The first American to train BJJ, Richard Bresler joins the show to talk about finding the art in the 70’s and how it helped him overcome addiction. He also talks about the Gracie Garage, challenge matches, self defense and the birth of the UFC. Click “read more” for listening options and show notes!

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  • Origins
  • Finding Jiu-Jitsu
  • Meeting Master Rorion Gracie
  • Overcoming addiction
  • The transformation BJJ gives people
  • The original Gracie Garage
  • Rolling with Grandmaster Helio Gracie
  • Spending time in Rio De Janeiro
  • Challenge matches
  • The formation of the UFC
  • Rickson’s departure from the Gracie Garage
  • Rorion Gracie’s tremendous contribution to the art
  • Why he split from Gracie Academy
  • Earning his black belt from Master Fabio Santos
  • The UFC’s impact on the spread of BJJ
  • Grappling vs Striking
  • Diffusing confrontation
  • Realistic self defense
  • The importance of relaxing while training and fighting
  • The Pummel
  • The sport’s growth over time
  • Technical changes in the art over time
  • The value of a strong foundation
  • Advice for instructors
  • The greatest lesson Jiu-Jitsu has taught him
  • 2021 goals
  • His book “Worth Defending: How Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Saved My Life”