Sérgio Moraes: “I’m actually here to teach dancing”

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Medium heavyweight world champion Sérgio Moraes / Photos: Deb Blyth

If Alliance’s two-time Gi Jiu-Jitsu world champion Sergio Moraes ever decides to leave Jiu-Jitsu for another job, the TV show “Dancing With the Stars” is calling. Moraes, who won gold in the medium heavy weight division, beating GB superstar Romulo Barral, was so happy with his achievement, he made a heart on the mats with his black belt and stood in the middle of it. Then the showman did a back flip and, to the crowd’s delight, started dancing.

Moraes, who captured the middleweight title in 2008, says winning the Worlds multiple times (he closed out with Marcelo Garcia in 2009) doesn’t take anything away from his 2011 win. “It always feels like the first time,” he smiles, “It’s a really great feeling!”

Moraes, who started training Jiu-Jitsu at 14 years old and who is now 28, comes from a very humble family in São Paulo, Brazil – the Cohab2 low-income housing tract to be exact. He says his father taught him at an early age that he could accomplish anything he wanted to do in life, and that Jiu-Jitsu has only emphasized that point. As a professor, this is the message he wants to get across to his students. “I tell my students to never let anything stop them from reaching their dreams,” he says, “I don’t specify only Jiu-Jitsu when I talk about this. You should never let anyone hold you back from what you want. Nothing is impossible. This is what I learned from my father and what I want to teach others. Everything you want in life you can get if you just believe in yourself.”

Moraes, who definitely believes in himself and is quite the comedian, says his whole life is Jiu-Jitsu. “I don’t know anything else,” he says. Well, that’s not necessarily true. He does know how to dance. “I’m actually here to teach dancing,” he jokes about his time in the US, “Not to do Jiu-Jitsu.” Could have fooled us!

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