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Rickson Gracie: 'Self-defense is the soul of jiu-jitsu'

For Master Rickson Gracie, self-defense is the heart, the soul and the most valuable treasure of jiu-jitsu. 

Due to its being the base for the learning of BJJ, self-defense works as a pillar that, firstly, enables students to understand more broadly the techniques that are the most elaborate, most frequent and most often observed in competitions. 

"More than 90 percent of practitioners don't have the time or interest to enter jiu-jitsu championships," he says. "That's why self-defense needs to continue to be taught with attention and quality. It is these 90 percent of practitioners who most need the technical, physical and psychological tools sharpened in self-defense training. These are the people who usually suffer from insecurity -- it's the teenager who's new in school; it's the girlfriend who broke up and whose ex, enraged, can't accept it. That's why the first lessons must be fun, light, without confrontation between the white-belts, so that this slice of non-athletic practitioners don't suffer, and fall in love with the gentle efficacy of jiu-jitsu." 

As is usually said by Rickson, BJJ is an invisible force. Not only because it has resources, details and techniques that are almost imperceptible to those who don't study them deeply. But, also, because it constitutes an invisible force that strengthens the person every day, without them even realizing the power of the transformation.