GB Philosophy with Prof. Garnier

Professor Sebastien Garnier is the head instructor of GB Marseilles and helping to grow the sport and art of Jiu-Jitsu in France.
GB Blog asked Prof. Sebastien to talk about his philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu and training advice and he shares a story that was told to him by Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
“…we get good at Jiu-Jitsu, the fact we don’t give up, the fact we evolve, the fact get through the struggles of life”
GB: Can you talk a little about your philosophy of training Jiu-Jitsu? How can the lessons learned in the Gracie Barra school be applied to our lives?
Prof. Sebastien: On a technical approach I like to focus on concepts and also the « why » in Jiu-Jitsu. Everything we teach to students has a why, everything they do has a why everything they decide to apply must have a why. We are fortunate to have a strong legacy of Jiu-Jitsu technics coming from one of the most visionary men in martial arts, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. I like to develop the « inner » jiu-jitsu of every student. We can all develop our own way to see and apply Jiu-Jitsu, because we all have different DNA, different ways of thinking, and seeing things. This is an inside-the-mat-self-development process that always impacts our outside-the-mat life. I think I always try to motivate every student to apply this constant seek of self-development outside the mats. We always think « Man, how did this guy sweep me? How come I got caught in this armbar? I usually never fell into this trap »
All those ways of questioning ourselves must be applied outside the mats. « How can I be a better father, how can I promote the benefits of Jiu-Jitsu to other people? How can I improve myself as a leader, as an entrepreneur, as a worker..? » I think the best way to apply Jiu-Jitsu in our life, is applying this constant self-development spirit in our day-to-day lives.
GB: What is the advice on training Jiu-Jitsu that you share with your students at your Gracie Barra school?
What is the best advice that you ever received for Jiu-Jitsu?
Prof. Sebastien: There was this wise old man in the mountain, known to have all the answers. So two little boys decided to climb the mountain to see if it was really true. One the boy said to the other
– We are going to trick this wise old man. I will put a little bird in my hand and ask him whether the bird is dead or alive. If he says « alive » I will crush the bird in my hand so I can show him that the bird was dead. If he says « dead » I will just open my hand so the bird can fly away. In both cases, the wise old man will be wrong.
So they got to the top of the mountain, really excited to think they will trick the wise old man. The boy asked him « Old man. They use to say to have always the right answer. If that is true please tell me if the bird in my hand is dead or alive.
The wise old man not even opened his eyes and answered
– The answer is in your hands.
I listened and learned this directly from Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
The fact we get good at Jiu-Jitsu, the fact we don’t give up, the fact we evolve, the fact get through the struggles of life, is in our hands. We need to wake up every day and remember that the level of accomplishment we will have in life will depend on how deep we will feel accountable for that.
GB:: Last question. Would you like to give a shout-out to any coaches, training partners, or sponsors?
Prof. Sebastien: The first man I would like to thank is our leader and Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Without his vision, and deep conviction that we can make his vision happen thanks to passionate and organized teamwork, the world wouldn’t be experiencing the benefits of Jiu-Jitsu. Then we need to thank every single piece of the giant Gracie Barra puzzle, from all the professors sharing the vision and mission of Gracie Barra to all students keeping the legacy alive, to all the family promoting the benefits of Gracie Barra in our community. This is a massive teamwork puzzle. If we lose and forget one single piece, if we lose the purpose, it won’t be complete.