Some wisdom to help you have a better year in 2009, or whenever

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In its last issue of 2008, Graciemag collected the best remarks made by fighters that year in the hope our readers could find in them lessons to have a great 2009. In case you missed these nuggets the first time around, good news: they hold up pretty well. Scroll down do read a version of the article in plain text, and let us know in the comments how much you have improved over the past decade.

“You don’t knock a
mountain down, you
climb it” Alexandre
Souza, after defeating
Luiz “Big Mac” at the 2008
European (January)

“At the weigh-ins I
thought: ‘I’m about
to hug a cactus!’”
Wanderlei Silva on his
fight against Chuck Liddell
(decision loss), paraphrasing
José Pelé (January)

“Master Helio Gracie
was the one to give me
my red belt. I don’t care
about the opinion of
anyone who disagrees.
Instead of talking
rubbish, they should
light a candle for me for
helping them improve
their lives” Rorion Gracie,
responding to those who think
he is too young for such a
promotion (January)

“We Jiu-Jitsu fighters
really are like that, once
we get good standing
we thinking we’re going
to go beating people
down” Demian Maia,
after watching the improbable
standing battle between
Napão and Werdum at UFC 80

“I hate Jiu-Jitsu!” Tim
Sylvia, after tapping to
Minota (February)

“I told you he had a
long neck!” Rodrigo
Minotauro, to his cornerman
at UFC 81, shortly after submitting
Tim Sylvia by guillotine,
as promised (February)

“Alliance brought a
dead man back to life.
I want to thank them
a lot” Gabriel Vella, on
his return to competition

“Jiu-Jitsu is, above
all else, the science
of control leading to
the submission” John
Danaher (February)

“What Jiu-Jitsu taught
me was how to start
over again. In life or
on the mat, if I take a
beating today, tomorrow
I’ll be eagerly swapping
grips and shooting in
on the legs to land in a
good position” Márcio
Feitosa (February)

“I’m going after the
impossible, which is
perfection” Anderson
Silva, after submitting Dan
Henderson at UFC 82 (March)

“The day I met Renzo
Gracie was the day I
was born for the second
time” Shawn Williams,
leader of Hollywood BJJ

“I think about getting
advantages and points
before getting the
submission. Kron just
goes for the finish. His
Jiu-Jitsu is more aggressive
than mine” André
Galvão, after being crowned
absolute champion at the
Pan-American (March)

“Thirty nine years old,
39!” Jarrod Bunch, former
American football player, after
winning absolute purple belt at
the Pan (March)

“If I knock someone
out some day, it’ll be by
accident” Roger Gracie,
after submitting Yuki Kondo,
at Sengoku (May)

“It would be a dream
come true to end
my career fighting
Sakuraba. He has that
nickname (Gracie Killer)
and I have to live with
that caught in my
throat. He hasn’t fought
me yet and so shouldn’t
be using it. He’s asking
for it. But as we don’t
have all that we desire
yet, I can only hope the
promoters manage to
put together the right
conditions to get us
together in the ring. If
not, patience” Rickson
Gracie (May)

“It’s a miracle I’m alive.
I’ve done so much
wrong and been around
people who are really
bad. A lot of them tried
to kill me” Mike Tyson,
at the Cannes release of the
documentary about him (June)

“Make training into
pleasure, class into fun,
and work into leisure”
Royler, giving advice to those
just starting out in Jiu-Jitsu

“We start competing
the moment we
open our eyes in the
morning” Saulo Ribeiro,
explaining why he remains in
competition to this day (June)

“Training is not a
sacrifice. I don’t give
myself the option of not
going. I just go” Robert
Drysdale, explaining how he
keeps motivated (June)

“I told David Mamet
that in Jiu-Jitsu there’s
always a way out. He
liked it and used it
in the movie” Johnny
Machado, “Red Belt”
director’s teacher and actor in
first Hollywood super-production
on Jiu-Jitsu (June)

“I trained some with
Rickson in Japan and
I must say he really
is something else in
terms of Jiu-Jitsu.
We practiced specific
positions. I mounted
and he defended. He
mounted and would
catch me. I tapped a
thousand times to the
guy” André Galvão (June)

“I have to print another
shirt, this time with
“He’s back!” on it” Tio
Barriga, Fernando Tererê’s
father, on seeing his son return
to Jiu-Jitsu after four years
away (July)

“It doesn’t have a
name yet… Call it a
xande-guruma” Xande,
christening the takedowns
that yielded him his second
absolute championship (July)

“A true master is one
who has what it takes
to motivate students
to fulfill their own
dreams” Carlos Gracie Jr,
red-and-black belt, explaining
how he managed to promote
over 300 black belts (July)

“My son, did you have
a sip of stupid tea or the
whole kettle?” Carlos
Gracie Jr, to one of the Gracie
Barra stars, at the Worlds (July)

“I’m going to stop
being a nice guy” Xande
Ribeiro, after releasing
Gabriel Vella’s arm and
swearing his opponent tapped
to an armbar in the absolute
semifinal at the Worlds (July)

“I felt I had tired grips,
but I’ll be back next
year” Roger Gracie, explaining
his “diminished” pressure
at the 2008 Worlds (July)

“I’m not unknown!”
Sérgio Moraes, after submitting
Kron at middleweight

“I tapped!” Kron Gracie,
still in disbelief at the outcome
of his first fight as a black belt

“Forget everything
you’ve done up until
now. Black belt is
different” Rickson
consoling his son (July)

“By training a lot, I’m
reaching the level Tererê
was at, just that he was
natural” André Galvão,
after submitting everyone at
medium heavyweight at the
Worlds (July)

“You saw that my turtleguard
works, right?”
Eduardo Telles, after holding
out against Roger’s subs at
ultra heavyweight at the Worlds

“Fedor’s not human”
Tim Sylvia, stating what the
entire solar system already
knew, after being finished
in seconds by the chubby
Russian at Affliction (July)

“There’s no Jiu-Jitsu
without hierarchy.
What is in the interests
of the team should
always take priority”
Romero Jacaré Cavalcanti,
leader of Alliance, after his
team took its third Jiu-Jitsu
World Championship (August)

“I’m only here today
thanks to Jiu-Jitsu. My
plan for the future is to
be able to stand again”
Redley Vígio, red-and-black
belt, paraplegic after being
shot in an attempted robbery

“Jiu-Jitsu is complete.
It’s up to you to adapt
it to your body” Jean
Jacques Machado,
many-time champion born with
a deformed left hand (August)

“Passing out to a choke
happens smoothly, it’s
not traumatic like an
MMA knockout. First
some flashing lights
appear, like a swarm
of fireflies” Vinícius
Draculino Magalhães,
telling of his experience of
passing out at the No-Gi
Worlds (September)

“I’m already holding my
head high and want to
know who they’re going
to give me next. That
belt is mine” Ronaldo
Jacaré, ready for the next
one after taking a fatal upkick
from Gegard Mousasi and
landing unconscious in the
Dream middleweight GP final

“It’s hard to be unbeatable
fighting every
three months” Vítor Belfort

“That was the most
important day of
Xande’s life so far” Saulo
Ribeiro, on his brother’s
victorious debut at Sengoku

“The three happiest
moments in my life:
when I received my
karate black belt, when
I won the UFC belt, and
today. This is the high
point in my career”
Georges St-Pierre, upon
receiving his Jiu-Jitsu black
belt from instructor Bruno
Fernandes (October)

“My father told me
there are folks who
don’t give up even
when faced with the
pain of torture. I saw
the pride in his eyes
when he talked of such
people. And, that day,
without him knowing
it, I became one of
them” Renzo Gracie, on
“Legacy,” the documentary
about his life (October)

“Don’t take life too
seriously, in the end
no one leaves it alive”
Grandmaster Pedro
Hemetério, 85 (October)

“How much does one
year cost a ten-year
career? I told him to
go back to Jiu-Jitsu,
submission, whatever
turns up” Fabio Gurgel,
on the 12 months Marcelo
Garcia has been absent from
the ring due to contractual
problems with K-1 (October)

“Thank God, nothing. I
have everything I could
want. Health, friends,
family. I’m 95 and have
no complaints” Helio
Gracie, revealing what he
wished for when blowing out
the candles, on October 1st.
“Helio Gracie will never
end, he will live forever”
Pedro Valente, in a speech
at the grandmaster’s birthday

“I don’t see myself
getting in the ring
anymore. Unless there’s
some nut ready to
pay what I’m asking
(laughs)” Rickson Gracie,
whose purse is estimated at a
few million dollars, on Sportv
channel (October)

“A conquest, once
achieved, should be
forgotten” Sergio Moraes,
2008’s Jiu-Jitsu revelation,
citing one of the teachings of
his idol, Rickson (November)

“We like so much what
we do that, even when
we don’t manage to
80% of what we need
to organize an event,
the result is 110%.
It’s incredible” Flávio
“Cachorrinho” Almeida,
during the official opening
of his academy, Gracie Barra
San Clemente, in California

“The magic behind
Jiu-Jitsu is that it is a
martial art for everyone,
yet everyone’s use of
that art can be very
different and still
achieve similar results”,
Martin Rooney III, in this

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