Owner of a troublesome guard and dangerous triangle, Jefferson Moura divides his time between competitions and leading training at Gracie Barra in Rio de Janeiro. This year’s heavyweight champion of Brazil, the black belt focuses on the 2010 Worlds. However, his students come first. Jefferson foresees a stream of new talent making its way up the ranks. Check out the interview with the black belt:
This year you didn’t compete much, but won the Brazilian Nationals. What about in 2010?
Competing is in my blood and I like it a lot. I see people competing and I go nuts. But now I’m leading a team here and my priority is to further develop the Gracie Barra organization. This year I became champion of Brazil and, when a competition is coming up I try to plan. In 2010 I want to prepare myself for the Worlds. I want to compete and let’s see how it goes.
What is your assessment of the team this Year?
This year we went far. Things went right and a few months after I took command we already managed some impressive growth in student numbers. The gym is packed at all times and little by little I’m implementing the Gracie Barra class system. It has been working out, keeping tabs on attendance, among other things, and the students like it a lot. Carlos Gracie, Marcio Feitosa and Cachorrinho are always helping me and I feel it’s a good outcome.
Kids learn Jiu-Jitsu quick” Jefferson Moura
New students? So some good kids are coming up through the ranks?
I was even talking about that with Kleber Buiu, who is a teacher, too. We entered Copa Yudan with a bunch of kids and they all won medals. We also have some kids doing great in the juvenile division. If we keep up the work and they finish the cycle and get to black belt, we’ll have great champions. Kids learn Jiu-Jitsu quick.
Speaking of the next generation, you witnessed Kayron Gracie’s entire evolution in the Gentle Art. What do you expect from him in 2010?
He’s a kid with a lot of talent. He’s young, and with a bit more experience he’ll do great at black belt. He won a lot of medals at brown, did great, and he’s certainly a strong candidate for next year as a black belt. He always had a knack for Jiu-Jitsu. He was a really dedicated kid and always trained. He’s an athlete.
There was also an interesting article with you in “O Globo” newspaper, on Jiu-Jitsu tourism…
The truth is that has always been around. They came after us because they found out there is a lot of demand and they brought it to the public that is not clued in on what goes on in the fight world. There were positive repercussions. A lot of people came and told me they liked it. And foreigners keep coming here. There is always a lot of demand, thank God.