Today in the Rickson Interview: We talk to Rickson about how his thinking has evolved over the past two decades.
BJJ Legends: I want to move this conversation a little bit, directed towards something a little bit from the past, but it speaks to where we are now, where you are now specifically, and where the Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation is.
Back in 1999, the Hicks and Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Association, in the late ’90s, you had some newsletters roughly every quarter or every half. There were two that were particularly interesting to me. One was entitled “The Two Common Paths of Jiu-Jitsu.” Do you remember this at all? It was a long time.
Rickson Gracie: Not exactly.
BJJ Legends: Trust me. It’s still the same things you’re talking about today, which is encouraging. There’s consistency there. The other one was “The Smart Way to Practice.” I want to draw our attention to “The Two Common Paths of Jiu-Jitsu.” The two common paths, fundamentally, were competition and non-competition.
You encouraged the community, at that time, to be mindful that there were elements of our community that had preferred to compete and elements that weren’t there to compete at all, but were interested in some of the things we talked to today.
I understand that you don’t recall writing down or talking about that at the time. But how much has your thinking evolved from just that time? Let’s call it 1999, 2000. How much has your thinking evolved about this subject, the two ways to practice? I’m sorry, the smart way to practice and the two common paths of Jiu-Jitsu. Let’s start with the two common paths of Jiu-Jitsu.
Rickson Gracie: The ideas are the same. The concepts are exactly the same, but the evolutionary process made me feel like instead be in my own association with my own representatives, which was very good for a while, but then becomes somehow a little weakening a little bit. Then I decided to stop.
From that concept, I kind of see the whole problem in a much global spectrum. So now, I try to do almost the same thing, but trying to cover not only the guys who are directly connected to me as representatives, my own students, people who I kind of know, but trying to spread that voice around the globe because so many passionate about Jiu-Jitsu who deserve that kind of support, who deserve that kind of guidance.
They’re not directly connected to me for any reason. So the Federation will be able to access them without having my flag, my name or my brand or my flag to represent. So they’re not commit to represent Hicks and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. They commit to represent whatever the brand are, plus with the knowledge, with the backbone of our culture.
Tomorrow: Rickson describes how they will use the JJGF platform to change the world.