Wilson Junior, head instructor of Carlson Gracie UK and the star of the popular videos ‘Wilson rants‘ talks to BJJ Eastern Europe about his amazing Jiu-Jitsu and life story:
1. Hi Wilson can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Wilson junior , head coach and founder of Carlson Gracie team uk .
Im born in Rio de Janeiro Brazil and arrived in Europe in 2000 after being a while in The French Foreign Legion in France.
I’m a 2nd degree Black Belt under Nelson Solari (toughest man I’ve ever seen)
Nelson is Black Belt from Ricardo Liborio and does a great job teaching Bjj around the world.
I’m also a wrestler and Luta Livre instructor , some of my titles are 2 times Brazilian Champ in wrestling ,State Champ in Luta Livre,State Champ in Wrestling , Rio de Janeiro Champ in Bjj,silver on weight and Bronze on Absolute on Euros and several medals local Bjj comps in Rio.
Here in uk we have a strong bjj competition team probably one of the best in Europe, just this year 2012 our students got around 300 medals in international/national tournaments.Just on this last English tournament held last weekend we got 60 medals.
2. Please guide us through your journey in Jiu-Jitsu and life until the point where you came to the UK.
My history started 30 years ago, my first grappling sport was judo.I used to training at Flamengo judo club in Rio with Trajano . I remember back in those days Judo was such good fun, a lot lot of ground work. All those arm bars i did as child help me a lot few years late as I started Luta Livre. I stopped judo and when I was around 13yrs I start training Luta Livre , I still remember my very first visit to a gym.
The gym name was the Budokan, and was In a very rough part of the city and -was well know as one of top/rough clubs in Rio. I went togeder with a friend (Antoine Jaoude) This friend after became the best Brazilian wrestler from all times, winning ADCC (Arabic division) and going to the Olympics but back to the history as we went inside they were doing Vale Tudo training . There was Marco Ruas(UFC) vs Roberto Leitao .. I remember Leitao got a triangle on Ruas and Ruas standing up and slammed him to the wall to see if he released.. I was watching and thinking “fuck” that’s the place to train . After years training Luta Livre I started training BJJ as well. The first gym I went to was Strauch Bjj in copacabana., I trained there for while but after I had to move as it was too far from my home.
I went to check few gyms to see the one I liked most , I went to Master,Fabricio Bjj and eventually I settled with Nelson Solari ( back then He was a purple belt ,just got it after he won the worlds). My very first training at Carlson was because Carlos Barreto (vale tudo fighter from Carlsons) knew me, and he had been one of the few free style wrestlers around in copacabana ( back in those days no body knew much about this great sport ).
He invited me to join their elite no gi training there. As we were supposed to meet there one Monday morning he was late so I was waiting for him outside as one of our local friend passed by: a tough blue belt called Paulo Filho (15×0 on Pride and 4 times World Champion) and invite me to go up. That was my first training there. In that class we had Liborio, Ze mario, Carlson senior him self and Vitor Belfort was training for his first fight against Randy Couture.
My first training there was a no Gi 10min round with Ze Mario sperry with all team watching , on that day there was also a competition training for purples (around 50 purple belts there). Back in those days Carlson Gym in Brazil was the best gym in the world to train , hundreds of high belts and vale tudo fighters were there. I remember back in those days watching Vale tudo was much more fun, no rules ,no gloves and many times people doing that just to represent their club .
In 1999, I meet a guy called Paulo Boca. He was a Luta Livre and Bjj Black Belt also well know tough police officer. He just came back from the French Foreign legion. He gave me an address to write to jon. I sent a letter and after almost one year, I got a letter black with a flyer telling me what to do to join.
Back in those days I was a bouncer in the worst place in Rio, “baile funk” and shit. Standing on the door ,fighting several times a night , dealing with drunk people with guys almost everyday did not look like a nice future for me.
I saved some money and went to Europe together with 3 friends (Sergio Mello ,Cristiano and Sombra ) we first arrived in Portugal and one of the immigration officers at the border sent back to Brazil one of our friend (Sombra)
So now there was just me ,Cris and Sergio. After a few months me and Sergio went to France and I never saw anyone of them after that. I left The legion before the minimum time (5years) because the money was shit and because of the very low quality of life there. I remember on the day that I “asked to leave” the legion, I left with 7 other guys, after that I didn’t know where to go. The guys with me went to a super market and bought a few knifes to “work” in Marseille … I still wonder how they would work with knifes… Maybe they were chefs?? Anyways…
After that I remembered that I had a good friend in Sweden . I rang someone in Brazil and got his Swedish number, spoke with him and bought a ticket to Sweden. After staying one month there training with him, I decided to come to the UK , . I had been told that the night life was good so I decided to check it out .
3. When did you come to the UK to start teaching the Carlson Gracie style of Jiu Jitsu, and who brought you here, was it someone from the UK?
Back in those days there was no Bjj in Uk whatsoever , I remember going to google and typing BJJ in London, Bjj west London,Jiu jitsu in London , etc … Nothing coming up , that’s was in 2000.
After few months doing the shit jobs people do when they first arrive in Uk, I met one guy who had heard about Bjj in a judo club ( that place was Budokai , the oldest judo club in Europe). I went there (2001) and spoke with the teacher (Chen Moraes) after few months training with him and teaching few classes for him (I was purple back then) he told me he was going to leave the UK for good and move to Spain ( his wife was Spanish), and he asked me if I wanted to take over his class of around 20 students there. I said “yeah ,cool, whatever “. From this group there were 5 students who helped me to direct my life in a good way: Lucca Mingatti , Simon Hayes, Dickie Martin ,Barnaby Gordon ,Nissan and Lajos Vargas (I owe him introducing me to my wife) those guys were the core of the team and still are the core now days.
I had a good student and very good friend called Murali but he left the team few years ago, he’s still top friend.
I always tied to make class here the same as it was in Rio. I remember in 2003, at the first Big competition of Bjj in Uk , London Open organised by Roger brooking, We won the team trophy with just 15 fighters. The other teams brought 40 ,50 guys (back in those days this were big numbers) and us with just 15 guys won that nice trophy (this is the most important trophy I have ,they only one I will always take with me when Ill leave the UK )
Those 15 guys got , 14 gold medals…
4. Please tell us more about your academy in the UK and about your best students? What do you offer that other academies don’t offer?
Perhaps I’m not a 50 times world champion like others but man… I tell you as coach I’m very very good! Maybe in this 11 years teaching, my students got 3000 medals in all sort of competitions.
I always try to pass the Carlson Gracie mentality.. Pass and smash! No funky Bjj, no gogoplata,berimbolo and all this faggot stuff.. We do it knee on the face here.
There is no flow rolling here. War has to be the rule at all times, if you can’t take it, you can leave… Many guys didn’t survive our aggressive training and left to other clubs to do Zen Bjj. Here in Carlson, is the place where the children cry and the mother don’t see. If he survives the training he will be a bad mother fucker for sure mate!
One thing I don’t like in my club is a pussy student, here we have fighting Bulldogs.. I want people to know when they see those Bulldogs patches on the other side of the fighting area… You better be ready my friend because it will be nasty.. Ezequiel choke will be over your mouth.. While you are trying your berimbolo someone will crank your foot, better don’t let us pass your guard because knee on the belly will become knee on face, shoulder of justice and other nasty stuff..
That’s how we roll!
5. Please tell us about the old days training at Carlson Gracie academy in Copacabana.
Once in a Bjj competition, Ryan Gracie had a row with Tico, a older Blue belt from Carlsons. They started at this local competition and then Carlinhos asked them if they wanted to sort things out on the back garden of his house.
Renzo Gracie and Robson Gracie on “corner” of Ryan and “Wallid Ismail and Amaury Bitteti” on the corner of Tico , they fought for one hour, no gloves or rules, I remember Ryan biting off a big chunk of Ticos left ear , they carried on anyways .. Good days 🙂
Another day, we had one very tough Blue belt from Carlsons (Rinaldo) and he fought one hour against a tough Luta Livre ,muay Thai guy (Bigu) was his name. They fought at Pergu’s gym ,close doors vale tudo. Inside the dojo, on Rinaldo’s corner (Carlson senior, Amaury Bitteti and I think Manimal ,can’t remember well) on Bigu side we had (Marco Ruas ,Joao Ricardo ). Outside the gym we had 200 fighters looking to the windows and waiting to see a result , Bigu won after one hour with a knee splitting Rinaldo’s forehead.
MMA back in those days were much more fun, no need for pussy MMA gloves and pussy referee stuff. Another good story was once in a local vale tudo event. One bjj guy got the mount and pound the Kung fu opponent mercilessly and his corner threw the towel but the referee just took the towel wiped his face and throw back to the corner… This referee was a local very very well know killer from the police ( those type of guys you don’t have in Europe, and I’ve been to virtually all over Europe and met some dodgy guys but those Brazilian polices guys kill people on regular basis.. Few a week at least )
Back in those days, Rickson Gracie was a legend in Rio , I remember when 50 guys from Luta Livre invaded the Gracie academy on a afternoon and just Helio was there. One guy (Hugo duarte) wanted to have a one to one with Rickson , so Helio rang up Rickson’s house and asked him to come to the gym now because the Luta Livre guys were there. Rickson was sleeping and woke up, had some juice and went to business. Rickson came alone and they fought for a dozen minutes untill the Luta Livre guy asked to stop. Bare in mind that this Luta Livre guy was a machine (120kgs) and after that few years laters, he won 10 cage fights always in the first round by ground and pound.. He was a beast..
I could write here hundreds of history’s about Bjj fights in Rio hehe one I will write a book maybe 🙂
6. What can tell us about the Carlson Gracie Style of Jiu-Jitsu and mentality?
In 2013 I already announced after this English Open that I will run 4 hour long competition training for the hardcore team, those guys join those classes will get the HardCore Patch to put on their gi.
Also this training will show who is real keen to be good on Bjj and the other who just want to go the Pub and say “I do Bjj” “I do mma” etc… I think many guys from our club are doing very well and a lot of medals will come. Watch these names: River Dillon (British and European champ blue belt , just won two competitions in Brazil this week). Alex Cabanes( silver medal in 2012 purple light divison -some people say this is on of the hardest divisions in the world ) , Doug Creed ( European Champ No Gi and English ).Jason the Animal (15 Gold medals in purple belt competitions in one year ). Steve the Butcher, Sam Gibson, Alain Pozo, Daniel “white jacare” Jetz, Mark Phung, Mabass Badass, Nick “hulk” , Jamie “Conan”, Matt “hands of stone”, Marek “polish tiger”, Aneta Malinoswka etc And much much others , I can’t name all with the amount of talented student we have at moment. The Bjj scene in Uk is growing at the speed of light , we see every month new talented people appearing in the competitions , all coaches doing very well.
7.You also have some affiliates in Eastern Europe. Please tell us about your students. Do you think that Eastern Europeans fit well with the Carlson Gracie mindset?
The Bjj scene in Eastern Europe is growing a lot. In 2014 I’m thinking to open a mega Bjj gym in Poland , bring more 4 or 5 Black belts from Brazil , get a huge space in Warsaw and open a full time club. We will have full size cage ,boxing ring and 12 classes a day, full time. I’ve been many times in Poland and i haven’t seen similar for what I’m thinking to do.
The Gym will not be business man friendly.. Will be cold,dark,rusty irons bars, will be similar a jail with cage fighting and mats. I think the Carlson style will fit perfect in Poland, polish guy are hard workers and very talented
8. Thank you Wilson for taking time to answer our questions. All the best. OSSS!
Thanks for reading and keep training guys
Pass and Smash