Secret to Gracie Jiu Jitsu Mastery
Two very lucky members of the Combative Corner, Michael (Founder/Left) and Brandon (Contributing Author/Right) get their second workshop with two giants in the world of jiu-jitsu teaching, Ryron & Rener Gracie.
Here are a few of the highlights and insights that will benefit us all!
As many of you know from my last article regarding Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Brandon and I had the opportunity to take a workshop with Ryron in Virginia and due to a last-minute change, we received his brother Rener in our home state of North Carolina. It was a special privilege for me as Rener was gracious enough to give us an in-depth interview (if you missed it… you can catch it here or on YouTube). Personally, it was very special to meet Rener after speaking with him in January (for about an hour and a half) and now, to meet this master-teacher (and all-around-great-guy) face-to-face. The workshop went splendidly as this future blue-belt (me) began to truly understand a fundamental aspect of GJJ… the hooks (and Superhooks)! With a little spot-on coaching from Rener, I was (and still am) well on my way.
But what pulled the whole lesson together was something that I think all students should understand. As we gathered around Rener and he began to field our questions, he posed this question to us,
“How does someone reach black belt status?”
Answers came from from each area of the room. A common word that was said by one, and was surely thought of by the rest of us was the word “Practice.” But Rener mentioned that there are many students that practice intensely (even with them at the Gracie Academy)… come to class regularly and it still takes quite a bit longer (than expected) to reach the next level. So what really makes the difference? The ANSWER?… [Keep reading]
The one thing I admired about Rener was how much encouragement he gave everyone at the seminar while they were working on the techniques he was showing us. He didn’t just throw in a “good job” here or a “that’s it” there. He seemed genuinely excited when he saw someone finally “get” the technique and in my opinion that is the sign of great teacher. I was also impressed by how approachable Rener was for someone who is so well known. I have met plenty martial artists who love to walk around like they’re “too good to be in your presence” and none of them were half as talented or did half as much to benefit the martial arts as Rener and the rest of the Gracie’s have. I consider myself truly lucky to have attended not one but two Gracie Jiu-jitsu seminars this year. They are addictive!
(Paraphrasing) “The difference between a white belt and a black belt is the amount of time it takes to ‘make the recovery’ – from acknowledging the result/defeat/submission, to understanding and internalizing the result. Many immediately, after being submitted, want to “go again” and there are others that get incredibly frustrated with themselves (even beating up themselves on the drive home). “Making the recovery” is, again, about:
Acknowledging – Understanding – Internalizing
Make it work for you!
Michael Joyce & Brandon Vaughn
On an additional note – Rener made this connection- that the difference between him and each of us, is only that he understands (obviously in a very deep way) the possibilities (i.e. technical or strategic options) sooner, and has, therefore, a much more sensitive (and thus effective) “threat detector” when grappling. Learn to understand the game of jiu-jitsu… because (in the words of Rener Gracie) “You cannot master that which you do not understand.”
Interview with Rener Gracie (part 1) : HERE
Interview with Rener Gracie (part 2) : HERE