What has Francisco “Toco” Albuquerque, a Carlson Gracie black belt, learned over the 20 years of his team’s existance?
1. It’s a very special date. After all, 20 is a decent numbers of years. Many haven’t made it that far.
2. There are many memories that stand out in my mind. Among them: the start of the course of the career of Vitor Belfort, now a UFC star and coach on TUF Brazil.
3. Being around the late Professor Pedro Gama Filho every day made a major mark on me. And there’s also the progress of the kids who turned into the generation of Alexandre Pulga, Fred, Diego, Buiú, Pedro Salomão, André Tim, Cyborg and Fernando Coleman among others.
4. Our best athletes are Pulga, Diego Asenjo, Rafael Batata, Rafael La Porta, Fred Ribeiro, Pedro Salomão, Marcelo Briggs and others.
5. Our greatest moment in competition Jiu-Jitsu was winning back-to-back Brazilian Team Nationals, at lightweight and the highest rank, brown and black. We conquered the titles, in 2004 and 2005, after rallying back against Gracie Barra.
6. The secret to staying motivated as a teacher is focusing on the student.
7. My whole life has been and is dedicated to sport, surfing and Jiu-Jitsu. My greatest motivation is seeing everyone at Nova Geração grow up. Each student is the beginning of a new challenge.
8. What is it that has changed the most in Jiu-Jitsu over these 20 years? Jiu-Jitsu is more competitive and less glamorous.
9. The most important legacy of Jiu-Jitsu is respect, loyalty and gratitude. The ones who don’t understand that aren’t on the team anymore. I sent them away.
10. Nobody knows so much that they don’t need to learn a little more. The lesson that remains is: practice sports, and always be humble.