Training in Carlson Gracie’s day

In the 1990s, a young reporter named Luca Atalla, still a purple-belt, asked several questions about jiujitsu to the late grandmaster Carlson Gracie.

The conversation got going, and Luca asked Carlson how were the training sessions in his golden age in the ring, around the 1950s and 1960s.

The red-belt remembered the training schedule that was drafted under the guidance of his father, Grandmaster Carlos Gracie.

"Our training sessions had a set time. Practicing jiujitsu without a clock, until someone tapped out, was something we never did. There is no point in training until you crash; that is bullshit—the guy exhausts himself," said Carlson Gracie. "My kind of training was the following, as my father used to say: 'You train 15 minutes, with five guys. But you can't rest; it's in one go. If I notice that you are resting, I will stop the training and let you have it, so it has to be real.' Why was it like that? Because there is no point in training for 15 minutes straight and end up staying there, resting on the guard. You have to attack all the time, from below, from above, you have to make an effort. It was only 15 minutes. Back then I used to say 'only' because I was tireless."

The red-belt remembered that the physical training was simple: running on the beach sand, jumping rope, walking on the dunes. On the other hand, the sessions focused on submissions and for his vale-tudo duels were even more curious.

"In the beginning, my serious training was based on techniques. But after I became more mature, with some three vale-tudo matches on my record, it became the following: the guys could try to beat me up at will and I could not. I only trained like this. No gloves, nothing. Me in swimming trunks, and they could come and try to beat me up at will. Marines, and many others. Everyone who came to train, I would tell them, you may hit me, and I could not. I could only defend myself, grab and finish. I always trained like this."

Do you change up your training and keep your self-defense up to date, as Carlson did and Rickson recommends?

Check out some useful training with Rickson. This video is just a part of a complete lesson that you can find here.


E M Avatar
E M commented:

Excellent, thank you Master Rickson!

October 20, 2023 01:30 PM
Marcelo Lucena Avatar
Marcelo Lucena replied:


October 20, 2023 09:14 PM