How to fight one of the worst demons in the life of a fighter

When he was just nineteen and was making his debut in vale-tudo, Rickson Gracie started getting tired. And puffing. With his brain less oxygenated than he would like, he began hearing voices. "I need to stop. I can't take this anymore; I'm tired. Better give up." Those were the thoughts popping up in his head. 

During the break, however, Master Hélio Gracie ignored what Rickson was asking for, and his older brother Rolls poured a full bucket of ice water on his head. Rickson went back in and quickly finished the feared Zulu on that night in Brasília, in 1980. 

"Right there I learned that our biggest enemy lives inside our own head," realized the family's undefeated champion, who, by a thread, dodged a losing debut. 

In a recent talk with Joe Rogan, Rickson expounded his reasoning, producing some advice on how to deal with such voices in the process. 

* Joe Rogan: “Losing faith in oneself in the course of a fight is probably the most common ghost in the routine of professional fighters. Everybody, one day or another, looks for a way out, right?"

* Rickson Gracie: “Yes, and that happens mainly because the fighter is unable to see through the opponent's point of view. The guy on the other side is also insecure, exhausted, lacking oxygen, dying to hear the bell. It's a very human characteristic, in reality: when we have problems, we usually concentrate on the negative aspects and exaggerate the size of the problem. The person who realizes that their opponent is going through exactly the same feelings as you doesn't get shaken and pushes through, because they understand that it's all within the normality of a fight. Talent lies in seeing your problems in their true size, and not exaggerating the proportions; after all, that's only going to impede the solving of that problem. And that is a power that we all have inside us. Certain athletes can benefit from specialists and psychologists, but the main path goes through understanding that it's an internal problem, in our own head, and that those ghosts can be fought without external interference. It suffices to have a true acceptance and total illumination of the problem."

How about you? Do you analyze your problems with a magnifying glass or run far away from them? Breathe and focus on the solution. And enjoy your training.


robertowanick Avatar
robertowanick commented:


December 20, 2021 07:13 AM
Austin McCourtie Avatar
Austin McCourtie commented:


December 19, 2021 04:20 PM
sandersanches Avatar
sandersanches commented:

Otimo mestre...

December 19, 2021 02:42 PM
sandersanches Avatar
sandersanches replied:

Sou iniciante no Jiu e sempre fui apaixonado pelo esporte. Gostaria de saber mais sobre essa visão física do esporte, análise sobre as alavancas e bases de apoio, obter uma visão onde devo estar ou agir em certas posições. Toda academia, vídeos, parecem ensinar somente posições, mas as teorias, não vejo em lugar algum. Desculpe mestre se estou sendo ignorante, mas vejo que esse jogo tem uma visão mais ampla . Acredito que esse é um dos pontos fundamentais para fluir o meu jiu jitso. Existe uma aula sua sobre isso mestre?

December 19, 2021 02:51 PM
rogerever203 Avatar
rogerever203 replied:

Keep it simplistic, I agree, enjoy the training.

December 22, 2021 12:46 AM
Nikola Avatar
Nikola replied:

Great explanation

December 24, 2021 05:12 AM