Current ADCC superchamp Bráulio Estima is one of the stars of the latest issue of GRACIEMAG lighting up news stands, bookstores and academies across Brazil and the world. Besides serving up the most spectacular Jiu-Jitsu photos, issue 184 brings readers an instructive Triangle Dossier for you to polish up your triangle choke. Waste no time and get your hands on yours today.
The Jiu-Jitsu professor at Gracie Barra was also responsible for one of the better comments to arise at the last Jiu-Jitsu World Championship, during the live Budo Videos broadcast. Between explanations of the move unfolding on the mats at the Long Beach Pyramid, “Carcará” shared the following lesson: “Being a Jiu-Jitsu fighter is like being a drummer. To truly become skillful, you need to put in many hours of dedication and train every day, so many are the variations and technical details involved.”
We had a quick chat with Bráulio on the guard, the 2012 Worlds, Rodolfo Vieira and his MMA debut, as well as about music and juggling. Take a look at the following interview to see what we’re talking about:
How many hours (or years) of Jiu-Jitsu does a practitioner need to put in to get good?
Look, some athletes have an easier time of assimilating positions and adapting to situations, and that’s why it’s hard to make a sweeping statement in this regard. It also depends on the quality of training you do during the hours you put in. The thing is that you can’t cut corners in doing repetitions or specific training, otherwise you won’t get the positions down pat in able time. Hundreds, thousands of repetitions—the more the better. To answer your question, I believe that seven well used years is the ideal time for you to get good (in my understanding of good, of course).
What’s your method for training for progress in the gentle art?
One measurement I like employing is to see how much control over my opponent I can maintain while transitioning from one hold to another … For example, I try advancing in my game while neutralizing everything my opponent throws my way in terms of danger. And I go several steps ahead on him why annulling all the risks he offers me. That’s my objective in training these days.
You compared fighting to music. So Jiu-Jitsu should be seen as an art? How do you get students to see it that way?
I like comparing a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner’s evolution to juggling. There’s no way you can start with five pins. First you start with two, three, and keep going from there. Take side-control, for instance. Each point of reference is a pin: the hip, neck, elbow, etc. The more “pins” you can keep under control at the same time as you move and advance toward the final objective the better juggler/fighter you’ll be.
You mentioned seven years. That’s not that long but a lot of folks give up along the way. What was your trick?
I always try making my training interesting. I’m a discoverer by nature; I really like trying new things and finding variations. That way you never lose your desire to go to the academy. To this day I still feel butterflies in my stomach before training, just for the fact that I can’t wait to try something or the other out. That way, your trajectory becomes more productive and never gets you bored. Try doing new things; that way you’ll put more intensity into training.
What does seeking variations in your training mean, exactly?
The trick is to try and identify the key parts of each position and apply them in similar or even distinct situations. That way new positions arise the whole time, at the same time improving even more the the same positions I always used. I discovered that there’s a similarity in the underlying mechanics of the positions, in the way you think when executing the moves, and finding these common points means finding shortcuts. That was pretty philosophical, huh? (Laughs) That’s that’s that, a kind of crazy process.
On the @graciemag_br Twitter account we asked the people if they’d rather have your guard or Rodolfo Vieira’s pass, if they could pick. When are you two going to fight again?
I really like the way I fight, and I admire the way Rodolfo passes guard—he’s phenomenal. I’d really like to add some of his passes to my arsenal, and some of his bottom positions too. But if I could pick, I’d stick with my guard, because of the fact that on bottom you can always threaten with the finish. A new fight between us would be awesome. We only faced each other once, in Abu Dhabi. Rodolfo is very active and dangerous. Next year I intend to compete at all the Jiu-Jitsu tourneys, from Abu Dhabi to California and may the Euro, so we should meet up. He deserves everything he’s achieved. He’s good, humble people.
Any word on your MMA debut?
Soon, soon. I’m going to train with the Blackzilians from July until my debut, which will probably be in August. It’s been hard finding an opponent for me, but this time it’ll happen, otherwise I’ll just focus on Jiu-Jitsu and the ADCC.