For the last time in 2004, current Mundial champion Braulio Estima paid a visit to the Gracie Barra Manchester academy....
For the last time in 2004, current Mundial champion Braulio Estima paid a visit to the Gracie Barra Manchester academy, at the Bolton Olympic Wrestling Club; as an added surprise, Braulio brought along brown belt Kildare Dutra and his own instructor, all the way from sunny Recife in Brazil, Ze Radiola, who`s currently in the UK on seminar duties. If any of you are wondering what Ze Radiola means, then check out www.jfkf.com  where you`ll find the answer in Braulio`s interview!
Anyone who has trained with Braulio, will have often asked the question â€˜if he`s sooo good, then his instructor must be a monster!` The truth I`m afraid is far worse - instead of a â€˜monster` sized Brazilian walking through the door, in the vein of a Roger Gracie, a small, 68K Brazilian greeted me with a beaming smile and very little English. This could not be, I thought to myself, â€˜this guy`s TINY man and he`s Braulio`s instructor, f**k me this guy must be something else`.
All thoughts aside, the class got underway in the usual laid back fashion, but instead of one top class black belt, the students were now treated to two top class black belts; Braulio started the session with a standing takedown into triangle and from there followed up with a neat little sweep from the spider guard. By this time Ze Radiola had thawed out enough and hit the mats and joined in the fun; Braulio demonstrated a lethal collar choke that started from the side control and ended with the choke coming on in the knee ride position, all of which was demonstrated on Radiola, which was a case of the student`s revenge, as Braulio continually demo`d the technique, leaving his teacher coughing and choking - quite a double act indeed.
As were getting to grips with the techniques, Radiola took time out to assist the student`s and although he spoke little English, he managed to communicate the finer technical points to all concerned, together with his trademark beaming smile. Braulio went on to teach some arm wraps with the gi from side control, following up with a wrap up and kimura finish - not for the faint hearted.
As ever the session ended with the dreaded line up and it was guard passing first on the list; now we had two black belts to test ourselves with and away we went - straight to submission! The helicopter arm bar came out (as usual) and after the humiliation of that, Radiola calmly sat (smiling) on the mats and took me apart without breaking a sweat. The guy`s technique is so tight it`s all you can do to hold on without being:-
A - swept
B - submitted
C - swept again
D - submitted again
You get the picture. After the guard passing, it was time for sparring and I had the honour of a ten minute beat down courtesy of Braulio and then Radiola, quite a way to end the session.
A surprise was in store for young Dom Ashton - who missed the Mauricao seminar - who received his blue belt and customary whipping from the lads; this now brings the tally of blues at GB Manchester to twelve in eight months of operation.
Braulio is now in the US at time of writing, training with Renzo Gracie in preparation for the ADCC Brazil trials and other comps and everyone in the UK wishes him well. Big big shout out to Eddie Kone and the RGDA-UK posse, who braved the hellish trip up the worst motorway in the world (M6) and paid the club a visit and met Braulio for the first time, we hope it won`t be the last.
Braulio returns in Jan 2005 for more BJJ mayhem - let`s hope we see you on the mats!