Rituals of Sport
Within the context of sport, rituals can be as commonplace as a fan's gameday superstitions or as complex as the training techniques of a superstar athlete. Each of these actions, whether founded by spirituality, science or even some irrational belief, are a means to ready the mind and body for what lies ahead. For high level athletes, rituals come in myriad forms. They are the minutiae, the quiet details of routine that help to center oneself in preparation for the task at hand.
Follow along in this 4-part series, as New York-based director Allen Alcantara explores the unique approaches of four individuals across various arenas.
Part Two: Marvin Somodio
We spotlight Marvin Somodio, veteran boxing trainer and the pupil-protege of ringside legend, Freddie Roach.
From humble beginnings in the Philippines to a tenure at the hallowed Wild Card Gym, Marvin has fine-tuned a meticulous set of rituals to find calm in the midst of combat.
The art of war is guided by the stillness of prayer, performed by Marvin before, between, and after each round of sparring. At the wrapping table, there is a certain 'mise-en-place' to how he arranges each piece of equipment; a particular regimen to put himself and his fighters in the right state of mind at all times.
Part One: Rayron Gracie
Whether he liked it or not, Rayron Gracie was destined to be a fighter. Born into the renowned Gracie family, he comes from a lineage of world-class mixed martial artists and connoisseurs of the ground game. At 19 years old, Rayron is a Brazilian jiu jitsu world champion carrying on traditions that have been passed down through multiple generations. In the moments before combat, Rayron performs a series of intense breathing exercises that are geared toward recalibrating both physical and mental faculties.