Roger Gracie, 31, is the most recent guest on “London Real,” a weekly podcast by Brian Rose and Nic Gabriel, two students of his in England.
Their conversation on the show turned out to be a superb lecture on Jiu-Jitsu, in which the Gracie addressed his training, MMA and even Ronaldo Jacaré. He also explained why Jiu-Jits is a martial where everyone can take part, and revealed which UFC stars he most enjoys watching, like GSP, Lyoto Machida, Rodrigo Minotauro and Jon Jones.
To watch the show, click here.
GRACIEMAG.com sieved out the following excerpts with some of the lessons Roger Gracie had to impart:
“I’m calm like this because of Jiu-Jitsu. I feel like I’m meditating when I’m fighting. In Jiu-Jitsu, losing control means losing the fight.”
“There’s no mystery to starting Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu’s for everyone – at my academy the youngest student is four years old, and the oldest is 86.”
Jiu-Jitsu is most beneficial to people who have nothing to do with professional fighting. When we’re in there, the mind shuts off automatically.”
“My first memories of Jiu-Jitsu are from home, with my dad throwing me in the air and doing weird moves. It’s like I do with my son, Tristan. I ask him to do an armbar and he does it, but he doesn’t really know what he’s doing.”
“I think I’ll retire from MMA when I’m 37. I don’t see myself fighting when I’m 40.”
“MMA is a sport that doesn’t forgive you. If you make a mistake, the knockout comes right away.”
“I’m not under any illusions thinking I’m going to get as good as Lyoto is on his feet. … But the more tools I have, the better a fighter I’ll be. Even more so because MMA always starts on the feet.”
“I don’t think me versus Jacaré is going to happen. People want to bring back the rivalry we had in Jiu-Jitsu, but there are other interesting fights for us on the way to the Strikeforce middleweight title these days.”
“One of the secrets to having a happy life is to choose a profession that gives you pleasure, otherwise you will spend years and years depressed. A lot of people don’t have any option, but they need to try, because in a blink your life is gone.”
“After that fight with Jardine, with all that suffering to make weight, there wasn’t a good restaurant open nearby. I had to just eat pizza.”
“When I see an old photo of the Gracies, all wearing black belts, the first thing I think is that they all trained together, and I start imagining what the training and competition was like between them. It is truly a special family.”
“Nic [interviewer] came to the academy like any beginner, thinking he was tougher than anyone in there. But at a Jiu-Jitsu academy we teach the humbler side of life.”
“When I give a student a brown belt, I usually know he’ll be ready for a black belt in two years. It could take a bit longer, three years, but if he trains regularly he’ll get there.”
“Jiu-Jitsu is a unique art because you learn the technique and get to test it right away, when rolling, with an opponent trying as hard as he can not to let you do that. In other arts, you can’t train bizarre spinning kicks and flying kicks to the opponent’s face every day, so they don’t know how it’s really going to work. In Jiu-Jitsu you have an exact measure of what moves you know.”
“Nothing can beat the mind. It doesn’t matter if the fighter’s strong or not. If the mind is weak, and he doesn’t believe in himself or his technique, he will get defeated.”
“Everything in life, from martial arts to business, is like that. Why are there so many people doing the same thing and so few reaching the top? Because those ones really believe, and they work for it.”
“One common mistake among fighters today is to want to train hard, but doing it just any old way. The result is that they don’t last long; they get hurt. It’s not how hard you train, but how intelligent your training is.”
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