Jiu-jitsu grandmaster Mauricio Gomes
Everyone at REORG owes a big debt to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu grandmaster Mauricio Gomes. The 8th degree coral belt did more than anyone else to help establish Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) through the United Kingdom in the early 2000s. Mauricio is also the father of Roger Gracie-Gomes, the REORG-supporting legend who is widely regarded as the greatest jiu-jitsu competitor of all time.
Mauricio, originally from Rio de Janeiro, was awarded his black belt by Rolls Gracie – the son of Brazilian jiu-jitsu founding father Carlos Gracie. Rolls Gracie was just 31 years old when he died in a hang-gliding accident in 1982, but his legacy continues. Mauricio is in select company, as Rolls also taught Rickson Gracie and Rigan Machado, who in turn made a name for themselves in the USA as both fighters and teachers.
As well as helping train the next generations of martial artists, Mauricio credits BJJ with helping keep him in shape while other men his age are settling into a life of golf.
“I’m 65 years old and I still train and I still teach jiu-jitsu,” he said. “I still do a lot of things that some people my age can’t do.”
Does this mean we never need to slow down?
“Well, not exactly. You do have to pace yourself as you age, but this should come naturally for people. You can’t expect to be 50 and train on equal terms with a 25 year-old – that’s impossible.”
The key, Mauricio says, is learning that it is okay to tap.
“You have to leave your ego aside man,” he said. “If you get caught it doesn’t mean anything. You have nothing to prove after a certain age. So if you get submitted for some reason, you just have to learn and move on.”
This philosophy can help in everyday life, too.
“I apply the principles of our martial art in everything I do. Every movement should be executed with the greatest efficiency and the minimum stress. The less strain you put on your body, the more relaxed you are, and the better you move – this is important, no matter whether you are fighting, or just walking down the street.”