Rockson Gracie, born in 1981, was Rickson's first child. With Rickson in his corner, in the year 2000 he won the IBJJF's Pan in the purple belt. After that, he decided to pursue a career in modeling, but it was cut tragically short as he died in a hotel room in early 2001.
Rickson himself was still a young and athletic 42 years old when he was dealt what he has called the most brutal blow of his life. Priorities changed right then as he was left to pick up the pieces and strive to keep on going.
In December 2021, Rickson kindly opened up about how his life was forever changed.
"Talking about my dear son Rockson, on his departure, he changed my perspective of how I have to see life in terms of usage of time and become very much focused on the work of the day, not leaving anything for tomorrow. And that's given me a perspective of keeping my life much tighter, much more appropriate to the moment, and not wasting time, and being very much grateful for the present moment, and live the moment as the most important thing, not putting perspectives too much for the future or allow myself to live based on the past. So, after Rockson's departure, I became much more present, trying to send my positive energy, my service, to the most appropriate moments at the moment I'm living in."