Insight into Wins, Defeat, and Life in BJJ
From surfer to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend, José Olimpio (or better known to most as Ze Radiola) has taken teaching BJJ and competing as his vocation. He has produced legends of his caliber as well. Namely big names such as the Estima brothers, Lucas Rocha, and Otavio Sousa.
He started out his life in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the tutelage of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in 1996. Years of training later spring boarded his career to new heights representing Brazil in international tournaments.
You are a legend in the world of BJJ, tell us how you got involved in it?
I started practicing Jiu-Jitsu in June of 1994. I was 29 years old and lived in Guaruja – SP. I was living in Guaruja since 1986. I had moved there because of surfing. Back then I was a professional surfer and I had several friends practicing jiu-jitsu. I started training in Guaruja with a student of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. In 1996 I returned to Recife, from there I started to dedicate myself exclusively to Jiu-Jitsu.
In the subject of competing, tell us about your first tournament
My first was a State Championship here in Pernambuco. Maybe because I used to compete in surfing, I never got very nervous competing. Upon reaching the finals, I was surprised because I had to face my training partner. I was inexperienced in competing in Jiu-Jitsu and did not know the rules. Anyway, I got the championship and didn’t stop after.
Can you give us advise about competing?
As much as I train my students, I say that there is always someone doing more training than they do. The athlete must always be seen as a CHAMPION, regardless of the outcome. Believe in yourself and your potential is essential for success! Training, dedication, discipline, focus, confidence are qualities that a competitor must have, and it can be learned! The teacher has to learn to motivate and always be present.
How do you deal with defeat?
The truth is that I have to accept defeat! A fight is a fight! I never trained nor let my students think of defeat. Losing happens. This happened to me several times and also with my students. We have to deal with it. Take advantage of defeat by correcting things.
What is your favorite drill?
When I’m competing, I like a lot of “half-guard.” I think because of my height. I do better when I am beneath my opponent. The technique that I find most effective is the “triangle”.
Who’s your favorite up and coming Gracie Barra fighter?
It’s hard for me to cite just a fighter! I’m a huge fan of all my students. For me, they will always be the best! Gracie Barra has excellent fighters. Braulio Estima think is best. He is a level above! Every time I see Braulio fight he surprises me. He manages to improve every day!
Watch Professor Ze Radiola in the Competition Camp for Compnet