In their 200th episode, the best BJJ podcast Grappling central interviewed the man who many consider to be the greatest BJJ Black Belt of all time: Grandmaster Rickson Gracie talks about controlling your breathing, teaching Jiu-Jitsu to anyone, managing fear and his thoughts on honor in modern society. Side note: This was recorded just days before his Red Belt promotion, so we would like to congratulate Grandmaster Rickson on his promotion!
Rickson Gracie has been pushing the concept of ‘Invisible Jiu-Jitsu’ for years. Many people think of it as little adjustments that are invisible to the naked eye and that positively impact your Jiu-Jitsu…What is it and does it really make a difference?
“little” Tony Pacenski (http://www.soulfight.net/) attended the Rickson Gracie “Invisible Jiu-Jitsu’ seminar at the Gracie academy in Los Angeles a few years back and wrote this on the BJJ underground forum regarding invisible Jiu-Jitsu:
The real connection is often said to be the invisible jiu-jitsu that you don’t see, but only can feel. It is the difference between practicing a technique and having the teacher say, “Do you understand verses did you feel that,” to the student. The student that understands may not have the better experience compared to the student that felt the connection.
Rickson Gracie stated:
The invisible aspect of jiu-jitsu for me by far the greatest and the most interesting. Because it is not based on what I see it. It is based on how I feel it. That’s why it is invisible. It’s not about seeing. You may see the same guard position, but you feel different if you put pressure here, if you lie a little more here. So the invisible results are the ones that really please me because they are the ones that I really deeply felt you know? That’s what I try to promote is the capacity once you have to have to develop their own sensitivity for what is invisible.
Balance for example is invisible because it has to be connected with my opponent’s energy. If you push me I have to have my balance based on that push. And if you pull me I have to shift everything and be able to keep my balance on that pull.
So it is an invisible deal of adjustment and weight distribution and connection which has fused the purpose of feeling the pressure or adding pressure or escaping from the pressure or keeping the control or whatever is the position. But for me you saw about those details which makes amazingly different a sense of “Wow man! Now I can feel.” And when the students say to me “Wow man, I understand now!”…wow its not about the visible, what is visible. But is how you feel it and you know it’s experience man which keep me in the game because I love to give that feeling of the students feeling what is supposed to be impossible but based on the invisible aspect you say “Wow! That’s simple.” And that’s amazing man. It’s a special feeling.