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What did the Olympic champion learn from Rickson?

What is the fundamental recipe for persevering and being successful? In 2003, Bernardinho Rezende, a coach, economist and former volleyball player, had the opportunity to get some tips from Rickson Gracie on this theme, and on how daily BJJ training feeds a positive, victorious mindset in the medium and long run. 

The eventual two-time Olympic gold-winning coach (Athens-2004 and Rio-2016) started with this question:
 
"Rickson, what are the characteristics that differentiate a good fighter from a superchampion like you?"
 
"I believe that difference exists in an almost invisible field," Rickson answered. "The champion managed to get there because they are talented and received good orientation. But the superchampion goes beyond that point and makes adjustments and adaptations without being guided, but which work out. They start being creative and an improviser."

Bernadinho then asked: "How do you think you developed that warrior spirit in the course of your education, and how did you resist the pressures?"

Rickson reflected and said: "The warrior is always concerned with conquering, whether it's territory, a medal or any challenge. They excel due to trying to defeat any and all foes. And that is something you only develop by always facing more challenges. Once victory is reached, it must no longer have any meaning."

Rickson continued: "If unable to achieve victory, you must restructure yourself so that it can be achieved next time. This constant struggle, without dwelling on conquests, this samurai spirit then becomes a part of every aspect of your life, not just on the mat. It's a desire that you have, that of being at a higher point than you were yesterday. 

"The more you train, the more confident you get to take the next step. But the pressure of having to win could explode anyone. What can be done, therefore, through the dedication of a big part of the mind and the spirit, is to surrender to a higher power: Simply do as much as you can, but know that the final result does not depend on you alone. It is with that that I remove the pressure from my routine. I'll just do what is possible -- what isn't possible is already settled. Whatever the result may be, I'll go back home satisfied."

Being creative and an improviser. Knowing how to armor yourself against pressure and finding maximum self-confidence to face challenges. A universal recipe, whether you're a lawyer, a coach or a wise BJJ master.

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Should BJJ strategy be practiced from the white belt?

Many BJJ students view the concept of strategy as a trait of professional athletes, or more advanced training partners. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
 
According to Rickson, strategy is one of the pillars of the study of BJJ, and it must be developed in the student from the first weeks of training. It's a matter of definition: while, to some, strategy consists of intricate tactical planning to beat a given opponent, Rickson sees it as the art of always having a plan B ready to go. That is, counting on a simpler, automatic, effective alternative for reacting -- with less force and more intelligence. 
 
Check out, in the following video, how Rickson develops a student's intelligence and strategy from their first few self-defense classes.

Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted to Ask Me Anything

How to defend yourself from a crazy attacker? Part 1 of 4

Our subscriber asked about a crazy attacker who comes swing towards you. Master Rickson Gracie organizes the defense in four classes: standing, from the guard, side control, and if you are in bad lucky and got mounted. Learn the first part now, if you are still standing.

How to defend yourself from a crazy attacker? Part 1 of 4

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Rickson Gracie’s lifesaving advice

One time, Rickson Gracie met the journalist Luca Atalla in Rio de Janeiro, and they began talking about injuries, pain and recovery. "There are certain phases in life where our number-one sport becomes physical therapy," Rickson joked. After a few laughs, Rickson went back to talking seriously and offered a crucial lesson that Luca has carried for the past 20 years:

"What's important is to face injury as a limiting factor, but never as an excuse to hang out on the couch. It's necessary to spare the injured area, but you must exercise the other parts of the body, even if just the pinky toe."

This wise advice, as well as essential to the evolution of those who practice BJJ, is proving important nowadays to the health of the population, and can even save lives. 

In a recent study published in Sports Medicine, a science magazine, researchers proved that regular physical activity, of medium and high intensity, helps the body produce more important antibodies and lymphocytes -- including the ones that play a relevant role in the protection against the coronavirus. 

The group of scientists responsible for the study ran tests with people with the flu, pneumonia and chickenpox, and noticed that the sedentary subjects produced 50% fewer antibodies. 

In the study, conducted by a team of professors from American universities, more was learned: The risk of getting sick or dying from an infectious disease is 37% smaller in people who exercise around 30 minutes per day, five days a week. 

Christina May Moran de Brito, physiatrist and medical coordinator of the rehabilitation service of the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital in São Paulo, commented on the study in Brazilian newspapers. "People who exercise have a bigger reserve of muscles to lose, and that avoids overloading the immune system," she said.

Want to take better care of your body? Good nutrition, hydration, peace of mind and information are the best ways. But first you have to get away from that laziness and the couch's strong magnetic field. Stay healthy, and enjoy your training.

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How to tape and ice your injuries – part 2

In this following up video, Master Rickson Gracie shares his method to tape fingers, a popular procedure among Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. Check it out.

How to tape and ice your injuries – part 2

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Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

What did the Olympic champion learn from Rickson?

What is the fundamental recipe for persevering and being successful? In 2003, Bernardinho Rezende, a coach, economist and former volleyball player, had the opportunity to get some tips from Rickson Gracie on this theme, and on how daily BJJ training feeds a positive, victorious mindset in the medium and long run. 

The eventual two-time Olympic gold-winning coach (Athens-2004 and Rio-2016) started with this question:
 
"Rickson, what are the characteristics that differentiate a good fighter from a superchampion like you?"
 
"I believe that difference exists in an almost invisible field," Rickson answered. "The champion managed to get there because they are talented and received good orientation. But the superchampion goes beyond that point and makes adjustments and adaptations without being guided, but which work out. They start being creative and an improviser."

Bernadinho then asked: "How do you think you developed that warrior spirit in the course of your education, and how did you resist the pressures?"

Rickson reflected and said: "The warrior is always concerned with conquering, whether it's territory, a medal or any challenge. They excel due to trying to defeat any and all foes. And that is something you only develop by always facing more challenges. Once victory is reached, it must no longer have any meaning."

Rickson continued: "If unable to achieve victory, you must restructure yourself so that it can be achieved next time. This constant struggle, without dwelling on conquests, this samurai spirit then becomes a part of every aspect of your life, not just on the mat. It's a desire that you have, that of being at a higher point than you were yesterday. 

"The more you train, the more confident you get to take the next step. But the pressure of having to win could explode anyone. What can be done, therefore, through the dedication of a big part of the mind and the spirit, is to surrender to a higher power: Simply do as much as you can, but know that the final result does not depend on you alone. It is with that that I remove the pressure from my routine. I'll just do what is possible -- what isn't possible is already settled. Whatever the result may be, I'll go back home satisfied."

Being creative and an improviser. Knowing how to armor yourself against pressure and finding maximum self-confidence to face challenges. A universal recipe, whether you're a lawyer, a coach or a wise BJJ master.

Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

Should BJJ strategy be practiced from the white belt?

Many BJJ students view the concept of strategy as a trait of professional athletes, or more advanced training partners. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
 
According to Rickson, strategy is one of the pillars of the study of BJJ, and it must be developed in the student from the first weeks of training. It's a matter of definition: while, to some, strategy consists of intricate tactical planning to beat a given opponent, Rickson sees it as the art of always having a plan B ready to go. That is, counting on a simpler, automatic, effective alternative for reacting -- with less force and more intelligence. 
 
Check out, in the following video, how Rickson develops a student's intelligence and strategy from their first few self-defense classes.

Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

Rickson Gracie’s lifesaving advice

One time, Rickson Gracie met the journalist Luca Atalla in Rio de Janeiro, and they began talking about injuries, pain and recovery. "There are certain phases in life where our number-one sport becomes physical therapy," Rickson joked. After a few laughs, Rickson went back to talking seriously and offered a crucial lesson that Luca has carried for the past 20 years:

"What's important is to face injury as a limiting factor, but never as an excuse to hang out on the couch. It's necessary to spare the injured area, but you must exercise the other parts of the body, even if just the pinky toe."

This wise advice, as well as essential to the evolution of those who practice BJJ, is proving important nowadays to the health of the population, and can even save lives. 

In a recent study published in Sports Medicine, a science magazine, researchers proved that regular physical activity, of medium and high intensity, helps the body produce more important antibodies and lymphocytes -- including the ones that play a relevant role in the protection against the coronavirus. 

The group of scientists responsible for the study ran tests with people with the flu, pneumonia and chickenpox, and noticed that the sedentary subjects produced 50% fewer antibodies. 

In the study, conducted by a team of professors from American universities, more was learned: The risk of getting sick or dying from an infectious disease is 37% smaller in people who exercise around 30 minutes per day, five days a week. 

Christina May Moran de Brito, physiatrist and medical coordinator of the rehabilitation service of the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital in São Paulo, commented on the study in Brazilian newspapers. "People who exercise have a bigger reserve of muscles to lose, and that avoids overloading the immune system," she said.

Want to take better care of your body? Good nutrition, hydration, peace of mind and information are the best ways. But first you have to get away from that laziness and the couch's strong magnetic field. Stay healthy, and enjoy your training.

Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

Is there a BJJ technique Rickson dislikes?

Could there be a jiu-jitsu technique that Rickson Gracie might find not to be all that? Recently, upon answering a classic question from one of his followers, the master made clear what displeases him when it comes to his endless range of resources.

"I love all the techniques in our jiu-jitsu, but my favorite ones are those that are performed without effort, at the right time and in the most effective manner," he said. "Everything that comes out imperfect, with too much wasted energy, gritted teeth and use of force bothers me, and I end up not liking it even if the movement in the end works out."

Check out the question asked by the Rickson Academy member, and Rickson's answer, here.

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How to ‘flow with the go’ with Master Rickson

In the history of mankind, many brilliant artists have pursued the fluid state when creating and working. This, of course, does not exclude the great martial artists. 
 
Flowing, in BJJ, means to roll on autopilot, with body and mind responding almost unconsciously to the opponent’s attack, thanks to an almost sensorial connection between you and your partner, or between you and their moves. 
 
Those who are able to capture this connection will be capable of flowing. And then, at last, you will fight as if you’ve let your instinct do the driving as you ride shotgun and enjoy the wind in your face, almost startled by all that’s going on. 
 
To Master Rickson Gracie, reaching this fluid state comes with time and the sensibility of a student, who will slowly become able to execute almost magical transitions, as beautiful as a composer creating a symphony. That’s when your mind appears to be in a trance, with no need to think about what’s coming or to try to anticipate anything; you just act -- and flow with the go.
 
Asked one day about how one can learn once and for all this central concept to Rickson’s philosophy, the master summed it up with his usual wisdom:
 
“You need to educate your reflexes, and that comes with practice. You can read tens of jiu-jitsu books, but be aware that not even all the theory in the world contained within your brain will translate into efficiency in the critical moment, when you need to save yourself from a confrontation. Only practice makes the difference so you can absorb the knowledge, correct your movements and let the technique flow.”

Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted to Ask Me Anything

How to defend yourself from a crazy attacker? Part 1 of 4

Our subscriber asked about a crazy attacker who comes swing towards you. Master Rickson Gracie organizes the defense in four classes: standing, from the guard, side control, and if you are in bad lucky and got mounted. Learn the first part now, if you are still standing.

How to defend yourself from a crazy attacker? Part 1 of 4

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How to tape and ice your injuries – part 2

In this following up video, Master Rickson Gracie shares his method to tape fingers, a popular procedure among Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. Check it out.

How to tape and ice your injuries – part 2

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How to tape and ice your injuries – part 1

Master Rickson Gracie shares techniques he applies taking advantage of his two best friends: sport tapes and ice. In this first (of two) video, he addresses knee and wrist, and talks about his particular method of icing.

How to tape and ice your injuries – part 1

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Jiu-Jitsu methodology: What is the best order of the moves?

At this time, a member asked the proper order of the moves to teach Jiu-Jitsu. Master Rickson Gracie uses this hook to explain that the order is not strict and the most critical part is putting the student into a context and making him comfortable in every situation, one by one.

Jiu-Jitsu methodology: What is the best order of the moves?

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Triangle choke: defense and escapes

Master Rickson Gracie goes over details to make you more confident in defending and escaping the infamous Triangle choke, one of the most dangerous Jiu-Jitsu's submissions.

Triangle choke: defense and escapes

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Latest Comments

Jeffery Martinez Avatar
Jeffery Martinez commented:

Amazing details!

June 22, 2021 03:33 PM

Kevin Seaman Avatar
Kevin Seaman commented:

Great detail on weight distribution. I sometimes forget this when in kesagatame and side control. Thank You, Professor Rickson!

June 22, 2021 11:44 AM

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