Rickson on bringing his dad's vision of self-defense to life
The point of Self.Defense.Unit, the online course by Rickson Gracie that preceded the creation of Rickson Academy, was to teach Helio Gracie's self-defense system to a wide modern audience. The system itself was first organized in Helio's book, "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu."
Rickson gave an insightful explanation of his thought process in devising the course on his live webinar a couple of years back, and it's well worth a read (or a listen).
"I think the idea of bringing this knowledge within this book—to restore our culture and our tradition, and eventually have this knowledge in every academy in the world—will be the great success and the great dream of Master Helio Gracie, because this is actually the heart of jiu-jitsu. Because, in self-defense, the attackers, they're not fighters. They give you a punch, and then you... and defend against the punch. Different than a guy who gives you a punch, and when you go to defend, he neutralizes. So, the defense here is against a one-shot killer. The aggressors here, they don't have the knowledge or the fighting skills to keep up changing positions. Those things, you're gonna learn by practicing jiu-jitsu.
"This information is more like information you understand the concepts to be used in case you get punched, in case you get headlocked, in case you get grabbed... And those are very fundamental, and very basic situations which give you the sense of application of many concepts within jiu-jitsu. That's why I feel like every black-belt's supposed to know this, every student's supposed to know this aside from the game, aside from the jiu-jitsu skill, competition mode, the MMA, the no-gi competitions. I think all this is beautiful, but the heart of the knowledge to empower somebody is not about giving him competition skills, because some people are not even interested in competing, so jiu-jitsu cannot be limited to people who like to engage in a fight; jiu-jitsu has to be big enough to fit even people who don't want to be a fighter, and never will; they just wanna learn how to defend in case they get attacked. And that's why self-defense has to be the introduction to any jiu-jitsu practitioner, and it's just the beginning for a huge lifestyle in jiu-jitsu."