Champion Kaio César analyzes master 1 division, plans to “win Pan and Worlds” this season

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Kaio César is starting to reap the fruits of the discipline employed in the course of his journey in Jiu-Jitsu, which began when he was just 13, when he got an invitation from a friend while playing football.

Today, at 29, Kaio is living off of BJJ in California, and is one of the big black-belt names on the IBJJF’s master 1 competitive circuit. He is a 2021 American Nationals no-gi champion.

“Here, in the U.S., I am an athlete. I live to train and compete,” he said in a recent interview. “In Brazil, for example, I used to teach class. I notice that there is no difference between training in Brazil and here – it’s really just the language. Here, they often say that if you speak the language of Jiu-Jitsu, everybody’s going to understand you. But you’d better learn to speak English too!”

A representative of Gracie Barra, Kaio has an intense routine to keep up with the biggest BJJ events. By the end of this season, he wants to fight for the gold at the Pan and the World Championship, in and out of the gi. He currently sits atop the IBJJF’s master 1 rankings for no-gi light feather athletes.

“I train four times a week, and within those days, I try to organize the technical side, the specific training and lots of free training, which, in my view, is important,” he said.

Kaio went on to say that these days the master 1 age group is very hard-fought, and added: “Back in the day, even after the age of 30, most athletes would still fight in the adults’ group. But nowadays, I see that it’s pretty evenly split. The athletes from the adult category, when they reach master age, realize there’s plenty of tough fights and opponents in all categories. So it’s worthwhile to fight in the right division and do good matches regardless.”

The black-belt of seven years wrapped up the interview by sharing the greatest lesson he learned in his 17 years of jiu-jitsu: “Have discipline! Never give up on your goals, and be perseverant. Discipline has never failed to produce good fruits.”

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