“Honor the art, practice jiu jitsu, avoid fights.” -Helio Gracie
The application of traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu transcends the application of chokes, joint locks, immobilizations, throws, and strikes. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a way of life. Beyond the mat, members of the Gracie family live balanced, healthy lives based on the same philosophy that governs their unique self-defense system. Grand Masters Carlos and Helio Gracie believed that the principles of efficiency, patience, and control held the key to success in all aspects of life.
Efficiency, the ability to achieve maximum output with minimum input, is a core principle of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. At the Gracie Academy, we assume that your attacker will always be larger and more athletic than you. Our students quickly learn that the only reliable way to succeed is to exhaust your attacker while conserving your own energy through the use of leverage-based techniques and natural body movements. In life, as in a fight, a student who learns to expend energy efficiently will achieve maximum results with minimal effort. For example:
- Eating healthily is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
- Being honest/respectful to others is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
- Being a hardworking/morally correct business person is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
All of these are examples of ways to achieve maximum results with minimum effort.
Patience is often the key to success in a struggle against a larger opponent. Usually, it is not the person who attacks the most, but the one who exhausts the least who will win. Acting impulsively, aggressively, or without focus wastes energy. Patience also applies to timing. Even a perfectly executed technique will fail if attempted at the wrong time. In life, too, patience and timing enable you to “make your own luck” by calmly watching and waiting until the right moment when you can apply your energy most efficiently.
Being patient with your friends and loved ones, as well as your enemies, is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
- Allowing impulses to pass before acting is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
- Taking a deep breath and considering all alternatives before committing is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Patience and timing allow you to know when to commit while efficiency ensures that you have sufficient energy to achieve your objective when the time is right for action.
The final objective in a fight is to impose your will on your opponent. Nothing achieves this more quickly than physical domination after which surrender usually follows. Physical domination means controlling your opponent. Without control, you risk losing the fight. In life, control applies not only to a simple contest between you and an opponent, but also to the struggle within yourself. Self-control reflects your personal discipline and is the foundation for every decision you make in life. Without self-control, you risk a lifetime of poor choices that invariably lead to tragic consequences.
Refraining from using drugs or alcohol is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
- Choosing healthy, nutritious food over junk food is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
- Having the discipline to engage in regular exercise and rest is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
The Gracie Triangle
The Gracie Triangle, the widely recognized symbol of the Gracie Academy, has evolved over the years. Today, it appears on the storefront of every martial arts school that is committed to teaching the techniques and philosophy of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in its purest form. The triangle represents the stable base possessed by a Gracie Jiu-jitsu master. Regardless of which side it rests on, the Gracie Triangle always has a strong base. The three sides represent the mind, body, and spirit – the three components of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu mastery. The slight inclination near the top of the triangle forms the letter “G” for Gracie. The two fighters on the inside represent all the practitioners of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu who seek to master themselves in mind, body, and spirit – on and off the mat.