Terere’s Padawan: the Rise of a BJJ Prodigy

Special feature written by Terere’s student Andrew Morris, aka Moz, who spent a year training in the mecca of Jiu Jitsu living it up favela style in the Cantagalo community alongside his hero, Fernando Terere. Read more from Moz on his blog Tales from Deep Half.

After spending an entire year training at Terere’s Academy in Ipanema, Rio, I felt very much part of the family. It had been a pleasure to train each day with the children and teens of the social project as well as my adult counterparts. So returning after a nine month absence I couldn’t wait to get on the mats and see the maturation of these young athletes. What I wasn’t prepared for, was spending an inordinate amount of time trying to kill one of them.
Terere’s social project has a Jiu-Jitsu protégé, Jhonathan Marques or ‘Moricano’ (mohawk) as he is affectionately known to his team mates and any unfortunate gringo who happens to visit the FT academy. He is a fourteen year old orange belt who lives with his Mum and sister in the Pavao section of the Cantagalo favela. The same community which raised his mentor and mestre, Fernando Terere as well as many other stars of the sport including Jackson Sousa and Alan Finfou and Bruno Matias.

During my first stint at the academy Moricano stood out as a young, hard working yellow belt who already possessed a ridiculously difficult Miyao brothers-esque guard. His guard retrieval was awesome and I used to love trying to pass this tricky guard using the appropriate amount of pressure for a twelve year old who weighs sixty kilos.
My first night back, I was straight on the mats to witness him obliterate competition level blue belts as well giving purple and brown belts a torrid time. I wasn’t able to roll with my young friend that night and due to a competition at the weekend (which he won), I had to wait until Monday to try to test his game. After seeing how devastating his game had become, my weekend was spent wisely discussing with prior victims how to pass this guard. Admittedly, I spent far too much time over those two days fathoming the game of a fourteen year old and how I planned to kill it.


When Monday came, I was primed and ready to go. I was then more than elated when I passed his guard to the cheers of onlookers in the academy. With the awareness he was essentially a child, I resisted the urge to jump up and bust out my victory dance. However the balance was truly restored when I spent the next five minutes trying to desperately avoid being swept in his Rubix Cube like guard game. Then the inevitable occurred in the last 20 seconds, as I posted to defend a sweep the little dude arm-barred me.
Whilst writing this, I worked out that I had rolled with him six times, each round lasting seven minutes, so that is forty two minutes of combined mat time. During that entire time, I have passed his guard on that sole occasion

Going back to that ‘appropriate amount of pressure’ I mentioned previously, that has not factored in at all. Each time we roll, I literally attempt to kill him, using every single bit of pressure I can amass but to no avail! He is unquestionably a phenom with an outstanding all-around game that doesn’t simply rely on this devastating guard, which he explains originates from studiously pouring over the game’s of the Mendes Brothers and Keenan Cornelius. He has rapid fire submissions coupled with tenacious passing which he has achieved by studying another of his favourite competitors Leandro Lo.

Moricano is a shining example of the incredible, transformative program at the FT Academy. He came up through the children’s program before training in the adults class. Furthermore he balances full-time schooling with a full-time commitment to Jiu-Jitsu. This hard-work has paid dividends as he has amassed an awesome amount of medals. This past April, he traveled to Sao Paulo and became a Brazilian Nation Champion at the IBJJF Brazilian Nationals which is one of the most prestigious competitions in the Jiu-Jitsu calender. This is in addition to a whole host of other titles including back to back victories in the last two weekends in the the FJJD Mineirio & CBJJO Mundials respectively.
The perils of the favela and the street life which tempts so many of its youth is not something which is a concern for Moricano. He sees his future as traveling the world competing in Jiu-Jitsu, his ultimate goal is to become a world champion. As well as one day settling down in his own academy. As a good looking and successful young dude, the only thing I could see standing in his way is the allure of the opposite sex. However when I questioned him on this, he reassured me that he was in a committed relationship with Jiu-Jitsu, this might be the best answer I have received for any question ever!

A special debt of gratitude to BJJ Hacks for putting this together putting this technique video of Moricano’s favourite technique the Berimbolo. 

Berimbolo Instructional
w/ Moicano and Moz

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Moleza on Competiting in Sao Paulo

Moleza, Mudinho, and Moicano back at the FT gym

We recently sat down with sponsored athlete Gabriel Barcelar more commonly known as Moleza to ask him some questions about his trip to compete in Brazilian Nationals.

Moleza recently traveled to Sao Paulo for 6 days to compete in IBJJF Brazilian National Championship with two teammates and social project administrator, Nico Ball. Through donations given to Terere Kids Project, we were able to raise over R900 to fund the trip to Sao Paulo! Seeing as this is the only IBJJF competition open to kids their age, Moicanoand Moleza put in some major work to make it down to Sao Paulo and add these medals to their curriculums! We want to give a big shout out to our sponsors who contributed to making this trip happen: Ball All Day LongDeus Fight CoI Aint No Saint Tattoo Studio, and Phoenix MMA

1. Have you ever competed in an ibjjf tournament? Why is this tournament so important to you? 

No, this tournament is different from others that I’ve competed in because all of the top guys go there to compete.

This tournament was important to me because competing for CBJJ/IBJJF Brazilian Nationals was one of my goals for 2015. I was able to realize my dream thanks to sponsorship from Nico Ball and Jimmy Johnston (owner of our FT England affiliate)

 2. Do you always train with the same people? 

 I train during with the adults so that my Jiu jitsu will evolve more.

Moleza with his teacher Fabricio and our host Vanderli Silva
aka Alemao (german)

 3. How long have you been training jiu jitsu?

 I’ve been training BJJ for 2 years. One of my goals, that I was just able to accomplish, was to compete in Brazilian nationals. Now I want to continue traveling and fighting outside of Rio and to get my Orange belt at the end of the year.

 4. Describe your trip to Sao Paulo. Fala um pouco da sua experienca em Sao Paulo.

Moleza and Moicano hanging out in Sao Paulo



The trip to Sao Paulo was a little exhausting. I took a bus with Jhonathan Marques (Moicano) and Nico Ball. Fabricio Silva (Birrinho) ended up missing the bus due to a denist appointment so we had to wait for him at the bus station in Sao Paulo. Once Birrinho arrived we went to Alemao’s house. Alemao is a friend of ours and a black belt under Terere. He picked us up at the bus station and we spent the week in Sao Paulo with him. He treated us really well!

Training Wednesday night

The next day (Wednesday) we woke up, ate breakfast and went to train in one of the gyms were he teaches BJJ. Then we went back to his house to rest until the PM training in a different gym. After training again at night we went to the store to buy food to take to the tournament.

Thursday we went to the first day of the tournament to watch Nico Ball in action. She started the fight good but ended up giving her back and being submitted. The stadium was really big and gave me a different idea of how fighting can be. Friday we went to train in the morning, rested during the day, and then rested for the competition the next day.

Moleza with one of his idols…
one of the Miyao brothers!

Saturday Birrinho, Moicano, and I all fought. Birrinho was champion and so Moicano. I came in 3rd place I got to see a lot of good fighters like Rodolfo Viera, Jaoa Miyao, Paulo Miyao, Renato Cardoso, Eberto Santos, and a lot more.

This trip was a dream come true and I have to thank God and my sponsors Jimmy Johnstone and Nico Ball for making it a reality!

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SJJSAF Results

This Saturday the FT team joined with Carioca BJJ to compete in the SJJSAF Rio Challenge tournament. 25 Athletes competed under the name FT Carioca, winning 7th place in the over all team rankings! We would like to give a special thanks to instructors Julio Nogueira and Fabricio Silva for taking such good care of our athletes as they prepared for the tournament!

Lucca Da Silva was somewhat dismayed to find out that we registered him in a weight class above his own so that he would have a fight, but he stepped up to the challange whole heartedly.

Lucca Guillerme com sua medalha de SJJSAF

Moleza also fought above his weight class and was unable to gain an advantage on the bigger opponents in his weight class. Either way, he stayed true to the Brazilian saying “never give up”, he fought his heart out Saturday and arrived at the gym Monday ready to keep training for the next competition!

Pezao on the bottom. 

Pezao, a yellow belt who recently started training at the academy, fought for the first time this Saturday. He won his first fight but was disqualified in his second fight for a small mistake!

Leo, one of the newer additions to the FT team brought home a gold medal. He won his first and only fight on points. Monday evening he was back on the mats focused on competing next Saturday at the FJJD Rio ranking tournament.

Jhonathan Marques, aka, Moicano came in 1st place after 3 hard fights. Going into his 3rd fight, the finals, he ended the time tied with a tough opponent from Nova Uniao. The crowd was going crazy cheering as they went into extended time, the first one to score points would take home the gold medal. Moicano was able to score 3 points with a torreando pass securing his place at the top of the podium. Now his goal is to earn the money he needs to travel to Sao Paulo next month to compete in IBJJF Brasileiros.

Nogueira on the Podium in his 
Deus Fight  Kimono!

Finally, we come to Professor Nogueira. Nogueira brought home a gold medal in the black belt super heavy weight division with his students from Terere’s Kids Projects cheering him on from the side lines. Now, Nogueira plans on registering for IBJJF for the first time ever to compete in some of the more prestigious Jiu Jitsu tournaments like Rio Open, Brasileiros, Sul Americanos, and Worlds (in California).

We would like to end by thanking our sponsors Deus Fight Co in California, Cascagrossa in Sao Paulo, and I Ain’t No Saint Tattoo Studios in England for their continous support of the athletes fromt he Cantagalo/ Pavao/ Pavaozinho community.

Moleza’s battle from last month’s FJJD Rio 
Ranking tournament 
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New Years News

Before breaking for the holidays, FT academy held their annual graduation ceremony. Friends from the community stopped by to watch and take pictures as students were called up to receive new belts or strips. We would like to give a special congratulations to our student Alexandre, who finally received his brown belt and to Professor Nogueira for receiving his first stripe on his black belt. 
Shortly after the ceremony, we had a special visit from Eduardo Telles, founder of  99 academy, who stopped by to visit his old friend and teacher. In 2002 when the Alliance team split, Telles and Terere formed the TT Jiu Jitsu team, unfortunately, despite their early success, the team broke up when Terere started to experience personal problems in 2004.

Since then, Telles moved to San Diego and started the 99 academy. The name 99 is symbolic of being one step away from perfection, or 100%, something that every jiu jiteiro strives to achieve in the endless hours that they put in on the mats mastering techniques. Although he is a successful gym owner, Telles has been waiting for the return of his long time friend and teacher, Terere, to graduate him and finally give him 3 stripes on his black belt. 

We also have to give a big thank you to Cascagrossa kimonos from Sao Paulo and I Aint No Saint Tattoo Studios, in England, for  providing kids kimonos for the academy. We received a total of 20 kimonos from Cascagrossa in Sao Paulo so that we can provide uniforms to kids in the Cantagalo community that want to start training Jiu Jitsu. Our sponsored athlete, Caue, has recruited in several of his friends from the soccer fields. 
Kids from the social project wearing new kimonos
for the graduation ceremony

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CBJJO RIO OPEN CHAMPIONS
Lucca, Moicano, Professor Nogueira, Vinicius, Gabriel

Although we are only 2 weeks into 2015, the FT team has already started competing. Thanks to donations sent from abroad, 5 kids entered into CBJJO’s Rio Open tournament that took place Saturday, January 10th, all of whom brought home medals!

Although it is summer time here, and kids are on break from school our athletes don’t mess around. MolezaMoicanoLuccaGabriel, and Vinicius have been training twice a day in order to prepare for the first competition after their belt promotion. They will be returning to the mats again with our younger students for FJJD Rio’s first ranking competition of the year on January 1st and February 2nd.

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Favela Jiu Jitsu

Lastly, we are proud to announce the release of the first set of technique videos, Favela Jiu Jitsu, that was filmed by Budo Videos. The first set of videos covers all of Master Terere’s guard passing secrets so be sure to buy your copy today.

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Terere on Top

Rio Open
Competition season has started in Brazil with some of the most important IBJJF tournaments already down for the count and several more around the corner. Renan Gabriel, an FT athlete and Cantagalo resident, represented the FT academy in the purple belt division at Rio Open.                                                                       Competing at high level tournaments like Rio open and the demanding training that it requires to prepare often presents a serious problem for athletes from the Cantagalo community. In addition to evening training session, Renan also has a full time job and is studying busy at a local university. This year has marked mainly highlights in Renan´s life; not only did he recently receive his purple belt from Mestre Terere, his wife and he were also blessed with their first son (who we expect to see here on the mats soon). 

One of Renans fights from Rio Open

Sao Paulo Open
With only a little over a month left here in Brazil Mos, our resident gringo, hopped in the car and headed to Sao Paulo and Mestre Terere for a road trip to Sao Paulo. Mos competed Saturday and Sunday, tackling two tough divisions in both Gi and NoGi. Saturday Gi division did not bring the desired results, but in the true cascagrossa* spirit, Mos stepped back onto the mats determined to bring some medal back to Rio with him.

And he did….
He stepped off the mats victorious with two fights and two finishes and a elated Terere cheering him on.

*Casscagrossa: literally translated means hard shell. It is a term commonly used in the BJJ community to for someone that is persistent, who never gives in, who is resistent, and who is hard to be defeated. 

FJJDRIO Brasileiros


As we go down the list of competitions, we also go down in size. The FT kids team from the Fernando Terere social project compited the weekend of the August 16th in the 4th ranking competition for FJJD Rio. The project received sponsorship for 12 athletes who in turn brought home 10 medals. This wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the donations sent from supporters of the academy that covered the competition. If interested in sponsoring an athlete from FT academy and lending a hand to help the kids of the Cantagalo community please contact the academy or donate via PayPal.

Meet some
Athletes from the Cantagalo Community

There are not many females that train at Academy Fernando Terere, but sponsored athlete Daniele Silva doesn’t let that stop her from getting in some serious training. While most girls spend their time gossiping on the street and doing their hair and nails, Daniele is working on berimbolos and balloon sweeps. As a female in a male dominated sport, Daniele often has trouble finding girls in her division, but this time around that was not the case. Daniele won her first fight in the FJJD Rio Brasileiros via Armbar. Unfortunately, she faced the same girl in the finals and lost a tough fight on points.

Daniele on the podium this at FJJD Rio
Brasileiros
Vinicius is one of the new athletes on the FT team, but we are happy to have him here at the academy. Vinicuis is both deaf and mute, but he does not let that come in between him and his love for Jiu Jitsu. Although he is only 15, Vinicuis trains 2-3 times a day attending both children’s and adult classes which has allowed him to develop quite a BJJ game. His unique style of Jiu Jitsu proved to be very effective on the mats in his first tournament as a white belt!

Stay tuned to Tererebjj to get updates on the rest of the FT team.
We are currently gearing up to compete in the 5th ranking competition, where awards for individual rankings will be distributed. In addition FJJD Rio, some of our older athletes are also raising money to compete in SJJSAF South American Open a new international federation recently established this year.

Kids relaxing with professor Nogueira after 6pm training

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FT Team Takes on Another Tournament

Terere Voltou (Terere is Back!)               
Although it’s only a couple weeks into the month of June a lot of exciting things have been happening at the academy. Major competitions are coming up this summer and the kids from the FT team are not letting the World Cup cut into their time on the mats. 


Fernando Terere returned to Rio from his trip to Sao Paulo just in time to see the FT team go out to Tijuca to compete in FJJD Rio’s 4th ranking competition. Although the FJJD Rio competitions are small compared to tournaments run by international federations like IBJJF, the federation plays an important roll in introducing young kids from the community to the competition world. This past weekend, 14 kids from the FT team participated in the tournament, 5 of whom received sponsorship to cover the costs. 

All of their hard work and time on the mats paid off. The kids won 4 Gold medals, 3 Silver, and 2 bronze medals. In addition to the those won by the adults, the FT team was proud to bring home a total of 12 medals.

Athletes under 9 years of age participated in a kids festival where they warmed up on the mats together before taking part in had 3-4 short rolls, at the end of which, everyone was presented with a medal. 


At age 9 The kids start participating in a traditional 4 minute long BJJ match with a referee to determine points. Sponsored athlete, Daniele Da Silva, went out on the mats and represented for the females of the FT team, winning a gold medal after beating a tough opponent on points. 

Daniele Da Silva in blue 

Good friends and sponsored athletes, Gabriel Bacelar and Jhonathan Marqueshad to face each other in the same category. After two matches they were each able to secure a medal for themselves, Jhonathan taking home gold and Gabriel with the bronze. 

Jhonathan and Gabriel with Professor Nogueira

Competitor Pablo Dos Santos, brought home his second medal in two weeks. This saturday at the ranking competition he won a silver medal. However, the weekend before, he fought his way to the the top of the podium at the FJJ Estadual Competition held on the Ilha da Governador. In addition to competing, Pablo has been organizing his BJJ curriculum and sending it out to potential sponors to help finance competitions and provide training gear. 




A Special Thanks
Over the past two years Academia Fernando Terere has been growing and establishing its presence in the competition scene here in Brasil, but we wouldn’t be able to do it without the help and support of the community. We would like to give a special thanks to two of our friends from England that have reached out to us recently. 



 First, we would like to thank I Ain’t No Saint Tattoo Studio, in Hertfordshire, England for donating funds to pay for competition fees. Since coming to train with Terere last year, Iain, the owner of I Ain’t No Saint Studios, has contributed to the social project by donating kimonos and sending money to help pay for competition fees. 

If your ever looking to get a tattoo in Enland area contact I Ain’t No Saint!

Contact: 
Phone: 44 1923 262130
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Got Tatame?

We would also like to say thank you to Scott Purnell, a good friend of Terere’s, who also helps to contribute to the social project on his trips to Brazil. Instead of filling his suitcase with shorts, t-shirts, and sandals like the typical tourist, Scott packed kimonos and rashguard to donate to the kids. The majority of the student who competete from the FT team rely on used kimonos belts to train and compete in. 



Contribute
If your interesting in contributing to Academia Fernando Terere please contact Sue Fuentes or Nico Ball or click on the link below.


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