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Rickson Gracie launches the Empowerment Course

To become a complete fighter, master Rickson Gracie developed and selected techniques to complement his training sessions. And now, he organized the most important in over 40 comprehensive lessons for you.

The Empowerment Course is available exclusively to Rickson Academy premium subscribers. Starting on August 19, we will release a couple of lessons per week through the following months until complete.
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The key lesson Rickson tried to teach the Hulk

Around 2008, the actor Edward Norton was shooting "The Incredible Hulk" in Rio de Janeiro and had a fixed idea about his character. If he were in fact a normal guy who became a big green monster, how would he seek to control his emotions and avoid destroying everything around him? "I know," said Norton, who had once been a skinny kid and knew all about the Gracie family: "Get me Rickson. I have in my mind a perfect scene for the movie."

We believe everyone reading this knows the scene in question, but the lessons Master Rickson has to offer, whether you're a white-belt or a supersized green ogre, are even more valuable. 

"Knowing how to breathe, for those who fight, is more important than knowing how to swim is for those who surf," Rickson preaches. "If today I've created this website, it's in order to be able to bring to the greatest number of people my Introduction to Jiu-Jitsu, with all the fundamentals of our martial art. And the first module of that Introduction is breathing."



To Rickson, breathing is pure jiu-jitsu: You must seek maximum efficiency with minimum effort. And the result of this doesn't just come down to feeling like you have more stamina and resistance. "The benefit isn't limited just to the muscles: Your brain is going to work better when your lung works better, and this is the secret that changes everything," says Rickson, who on Rickson Academy explains it all with clear didactics and illustrations, perfect for any newcomer to pick up and employ. 

Want to see how Rickson uses the diaphragm to optimize his breathing, exhale more carbon dioxide and enhance his game? Watch the full video here, in all its priceless 15 minutes of wisdom. 

At least one famous actor swears by it.
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BJJ is having love for the details

One of the teachings found most frequently in Master Rickson's classes concerns attention and zeal for the smallest details. A tighter angle, a position to this or that side of your neck, can save you from some big trouble. 
 
Curiously, love for minutiae is a secret shared by some of history's greatest geniuses -- from Thomas Edison to Van Gogh, just to drop a couple of names. 
 
Some time ago, a great Brazilian writer reinforced this lesson in a virtual class with many students and younger journalists. Ruy Castro, author of award-winning books about bossa nova and the singer Carmem Miranda, was asked about the greatest virtue of a good writer. 
 
His swift reply came: "Easy: To never give up on seeking some piece of information, however small. In the case of a biographer or even a great journalist, the secret is to chase the small details without ever losing hope."

"It may take you six months or a year, and you will piss off some five people until you reach the one who knows, but you can't get deflated," he added. "A biography is made up of millions of particles of information; it's like a Chinese puzzle -- and every discovery will have its value. That's the fun of the whole thing. People always ask the reason for expending so much energy going after a minute detail, which very few readers will care about. But that's the fun. Finding that detail of the life of a character is a challenge that I posed to myself. And I have to win. If I start giving up on a detail, soon I'll be giving up on finding that relative, that old friend or boyfriend, and I won't tell the whole story. If you prefer to abandon the challenges and give up on investigating, it's better to not even write that book. Go do something else; go be a stockbroker. Don't give up on taking on the mysteries, be they easy or thorny."
 
So that's our lesson, whether you're a teacher, a fighter, chess player or puzzle enthusiast. Breathe, go deep into the details and never lose hope. Imagine your future self seeing your work done, and every drop of sweat will be justified. 

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The page missing from your BJJ book, with Rickson Gracie

If you practice BJJ, you've probably heard it being compared to many human creations. Chess. A fortress, with its stone walls symbolizing the guard. A lab. A Swiss Army knife. A shield. And even, pft, a rat trap. 

But BJJ can also be viewed as a language, tongue without letters -- with the exception, perhaps, of the mysterious Z-guard. 

Yes, BJJ can be viewed, learned and transmitted as a language. The experts are the masters and enthusiasts capable of forming long sentences, of going 30, 50 minutes scribbling on the mats, if their opponent can take it. Now, a white-belt can repeat a few letters and words, making an effort, with their tongue between their lips, to draw along the lines of each maneuver. A crude sweep, thus, is similar to repeating that "the book is on the tabel, oops, the table."

Or, as a purple-belt user wrote the other day, "The fundamentals taught by Rickson on the site were the page that was missing from my book, thank you!"

Indeed, it's not rare to see on the mats around the world many students who know Jiu-Jitsu, know its principles from A to Z and have mastered the language, but stumble when faced with complex discourse. They all know the ABCs -- just not exactly when to use the letters and the verbs. Connection, and rhythm, are missing.  

In the lessons taught by Master Rickson, the details, fundamentals and apparently "invisible" tips are the basics that allow the student to express themselves in a fluid, convincing, effective way, much like a lawyer in court or a diplomat at a conference. 

According to Rickson, practicing BJJ without learning the basic lessons about how to breathe, exhale and work the lungs is like learning the ABCs of Jiu-Jitsu while skipping several letters: at some point, you're going to have difficulty writing longform.
 
Check out, in the following video, an example of a fundamental of Rickson's ABCs. Opening your legs correctly, like a pair of compasses, like a well-drawn letter A, may be the difference between having a secure standing base and falling like a sack of potatoes being pushed. And for those who fall to the slightest nudges on the letter A, even the Z-guard isn't much help. 

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A look at Rickson's warmup

What is the goal of warming up before a jiu-jitsu training session? As Rickson Gracie usually says, it's not enough just to warm up your muscles to increase your heart rate; you must warm up your body in an objective way, connected to the study of the art. 
 
"Indeed, if the student runs 1km before training, they will have their body warm to exercise. But they won't have done an efficient warmup, that is, one related to the moves they will perform over the following hour of training."
 
That's why Rickson prefers a warmup involving base, posture and self-defense fundamentals that move the whole body and get the student's muscles and brain activated. 
 
Moreover, with the warmup, Rickson tries to show the student how to work correctly with their breathing. The start of the class, therefore, must compel the student not to repeat the instructor's movement, but rather to feel the moves and begin experimenting with how their execution feels.  
 
Watch Rickson leading his students' warmup, and enjoy your training. 

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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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