The Main Lessons from Rickson and Pedro Valente, Today’s Birthday Boys

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Pedro Valente ao lado de Rickson Gracie e Helio Vigio em festa para Helio Gracie no Rio Foto Gustavo Aragao

Starting from the left: Pedro Valente, Rickson Gracie, Helio Vigio and João Alberto Barreto in the foreground at a February 2009 party for Helio Gracie / Photo by Gustavo Aragão

Today, November 21, Rickson Gracie turns a year older. His ID says he’s 54; but he doesn’t look it.

All thanks to Jiu-Jitsu and the breathing exercises the gentle-art ace has been practicing since he was 20 years old.

In these days of bullying and meanness, GRACIEMAG.com felt it appropriate to highlight the main lessons it has learned from the red-and-black belt.

“Through Jiu-Jitsu I learned to be a better person and look any adversary life throws my way right in the eye. And often that’s all it takes.”

Could you want anything better than that, avoiding a fight or altercation with no more than a look? Well, that tends to be the way it goes with Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, as our readers have seen time and again in life.

Today is also the birthday of another “young fellow” who learned the value of fearing no one from Helio Gracie.

His name is Pedro Valente, a 74-year-old red-belt and surgeon who is father to Jiu-Jitsu professors Joaquim, Pedro and Guilherme, as well as the athlete Joana Valente.

“I can’t remember a day in my life when I haven’t used the Jiu-Jitsu I learned from Helio Gracie. I’m not talking about just the techniques in training, but mainly the mind, the life philosophy. You know, you even use what you’ve learned in Jiu-Jitsu when you’re tying your shoes in the middle of the street,” Pedro Valente taught us one time.

So there you have our tribute to the two of them, on this special date for Jiu-Jitsu.

Dr. Pedro Valente giving his son a check-up in 2009 / Publicity photo

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