view all
Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

How BJJ drives anxiety away

What do the BJJ student, the singer and the deep-sea diver have in common? None will be able to go very far if they don't learn about their own breathing. 

"I was lucky to get to know a master on the subject, the yoga teacher Orlando Cani. Learning to breathe to me was as important as learning to do jiu-jitsu," Rickson says. "A good part of my assuredness and confidence comes also from my breathing."

Learning how to inhale and exhale with the proper technique is a crucial step for those who want to excel on the mats. The person starts feeling their body as a well-oiled machine during the action; and, outside the gym, they gain a clean, serene and peaceful mind for sorting out any troubles. 

If you have been feeling exhausted in your training, or if you spend your days drowning in anxiety with no good explanation, start paying attention to your lungs. The act of panting excessively, the short breaths, the puffs of exasperation are signs of flaws in your body's oxygenation. 

Before putting on the gi, and when coming home from your training, strive to study breathing techniques. You will experience a routine that's much lighter and filled with pleasant moments — even if you're not a famous singer or explorer of oceans.
Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

My routine on fight days, by Rickson Gracie

In my times of professional fighting, I liked arriving at the venue three hours before putting on the robe and jumping into the ring. 

I'd go with my team to the locker room and, to the surprise of those who did not know me, I'd go to a comfy corner and take a nap. I'd usually sleep for one hour thirty, one hour forty minutes. 

My recipe for sleeping soon before a decisive match came down to the lungs. I would breathe in, breathe out, relax my body and especially my head, and sleep deeply, like an infant. 

I'd wake up when there were sixty minutes to go, and start a warmup that lasted forty-five minutes. In this stage, my heartbeats would reach 160, 140, and the sweat would start running down. My body was already prepared for the crunch. 

And then I would sit for five minutes. It was enough to use my lungs to breathe in and out, and drastically lower my heart rate. Meanwhile, my opponent on the other side would jump, run, make faces, his heart rate way up. 

When the fight started, I was always at an advantage in relation to the heart rate and breathing. That's what would lead my opponents, sooner than me, to get their heads confused, make tactical errors, see their arms get too heavy. 

Breathing, therefore, was always my best friend as a fighter. And better still: it's the best weapon also for people who will never need to put on fighting gloves or a gi. 

After all, as I learned across so many years of locker rooms and training sessions, the lungs play quite a role in our body: they are the true caretakers of our brain and our heart. 

Try this as soon as possible: fill your lungs to the brim and exhale slowly and gradually. Repeat the process for three minutes. You will comprehend that it will be impossible to think about problems and errands; after all, your brain starts focusing on the commands of the respiratory movement, deterring any stressful thoughts. As a bonus, you slow down your heart. 

Then, you will feel, like I felt on those days of war, a peace that is hard to describe. 

Breathe, and be happy. 
Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted
Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

Rickson Gracie launches the Empowerment Course

To become a complete fighter, master Rickson Gracie developed and selected techniques to complement his training sessions. And now, he organized the most important in over 40 comprehensive lessons for you.

The Empowerment Course is available exclusively to Rickson Academy premium subscribers. Starting on August 19, we will release a couple of lessons per week through the following months until complete.
Rickson Academy Avatar Rickson Academy posted

The key lesson Rickson tried to teach the Hulk

Around 2008, the actor Edward Norton was shooting "The Incredible Hulk" in Rio de Janeiro and had a fixed idea about his character. If he were in fact a normal guy who became a big green monster, how would he seek to control his emotions and avoid destroying everything around him? "I know," said Norton, who had once been a skinny kid and knew all about the Gracie family: "Get me Rickson. I have in my mind a perfect scene for the movie."

We believe everyone reading this knows the scene in question, but the lessons Master Rickson has to offer, whether you're a white-belt or a supersized green ogre, are even more valuable. 

"Knowing how to breathe, for those who fight, is more important than knowing how to swim is for those who surf," Rickson preaches. "If today I've created this website, it's in order to be able to bring to the greatest number of people my Introduction to Jiu-Jitsu, with all the fundamentals of our martial art. And the first module of that Introduction is breathing."

To Rickson, breathing is pure jiu-jitsu: You must seek maximum efficiency with minimum effort. And the result of this doesn't just come down to feeling like you have more stamina and resistance. "The benefit isn't limited just to the muscles: Your brain is going to work better when your lung works better, and this is the secret that changes everything," says Rickson, who on Rickson Academy explains it all with clear didactics and illustrations, perfect for any newcomer to pick up and employ. 

Want to see how Rickson uses the diaphragm to optimize his breathing, exhale more carbon dioxide and enhance his game? Watch the full video here, in all its priceless 15 minutes of wisdom. 

At least one famous actor swears by it.

Want to receive notifications and interact with the community?


Latest Comments

Manoel Do Vale Avatar
Manoel Do Vale commented:

I'll try this tomorrow rs

December 06, 2022 05:56 PM

Kevin Outten  Avatar
Kevin Outten commented:


December 06, 2022 03:10 PM


Open Lessons

Open Lessons



Master's tips

Master's tips