Rickson Gracie offers his thoughts on his cousin Carlos Gracie Jr., the head of Gracie Barra, moments before Carlos was awarded his red and black belt by Renzo Gracie on June 3, 2008 in Irvine, California.
(If you’d like to see the original, clearer version of this video, it’s found in m4v format on our BJJ Video page!)
TRANSCRIPTION OF RICKSON GRACIE’S SPEECH
Rickson Gracie: For me it’s a pleasure to be here, for a few reasons. First of all, we Gracies are in the business to create character and build up strong personalities. We all, much more than promoters of MMA, because MMA for us was a form we used to confront other styles and to put our beliefs in jiu-jitsu to the most test.
But that was gone a long time ago and now MMA becomes an extreme sport which, whoever doesn’t know jiu-jitsu – no matter who he represents – he has no chance. So jiu-jitsu becomes, still, the core of MMA.
But we Gracies are always based on our relationships with the students. And how much we help them. And that comes back to us in double, because we feel good about it. So we are very happy to be in the business that we are.
So when I see Carlos [Gracie Jr.] promoting jiu-jitsu, promoting the sport of jiu-jits, promoting the educational aspect and the cultural aspect of jiu-jitsu for kids, and to involve families in our sport, that’s something that really makes me happy and proud to be his cousin.
I feel like the sport today has a huge demand and requires an effort of all of us who are involved in somehow directing the sport, 100% of attention and commitment to to make this grow. Not only in Brazil, not only in the United States, but all over the world.
So I would like to congratulate Carlos for the excellent job he’s been doing for the last… few years.
And I feel like we’re not exactly representing the same flag in terms of school but above that, we all pray, and work and have the same commitment from the same mother, which is jiu-jitsu for us. And I am very happy to be here and congratulate him as a great master.