All About Rickson Gracie
Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Titles & Awards:
Rickson (pronounced Hickson), son of Helio Gracie, was born into Gracie 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. At twenty Rickson won his first awe-inspiring victory against the famous 230-pound Brazilian brawler Zulu who until that time had enjoyed a 140-match, undefeated record. With this victory, Rickson gained immediate national acclaim as the top free-style fighter, leaving his mark on the history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the Gracie challenge. Five years later Zulu requested a rematch and lost to Rickson again, in Maracanazinho before an audience of 20,000 spectators.
Rickson is an 8th Degree Black Belt Open Class Champion of the Gracie Family, whose technique is considered to be the finest expression of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in the world. His innate talent and early mastery of the sport have resulted in an impeccable undefeated record in more than 400 fights, including Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, free-style wrestling, Sambo, open weight free-style competitions, and no holds barred challenge matches. Rickson is a two time Brazilian Champion in free-style wrestling, a Gold Medal Winner of Sambo, and for almost two decades he has been the middle-heavyweight and no weight division World Jiu-Jitsu Champion. Most recently, he conquered Japan's elite fighting in a tournament, the Japan Open Vale Tudo, winning both in 1994 and 1995. At this time, Rickson was acknowledged by the Japanese for possessing the Samurai Spirit.
In the 1997 Pride 1 Vale Tudo match in Japan's Tokyo Dome (before 47,860 spectators), he defeated Japan's top ranked fighter, Nobuhiko Takada, in 4:47 of the first round. A year later, to the day, in the 1998 Pride 4 Vale Tudo match, Rickson defended his title. In the most awaited rematch in martial arts history, drawing an overwhelming 50,000 spectators to Japan's Tokyo Dome, Rickson defeated Takata once again. At Colosseum 2000, held at the Tokyo Dome, broadcast to 30 million TV Tokyo viewers (the highest viewed television program for its time slot), Rickson fought Japan's number one fighter, Masakatsu Funaki. He defeated his opponent with a rear naked choke in 11:46 of the first round.
Rickson has proven himself as accomplished a teacher as he is a competitor. He has been teaching his martial arts style for over 20 years and his array of students have included FBI Agents, SWAT Teams, Navy Seals, military personnel, martial artists of various styles, athletes and actors. His highly practical self-defense style is widely recognized as the superior martial art, for real-life situations.
Rickson Gracie founded the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Association in 1996 in order to provide a thorough and complete system in which Jiu-Jitsu students, for the first time, are presented with clearly defined standards of progression relating to proper Belt Ranking and Testing. Through the Association, the traditional, technical and philosophical aspects of Jiu-Jitsu can be shared with students around the world.
Rickson presently competes in invitational tournaments and teaches on Special Tours and seminars as well as at the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Center in West Los Angeles. Rickson's students credit his teachings with the achievement of great self confidence, heightened awareness, stress reduction, youthful vitality, increased physical energy, balance improvement and inner peace.
A modern day legend, Rickson Gracie has gained international acclaim for his leadership in disseminating the art and philosophy of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. He espouses strong family values and a healthy life-style. He is the epitome of discipline, determination and sportsmanship.
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