Rodolfo prepared for André Galvão and Xande: “I’m always watching their matches”

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Rodolfo Vieira, o bicho-papão do Jiu-Jitsu atual, está ligado nos craques de sempre. Foto: Ivan Trindade/GRACIEMAG.

Rodolfo Vieira, the current number one, is tuned in to the other monsters on their way to Abu Dhabi. Photo: Ivan Trindade/GRACIEMAG.

The Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship kicks off this coming 29th of March in Irvine, California. There in the match areas will be the most masterful grappling wizards of the new generation of world Jiu-Jitsu; however, one name is missing from the roster. Last year’s champion at weight and open weight, Rodolfo Vieira, is the biggest hit to the IBJJF tournament lineup.

“It would be cutting it really close to he Abu Dhabi WPJJ on April 13, so I decided to focus only on one event: I’d rather compete only in the Emirates,” he told

The GFTeam black belt has been training hard for a repeat of his 2011 performance, when he won weight and open weight in the Middle East.

“I’m working on everything, doing specific training on bottom, on top, takedowns. I’ll show up in Abu Dhabi well-rounded. I lift weights in the morning, then do technical training. In the afternoon I roll some, and at night I do judo and Jiu-Jitsu,” said the black belt, who will likely cross paths with Xande Ribeiro, André Galvão or Bernardo Farias.


“I’m always watching his matches, and I know more or less what he does. When training, you can’t be thinking about just two or three fighters; there are a lot of tough guys out there, and in Jiu-Jitsu we have to be prepared for everything,” he said.

Voted the GRACIEMAG number-one competitor of 2011, Rodolfo revealed which moves he most likes putting to use in competition.

“I do a lot of everything in training, but what I really like is doing chokes from back control, a move I’ve been doing ever since the first tournaments I was in; I’ve tapped a lot of people out that way. I like the armbar and choke from mount as well,” said the heavyweight, before offering two pointers to our practitioner readers:


“You have to do a lot of repetitions to get everything just right in training before putting it to practice in competition. You have to be confident in the position for it to come out perfect,” Vieira explains.


The current IBJJF absolute champion also teaches how to get a better squeeze on opponent’s necks.

“When choking from mount you have to get the hand in deep, and then move it to the side where you have no base. The other hand has to be firm, real tight, to not lose the hold,” the Julio César student teaches.

Watch Rodolfo putting his pointers to practice in his match with Paulo Tarcísio at the 2012 European Championship, where he passed guard and finished up with a bow-and-arrow choke.

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