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SUPER RARE RICKSON GRACIE FIGURE FROM JAPAN CASE IS DAMAGED NEAR FOOT & HAS A CREASE IN PACKAGING Rickson, son of Helio Gracie, was born into Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. At six years old he began competing; at 15 he started to teach it; and at 18 he received his black belt. At 20 Rickson won his first victory against the famous 230-pound Brazilian brawler Rei Zulu. With this victory, Rickson gained immediate national acclaim as the top freestyle fighter, leaving his mark on the history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the Gracie challenge. Five years later Zulu requested a rematch and lost to Rickson again, in Maracanazinho before an audience of 20,000 spectators. Rickson is an 8th Degree Black Belt Open Class Champion of the Gracie Family, whose technique is considered to be the finest expression of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in the world. His innate talent and mastery of the sport have been demonstrated in numerous Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, freestyle wrestling, Sambo, open weight freestyle competitions and no holds barred fighting matches. Rickson is a two-time Brazilian Champion in freestyle wrestling, a Gold Medal Winner of Sambo, and for almost two decades he has been the middle-heavyweight and no weight division World Jiu-Jitsu Champion. He conquered Japan's elite fighting in a tournament, the Japan Open Vale Tudo, winning both in 1994 and 1995. At this time, Rickson was acknowledged by the Japanese for possessing the Samurai Spirit. In the 1997 Pride 1 Vale Tudo match in Japan's Tokyo Dome (before 47,860 spectators), he defeated Japanese professional wrestler, Nobuhiko Takada, in 4:47 of the first round. A year later, to the day, at Pride 4, Rickson defeated Takada once again. At Colosseum 2000, held at the Tokyo Dome, broadcast to 30 million TV Tokyo viewers, Rickson fought Masakatsu Funaki. He defeated his opponent with a rear naked choke in 11:46 of the first round. Rickson has been teaching his martial arts style for over 20 years and his array of students have included FBI Agents, SWAT Teams, Navy SEALs, Delta Force, Army Rangers, military personnel, martial artists of various styles, athletes and actors. Rickson founded the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Association in 1996 in order to provide a thorough and complete system in which Jiu-Jitsu students, for the first time, are presented with clearly defined standards of progression relating to proper Belt Ranking and Testing. Through the Association, the traditional, technical and philosophical aspects of Jiu-Jitsu can be shared with students around the world. Rickson competes in invitational tournaments and teaches on Special Tours and seminars as well as at the Rickson Gracie International Jiu-Jitsu Center in West Los Angeles. Rickson's students credit his teachings with the achievement of great self confidence, heightened awareness, stress reduction, youthful vitality, increased physical energy, balance improvement and inner peace.[citation needed] Paulo Filho, former PRIDE middleweight fighter and former 185 lb World Extreme Cagefighting champion,[6] states that Rickson's skills at Jiu-Jitsu are unparalleled. In Gracie magazine, Filho says "I have trained with the toughest guys formed by Carlson Gracie. They were all great and I for sure don’t want to diminish anybody, but I have to say that no one ever did to me what Rickson Gracie has done during training these last days.”[7] Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz said, "Rickson Gracie and me had a match in the BYU wrestling room in 1992. He made me tap out twice and told me I was the toughest guy he’d gone against. Rickson was the best fighter I’d ever seen. He still may be." [8] Rickson has confirmed that he is officially retired now and his major focus is to give seminars on Jiu-Jitsu and to try to develop BJJ as his father saw it: not a fighting tool but a social tool, to give confidence to women, children, and physically weak individuals by giving them the ability to defend themselves.


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