Gordinho Correa interviewed by Carl Fisher. 9 December 2003
embarked on his first ever European seminar tour in November 2003; starting in
Darlington and ending in Copenhagen, Denmark, Gordinho showcased the half guard
techniques made famous by his older brother Gordo back at the Barra HQ in Rio.
Such was the success of the seminars, Gordinho plans to come back to the UK, at
the request of purple belt Ben Poppleton, to oversee the development of BJJ in
the North of England and whip the Gracie Barra Northern UK team into tip top condition.
Fisher : Youre at the end of the seminars here in the UK and ready for your
trip to Denmark. Have you enjoyed the time here?
: Yes, Ive really enjoyed
it, I like the people here they are very friendly; the thing I saw here and really
like, is the fact the people here like to fight. They dont come to me because
Im a black belt; they come here because they want to learn to fight like
you been showing this week in the seminars?
: I like to show the
half guard techniques, which my brother developed back in Brazil; some of the
guys here were beginners, so I started off with simple moves and showed how jiu
jitsu works before moving on to the half guard stuff.
have the students taken to the half guard game?
: I believe they have
enjoyed it and have had very good feedback from the students; after I have taught
the techniques on the seminars, Ive put the guys together on the mats and
made them spar, to see if they remember what Ive shown them and if it works
and Ive sparred with everyone on the mats to show them it works as well.
are you off to next?
: I am going to Denmark tomorrow
and give a seminar at Caspers academy and then head back to Brazil, where
its nice and warm (laughs).
this your first time in the UK?
: My first time yes.
brought you over?
: Ben invited me over
to his academy, and it looks like I will probably be in charge in looking after
the Gracie Barra in the North of England.
did you meet Ben?
: It was at the Gracie Camp
and I was one of the teachers there and we made friends and now he lives with
me in Brazil when he comes over.
your view on the level of BJJ in the UK, from the clubs you have been to?
: Its the first
time over here for me and Im very surprised at the high level; Mauricao
Gomes has worked very hard, as its not easy to show BJJ all over the UK,
when no one else has been here before and then having to go back to Brazil and
leave the guys to teach themselves until the next arrival of good guys from Brazil.
Hes done a great job.
plans to come back again?
: Yes, I plan to come
back again in the New Year with my brother, once every two months at least and
be here for ten days and hold seminars in the North, always in the North.
did you start in BJJ?
: I was thirteen when I started
in Barra de Tijuca and I used to be great friends with Ryan Gracie and Ralph was
friends with Gordo and we started out then. My brother is four years older than
myself and we first trained with Jose Belezea Henrique and he used
to be in charge of the kids at Barra; when I was a little older Jean Jacques Machado
was my teacher as he was in charge of Barra Gracie at the time and I got my blue
from JJ. Jean Jacques moved to LA and I received the rest of my belts from Carlos
you first compete?
: When I was thirteen
in the yellow belt events and have been fighting ever since.
has been your best event?
: The 98 Worlds
for sure, I had five fights, submitted four; I fought Fernando Gurgel in the finals,
Fabios brother and I submitted him with a triangle choke which was nice.
I had a lot of injuries last year and didnt compete as much as I would like
but I have been competing this year and won the Brazil v USA challenge at the
Pan Ams and I got second in the Pan Ams, losing to Cassio Werneck, who won at
the Worlds this year. I also fought the State championships and won that as well.
Next year Im going to compete in everything and I will be travelling a lot
more, so will want to compete everywhere, gi and no gi.
you still train in Rio?
: Yes I still train there,
I dont teach there any more; at Barra Gracie theres always at least
ten black belts to train with, so theres always good training and I always
ask my brother questions when hes there.
you see Carlos?
: Yes hes there
every day at the academy, teaching and sparring with the students. Many people
thinks hes just the coach and manager, you know, but hes there on
the mats setting a good example for the others to follow.
was it like growing up under the shadow of your famous brother? Did he beat you
up, or was it the other way around?
: (Laughs) Oh yes, its
always hard to train with him, as he knows my game so well, which is really similar
to his game. Its mostly Gordo that wins on the mats (laughs).
: Hes OK, but has
had a lot of injuries; he fought at the Pan Ams this year and beat Rener Gracie
but after that he had a bad knee.
has a three video set of half guard techniques with Gerson Sanginitto; are there
plans to make any more?
: Yes were thinking
about making some more but this time with the two of us together.
is the half guard so important to you?
: The most important
thing is jiu jitsu is the guard and when youre playing the half guard, youre
playing guard its the same thing. If you have your arms in the right position,
your body in the right position you can be really safe and thats why I like
the half guard.
first CBJJ approved event is going ahead in Portugal next year; will you be there?
: Oh yes, Ill be
coming back to the UK to help the guys prepare for the event and I hope to get
there myself and compete.
brought a friend along today?
: Pablo Silvas
a black belt under my brother and hes been doing jiu jitsu since he was
fourteen and he grew up with me and hes been involved in jiu jitsu ever
since. He was the second guy to receive a black belt from my brother; the first
one was Sandro Batatal, who now teaches with Ralph Gracie in San Francisco.
: I really like the English
people, theyre like warriors you know and you guys have a great future and
I look forward to coming back in the New Year and seeing you guys again.
for the interview Gordinho and a great bunch of seminars
: My pleasure
Joao Pedro Tinoco
is always looking for interviews, so if you'd like to write an interview, or would
like to be interviewed, or contribute in any way to the site's content, please
let us know.