The Rickson Gracie we know, the myth, the legend, has for many years been seen as the soul of Jiu Jitsu. The conscience of Jiu Jitsu. Part myth, part reality, we, he’s been embraced by the practitioners and students of the Jiu Jitsu as its patron saint. Perhaps it all began with the the 1999 documentary film “Choke,” which revealed his philosophy and captured his presence.
But, Rickson’s been low key, to say the least, in recent years. He’s quietly lived much of his life in Brazil (so I am told), away from the UFC-hyped community and from the IBJJF tournament world as well. He’s done the occasional interview (we spoke to him in 2012) and continued teaching seminars. But, he hasn’t taken a leadership role in the BJJ community at large. Until now.
By now, I mean last week, when Rickson launched his Jiu Jitsu Global Federation. The mission of the JJGF is impressive and massive in scope. Rickson’s views on the modern-day Federation-style competition Jiu Jitsu is poignant, honest and, we think, correct. He was the featured guest this past Friday on Budovideos’ “This Week in BJJ” web series. The result is literally mandatory viewing material for all grapplers. If you did not watch, you must watch now.