November 24, 2010 Posted by danb
Gustavo Pires is the subject for Part 11 of our ongoing interview series with amateur MMA fighters, coaches and trainers.
Gustavo is a second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He recently competed at the World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championships and brought home a gold medal in the Super Heavy division.
Thank you for speaking with us, Gustavo. Where are you from originally?
GP: Rio de Janeiro , Brazil
Why did you start doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
GP: My older brother had been training for five years. When I was 15 he asked me if I wanted to start as well. So I did! This was back in 1995, so I’ve been doing this for nearly 15 years!
Who did you originally begin learning from? Where do you train now?
GP: I originally started with Carlos Gracie Jr. in Brazil. Now I’m training at Gracie Barra Mission Viejo. I am also an instructor there.
Have there been any obstacles you’ve had to overcome to get where you are?
GP: Everyone has obstacles to overcome. With hard work you can over come anything. I had to stop competing for two years due to high blood pressure. Eventually I began taking medicine for it. Thankfully I am able to work out and train everyday now.
How did you train for the No-Gi Championships? Did you have to lose a lot of weight? Who were your sparring partners?
GP: I did a lot of training at Gracie Barra Mission Viejo with my students. I also trained at Gracie Barra Amercia with my partners, Mikey Gomez, Fabiana Borges, Rodrigo Simoes, Philipe Della Monica, Jacob Vasquez, Joe Youkhan, and Matt Wieland. My conditioning was done at the Juggernaut Training Systems training under Chad Wesley Smith. I didn’t have to lose weight for this last tournament because I fought in Super Heavy instead of Heavy.
What are your plans for the future? Will you enter the world of mixed martial arts?
GP: My plans are to continue competing in all the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) events and teaching at my academy. I love competing and don’t want to stop any time soon. I also really like teaching. Watching my students progress and get better and better brings me a great deal of satisfaction.
Thanks for speaking with us.
GP: Thank you for the opportunity.