Breathe : A Life In Flow by Rickson Gracie and Peter Maguire
An instant New York Times bestseller, USA Today bestseller, and Wall Street Journal bestseller
From the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu icon, Rickson Gracie, comes a captivating memoir that seamlessly blends his remarkable career with the rich history of his family dynasty and the art of Jiu Jitsu.
With an undefeated record, Rickson Gracie stands shoulder to shoulder with legendary figures like Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Mike Tyson in the world of combat sports. In his book, Breathe, Gracie unveils the complete saga of how his father and uncles forged the path of Jiu Jitsu. He brings us into his world, growing up surrounded by multiple generations of renowned fighters, unveiling the principles and skills that led to his extraordinary triumphs.
Gracie’s memoir is not just a personal story; it also offers indispensable insights into martial arts, human performance, and the incredible power that exists within the mind-body connection. The lessons learned within these pages transcend the ring, providing guidance for success in all aspects of life.
Arriving now in paperback, this updated edition includes an afterword by the author, where Gracie delves into the process of adapting to unforeseen and life-changing circumstances, providing even more invaluable wisdom for readers.
Breathe: A Life in Flow by Rickson Gracie and Peter Maguire | BOOK REVIEW
Hello to all my fellow readers! Today, I want to share a quick review of an incredible book that has completely captivated me: “Breathe: A Life in Flow” by Rickson Gracie, co-written by Peter McGuire. Now, I must admit, I’m a bit biased here because I absolutely loved this book. I’ve been on a reading spree lately, consuming some fantastic books like “Kindred” and currently diving into Dave Grohl’s memoir. But “Breathe: A Life in Flow” is in a league of its own.
Let me be clear, I’ve never been a die-hard MMA fan or particularly interested in jiu-jitsu. I always thought standing toe-to-toe and exchanging punches was the “proper” way to fight. Manipulating joints and all that seemed, well, not my cup of tea. But this book shattered my preconceived notions and changed my perspective entirely. Jiu-jitsu, it turns out, is truly fascinating and offers valuable life lessons.
Now, even if you’re not a fan of combat sports, this book is still a compelling read. It mainly revolves around personal development, which is something I’m deeply passionate about. I am always seeking self-improvement through reading and sharing knowledge with my children. That’s why I started these reviews, to provide them with a glimpse into the books that shaped my life and maybe have a laugh at my attempt at being a “YouTuber.”
Rest assured, my reviews are always honest. No one is paying me to say this, and I have no reason to lie. “Breathe: A Life in Flow” deserves all the praise.
Let’s dive deeper into the book.
The Philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu and Its Invisible Benefits
Rickson Gracie, one of the toughest and most respected figures in MMA, reveals something truly profound in this book. According to him, the true essence of jiu-jitsu goes beyond physical techniques and accomplishments. Its most significant benefits cannot be seen or taught because they lie within the mind.
Jiu-jitsu changes an individual’s perception of life’s opponents, whether they are external or internal. It equips you with the tools to overcome despair, low self-esteem, and lack of motivation. The “invisible” jiu-jitsu teaches one how to thrive in the world and survive against the challenges life throws our way.
This concept struck a chord with me. It goes beyond the surface level of hurting others or proving oneself physically. Jiu-jitsu, as Rickson Gracie presents it, is a philosophy that can be seamlessly applied to everyday life.
The Flawed Journey of a Fighter
What makes “Breathe: A Life in Flow” even more compelling is Rickson Gracie’s honesty and self-reflection. Despite his exceptional success in the world of combat sports, he acknowledges his imperfections and flaws.
His vulnerability shines through as he recounts personal experiences, such as being unfaithful to his wife and the pain of losing his son. These moments of raw emotion and fragility demonstrate that even the strongest and most disciplined individuals face challenges that cannot be overcome with stoicism alone.
As I read this book, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to my work with unpaid carers. These individuals often face immense stress and pressure, and while techniques like stoicism and personal responsibility can be helpful, sometimes they just need a break. They need to release their emotions and be allowed to be human. Rickson Gracie’s recognition of his own vulnerability serves as a reminder that even the most stoic individuals need moments of release and self-reflection.
Discovering the Warrior Ethic
“Breathe: A Life in Flow” also delves into the Gracie family’s fascinating history. Hailing from Dumfries in Scotland, they brought with them a warrior ethic that shaped their values. Pete McGuire, the co-author and a longtime friend of Rickson Gracie, provides valuable insights into their journey.
In addition to the personal anecdotes, the book offers heartwarming messages of not placing excessive pressure on young people and appreciating the role of women. Rickson Gracie’s own experiences and growth highlight the importance of supportive and understanding parenting.
A Transcendent Fighting Philosophy
One of the most intriguing aspects of this book is Rickson Gracie’s fighting philosophy. Unlike many fighters who enter the octagon solely to win, his focus was on defending his honor. He possessed an unwavering dedication to the art, often willing to endure pain and injury rather than submit.
Through the use of breathing techniques and a meditative state, he transported himself to a different realm, allowing him to control his mind and overcome his opponents. This transcendent approach to fighting is truly mesmerizing and serves as a testament to the power of the human mind.
“Breathe: A Life in Flow” is an exceptional book that I cannot recommend enough. Even if you’re not a fan of MMA or jiu-jitsu, the insights and philosophy shared by Rickson Gracie are invaluable. This book will inspire you, challenge your preconceived notions, and perhaps even change your perspective on life.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more book recommendations and reviews. Stay curious!