Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Tweets Photos of “Mugging Attempt” as it Unfolds

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter Renzo Gracie was walking on the sidewalk at 22nd street and 10th avenue in Manhattan last night, when he noticed two shady-looking fellows following him. Suspecting that they were planning to mug him, Gracie began sending live tweets and photos to his 100,000+ followers on Twitter. Once the two men finally approached him, asking for a cigarette, he decided to launch a preemptive strike by beating the crap out of the would-be assailants… while live-blogging the whole thing.

Here are some of the tweets sent out (two of the photos are shown above):

22nd street and 10th ave right now two guys following me, can’t help but have a big smile upon my face Im talking about a happy one )))

I just stop to take a pic, they pretend they are looking at the window, can’t lie… My blood runs in a different speed, man I miss Brazil

Please hold there for just a couple minutes be right back

They are coming closer, asking for a cigaret lol can’t help but have a smile in my face. I don’t smoke. Pretend to wobble. They smile

Back as he runs, no chance to catch him… Even though I began to try to run after him, I realize How slow I was. F***k it :-///

This one asks me why did I do that, pretending to be stupid, one little kick to the ribs makes him whine and apologize, as I’m writing this.

I ask him if he was planing to rob me, he says no. All he wanted was a cigarette, lol I can’t help but have a big smile upon my face, and ..

I can’t help but take a pic as his nose bleeds and he wines and asks why did I do that… Like he doesn’t know the reason…

After giving one fellow a pounding while the other ran away, Gracie drove around the block looking for the other guy. He then found him, “choked him out 3 times”, and “raccooned” him, which apparently means doing stuff to make the other person wake up looking like a raccoon.

So basically, Gracie played iPhone photojournalist in documenting his own “attempted mugging” and counterattack. Either that, or he documented himself assaulting two innocent people on the streets of New York City.

The Internet is making photo-sharing weird.

Renzo Gracie reports mugging real time over Twitter (via Laughing Squid)

Image credits: Photographs by Renzo Gracie

  • Wimp

    So what happens if it turns out all he did want was a cigarette and the other guy ran because he was scared for his life?

  • buchananimagery

    Do NOT ask that guy for a cigarette!

  • WhosTheBadGuy

    Let’s see, he pummeled one guy then drove around looking for the other after he’d fled the scene – and no proof that there was a mugging.

    Who’s the bad guy here???

  • Amando Filipe


  • Susheel Samuel Chandradhas

    You can’t launch a “pre-emptive strike” if you’re not at war… This guy just beat up two guys who were acting suspiciously. He’s no hero in my eyes.

  • Susheel Samuel Chandradhas

    I agree… This dude just documented himself beating up two guys.

  • Kathleen Grace

    Hmm, could it perhaps be that they may have just recognized him and approached for that reason – Intuition is a good thing but is he now guilty of assault. It’s typical approach to ask for cigarette before an attack to get close to the intended victim, and It’s probable they were going there but can’t help but wonder.

  • Marco Mugnatto

    I’m brazilian and I hope this mad man is jailed. 

  • Alan Sailer

    If its a hoax, it’s in very bad taste.

    If it’s true, I am on the side of the “muggers”. Any real martial arts master wouldn’t need to start a fight like he described. There was nothing defensive about any of his actions, just a naked desire to beat the s**t out of someone.

    Pitiful either way.

  • wickerprints

    It’s not for me to say whether or not the men following this guy really intended to mug him. I can’t possibly make such a determination on the basis of the information provided. But what I absolutely CAN state is that Renzo Gracie is a little too enthusiastic about beating people up and taking matters into his own hands, whether or not they “deserve” it. And that’s a stupid, arrogant, and dangerous attitude to have for a martial artist.

    In real life, martial arts are supposed to be used for self-defense. And it stopped being that when he got in his car to track down the other individual in order to beat him up, regardless of whether that individual intended to mug him or not. Becoming some “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master” so that you can boast about being a badass is incredibly juvenile and irresponsible. I wonder what he’ll do when someone shoots him with a semiautomatic pistol. Will he tweet about it?

  • Richard

    Unless they showed intent to mug him, they were assaulted by this guy. No one can determine their intentions; the criminal system doesn’t work on pre-crime. If he really suspected them of attempting to mug him, why didn’t he defuse the situation by turning around and asking them if they were going to mug him? Pretty sure they would’ve left him alone once they were outed.

  • O.V.

    Probably you’ve never been in this kind of situation. I don’t wish you to be. But two guys on an empty street asking for a cigarette and only having goods intentions does not exist! Maybe in the movies. Don’t be naive. Gracie did the right thing and hopefully he discouraged those idiots to try it again.

  • harumph

    What a psychopath. He just documented all the evidence necessary to get himself prosecuted for unprovoked assault.

  • Patrick Downs

    If the alleged “perp” who ran and was chased down and beaten reads this, Gracie will find it hard to explain away becoming the vigilante aggressor. Lawsuit! There have been BJJ and other martial artists, good ones, who thought they were invincible only to face knives or guns and be wounded or killed in similar situations. This wasn’t too smart, imo. Too much macho.

  • John B.

    He relished the idea of beating them up, and he made the first move. He was hoping for trouble! I hope he is charged with assault, and bring this idiot down to earth. He needs to humble himself a little.

  • The_photographer_Tom

    Police and other law enforcers are taught only to use the minimum amount of force neccessary to prevent an assault (once it’s begun)
    Pre-empting these two people by attacking them means that HE is the asailant in this case.

  • Eziz

    Henzo’s fame waned long time ago. I guess he wanted to relive the good old days …

  • matrixbjj

    Finally, proof positive that smoking is bad for your health. Or even trying to smoke.

  • TSY87

    What an idiot. Although there is a chance he was right, maybe more than just a chance, the fact remains he made the first move. I hope those two “attempted muggers” get justice for this hot headed idiot.

  • Donald P. Domke

    If he wishes he was in Brazil……well, hit the road, Jack!! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. No loss to us!

  • O.V.

    Obviously, being on a photography site, people are not aware who Renzo Gracie is. He is a legend of mixed martial arts, one of the few who put BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) on the world map and one of the most respected and recognized MMA master in the world. Besides that, as a Brazilian, he knows better than others how to recognize a dangerous street situation. These are reasons enough to trust that he took the best decision. Period. I wish that none of the above comments writers will ever be in this kind of situation and realize that they were so wrong.

  • derekdj

    The Gracie’s are notorious thugs in the martial arts world, I hope he gets picked up for assault and battery.

  • Howard

    That is exactly why I said that my personal opinion is that he may well be justified in beating the first guy. But getting in a car and chasing down someone that is fleeing and never threw a punch turns him into the ‘bad guy’

  • Michael Knight

    Based only on what is posted here Renzo Gracie should be arrested and charged with aggravated assault. There is NO proof of an attempted mugging which even HE admits in his posts. Yea he NEEDS to go back to Brazil and stay there…

  • Michael Knight

    He’s a professional – u telling me he still couldn’t have stop the mugging once it become clear it was a mugging and do so with minimum force ? Bull crap ! He should be charged..

  • wickerprints

    What you don’t understand is that this guy’s reputation makes no difference. Once he showed that he ENJOYED beating on these guys, and how he hunted one of them down in his car AFTER he was already clearly safe, and not ONCE did he contact law enforcement, that legally proves that he is criminally liable for assault and should be prosecuted.

    Without having clear legal definitions of what constitutes self defense and criminal intent, what is to stop someone like him (or someone like you) from simply deciding to maim or kill someone simply because YOU personally decided in your own f***ed up mind that they had malicious intentions? I don’t care how much of a legend he is. He was looking forward to the altercation and violated the first rule of self defense, which is to walk away and get help unless cornered. He loves that he has this martial arts training so much that he was eager for any excuse to use it. And then he boasted about it on twitter, as if to prove how macho he is.

    He has serious psychological problems, and you do too if you are too blinded by his reputation to see it.

  • yo mama

    yeah like there is still innocent people in crap york :D :D

  • O.V.

    I wouldn’t go so far, in your place, to insult me, or anybody else for that matter. I think we have different perspectives and that is all. I understand your point and the others’ and it make sense. But unless you’ve been an assault victim yourself on the streets, you cannot understand “the other side” of the story. So let’s keep it cool, let’s go back to photography and forget the other aspects of this story.

  • Marc

    Recognize a dangerous street situation? Are you kidding me? Yeah, it seemed so dangerous that he was constantly saying he couldn’t help but have a smile on his face. He was just showing off to his Twitter followers. And instead of leaving the dangerous situation, he drives around to follow the other guy and then beats him up. RENZO GRACIE IS A REAL HERO.

  • Samuel

    Two guys stopped to look in a window, were behind someone, and asked for a cigarette and in response he attacked one of them, smiled and took a photo of them bleeding then searched down the one that ran away…… not so much photo journalism as sociopathic.

  • Ricardo Huamán Farías

    So much for jiu-jitsu = no bullying.

  • Matt

    Why didn’t #2 call the police when his buddy was getting thrashed?

  • enero

    This is so messed up. I hope this leads to his arrest and an investigation.

    On a side note, I grew up in NYC and guessing by the neighborhood he was in, it was more likely that these guys were looking for a hook-up then the chance of it being a mugging.

  • antonomy

    OSS! Professor Gracie ( bow ) Renzo has been shot several times, he’s a man he deals with problems himself not calls the police and hope they arrive in time

  • val escobar

    I call it the Zimmerman syndrome.

  • Steff

    Reads like messages from a psychopathic person…

  • Maxien

    This guy is a disgrace! Even from his account there is no sign of a mugging. This guy was looking for a fight. You could tell from the very beginning where he said 2 guys were following him.

    He then beat up one guy and then searched the area to beat up the other. THAT makes him the bad guy. Those 2 guys who were involved should sue this big headed freak.

    Also in martial arts fighting is ALWAYS the last thing you should do. You are taught to either walk away or do your best not to fight. This guy clearly skipped that lesson… Some jiu-jitsu master… Has to beat ppl up just because he has an active imagination.

  • Truthiocity

    All this lawyer talk is stupid. Law is a tool of justice AFTER the crime, not a method of self defence from muggers. A mugger isn’t going to go for you if they can see there are police convently located nearby.
    He knew they were up to no good when he detected they were following him yet trying not to look like they were following him. It is also safe to assume someone who has been trained in pysical confrontations and engaged in countless violent interactions can percieve a violent intent from someone else.
    Lawyers saying you did the right thing by letting a criminal get the initiative is of little consolation if you have been stabbed or shot.

  • Raymond Larose

    Maybe next week he’ll raccoon some suspicious looking kindergardeners. Renzo dis Gracie – no respect for this guy.

  • Bua

    Getting a Brazilian would never be the same again.

  • branden rio

    Real “self-defense” is running away

  • Chris Scade

    Last time I checked we are not taught punching and kicking in Jiu Jitsu, that is why I also train boxing, so I don’t get the “Jiu-Jitsu, never leave home without it.”, I could see if he just choke the guy out and ran away, or put the guy in a chicken wing to detour him from proceeding, but not choke him out and then start punching him while he can’t defend himself…

    I remember watching one of his guys fight on youtube, his guy tapped to a Kimura, and because the guy didn’t let go as soon as Renzo’s guy tapped, Renzo jumped in the ring and kicked the guy in the head… and we are talking seconds here… Renzo overreacts to everything.

  • Dan Scott

    Looks like the victims have all the they need to file assault charges.

  • Alan Dove

    I hope he bumps into Bernie Goetz in a dark alley next time.

  • Alan Dove

    Here’s hoping he runs into Bernie Goetz next time.

  • AL

    As deplorable as this story is, the reason it is here on PetaPixel is…?

  • Michael Zhang

    Reporting on a VERY STRANGE case of photo sharing (or photo over-sharing)

  • Captain Obvious

    For anyone thinking this is such a tragedy of justice, I recommend you take a walk in the same area at the same time during the night. What he did was teach a couple of thugs a lesson that mugging people is a bad career move.

    There is a lot left out in this story on this website. But there is an audio interview where Renzo says the two guys didn’t just ask for a cigarette, but grabbed him and started to go in his pockets. So get off your high horses and take a walk in the NYC neighborhood at night before you start judging from the safety of your internet connections.

  • wickerprints

    Even if they were in fact muggers, that still does NOT excuse his actions. It’s that simple. You NEVER have the right to hunt down someone to beat them up and exact revenge. The whole situation was about this guy’s enormous ego and showcasing how macho he is, and that flies in the face of everything you’re supposed to be taught about martial arts.

  • Captain Obvious

    Let’s be real here, they were muggers. There is no situation in New York where two guys follow you for blocks just to ask you for a cigarette. Let alone grab you to get that cigarette they are asking for. So first off this was a case of self defense. its a situation where you either give up, let them have what they want and do what they want. Or you fight back and defend yourself. Second part of finding the other guy will have a difference of opinion on whether it was just or not to teach him a lesson. who knows how many people these two guys may have mugged that night before this happened? who knows how many people were not mugged because Renzo did something? Who knows, but in my opinion he didn’t do anything out of line. No one got killed or seriously injured. If a person is going to commit a crime, they deserve what they get in the form of retaliation.

    Was it right to live tweet? I don’t know the answer to that. But this is what technology has done. This is the new way people live tweeting, posting, uploading everything and anything.