What if we lived in an ideal world where everybody who could benefit from learning BJJ actually did learn it? We had a chance to talk to Rickson last December, and it turns out he has been thinking long and hard about this. Enjoy part 2 (out of 3) of his answer about the concept of BJJ as a "conquering art" below. In case you missed it, part 1 is here.
"If we address conquering arts like how to handle your fears, how to handle your anticipation, your emotional feelings... Because you can have emotional feelings, you can have spiritual feelings, you can have physical imbalances, you can have discoordination and lack of a sense of empowerment. So jiu-jitsu can be a very favorable thing when you start to add confidence, timing, resilience, breathing, acceptance, faith, hope.
"I can teach somebody a lot about life without putting them to compete, so my idea of empowerment in jiu-jitsu doesn't come from the fact the guy has to be training hard, competing hard. That's gonna be great for the champions; but I wanna empower anyone, even the guys who hate to fight, who hate to confront. So, in order for me to empower them, I have to give them goals to be reached without the competition aspect, without the warfare mentality. So you have to learn how to conquer things, you have to learn how to be happy, you have to learn to control your emotions, your fears, you have to know how to strategize your life to become a winner.
"So all those factors are very much there to be taught, to be shared, to be emotionally acceptable and become you. But sometimes you can learn all this in a regular academy setup, in which you go there and practice, and train with others and get the young guys, and get smashed and back the next day. So this is a routine that works for a lot of people who are already practicing jiu-jitsu; but in the middle of these thousands of people who compete and train jiu-jitsu every day, millions already quit, because they don't have the capacity to endure that practice. So they quit before they get the jewel."