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Rickson Gracie’s first-ever loss

Rickson Gracie, his family's undefeated champion, built his professional journey with many challenges, confrontations, steps, obstacles. The first one of them, as remembered by the master himself, occurred when he was still a child who just wanted to have fun on the mats. 

"I got my first gi before my first diaper," he joked in a recent appearance on Jocko Willink's podcast. "One day my dad, Master Helio Gracie, asked if I would like to compete against other kids. I said yes, and he made me the offer: if I won the tournament, he would give me one gift; if I lost, he would give me two."

Rickson then reminisced on his debut, which can be probably traced back to his time as a green-belt:

"Fight day came, and I really lost. I don't remember if I understood my dad's proposition correctly, but what I learned from those words was that Master Helio would not be mad at me if I lost. And that is one of the great gifts a father can give his son — this peace, this tranquility, which removes a big weight from us as a child." 

"Today, I don't even remember if my dad really gave me those two gifts, but he certainly offered us something much more valuable," Rickson added . "I was able to realize then that practicing jiu-jitsu had nothing to do with the judgement of others. Without suffering any kind of paternal pressure, I competed again, I had success in my following fights, and I became a fighter."
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The first commandment of self-defense against weapons

What is the first step for a student to become skillful at defending against an aggressor who has weapons, like knives or pistols?

According to Master Rickson Gracie, the absolute first step is to relax: don't go to jiu-jitsu motivated by fear. 

"Practicing self-defense is an activity that can save the skin of soldiers and officials of security forces, and it will also be useful to kids against bigger people," says Rickson. "But the adult person who doesn't deal with danger daily should not learn jiu-jitsu inspired by the fear of being attacked, but rather by a desire for personal growth, enlightenment and increased wisdom. It's a learning process that increases your range of alternatives, makes your mind more alert, and brings technical knowledge, in case some unforeseen thing happens one day."

As Rickson points out, the best way to live life is with positive thoughts, and not walking around like a Viking fearing a surprise attack. 

"Prepared as I am, I don't want to get tangled with anybody who has a weapon. Jiu-jitsu is not a Viking shield that you carry in the street. It's much more akin to a guardian angel who's there for you," he says. "If a villain really wants to come shoot me, they will probably succeed, because they’re going to ambush me or get me from the back. The jiu-jitsu practitioner should not be afraid of dying, but they should be afraid of not knowing what to do in an emergency situation. Before using your jiu-jitsu, calculate the risk, call the police, run away from there — use your head, basically."

And if the problem spills over and gets too close, you will be calm — after all, jiu-jitsu will be there for you, like a good guardian angel.

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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


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