Fusing Body & Mind: Marcelo Garcia & Josh Waitzkin


Author: Adisa Banjoko

In the 1935 Japanese classic Musashi a Buddhist Monk named Takuan laments "People talk about combining the Way of Learning with The Way of the Samurai, but when properly combined, they aren't two- they're one. Only one Way." While many fighters and philosophers over the years agreed openly, outwardly it has been difficult to see with clarity. Flashes of it could be seen through interviews with some of the giants within "the gentle art". Men like Helio and Rickson Gracie, Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, and Minotauro have all shared flashes of this eternal truth. Still, there was never a consistent place online where a serious student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu could gain access to both the fighting art and the philosophies that give a martial artist a clear road map to victory.

Enter Jiu Jitsu legend Marcelo Garcia and chess icon Josh Waitzkin. Garcia is arguably the Michael Jordan of Jiu Jitsu of this era. Anything Marcelo does or says is repeatedly analyzed and debated by BJJ competitors around the world. Josh Waitzkin destroyed minds and hearts of grown men on chessboards since he was a boy. So much so that the cult classic film Searching for Bobby Fischer is about his life. Shortly after leaving the world of chess, he became a world champion of Tai Chi and then chose the path of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Since becoming friends, the two have launched a new website meant to give BJJ practitioners immediate access to the training techniques and philosophical approaches that make you a champion, www.MGInAction.com. Here we will talk about how these two met, the goals with their new venture and the fusing of the body and mind for BJJ.

Click here for Adisa's interview with Marcelo and Josh
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Waitzkin is a black belt now? Color not too clear in the pic. I remember an interview where he said he would get a BB and attempt to win the Mundials.


Holy shit the resource they have created looks fucking outstanding.

 TTT for Marcelo and Josh!


Marcelo left Florida? Does Leo Kirby still train with him?


great article.

Too bad Rickson never did stuff like that.

eljamaiquino - Too bad Rickson never did stuff like that.

There's a good line in the article that I thought related to this:

"So many guys get self-protective when they become successful or famous. They start hiding their best techniques, avoid challenges, start posturing, and get calcified in the learning process. I'd seen enough of that in chess, in the Chinese martial arts, and in plenty of grapplers who get all wrapped up in ego. Marcelo is different. He is a learning machine. He never stops evolving and is driven by a deep love for his art. This is not a guy who is concerned with holding on to old glories and protecting the secrets that made him successful—he lives and practices with a relentless curiosity that I respect so much."

respect to my man Adisa Banjoko for an awesome article...

"Adisa Banjoko is the founder of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation. They fuse music, chess, and martial arts to promote unity, strategy, and non-violence. For more info visit: www.HipHopChessFederation.org ."



Yes, his instructor in Florida is Henique Resende and I still train there and we are part of Marcelo's association. Marcelo will be down today.

Here is a great match with Henrique and Ryan Hall in the Mundials. Henrique loses on an advantage to Ryan but the match is excellent and I think it shows his skills very well.

To comment on the quote you posted also. I agree that one of the things that sets Marcelo apart from anyone else that I have trained with is that he does keep evolving.

He uses his game to beat the best people in the world, then teaches his game to eveyone, then changes his game and continues winning. It is pretty amazing.

This is great. My trial period is already over :(

TTT for MGinAction.com!