How can Fernando Tererê, again in deep waters, be saved this time?

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Tererê vive em Torquay, a capital do surfe na Inglaterra.

Jiu-Jitsu star Tererê was living in Torquay, a surf haven in England. Photo: Personal archive/

Unfortunately, it isn’t an April Fools gag, and it wouldn’t be funny even if it was. The owner of one of the most striking smiles in all of Jiu-Jitsu, the star from Cantagalo favela Fernando Tererê had a relapse and is right back in a drug addiction-induced depression, a battle that looked to be won last year. The black belt was all set to lead a serene existence with his wife in England, but he couldn’t keep it together and returned to Rio.

“Tererê is aggressive and back on drugs in the favela in Rio. His family is desperate again and asking for help, and he doesn’t want any help,” reports friend Elan Santiago, a Jiu-Jitsu black belt from team Alliance. “The doctors have diagnosed him as being schizophrenic and having psychotic episodes. It’s gotten ugly. The Jiu-Jitsu world needs to come together again, like it did before, if we want to save him and help his parents, Lena and Tio Barriga.”

The question now is how. How would you help Tererê in such a predicament, gentle reader?


“The right thing to do would be to stick him in rehab again, but it would cost 17,000 reais, which is inviable for his family and hard for us to come up with again, after all the prior successful campaigns, including with the support of,” vented Elan.

Tererê’s ex-partner at TT Jiu-Jitsu school Eduardo Telles found out what his friend was going through and agreed to pay to have him taken to a rehabilitation center in São Paulo.

Tererê’s plight is further intensified by the fact that he lives in one of the communities taken over by a police pacification unit. According to residents of Cantagalo, the drug dens are still going strong in the light of day and located just two streets away from the police base. “Nobody wants the drugs leaving the hill; that’s why the police turn a blind eye here,” remarked one resident.

It’s a delicate moment, friendly Jiu-Jitsu fan. What would the best way to help be?

Let us know what you think. And if you would like to collaborate, please contact Elan Santiago via email:

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There are 16 comments for this article
    • Jake at 1:58 pm

      My brother is 33 yrs old and has bi polar which he had his first episode when he was 26. Hes now in another manic state 7 years later and does all kind of drugs and when u ask him he doesnt even remember. Mental illness is crazy, its like a parasite takes over the person. You have to kinda bring the most important element to the table for Terere to TRY to help himself. In this case my brother has a 18month old son he raised to 16 months and now cant even take care of him. His son is the only reason he actually checked into a florida addiction clinic.

  1. AABjj at 11:48 am

    Alcoholics Anonymous is the only program that helped me stay sober from marijuana and alcohol after 7 years of using and 3 years of trying different methods to stop. I don’t know if they have in Rio though. It doesn’t require any money either. Insanity is part of the desease and there is a cure and it is through AA for an alcoholic/addict.

  2. Caio (alemao) at 5:02 am

    Hi all,
    As a jiu-jitsu practitioner, ex-student of Terere and ex-drug addict (14 years on drugs) I have overcome my addiction and became a Clinical Psychologist specials on addictions and personality disorders. I have worked the last 8 years in different places in the UK and Holland and managed to get great recognition for my work and a fulfilling life.
    A few years ago Leo Negao knowing my background asked me for help and I have recommended to him a Therapeutic Community in Holland as it was the only place strong enough to support me in creating the life I always wanted. I still think this is the place for Terere to be. It is a privet institution with a unique approach and more then 40 years experience in the field. We will need to put the money together as he will probably need to be there for a minimum of 1 year. The success rate of this place is of 78%.
    But as Bbbfoster sad he needs to want!
    If this is of any interest please contact me.

    Many thanks,

    Caio (alemao) (

  3. Guy at 12:14 pm

    That’s only true if Terere is a UK resident, otherwise he’d have to pay unfortunately. If he does have residence local drug services are stretched to say the least, and so he’d have to put a lot of work in before the local borough agreed to cough up the £600+p.w. it costs to put someone in residential rehab these days.

  4. Guest at 6:50 pm

    i have actually met him and had a days seminar with him and in this day seminar he was very humble and thankful to all of us for supporting him through his battle and he gave me his black belt as a present as at the time i was just a beginner he is one of the most influential bjj artists in the history of the sport and probably the best p4p bjj artist ever you obviously are so small minded that you cannot see this! people like you really upset me because if this happened to you or somebody in your family you would be wanting help even if they didnt

  5. Liamjameswilliams1999 at 6:14 pm

    Hi im liam im a bjj yellow belt fernando is a big influence to me he is good friends with pedro and pedro is the black belt in my clubs fanily so we work closely with pedro and we used to work closely with terere before all this so yeah hes a big influence on me and i really dont wanna see a great man go down and down and down so i was thinking if i got my club to do something to fundraise the rehab money for him so if anyone in his family or any of his friends see this plz email me on to arrange something and i will let neil or russ my coaches knoe about my idea asap 🙂

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