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Braulio Estima Interview

    Sun, 2004-10-03 18:38 — Carl Fisher

    Braulio is available for class tuition, privates and seminars and can be contacted on 07786 964932; his website will be out at the end of this month on

    Braulio Estima was invited over to Rob Staple's academy in St Helier, Jersey to take classes, seminars and privates for one week, as well as introduce the helicopter arm bar to unsuspecting members of the club. After the BJJ class and watching the Mundial 2004 Champion tap out everyone at will, I took out the trusty tape recorder and hit the record button…

    Starting off first, congrats on winning the Mundials this year; can you tell us about your experience?

    Yes thanks Carl, I was in a weight division with the likes of Saulo Ribeiro, Marcel Losada, Fabio Nascimento, Uirapuru, Pe de Chambo and I fought the first fight against a guy whose name I can't remember and the second fight I fought against a guy from Godoi's academy and faced Uirapuru in the semi final. The first and third fight I won by submission and the second fight I won 22-0 and in the finals I was supposed to fight Jacare, but Roger Gracie had dislocated his arm and couldn't fight anymore, so I won by default.

    How did you feel about that, as you were looking to avenge your loss at the Pan Ams?

    I felt pretty bad man (laughs). To be honest I'd trained with the guys at Stevie B's and with Roger specifically with Jacare in mind, unfortunately it didn't come this time but next time I'll be ready. Hopefully I'll see him again at the Pan Ams.

    When did you leave for Brazil to prepare?

    I started preparations here in Birmingham before I left for Brazil, training with Stevie B as my personal trainer and left for Brazil July 3rd and did everything that Stevie had told me to do like run, lift weights and I also trained with Roger in Brazil at Gracie Barra and Roger's mum, Reyla Gracie looked after my nutrition side of things.

    Did you get to Recife?

    Not until after the competition, I trained for 15 days or so and then I went to see my family.

    This was your first Mundials as a black belt; did you feel any additional pressure?

    Yeah I did, but I went out there feeling very confident and was training with the best in the world at Barra, but I thought if Carlos Gracie gave me the black belt then I was worth it and was ready to fight in that division.

    There was a bit of controversy with Roger's fight against Jacare wasn't there, as Roger had dislocated his arm and Jacare was ahead on points and just ran away from Roger and won the match?

    Yeah, Roger in my opinion, he won the fight; I think what happened was that everyone got into shock when it happened. The guy had a minute left with his arm out and even the ref was confused and all the people where screaming Jacare's name as they wanted the Gracie to lose, so people who had no idea about the rules started to shout for Jacare. He kept running away and wasn't stopped or disqualified or call for the medics to check his arm. I think it was a mistake on the ref's part but Jacare did what he had to do.

    How is Jacare's arm, is it mended yet?

    I met him before I left and he's doing well and will be better in about a month; I hope so because I wanna fight him again (laughs). He's a good and we are friends.

    Who impressed you at the Mundials and why?

    Roger man, he fought against guys who where beating guys all over the places like Marcelo Garcia, Terere and he beat these easily like no one has ever done before.

    I believe Terere caused a mini riot when he offered out Pe de Pano?

    It was just after Terere tapped to Roger and Pe de Pano was supporting Roger and Terere saw him cheering and he said he had ran away from fighting him this year and let's fight here etc. Pe de Pano didn't fight as he was due to fight Dan Severn and when he got there the guy of the event had run off with the money to Mexico. Everybody were screaming and going crazy as Terere is a popular guy and always laughing and joking and afterwards they were talking and it was all cool. It was just heat of the moment.

    Can you give us your thoughts on the PanAms?

    It was a good event, my first as a black belt; I was training but not as I should have done and was not expecting to see Jacare, I was expecting Cassio Werneck and so I studied his game and trained to beat him. I fought and submitted Todd Margolis in one and a half minutes and then faced Werneck in the semis and swept him a few times, mounted him and submitted him and he was the world champion last year. Then I faced Jacare in the final and I gassed after eight minutes, when he jump triangled me, I defended the triangle for a minute and then he got my arm. He beat me and deserved the win, so well deserved.

    You're from Recife in the North East; can you tell us a little about your family?

    I have a mum and father who are divorced and my relationship with them is very good, I love them and miss them a lot and I have two brothers, one step brother that lives with my father called Marcus Vinicius who is five years old and I have my brother Victor Estima, who lives with me in Birmingham and helps me teach at the academy. Victor is here in the UK with me until the end of September and will come back in November for six months and he will be with me again and I'll be getting him out to the other academies in the UK.

    Has Marcus got a gi yet?

    Not yet, on his next birthday I will get him a gi and he can start training. I have a grandmother and grandfather and spent most of my time in Recife after the Mundials. They support me a lot and trust me and are happy with my life and doing well.

    Who was your first teacher in Recife?

    Ze Radiola

    Why the nickname?

    Well, he broke his arm when he was young and his arm looked like a stylus as it was all bent up (laughs).

    He still teaches at GB Recife, we have big school and a lot of world champions, my brother was second last year in his division and we have three guys world champions at purple belt. No brown belts, a few purples and loads of blues and then I am the only black belt together with Ze Radiola. The gym is a long way from Barra and the guys go there twice a year to train and compete.

    It's your first time in the Channel Islands; are you enjoying it here?

    I was very well received by Rob and Jane, they're nice host and have a great house and there's a great group staying here, you, Chris, Matt and all having fun and it's a beautiful place and didn't think it would be like this, I thought it would be like the UK, but the weather is better here (laughs). The academy is very nice and am very impressed by the students level and commitment.

    How long are you back in the UK for?

    I'll be back here until the end of December and then leave for Brazil to spend Christmas with my family and then I will come back in the New Year to train for the Pan Ams and will try the ADCC trials in Brazil.

    What's the situation with the ADCC qualifiers as you won the Scandinavian trials?

    I spoke to Marko and he said the winner will get to qualify and then I won and then he said I couldn't go as I didn't have European citizenship so I have to go back to Brazil as there are trials to go to the main trials and if you win those you go to the US, so I am going to contact Guy and ask him if I can enter the main trials and see what happens.

    How do you see the growth of BJJ now since you arrived here in 2002?

    It's grown a lot bigger than I expected, the blue belts are good purple belts and we have good brown belts, Jude, Rick and Marc and the SENI event this year was better than last year, the Ze Marcello and Carlson Gracie teams have improved as well. In five years time the UK will be a good power.

    You've had a lot of help in preparing for the Pan Ams and Mundials; now is the time to give the guys a shout.

    OK, big thanks to Bunty, he sponsored me to go to Brazil through the Coventry Greyhound Stadium; Stevie B in Birmingham helped me with cardio and weights and big thanks to Roger, Carlos Gracie, my brother Victor and all my students who helped me prepare for the events.

    Braulio, thanks for the interview and I'll see you at my club in September.

    My pleasure as always.

    Braulio is available for class tuition, privates and seminars and can be contacted on 07786 964932; his website will be out at the end of this month on

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