Interview with Jiujitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part V
A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. Click here for Part I, II, III & IV
29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time
LW: It sounds like you're trying to create something bigger than yourself, so,etching that can replace you.
RG: oh man, you know that's exactly what I'm trying to do. If I look back at my life, I did everything I could do to represent, to fulfil my students' needs in order for them to become better. As men, as competitors, as parents or whatever. I feel like I've been dedicating my life to jiujitsu and as my body is physically fading, the best contribution I could do is to create some kind of pattern of quality control for our product and our community because what I see is our product being diluted and weakened. I see that my last challenge, my last fight, as very fulfilling and very motivational. I feel like if I can accomplish half of what I'm thinking, I'll be the happiest guy on earth. I'm out there fighting and providing service, working hard to conquer this challenge but in a much bigger position. For example, instructional videos: I will never, ever put my instructional videos on the shelf for anyone to buy. It's not about the money but for me it's about the principle. It's weakness from me if some guy I've never met pays $50 and takes my knowledge and a piece of my soul and then becomes my enemy. On the other hand, if a jiujitsu practitioner from anywhere in the country or the world, gets in contact with me and says "Master, I'm a jiujitsu teacher from wherever and I'd like to have your programme", I don't feel it's the same as selling it on the shelf to anyone. I feel like I'd be fulfilling that guy's needs as a black belt to become a better teacher. This is a completely different feeling for me because while I can be betrayed, but my intention is to serve jiujitsu and I'd be giving another jiujitsu practitioner the elements he needs to become better. I'd be working with people who love the art, respect the art and live by the art and the knowledge so it's a. Completely different service.
LW: fantastic. So how are you going to select the first wave of certified full instructors?
RG: We are going to advertise through the JJGF site the schedule of all the events we've discussed. The first wave, as I mentioned, will be restricted to those who already know the programme. That step is neither about testing, teaching or failing nobody. That step is about recognition as full instructors and let them spread the full art. For anyone to make the cut for that very special first meeting, they must for sure be already very comfortable with the whole programme.
LW: is the digital material that will be distributed to applicants of the second wave already available? Has it already been recoded?
RG: No. I will create that and film it in the first full instructors certification phase. All the material will be there, I will be displaying and teaching it fully. Only if it comes to my attention in the future that something needs to be amended or added I will film additional material. In the JJGF offices, we have now received mats and set up a studio to not only portray those techniques but also have a mini TV station where we can solve technique problems, run interviews with masters and people who are relevant within the community and talk about current affairs within the community and the sport.
This is the end of part V. Master Rickson Gracie was very generous with his time and energy so there is much, much more to come. Stay tuned.