Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: We ask Rickson Gracie If he struggled with the path that was chosen for him?
BJJ Legends: I started Jiu-Jitsu a little bit late, my late 20s. I've been doing it ever since, past 14 years. It hasn't always been easy. It took some time for me to understand some things about myself along the way. You were born into the family. Everyone around you did Jiu-Jitsu. For me, it was a brand-new discovery, but what I found was, as I progressed through the belts, I also progressed as a person, in terms of how I understood myself and what I saw as elements of myself that either needed modification or didn't.
Sometimes I was resistant to the changes that Jiu-Jitsu was affording me. Did you find that for yourself, as a child growing up, even though you had excellent examples all around you? Did you ever have an internal struggle as to the path that had either been chosen for you or that you saw laid out in front of you?
Rickson Gracie: No, I never felt uncomfortable in any situation. Well, something I have to learn is how to manage my extreme confidence in myself, how not to be aggressive or impose my desires or my position to others. So in one point, I felt like I have to just express how good I am, how tough I am, and the way I want.
Then I realized all this power becomes even stronger when I start to respect people and become more concerned about how they think and how I should approach people. So as I'm getting bigger in my confidence and my self-esteem, I start to feel like how important for me is to level up myself and make everybody feel confident to approach me, to talk to me.
Even sometimes I have to apologize in another matter. It's not about me. I'm tough guy in the streets. So whatever I say is right. It's not like that. I feel like it's given me the sense of apologizing if I'm wrong, respect people in the line, and so on. So that's a great learning process.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us that Jiu-Jitsu for everyone; Jiu-Jitsu is like a church..
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie shares his profound and humble personal story of change through Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ Legends: It's different for everybody. Can you share with us how that transformation came over you? What was your personal experience?
Rickson Gracie: My transformation is -- I mean, before I was born I was already in the DNA of Jiu-Jitsu. So for me, I was born and raised in the family. When I was kid, "Oh, you wanna be like your dad. Oh, you wanna be a fighter too." So I was born in the family. I was born fighting, competing since six years old. But actually, the transformation became, first, I was trying to be a good fighter. And then I become a good fighter. And then I fulfilled my ego. Okay, I'm good. And then what can I do with that? And that becomes the biggest part. because I started to be a reference for people. I started to teach people to try to become like me. And this process of learning makes them feel like they're improving. And I felt like it's a huge positive component and feed people with what they need. And that's my transformation maybe is from egocentric levels of trying to make it to be important in the community and then to pass that knowledge and to fulfill people and motivate people to excel. So the transformation is from an athlete to a teacher.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us if he has struggled because he was born into a fighting Jiu-Jitsu family.