At the age of 82, the red-belt Flavio Behring continues to be quite an inspiration to our team, as well as to the entire jiu-jitsu community.
The father of Marcelo and Sylvio Behring, Master Flavio once summed up, in the 250th issue of Graciemag, the essence of BJJ — one of the biggest lessons he had learned in the course of so many decades of experience.
“Sometimes we reach a point in our life where we start thinking that learning is secondary,” he said as he turned 70 in jiu-jitsu and 80 in life, in November 2017. “No; learning is part of our essence, and is always a priority. We only stop learning upon death. I keep my white belt nearby, to stay alert to this fact. In the end, as Helio Gracie used to teach, it’s not the belt color that matters, but rather the foundation and the content we carry with us — technical, intellectual and spiritual content.”
By the way, at the time, Behring was still studying, practicing and reviewing techniques daily. “Learning doesn’t end in the red belt, or any belt. I know that deep down nobody knows anything. Since my body changes with time, I go back to the most basic positions to check whether I can still execute them that same way, or whether I need to re-adapt.”
To the celebrated student under Helio and João Alberto Barreto, the goal common to all of us should be only that of evolving, accumulating knowledge so that, through wisdom, we can transmit it to the younger generations. And so jiu-jitsu remains eternal.
“I always say, if you wanna roll, you just have to call a partner and roll; if you want to train, find a coach; if you want to learn, seek out a teacher. Now, if you want to understand jiu-jitsu, you must look for a master.”