Interview Augusto Ferrari – 22 May 2015
Why did you start training BJJ and what’s your training background regarding BJJ, Grappling and other martial arts?
I started training Jiu Jitsu when I was 14 years old because I was a little fat and I had long hair so people sometimes confused me for a girl. I was sad with that so I shaved my hair off and I started training Jiu Jitsu like a mad-man. I was already doing Judo but I fell in love with Jiu Jitsu.
What are your main titles and which are you most proud of?
Brazilian champion and ADCC trials champ.
What kept you motivated during so many years?
My competition is against myself, it is not against any other athlete or person. I want to prove to myself all the time that I can stop or go back to training and competing anytime I wish no matter how hard it is.
What influence did BJJ and your experience on the mat have on your everyday life?
Jiu Jitsu made me more responsible and taught me not to leave everyday problems to be solved later. I do everything right away and I don’t give up on my projects. I go all the way, until I make my dreams come true.
What are your activities besides Jiu Jitsu ?
Cross fit, Fitness and running.
What is your opinion about the different rules and federations?
I only recognize as federation the CBJJ/IBJJF/FPJJ, the rest I don’t know and don’t want to be a part of. Every year they take more rules from Jiu Jitsu, opening more space for power and less space for techniques. Sports Jiu Jitsu is becoming a very robotic Jiu Jitsu.
Do you prefer points or submission only?
I like both, but I seek to make points first, control and then try to submit.
Do you have favorite techniques and positions and why?
I do but I get bored with them easily, I always change. I like to create, sometimes I would like to use the same position all the time maybe that would help me in competition. Use few moves but do them very well.
How did you manage to handle the injuries?
I am religious and I have learned to value the soul than the body. That is why when the body breaks we have to maintain a strong mind, fix the broken body and fight. We cannot let our minds be broken.
What is your vision on how jiu jitsu is developing (oldschool vs newschool)?
To me Jiu Jitsu has changed a lot. Like I said before, today we have a robotic Jiu Jitsu or in other words, everybody wants to use the same popular positions. We have a repetitive Jiu Jitsu where everyone practices the same positions. Before it used to be pressure Jiu Jitsu and today we have a jumping around Jiu Jitsu, but I respect the changes and I try to adapt myself and my game to the two styles.
Can you give us your view on fighting with or without the gi. Is one more important or do they simply complement each other?
I like both styles very much and I think they complement each other. But I believe that no gi favors athletes who are less technical and who use more strength.
What were the most important revelations in terms of understanding the game and how did they improve your skills?
I think training without gi helps to gain more reflexes and cardio because there is more movement involved and is more slippery. I like to train without the gi when my fingers hurt. Then I can continue training while resting my grips.
What is their favorite pre-/post training meal?
Since I train in the morning at 11AM I put a lot of carbs into my breakfast;
Whole wheat bread, sweet potato, jelly, bananas, black coffee, BCCA and glutamine.
When need carbs before the training and more protein after training. After training I eat meat, eggs, fish, fruits and fruit juices and less pasta after class. Ahh, and I believe a lot in black coffee before training…pure and strong hehe!
Do you do any other things specifically to improve your performance in Jiu Jitsu, such as Yoga, Cardio training, Rope climbing etc?
I think firstly you should train Jiu Jitsu at least once a day before thinking about any other kind of training. I always advise weightlifting and running. Crossfit is very advanced and a lot of people get injured because they start training crossfit before tey know how to lift properly.
How is your training preparation for a tournament?
My training is almost always the same. I roll for one hour every day, lift weights and run.
Why do most practitioners choose to not do tournaments after earning their black belt?
Maybe because they lose focus? Or they chill out? They are satisfied being a black belt? I don’t know, but to me you either are a competitor or you aren’t. If you are a competitor you never stop. You can compete less, but you’ll always try because it’s in your blood.
Who are your role models in BJJ and Grappling?
Those have always been my training partners, sometimes there’s no need to be famous. Just be the one putting effort and help every day!
What are the most important things to make you a good fighter?
To be the same person on and off the mat.
Respect the students and teachers. Value your family, dedicate yourself, know how to lose as well and do everything with a lot of love.