Pedro Valente: “We Teach Overeem How To Protect From Strikes On The Ground”

Pedro Valente: “We Teach Overeem How To Protect From Strikes On The Ground”


Professor Pedro Valente Jr.. was recently a guest on the best BJJ podcast Grappling central podcast where he talked about various interesting topics such as self defense, practical training methods, lessons learned from Grandmaster Helio and an in-depth history lesson in Jiu-Jitsu.

Valente Brothers Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, also known as Gracie Miami, is a school of self-defense located in North Miami Beach Florida. The school has over seven hundred students and currently teaches courses to the Miami-Dade Police Department, several local departments, the Army’s Florida National Guard, and many other Military and Law Enforcement organizations.

The Valente Brothers specialize in the traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Self-Defense System, which is taught to the general public as well as to police and military officials.

The Valente brothers were recently in the news when they promoted UFC fighter and ex Strikeforce and K1 champion Alistair Overeem to blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu.

Overeem is an experienced No Gi Grappler whose mma record stands at staggering 42 wins and 15 losses! As much as 19 of his victories came by way of submission. But Overeem has some grappling experience – at the European tryouts for the 2005 ADCC, Overeem was  seen choking every one of his opponents out for the win. In the final he took on Mikael Grothe and spent most of the match in the half-guard winning in the end.

Valente told Ryan Ford about his work with Overeem:

His grappling skills were already very good. We met through a mutual friend and he started training with us 3 years ago. He wears the kimono and I teach him Jiu-Jitsu. We talk about protecting from strikes on the ground, from standing, self defense. I have to say that he’s a great person. A lot of people have a bad impression about him for some reason, but he is really a great person. I know his family, his daughters. He brings a great energy to our school. I have been with him in New Mexico at Greg Jackson’s training centre. He also has a great Grappling coach in Roberto Tussa, a very high level grappler from Gracie Barra. Alistair is a great friend and whenever he’s in Miami, he trains with us.

A lot of MMA fighters want to learn from us how to defend against strikes on the ground (Diego Sanchez, Anderson Silva etc…).

Here is what Valente also covered on the show:

  • His beginnings
  • His father
  • His time spent with Grandmaster Helio
  • Can courage be taught?
  • The relationships built in Jiu-Jitsu
  • Grandmaster Helio’s moral requirements to be a Black Belt
  • Rectitude
  • The 7-5-3 code
  • Grandmaster Helio’s “Japanese Soul”
  • Why he teaches private lesson in private rooms
  • A story of Grandmaster Helio that shows the value of a healthy lifestyle
  • Diet and discipline
  • Why Helio spent extra time with him to prepare him to move to the US
  • His early days teaching in Miami
  • The reception of Jiu-Jitsu in the US in the early days
  • The infamous “Judo club invasion” story
  • The importance of the early UFC’s and the Gracie Challenge
  • His new state of the art academy in Miami
  • The secret to the Valente brother’s success
  • Why academies fail
  • The origins of the Fighting Foundations program
  • Why he feels a structured curriculum is key to an academy’s success
  • In the age of the internet, is roadside visibility as important for academies as it once was?
  • Why academy owners shouldn’t focus on competing gyms and just focus on themselves
  • A Jiu-Jitsu history lesson
  • Did Jiu-Jitsu change that much when it arrived in Brazil?
  • Rivalry within the Gracie family
  • Why is Jiu-Jitsu still the best self defense system in modern times?
  • The value of competition
  • Realistically training self defense
  • Why your training must have consequences for failure
  • You will fight the way you train
  • Sport Jiu-Jitsu on the street
  • Jiu-Jitsu’s unique ability to end a fight without hurting your opponent
  • The interesting rank he currently wears and the story behind it
  • Jiu-Jitsu’s bad reputation in Brazil in the 90’s
  • Being in Royce’s corner at UFC 1 and again for his final fight in 2016
  • Working with Alistair Overeem and other MMA fighters
  • His desired legacy