Nelson Solari Interview
Nelson Solari Interview - Cannes, France - June 3rd 2001
Following the excellent Seminar given by Nelson Solari, 2nd Faixa Preta under Carlson Gracie and also a Judo Black Belt I sat down with the man himself to ask a few questions. Prior to commencing the interview Nelson was telling me his views on being an all round fighter. This was to know how to fight stand up, to know how to fight on the ground, and to get from standup to the ground, ie throws or takedowns. He has trained with all of the Carlson team members such as Vitor Belfort, Murilo Bustamante etc. He is also of the opinion that Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are the same, but just follow different rules.
SFUKER : Have you enjoyed the seminar?
Nelson Solari : Yes, I've enjoyed it, very nice people, I like when people want to learn, are interested to learn, you know? I mean, Jiu Jitsu's fun for everybody.
SFUKER :You were telling me earlier about your Judo as well as your Jiu Jitsu?
Nelson Solari : Yes, I started my Martial Arts with Judo when I was ten years old and when I was 20, I started Jiu Jitsu as well and they help each other a lot for me in the tournaments.
SFUKER :You mentioned earlier you thought the Judo players forgot a lot about fighting on the ground?
Nelson Solari : Yeah, today yes, because in the first ten years I didn't know how to fight on the ground and after I learnt Jiu Jitsu skills, techniques, my Judo style changed and I won many many tournaments after learning Jiu Jitsu.
SFUKER :And also your Judo helped your Jiu Jitsu?
Nelson Solari : It was the same, but when I start Jiu Jitsu, I knew Judo and my style was like stand up and pass the guard more, but, during the training, I don't know why but, I like to train with somebody in my guard but for the tournaments, always in passing the guard, if the guys jump to guard, I have to pass the guard all the time.
SFUKER :So do you train now more for Jiu Jitsu, or Judo?
Nelson Solari : I do both, you know? But today, more Jiu Jitsu, because I am 37 years old and I feel more comfortable on the ground than standup, because Judo is for when your bodys more flexible and now, my body's not so flexible and I have some problems with my knee, but when I travel around Europe, I go to Judo Academies and Judo clubs and train and I train Judo. It's hard but I train
SFUKER :So wheres next for you now? You mentioned you were going to Rick Youngs academy in September?
Nelson Solari : I'm going back to Brazil and then back to Europe in August to Rick Young, and I am doing a seminar. I did one before, a few months ago, I train in the Judo Club in Edinborough, with Billy Cusack, he's the coach there, and I train with the guys, very strong guys, Judo players, and in the same week I did a seminar with Rick Young. Im going to be back in August to do another big seminar.
SFUKER :So when do you go back to Brazil
Nelson Solari : In the next few days
SFUKER :And then do you plan to do any other seminars when you return to Europe?
Nelson Solari : Yes, I'm going to try to be in France, I don't know where, maybe Paris or Cote D'Azur in the South of France.
SFUKER :Are you looking for people to host seminars for you for when you return?
Nelson Solari : Yes of Course, I try to be in France because it's the middle of Europe, and before when I was travelling, to show Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and to make contacts with people, and sometimes I can make seminars. I hope in the next months when I come back to do some seminars, also in Germany and in Spain and also in Copenhagen in Denmark.
SFUKER :Good, we have lots of people who will read this interview in other countries such as Belgium, Holland and Sweden as well as the countries you mentioned.
Nelson Solari : Yes, I was in Sweden also but I only trained with the Judo guys because I couldn't find any Jiu Jitsu players, but I am really interested in any country in Europe to do a seminar
SFUKER :I think Alliance have a very good Jiu Jitsu club in Stockholm in Sweden
Nelson Solari : I heard about it but I didn't find it, only Judo clubs, police clubs, very nice people they have Judo clubs also. I was only one week in Sweden the last time so I didn't have too much time, sometimes it's expensive to be in some countries just to search for Judo people and Jiu Jitsu clubs and then I have to leave, you know, it's not easy sometimes.
SFUKER :Well if we at SFUK can help you in anyway to find the clubs and contact people before you travel there, we can if you would like?
Nelson Solari : Yes, yes, I would like, and in my opinion, people can learn Jiu Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, if Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players came to teach here, it's the best way to learn Jiu Jitsu, but not many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players want to travel, it's hard for Brazilians, and sometimes the seminars become expensive because you have to pay for the ticket and Brazil is far away, but if some players like me are in Europe, we can go fast and it's going to be cheaper to do a seminar, you know? I hope one day the Europeans, people know Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you know, and it's more interesting for me.
SFUKER :What do you think of the standard of Jiu Jitsu in Europe at the moment?
Nelson Solari : The standard is really the beginning of Jiu Jitsu, really the beginning, but they are growing, I am not going to say fast, because it's not fast ok, but they are growing in many countries like England and Scotland, and Germany and Spain and in France. They are really trying to learn more and more Jiu Jitsu. I think one day they are going to compete with the Brazilians in the same way.
SFUKER :And you say that Jiu Jitsu is not very old in Brazil?
Nelson Solari : The name of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, yes, it started with the Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Brazil, and many of moves, the Jiu Jitsu players know them from the Gracies. The Gracies started Jiu Jitsu many years ago but they didn't teach too much to other people outside the Gracie family, and because of that for many years people didn't know about Jiu Jitsu, but today, in the last 8 to 10 years, Jiu Jitsu is growing very very fast because people like in Brazil to do Jiu Jitsu. For you to understand how new is Jiu Jitsu, the first Brazilian Championship in Jiu Jitsu was in 1995, was the first official Brazilian Championship. Its very new, very new. Before only some people train under the Gracie Family, but today for example, it is very hard for the Gracie Family to win a category, very hard, because, many thousands and thousands of Brazilians are training and training.
SFUKER :Well thank you for your time, and thank you for the seminar
Nelson Solari : I hope you really appreciated the seminar, and have some idea of what is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
SFUKER :Yes, I enjoyed it very much and I think so did everybody, thank you.
Nelson Solari : Ok, Youre Welcome.
SFUKER, SFUK France
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