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Rickson’s Lesson That Changed The Life of Award-Winning Chef & BJJ Black Belt Alex Atala

Rickson’s Lesson That Changed The Life of Award-Winning Chef & BJJ Black Belt Alex Atala

What is the greatest quality that the student can admire in a good teacher?

One of the most useful, undoubtedly, is that keen eye – which many call talent – to notice the mistake that the student is making, and help them correct it, with simple and direct communication.

Award-winning chef and cook Alex Atala , a BJJ black belt from Demian Maia who put on the BJJ Gi for the first time in the 1990s, once learned from master Rickson Gracie a simple lesson, summarized in one sentence, that forever changed his professional life.

In conversation with professor Fabio Gurgel, the chef recalled the episode, which caused him to turn his career around.

Alex Atala, star chef started training with Marcelo Behring in São Paulo, and today he is a black belt under Demian Maia.

“Before the recognition and the spotlight, I spent ten years just eating, sleeping and cooking, without doing anything else in São Paulo,” recalled Alex Atala, 52. “I found myself working in the middle of chaos, it was painful, until I finally understood a brilliant phrase from Rickson, which I kept with me always: ‘The secret is to find comfort in discomfort'”.

In that well-summarized sentence, Atala realized what he was missing:

“There I learned that I was facing many of my routine difficulties in the wrong way. After all, life, work, day to day, will bring us discomfort all the time, and fighting against that fact is to expend energy, because it is impossible to change that. To live is to manage problems. From that day on, I started to find comfort in discomfort, and I was happier. ”

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