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Must-Read Article on the History of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Must-Read Article on the History of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

You probably recognize the name Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It’s that particular brand of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu created – and trademarked – by the Gracie Family, and it was used to spectacular effect in the early UFCs.

(Please tell me you recognize the name. If not, what the hell are you doing here?)

Well, Grantland went big on delving into the history of that art, and the resulting article is some must-read material that provides background on what is undeniably an intrinsic part of the foundation of the sport. Here’s a sample:

Perhaps because he was feeling overconfident, Rickson left himself open early in the bout and fell victim to a guillotine choke. Realizing he had made a terrible mistake, the Brazilian grabbed Funaki’s wrist and pulled down, keeping his opponent from completing the maneuver. Funaki then straightened his back, twisted Rickson’s neck, and threw him to the ground. Lying on the mat, the stunned champion failed to bring his hands up to protect his face, and Funaki stood over him, landing hard punches to both of his eyes. The blow to Rickson’s right eye broke his orbital bone. The Japanese fighter began to kick his prone opponent like a schoolyard bully, while the crowd roared in appreciation of the local hero’s dominance over the Gracies.

Funaki’s kicks were humiliating and painful, but they also gave Rickson time to recover. Blocking the kicks with his feet, and kicking back to keep the Japanese fighter at a distance, Rickson waited until his vision began to return. Gathering his strength, he tensed his body and leaped backward, landed on his feet, blinked twice, and then rushed at Funaki. Rickson fought back with a Homeric rage that made him appear to move with irresistible strength and speed through his opponent’s defenses. Flipping Funaki onto his back in the center of the ring, Rickson sat on top of him, caught his breath, and started striking him in the kidneys. He then grabbed the Japanese fighter’s arm, pulled it around Funaki’s neck, and began to choke him with it. As his opponent weakened, Rickson embraced Funaki from behind and wrapped his legs around his torso. Trapping Funaki’s neck in the crook of his arm, Rickson squeezed his forearm and biceps together. Funaki’s eyes widened, he thrashed for a moment, and then he passed out.

There’s lots more stuff like that in there, so take some time and read it. It’s worth it.

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