Trained by masters Carlos Gracie Junior and Jean Jacques Machado, Vinicius Magalhães, better known as Draculino, opened the Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, branch of Gracie Barra in 1995. Since then, he has produced a number of world-class black belts, like Rômulo Barral, among others. Winner of the senior category of the 2008 No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American, the black belt says he still has a lot of fuel to burn. He still plans on competing with the “kids” in the adult division and even fighting MMA. Check out the chat Draculino had with GRACIEMAG.com.
How has work in Belo Horizonte and the other affiliates been going?
The work in BH is still going strong! At the headquarters, instructors Mauro Rodrigues, Sergio Beninne, Claudio Mattos (Caloquinha), Edson Sururu and Gustavo Coelho are keeping up the level of instruction, student numbers and results. Marcelo Uirapuru, who was the main instructor in BH, has been in Houston for nine months, where he is head instructor. He’s doing awesome too, doing a great job. The other black belts on the team working at other branches in BH and around Minas Gerais, like Cristiano Titi, Erik Wanderley, Danilo Manoel, Rodrigo Muleta, Joaquim Mamute, Charles Bonfim and many others are also to be congratulated for the jobs they’re doing.
What new projects are you working on now?
Besides the work with the Gracie Barra association in Texas, I’m developing a high-level Jiu-Jitsu-instruction website. I feel that, up until now, nothing with good technical quality, in terms of image and structure, has been produced yet. It’s a site meant for instructors who haven’t access to a proven method of teaching. Beyond techniques, it features tips on strategy, films of training sessions of mine and my main students, and much more.
How did the opportunity to teach in Minas Gerais come about?
I went to BH with the conviction that I would do a great job. I had great support from the family of my wife, Monica, and managed to get into the market and produce, with no lack of modesty, one of the biggest Jiu-Jitsu teams ever seen. Countless world champions, top-flight MMA fighters and more than 100 first-rate proven black belts produced by myself and my older students. Just at the end-of-the-year promotion ceremony there were 15 new black belts.
Did you ever imagine you could put together such a strong team in Minas?
I had no doubt about it; the work in BH is my greatest achievement as a Jiu-Jitsu professor. I hope to do something similar in Houston, in the USA, where I have a new academy with more than 300 students.
Do you plan on competing again, perhaps at the International Masters?
This year I suffered a series of injuries to my ribs, lower back and shoulder. I recovered from one and suffered another! But I’ve been better and training now for a month. I think you might even see me in an MMA fight in America. Gi and No-Gi competition, too, like I did in 2008. Who knows maybe even in the adult division, to test myself against the excellent kids in the featherweight category these days.