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What advice would Rickson give his younger self? (part 2)

It's easy to imagine the lives of your idols as monoliths, trajectories filled with triumph and devoid of regrets. But of course, that's not how human lives go. 

As our November 2021 interview with Rickson Gracie was winding down, we lobbed at him an oldie but goodie question: did he have any piece of advice for a younger version of himself? Find the second half of his answer below, and catch up on part 1 here

“And, of course, I don't say I'm perfect, I don't say I could not do better; but it's hard for me to [come up with] advice. The advice of invisible jiu-jitsu, the advice of winning without fighting—those are not applicable to a young Rickson, and I'm not even gonna tell him that, because, at the time Rickson was there, he had to kick ass, he had to destroy the opponent... 

“So, my evolutionary process has brought me more to like a monk style, more like a visionary to empower people who need power. At the time, I didn't care about the weak people as I care today; I cared about victories; I cared about beating the toughest opponents I could put my hands on. So, I had a different attention at the time; I could not change my attention to address the issues I feel like he needs to learn when he gets older. 

“So my advice for young Rickson is just keep doing what you're doing, because I admire what you're doing, and you have to have a lot of courage, and technique, and commitment to do it, so congrats.”


Puma Snidvongs  Avatar
Puma Snidvongs commented:

Richard Bressler mentions that phase in his book, Worth Defending. "Admittedly, I'm probably on the extreme end of things. Rickson used to tell me that I was too relaxed. He used to tell me, "Look, it's OK to be relaxed, but you have to choose the time to explode. You relax and you relax and then all of a sudden, at the right time, you have to explode. That's what you're missing." The thing is, though, to fight like that, your timing and your coordination and everything have to be so perfect. It's one thing when you're an athlete and you're in peak condition, like Rickson was. For me, as I said, even in my prime I was a very average athlete. I was never strong, I never ran fast. I remember going for runs with Jacaré, back when I was living in Hermosa Beach, and we would be on our route and then Jacaré would just take off and leave me in the dust.

Bresler, Richard; Burr, Scott. Worth Defending: How Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Saved My Life (p. 234). Kindle Edition. "

July 01, 2022 02:40 PM
Scott Burr Avatar
Scott Burr replied:

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July 08, 2022 07:11 AM
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William commented:


June 26, 2022 12:01 PM
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Joseph Ciccarone commented:


June 26, 2022 08:23 AM