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THREE STORIES OF THE ARAB WORLD - Part 2


After winning the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) in 2000, Renzo was invited by Sheikh Tahnoon to stay for a few days in the UAE, resting in one of the royal family's villas. The site was in front of one of the numerous water canals that cut through the country, built in the desert in pharaonic works. 
 
The day after the tournament ended, the Sheik suggested to Renzo a jet ski ride. They took a few turns along the canals, until an official suggested that they go to a fishing area. 
 
When they arrived at the place, in the middle of the open sea, there was a rounded enclosure, armed with nets and bamboos, inside which hundreds of fish jumped. The fishermen had thrown this structure into the sea and were guiding the fish into the circle. 
 
Everyone started to get ready for fishing, picking up rods and hooks. But Renzo didn't have the patience to fish in the traditional way... 
 
Impulsively, he jumped off his jet ski and dove into the siege.
 
Immediately the officials of the royal entourage began shouting in Arabic and gesticulating in panic. 
 
Not understanding what was happening, Renzo swam among the frantically struggling fish, until he managed to catch one about 3'5ft long, using only his bare hands. 
 
Everyone around them fell silent, eyes wide. 
 
Overjoyed at his feat, Renzo threw the fish over the bamboo enclosure towards a boat. When the fish landed on the boat, everyone went back to shouting and waving at him. 
 
Still not understanding the reason for that movement, Renzo calmly swam out of the siege and returned to his jet ski. 
 
As they moored at the canal's edge, the Arabs rushed to him, expecting to find many injuries. For that was why they were terrified: those fish were barracudas, an extremely aggressive species, endowed with disproportionately large mouths and full of sharp teeth, distributed irregularly by their powerful jaws. Barracudas are popularly known as tigers of the seas for their size (between 3'3ft and 5'9ft), quick attack and hostility towards humans. They are voracious predators, considered extremely dangerous for people. 
 
Inexplicably, Renzo was unharmed, confirming the famous Latin expression FORTIS FORTUNA ADIUVAT, attributed to the Roman poet Virgil and which can be translated as: “Fortune favors the bold.”

(to be continued)

Publisher Avatar Renzo Gracie posted

THREE STORIES OF THE ARAB WORLD - Part 1


In 1996, the first time he was in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, at the invitation of Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed, Renzo was involved in an episode of surreal contours... 
 
Upon arrival, the prince invited him to watch a traditional horse race. "How's that? Are we going to sit and watch the horses run in circles on a track?” asked Renzo. “No”, Tahnoon clarified. “The race is in the desert, lasts approximately 10 hours and covers 80 miles.” 
 
Renzo was dismayed at the prospect.
 
RENZO: Let me get this straight: we go by car in the desert, following the horses running for 10 hours... 
 
TAHNOON: That's right. 
 
(Brief silence) 
 
RENZO: Prince, tell me something: do you have a horse left? 
 
The prince was incredulous: "But do you know how to ride?" “Of course!”, confirmed Renzo. “It's like a bicycle: you ride it once and you never forget it!”
 
In fact, the only time Renzo had ridden a horse was when he was 10 years old, in a square in the small Brazilian town of Teresópolis, where he spent part of his childhood. On that occasion, Renzo had taken a ride in a nag that they rented for the children to ride... 
 
The Sheikh gave the order: “Bring this man a horse!” 
 
The servants brought it, Renzo mounted it. The saddle was English, without any support. Renzo took a walk around to meet the animal and, when he returned, he said he was ready. 
 
TAHNOON: If you finish this race, you can choose the car you want. Any model: I'll give it to you, IF you can make it to the end! 
 
Horse racing in the desert is a traditional Arab sport, practiced for generations. With the exception of Renzo, all the knights were very experienced natives. On that day, 186 men would participate in the competition. 
 
Before starting, Renzo went discreetly to a stableman and asked if his horse was a good one. 
 
RENZO: Listen, my friend: does this horse of mine have a chance of winning?
 
STABLEMAN: In this heat, your animal will only be able to cover the first stretch and will not be able to continue anymore... 
 
It was 116°F. Also, the servants who brought the horse to Renzo didn't put the usual sheepskin around the saddle. This ended up causing Renzo's legs to be raw in no time.
 
The race has started.
 
In the first stretch, knowing that his horse was weak and would succumb to the heat, Renzo decided not to force the animal.
 
RENZO: I was really slow at first. It was 22 miles to the first stop. 
 
At each stop there was a tent, in which the horses were tested for their physical condition, fed, drank water and allowed to proceed. After the first 22 miles, Renzo felt the desert temperature begin to drop. From the second stretch, he gradually increased the pace of his ride. 
 
RENZO: As the afternoon progressed and it began to cool, I would push the horse more, increasing speed whenever I felt the animal was fine. 
 
Upon completing the third stretch of the race, Renzo dismounted and fell straight to the ground. His legs could no longer withstand the unusual strain. One of the judges shouted: “No one touches this man! If he can't stand up on his own and bring the horse to the tent, he's disqualified!” 
 
Renzo struggled to his feet, cursing the judge in Portuguese just so he wouldn't understand... He led the horse to the tent so the animal could drink water and be examined, and sat down in a chair to wait. At that moment he could barely move, in excruciating pain from riding on the sand.
 
RENZO: I didn't have an ass anymore, my ass was gone... (Laughing) The pain was in internal organs. I could barely speak. 
 
After that break, Renzo got back on the mount and headed for the last stretch, now speeding up his pace fiercely, overtaking dozens of opponents. His horse was fine, because Renzo held the animal through the hottest period; by that time the temperature had already dropped considerably. 
 
The riders crossed the finish line. Renzo finished ninth in a race with 186 competitors. It was the first time in the history of the United Arab Emirates that a foreigner was among the top ten. 
 
The following week, Renzo had to walk with a cane, and he was only able to sit up again ten days later... 
 
(to be continued)

Cross choke with the lapel

Prof. Correa teaches here a submission using his opponent’s lapel and locking his arm in, forcing the choke and stymieing a possible defense.

Cross choke with the lapel

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RENZO'S PEARLS - Part 14


An informal conversation with the master in an apartment in São Paulo, Brazil, in March 2022.
 
QUESTION: How can someone with a limited technical repertoire beat a more experienced opponent?
 
RENZO: The only way is through the right strategy, combined with an absolutely focused mind.

RENZO'S PEARLS - Part 13


An informal conversation with the master in an apartment in São Paulo, Brazil, in March 2022.
 
QUESTION: How do you know when to defend and when to attack?
 
RENZO: When your defense improves, your self-confidence grows amazingly. And that's when you free your game to seek a submission.

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Latest Comments

Jie Frye commented:

This reminds me of what Sun Tzu said in The Art of War: “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” Love all the stories!

May 16, 2022 10:53

Jie Frye commented:

This reminds me about what Sun Tzu said: “ There are no more than five pigments, but their mixture would produce more colours than can be ever seen.” :)

May 13, 2022 08:02

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