On March 14 & 15, 2009 Rickson Gracie conducted a seminar in Nashville, TN. It was his first US seminar in many years. The seminar was hosted by Eric Silver and was completely sold out in hours with 200 attendees. Eric sent us this report and photos:
RICKSON GRACIE’S RETURN TO THE US-NASHVILLE, TN
By Eric Silver
March 14th and 15th, Nashville, Tennessee was privileged to host the long awaited return of Rickson Gracie, the last samurai, to the teaching arena. Word of the event spread like wildfire through the jiu-jitsu community and all 200 spaces for his seminar sold out in a little more than a week. Students from California to New York of every belt color, including thirty black-belts, came for a taste of “water from the source”.
With mats covering almost every inch of the McGavock High School gymnasium floor, attendees erupted into applause as the master entered. Rickson opened by thanking everyone for being present and talked lovingly about the work of his father. “My dad was an inventor. I have been able to improve on what he developed. I was happy that before he passed I was able to show him even better ways to do the techniques he invented,” Rickson stated humbly.
Rickson invited participants to demonstrate their technique as he analyzed their performances. After each had shown their best, he would reveal the missing pieces. Even Professor Pedro Sauer submitted to Rickson’s critical evaluation during the seminar. He commented, “Everything I’ve always told my students was proven: that Rickson is a truly gifted person with an incredible knowledge and a great personality.”
Longtime Rickson black-belt, Rodrigo Vaghi, added, “Rickson is the best. He transforms jiu jitsu in a way no one else is capable of and opens our minds so that we have no limitations where our jiu-jitsu can go”.
Black-belt and ’06 US Open Judo Gold Medalist, Joel Gingery commented, “Rickson is absolutely amazing and has revived my passion for jiu-jitsu and the quest for excellence in my game.” Such a quest has been the theme of Rickson’s life. Through rigorous training, strict dietary guidelines and the constant refinement of basic technique, he has become a living, breathing example of every martial artist’s ultimate goal: minimal effort, maximum effect.
Always direct to the point, the master commented, “This is good”.