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.