The other day, a cinephile went over the data, added up the punches, divided by the knockouts, and announced: it was Roy Barcroft, who played the villain in hundreds of B westerns between 1937 and 1957.
Born in Nebraska, Barcroft fought in World War I, and was a rancher, a sailor and a saxophone player in Chicago clubs. That is, until he became the villain of all villains, a master of falling, dusting himself up and returning with just as much confidence in the next film.
Coming to blows with criminals and cowboys is an activity better left in the past, but in a tribute to old Roy—who was one of the most gentle actors ever to arrive in Hollywood—today we bring a simple, effective lesson by Master Rickson Gracie, so that you and your students never get caught unprepared by a cowardly strike. Yippee Ki Yay, friends, and enjoy your training.
Headlocks are used both for strangles and to pin you. Master Rickson Gracie starts an entire Jiu-Jitsu series that will teach you how to read the situation and apply the proper techniques to survive and escape.
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Rickson on how to learn the philosophy of true Gracie jiu-jitsu
The site brainfodder.org has a neat explanation of the Dunning-Kruger effect:
"When someone begins to explore a new field of knowledge, they’re usually full of enthusiasm, but completely unaware of how much they don’t know or understand yet. They’re confident about their new knowledge and believe that they can make sense of new information quickly.
"On the other hand, if a person continues to obtain in-depth knowledge in the same field, they slowly realise how vast the field actually is. The more they learn, the more they are humbled by how much they don’t know. Hence, real experts are often hesitant about making definitive statements."
Being humble will get you far. So here's a video of Rickson Gracie answering a question from a humble student who, having just started out, wanted to learn the philosophy and tradition of true Gracie jiu-jitsu passed on from Hélio, Rickson's father.
The lesson by Rickson that changed chef Alex Atala’s career
This one comes from Graciemag.com.
The Brazilian chef Alex Atala, a black-belt under Demian Maia who first donned the gi in the 1990s, once learned from Master Rickson Gracie a simple lesson, summed up in one sentence, that changed his professional life forever.
Atala remembered the episode in an interview he gave Fabio Gurgel, and pointed out that the lesson kicked off a revolution in his career.
“Before I won recognition and prizes, I spent ten years just eating, sleeping and cooking, without doing any single other solitary thing in São Paulo,” said Atala, 52. “I found myself working amid chaos; it was torture, until I finally understood a brilliant line by Rickson, which I’ve kept with myself forever: ‘The secret is to find comfort in discomfort.’”
In that very well-synthesized sentence, Atala realized what he was getting wrong:
“Right there, I learned that I was looking at many of my daily difficulties the wrong way. After all, life, work, daily routine will bring us discomfort all the time, and fighting this fact amounts to burning energy, because it’s impossible to change it. To live is to manage problems. From that day on, I started finding comfort in discomfort, and I was happier.”