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BJJ Veteran Eduardo Rocha Training Winners in SF Bay
At first glance, Eduardo Rocha seems to be just a meat-bound bald guy, like you see brooding in the bench weight of lost. On both sides, he was very nervous. With copper-colored eyes that pin you to your place like a note on a chalkboard, Rocha doesn’t look like he has too much trouble in the dark.
At 43, Rocha is a fourth-degree black belt and world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter. When not training for competition, Rocha stays busy with a fast-growing school, an even faster-growing son, and Libra’s hobbies: surfing, snowboarding, and fashion. suitable.
Although a peace-loving nature may seem at odds with his chosen profession, Rocha’s long years of fighting have taught him to choose his battles with great care.
“Sometimes drunk people want to be with me,” he said. “And I think Man, you don’t know what you’re doing. But I just let it go. It is not necessary to make the problem. “
Rocha’s Libran equilibrium comes in handy for more than just ripping waves and avoiding fights. The process of immigration requires surfing skills of the soul. An émigré leaves not only home and family, but his sense of self behind. Experiencing a new culture, a new language and a new life means seeing the world through new eyes. The World becomes a 3D version of Space Wally, too you are Wally. It takes a while to see yourself new with your new eyes in your new world in the cycle of learning and forgetting, leaving and returning, connecting and releasing leave. When you throw business and raising a child into the mix, everyone can feel stressed. But Rocha seems to take it all the way.
“When I first came here, everybody told me, ‘Look, there’s some bad neighborhood here.’ They never saw the one favelas in Brazil. This place is Disneyland. “
Born near the sea, Rocha’s first love was water. But when his family moved from the quiet town of Gavea to the reality of Rio, young Eduardo found a new priority: survival. So he traded his fins for fists and his glasses for a gi and began his long love affair with war.
After starting training in his youth, Rocha received his black belt at the age of 27 from BJJ legend Royler Gracie. Now a fourth-degree black belt, Rocha has competed for years in seemingly endless Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments—with similar titles—both here and in Brazil. Rocha also competed in a discipline called Vale Tudo, which means what’s going on As the name implies, Vale Tudo is a no-holds-barred, pull-down pull-out whack-’em-with-a-chair combination of Thai Boxing, Brazilian Jiu -Jitsu, and the original meaning.
Besides the great knowledge of technique and form, Rocha’s preparation involved countless hours spent perfecting the beautiful art of punching.
How do you learn to take a punch?
Rocha smiled brightly. “You let someone beat you until they’re tired. Then, you let someone else beat you.”
Needless to say, Vale Tudo has a high rate of attrition, and Rocha’s love for his teeth eventually won out over the dubious attractions of testosterone-soaked poundfests at Vale Tudo. Since then, he has dedicated his time and energy exclusively to teaching and training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Rocha’s life has had more than its fair share of ups and downs, but he talks about it with the tone and perspective of an accountant doing an audit. The eldest of three siblings, Rocha felt the weight of responsibility at a young age. His fighting spirit seems to have been rewarded by Libra parents who keep his family background balanced with a smile on his face and samba music in the background.
“It used to infect me,” says Rocha, referring to the feelings of every teenager from the early days who were embarrassed by their parents’ love of music. “Now, I see why he likes it. It makes you feel—you know—happy.”
Blood and betrayal, sun and shadow, divine intervention and evil spirits—all are part of Rocha’s own Brazilian soap opera. After a near death in a car accident, a fight that went wrong and the birth of a son, Eduardo Rocha decided it was time to start thinking about the future. Rocha came to the East Bay in November of 2004 with a suitcase, a surfboard, and a dream of building something that would last for himself and his family. His unique personality attracted immediate attention and Rocha became their Prophet of Pain, on a sacred mission to free the real men of the East Bay from their inner girls.
The unflappable attitude BJJ inspires practitioners along with his undeniable talent has been a recipe for success for Rocha in Oakland. In a sport where black belt instructors are treated like rock stars, Rocha is the king of his own brand of Rocha ‘n’ Roll. Anger with the game can make people who have not yet heard Jiu-Jitsu’s call, but those who have happened to think and talk about nothing else. The discussion of BJJ fighters revolves around three things: submissions they almost get; here they are do can; and however new will change the game forever- or until next week, whichever comes first.
Eduardo Rocha maneuvers through the changing and conflicting loyalties of the California Jiu-Jitsu scene with seemingly unflappable Libran aplomb.
When asked to explain his success, the crocodile became impatient.
“It’s my charisma,” said Rocha.
It will be. But with the future on the horizon, Eduardo Rocha talks to me about the past.
Why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
My city, Rio, is very heavy. I need to find something to protect me and my brothers.
Why not a gun?
Because the gun will put you in jail, fast. There are a lot of fights in Rio, but most of them don’t involve guns. The guns are in the favelas. At least, that’s how it was when I started out. Now it’s different. Now it is war.
What’s with all the fighting?
If you want to be respected in Brazil, you have to be able to prove that you are strong.
Wait a moment. Is Jiu-Jitsu a fight, or a game, or what?
Jiu-Jitsu is everything. Fighting, sports, and games.
In America we have a saying: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play.” What is important to you?
Yes. In Brazil, there is no room for second place. You are the first or the last. In Brazil we say: “The second is the first place of the losers”.
Is that why you moved to California?
I stayed in California because there was a door open for me at the time. California is the capital of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in America. I was here earlier for the competition, and when the door opened, I walked in.
Jiu-Jitsu seems like a pretty macho sport. How is your school for the diversity of the East Bay?
There are a few macho guys in the East Bay too. Not much, but some.
What do non-macho people get from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
My school is open to everyone, but Jiu-Jitsu is not for everyone.
What is your greatest fear?
In this world, sharks. In the other world, evil spirits.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
On a large ship, travel alone. The ocean will be my next challenge, when I can’t use my body to fight anymore.
I heard that there are sharks in the ocean.
(Rocha laughs) That is good. I like to be scared. Adrenaline makes me feel alive.
Nope. I don’t like it, but you have to learn with it.
Your name means “rock” in Portuguese. Do you feel like a rock?
I try to be strong like one.
They heat up in the sun.
So do snakes.
We all adapt to the situation.
The stone is broken.
That’s the bad thing about rock.
I think no one is perfect.
If you could be another Eduardo Rocha, who would you be?
One does not need anyone.
Or a shark.
If you could turn back the clock, is there anything in your life you would change?
Everything. I made a lot of mistakes in my life. I had to learn the hard way. Sometimes you have to walk through hell to find a way.
You have many medals and trophies. What are you most happy about?
Medals do not make the fighter. You are what you are. What I am most proud of is living here, living in a strange country. Show people that I can do anything, not fight like a bull.
What is your pet peeve?
People are weak. People who always look for the easy way out.
What do you like about America?
The way Americans do business. Here, you can get something done. In Brazil, it’s all about having a good time.
How do you define happiness?
Beautiful women, my son, and a great day for surfing.
What else does Jiu-Jitsu give you besides the muscles and other rewards?
Jiu-Jitsu gives me balance. It teaches you how to survive when you are not on top, and how to adapt to bad situations.
What is your main motivation?
Do you have a hero?
Nope. But I like Batman.
This interview was conducted in 2006 in Oakland, California.
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