Sunday, November 15, 2015

In 1993 at the U.S. Sambo Championships in Norman, Oklahoma, undefeated Rickson Gracie, of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family, with over 300 straight victories, was matched with multiple Judo and Sambo champion Ron Tripp. The 6 foot, 205 pound Tripp threw the 5 foot 10 inch, 185 pound Gracie to the canvas by “Uchi mata” in 47 seconds and Gracie’s shoulders touched the floor, thus giving Tripp “absolute” victory under U.S. Sambo rules. Rickson complained that he didn’t understand the rules, because if he did, he would never have let himself be thrown.

Rickson also competed in other Sambo tournaments, finding some success like in the video above.


Rickson, third son of Helio Gracie, was born into Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. At six years old he began competing, at fifteen he started to teach the art, and at eighteen he received his black belt. At age twenty, Rickson won his first awe-inspiring victory against the famous 230-pound Brazilian brawler, Zulu, who until that time had enjoyed a 140-match, undefeated record. With this victory, Rickson gained immediate acclaim as the nation’s top free-style fighter, leaving his mark on the history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the Gracie Challenge. Five years later, Zulu requested a rematch and lost to Rickson again, in Maracanazinho Stadium before an audience of 20,000 spectators (this match can be seen on Gracie Jiu-Jitsu In Action 1).

In 1989, he came to America to help his brothers – Rorion, Royce, and Royler – establish the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California.



Sambo is a Russian martial art and combat sport. The word “SAMBO” is an acronym for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya, which literally translates as “self-defense without weapons”. Sambo is relatively modern since its development began in the early 1920s by the Soviet Red Army to improve their hand-to-hand combat abilities. Intended to be a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts, Sambo has roots in Japanese Judo, international styles of wrestling, plus traditional folk styles of wrestling such as: Armenian Kokh, Azerbaijani Gulesh, Chinese Shuai Jiao, Georgian Chidaoba, Kazakh Kures, Kyrgyz Kurosh, Mongolian Khapsagay, Tatar Köräş and Uzbek Kurash.