How much sacrifice are you willing to put in to be successful in life?
A visit to Cícero Costha’s academy in the Ipiranga neighborhood in the south of the city of São Paulo revealed a shining example of how far will power can get you.
On a chilly winter afternoon, following midday training, two young men of 20 years of age take a nap after lunch while awaiting the next session, a few hours away.
So far nothing all that special, as its not uncommon for athletes to use the academy as an extension of their homes.
That is not the case, however. The two youths from Paraná state with Asian traits are named João Ricardo and Paulo Henrique Miyao. They’re twins born on May 11, 1992, and they’re 400km from their home.
João’s the one who kicks off the duo’s story: “We started training in Andirá, the town we’re from, with Professor Adriano Carvalho of Norte Sul Jiu-Jitsu academy. About a year ago we came to São Paulo because we’d outgrown the training for us in our town of birth. There weren’t that many people who took Jiu-Jitsu seriously there.”Ever since arriving they’ve slept on the mat and lived in the academy. And they’re not the only ones. Cícero Costha runs an outreach program called Lutando pelo Bem (Fighting for Good), where he takes in needy youths and provides them direction through the gentle art.
João and Paulo live in the academy more by choice than necessity, though: “Professor Cícero had even arranged for a house for use to live, but we didn’t want to. Here it’s like family, where everybody helps each other out. And we’re never late to training.”
They go through three training sessions per day, as well as two trips to the gym to work out per week. Their routine kept the brothers from completing their physical education studies in college.
Their dedication is already paying off, with medals in major competitions as proof.
In 2011, João won the Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship as a light featherweight blue belt. Two months later they closed out the light featherweight purple belt division at the Worlds, having already closed out the division at the Brazilian Nationals.
Besides that, they put in stellar performances at the Abu Dhabi World Pro Cup, where João won at blue belt and Paulo won at purple.
With a black belt already looming on the horizon (of course first they have to blaze a trail for themselves at brown), the brothers are already putting together plans: “Our big dream is to be world champion at black belt.”
Even while looking ahead to such personal achievement, they aren’t forgetting who’s helping them today: “We want to see Professor Cícero’s project grow more an more.”
To wrap up, when they answered who their role models in the gentle art are, the two were quick to point out another pair of brothers who’ve been shaking Jiu-Jitsu’s foundations in recent years: “We mostly look up to Rafael and Guilherme Mendes. We really like watching them compete. Another rold model of ours is Bruno Frazzato, as well as our training partners who help us evolve with every day – friends like Leandro Lo, Thiago Barros, our teacher Cícero Costha himself, and a lot of others.”
Watch the following video of the Miyao brothers from TV Brasil channel: