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Rickson Gracie on evolving as a teacher (part 2)

Rickson's unique trajectory in Brazilian jiu-jitsu contains many, many lessons for students and teachers. A recent interview gave the master ample time to go over the decades of work that have culminated in making him the teacher he is today. Here's the second part of what he had to say (catch part 1 here):
"Depending on who I'm gonna teach, I can bring the same techniques, but with a different approach. And that, since a very early age, starts to become part of my way to teach. I don't teach the guy what I wanna teach; I'm gonna teach the guy what he needs to learn that is the best for him. And, with this in mind, sometimes I spent part of a private class, a big part of the class, sometimes just talking with the student. And he felt like this talk was more important to him than learning to pass guard or something. 

"On some other days, I just have to develop in him the sense of being patient and being in an uncomfortable situation and knowing how to breathe, and using little movements just to become comfortable, and being able to be thinking in uncomfortable situations, to be able to think and draw conclusions. So, sometimes he needs to learn more emotional aspects. Sometimes it's more physical: the ability to do a pivot point for a fast armlock, or connect the hips or something. But sometimes he needs something just more... forgiveness, or patience, or hope... so we have to add this in the class and make him feel like 'I know I'm in a deep hole here, but I have to have the hope: I'm confident I'm gonna escape, I'm gonna stay, I'm gonna survive, I have patience...' Eventually, his patience pays off, because the guy quits squeezing; he cannot go anywhere. 

"So, there's a lot of different ways for you to develop a good jiu-jitsu practitioner; and for me, I was very much passionate about accomplishing my service, which makes you a better student, a better practitioner. If you're gonna be a great fighter, good; if you're just gonna be a great lawyer with the base I give you through jiu-jitsu, that's excellent. I don't wanna see him only compete; I wanna see him absorb the techniques and become effective."


Peter Liciaga Avatar
Peter Liciaga commented:

thank you for sharing the knowledge. this is priceless. thank you.

March 30, 2022 06:39 AM
bruce.porcelli Avatar
bruce.porcelli replied:

Amazing knowledge as a new instructor this really hits home! Thank you Grand Master

March 30, 2022 06:11 PM