Recently a friend of mine sent me an I.M. about a new show that Ralek Gracie was putting together called The Foundation. I really had no idea what it was. He tells me that people have been saying that it’s corny but that it hit home with him, so I decided to check it out.
The show follows a young skateboarder by the name of Dean Wellen who lives with his abusive father, Scott Wellen. Scott apparently did some time somewhere and has unresolved anger management issues. At times he’s apologetic and fatherly, but for the most part, he’s a dick.
One day Dean gets jumped at the beach by three guys, the beating only stops when Chris Haueter himself intervenes and runs the kids off. Some background information if you’re unaware. Chris Haueter is a Rigan Machado Black Belt and a member of the Bjj Dirty Dozen, which are the first twelve none Brazilian Black Belts. After running the he kids off, Haueter extends Dean an invite to train Jiu-Jitsu at his place.
As most introductions to Jiu-Jitsu go, for Dean it take a few months and another rough encounter with his father before he finally goes to class. Not wanting to give away too much I’ll stop here.
I feel like I need to get this out of the way first. If you decide to watch this series, do your best to watch it with an open mind. Have an open mind in knowing who created the The Foundation series. I understand that many people have a negative view of Ralek and will refuse to support any his projects. That’s fair enough, but Jiu-Jitsu Times has reported that Ralek is planning to use the proceeds from the series to pay off his Metamoris debts.
I would also ask that you have an open mind in knowing that this series is low budget. The actors involved are actually Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and not professionally trained. As an independent film project it naturally has the feel of one. The lighting and camera angles all give you that feeling but in a good way. Almost as if you’re there with the characters in scene. There’s nothing flashy or over the top so it feels gritty.
While I’ve only watched the first two episodes, I’m actually enjoying the series. So far, it’s definitely worth a watch. In 2009 we had the Redbelt move, A few years ago Artechoke Media released the Dojo Storm video game, and now we have The Foundation. These are the kinds of projects that I would love to see more of in the coming years, so this is a good addition to the growing list.
The more we support these start up projects the more we’ll see Jiu-Jitsu represented in new and exciting mediums.