and here is an excerpt from:
Rickson Gracie – Exploring Genius
by Eddie Edmunds
Another source of Rickson’s skill is termed as Bodily/Kinesthetic skill. This talent defined by Dr. Howard Gardner in his book Creating Minds (also the author of the bestseller, Multiple Intelligences) is the ability to use many parts of the body to express ideas and feelings and to interpret and invoke effective body language. Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Lance Armstrong and Rickson Gracie would be individuals Dr. Gardner would designate as having extraordinary bodily/kinesthetic ability. I will always remember a seminar Rickson taught in Salt Lake City because Rickson told us over and over that the way we grapple reveals our personality. So, for Rickson, a way of understanding people is not through a verbal conversation but he was able to glean personality types through “rolling.” This information indicates that Rickson’s body, functions as antennae for the brain. And as Gardner states, this knowledge could only be acquired through the body. Bruce Lee may have had this same type of highly refined Bodily/Kinesthetic intelligence. I remember a statement by Dan Inosanto where he spoke about a conversation with Bruce Lee and Bruce said (paraphrasing), “Dan, the secret is in the body.” It is no secret the Bruce Lee was hyperactive and his emphasis on “swimming in the water” and experiencing true reality was foremost for him.
I hear and forget. I see and remember. I do and I understand. The operative word “do” suggests that learning something is not just through passive understanding (reading, conversation, watching others) but also through the physical act of doing.
A noted Brazilian Yoga master, Orlando Cani who has trained numerous Brazilian sports champions (Rickson included), spoke about Rickson’s bodily/kinesthetic intelligence in this way:
“Rickson is special. Rickson Gracie was the best student I had. He was the one to assimilate best the process. He’s a very special fighter. Everything he learns he has a strong ability to assimilate and develop it. He has a clever way to assimilate and protect anything he likes.”
In conclusion, an appropriate quote by Shakespeare states: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” I would assert that Rickson’s path to greatness was that he had a father whose single-mindedness and fanatical attention to detail was passed directly to his son. And when speaking of Rickson Gracie’s extraordinary Jiu-Jitsu skills we might envision that when Rickson is grappling he sees Jiu-Jitsu in a three-dimensional world. This capacity allows him to spar, not only from his viewpoint but also from other viewpoints. Thus, a three-dimensioned view. And finally, Rickson’s supreme body-intelligence enhances his understanding of Jiu-Jitsu and is gained from the body having superb skills of sensitivity, adaptability and kinesthetic perception that are gleaned physiologically rather than cerebrally. This then is the difference between being great and Greatness.