Breathe: A Life in Flow (Hardcover)
*An instant New York Times bestseller, USA Today bestseller, and Wall Street Journal bestseller*
From Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend Rickson Gracie, a riveting memoir weaving the story of his stunning career with the larger history of his family dynasty and Jiu Jitsu.
Undefeated through his final fight, Rickson Gracie belongs in the fighting pantheon with Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Mike Tyson. In Breathe, Rickson shares the full story of how his father and uncles came to develop Jiu Jitsu, what it was like to grow up among several generations of world-renowned fighters, and the principles and skills that guided him to his undefeated record. Gracie’s classic memoir offers indispensable insights into martial arts, human performance, and how the connection between mind and body can be harnessed for success both inside and outside the ring.
Rickson Gracie reigned as a world Jiu Jitsu champion in both the middle-heavyweight and open divisions for almost two decades, retiring with an undefeated record after hundreds of Jiu Jitsu, vale tudo, and challenge matches. Since retiring, he has focused on unifying the Jiu Jitsu community and spreading his family martial art through his Jiu Jitsu Global Federation, teaching seminars around the world.
Peter Maguire is the author of Law and War, Facing Death in Cambodia, and Thai Stick, which he is presently developing into a feature film for Netflix. Maguire has taught the law and theory of war at Columbia University, Bard College, and University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His book Thai Stick was nominated for American Historical Association’s Gerry Bentley Prize for global history and Columbia Journalism School’s J. Anthony Lucas Prize for excellence in nonfiction. A coauthor of the script for the Rickson Gracie film Dead or Alive, Maguire has been Rickson’s student and friend for over 25 years.
“There is Jiu Jitsu, and then there is Rickson Gracie. All others fit neatly below. The presence of mind and body to make micro adjustments in order to occupy what he calls 'The Middle' and his deep understanding in the form of Connection and Balance sets him apart from other Masters of this so called Gentle Art. Gentle, my ass. You keep what you kill.” — Maynard James Keenan, martial artist, winemaker, and lead singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle
“Rickson Gracie and me had a match in the BYU wrestling room in 1992. He made me tap out twice and told me I was the toughest guy he’d gone against. Rickson was the best fighter I’d ever seen. He still may be.” — Mark Schultz, wrestler and Olympic gold medalist
“His approach to martial arts, to the game of unarmed combat is well beyond his years. He is definitely an inspiration of mine.” — Conor McGregor, UFC double-champion
“Rickson’s one of my heroes. Maybe the most dominant athlete in any sport of all time, and he’s hugely inspired me. Without knowing it, he helped me a lot.” — Kelly Slater, 11-time World Surfing League champion
"Breathe: A Life in Flow is at its best when it tells beautiful, small little stories illustrating this truth about how Gracie moves through the world, as a fighter, a surfer, and a man doing his best to be his best." — Carolyn Lee Adams, Bloody Elbow