Ask any martial artist, no matter if it’s a Judoka, kickboxer, or a BJJ practitioner, who their martial arts heroes are, and, especially for the older ones, it is most likely to be Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee was martial artist and actor who founded his own style of fighting called Jeet Kun Do or JKD. His philosophies have served as inspiration for many martial artists over the years, encouraging them to train harder and smarter, pushing them to go beyond their limits each training session.
Still some people question wether he was a legitimate martial artist and fighter or more of an actor.
When Rickson Gracie was asked what he thought about Bruce Lee, he answered:
“Even back then, he was already doing things and explaining like in today’s world. He was open to new things. Everything he spoke was the true essence of martial arts.
I think what Bruce Lee brought to martial arts were a lot of good components. His philosophy was 100% right.”
When asked about his movies and if they were a good way to showcase martial arts, Rickson, who has always showcased his martial arts in MMA fights, answered:
“I think martial arts in movies are a good thing. They showcase the art to the masses.”
You can see Rickson’s talking about Bruce Lee from 1:50:
Rickson Gracie was also once asked what he thought about Steven Seagal and if he is legit.
This was Rickson Gracie’s response:
“Definitely. [Seagal] has – based on his training – a deep understanding of the concepts. How good he is in real life, how he will display his effectiveness, I’m not sure. His philosophy is based on proven realities. He believes in technique, and the concepts within Martial Arts.”
So what does this mean exactly. For Rickson, Seagal has a deep understanding of Aikido’s fundamentals. When it comes to effectiveness, he believes that the only way to see how legit he is from live training. This is why it is important to test your technique on resisting opponents in live sparring, to be able to see what truly works.
A martial art and martial artist that doesn’t actively train with his students to test and refine his techniques, cannot improve…