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Rickson Gracie - A Living Legend
Rickson (pronounced Hickson), 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.

In 1980, at age twenty, 180-pound Rickson won his first professional Mixed Martial Art (Vale Tudo) victory against a 230-pound Brazilian brawler named Zulu, who until that time had an undefeated fighting record with 140 victories! Rickson gained immediate national acclaim in Brazil as the top free-style fighter. Five years later Zulu requested a rematch and lost to Rickson again, in Maracanazinho before an audience of 20,000 spectators.

In 1993, the Gracie Family introduced Mixed Martial Arts to the United States by creating the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Rickson helped coach his younger brother, Royce Gracie in preparation for this epic event. Royce showed how smaller and physically weaker individuals could win with superior technique. The Gracie family introduced reality based fighting back into the martial art world, and were instrumental in creating what is now the fastest growing sport, Mixed Martial Arts.

Rickson is a 8th Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, whose technique is considered to be the finest expression of Jiu Jitsu in the world. His innate talent and early mastery of the art have resulted in an undefeated record in MMA, BJJ and No Rules Challenge Matches in more than 400 fights! He is a two time Brazilian Champion in freestyle wrestling. He is a Gold Medal Winner in Sambo. He has been the middle-heavyweight and open weight World Jiu-Jitsu Champion for two decades!

Rickson is also a master level instructor. For over 35 years he has demonstrated how to teach the most advanced principles of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a way that allows everyone, including first time beginners, to succeed. His students have included world champion MMA and BJJ competitors, master level instructors from various martial art styles, FBI agents, SWAT teams, Navy SEALs, military personnel, athletes and actors. 



In 2014 Rickson founded the JJGF, Jiu Jitsu Global Federation with the purpose of bringing real world martial art effectiveness back to Jiu Jitsu training and competition! Unfortunately, nearly every Jiu Jitsu school today only teaches Sport Jiu Jitsu, loosing the full applications of martial art training for life along with real fighting skills! Rickson discusses this problem during various interviews conducted when the Federation was launched.

World Champions & Martial Art Masters Give Tribute To Rickson


“Above all others in the world of Jiu Jitsu.”

“Everyone wants to know who is the best… Universally regarded as the all time best is Rickson Gracie.”
“There is one guy that is always thought of as above all others in the world of Jiu Jitsu, Rickson Gracie… He is a scary dude. He is a master, a true master of Jiu Jitsu. He’s got that samurai mindset, a lot of people talk that samurai mindset, that dude lives it! That is his mindset. 
Joe Rogan – UFC Commentator, BJJ Black Belt, Actor.
 

“He is the best Gracie hands down.”

“You gotta believe it because everyone says the same thing, even David Camarillo when he went down there, and David Camarillo is a world-class black belt, he said he couldn’t do anything with Rickson… He is the best Gracie hands down.”
Eddie Bravo – Creator of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu.

“One of the first instances where I really recognized, like an epiphany, this guy is THAT good!”

“Fabio Gurgel who everyone was saying is killing everyone in Brazil, he’s destroying everyone in tournaments, he’s a two time world champion, and then to see Rickson train with him, and play with him like he was a white belt, my jaw dropped. That was one of the first instances where I really recognized, like an epiphany, this guy is THAT good! You heard that he was the best of all the Gracies, and Royce made that comment that my brother Rickson is 10 times better than me, but to see it in action and to see it against a guy like Fabio Gurgel who was 25 and in his prime, just get played with, was pretty insane!”
Henry Atkins – BJJ Black Belt Under Rickson Gracie. 
 

“When I’m training with him I’m always tapping.”

“People try to compare Rickson with somebody but no one can compare Rickson in the jiu-jitsu because he’s maybe 20 years forward from everybody. I am the 2 time World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion and when I’m training with him I’m always tapping. He has a lot of skills and I think in jiu-jitsu nobody can beat him. I studied with him also in Brazil and have been coming to Los Angeles, off and on, for nearly eight years to take lessons. Rickson is more than just one man—he feels like 5 when you’re fighting him. You have to sacrifice, sometimes, to study with the best, and Rickson is the best. There is only one Rickson Gracie and he is on a different level from everyone else.”
Fabio Gurgel. Co-founder of the Alliance Jiu Jitsu Team. 5th Degree Black Belt of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 8x World Champion of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. ADCC World Champion. 4-Time Brazilian National Champion. 2-Time European Champion. 
  

“You have zero peace… every move he does, he has one objective, to put you in trouble.”

“I don’t know if anybody here ever have a chance to see Rickson Gracie the way I used to train. He gives you zero! You have zero peace, you have no peace, zero! The moment you shake his hand you are in danger… Sometimes I don’t even want to touch the hand! [Laughter] I swear to god! Because he is 100%, every move he does, he has one objective, to put you in trouble.” 
Pedro Sauer – 8th Degree Black & Red Belt BJJ Master. BJJ Instructor for SEAL Team Six and the CIA.


“His basic techniques nullified my game almost immediately…”

“Without question the best Jiu Jitsu fighter to ever live. The amount of dedication this man has shown for the art of Jiu Jitsu is astonishing. Knowing his greatness I was guaranteed an incredible experience at his academy. Training with Rickson is like trying to move a house. What he lacks in size he overwhelmingly compensates in technique and pressure. From the moment I engaged my guard, till the moment I was tapping, I felt as if there was nothing I could have done to better my situation. His basic techniques nullified my game almost immediately… So to all the non-believers, I can only try to persuade you to eliminate all doubt and open your mind to Rickson Gracie.
David Camarillo. Creator of the Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu System.

“I got on the ground with Rickson Gracie, and its like I never had a lesson in my life!”

“I was a black belt in judo, so I thought I had some pretty good grappling skills. Anyway, I got on the ground with Rickson Gracie, and it was like I’d never had a lesson in my life. He played with me.” 
Chuck Norris – World Karate Champion 6 consecutive years. Black Belt Tang Soo Do. Black Belt Judo. 

“Rickson Gracie has fought masters of countless martial art styles, and beaten them all.”

“Rickson Gracie has fought masters of countless martial art styles, and beaten them all. He may be the best ever… Gracie is a master of techniques known as Jiu-Jitsu, or grappling. He uses human mechanics to devastating effect. Gracie exploits anatomical weaknesses to bring opponents to their knees… its pure physics.”
National Geographic Fight Science Documentary.

“I bet on him against anyone.”

“He is a martial arts myth and has nothing left to prove… Rickson will always do well. He will follow his same old style, do the same thing as always and the opponents will be submitted the same way. Adversaries will tap out even if they know his game. He is one of rare fighters I’ve seen in action who do not give up ground positions. Many regarded as aces in JJ fail in submitting their adversaries because they can’t hold on to the ground positions. I doubt that’s going to happen to Rickson… I bet on him against anyone.”
Fabricio Werdum. Ranked 3rd Best Heavyweight MMA Fighter in the World by Sherdog. 2-Time BJJ World Champion. 2-Time ADCC World Champion. Holds Black Belts in BJJ, Judo & Muay Thai.

“The Best Fighter I’d Ever Seen.”

“Rickson Gracie and me had a match in the BYU wrestling room in 1992. He made me tap out twice and told me I was the toughest guy he’d gone against. Rickson was the best fighter I’d ever seen. He still may be.”
Mark Schultz. Wrestling Gold Medalist at the 1984 Olympics, 3-Time NCAA Champion, 2-Time World Champion, BJJ Black Belt & UFC Veteran.
   

“I bet on him against any athlete of today.”

“I’ve never seen a Jiu-Jitsu like that in my life! I have trained with the toughest guys formed by Carlson Gracie. They were all great and I for sure don’t want to diminish anybody, but I have to say that no one ever did to me what Rickson Gracie has done during training these last days.”  ”I have no doubt that Rickson Gracie is the best ground fighter of all time. I bet on him against any athlete of today.”
Paulo Filho, MMA Champion and member of the famous Brazilian Top Team.
 

“He took on the best opponents the sport had to offer, and he didn’t lose a single match.”

In the world of MMA, athletes come and go. Olympic wrestlers claw their way to the top, then sink to the bottom two months later when a clever kick lays them out cold. Tough young Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylists work their way up the ladder, then lose horribly to a street fighter with a strong overhand right. Yet one person never succumbed to those fates. While he competed, Rickson Gracie was a cork in the ocean of MMA. He took on the best opponents the sport had to offer, and he didn’t lose a single match.
Black Belt Magazine
 

“All get smoked and dominated by his technique.”

“All the champions from Brazil, World champions and more, you can list the top ones up until today, all get smoked and dominated by his technique.”
Rodrigo Vaghi. World BJJ Champion & Fourth Degree Black Belt

“Rickson is the champion of the Gracie Family.”

“Rickson is the champion of the Gracie family. He is the strongest, has the best technique, and the sharpest mind.”
Helio Gracie. The Late Grand Master of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

”He’s the only one who can beat everybody.”

“Rickson is 10 times better than me. He’s the only one who can beat everybody.”
Royce Gracie. 3-Time Winner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship before weight classes. 2-Time Winner K1 MMA.  Winner Pride 2000 MMA. The only no holds barred fighter in history to consecutively beat 4 fighters in one night.

“Number 1 in BJJ.”

“He may be number 1 in BJJ, but in surfing I rule.”
Royler Gracie . 6th Degree BJJ Black Belt. 4-Time World BJJ Champion. 3-Time World Abu Dahbi Combat Champion.

“Fought against Royce and Royler at the same time…”

“Once, to show me how you didn’t need to use your hands to defend a neck choke, Rickson put one hand inside his belt and fought against Royce [Gracie] an Royler [Gracie] at the same time with only one arm! In 10 minutes of hard fighting they were unable to even come close to making him tap.”
Todd Hester. Publisher and editor-in-chief of Gladiator Magazine

“Is Rickson everything they say he is?”

“When I was really small, I remember having asked Renzo [Gracie]: ‘Uncle, is Rickson everything they say he is?’ And the answer has stuck in my head since: ‘No. He’s much more.’”
Kyra Gracie – 3-Time  World BJJ Champion (2004,2006,2008), 5-Time Pan American BJJ Games Champion (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007), 5-Time Brazilian BJJ Champion (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004), 5-Time New York State BJJ Champion (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002), 2-Time ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion (2005, 2007), Asiatic BJJ Champion (2006)

“An undefeated record after more than 450 fights.”

“For those of you who have been living in a cave and don’t know who Rickson Gracie is, here’s a little background on the man. He’s a son of Helio Gracie and the brother of Royce, Rorion, Relson, Rolker and Royler. He’s a seventh-degree black belt, and his technique is considered to be the finest expression of Brazilian – jujutsu in the world. Most people consider him the best fighter of the Gracie clan. His innate talent and early mastery of the sport have resulted in an undefeated record after more than 450 fights, including jujutsu tournaments, freestyle wrestling matches, sambo competitions, no-holds-barred events and street fights. (This is merely an overview of his career. If I listed all his wins, we would have to rename the magazine Rickson Gracie Illustrated.)”
Karate & Kung Fu Illustrated

“His reputation as perhaps the toughest man in the world.”

“Rickson Gracie is a martial artist who truly needs no introduction. Everyone knows his name and his reputation as perhaps the toughest man in the world. The stoic Brazilian knows what people are saying about him, yet he keeps a relatively low profile. You won’t see him lecturing about armbars on any instructional videotapes, you won’t see his mug on a magazine cover every other month (at least not in the United States), and you won’t see him fight in a no-holds-barred tournament any more than once every year or two. About the only contact the average martial artist will ever have with the grappling phenom is at one of his standing-room-only seminars or at the annual tournament he holds for members of his pack, the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Association.”
Black Belt Magazine

“Rickson is the best.”

“Who is the best fighter in the Gracie family, in your opinion? ” Each of us expresses our family’s style through our personalities. That is why you see some of us more aggressive then others. Rickson is the best though.”
Ralph Gracie. Three Time Undefeated Extreme Fighting Champion. USWF Super Shoot Fight IV Champion. Fighting Record of 71-0-0. 3rd Degree Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

“Undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters in the world today.”

“Rickson (pronounced ‘Hickson’) Gracie is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters in the world today. In a martial arts world full of self proclaimed ‘masters’, he stands out as the real thing. I first met Rickson seven years ago and was impressed by his talent, honesty and integrity.”
Combat Magazine

“Rickson’s Jiu Jitsu is certainly the most efficient today.”

“When I was growing up all I heard was that Rickson would always submit his opponents. He wasn’t interested in scoring points, he would just try to submit, and that really inspired me. That was the way I wanted to be. In my mind I don’t worry about points, I just think about submission, the points are a consequence of that. I think Rickson’s Jiu Jitsu is certainly the most efficient today.”
Antonio “Nino” Schembri. 2-Time Brazilian Champion. 2-Time Pan American Champion. Pride 14 MMA Champion. Rickson Gracie International Jiu Jitsu Championships Black Belt Champion.        

“I’m a fan too…”

“I’m a fan too and I’m going crazy waiting to see him fight soon.”
Renzo Gracie. 5th Degree BJJ Black Belt. 2-Time Brazilian National Champion. 2-Time Abu Dhabi World Champion. World Combat Champion. Reality Superfight Champion.

“Regarded by many as the best no-holds-barred fighter in the world.”

“Rickson has an amazing undefeated record after a lifetime career of more than 400 fights: jiu-jitsu tournaments, free-style wrestling, sambo, open weight free-style competitions, no holds barred challenge matches, and street fights. He is regarded by many as the best no-holds-barred fighter in the world.”
BJJ.org

“Rickson Gracie is the best.”

“Rickson Gracie is the best. If you doubt him, go ahead and give him a call and he’ll show you. I like Rickson a lot. He is well respected in Brazil and he has done so much for the art. He’s accomplished more in his career than anyone else will ever do in their life in Jiu-Jitsu. All the people should have a lot of respect for him and for what he’s done.”
Pedro Carvalho. 3rd Degree Black Belt of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

“Considered by many to be the best fighter on the planet.”

“Rickson Gracie has been said to have the most perfect technique of any member of the legendary Gracie family, creators of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Rickson has dedicated his life to martial arts and is considered by many to be the best fighter on the planet. He is a man of honor, tradition, honesty, and kindness. He is proud to be both a family man and a modern day warrior. He is undefeated in vale tudo [MMA], ending all fights via submission or choke.”
The book: Grappling Masters by Jose Fraguas.

“An icon of our sport.”

“Rickson is an icon of our sport and it will always be a pleasure to see him in action.”
Wanderlei Silva. Chute Boxe and MMA Fighter

“Master of the masters.”

“Mr. Rickson Gracie, Master of the masters…He is the best ever…Water is always fresh and pure at the source…We are officially a Rickson Gracie School, so we have a more reliable standard of Jiu-Jitsu”
Luis Heredia. 3-Time Consecutive Winner Pan-American Black Belt Jiu Jitsu Championships. Official Representative of Rickson Gracie.

“Way beyond everyone.”

“Rickson is way beyond everyone. He can touch your head, your emotions and your mind…Without a doubt, Rickson Gracie is the best fighter ever.”
Carlos “Cao” Valente – Head of the Valente Academy with more than 40 BJJ schools worldwide. Black Belt Student of Rickson Gracie. Former Student of Rolls Gracie.

“His Jiu Jitsu is the most perfect I’ve ever seen.”

“His Jiu Jitsu is the most perfect I’ve ever seen… Until today I hear stories of how he is able to dominate several top fighters that train with him.”
Allan Gumby. Onthemat.com columnist

“So outclassed and dominated his opponents that his efforts seem strangely non-violent.”

“If you have ever seen a boa constrictor eat a live animal, then you know what a Rickson Gracie fight looks like… Gracie so outclassed and dominated his opponents that his efforts seemed strangely non-violent, almost nonchalant.”
Fight Magazine