Kids getting ready for the future through Jiu-Jitsu

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Heading Gracie Barra in Rio de Janeiro is a challenge for Jefferson. Photo: Olivar Leite

The responsibility Jefferson Moura was entrusted with was nothing to scoff at. It was up to black belt to lead training at Gracie Barra headquarters in Barra da Tijuca, where, for many years, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. traditionally headed training. And the fighter, 2009’s Brazilian national heavyweight champion, was up to the task. One of the focuses is on working with kids.

Kids go at it in the dojo; Gustavinho, son of fighter Ximu, already hard at training. Photos: Olivar Leite

“Even during the holiday season, when staff tends to travel, the kids don’t stop training. We have blue belts who will do awesome. The good part about working with this new generation is that they aren’t afraid to risk trying positions, so it’s really cool. But we are also investing a lot in our recently promoted athletes, like Kleber Buiú, who teaches with me. We have many revelations,” he forewarns.

Jefferson trains practitioners of all ages. However, working with the youngest should be set apart.

“There are the blue belts who want to compete at championships and there are those who are in doubt, but want to experience it. So our work with them consists of a lot of chatting, sharing some of our experience so that they are put at ease. I do very specific work to strengthen the base. The training done at that point in time will determine whether, down the road, you will be a good athlete, “he says.

But, according to the coach himself, most practitioners don’t opt to compete. Jiu-Jitsu, especially during a stage when the individual begins to mold his values and character, could be good in many ways.

“Lots of folks are beginning to train for several other reasons. It’s interesting, because everyone is inhibited when they start, they tread very carefuly. After a while, the kids start to identify with it and change their behavior. Many students tell me that Jiu-Jitsu changed their lives, which helps with the difficulties of everyday life. That to me is very gratifying, “he says.

A tool that helps Jeff tool with his work work is the system being adopted by branches of the team throughout the planet, called Gracie Barra Premium Schools.

“For anyone who doesn’t yet know about it, the first thing that draws attention is the organization. For those who are already in it things are much more efficient, because the entire teaching syllabus is planned out. In the end, there’s no two ways about it: the student will do what was taught. So it helps with discipline, learning and hierarchy. The lower belts respect the higher belts. Finally, class is more organized and much more professional. It becomes a Jiu-Jitsu school. ”

Jeff watching over the kids; girls figure among the students, too. Photos: Olivar Leite

Lastly, setting his teacher side aside a bit, Jefferson warns his adversaries:

“I’m getting ready to travel to the Worlds and let’s see; this year I’ll be in the Brazilian Nationals to take first place again. That’s the idea!” says the two-time world champion in closing.

Fraternizing with Carlos Gracie Jr. and Kleber Buiú (Photo: Gustavo Aragão); victory at Brazilian Nationals 2009 (Photo: Carlos Ozório)

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