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capaloco
4/08/2004 3:01am,
I just found this in http://www.straightblastgym.com/gorillapress.html

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If there is one thing you can learn from Martial Arts, it is that you can never tell what a person knows simply by their size, demeanor, or physical appearance. Martial Arts is the ultimate "you can't judge a book by it's cover" lesson that only someone who has been thrashed and mashed by someone 6 inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter can appreciate. You only have to learn this lesson once, in order to carry it around with you forever.
My lesson came when I first met Rickson Gracie in 1988. At that time, I had been weight training very heavily, weighed a solid 220, and could bench press over 300lbs with ease. I had been training Kung Fu, Kickboxing, and FMA for several years and felt pretty good about myself. One day, a friend of mine told me about some "mexican guys named the Garcia brothers" who had a school in Torrance where they taught Jiu-Jitsu. He also said they were unbeatable. Curious, I decided to check them out.
When I walked into the tidy school I was greeted by one of the brothers named Rorian, and soon found that they weren't mexican but Brazilian, and there name was Gracie, not "Garcia". With a friendly nod, Rorian sized me up and said "You're a pretty big guy. I have a brother who just came from Brazil. You can train with him-as long as you promise not to hurt him." With a very grave nod, I agreed, secretly wondering how good these Gracie brothers could be if they were so worried about getting hurt. Rorian took me to a practice room and introduced me to a 5'9" 180lb guy with the funny name of "Rickson".
Very patiently and methodically, Rickson took me through a series of moves mainly consisting of self defense escapes from standing grabs and holds. At the end of the lesson, after throwing Rickson to the mat numerous times (to cocky to realize he was letting me) I asked "do you guys ever go all out?" Because if you do, I'd kinda like to try you out". Rickson, with a poker face, nodded. "I tell you what. You're a big guy. Very Strong. We'll go hard for a few minutes. If you get me in a hold that hurts, and its probably going to happen because you are very strong, then I'll just tap on my gi and you can let me go. If I do the same thing to you, and I doubt I have any chance of that my friend, then you tap." I nodded, thinking to myself that I would be careful not to hurt him to much. So I crouched down, put my hands on his gi collar, and suddenly found myself flying through the air upside down, landing hard, and then having my arm twisted painfully! I tapped quickly and got to my feet hurriedly.
"I cant believe it!" Rickson said incredulously. "That never happen to me before!" I never get that move on anyone. Try again". So we faced off and I set my jaw sternly. This time no more Mr nice guy. I faked high, lunged at his legs-and then flew through the air, landed hard, and had my arm twisted again until I tapped. "Twice in a row!" Rickson said in awe. "I have never been so lucky! I't can't happen three times. One more." So I got to my feet (a little slower this time) faced off, and then bull rushed in, looking to crush him with a mighty bear hug. Instead (you guessed it!) I ended up on the ground 10 seconds later, once again trapped in an armbar.
Rickson let my arm go and opened the door of the room. "Rorian!" he yelled. "Call our father in Brazil! I think this is some kinda record. He tapped three times- this never happen anywhere!" Rorian, checking in a new student at the front desk, looked up, rolled his eyes, sighed, and went back to writing. "He just jealous", Rickson confided to me. quietly, "That he never got so lucky. One more?" By now, however, I was onto him-you can't fool me more then 20 or 30 times with the same trick-and quickly I shook my head. "Uh, can I sighn up for weekly classes with you?" Rickson paused and then nodded. "Of course, as long as you never really tell anyone what happened behind the doors and how lucky I was to beat you-it would ruin my reputation and make my father very angry."
As I left the academy that day, I reflected on how lucky I was that Rickson wasn't someone I cut off in traffic, screamed at, and then got out of my car to teach a lesson to. I mean, there was just no way to know what he could do from looking at him. From that day on, I looked at everyone a little differently, and found myself much less likely to confront someone over a minor slight. I mean I might be a wimp.

willy
4/08/2004 3:06am,
i got my ass handed to me by a 78yrold 5ft tall japanese man when i first started training. sobered me up to how little i knew in a hurry.

stoogejitsu
4/08/2004 3:06am,
Yup, a lesson I learned many years ago, and have since taught other people the same lesson, and the cycle continues. P.S.-Rickson is actually a pretty thick guy, I don't know why people would think they could just muscle him easily even not knowing how good he is.

Hannibal
4/08/2004 3:11am,
An impressive story with a valuable lesson.

ALthough I have a feeling that those sorts of circumstances only occur in grappling arts like Judo ( and BJJ).
In hardcore striking arts like kickboxing or karate, you don't see many elderly gentleman defeating young,fit conditioned fighters. I hate to say it but grappling arts a student does have a longer fight life.

Gelid Light
4/08/2004 3:14am,
Hannibal, do you read well? The meeting in question occurred in 1988. A quick internet search revealed that this "Rickson" was hardly elderly in 1988.

Hannibal
4/08/2004 3:17am,
Gelid, thats my point. Grappling arts are more focused on strategy,balance using your opponants force. Hardcore striking arts are all about force on force.Two guys just stand infront of each other and blast away exchanging blows.

SMF
4/08/2004 3:25am,
hahahahahahannibal.

SLJ
4/08/2004 3:28am,
That was a good read.


"I don't know why people would think they could just muscle him easily even not knowing how good he is."

Agreed, he hardly looks like a *****.

capaloco
4/08/2004 3:30am,
I agree. Old people lose speed and agility which can be compensated using grappling through technique and brains.

Hannibal
4/08/2004 3:32am,
Thats exactly right.

Veridian
4/08/2004 3:35am,
Originally posted by Hannibal
Hardcore striking arts are all about force on force.Two guys just stand infront of each other and blast away exchanging blows.

I wouldn't say they just stand there.

SLJ
4/08/2004 3:35am,
Captain obvious ahoy !

capaloco
4/08/2004 3:36am,
Originally posted by SLJ
That was a good read.


"I don't know why people would think they could just muscle him easily even not knowing how good he is."

Agreed, he hardly looks like a *****.

http://bjj.org/images/Rickson/rickson-beach.gif

I don't think the 1988 Rickson was too big. And this guy was 220!

J-kid
4/08/2004 3:36am,
Good read

SLJ
4/08/2004 3:38am,
"I don't think the 1988 Rickson was too big. And this guy was 220!"

Not everyone's 220.

And if Rickson looks like a ***** I'm in big trouble.

stoogejitsu
4/08/2004 3:39am,
Originally posted by SLJ
"I don't think the 1988 Rickson was too big. And this guy was 220!"

Not everyone's 220.

And if Rickson looks like a ***** I'm in big trouble.

-agreed, I'm screwed, no body will take me seriously.