Monday was THE most dreamlike days of my life. The only other day that could compare to hanging out with the legendary Rickson Gracie last Monday afternoon on Joe Rogan’s podcast was the night I hung out with and partied with my favorite singer of all time, Peter Murphy. But this was on an entirely different level. Peter Murphy is no super hero. He’s a skinny frail man who couldn’t hurt a flea. Incredible singer, the most enchanting voice ever, but he’s not a guy you would want in your clan if the earth was catapulted into a Mad Max end times existence. Rickson is a real life Conan the Barbarian, the king of strangulation and joint destruction. Rickson may not be able to sing, but no one that’s ever lived can compress a throat quite like him.

Getting to pick Rickson’s brain for 3 hours was unreal, unearthly, and without a doubt the most surreal moment in my entire Jiu Jitsu career.

I got to the studio before Joe but Rickson was already there. When I opened the front door I could see him sitting in the chair he did the podcast in. Jamie, the producer/engineer obviously let him in. As I walked in Rickson got up, we shook hands, I told him what an honor it was for me to be on the podcast with him. He congratulated me on my Metamoris match, and said that I used a good strategy in the match. I was blown away. To get props from Rickson was mind melting, I was in shock, like that little kid in that 70’s Coca Cola commercial when Mean Joe Green threw him his jersey. My eyes were like saucers.

Sitting there for 3 hours listening to him tell those old street fighting stories gave my brain the chills. This was a dream of mine ever since I began my Jiu Jitsu journey 20 years ago. I actually never thought it would actually come true, even in recent years. Rickson just seemed to yoda like, too mysterious, too out of reach, like getting to hang out with Mohammed Ali or Michael Jordan. Like that would ever happen, right? But BOOM! It happened, and all of a sudden Joe and I were having a conversation with this enigmatic martial arts icon.

And just like that 3 hours flashed by and it was over. I swear I could’ve gone 10 hours, EASILY. But it was over and it was time to go. As we were walking out of the studio into the front waiting room I thought to myself, maybe I could show him the rubber guard really quick?? Or maybe he’s in a hurry to get somewhere and he simply wouldn’t have enough time?? Fuck it I said, I’m gonna give it a shot. Getting to show Rickson what my students and I have been working on the last 10 years would be insane. I didn’t know how much time he would actually give me so I felt my pitch would have to be machine gun like, I had to make as many vital points as possible before he said, “I’d love to see more but I got to be somewhere”. So I rattled off my rubber guard speech faster than ever, like those disclaimers at the end of Nissan commercials. I was sweating, out of breath, while inside I was thinking “Is this really Rickson Graice inside my rubber guard or am I on 25 grams of Ecuadorian mushrooms?!?!” I am very confident about my Jiu Jitsu philosophy, plus I just hung out with him for 3 hours but I was still obviously a little nervous to be showing this Jiu Jitsu god some 10th Planet material. I just had to get all the rubber guard scenarios out before he left which could have been at any moment. It was like Eminem on a gallon of Cave Man coffee, no cream, black like Charlie Murphy’s anus but with no rhymes. I couldn’t help it, I just had to let him see what we’ve been working on the last 10 years, especially since he, Jean Jacques and Renzo were the catalyst to it all.

When it was all said and done, Rickson, Joe and I took some pictures and just like that, he left. Whether or not Rickson was impressed with the rubber guard, doesn’t really matter, it wasn’t about that anyways, it was about picking his brain, getting them old legendary stories straight from him, hearing his philosophies on modern Mma and listening to him break down life, honor, courage, conformity and spirituality. God bless Rickson.