Wisdom through Mastery, see: Rener Gracie

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Rener Gracie is a 3rd-generation Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and martial artist. Along with his brother, Ryron, he helps lead an international network of Jiu Jitsu schools that teach his grandfather's approach of neutralizing larger opponents through leverage and grappling techinques. At 28 years old, the guy has been instructing law enforcement officers, military personnel, women, children, and everyone in-between for almost a decade. 

The video below dives into one of his family's many projects, Gracie Bulleyproof. The project is 20100707-rener-gracie-2-300x205awesome for many reasons (and its release happened to coincide with the tragic suicide death of Vancouver area teen and bully victim, Amanda Todd, last week). But something other than the subject matter jumped-out for me while watching this video.

I've seen videos of Rener and his brothers before, and I always feel like I'm listening to people who have a lot of wisdom at a relatively young age. It could just be that they're smart guys. Maybe they had a good upbringing. But I feel it has more to do with their mastery of their art. 

Have you noticed that when someone masters something they often seem to express a lot of surprising wisdom. This doesn't just come with being good at something. I'm talking about mastery. It seems like by spending 10,000 hours or so in the real-life, battle-tested mastery of an art, we naturally come to earn a great deal of insight and understanding about life and the human condition - even if that's not something we originally set out to do. 

On this website we've often celebrated the wisdom of great spiritual teachers, or philosophers, and even cultural critics. But we kind of expect it from these folks. What's interesting to me is that wisdom may not just come from a meditation cushion, library, or the experience of old age. It seems to also come from giving yourself over to a craft, and honing it (and yourself) through many years of toil. The people that actually do this - and many of us will never actually master anything at all - emerge from the process a different kind of person; one with wisdom beyond their years.   


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  • Comment Link Olen Gunnlaugson Thursday, 25 October 2012 23:51 posted by Olen Gunnlaugson

    Inspiring message here with the Gracie Bullyproof Berg! Putting an end to bullying initiatives like this feed the fires of real hope for a better world. Love it! Gratitude, o.

  • Comment Link Olen Gunnlaugson Thursday, 25 October 2012 23:56 posted by Olen Gunnlaugson

    Oh and Rener in a way reminded me of you! Not just with his mastery of jujitsu, but in his humble passion & strength for wanting to step up and take a stand for the good. Not sure if there's a similar calling there for you or not in working with kids in this way? This thread probably better taken offline. Anyhow, loved the video! Should be mandatory viewing for all kids, parents, schools.. gratitude, o.

  • Comment Link Michael Milano Tuesday, 30 October 2012 16:30 posted by Michael Milano

    I think when you master a craft, it gives you a sense of accomplishment. A sense of purpose. A sense of achievement and these allow you to drop certain trappings of ego and fear. And when ego and fear are out of the picture you can see the universe much more clearly and this leads to true wisdom not matter your age.

  • Comment Link Bergen Vermette Wednesday, 31 October 2012 05:30 posted by Bergen Vermette


    Glad you enjoyed the video Olen! and thank you for the compliment sir, cheers!


    Nice addition here. I agree. You could maybe call that sense of accomplishment, *confidence*. Confidence of a more natural sort though, not the boisterous/cocky kind. And I agree that this kind of confidence in people is often accompanied by a sense of natural ease - a reduction of fear and ego, as you say.

    In the case of martial arts, in my experience, the confidence comes from being humbled by people who are much better than you and can (and do!) kick your ass on a regular basis. At the same time you also learn how to handle yourself physically and so are just a little bit more at ease in the physical space. Joe Rogan speaks to this much better than I do in the link below.


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