In the year 1998, the staff of Gracie Magazine gathered some rivals, teachers, and prominent athletes to fire off their questions at the undefeated champion Rickson Gracie.
The conversation included figures ranging from Brazilian fighters to Japanese ones, and yielded a tasty cover story. One question, however, gains relevance today, because of the emotion of a back-and-forth of ideas between father and son. Deep into the interview, then-standout competitor Rockson Gracie raises a question to his mentor, friend, and coach:
"Dad, what do you think of the jiujitsu championships you've been attending?"
The answer from 25 years ago still surprises for its clear and sharp, and perhaps prescient, vision.
"I think there has been an evolution of jiujitsu towards the side of sporting competitions, but there must be a concern to get around the fact that the fights are a bit lacking in action," Rickson assessed, to then elaborate on the reasoning.
"The athletes are looking more to score a point than to reach the main objective, which is the submission. I, honestly, think that if you could do a jiujitsu competition where a static grab, whatever it is, without the purpose of a technique, a knee grab, a collar grab that only holds, is not allowed, the ref should punish it and force the release."
Rickson then concluded, teaching:
"Jiujitsu is movement, and if you stop the movement you will be stopping the jiujitsu—and proving, nothing more than this, that you have the strength to hold an opponent for five, ten minutes. I don't consider this a victory. The person who does not seek the finish, to me, is losing points since the beginning of the fight. Sometimes this way of fighting that aims to win by points is what makes a fighter lose his movement, and when he takes off his gi to challenge a wrestler in vale-tudo, for example, the jiujitsu he thinks he knows disappears."
What about you? Do you also move in your jiujitsu training as much as Rickson advocates?
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