As part of the live webinar held a couple of years back, Rickson Gracie was asked this philosophical question: "What is the most important aspect of self-defense?"
His answer works both as a convincing call to people who might feel like their life is missing something and as another piece of advice for teachers. Enjoy it below.
"The most important aspect of self-defense is to create an environment where the student is able to recognize possibilities in unpredictable situations. Because in a jiu-jitsu tournament, you're not gonna find yourself being hugged by the back, or being attacked with a club, or with a knife on your throat. So those segments of self-defense, they create an environment where you're being exposed to unpredictable situations, and then you start dealing with what I should do when I'm here. And, from that point, you learn the best movement, the best leverage, the best angles, which gives you the sense of empowerment.
"And even though you may never be attacked by a knife, by knowing you have a chance to defend yourself, that gives you a sense of empowerment which is priceless. And self-defense sticks with you on a daily basis, on the street, or in any environment. A competition-skills jiu-jitsu keeps you on the mat. If you fight all the time based on points, based on sweeps, based on grips, based on the kimono, or based on rules, when somebody on the street decides to punch you in the face, that's a different world; when somebody on the street grabs you from... So, even though you're not preparing yourself to fight on the street, you're supposed to be comfortable in your mind if something happens, you have a chance. That's the beneficial aspect of self-defense."