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Brazilian black belt Gracie Barra overcame a difficult adaptation to the United States to earn a chance in Orlando

Brazilian black belt Gracie Barra overcame a difficult adaptation to the United States to earn a chance in Orlando

Born in Manas, Amazon and a black belt Jiu Jitsu Since 2005, Bruno Brazil Another athlete who left the country for America in search of better opportunities through the sport. The Brazilian has been living in Florida (USA) for a year and a half and is now teaching and training here. Gracie Barra Orlando.

However, the path there has not been easy – with infections in between -, but after a period of adaptation, Bruno Brazil is reaping the rewards of his will and hopes to compete as long as possible.

“I came to America to reach new heights in Jiu-Jitsu. My intention is to participate in as many competitions as possible and teach classes, thus another gentle martial artist around the world. (…) The first year is always difficult, in addition to living with a new country, new culture, people, laws, language, missing friends and family. However, I chose America because it is the first world country where soft art is truly recognized as the birthplace of money and major events,” said Bruno, who in addition to teaching, is also part of the Gracie Barra competition team.

In addition to a jiu-jitsu black belt, the Brazilian holds a wrestling black belt and a judo purple belt, collecting multiple titles in both divisions. Currently focusing more on the soft arts, he finished eighth in the last IBJJF rankings at Master Middleweight 2. In 2023, he wants more. To achieve its goals, it relies on the teachings of different schools along its path.

“I am a fish and acai eater, born and raised in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. I started Jiu-Jitsu with my childhood friends at the home of Grandmaster Alessandro Guimaraes, who, in addition to his name, also represented Carlson Gracie. I got my purple belt at 17, and at that time the purple academy closed, so I moved to Nova Unio, where I trained at the home of Master Nonado Machado. The black belt came in the hands of Master Marcino Pontes (Nova Unio) in 2005, who represented Gracie Barra since I came to America,” explained Bruno:

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“I came to Orlando and there was no Nova Unio Academy, the closest one was in Tampa with Robson Moura, but because of the distance it wasn’t possible for me. I googled the gyms closest to me. I was greeted by the owner of the gym, Leo Silva. We sat down to talk and I told him my story. I said a little and he asked me to wait. When he came back, he already gave me a kimono and told me that it was an honor to have a fourth degree black belt in the team. I was happy and accepted the offer.

Brazilian Gracie Barra training and teaching in Orlando (personal archive photo)
Check out the rest of the interview with black belt Bruno Brazil:

– You started working as a teacher while still in Brazil, right? How was the beginning of this journey?

While I was at Manas, I worked for P&G Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer goods company. There I was able to introduce Jiu-Jitsu and started giving classes to the staff. The company also entered into a partnership and started sponsoring me for all the events I travelled. Today my students are training and competing in Manas. Highlights from Izaque Duarte, Wellington Gomes, Maikon Maia, Robson, Chicão, JonJon, Márcio, Vandy, Serjão, Iuri, Romulo and Oziel.

– Who are your biggest influences in Jiu-Jitsu?

I always loved fighting and I learned to love it by watching movies of that time, seeing what the Gracie family did around the world and my brother Guilherme who was already training at the time. I’ve always been a fan of the Gracie family, especially Carlson Gracie.

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– How was the culture shock when you moved to America?

There always is, especially when you come alone. Initially you are afraid to even spend money (laughs). We have to rely on people for information as much as possible, not knowing who is good or not. I am a Christian, I have a lot of faith in God, when I arrived I was already part of Lagoinha Orlando church, I can say with certainty that this church played a fundamental role in my life as a Christian. Spiritual area and all battles become easier with God.

– How do you balance the competitive side with the teacher and black belt role?

Since I started Jiu-Jitsu I have never stopped training, never! Jiu-Jitsu is part of my life, fighting brings me to life, I love to compete, and this was always instilled in me by my master Alessandro Guimaraes. Many things are difficult to compromise, but in the end it is always worth it, always!