think that will take away a lot of the problems, that might occur but don't have a reason to be.

    As horrible as it is: Usually I'm just "glad", that most sexual harassment towards children happens within family and close friends :(
    Doesn't make it any better at all, obviously, but most of the time it's not sport clubs (and before some wants to flood me links, of course I am aware that it happens anyway).

    In another forum a former victim of sexual abuse stated an unfortunate true thing: Most people only talk about the subject.
    But they do not talk to the actual victims!
    That is, where people could learn more to prevent something like that happening better, because these (former) children can tell you, how they became a victim.
    I had a short exchange with him him via PM when I asked what about the perpetrator? What about asking them, how they became a molester (what they did was disgusting, but there are still some, who really regret what they did; these are the ones I'm talking about)?
    He thought it was a great idea, but I should be careful to mention that, because it has people going nuts, when you advise to talk to the victims - let alone the offenders.
    In his experience both had people to uncomfortable.

    If that were to be true (I do not know it; luckily I personal wasn't a victim and didn't get the "chance" to actually talk to one; I'm also missing qualification or experiences in a job that has to do with it), that might be a big thing to look at to work towards prevention of such crimes.

    As I mentioned before: It's a very difficult subject for me :oops:

    And I am very sorry for high-jacking the thread.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  20. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Yes it's a criminal background check!

    It's a good thing to have but only catches prior convicted offenders, not new offenders, or unconvicted offenders so it's helpful but isn't a complete fix.

    I agree having a proper child protection system in place is very important.

    I don't think it's the classes themselves in which the danger lies, but having a power imbalance, and the regular social contact, with which grooming/abuse could start.

    Here are some collected examples of cases in the UK.
    (not just Mt!)

    UK Muay Thai Instructors Arrested for Child Sexual Abuse

    You havn't gone off topic!
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