Written by Samantha L. Johnson
From the moment his lips start moving, you know you’re going to get nothing but a laugh and some insane comments from rubber guard inventor Eddie Bravo.
On Sept. 3, he joined us for a brief talk about 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, advocating the legalization of marijuana, the California wild fires and how he was a musician first.
“I don’t know, have you guys heard of these massive fires going on [in Southern California]?” asked Bravo. “I’m sitting on a roof top right now in Hollywood. The sun is setting and the moon is up. It’s like a scene from ‘Mad Max’ right now.”
“Mad Max”… seems fitting for one of the craziest personalities in MMA.
After giving me a lesson of how to annunciate “jiu-jitsu” (you have to say it slowly), Bravo went on to describe which areas are welcoming 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu locations.
“We just opened up Morgantown, WV,” said Bravo. “Delaware, Indianapolis and Hartford, CT is coming up next week.”
When asked about how someone goes about opening and 10th Planet affiliate Bravo couldn’t give a serious answer.
“All you need is a picture with me,” said the man also known as “The Twister.” “Me and the school owner in the picture and you can open up a school. That’s it.”
Eddie credits his invention of the Rubber Guard with his habitual marijuana usage.
He states the marijuana gave him the freedom and creativeness to be able to master such a technique. However, he wasn’t always the High Times subscribing, chronic smoking, fun loving guy he is now.
“Well, I started smoking weed when I was 28,” said Bravo. “I hindered it my whole life. I smoked it like once a year through out my teens and my 20’s and always got paranoid, freaked out and hated it. I totally believed that it gave you brain cancer and it killed your head and your lungs got corrupted from it. I believed all that [expletive].
“Then at 28, I read the book ‘The Emporer Wears No Clothes’ and I finally smoked weed and I didn’t have a paranoid episode.”
Now that he knows there’s no need to fear marijuana, or its effects, Bravo is a frequent user and has become quite open with his usage — even mentioning it in his book, “Mastering the Rubber Guard”.
However, he’s still concerned with the number of people each year arrested and prosecuted due to marijuana usage and distribution. Since the age of 28, Bravo has become a major marijuana activist and is constantly working to make medicinal marijuana usage legal in all 50 states.
“I’m high right now, and I can get thrown in jail,” Bravo said. “I’m going to keep preaching, keep speaking the truth until we’ve got all states on board with the legalization of marijuana. Right now we have 13. I’m going to keep going until we have 50.”
Bravo’s marijuana usage affects him in not just his jiu-jitsu realm of life.
He is also a musician and lets it influence him in that aspect also. Playing the guitar since an early age, Bravo has been in bands since he was a teenager.
Now that 10th Planet is gaining popularity Bravo is being rewarded for all of his hard work. He is letting his disciples take over his L.A. branches and he is going on tour—a musical one.
“I’ve been producing music since I was 10 or 11 years old,” Bravo said. “I moved to Hollywood at 21, got into jiu-jitsu at 24, after seeing UFC 2 because I didn’t want to be a fat rock star. Got obsessed with that, I thought, ‘what a wonderful way to stay in shape.’ That just kind of [expletive] blew up. This [music] has been my mission the whole way through.”
He’s manipulating his extensive following of MMA fans and turning them onto his music career.
Many of his MMA fans view his music career as a “side project” and give it about as much respect as Shaquille O’Neal’s last album got.
For Bravo it’s a double-edged sword, his fans that have been following his music since he was young don’t believe he can do anything in MMA, leaving Bravo is in a rut with fans.
“I’ve very hard to go from sports to music,” said Bravo. “It’s so hard, almost impossible, but I’m making it happen.”