GB Values: Health with Master Carlos Gracie Jr

This week we will be talking about training Jiu-Jitsu not only for competition medals or to achieve the next belt but as a longer-term view of jiu-jitsu for our physical and mental health.
This talk is an excerpt from the GB Online module Life Lessons with Master Carlos Gracie Jr. where he shares his thoughts on jiu-jitsu for health throughout our lives.
“At the same time you are healthy, your life quality will be better. I don’t believe that you can have the quality of life if you are not healthy.”
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Master Carlos talks about how practicing Jiu-Jitsu teaches us to understand our physical bodies better:
“How are we going to make ourselves healthier? Through Jiu-Jitsu, you start to understand your body better. Your body is a machine. When you use that machine, you realize that it’s not in good condition. But if you use it, exercise it, you will see it’s going to get better.
Jiu-Jitsu is such a gentle exercise that allows you to go as hard as you want and that way you improve your body a little every day.”
At 60+ years of age, Master Carlos continues to train regularly and offers his philosophy on how instructors and BJJ students need to look at their training as they get older:
“I have the impression that after a certain age, some professors still teach because they own the school. But they just stop training because they can’t expect from their body the same performance as before, so they get embarrassed in front of their students for not being able to do what they used to. Some students might think of their masters and professors who are older as a person who is full of knowledge but can’t put them into practice anymore. So they just quit training.
But every day you don’t train is a day your body gets worse. I’m my opinion, what that person needs to think is that – inside my reality – I want to be the best I can be. And never accepting my body’s deterioration. Even if I feel that I’m getting older and might not perform like before, but I don’t want to accept that and I fight against that every day.
If your body says that you can’t, you just don’t accept that and believe that you can. Do something, fortify this or that body part, repeat, train with your students. I train with white belts, blue belts, brown belts, black belts. Some will give me a very hard time and some will get a hard time from me. And don’t come train with me thinking I want you to go easy because I might never train with you again. Try to get me instead. If I have to tap, I will tap happily. If that happens I will see what was my mistake and try to improve that. “
A major part of the Gracie Barra philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu for everyone is to continue our training for health throughout our lives and a quest for continuous learning and improvement.
See also on GB Blog: GB Values: Goals and Discipline with Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
Writer: Mark Mullen, Gracie Barra Black Belt