Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie believes you have a responsibility to your community to teach the minute you put a black belt on your waist.
BJJ Legends: I noticed that you said you wouldn’t be a Jiu-Jitsu fighter without self-defensive aspect, will not be a complete fighter or inability to teach. What responsibility do Jiu-Jitsu artists have to share the art, to share the sport, supportive aspects of the art and the self-defensive aspects of the art with others?
Rickson Gracie: I think, I mean, you can compete, you can have no responsibility of anything. But at the moment, you become famous, you put a black belt in your chest, I mean in your waist, and you open a school. You should have the compromise to serve the community in a complete way. I think if you just gotten, I mean, I heard another day, a student coming to his teacher, his Jiu-Jitsu teacher and asked for self-defense. And he said, No, if you want a self-defense, you learn Krav Maga. We hear training Jiu-Jitsu competition, and I feel like this is just like killing the sport, that’s killing our traditional culture. Because the first generation, the second generation of the Jiu-Jitsu family, when they go on the street, they feel comfortable while they’re competing. And why this doesn’t translate anymore? Is just because the competition becomes so specific, so much detailed in grips and stalling, which doesn’t translate in effectiveness anymore.
And on the schools, the programs of self-defense have been forgotten, just because ‘let’s train, let’s roll, let’s have fun.’ But the community service, the need for the community is much more than just having fun, or get sweat or get busted ears. You have to know how to protect yourself from a slap, or a knife or a gun or something. You have to have chances, nobody is going to be unbeatable, nobody is superman. But more elements you have to fulfill the need, the more you going to feel better, walk around, talk better, everything will be better for you. And the Jiu Jitsu I learned all my life, the Jiu Jitsu I teach all my life, has none of those strategic elements to the medal.
It’s all bout effectiveness, it’s all about what works for you on the mat, on the street or in the cage. And that’s I feel like, that’s crucial for us to preserve our culture and leave Jiu-Jitsu to the future with some kind of reference. Because now, or a few, the Jiu-Jitsu is going in that direction. And the roots and the effectiveness and what we believe is being forgotten. And Jiu-Jitsu maybe ten years from now, will be like Judo, with great athletes, tough guys, but doesn’t translate to reality anymore. It’s like Taekwondo, which same thing, great athletes, super moves, but completely unrealistic if you put the guy on the cage or in a self situation, on a self-defense.