Here’s an interview with Maurico Cristo an upcoming BJJ champ, who will teach a seminar tonight in Amsterdam!
Why did you start training BJJ and what’s your training background regarding BJJ, Grappling and other martial arts?
I started because a friend of mine invited me to do 1 class just to try, I liked it right away. I`m currently training in Abu Dhabi where I live and teach I have many partners who help me a lot to get in shape for the competition and my professor Cicero Costha who motivates me mentally all the time,I training grappling twice a week and thats all.
What are your main titles and which are you most proud of?
I`m World Champion Brown and Black Belt by CBJJE in Sao Paulo Brazil third place at the Europeans Open Weight and Super Heavy champion of the Munich Open IBJJF and European No Gi Champion IBJJF. I`m proud of all my titles. My biggest dream is to become World Champion by IBJJF.
What kept you motivated during so many years?
My motivation is to try to be the best in every training, not better than my partners but better than I was yesterday not only in jiu jitsu but as a person as well
What influence did BJJ and your experience on the mat have on your everyday life?
Jiu Jitsu changed my life completely; the way I treat people, my education and personality how I conduce my life it’s all because of jiujitsu.
What are your activities besides Jiu Jitsu ?
I like to play video game (UFC), and I love to spend time with my dog, wife and my friends.
What is your opinion about the different rules and federations? Do you prefer points or submission only?
The rules change every year which is good because they are trying to make the sport better, but about the federations I think they should think more about the athletes. Which are the guys who give the show. The UAE federation (Abu Dhabi Pro) they give prize money in every competition and this motivate the competitors, I prefer points and submission but when you play against top level guys points makes the difference.
Do you have favorite techniques and positions and why?
I’m a bit flexible so I like to play spider guard and x-guard a lot since I`m purple belt I think because of my partners trainers like Leandro Lo, Paulo Miyao, Yago,Augusto Ferrari and many other good guys.
How did you manage to handle the injuries? This can be very demotivating.
Injuries happen a lot but I never had a serious one only normal so for me is difficult to talk about that.
What is your vision on how jiu jitsu is developing (oldschool vs newschool)?
I`m from the new generation I have only 8 years of jiujitsu so I love the new school but my professor is old school so if you combine both is perfect.
Any tips for beginners? What should beginners focus on ? i think they should focus on basic positions and try to do a lot of competition and keep your ego outside of the mat. Thats my advice.
Can you give us your view on fighting with or without the gi. Is one more important or do they simply complement each other? For me GI is much more technical than NO GI but definitely they complement each other.
What were the most important revelations in terms of understanding the game and how did they improve your skills? I think the first thing that you have to understand is which game you have or which one you like to play from there you start to work on the techniques but basically the most important revelation that I have is try to understand your jiu jitsu try to find the mistakes in every training and then you will improve your skills.
What is their favorite pre-/post training meal?
Pre training I like something light as a fruit or a shake. Post training food that was lots of carbs like pasta or if on the diet rice with salad.
Do you do any other things specifically to improve your performance in Jiu Jitsu, such as Yoga, Cardio training, Rope climbing etc? I do only jiu jitsu. I drill a lot, that’s my cardio and I do a lot of rolls. Specially when I`m tired in the end of the training and to improve even more my cardio I like to drill in the beginning of the class and in the end to get exhausted.
How is your training preparation for a tournament? I train every day twice a day; one training I do drills and specific sparring and the second training drills and sparring. I train around 4-5 hours per day.
Why do most practitioners choose to not do tournaments after earning their black belt? I think because of the level is very high and sometimes you get demotivating or some guys are injury it depends on what your goal is. You know, sometimes the guys he just want to be a black belt a good professor, the best professor is not the best competitor and the best competitor is not always the best professor so it depends on your goal.
Who are your role models in BJJ and Grappling?
Leandro Lo, Romulo Barral and Marcelo Garcia these are the guys that inspire me
What are the most important things to make you a good fighter? Be humble, no ego, keep the focus and train really hard.