Rickson Gracie is thought by many to be the worlds greatest No-Holds-Barred fighter. As victor of hundreds of fights, he has gained enormous knowledge and skill in the martial arts.
I attended the Rickson seminar at Pedro Sauers club today. It was the best experience of my MA life. We had an open house last night. Rickson showed up and we watched videos and talked. Then we had a sword, stick demo by Frank Cucci and a Copaeira demo. Then Rickson put on the gi and told us about his plans, and goals for his new Association. He explained how he feels he is in a unique position and has a special obligation to bring jiu-jitsu to the world. Then he allowed open questions.
The first question was if he thought jiu-jitsu is continuing to evolve, and how. Rickson replied that like all forms of technology, jiu-jitsu is still growing and adapting to the rigors of modern combat. In his fathers day, the fighters were not what they are today. Modern medicine and nutrition make todays athletes a different breed. He said that Severn and Shamrock are far more skilled and physically capable than the opponents Helio fought in the '40s and '50s.
The second question was what unique contribution did Rickson make to jiu-jitsu. He said that he was blessed in a special way above his other family members. "There is a reason that I can just play with my brothers like I do with you guys. Only God knows the reason. This is my special mission in life, to elevate JJ." He said that he has the combination of physical and emotional attributes to be the best. He than explained how he is different from Royce and Royler and their weaknesses. He went on to explain that in Brazil, the further that JJ guys get from the Gracie family, the bigger their ears are and the less technique they have. He explained that the reason that Brazilian fighters has been losing in NHB, is because they don't know when to be a lion and when to be a mouse.
He mentioned Amaury Bitetti by name and said that he fights with too much emotion and not enough smarts. He explained during the seminar today, exactly how he would fight Severn, Coleman and Frye. The most revealing thing he said was that the Gracie's have been modifying their approach to the wrestler/striker of size since they came to the U.S., and other Brazilian haven't. Rickson said he wanted to illustrate his training philosophy and asked for a volunteer. He then put both hands in his belt and let a blue belt mount his back with both hooks and a hand in his collar. Rickson started doing his breathing exercise and moving his hips. The blue belt was going at it, but Rickson just slipped out, put him in his guard and choked him out with a triangle, with both hands still in his belt. I jumped in next. He used his hands against me unfortunately and finished me.