In 2012, Jo-Jo traveled to Brazil to visit family. Of course, he also decided to take advantage of his time in Brazil and get some world-class training. After talking to some of his friends in the Black-Belt community here in the US, Jo-Jo decided to train with Mestre Paulão Rezende at the Projeto Soma Academia/Gymin Poços de Caldas, Brazil.
Mestre Paulão recently journeyed to the US and ECU was lucky enough to welcome the Mestre and his 38 years of experience to our academy.
While I was unable to attend the seminar, I knew I should at least stop by and take some pictures. In a stroke of luck, I did even better.
I was present when Mestre Paulão gave an inspiring speech about how we as students should conduct our lives, ending it with the inspiring words that we should "Fight for Jiu-Jitsu".
Mestre Rezende was kind enough to grant me a brief interview. With the help of an interpreter, I learned that Mestre Rezende has thirty-eight years of experience and has been teaching for twenty-three of them.
When I asked how many champions he has mentored over the years. The Mestre asked me for my pen and paper and began writing down names.
It was a long list:
Joað Rafael (Gargamel)
Mario H. Garcia
Suitably impressed, I asked the Master about his Jiu-Jitsu philosophies. Mestre Rezende had three major points:
- "You have to have respect. The way you conduct yourself on and off the mat matters;"
- "Fight for Jiu-Jitsu, not for your team (country); and
- "Be loyal to your master."
Finally. I asked Mestre Rezende if he feels like he's still learning after 38 years. His answer was quick:
Special Thanks to Marcelo for translating.
I made a special effort to get all of the accents right on the names and places. Hopefully, I did a decent job.