The new middleweight champion of Europe, Victor Estima has been having a splendid year so far. Firstly, because he was picked to be the director of the Gracie Barra school network in England. Secondly, because he helped his teammates capture the trophy for number-one team at the European Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2012, last Sunday in Portugal.
In an interview on the official Gracie Barra website, the Zé Radiola student explained how directing a team and training hard are not mutually exclusive—quite the opposite.
We put the article through the strained and came up with the better bits of what Victor had to say. Check them out:
PLANS AND CHALLENGES AS A JIU-JITSU TEACHER
“We have to deal with people, and that’s always a challenge, but I have faith in the work being done at GB. My brother [Bráulio Estima] and I are showing how things should be done at the schools, and thus the changes become all the easier to make because we’ve already tested them. My plan is to bring all the academies in line with the official GB model—simple as that. Our program is really effective, and it revamped my school. That’s why I’m certain it will do the same with them all. I want to unify all the Gracie Barra schools in the United Kingdom with the aim of us all working under the same administration, so that the efforts of one benefit the rest.”
JIU-JITSU, RESPONSIBILITY AND SUCCESS
“It’s very important that a director have a good relationship with the people involved with Jiu-Jitsu and those not involved, as well. The teacher should be very familiar with how the sport is developing in the region and, furthermore, know the lay of the land—that’s a really important factor. The United Kingdom is a country still developing, where Jiu-Jitsu is concerned; it’s growing a lot. Gracie Barra is the strongest team in the area, but there’s still a gap between it and countries like Brazil and the USA. But the way I see it, it’s just a question of time.”
THE SECRET TO FOCUSING ON JIU-JITSU COMPETITIONS
“I’m more focused on competition than even. The secret is that I have a highly capable team helping me out on and off the mats.
TRAINER SIDE VERSUS ATHLETE SIDE
“I’m constantly teaching class to some UFC fighters, like Dan Hardy, André Winner, and some others who will be making their debut there soon. But I’m at the peak of my Jiu-Jitsu career, so I’m focused on that. Now my brother is getting ready to make his MMA debut, so we do remain more fighters than we are trainers.”