Exclusive interview with Vale Tudo and Jiu-Jitsu legend Jorge Pereira (Rickson Gracie black belt)

Jorge 1

1. Jorge, can you tell the Eastern European BJJ community about yourself and your journey in bjj and Vale Tudo/MMA?

I’m Jorge Pereira , 48 years old , from Rio de Janeiro – Brasil . I’m Black Belt 6 th Degree under Rickson Gracie and Carlos Gracie Jr. I was graduated by Rickson , but when he left to the USA , I kept training with the family , with carlos Gracie Jr. I was a competition fighter of the family all my life. I fought also Vale tudo fights , anything goes . I am Brazillian Champion of ValeTudo ( Open Division – all weights ) 1996 . I am 3 times Pan American Champion of JiuJitsu 2002. 2003 , 2004 . World Champion No Gi in 2008 and other titles during my career.I’m also the creator of RIOHEROES / true valetudo on Internet. Now I’m living in Miami , where I teach at Knockout Zone Gym ,on Biscayne and NE 50 st . Miami – Florida !!!

2.You have trained with such legends as Marcelo Behring and Rickson Gracie. Can you tell how you met them, about your relationship with them and how it was to train Jiu-Jitsu in Rio in the 80’s and 90’s?

Jorge’s Master Rickson Gracie

Marcelo was my neighbor at Nova Ipanema , place from Rio , and I started to train with him , he brought me to Gracie Academy , where I met Rickson and I never stopped to train with him. Rickson is my Master and my great inspiration. Marcelo was fantastic too , his warrior spirit was great. With Rickson I could develop the real Samurai Spirit . Those two names are very important for me and for my Jiu-Jitsu!!!first heard of you when I started training BJJ and I was watching Vale Tudo tapes. I remember watching your fight against Ebenzer Fontes Braga and I was amazed with your bravery and heart in fighting in such brutal fights.
3.You always competed in MMA and BJJ at the same time, Do you think that for someone to really feel the effectiveness of BJJ, you have to train and fight MMA?

People look for jiuJitsu for different reasons , you can fight Jiu-Jitsu and not like MMA , this doesn’t mean that you will not put your Jiu-Jitsu to prove , Jiu-Jitsu is about SELF DEFENSE !!! It’s for life . Even MMA is unreal now , with rules that makes the combat unreal. The Jiu-Jitsu self Defense should be training people to be ready for all situations , even MMA or VALETUDO!!!

4. You are also the creator of the famous Vale Tudo events Rio Heroes. Please tell us how it was to run such a raw fighting event. Do you believe that with the popularity of modern MMA (with time limits, gloves and rules) real Vale Tudo, bare knuckle fighting has a chance to become popular again?

The famous Rio Heroes Vale Tudo events
RioHeroes was a true return of the real ValeTudo ! I believe we always gonna have room for the real combat , and I’m still working for it ! I came from those times , real fights and a lot of more respect for the Martial Art !The True ValeTudo will be back .

5. Jorge, please tell us about your academy in Miami, Florida (Roots USA)
ROOTS USA AT KNOCKOUT ZONE ON 5084 Biscayne Blvd / Miami – Fl 33137 . we have there a complete training center for MMA . Brazillian JiuJitsu , Boxing ,Muai Thay , and a loot of more. Functional Training center for the fighters. it is really a nice place. You are all are invited to come and enjoy ROOTS BJJ USA !
6. In April you will be flying to Skopje, Macedonia to conduct a seminar at Roots, Macedonia. How did you come into contact with the guys in Macedonia, and what do you expect to see and achieve there?
Jorge Pereira
Believe or not , the first contact was by Facebook , but I knew already about ROOTS BJJ MACEDONIA , because Robert Naumoski (Roots Australia) is my friend and also student , so he told me about all his work there . Later I met Ivica Aleksovski in facebook and everything became a reality. I will bring the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu that I learned , loved and respect all my life !!! A lot of learning of the traditional JiuJitsu . Rickson Gracie teaches more than just Jiu-Jitsu , he teaches the way of the samurai . That is my Jiu-Jitsu!!!!

7. Who are your best students and what have they achieved?
I don’t have one best , all my Black belt are very good . I have world Champions , Pan american Champions ans MMA Champions. Wander Braga is one of the Best of my Black belts , 16 wins , 1 loss (MMA Record ). Leonardo Dalla , Otavio “Tata” Duarte , Paulo Guilhobel , and a lot of more champions !!!
Ah Gabriel Gonzaga “Napao ” from UFC is mine too , black belt of my black belt Wander Braga, but I put the belt on him because I always was the head instructor.
8. Do you still compete or are you more focused on teaching?
I’m more focus in teaching , but if the money is good , of course I’ll fight again , hahahahaha.
9. What are your personal and team goals in bjj for 2012?
Gabriel Gonzaga is one of Jorge’s students
My team goals : I want MIAMI BJJ OPEN , all team will fight. World Cup, I’ll send some guys too, and all competitions of course. Competition is very important for the evolution of sport!!! I’m also preparing now a new MMA ROOTS TEAM of fighters in Miami. Soon the names will come!!!
10. Who are your favorite all time Vale Tudo/MMA fighters?
RICKSON GRACIE is my favorite fighter of all times , forever and ever , hahahahahah !!!!
11.Do you follow the current BJJ competition scene? Is there anybody that impresses you?
Roger Gracie , Andre Galvao , Marcelo Garcia . We have a lot of good names. but Roger for me is really one of the best .
12. What are your top 3 best submissions/ techniques?
Mata Leao choke , Armilock in the guard , Inverted Ambar in any position .
13.Thank you Jorge for taking time to answer our questions. All the best in 2012!
Thank you guys !!! It will be a great honor and pleasure be there with you guys !!!! See you soon guys!!!!
Some of Jorge Pereira’s Vale Tudo matches
vs Roberto Godoi
Vs Pele Landi Jones