Met verschillende pioniers komen ook verschillende meningen over hoe Braziliaans Jiu-Jitsu er uit zou moeten zien. Al deze stromingen zijn uiteindelijk te herleiden naar de bron van het BJJ, Helio en Carlos Gracie. Bij elkaar opgeteld hebben zij 30 kinderen gekregen, waarvan Rickson Gracie unaniem wordt gezien als de állerbeste.
Zijn stijl van Jiu-Jitsu wordt geprezen vanwege zijn perfectionistische benadering: het gaat om de details die de technieken werkzaam maken voor iedereen, ook kleinere en zwakkere beoefenaars. Hij voegde het concept van gewichtsverdeling toe aan het al effectieve systeem van Helio en Carlos Gracie. Rickson ziet Jiu-Jitsu in een breder kader dan alleen sport, maar als effectieve manier om jezelf te verdedigen tegen een aanvaller die ook kan stoten en trappen.
Hij staat bekend om zijn ongeslagenheid sinds zijn 18e jaar: zijn vechtrecord staat op 400-0 (zowel professionele als amateurgevechten). Er gaan vele verhalen de ronde waarin hij speelt met wereldkampioenen en waarin hij uren lang verschillende worstelaars en judoka’s na elkaar af laat tikken.
Wij zijn als team Silverback Jiu-Jitsu ontzettend blij dat wij zo dichtbij de bron zijn, onze trainer Mike traint wekelijks met Michel ‘Babytank’ Verhoeven en Harold Harder, 3e graads zwarte band onder Rickson. Harold heeft jarenlang één op één met Rickson getraind in Amerika, en heeft zo zijn effectieve stijl naar Nederland gebracht. Zelf komt Rickson jaarlijks naar Nederland voor een groot seminar en een lerarentraining maar zoals onderstaand te zien is reizen Michel en Mike jaarlijks ook zelf af richting Amerika om extra te gaan trainen.
“Above all others in the world of Jiu Jitsu.”
“Everyone wants to know who is the best… Universally regarded as the all time best is Rickson Gracie.”
“There is one guy that is always thought of as above all others in the world of Jiu Jitsu, Rickson Gracie… He is a scary dude. He is a master, a true master of Jiu Jitsu. He’s got that samurai mindset, a lot of people talk that samurai mindset, that dude lives it! That is his mindset.
Joe Rogan – UFC Commentator, BJJ Black Belt, Actor.
“He is the best Gracie hands down.”
“You gotta believe it because everyone says the same thing, even David Camarillo when he went down there, and David Camarillo is a world-class black belt, he said he couldn’t do anything with Rickson… He is the best Gracie hands down.”
Eddie Bravo – Creator of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu.
“Rickson used to teach us privates, teaching details… He explained every inch is important.”
“When I was growing up, I looked up to him as my idol. He was the Champion at that time, my time. It was amazing because Rickson gave me the opportunity to train with him, me and my brothers… Rickson used to teach us privates, teaching details… He was about minimal details. He explained that every inch is important, and that opened my mind to look for more details… Rickson helped make my Jiu Jitsu very tight, very detailed. I am very thankful to Rickson for helping me and my brothers be at the level we are today… a lot of thanks to Rickson for that.”
Rigan Machado – 8th Degree BJJ Master. Record of 365 Wins 2 Losses. Legend in the BJJ Community.
“One of the first instances where I really recognized, like an epiphany, this guy is THAT good!”
“Fabio Gurgel who everyone was saying is killing everyone in Brazil, he’s destroying everyone in tournaments, he’s a two time world champion, and then to see Rickson train with him, and play with him like he was a white belt, my jaw dropped. That was one of the first instances where I really recognized, like an epiphany, this guy is THAT good! You heard that he was the best of all the Gracies, and Royce made that comment that my brother Rickson is 10 times better than me, but to see it in action and to see it against a guy like Fabio Gurgel who was 25 and in his prime, just get played with, was pretty insane!”
Henry Akins – BJJ Black Belt Under Rickson Gracie.
“When I’m training with him I’m always tapping.”
“People try to compare Rickson with somebody but no one can compare Rickson in the jiu-jitsu because he’s maybe 20 years forward from everybody. I am the 2 time World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion and when I’m training with him I’m always tapping. He has a lot of skills and I think in jiu-jitsu nobody can beat him. I studied with him also in Brazil and have been coming to Los Angeles, off and on, for nearly eight years to take lessons. Rickson is more than just one man—he feels like 5 when you’re fighting him. You have to sacrifice, sometimes, to study with the best, and Rickson is the best. There is only one Rickson Gracie and he is on a different level from everyone else.”
Fabio Gurgel. Co-founder of the Alliance Jiu Jitsu Team. 5th Degree Black Belt of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 8x World Champion of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. ADCC World Champion. 4-Time Brazilian National Champion. 2-Time European Champion.
“You have zero peace… every move he does, he has one objective, to put you in trouble.”
“I don’t know if anybody here ever have a chance to see Rickson Gracie the way I used to train. He gives you zero! You have zero peace, you have no peace, zero! The moment you shake his hand you are in danger… Sometimes I don’t even want to touch the hand! [Laughter] I swear to god! Because he is 100%, every move he does, he has one objective, to put you in trouble.”
Pedro Sauer – 8th Degree Black & Red Belt BJJ Master. BJJ Instructor for SEAL Team Six and the CIA.
“His basic techniques nullified my game almost immediately…”
“Without question the best Jiu Jitsu fighter to ever live. The amount of dedication this man has shown for the art of Jiu Jitsu is astonishing. Knowing his greatness I was guaranteed an incredible experience at his academy. Training with Rickson is like trying to move a house. What he lacks in size he overwhelmingly compensates in technique and pressure. From the moment I engaged my guard, till the moment I was tapping, I felt as if there was nothing I could have done to better my situation. His basic techniques nullified my game almost immediately… So to all the non-believers, I can only try to persuade you to eliminate all doubt and open your mind to Rickson Gracie.David Camarillo. Creator of the Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu System.
“I got on the ground with Rickson Gracie, and its like I never had a lesson in my life!”
“I was a black belt in judo, so I thought I had some pretty good grappling skills. Anyway, I got on the ground with Rickson Gracie, and it was like I’d never had a lesson in my life. He played with me.”
Chuck Norris – World Karate Champion 6 consecutive years. Black Belt Tang Soo Do. Black Belt Judo.
“Rickson Gracie has fought masters of countless martial art styles, and beaten them all.”
“Rickson Gracie has fought masters of countless martial art styles, and beaten them all. He may be the best ever… Gracie is a master of techniques known as Jiu-Jitsu, or grappling. He uses human mechanics to devastating effect. Gracie exploits anatomical weaknesses to bring opponents to their knees… its pure physics.”
National Geographic Fight Science Documentary.
“I bet on him against anyone.”
“He is a martial arts myth and has nothing left to prove… Rickson will always do well. He will follow his same old style, do the same thing as always and the opponents will be submitted the same way. Adversaries will tap out even if they know his game. He is one of rare fighters I’ve seen in action who do not give up ground positions. Many regarded as aces in JJ fail in submitting their adversaries because they can’t hold on to the ground positions. I doubt that’s going to happen to Rickson… I bet on him against anyone.”
Fabricio Werdum. Ranked 3rd Best Heavyweight MMA Fighter in the World by Sherdog. 2-Time BJJ World Champion. 2-Time ADCC World Champion. Holds Black Belts in BJJ, Judo & Muay Thai.
“The Best Fighter I’d Ever Seen.”
“Rickson Gracie and me had a match in the BYU wrestling room in 1992. He made me tap out twice and told me I was the toughest guy he’d gone against. Rickson was the best fighter I’d ever seen. He still may be.”
Mark Schultz. Wrestling Gold Medalist at the 1984 Olympics, 3-Time NCAA Champion, 2-Time World Champion, BJJ Black Belt & UFC Veteran.
“I bet on him against any athlete of today.”
“I’ve never seen a Jiu-Jitsu like that in my life! I have trained with the toughest guys formed by Carlson Gracie. They were all great and I for sure don’t want to diminish anybody, but I have to say that no one ever did to me what Rickson Gracie has done during training these last days.” ”I have no doubt that Rickson Gracie is the best ground fighter of all time. I bet on him against any athlete of today.”
Paulo Filho, MMA Champion and member of the famous Brazilian Top Team.
“He took on the best opponents the sport had to offer, and he didn’t lose a single match.”
In the world of MMA, athletes come and go. Olympic wrestlers claw their way to the top, then sink to the bottom two months later when a clever kick lays them out cold. Tough young Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylists work their way up the ladder, then lose horribly to a street fighter with a strong overhand right. Yet one person never succumbed to those fates. While he competed, Rickson Gracie was a cork in the ocean of MMA. He took on the best opponents the sport had to offer, and he didn’t lose a single match.
Black Belt Magazine
“All get smoked and dominated by his technique.”
“All the champions from Brazil, World champions and more, you can list the top ones up until today, all get smoked and dominated by his technique.”
Rodrigo Vaghi. World BJJ Champion & Fourth Degree Black Belt
“Rickson is the champion of the Gracie Family.”
“Rickson is the champion of the Gracie family. He is the strongest, has the best technique, and the sharpest mind.”
Helio Gracie. The Late Grand Master of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
”He’s the only one who can beat everybody.”
“Rickson is 10 times better than me. He’s the only one who can beat everybody.”
Royce Gracie. 3-Time Winner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship before weight classes. 2-Time Winner K1 MMA. Winner Pride 2000 MMA. The only no holds barred fighter in history to consecutively beat 4 fighters in one night.
“Number 1 in BJJ.”
“He may be number 1 in BJJ, but in surfing I rule.”
Royler Gracie . 6th Degree BJJ Black Belt. 4-Time World BJJ Champion. 3-Time World Abu Dahbi Combat Champion.
“Fought against Royce and Royler at the same time…”
“Once, to show me how you didn’t need to use your hands to defend a neck choke, Rickson put one hand inside his belt and fought against Royce [Gracie] an Royler [Gracie] at the same time with only one arm! In 10 minutes of hard fighting they were unable to even come close to making him tap.”
Todd Hester. Publisher and editor-in-chief of Gladiator Magazine
“Is Rickson everything they say he is?”
“When I was really small, I remember having asked Renzo [Gracie]: ‘Uncle, is Rickson everything they say he is?’ And the answer has stuck in my head since: ‘No. He’s much more.’”
Kyra Gracie – 3-Time World BJJ Champion (2004,2006,2008), 5-Time Pan American BJJ Games Champion (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007), 5-Time Brazilian BJJ Champion (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004), 5-Time New York State BJJ Champion (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002), 2-Time ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion (2005, 2007), Asiatic BJJ Champion (2006)
“An undefeated record after more than 450 fights.”
“For those of you who have been living in a cave and don’t know who Rickson Gracie is, here’s a little background on the man. He’s a son of Helio Gracie and the brother of Royce, Rorion, Relson, Rolker and Royler. He’s a seventh-degree black belt, and his technique is considered to be the finest expression of Brazilian – jujutsu in the world. Most people consider him the best fighter of the Gracie clan. His innate talent and early mastery of the sport have resulted in an undefeated record after more than 450 fights, including jujutsu tournaments, freestyle wrestling matches, sambo competitions, no-holds-barred events and street fights. (This is merely an overview of his career. If I listed all his wins, we would have to rename the magazine Rickson Gracie Illustrated.)”
Karate & Kung Fu Illustrated
“His reputation as perhaps the toughest man in the world.”
“Rickson Gracie is a martial artist who truly needs no introduction. Everyone knows his name and his reputation as perhaps the toughest man in the world. The stoic Brazilian knows what people are saying about him, yet he keeps a relatively low profile. You won’t see him lecturing about armbars on any instructional videotapes, you won’t see his mug on a magazine cover every other month (at least not in the United States), and you won’t see him fight in a no-holds-barred tournament any more than once every year or two. About the only contact the average martial artist will ever have with the grappling phenom is at one of his standing-room-only seminars or at the annual tournament he holds for members of his pack, the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Association.”
Black Belt Magazine
“Rickson is the best.”
“Who is the best fighter in the Gracie family, in your opinion? ” Each of us expresses our family’s style through our personalities. That is why you see some of us more aggressive then others. Rickson is the best though.”
Ralph Gracie. Three Time Undefeated Extreme Fighting Champion. USWF Super Shoot Fight IV Champion. Fighting Record of 71-0-0. 3rd Degree Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“Undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters in the world today.”
“Rickson (pronounced ‘Hickson’) Gracie is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters in the world today. In a martial arts world full of self proclaimed ‘masters’, he stands out as the real thing. I first met Rickson seven years ago and was impressed by his talent, honesty and integrity.”
“Rickson’s Jiu Jitsu is certainly the most efficient today.”
“When I was growing up all I heard was that Rickson would always submit his opponents. He wasn’t interested in scoring points, he would just try to submit, and that really inspired me. That was the way I wanted to be. In my mind I don’t worry about points, I just think about submission, the points are a consequence of that. I think Rickson’s Jiu Jitsu is certainly the most efficient today.”
Antonio “Nino” Schembri. 2-Time Brazilian Champion. 2-Time Pan American Champion. Pride 14 MMA Champion. Rickson Gracie International Jiu Jitsu Championships Black Belt Champion.
“I’m a fan too…”
“I’m a fan too and I’m going crazy waiting to see him fight soon.”
Renzo Gracie. 5th Degree BJJ Black Belt. 2-Time Brazilian National Champion. 2-Time Abu Dhabi World Champion. World Combat Champion. Reality Superfight Champion.
“Regarded by many as the best no-holds-barred fighter in the world.”
“Rickson has an amazing undefeated record after a lifetime career of more than 400 fights: jiu-jitsu tournaments, free-style wrestling, sambo, open weight free-style competitions, no holds barred challenge matches, and street fights. He is regarded by many as the best no-holds-barred fighter in the world.”
“Rickson Gracie is the best.”
“Rickson Gracie is the best. If you doubt him, go ahead and give him a call and he’ll show you. I like Rickson a lot. He is well respected in Brazil and he has done so much for the art. He’s accomplished more in his career than anyone else will ever do in their life in Jiu-Jitsu. All the people should have a lot of respect for him and for what he’s done.”
Pedro Carvalho. 3rd Degree Black Belt of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“Considered by many to be the best fighter on the planet.”
“Rickson Gracie has been said to have the most perfect technique of any member of the legendary Gracie family, creators of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Rickson has dedicated his life to martial arts and is considered by many to be the best fighter on the planet. He is a man of honor, tradition, honesty, and kindness. On top of that, he is proud to be both a family man and a modern day warrior. He is undefeated in vale tudo [MMA], ending all fights via submission or choke.”
The book: Grappling Masters by Jose Fraguas.
“An icon of our sport.”
“Rickson is an icon of our sport and it will always be a pleasure to see him in action.”
Wanderlei Silva. Chute Boxe and MMA Fighter
“Master of the masters.”
“Mr. Rickson Gracie, Master of the masters…He is the best ever…Water is always fresh and pure at the source…We are officially a Rickson Gracie School, so we have a more reliable standard of Jiu-Jitsu”
Luis Heredia. 3-Time Consecutive Winner Pan-American Black Belt Jiu Jitsu Championships. Official Representative of Rickson Gracie
“Way beyond everyone.”
“Rickson is way beyond everyone. He can touch your head, your emotions and your mind…Without a doubt, Rickson Gracie is the best fighter ever.”
Carlos “Cao” Valente – Head of the Valente Academy with more than 40 BJJ schools worldwide. Black Belt Student of Rickson Gracie. Former Student of Rolls Gracie.
“His Jiu Jitsu is the most perfect I’ve ever seen.”
“His Jiu Jitsu is the most perfect I’ve ever seen… Until today I hear stories of how he is able to dominate several top fighters that train with him.”
Allan Gumby. Onthemat.com columnist
“So outclassed and dominated his opponents that his efforts seem strangely non-violent.”
“If you have ever seen a boa constrictor eat a live animal, then you know what a Rickson Gracie fight looks like… Gracie so outclassed and dominated his opponents that his efforts seemed strangely non-violent, almost nonchalant.”