Rickson Gracie is a legendary figure in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. There are countless stories of how good he was during his prime.
There are many stories of Rickson Gracie manhandling and submitting BJJ world champions when they came to visit him in his academy during the 90’s.
Rickson Gracie, now age 64, recently was visited in his private gym by his old rival from Pride FC days, Nobuhiko Takada.
They had a friendly training session together, and as we can see in the pictures, Takada is a purple belt in BJJ.
Rickson Gracie and Mr. Takada practiced together. This miraculous reunion was set up and realized by Yamada, the representative of Alabanca arts. And Edison Kagohala sits as an interpreter. It’s a wonderful thing.
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In 1997, Gracie competed against Nobuhiko Takada in Pride 1 event. Before an audience of 47,860 spectators at the Tokyo Dome, Gracie defeated the then inexperienced Takada, mounting him and securing an armbar submission in 4 minutes and 47 seconds.
As his popularity grew in Japan, Gracie was reportedly offered to fight Mario Sperry at Pride 3, but the match did not occur due to objections from Carlson Gracie. Pride management also proposed replacing Royce Gracie against Mark Kerr, but Gracie declined citing only one month of preparation would be insufficient. Fighting Network Rings chairman Akira Maeda additionally challenged Gracie for a retirement bout, but Gracie passed on this opportunity. Gracie instead agreed to a rematch with Takada at Pride 4, stating, “I feel Takada is a warrior and deserves the chance to try and redeem himself.”
In their second bout, Takada had improved and was able to wrestle with Gracie to counter his ground advantage. However, Gracie capitalized on a leglock attempt from Takada to take his back and mount. Still, Takada continued fighting under Gracie and managed to escape, threatening with a heel hook. Awaiting the end of the round to avoid giving Takada an opportunity if he missed, Gracie ultimately secured an armbar submission against Takada once more.