Take the chest and two arms of VanDamme, the abdomen of Bruce Lee, the legs of Stallone, add the face of Marlon Brando at his peak. Throw all of this into the big melting pot of Rio de Janeiro, adding inner peace, stress reduction and a dose of Non Violence Principle. After simmering for thirty-odd years you will have Rickson Gracie, the most perfect descendent of the legendary Gracie family that created Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Rickson has dedicated his life to his martial art and is today considered the best fighter on the planet.
Rickson, son of Helio Gracie, was born into Jiu-Jitsu. At six years old he began competing; at fifteen he started to teach the art; and at eighteen he received his Black Belt. At twenty Rickson won his first awe-inspiring victory against the famous 230-pound Brazilian brawler Zulu who until that time had enjoyed a 140-match, undefeated record. With this victory, Rickson gained immediate national acclaim as the top free-style fighter, leaving his mark on the history of Jiu-Jitsu and the Gracie challenge. Five years later Zulu requested a rematch and lost to Rickson again, in Maracanazinho before an audience of 20,000 spectators.
Rickson is a 7th Dan Black Belt Open Class Champion of the Gracie Family, whose technique is considered to be the finest expression of Jiu-Jitsu in the world. His innate talent and early mastery of the sport have resulted in an impeccable undefeated record in 450 fights, Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, free-style wrestling, Sambo, open weight free-style competitions, and no holds barred challenge matches. Rickson is a two time Brazilian Champion in free-style wrestling, a Gold Medal Winner of Sambo, and for the last sixteen years he has been the middle-heavyweight and no weight division World Jiu-Jitsu Champion. Most recently, he conquered Japan's elite fighting in a tournament, the Japan Open Vale Tudo, winning both in 1994 and 1995. At this time, Rickson was acknowledged by the Japanese for possessing the Samurai Spirit.
In the 1997 Pride 1 Vale Tudo match in Japan's Tokyo Dome (before 47,860 spectators), he defeated Japan's top ranked fighter, Nobuhiko Takada, in 4 minutes 47 seconds of the first round. A year later, to the day, in the 1998 Pride 4 Vale Tudo match, Rickson defended his title. In the most awaited rematch in martial arts history, drawing an overwhelming 50,000 spectators to Japan's Tokyo Dome, Rickson defeated Takata once again. At Colosseum 2000, held at the Tokyo Dome, broadcast to 30 million TV Tokyo viewers (the highest viewed television program for its time slot), Rickson fought Japan's number one fighter, Masakatsu Funaki. He defeated his opponent with a rear naked choke in 11 minutes 46 seconds of the first round.
Rickson has proven himself as accomplished a teacher as he is a competitor. He has been teaching his martial arts style for over 20 years and his array of students have included FBI Agents, SWAT Teams, Navy Seals, military personnel, martial artists of various styles, athletes and actors. His highly practical self-defense style is widely recognized as a superior martial art, for real-life situations.
Rickson Gracie established the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Association in 1996 in order to help unify the community of Jiu-Jitsu. Through the Association, the traditional, technical and philosophical aspects of Jiu-Jitsu are able to be shared with people around the world. Rickson presently competes in invitational tournaments and teaches on Special Tours and seminars as well as at the Rickson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Center in West Los Angeles. Rickson's students credit his teachings with the achievement of great self confidence, heightened awareness, stress reduction, youthful vitality, increased physical energy, balance improvement and inner peace.
A modern day legend, Rickson Gracie has gained international acclaim for his leadership in disseminating the art and philosophy of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. He espouses strong family values and a healthy life-style. He is the epitome of discipline, determination and sportsmanship.
The prestigious Vale-Tudo events were for Rickson the greatest demonstration of efficiency in the field of fighting sports of using Non Violence Principle. According to Rickson, the Vale-Tudo does not need to be violent. It is violent when no technique exists to win. The fighter who has technique, as he has, delivers only a few punches, gives only a few blows to create space, but is always looking for victory. Rickson Gracie did not get hurt, he did not hurt anyone, and won the fights relatively easily. He was different than the other fighters who did not have the same technique, and who just attempted to break each other until one totally lost his breath.
As a final reward Rickson became the first non-Japanese of all time to be named Samurai by Japan while Japanese best martial-arts champions have been starting learning Gracie's Jiu-Jitsu, recognizing the superiority of this martial-art to theirs.
Note: Managing Softly is a book written by me. It has been published in US. You can buy it clicking here. To discover 12 reasons to read that book, click here. To discover what this blog can offer you, click here.