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Rick Young

Rick Young, Braulio & Carl

Rick Young is one of the worldÕs most renowned and sought after martial artists; always eager to expand and adapt new training principles, Rick has travelled the globe to train with best, including Dan Inosanto, Erik Paulson, Rickson Gracie and Rigan Machado. Having been bitten by the BJJ bug, Rick has been busy training and competing at the grand old age of 42 and has since been awarded his brown belt from Mauricao Gomes. Rick brings to the table years of training with the very best and this can only be of benefit for the GBUK organisation and I had the pleasure of his company and support at the recent Braulio Estima seminar in Bolton, with Rick travelling down from Edinburgh just to trainÉÉÉÉ.. It gives me great pleasure in bringing you the Rick Young Interview.

Carl Fisher: ItÕs a great pleasure and privilege having you down on the mats in Bolton supporting the seminar, was it worth the trip?

Rick Young : Thanks a lot Carl, itÕs great to be here, IÕve enjoyed myself a lot. IÕve been training with Braulio since last November and am now making the effort to train with him as much as I can and thatÕs why I came down.

Carl Fisher: What do you think of the club?

Rick Young : I really like it, I like gyms that have a good atmosphere, I like the old pictures on the walls and the pictures on the roof and the list of world and Olympic champions on the wall, it has tradition and history.

Carl Fisher: When did you start on the BJJ path?

Rick Young : It was about July Õ89, I met Erik Paulson in North Carolina and he told me about a guy called Rickson Gracie and not many people had heard of him then, so I went to LA and met Rickson and had a private with Royce which was at the house, they didnÕt have the Torrance Academy then, it was in the garage. I went there to train with Rickson with Paul Vunak and Rickson took all the classes and he was phenomenal, I canÕt measure how good he is as I couldnÕt touch him. In about Õ95, Dan started training with the Machados so I ended up training with Rigan, John and JJ and I received my blue from him in about Õ97 and I never really saw Rigan after that whenever I went back. My training in BJJ was kind of sporadic after that, I was mainly training Judo with Billy Cusack and Mark Preston, then I met Mauricao and he switched me back on to the BJJ, he didnÕt hold anything back he was technically brilliant and I made four trips to Brazil since then and am under Mauricao and proud to be part of Gracie Barra.

Carl Fisher: When did you get the brown belt?

Rick Young : Last year, I got my purple the year before; what happened is IÕd been a blue for a while and Mauricao didnÕt want to step on anybodyÕs toes, but I hadnÕt seen Rigan for a while and I was training a lot with Mauricao and I ended up with the purple belt and I got the brown last year at the Mundials in Rio. The brown belts a great thing, but to be honest I still think of myself as a white belt, IÕm always learning and trying new things and I think there are a lot of brown belts out there at a better technical level than myself.

Carl Fisher: Regards the academy in Edinburgh, whatÕs on offer Rick?

Rick Young : WeÕre based in Leith on the port side of Edinburgh and I teach Muay Thai, JKD, Kali, Filipino martial arts and BJJ and no gi classes, as well as basic kickboxing. ItÕs been there for three and a half years and if anyone wants to travel to the club from this area they are most welcome, they can train for free.

Carl Fisher: Scotland is one of the few places in the UK I have not trained at; whatÕs the BJJ scene like up there?

Rick Young : ThereÕs another Brazilian brown belt called Ronaldo whoÕs just arrived and I think Royce Gracie has some guys as well, IÕm sure they train in Glasgow. There are other guys that train around the areas but I donÕt think theyÕre affiliated to anyone.

Carl Fisher: Are you competing this year?

Rick Young : Yes, the Pan Ams in three weeks and of course the Mundials in August so IÕll be out in Brazil training with Mauricao to get myself ready.

Carl Fisher: Braulio submitted everyone at the end of the session, taking out all the big guys with ease, there were some tough guys there today. What is it that you think set him apart from the rest of us, you know we train three four times a week and think Ôyeah IÕm getting goodÕ and then Braulio comes along and ÔbamÕ lights out?

Rick Young : I think itÕs technology; number one youÕre training in an art thatÕs truly evolved, itÕs like someone firing a hand gun and the other guy has a machine gun you know. Better ammunition to use when sparring, the guys a naturally trained athlete, a motivated man who trains hard and trains with the best in the world. Put those together and you cannot help but be the best. You go to Gracie Barra at 9am and when I went it in in the morning I counted out six world champions on the mats that was in the morning. I rolled with Roleta for fifty minutes and itÕs like ÔwowÕ. When youÕre surrounded with quality like this you canÕt help but elevate yourself and the problem in the UK is that this level of quality isnÕt there yet, but once this base gets here we will progress. ItÕs like the Judo with the Japanese dominating the world and then Geesink beat a Japanese in Õ61 and then B J Penn beat a black belt in Brazil itÕs kind of opened the floodgates. In another ten years there will be a massive change thanks to the work of Roger, Felipe, Braulio, Mauricao, Atalla, Roger Brooking and the quality levels will rise. If you keep getting Braulio up once a month and the others at different times youÕre being touched by excellence so you canÕt go wrong.

Carl Fisher: Rick, your mealÕs arrived, IÕll leave you in peace; thanks again for the support and interview.

Rick Young : Cheers Carl, itÕs been a pleasure.

16 March 2004





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