Caio Terra: “Testing is a step in the right direction”

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Black belt Caio Terra

Black belt Caio Terra

Caio Terra is always exciting, on and off the mats. The roosterweight displays the same sharpness both going for sweeps, locks and chokes or giving interviews. In an exclusive chat with GRACIEMAG.com , the fighter sits down to talk about his plans for 2013, preparation for the Pan, the new IBJJF drug policy and his successful association of academies, the Institute of Martial Arts, with its headquarters in San Jose, Ca.

Speaking of the 2013 Pan, you are the 2011 and 2012 Pan champion, how are your preparations coming along to defend your title?

I am not too focused on winning or losing, I just want to train and do the best I can. If that means I win again then great and if that means I lose in the first round it’s ok too as long as I do the best I can. Right now it’s a little hard to train as I am doing a lot of seminars, focusing on my association and our students. Hard training will begin soon and I am very excited for our 2013 Pan Camp. Every year this camp gets us ready to compete and it really is phenomenal training. We have champs like Leandro Lo, Samir Chantre, Osvaldo Queixinho and others pushing each other to be the best we can be. Where else in the US can you train with two, three or sometimes four world champs in the room? The camp is open to everyone and it doesn’t matter your affiliation, belt level, etc.  Anyone out there who wants to improve in Jiu-Jitsu, I highly suggest you attend! Typically there is one black belt for every three students!

The IBJJF recently announced they will be doing random test at the 2013 Pan. Did you get happy with the news?

When I first heard the news I was extremely excited. Although they are only testing ten random black belts (less than 1/8 of all the people who podium), it is a step in the right direction. A lot of people have been critical of the IBJJF in the past and with the Pro League (paying black belts to compete) and now drug testing, I think they are starting to listen.

How big is the issue of PED in our sport?

If one person uses, that is one person too many and when there are numerous champs using then there is an epidemic. As a champion and someone who loves Jiu-Jitsu,when I won in 2011 I did my best to make the public aware that people were/are using PEDs and this isn’t right. As martial artist, honor and integrity are values we all shoul dhave; and when you cheat and compete you are dishonoring yourself, your opponent, your school and your association.  My mentors Comprido and Felipe Costa have always been against it and live by these values and are grateful they have instilled them in me.

You mentioned your association, how is that going?

The association is doing very well. Our newest affiliate just opened up in England and that’s exciting. It is smarter; I feel to water and tend a tree so it has strong roots than to planting a lot of new seeds hoping that one of the trees grows strong. With this philosophy in 2013, we are limiting the number of affiliates so we can really focus on building our foundation and to ensure all of our schools do well. To be clear, by well I don’t mean just doing well in competitions, I want to see people grow, their businesses do well and every member in our association getting the benefits of Jiu-Jitsu and because of this I am spending a lot of time with each affiliate. In Oregon for example, I have two affiliates, one in Hillsboro and one at Portland Judo, and a third one opening up in Vancouver, WA. In the past four months I have been there twice, once for a week to teach and train with the. I want to know every student who wears our patch!

What other things do you have planned for 2013

I am really focusing on my school, the Institute of Martial Arts, in San Jose, CA, our students and association. Personally, I plan to compete in all the major events and I am really looking forward to our Pan camp and the phenomenal Mundial Camp we are currently planning. Both should be fun. I’m also looking forward to the Brasa camp this summer with Comprido and Felipe Costa. Win or lose, 2013 will be a great year!

Want to leave a message for the Jiu-Jitsu community around the world?

Keep training, have fun, and focus on technique.  Stay clear of PEDs, because they won’t make your Jiu-Jitsu better, in the long run, as we get older we lose strength and flexibility, but you can never lose technique. Jiu- Jitsu has so much to teach us, on and more importantly off the mat. There are no short cuts, so enjoy the journey.

Caio Terra will be at the 2013 Pan. What about you? Register now at ibjjf.org

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