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Rickson’s hands-tied lesson

In one of his live lessons on the website, Master Rickson Gracie showed how he usually practices his defense with his hands tied in his belt. 

Check out this new key basic lesson by the master, and never again allow anyone to mount you easily. 

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Gold tip alert: armlock release

Master Rickson Gracie elegantly addresses a Jiu-Jitsu classic challenge: how to release the arm when you are about to execute an armlock, and your opponent tries to defend it. Mind-blowing.

Gold tip alert: armlock release

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The gift every child should get

The classic documentary "Choke," from 1999, was the first contact many martial artists had with the philosophy and the world of jiu-jitsu. 

But it's not even necessary to watch Rob Goodman's masterpiece until the end to be delighted by one of the biggest points defended to this day by Rickson Gracie.  

In fact, this one shows up in the first scene. 

In bed, right after waking up, Rickson is playing with his kids. He then asks to see an armlock and taps out, laughing, despite his stretched elbow and the expression of simulated discomfort. Rickson goes on playing and sinks in a hug, an immobilization and a back-take to show his kids that life isn't all victories. 

"In my family, jiu-jitsu comes from birth. Instead of diapers, they put me in gis," Rickson said in a recent interview on the podcast Inferno Cast. He first competed when he was six, but he preaches that all parents should give their children this gift that is to practice and play jiu-jitsu very early, regardless of tournaments and medals. 

"What changes the life of any kid," he said, "is to start, like me, to get used from a young age to physical contact — the grab, the hug, the base — in order not to get taken down easily and to have the serenity of knowing how to fall and knowing how to stand up. I learned all of that with my family, in a playful, fun and smooth way."

To Rickson, a child who learns jiu-jitsu benefits quickly from the art, because they develop — playing — their sense of space, the instinct of control, the connection with the other, the possibilities of contact and how to be always safe in case someone grabs them to force anything they might not want. 

"With jiu-jitsu, you start to comprehend everything that is happening when someone tries to push you, or hurt you," Rickson said. "Jiu-jitsu offers the person who trains, whatever their age, what I call a box of invisible tools, which is ready to be used for any unforeseen events."

An invisible present! What more could your kids want?

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Empowerment 11th class: Base with resistance

Master Rickson Gracie uses a resistance band to help you train your base.

Empowerment 11th class: Base with resistance

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How to learn BJJ by watching ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Many practice jiu-jitsu; few truly live jiu-jitsu. 

But if you're reading this, you are likely on the second team. You are one of us, one of those people who enjoy the knowledge of the gentle art from the time they wake up until bedtime. Which includes, of course, your leisure — when you choose a book, a TV show or a movie to pass the time. 

Wanna test this theory? Simple. First, take a movie like "Lethal Weapon," "Red Belt" or some other popular flick and try to find out which jiu-jitsu concepts are in it. Okay; now let's move up one step. Let us study jiu-jitsu with help from humanity's most famous love story, in the form of the movie "Romeo and Juliet."

The plot is as well known as it gets, and jiu-jitsu shows up midway through Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version. It's a curious scene, absent from Shakespeare's text — it's as if the Italian director had chatted with Helio Gracie before filming one of the crucial twists of the story. 

Romeo is furious, breathless, devoid of reason, and challenges Tybald, Juliet's cousin, to a duel. Both men are skilled with the sword, young and athletic, but can't escape gravity: they fall, roll far from their weapons, and the result is a bloody ground fight. As Grandmaster Helio taught for his whole life, "The key to the secret of jiu-jitsu is that over 90% of fights and aggressions end up with two guys rolling on the floor."

Enough spoilers, but it's a shame the Capulets and Montagues didn't have a jiu-jitsu gym in Verona. Maybe the play would have drawn smaller crowds, but Romeo and Juliet could have lived happily, with a bunch of kids running around the palace. 

But cut. Cut back to our common life in the 21st century. Whether you're a lover, a swordsman or a regular student, the base missing from the movie continues to be one of the fundamental pillars for surviving a fight — whether in competition or during an ambush. 

Right in one of the first videos posted to Rickson Academy, the master teaches: "The practitioner's base has nothing to do with physical strength. It's about positioning oneself the right way to be solid in the face of an aggressor. Even while moving, the student needs to maintain a solid base — there is no way to defend yourself efficiently without that."

Take a tour of the site and gain a deep understanding of this concept. First watch the video on the fundamentals of breathing, and then watch video 1 on Base. 

Next time you need this knowledge, you'll get a happy ending.

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Latest Comments

jiujitsu Avatar
jiujitsu commented:

Obrigado, again

September 23, 2021 06:36 PM

jiujitsu Avatar
jiujitsu commented:

Again, 20+ years training and I was never taught all these details. What few details I learned I learned by getting my butt kicked and my arm hyper extended.

Obrigado to a true Master

September 23, 2021 06:20 PM

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