Quick biography of Caio from BJJ Heroes: Caio Terra is a world Jiu Jitsu champion who competes under the CTBJJA (Caio Terra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association). The Brazilian black belt has had a controversial career in BJJ, having left his first team and coach in less then amicable terms but having managed an amazing and rampant rise to black belt. He has also been known for his constant battles with Jiu Jitsu’s refereeing and more recently being outspoken about steroid use in the sport. In 2012 after several years teaching at Cesar Gracie‘s Gracie Elite gym in the US, Caio Terra was released from the team after he accepted to prepare a rival fighter, Carlos Condit for his UFC 154 fight (more details on the Caio Terra Interview). But controversy aside, Caio is by far one of the most talented fighters in his division who has had success as a grappling coach as well. Terra has also released one of the best Half Guard Instructionals on the market in 2011
In this exclusive interview with BJJ Eastern Europe Caio talks about the importance of focusing on your technique, and how you can be a BJJ world champion without lifting weights.
1. Caio, you have a very technical, very free flowing style. What advice would you give someone who would like to acquire such a style of Jiu-Jitsu but didn’t really know how to start?
Find a school in their area and start training! One of the biggest reasons I started my association was to spread my style of jiu jitsu, so if they can find a CTA school even better!! The curriculum we use was personally developed by me and has the same techniques and concepts I use and believe in. I teach the same curriculum at IMA and we have a very technical and amazing students. Aside from that train hard, focus on technique and drill!
2. Do you lift any weights? If so what type of program do you do and how does it benefit your game?
I do not lift weights, I use versaclimber and various other things for cardio and strength training. I believe that strength and conditioning has great benefits but it shouldn’t interfere with jiu jitsu. For example if you had 2 hours a day to train you should train 2 hours of jiu jitsu. If you had 4 hours to train in a day you can do some strength training because 4 hours of jiu jitsu is a lot!
3. Do you think that someone can be a world Champion at BJJ with just training/ drilling BJJ without doing any specific strength and conditiong training?
Yes, I do think that! Leandro Lo does very little strength and conditioning and is also a world champ. Technique above everything is what wins championships not how athletic some one is.
4. How are you able to live on a such a high sugar diet? Does eating healthy make a difference to how you feel?
It’s easy, millions of Americans eat like me! Life is short and I enjoy eating the way I do and coke taste so good. In all seriousness Eating healthy does make a difference and I don’t eat bad all the time, the key is moderation and balance.
5. You have competed very often in Open weight division even winning quite often. What goes on in your mind when you face a much larger opponent? What are the main points for a smaller BJJ player to know when dealing with a larger opponent?
Technique conquers all. This isn’t a saying it’s the truth. If we live long enough a few things will happen, we will not be in the same shape as we were when we were younger, and you will lose strength, if you keep training you will never lose technique.
6. Please tell us about your Academy in California. What do you do differently?
Institute of Martial Arts in San Jose is where I do most of my training. I love the culture there and Queixinho and Flavio are amazing teachers. We use our curriculum and I think a combination of all these things make’s it a very special place.
7. You use the Versa climber to improve your cardio. Please tell us about the benefits of this machine and how do you use it.
Versaclimber helps my cardio more than any thing else I do. When I am training for a competition I do interval training with the versaclimber and when I’m not training for a competition I use it to keep in moderate shape.
8. What is next up for you in 2012/2013?
Building and focusing on my association. We have a great group of core members and we really want to do big things in 2013.
9. If you want to thank somebody or sponsors, feel free.
I’d like to thank all my friends, family and supporters who have been with me through out the years. Of course I’d like to thank Gameness for supporting me and more importantly for making great products. I am very happy with everything they provided me and love competing and training in their gi’s. I’d like to thank Versaclimber, I started using it a year ago and have noticed a huge increase in my cardio. There’s also a new company called Amerikaz, look for them to do big things in 2013. Lastly I would like to thank all my affiliates, keep training guys, 2013 is coming fast and we have to be ready!
10.Thanks Caio and all the best