Sergio Dejesus, a BJJ teacher from Paraguay and Rickson Academy subscriber, sent us a heartwarming email describing his trajectory of rediscovering the martial art. We've done somewhat heavy editing, given that Sergio put in the effort to express himself in a foreign language, but we hope we stayed true to the spirit of his message. Here it is:
Hi, dear professor.
I'm writing to tell you that I read the Rickson book and it was incredible! For me, jiu-jitsu is everything, but let me tell you something.
I totally agree about what Rickson said in the book about Gracie jiu-jitsu. I've always been a fan of Master Helio, Rickson, Rorion, Relson, Royler, and today Rener and Ryron, because to me, that is Gracie jiu-jitsu.
I competed many times—World Championship, Brasileiro, Sul-Americano—but in the bottom, throughout the years, I started to lose motivation about jiu-jitsu, because I realized that something was missing in my life.
That was when I started to read, and watch, and read books, DVDs and information about Helio and his sons. I had a training session with the Valente brothers in Miami, and that was like I have been reborn again in jiu-jitsu life.
Competition is good, but it is not Gracie jiu-jitsu, and I realized that I was missing many tools, basic techniques, that I should have known. For me that was a shame as a teacher, and immediately I started to teach only Gracie jiu-jitsu, and that was incredible, really incredible, with the Helio Gracie books, and the Rickson Gracie class that I was following.
I totally agree with the way that you are teaching jiu-jitsu, because, in the end, that is what is worthwhile.
Through you, Professor, I have to say "thank you," because thanks to you and Rickson and Helio, I have been reborn again about jiu-jitsu life. I found my focus, my motivation to follow that kind of philosophy.
Jiu-jitsu is not only techniques; it is philosophy, it is Gracie Diet, it is nutrition, it is behavior on and off the mat, and it's all about becoming a good person in life.
I am opening a new academy here in Asunción, Paraguay, perhaps in August, and hopefully next year Master Rickson or you, Professor, could come here to give a seminar. It would be great.
So thank you one more time, and my regards to Master Rickson. You have a disciple here who endeavors to spread the original Gracie jiu-jitsu.