Breathe: A Life in Flow

Dey St. Aug. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780063018952. $27.99. SPORTS
Gracie tells his story in this engaging book, co-written Maguire, a former student of Gracie’s. The story begins with Gracie’s father, Helio Gracie, who brought Japanese jiujitsu to Brazil and created his own martial art called Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (or Brazilian jiujitsu). Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Rickson learned jiujitsu from his father, uncles, brothers, and cousins. Throughout the book, he reiterates his philosophy that martial arts should not simply train the body; it should also train the mind by instilling both confidence and knowledge. Gracie’s honesty comes through as he talks plainly about his training and injuries and gives blow-by-blow accounts of famous fights. His writing is especially poignant when recounting his son’s death, after which Gracie had to overcome devastating loss to find a renewed purpose in life. The book concludes with a helpful glossary of martial arts terminology; readers will also appreciate beautiful photographs of Gracie and his family throughout.
VERDICT Fans of Gracie’s fights, practitioners or fans of martial arts, and those interested in the evolution of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu will find excellent insight here.
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