I am very glad to have my friend " Dudu Barros " 4 times Brazilian jiu-jitsu National Champion (from Nova Uniao Team - Brazil) enjoying himself at my academy here in Indianapolis during the next couple days !
Today we will be sparring and exchanging techiniques with everyone that show up at my academy.
Last time that I work out with Dudu, he was just 15 years old, and nowadays besides to be a BJJ champion Dudu is BJJ instructor also.
Today (1/21) and tomomorrow (1/22) everyone is welcome for these special classes !
PS: BUT ON SUNDAY AT 4 pm we will have a special clinic of jiu-jitsu with DuDu Barros !!! For just 25 dolares Dudu will show his best competitions techiniques ! BUT just for a limit number of participantes... So reserve your spot !
Now please, read this interview form Dudu Barros that he did 4 years ago.
Where are you originally from?
I am a 22 year old brazilian from Rio de Janeiro city.
How long have you been studying BJJ?
I started at Carlson Gracie's academy in 1988; therefore, I have been technically practicing for almost 15 years. However, I had to stop for a while when I moved to the US so that I could organize my life with school and learn how to speak English fluently.
How old were you when you started?
I was just 8 years old and I started with Professor Marco Aurelio Valladares. After that, I studied under Alberto Santos and Marcelo Saporito. In 1997, I left The Carlson Gracie academy to study with Andre Pederneiras, who is also one of Carlson's black belt. What is it like at Carlson Gracie's Academy growing up?
Well, his academy was just the best. I remember that on competitions we were always winning more than 30 points. There were a lot of excellent fighters there training hard every day like Murilo Bustamante, Allan Goes, Jose Mario Sperry, Ricardo De la Riva, Wallid Ismaill, Ricardo Liborio, Vitor Belfort, Amauri Bitetti and so on. I learned a lot from them; it was just a great atmosphere.
Is there a big advantage to starting so young?
Definitely, since I have started young I was able to develop a lot of speed and flexibility to my game. Also, kids are not used to stalling; I was always looking for submissions and I still try to keep fighting that way. In addition, kids have no fear of getting hurt, if you have the right teacher you can learn much faster when you are younger. How does BJJ in the US compare with Brazil?
It is different. The American fighters have a lot of potential. They are very strong and athletic. A lot of fighters here have a very good base and a strong game from the top since many of them usually comes from a wrestling background. However, they still don't know some details and they need to improve their guard. But they are starting to catch on.
How long have you been in the states?
I have been living in the US since December of 1997, 5 years to be specific.
What is the BJJ scene like in Ohio?
Unfortunately, there are not many academies around the area. Usually we have 3 competitions a year. It is starting to grow now; the state of Ohio has some of the best wrestlers in the nation. It shows that people here love martial arts and it is just a matter of time for the sport to get more recognition.
You visited Brazil recently - How has the sport changed there since you left?
It always changes and I always learn something new. The half guard game is where most of the new positions are coming from. Also, the level of the competitors has been increasing considerably. There is no easy match anymore, that's why I try to keep myself in shape.
What are you doing these days besides teaching BJJ?
Right now, I'm looking for an internship and I just want to get my bachelors degree at the Kent State University.
What is your major in school?
I'm a business administration major with emphasis on computer information systems.
How is your Academy going?
It's doing very well, but I'm just teaching as a part time job since I am still finishing my college degree.
Do you teach with more of an emphasis on sport or self-defense?
Dudu Barros: I try to focus on the competition aspect a little more. I usually teach with my gi on and emphasize chokes and arm bars because that's what most of the students don't know. But it all depends of what the student needs and wants to learn. For instance, I have some students that want to try NHB some day.
Are you planning on competing any this year?
For sure. It will only depend on my financial situation because I have to travel to compete. I would love to compete in the pan American and in the world championship.
What is your training routine like?
I have been teaching every day and next month I have an appointment with a nutritionist to help on my physical condition. When I compete, I try to train, run, and lift weights every day. Right now, it has been hard to do it consistently since I still have to conciliate jiu-jitsu with college.
Has it been difficult finding training partners who play at your skill level?
It is almost impossible. However, some of my students have been improving very fast, I already have some blue belts and hopefully they can start to give me a good workout very soon.
Are you competing with a team?
Every time I compete I represent the Nova Uniao team. And when my students fight they do the same thing or they just represent my name depending on the competition. Is it true you forced a submission in under 4 seconds at a competition? What was that like? Yes, it happened a long time ago. I was just twelve years old. The competition was realized in the Iate Club Jardim Guanabara, a club in Rio de Janeiro. I was supposed to fight on the lightweight division but there was nobody for me to fight. So Carlson Gracie put me on the super heavy division, the opponent was huge but I was able to submit him by a flying arm bar. I also submitted the next opponent and end up winning the competition. Whose style do you really like in BJJ today? I like fighters who score a lot of points and are always looking for the submission. Usually, I enjoy watching lightweight fighters because they are faster and have more versatility in their game. It is fun to watch. What advice do you have for people who are just starting?
It's never too late to start learning. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is one of the most amazing and completed martial arts out there. You should keep a positive attitude and never give up. Be persistent and you will become a champion.
Marcello C. Monteiro - Coach