Please find below a Q&A I stole from the SBGi section of the Underground Forum today. . Matt Thorton provides a great answer to an age old question. . Original Link Here.
Q.Hi Matt, firstly I’d like to start by saying Im a huge fan of SBGi and everything you’ve done to promote the truth in fighting. And secondly this thread is in no way intended to be disrespectful to those who have posted on the BJJ forum about Rickson Gracie. It is just a srious attempt at extracting some useful information that may help all jiujitsu students an grapplers!With that out of the way, I’ll ask my question. Matt, what do you think it is that seperates Rickson Gracie from other top Brazilian Jiujitsu black belts and competitors? I realise with all the talk at the moment about Rickson’s recent seminars, his out of this world skill and technical knowledge that noone is able to quantify what he teaches, why he is so good and what makes his technique so much more effective apparently than everyone elses? I am fascinated by the subject and was hoping you could offer your ideas and viewpoint on the subject?Thanks,Felipe
A.That’s a question that everyone who meets Rickson eventually asks. My opinion is that Rickson is set apart due primarily to his understanding of the fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu, and secondly his wisdom regarding how to train those fundamentals. There are a lot of world class competitors who truly have no idea exactly how they got “good”, beyond the obvious of lots of hard mat time. In Rickson’s case I think he has a deeper understanding. I think he knows exactly how BJJ works, starting with the number one concept of posture.
All good BJJ coaches focus on fundamentals and avoid teaching a style. But even with fundamentals there will be variations amongst competitors. You might divide techniques broadly in terms of high percentage and lower percentage moves. With higher percentage moves being generally simpler, lower risk, and based on leverage. However, what may be for most a low percentage move may be for any given individual a high percentage addition to their individual game. There is however one consistent core principle to all of BJJ, and that is the concept of posture. Proper posture in guard, on bottom, on top, the start and finish of serious BJJ understanding is posture. And to me that is where Rickson sets himself apart, and that is why so many black belts walk away not with a new move, but with a much deeper understanding of movements they have been doing every day for decades. And that is gold! Obviously there are a lot of people who appreciate that info.
Secondly, Rickson knows how to train. He isn’t the type of instructor who shows 6 moves and then everyone touches hands and rolls to win. And he isn’t the type of instructor who has people repeat a move without resistance a million times. He advocates drilling for the majority of class time, and his drills are always alive. IE: they incorporate progressive resistance as applied to isolated postures.
That understanding of what makes BJJ a science, posture, combined with an understanding well beyond most of his peers related to how to drill makes Rickson the coach he is. As for his personal ability, factor in training since birth, good genes, a consistent commitment to his own fitness and health, and a very intelligent mind (Rickson is no meat head jock, and never was), and you have have a pretty incredible combination.