10 Questions with Roberto Abreu
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu is a Brazilian JiuJitsu martial artist, famed for his “Tornado Guard” (among other things). He’s the owner of Fight Sports in Miami Beach, FL, and has won numerous titles (one of them being the Brazilian National Jiu Jitsu Champion). Learn more about him at his website: http://cyborgbjj.com/… however, since you’re here, you might want to read about him in his exclusive interview with the CombativeCorner.
How did Roberto come to become a practitioner and teacher of jiujitsu?
First of all I want to thank the Combative Corner for the opportunity! …
I started training back in 1998 in my home town in Brazil called Campo Grande. I was raised on a farm; a place where I had a great childhood. I was always a sports practitioner since I was little. After passing through many sports, like swimming, karate and judo, I did 3 years of capoeira, which helped me out a lot with my mobility in Jiu Jitsu. In 1998, when I was 17 years old, I started BJJ. It had just arrived to my state in Brazil, and I loved to fight. Once playing around with a friend of mine he tapped me many times. At first I didn’t even understand what he was doing, but I was sure that that’s what I had to learn. I made him take me to his school and I feel in love with the sport. I won my first tounament within 2 weeks of practice. After that I never stopped. I got my black belt within 5 years of training.
How do you think your “style” of jiujitsu differs from others that you’ve encountered?
I came from a place that didn’t have this much of Jiu Jitsu. Also, I opened my school when I had just got my purple belt, and I had only my students to train with. It made me change my Jiu Jitsu a lot. I had to move a lot in order to train since most of my students were white belts and all light. I created everything I know, and it became what you see today. My Jiu Jitsu is very plastic, and I move a lot like a featherweight, being 220 pounds. I have a great combination of strengh, flexibility and agility that really few guys in the history of Jiu Jitsu had.
You’re a really strong guy. Do you think that your bulk helps you considerably in your matches?
Truly, my game is based on my agility and speed. But since I’m the smaller guy on my division, of course a little bit of strength always helps.
In your life thusfar, what do you consider to be your “crowning achievement”?
I live my dream today. I live in Miami, have affiliate schools around the world, and live from what I love to do. I have achived most of the top rankings in the world in BJJ and Grappling, have made many champions, and have the #1 team in the world NOGI for 2010. Ufa…so many good things… Been successful with what you love to do is a gift. I just live my life one day at a time and work hard to make it better everyday. Everything that has happened in my life came through the energy I put into it. So I’m just up to take whatever presents god has to give me. It being said, my “crowning achievement” is Life!
In your life as a competitor, what has been your hardest match/opponent?
I think this is a hard question for someone who fights all the time. Every single match is a great challenge!
What do you think is one of the most important thing(s) to know when beginning in the art of jiujitsu?
Respect and humility.
How (in your opinion) does training in the States compare with how training is conducted back home in Brazil?
The mentality and value of the sport here is completely different, which made most of the bigger names in Jiu Jitsu and the most important tournaments come to the U.S.
It’s not a question to me that training here (US) is more professional and better than it is in Brazil.
Are you an admirer of the UFC/CageFigthing/Pride tournaments? And if so, who are some of your favorite athletes to watch?
I like MMA, specially when I see guys like Demian Maia, Jacare, Andre Galvao, Toquinho, Roger, Thiago Silva, and other great black belts putting our art to work on the cage.
What does Roberto Abreu like to do in his spare time (apart from training, teaching, & competing in the martial arts)?
When I’m not working and training I like to enjoy the nature. Mountains, waterfalls, beach, rivers, sports, and travel. I’m always trying to explore new places and cultures.
A few months ago we (the CombativeCorner) had a Roundtable Discussion when we asked our authors “What was your favorite moment of 2010?”… what was yours (professional or personal) and why?
I had two moments, one when I won the worlds nogi weight and Open, which was a dream come true. And the second, my fight against Braga Neto at the semifinals at the worlds which won as the “Best fight of the Year” by GracieMag. I had a huge comeback after loosing by 6×0, lasting less then 30 seconds of fight after scaping of many tight chokes, I got out of a back attack and tapped him out in a beautiful triangle. It was a tough fight and an amazing finish. But when I left the mat I found out that my best friend and student Piter Bivona had died in the hospital in LA. It was tough.
Bonus Questions: If Roberto Abreu was a video game character, what would be his power and what weapon (if any) would he carry?
I would like to use my Jiu Jitsu, the most efficient martial art in earth. With my tornado guard, revert triangles and knee on the neck I would give a lot of work to anyone!! hahaha…
BONUS #2 – Do you have some words to tell to your fans?
I would like to thank the support I always receive everywhere I go.
Once again thanks so much for the opportunity!