As everybody knows, Braulio Estima is fighting MMA in May 15th, against Rick Hawn (6-0), by the way the same day Roger Gracie, his good friend, is fighting Kevin Randleman. Braulio is also fighting in Abu Dhabi in World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Cup, in April 16th.
So, what don’t we know about Braulio Estima? Is there anything left for him to say? Well, lucky for us, Braulio isn’t done talking. His past is paved with gold, and fortunately, his future is lined with multiple opportunities for him to submit his opponents in his trademark record time, while continuing to teach and train at his own GB Academy in Birmingham, England.
However, lately, Braulio has been perfecting some new moves in his BJJ career. He just finished a whirlwind seminar tour across the United States – 29 GB schools in 6 weeks. Not only does Braulio submit his opponents in record time, but he apparently gives seminars in record time, too. Braulio a “Master of the Guard”, wanted to share his knowledge with all the GB students who don’t have access to him in Europe, “I had a break in my competition schedule, so I decided to take advantage of the time and just do it. I’ve enjoyed seeing the rest of the GB team and getting together with so many friends. Everyone really appreciates the work I’m doing on the mats and at each seminar everyone talks so highly about me. I am so amazed by the way people receive me. I’m very happy they actually catch the picture of who I truly am.”
For those of you who have never met him, Braulio is quite a character. His warmth, good humor and humility come across so apparent to all, you can’t help but instantly like him. He’s friendly and engaging and makes you feel like you’ve known him forever. His extensive BJJ knowledge and excellent instruction skills, along with his world champion status seal it. This guy’s got it all. He is the real deal: a Gracie Barra icon; and you can see it in every student as they listen to him speak, mesmerized by the fact that he actually stands in front of them.
In San Clemente, California, professor Braulio “wowed” his seminar guests with his guard techniques, tricks and tactics. The “wedge” was everyone’s favorite, yet most painful technique learned. Students said they felt sorry for those who missed the event, but who will get to experience their own “atomic wedgie” the next time they had someone in their guards, “I like to try to pull my opponent’s pants up to his throat,” Braulio says to waves of laughter.
Braulio’s seminar elicited much laughter and good times, stellar instruction, and a strong sense of comradary amongst all. When the seminar was over, Braulio didn’t think twice about sitting and signing autographs for students and posing in hilarious pictures with them.
Braulio believes his likableness is based on him being an “everyday man” – no better, no worse than anyone else. Like everyone else, he has had lots of ups and downs in his life and has made many mistakes. The difference between him and many others, though, is that he believes it’s his mistakes that have made him the champion he is, “My Dad used to say, ‘If you fall, stand up to fall again because nobody stays on top forever without making mistakes.’ This is very important for growth. Nothing comes easy. You gotta make a lot of mistakes. Then you need to analyze them to make sure the next time you get into the same situation, things happen the way you want them to. I’ve made so many mistakes to the point that I’ve hurt myself, but I’ve always figured out how to build myself back up again. Every time you make a mistake and learn from it, you pass through all the stages that allow you to have more control over your situation.”
Some think that he’s a “phenomenon” – someone who comes by his skill naturally, but Braulio lives by the motto, “A black belt is a white belt who never gives up.” With every mistake he’s made, he has strategically and systematically perfected it and every other BJJ weapon in his game. Braulio says, “I am a very determined person. I never give up and even when I was young, I believed in myself, so, I set goals for myself. I was always sure I could do better.”
He says that his instructor, Jose Radiola, his brother, Victor, and his friend Roger were all important people in the development of his life and his BJJ game, “You must have the guidance of good people behind you to help you make the right choices along the way. You can’t do it by yourself,” Braulio says.
Braulio says his strategy in a tournament is to “play backwards” during a match, “I like to block the counter of my next move before I do it. I block the person and isolate the part of his body that I think will be a hassle for me later on. I block what could be my next problem before I do my next move. I play backwards, I guess. If I pass through all the barriers, I know I can get to the end and win.”
Even with his newly signed three-fights MMA deal with Shine Fights, BJJ will always be his first love, “I feel responsible to represent GB in MMA. The top GB fighters should be the ones to carry the art on their shoulders and to explode BJJ throughout MMA and show that we are capable of winning. I will never stop doing BJJ. I love to fight because I’m a competitive person. I don’t need to prove anything. I just want to do MMA because I want to represent the art and challenge myself.”
Two other exciting challenges Braulio is currently working on are fatherhood and “husbandhood.” He has a 9-month old son who, of course, will one day follow in his father’s massive footsteps. Braulio says he wants to pass on the values of respect, self-esteem, and humbleness to him, “If you respect the next person they will respect you. I will tell him to take care of people. It’s our choice to be a fighter. It doesn’t matter if you’re a champion or not. It’s just important to try to treat everyone as an equal and appreciate the help people have given you. Appreciate that the most. If you really want to achieve your dreams you can.”
Braulio says he’s working on a new weapon in his arsenal that might just work and one secret no one knows about him, “I am perfecting my cooking skills. My special dish is Spaghetti and Shrimp with pesto and a lot of secret ingredients that I can’t share! It’s good and healthy and tastes amazing. I’m trying to make a special menu as a surprise for my wife. This is part of a new technique to win the next fight with her.”
Braulio….the man, the consummate BJJ professional….the competitive machine.