Rickson Gracie and Japan have had a love affair since the nineties. As the master said in his memoir, Breathe, he loves visiting the country, because he connected so deeply to it and its culture during his years as a fighter.
This connection, paired with the quirks of Japanese pop culture, ended up producing some unique appearances on game shows. We asked Rickson about an episode mentioned in the book. Here's the second half of his answer (part 1 is here):
"That was my mindset prior, for any fight I had to engage with. So with this in mind, as he approached to get my foot, I was looking to him and visualizing him against me in a match. So I put exactly myself in match circumstances against this doctor. So as he approached and grabbed my foot, I was looking at him and said, 'You may get a foot lock, but you're gonna take my leg home; I'm not gonna quit, I'm not gonna quit, I'm not gonna quit...'
"I start thinking about putting my mindset coping with that kind of aggressive situation he's about to do on me. So, when the guy called the time and started to [count the] thirty seconds, I was already in the mood of 'you're not gonna make me quit; take it home, son of a bitch.' And he just squeezed, squeezed, squeezed, and I just looked in his eyes and tried to eat his brain.
"And eventually the thirty seconds was gone; I was never in doubt about pain; I never even felt the pain, to be honest; I was feeling the focus of resisting; it was overwhelming the pain. And then the guy quit—I mean, not quit; he stops. And he said he was impressed, he never saw something like that; I was the only one who could resist him. And I felt like, 'Yeah, so be it, ’cause I'm the only one who's undefeated, and it's not gonna be you who takes my foot.' So I was making a joke in my mind to cope with his idea.
"And it was that, you know? When I left the hotel to go, I could not even put my foot on the floor, it was so sore. The soreness disappeared after, like a couple of hours; but it was very sore, my foot, when I left the hotel; and it was a tough experience, but, again, it confirmed my mindset was stronger than my pain or my emotions; so I was able to control myself, and it was a good done deal."
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