In many of Rickson Gracie’s Jiu-Jitsu battles, he tried not to think about winning or losing. What came to his mind was much more fundamental and much more important. It’s breathing.
While training in martial arts, Gracie learned to breathe through the diaphragm. Similar to the way singers and divers breathe, inhaling and exhaling occur deeper than the chest breathing that most people breathe. He found that limiting his pulse to 60 beats per minute in a fierce battle gave him greater stamina than his opponent. Reflecting this importance, Breeze is the title of his new memoir, co-written with Peter Magwire.
“It made a difference to me,” Gracie says. “I have much better access to my brain and my heart, which increases my mental and emotional needs and my ability to think in my heart.”
The breathing improvements also helped in a meeting he called “very unpredictable and very intense”.
As Gracie pointed out, unpredictability has been his life since he was born into a family that disseminated knowledge of traditional Japanese martial arts in Jiu-Jitsu and disseminated it in a suitable form as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ. was part of. His father Hélio Gracie and his uncle Carlos Gracie played an important role. Gracie himself retired with an undefeated Jiu-Jitsu record and scored many victories. But in the book, he also writes about the tragedy he and his family suffered along the way. It took his son Rockson Gracie five years to die.
“What he left me is that maybe it won’t happen tomorrow.” You should do it all today, ”says Rixon Gracie. “It’s perfect for you, so you won’t regret tomorrow. “
Gracie had long considered writing memoirs, but it took a Covid-19 pandemic to happen. His seminars, classes, and academies were all closed, so he put his energy into writing. Magwire is working on another Gracie related project as a co-author of the upcoming biography.
“When I had to do a book, I decided to open my heart and really say it all,” says Gracie.
He understands the Scottish origins of his ancestors – they came from Dumfries in Brazil and the United States. One of them gave his name to the house of the mayor of New York. Gracie also details his experience in the ancestral home of Jiu-Jitsu when he fought in Japan. He writes about the Bushido culture and its code of ethics, and its admiration for other elements of Japanese culture. And if his fight interests you, there are plenty, including the 2000 one against Japanese wrestler Masakatsu Funaki at the Tokyo Dome. During the encounter, Funaki temporarily blinded Gracie’s right eye with a punch. Gracie did not disclose her injury. He endured a series of punching and kicking assaults, but his vision returned and he won with a choke in the back that left his opponent unconscious.
He attributed his victory in this battle to the visualization strategy he used earlier.
“What I always do between fights, somebody’s preparation, and the usual drills is visualize situations with different consequences that I can pursue,” says Gracie. “I imagined that in a battle that hurt my eyes, I would probably win a thousand battles.”
After Funaki hits his eyes, Gracie recalls: One eye hasn’t moved. I couldn’t see anything. My brother said to me, “Stay behind. I was blind. I knew I couldn’t take it. The man kept hitting and kicking me… I couldn’t say anything. “
“I had to pretend I was okay,” he says. “I had to expect a better situation and I finally had the faith to lead me to victory. I started to use the visualization… 45 seconds [later], My sight came back. Look at. I got up again. “
Throughout her career, Gracie never considered taking advantage of herself, despite the risks.
“I had to come to terms with the fact that you could suffocate or pass out,” he says. “I didn’t want to type. If a man does not let go or continues to choke, it can lead to fainting. Stopping, tapping was not an option. I did it very, I had to accept it in a spiritual way. It may be your last day, the last fight. If so, yes. “
He explains: “In my case, I represented the name, honor and legacy of my family… I didn’t see it as a sport that required winning or losing a game. For me it is an honor. It was a tradition. “
As a detail of the book, the Gracie family’s involvement in Jiu-Jitsu began when a traveling Japanese master, Mitsuyo Maeda, visited Brazil and began teaching land martial arts under the name of Condecoma. His students included Gracie’s uncle, Carlos, who later taught it to Gracie’s father, Helio, whose knowledge was passed down to the author’s generation.
“I was born and raised in a family with a very unique culture and lifestyle,” says Gracie. “I am exposed to being Gracie as a martial artist. I learned to eat, to condition myself and to take on the challenges of life.
Gracie had many brothers and cousins who studied Jiu-Jitsu with him. The book indicates that Helio and Carlos Gracie are the fathers of a total of 30 children and 8 wives. Hixson Gracie said her mother was actually an Afro-Brazilian babysitter named Belinha at her parents’ house, and when she first noticed the freckles, it was Scotland rather than the Afro-Brazilian side. I wrote that I thought it was on the side. He expresses his regret in his father’s book on the views of patriarchal women and encourages his own children to take a different approach.
He also varies at times from those with the UFC spirit, like his brothers Lorion and Royce, to those who advocate a more traditional approach to martial arts who are born within the branches of his family. I write about the approach. Japan, like him.
The UFC Championship debuted in the United States in 1993, when Royce Gracie won the all-inclusive fighting format that year.
Rickson Gracie says, “[The UFC] Conflict of ideas to see who is the best in the octagon where all martial arts participate, not just in the fields of boxing and judo, and a champion becomes the best martial artist. Still, he added, “At the MMA events they’ve created, American audiences want to show some fun, big hits or moves, and strong people.”
On the other hand, he remembers the battle with 70,000 spectators in Japan at the Tokyo Dome. “I hear beer fall to the ground. Everyone calmly watches the fight from various aspects, such as technical situations, sweeps, setbacks, etc. Regardless of the entertainment aspect, they are much more than fights. I appreciate it. Not in the United States where they get drunk and scream. “
Today, he laments, the people who practice martial arts are not the “people who need it most”, that is to say those who are “not combatants”.
“Every average person has been able to learn and appreciate the ability to face the situation and win,” says Gracie. “The idea of martial arts is transformative. “
He encourages people to turn off their computers, cell phones and social media and start practicing martial arts.
“It’s not behind the computer, it’s a way of facing life,” he says.
As Gracie explains, martial arts are a way to “humanize yourself” and provide you with “better compatibility, better connections with people, better breathing capacity”.
Rickson Gracie: “MMA is different in the US where the crowd gets drunk and screaming” | Mma
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