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Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

My routine on fight days, by Rickson Gracie

In my times of professional fighting, I liked arriving at the venue three hours before putting on the robe and jumping into the ring. 

I'd go with my team to the locker room and, to the surprise of those who did not know me, I'd go to a comfy corner and take a nap. I'd usually sleep for one hour thirty, one hour forty minutes. 

My recipe for sleeping soon before a decisive match came down to the lungs. I would breathe in, breathe out, relax my body and especially my head, and sleep deeply, like an infant. 

I'd wake up when there were sixty minutes to go, and start a warmup that lasted forty-five minutes. In this stage, my heartbeats would reach 160, 140, and the sweat would start running down. My body was already prepared for the crunch. 

And then I would sit for five minutes. It was enough to use my lungs to breathe in and out, and drastically lower my heart rate. Meanwhile, my opponent on the other side would jump, run, make faces, his heart rate way up. 

When the fight started, I was always at an advantage in relation to the heart rate and breathing. That's what would lead my opponents, sooner than me, to get their heads confused, make tactical errors, see their arms get too heavy. 

Breathing, therefore, was always my best friend as a fighter. And better still: it's the best weapon also for people who will never need to put on fighting gloves or a gi. 

After all, as I learned across so many years of locker rooms and training sessions, the lungs play quite a role in our body: they are the true caretakers of our brain and our heart. 

Try this as soon as possible: fill your lungs to the brim and exhale slowly and gradually. Repeat the process for three minutes. You will comprehend that it will be impossible to think about problems and errands; after all, your brain starts focusing on the commands of the respiratory movement, deterring any stressful thoughts. As a bonus, you slow down your heart. 

Then, you will feel, like I felt on those days of war, a peace that is hard to describe. 

Breathe, and be happy. 
Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

The strangest question I've ever been asked about jiu-jitsu

Sometime in the 1990s, I was doing a series of interviews in Tokyo for all the Japanese press. In a hotel suite, I'd be visited by interviewers from all outlets for 20 minutes of conversation, questions and answers.

Then came a journalist from an important Japanese magazine, a short, respectful reporter, and explained his angle:

“Mr. Gracie, I only have one question for you. I won't take up much of your time, but it's just this: How does Rickson Gracie go about fighting a polar bear?”

I heard that question, kept my face unaltered and didn't laugh, so as not to ridicule the job he had to do. Looking serious, I answered:

"Look, my friend, the last thing I plan to do in my life is to do hand-to-hand combat with a polar bear. But I guarantee one thing to you: If that happens, I'll have plenty of bear meat in my fridge, a warm bear coat to wear in the winter, and I'll make a bear-tooth necklace to gift my wife."

What I showed him, then, is that, no matter my opponent, no matter the mission or the enemy, my winning mindset doesn't change. Faced with the impossible, I visualize what I need to do, and I'll die trying. It may be while biting the face of a bear, but without ever thinking of running away or avoiding the danger at hand.

Is it an impossible situation? It may be, but your mind doesn't need to feel that it's impossible, since the mind is often capable of capturing the impossible, and transcend reality.

Having heard my answer, the journalist was visibly moved and basically kneeled in front of me before leaving, satisfied, to go write his piece.

I bet that, on that day, many professionals asked me much smarter questions, which generated long and instructive interviews. But it was that weird question that I never forgot -- a question so unpredictable, and which made so little sense, that it enabled me to fetch, also, an answer from the bottom of my heart.

Peace and good training sessions to all.

Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

Rickson teaches where to put your foot while fighting

The Brazilian poet João Cabral de Melo used to say that soccer consists of “giving the feet the astuteness of hands.” His verse could also refer to BJJ when it comes to certain key positions of defense and counterattack. Confirm this below, with one of the most valuable invisible details in Rickson’s arsenal, and learn how to make your feet as shrewd as hands. You will probably start seeing poetry even when someone comes for your neck with a side attack. 


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jiujitsu Avatar
jiujitsu commented:

Obrigado, Professor

October 21, 2021 06:12 PM

stuart.farris Avatar
stuart.farris commented:

Things change for the better when you realize life isn't about you...it's about serving others.

October 21, 2021 05:25 PM


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