Rickson Gracie

Rickson (pronounced Hickson), son of Helio Gracie, was born into Jiu Jitsu. At six years old he began competing; at fifteen he started to teach the art; and at eighteen he received his Black Belt.

In 1980, at age twenty, 180-pound Rickson won his first professional Mixed Martial Art (Vale Tudo) victory against a 230-pound Brazilian brawler named Zulu, who until that time had an undefeated fighting record with 140 victories! Rickson gained immediate national acclaim in Brazil as the top free-style fighter. Five years later Zulu requested a rematch and lost to Rickson again, in Maracanazinho before an audience of 20,000 spectators.

In 1993, the Gracie Family introduced Mixed Martial Arts to the United States by creating the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Rickson helped coach his younger brother, Royce Gracie in preparation for this epic event. Royce showed how smaller and physically weaker individuals could win with superior technique. The Gracie family introduced reality based fighting back into the martial art world, and were instrumental in creating what is now the fastest growing sport, Mixed Martial Arts.

Rickson is a 8th Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, whose technique is considered to be the finest expression of Jiu Jitsu in the world. His innate talent and early mastery of the art have resulted in an undefeated record in MMA, BJJ and No Rules Challenge Matches in more than 400 fights! He is a two time Brazilian Champion in freestyle wrestling. He is a Gold Medal Winner in Sambo. He has been the middle-heavyweight and open weight World Jiu-Jitsu Champion for two decades!

Rickson is also a master level instructor. For over 35 years he has demonstrated how to teach the most advanced principles of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a way that allows everyone, including first time beginners, to succeed. His students have included world champion MMA and BJJ competitors, master level instructors from various martial art styles, FBI agents, SWAT teams, Navy SEALs, military personnel, athletes and actors.

In 2014 Rickson founded the JJGF, Jiu Jitsu Global Federation with the purpose of bringing real world martial art effectiveness back to Jiu Jitsu training and competition! Unfortunately, nearly every Jiu Jitsu school today only teaches Sport Jiu Jitsu, loosing the full applications of martial art training for life along with real fighting skills! Rickson discusses this problem during various interviews conducted when the Federation was launched.