Roger Gracie is arguably known as the greatest BJJ competitor of all time, having won 10 black belt world titles, 2 ADCC world titles and having easily submitted his biggest rival, the much younger Marcus Buchecha Almeida at his retirement match.
Roger Gracie gave Graciemag (translated from Portuguese) some useful advice for those who want to get closer to the essence of Jiu-Jitsu, and to build a solid, basic and efficient game – with techniques to be used from 8 to 80 years old.
1. “I got the black belt at the age of 21, and at that time I couldn’t say that my choke from the mount was effective. It took me many years to perfect the technique, insisting on training, until that 2009 World Cup in which all the chokes worked. Commandment number one, then, is perhaps to be patient. Did you learn a position or concept? It won’t work overnight. If you give up training that, the it’s even worse. Work the technique every day, be happy to see the improvement every day ”.
2. “The most important thing in my career was not winning titles every year , after all, there were falls and defeats. The main thing was that, year after year, I never got upset, and I continued to train to improve here and there.
3. “My greatest strength was the desire to improve myself, to build an increasingly effective solid game . In my first World championship, I think I didn’t submit anyone, for example. So, did you lose? OK. The important thing is not to be affected, go to the gym the next day with renewed desire. Do you feel you are improving? It is the key question. ”
4. “The fighter who seeks to improve must enjoy training – and fighting – against the best there is. It’s how we really test what works. ”
5. “Not every technique is for everyone, there are body types, game types etc . But all the essential concepts of Jiu-Jitsu that are valid and must be studied and remembered. I see Jiu-Jitsu as a progressive art, with an objective at each stage. For example, are you standing? The goal is to take down. Fell on guard? The goal is to pass. Passed on? The goal is to finish. Fell on your back on the floor? The goal is to sweep or take the back. Jiu-Jitsu has a beginning and an end, and the athlete or practitioner must always aim for that ultimate goal. I don’t see any point in talking about basic or modern Jiu-Jitsu, I just see the following: does the guy pass and try to submit, or is his objective to reach a position of advantage and stop there? ”