Rickson on why most fighters don't copy his breathing (part 1)

In a recent interview, Luca Atalla had this question for Rickson Gracie: "In the 80s and 90s, you were a huge reference as the undisputed champion, and everybody knew that you were really into breathing. Why didn't people look to develop this skill? It's very strange, because people look at you and try to pass the guard like you, to finish the armbar like you, but nobody was interested in breathing like you. Why do you think?"

Read on for the first half of the master's answer. 

"I feel like the difference was: even though they see me breathing, they can fight already like me, they can try to do the accomplishments of the submissions, of the movements, like me; so the breathing was not there to fulfill their needs to become fighters, and they don't feel the understanding of the breathing and the mental and emotional aspects. 

"I never taught how important for me it is to breathe for me to keep my calmness, for me to keep my focus. The people see me doing bioginástica on the beach and breathing and training, so they felt like it was just another practice. For me, because my opponents have unpredictable... I mean, I don't know who I'm gonna fight, when I'm gonna fight, why I'm gonna fight, but I have to fight, no matter the time, no matter who. 

"So my idea of being in suicidal mode all the time, being in a practical 'full-forward force'—that idea is coming from the practical aspect, the mental aspect and the spiritual aspect. So especially in the mental, especially in the spiritual, only myself knows the nightmares I could have if I'm just sleeping a day before a fight saying 'Oh, I'm gonna fight this guy.' So I have to find my spiritual guidance. And breathing plays an important role for me in the sense it gives me peace of mind, gives me the capacity to surrender to God whatever I don't have control of; so I was using breathing to give me also the spiritual support and the mental calmness I need to accomplish my goals."


gobarry Avatar
gobarry commented:

I can’t say enough. Rickson is a one a kind. I want my son to develop the same kind of spiritual and mental goals that Rickson talks about here. Without this, the fighter misses a lot life has to offer. Then you’re stuck in the fight or flight mode. Unnecessary.

May 13, 2022 01:43 PM