Ricky Lundell is the youngest North American to receive the rank of Black Belt in Gracie (Brazilian) Jiu-Jitsu. His training began at the age of six under Pedro Sauer (8th Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coral Belt under legendary Grand Master Helio Gracie and Master Rickson Gracie), earning his black belt by age 19. Currently, he is a 4th degree Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, the youngest to achieve this honor by age 31. Lundell trains some of the world’s most elite MMA fighters and World Champions in Las Vegas, Nevada, in addition to serving as the head wrestling coach for national powerhouse Bishop Gorman High School. He is also a strategy coach and head trainer for MMA at the University of Grappling, offering affiliate opportunities for gyms to specialize in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, or wrestling. A motivational speaker and voted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor of The Year from 2012-2017, Lundell shares his 1% Better Every Day philosophy with groups looking to improve in any area.
I am a strong advocate for bringing spirituality into our lives creating a partnership between the mind, body, and spirit. What I learned from squatting 500 days to 500 pounds is that the mind, body, and spirit are all separate entities areas that can improve. Squatting with maximum effort every day for 500 days caused a great deal of physical discomfort which exposed the emotional/mental well-being in my life. It became easy to zone into one or the other because the max effort daily would tax both areas until they could no be of use. When both broke down it put me in a place where I had to use my will power/spirit to keep driving my body and mind every minute of every day/. I learned that just because you think certain things, doesn’t mean they are true. For example, I would wake up after maxing weight the previous day, and my mind would start saying things such as, “How am I going to squat 500 pounds. My legs hurt. My everything hurts. Is injury a possibility? What if it’s out of my control? . The popular approach says I can’t do this. Could they be right?” As my physical broke down and my mind started questioning my spirit would have to step in and make a declaration to take control of my body-mind partnership and override those negative thoughts. It was my spirit that had to get my body to the gym and give 100% effort every day to get 1% better when everything broke down. Sometimes, I could barely lift the bar. What I found is my spirit (I’ll also refer to this as will-power) had to grow in balance with my mind and body. They all elevated raising my balanced self confidence and belief in achieving what was said to be impossible. Your spirit/will power must have the character to know what’s right and what is an excuse. This allowed me to control my mind and the thoughts coming in. When you have both of these working together the body easily follows.
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