Wednesday, 25 March 2015

An Interview with Jean Machado (LiveTheMachLife)

Hey guys, today I have for you an interview with Jean Machado. Some of you might be familiar with his YouTube channel, LiveTheMachLife. He produces a lot of great Jiu-Jitsu related comedy and parody videos. I’m a big fan of his content, so it has been great to get the chance to interview him. I hope you guys enjoy. 

So right off the bat, could you introduce yourself to my readers?

Hello everyone, my name is Jean Machado. I am son to the youngest of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Legends, The Machado Brothers. I am a brown belt in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and enjoy making funny videos on the internet about it and other everyday things.

Could you take us through some of your earliest memories of Jiu-Jitsu?

When I was 4 years old I began participating in classes at our Jiu-Jitsu academy. I remember Jiu-Jitsu always being a fun and enjoyable experience growing up.

What is it like to be part of such an iconic family like the Machado family?

To me they are known as uncle, tio, or father. It’s pretty great that they as a family and individuals have done so much to further this art. It’s quite motivating and makes me strive to go even further.

What’s the training like at RCJ Machado?

It’s an amazing experience. It’s always felt like home.

Do you think RCJ Machado can compete with other big BJJ teams? (I.e. Gracie Barra, Atos, Alliance etc.)

Yes, RCJ Machado had the largest competition team in the 90's. I don't see why that can't happen again.

Does RCJ Machado have any up and coming competitors who you think can be a major force on the competition scene?

There are several contenders throughout the United States and abroad who a phenomenal grapplers under the RCJ banner. I myself compete.

Does your team run any training camps prior to major tournaments?

Yes, preparation is key to competing in tournaments.

What is your style of Jiu-Jitsu?

I’m not sure what kind of style it is, The Machlife style.

Source: Mike Calimbas

What is your opinion on ‘modern’ Jiu-Jitsu techniques? And do you use any of them?

They have their practicality within the limits of competition. I think they are fun to learn and play with in class but don’t see a real world application.

Do you think any of these techniques are ‘ruining’ Jiu-Jitsu?

Since competition for many is the main focus for practicing Jiu-Jitsu, that is an area which has gained lots of momentum in new ideas to better ones results in a tournament. If one only focuses on those techniques, they are limiting themselves to a set of rules, nonexistent in the streets.

Do you think drilling is an important part of Jiu-Jitsu? Or do you think it’s a waste of time?

If you don’t practice, how will you ever get better?

Tell us one thing about you game which nobody would know?

It’s fun.

If you could sum up your Jiu-Jitsu in one word, what would it be?

Unique, I try to have as much fun as I can when training, even if it's not showing.

How frequently do you train?

4-5 times a week.

Do you do any strength and conditioning? Or do you train solely Jiu-Jitsu?

One doesn't hurt the other.

What does your diet consist of? And do you take any specific supplements?

Eat mainly nutritious meals, lots of vegetables and protein yet avoiding things like breads which slow you down. I lean towards a healthy nutrition.

What were some of your earliest competitions like?

Chaotic. I remember going in to some fights, as a kid, with no idea of what to do and hopefully wing it. This made things worse and more chaotic during the fight. I look back and just laugh now thinking about it.

What is your biggest accomplishment in competition to date?

I recently won gold in Five Grappling Texas 2 which was a great experience. As for greatest accomplishment I’m uncertain. First time I competed as a Blue Belt Adult (16 yrs old) I won all three my matches against older more experienced opponents taking home the gold, which felt good.

You competed in Five Grappling Texas 2 a few months ago, how was that experience?

Great, the events was smoothly run and I felt very good. I nailed an armbar in one of my fights which felt great. I had my dad and brother coaching along with several students supporting as I took home the gold so overall an awesome experience.

(If you're viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

Are you going to be looking to compete in higher level competition? (I.e. Pan Ams, Mundials etc.)

Competition for me is something I do to compliment my Jiu-Jitsu. As to what venue I may be in the future is unknown now.

Would you say you’re a serious competitor? Or are you more of a casual competitor?

I enjoy competing to test myself or something I’m working. I do enjoy a challenge but I’m not seeking medals or titles to say I’m the best of this or that. I want to improve my Jiu-Jitsu as much as I can as a Martial Artist.

Are there any competitions coming up which you’re hoping to compete in?

At this moment no, if things change I will update via social media.

What is your take on submission only vs. point competitions? And which do you prefer and why?

I think both have their place and time. For a competitor it may be more convenient knowing you can score points and stall. Yet for the audience its leaves a boring fights to watch. I enjoy both styles. 

Many people probably know you from your YouTube channel, LiveTheMachLife. How did the idea come about to start this channel?

Growing up video making has always been a passion of mine. The idea came about when I decided to make a video on a particular character at our academy at the time (the late student). I needed a place to post the video so LiveTheMachLife was born. As for the name it comes out to Live The Machado Lifestyle which is a way of life myself, father and uncles grew up. I wanted to a place to be able to show people our view.

What are your long time goals for the YouTube channel?

To make more content people enjoy and grow the machlife family.

To date which is your favourite video you have produced and why?

On YouTube: Probably BJJ Cops. I always enjoyed the show so to make a parody of it was a blast.

(If you're viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

As of now, your most popular video is “Subtle BJJ Moves for Valentine’s Day 2014”. Why do you think this video is the most successful thus far?

I think it gives some people new ideas on what to try on their girlfriend or spouse. Honestly it’s a fun overall video people get a kick out of.

(If you're viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

Where does your inspiration come from to make these videos?

A lot has been from my own experiences. But some are from everyday things such as conversations had or situations seen.

Typically, how long does an average video take to produce?

Oh man. Depends on the video really. From planning, shooting, editing, to finished product I’d say 6 hours and that’s a short video for Facebook (30 sec - 1 min). If it’s a full skit probably two days (one for shooting, other for editing) or more depending on locations and the idea. I've gotten faster over the years; my first video took me 8 hours just on filming, cringe! #whitebelt

Are there any exciting things you could tell us about any upcoming videos?

BJJ in ways never expected.

Right, it’s time for twenty quick fire questions, they are:

1.     Goku or Superman? Superman, Smallville <3>
2.     Guard player or guard passer? Both
3.     Pop or rock? Rock (80's <3>
4.     Cartoons or anime? Cartoons but Death Note is so good
5.     T-shirts or sweaters? In Dallas? Both
6.     DX or NWO? Is that Wrestling?
7.     The Avengers or X-Men? Justice League anyone?
8.     Juice or milk? Juice
9.     Google or Bing? Google
10.   Spider guard or x-guard? Spider
11.   Outdoors or indoors? Outdoors
12.   Wolverine or Magneto? Wolverine
13.   Salted or sweet? If its food - salted, if a girl - sweet
14.   Sprite or 7up? Coconut Water
15.   Burgers or tacos? Tacos
16.   L.A. Beast or Furious Pete? I’ve only seen LA Beast
17.   The Whopper or The Big Mac? #cringe!
18.   Money or fame? Be the change I want to see in the world
19.   The green dragon ranger or the white tiger ranger? White Tiger baby
20.   Blink-182 or Fall Out Boy? Not sure

Hey, thanks Jean for the interview! It has been a pleasure my friend. Before we end this interview, is there anything you want to say? Or any people you want to thank?

Thanks for having me my brother, for all of you reading I say train hard and have fun!

If you like LiveTheMachLife so far, 2015 is going to rock.

Special thanks to: My father John Machado my mentor, and my uncles Rigan, Roger, Jean-Jacques and Carlos who each helped me in a certain way. And to Carlos and Helio Gracie who gave us this wonderful art.
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Monday, 23 March 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 31 - Romulo Barral vs. Saulo Ribeiro - 2007 Worlds

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

After taking a week off, I'm back with another Match of the Week! This week's match is Romulo Barral vs. Saulo Ribeiro from medium heavy finals of the 2007 Worlds. 

Romulo Barral is a black belt under Vinicius "Draculino" Magalhães and represents Gracie Barra. Romulo is one of the best fighters in the medium heavy weight division and in the world. In 2007, Gracie Mag named Romulo as the number one BJJ competitor in the world. Today, Romulo runs a very successful academy, Gracie Barra Northridge.

Romulo is a four time World Champion (2013, 2012, 2009, 2007), a two time Pan American (2007 weight & absolute), Brazilian National (2007, 2006), and Asian Open Champion (2006 weight & absolute), and a one-time ADCC (2013), European (2013), and World NoGi Champion (2009). He is also a six time World Silver Medalist (2014, 2011, 2010 weight & absolute, 2009 absolute, 2007 absolute) and Pan American Bronze Medalist (2013 weight & absolute, 2006).

When you think of spider guard, you automatically think of Romulo Barral. Over the years, he has become synonymous with the position. Submissions wise, Romulo is also well known for the use of the triangle throughout his matches. He executes this very well from the spider guard position. He also uses the cross collar choke from mount extremely well.

Romulo Barral

Saulo Ribeiro is a true legend in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. He is a 4th degree black belt under Royler Gracie and is also a black belt in Judo. Saulo is the older brother of two time absolute World Champion, Xande Ribeiro. After a long and impressive career in Jiu-Jitsu, Saulo was inducted into the IBJJF Hall of Fame in 2012.

It’s no surprise to find out that Saulo has won numerous major titles throughout his long career in our sport. He is a five time World Champion (2002, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997), a four time World Masters and Seniors Champion (2013 weight & absolute, 2012 weight & absolute), a three time Brazilian National Champion (1998 weight & absolute, 1996), a two time ADCC (2003, 2000) and Pan American Champion (1998 weight & absolute), and a one-time World NoGi Champion (2008).

Having a black belt in Judo, it’s not really a surprise that Saulo is known for his throws and takedowns. One takedown he uses frequently throughout his matches is the Kouchi Gari, but he also uses both single and double leg takedowns, especially in NoGi. For the most part, Saulo is a top player. Obviously, at the level that he is, his guard is very good also, but he seems to prefer the top game. The choke from the mount is a favourite submission of Saulo's.

Saulo Ribeiro

I actually only saw this match not so long ago. I must say I was impressed! This fight is almost eight years old, but I really did think it was great. It starts off really good for the first few minutes, with both competitors exchanging sweeps and submission attempts. It does slow down a little in the middle and near the end, but I still thought it was a great match overall. 

The video of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Monday, 9 March 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 30 - Caio Terra vs. Samuel Braga - 2007 NoGi Worlds

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Welcome, to the 30th edition of Match of the Week. This week’s match is a great one! It is Caio Terra vs. Samuel Braga from the 2007 NoGi Worlds. 

Caio Terra is a black belt under Paulo Mauricio Strauch and represents his own team, CTBJJA (Caio Terra BJJ Association). Caio is one of the most talented competitors of all time, utilising superb technique throughout his matches due to his small size. Terra's journey to the black belt is also one of the fastest in history, with it only taking him three and a half years.

As well as being one of the most technical, Caio is also one of the most decorated champions in history. He is a seven time World NoGi Champion (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008), and a three time Pan American Champion (2013, 2012, 2011). He is also a two time World (2013, 2008), European (2014, 2015), European NoGi (2013 weight & absolute), and Pan American NoGi Champion (2011, 2010). 

Caio is best known for the use of his dynamic half guard game, and his reliance on 'modern' Jiu-Jitsu techniques. This is something that Caio has become especially known for in recent years. Due to his small size, Caio demonstrates phenomenal technique in his matches. He really is living proof of technique always conquering strength. 

Caio Terra

Samuel Braga is a black belt under Vinicius "Draculino" Magalhaes and fights for Gracie Barra. Samuel is best known as being one of the fathers of berimbolo, a technique which is very popular in competition today. Today, Samuel runs his own academy in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Again, Just like Caio, Samuel is a very accomplished competitor. He is a five time World (2010, 2008, 2005, 2004 brown, 2002 purple) and Brazilian National Champion (2005 brown, 2004, 2003 purple, 2002, 2001 blue). He is also a one time World NoGi (2007), Pan American (2004 brown), Brazilian National Teams Champion (2003 purple).

As I mentioned earlier, Samuel is one of the original people to use the berimbolo. As a result, you see him utilise this position a lot in his matches. He also uses the de la riva guard to great effect throughout his matches. 

Samuel Braga

Both of these fighters have very similar styles, so it makes for an interesting match. Both competitors show off their tricky guard work, and they exchange sweeps, back take and leg lock attempts. A very good match!

The video of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

10 Years of BJJ - My Jiu-Jitsu Journey - Part 13 (Swimming in the Deep End)

(If you haven't read the previous part, you can find it HERE)

I just got wrecked in the Welsh Open by a guy half my size. F***! Never mind, back to training I go.

Me and my brother went back to training for a week or two, and then something happened which at first kind of shocked me. However, it turned out to be one of the best experiences if life. My instructor asked me and my brother if we would like to move into the adult class. Man, I was a little shocked to say the least. Bear in mind, me and my brother were only 14 years old at this point. Heck, my voice hadn't even dropped. 

To be honest, we didn't really think about it. We just said yes. At this point, there was nobody our size in the kid’s class and now we would be going into an environment where everybody would be stronger and bigger than us. That aspect of it I didn't really care about. If it would make me better and get me closer to green belt, I would do it. 

The whole day before my first adult class, I was so nervous. I'm talking like competition type nervous. I don't even know why, but I was shitting myself. Even though I had trained in the kid’s class for years, I didn't know what to expect from the adult class. 

When we arrive, there were about 20 - 25 people there. In those days, there were hardly any blue belts on the mat at one time. You would be lucky to have five on the mat at the same time. If I remember correctly, there were about 3 blue belts there on that day. 

The warm up was pretty much exactly the same as the kid’s class. Obviously, it was a little harder, but it wasn't too overwhelming. 

I remember the technique we did like it happened yesterday. We covered de la riva guard with some sweeps and the transition to the back. I remember just sitting there being so baffled. In all my years of doing Jiu-Jitsu, I had never seen de la riva guard before. It was like I had been eating from the same menu for years and then suddenly somebody took me to a buffet where there was so much more variety. I was exposed to a whole new world.

Man, I've never had so much fun doing a technique. It took me a little while to get it, especially the correct angle, but man it was a blast. I think that is one of my most memorable moments in Jiu-Jitsu as crazy at that might sound to some people. 

After doing technique for about 30 minutes, we got onto rolling. The first roll was just with my brother, so nothing unexpected about that. The next round was with a guy called Chris, who at the time was a one stripe white belt. Actually, he wasn't really that much bigger than me, but he was super skinny. In short I got absolutely wrecked by this guy. But honestly, I had so much fun! I realised that everything from now on would be a challenge. There would be no easy rolls. 

Next round, same thing again, I get totally trashed by this bald headed short guy. I didn't even know his name, but he just completely schooled me. I still had a blast though. I finally realised here that I couldn't just use my size to my advantage like I did in the kid’s class and just bully everybody. No, now I had to really develop technique if I was going to stand any sort of chance with these guys, or I would just be smashed every time. 

At the end of that session, I finally 'got it'. I realised why people loved Jiu-Jitsu so much and why it consumed their lives. As a kid, I would hear adults all the time say they loved Jiu-Jitsu and they were obsessed with it. However, I couldn't really understand that. There were times where I hated Jiu-Jitsu, and I didn't want to do it anymore. Even during times where I liked Jiu-Jitsu, I was never completely in love with it and it didn't consume everything I did.

But that evening, I got that Jiu-Jitsu 'bug' which infects all of us. I got to experience firsthand what Jiu-Jitsu was. It was like I had been living in a black and white world, and finally somebody showed me a world of colour. That was one of the best days of my life and something I will never forget. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this part of 'My Jiu-Jitsu Journey', and the next part will be uploaded soon.   

Catch you later,

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Monday, 2 March 2015

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 29 - Jeff Glover vs. Leo Vieira - ADCC 2007

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Jeff "The Pipelayer" Glover is a black belt under Ricardo "Franjinha" Miller and fights for Team Paragon. Jeff is one of the best American grapplers in the world today and holds victories over multiple time World Champions, Caio Terra and Robson Moura. He is also a fan favourite at competitions, demonstrating a very creative and unorthodox style of Jiu-Jitsu. 

Jeff is a 27 time Grapplers Quest Champion, only losing 4 times over 8 years of competing in their tournaments. To date, this is the best record in Grapplers Quest history. Besides this, Jeff is also a two time Pan American Champion (2006, 2005 brown), and a one time World NoGi (2007 black) and World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Superfight Champion (2012). He is also a one-time ADCC (2011) bronze medalist. 

As I mentioned previously, Jeff's style of Jiu-Jitsu is very unique to say the least. He is especially creative with the types of guard which he uses, most notably the deep half and donkey guard. In terms of submissions, Jeff uses quite a diverse range of submissions including the triangle, guillotine, darce choke, knee bar and rear naked. 

Jeff Glover

Leonardo Vieira (commonly known as simply Leo Vieira) is a true legend in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. He is a black belt under Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti, and is the co-founder of both Brasa and Checkmat BJJ. He is also the instructor to some of today's finest talents such as Marcus "Bucheca" Almeida, Joao Assis, and Lucas Leite. 

Over is long competition career, Leo has formed an impressive competition record. He is a two time ADCC (2005, 2003) and Pan American Champion (2004, 2002), and a one time World (1999) and Brazilian National Champion (1998). He is also a two time ADCC silver medalist (2011, 2007), and a one time World silver (1997) and bronze (2000) medalist. 

Leo is well known for his guard passing and back takes. For his time, Leo had quite a unique and flamboyant style of grappling. Often executing cartwheel style guard passes and taking his opponents back by initiating a forward roll whilst in the turtle position, this has since become known as simply the Leo Vieira back take. 

Leo Vieira

When this match took place, Jeff had only been a black belt for about a year. So considering that, he does phenomenally well in this match against a legend such as Leo Vieira. Jeff's unique game seems to cause trouble for Vieira throughout the match, but both competitors exchange and sweep attempts throughout. An excellent match. 

The video of the match can be found below! I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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