Felipe Costa – "I was the first guy EVER to become a World champion in the black belt without ever winning a medal in big tournament in the lower belts!"

InsideBJJ

Your documentary Jiu-Jitsu 30+ gathers a lot of interest from BJJ practitioners. what was your motivation to make this documentary?

Felipe Costa

It was something that no one was doing and I thought It would generate a lot of interest on the people to see not only the fights, but everything that involves it, all the preparations…also to show that is possible for a “normal” guy to compete in a high-level and still have fun.

InsideBJJ

You also made the documentary, “Path to Success”. You have a good skill for creating documentaries. Do you have any projects planned in the future?

Felipe Costa

The “Path to Success” idea came because the way I became World champion in BJJ as a black belt was different than anyone else in the world. I was the first guy EVER to become a World champion in the black belt without ever winning a medal in big tournament in the lower belts…I was a terrible competitor. So I thought people would be happy to hear that story and it worked out very good.

InsideBJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a growing sport, and these types of documentaries give fans an insight that goes beyond just watching matches. What other things do you think would get people interested Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Felipe Costa

That is right, and that was my number one drive to do this, show people that BJJ is the only sport in the world that can be done by anyone, with any body type, doesn’t matter if is a super athletic guy or just a regular joe.

InsideBJJ

Xande  Ribeiro criticized the style of jiu-jitsu at the 2010 Worlds tournament – specifically, the jumping into half-guard and 50/50 guard style that plays for advantages and points instead of takedowns and submissions. What are your thoughts about that?

Felipe Costa

I’m don’t know what Xande said exactly about the 50/50, so [it] is impossible to comment, but based on what I saw other people saying, that 50/50 is to hold position etc, the only thing I can say is that if they decide to learn about it, instead of just criticize it, they will understand that there is a lot of attacks from it. The little that I have learn from Ryan Hall have help me tremendously and I feel that I still have to learn a lot about it. But I rather take the long road and learn as if I was a white belt (from beginning) then just close myself (and my mind) and say it’s not a good technique.

Isn’t that what makes Brazilian Jiu-jitsu so much more fun than other sports and martial arts? The endless knowledge???

InsideBJJ

Do you think the rules should be modified to favor a more aggressive style of jiu-jitsu that focuses on takedowns and submissions instead of points?

Felipe Costa

The rule is not bad. For example: It says you cannot hold the same position for more than 20 seconds. Think about it…if the referee is not calling fault it means they need better referees, not better rules.

The only problem I see on the rules is that a lot of times the decision is based on the referee view, is almost his opinion about certain situation, but that is hard to change.  Also I travel all over to teach, is amazing how people don’t know the rules correctly. Imagine that I decide to open an academy in Brazil to teach baseball but I don’t know the rules, than I decide to enter in a tournament…how crazy is that

InsideBJJ
You have competed a lot since you became a black belt in 2002. Do you think the IBJJF should introduce cash awards for first place winners in the Worlds or Pan-Ams similar to Grappler’s Quest and the World Cup Pro? Can you elaborate on your answer please?

Felipe Costa

I would love if that would happen, but the IBJJF already made clear they have no intention to do it, so I think [it] is a waste of energy to complain about that.  Since they have decide that and will not change, my opinion is that they should at least get a PR [Public Relations] to help the sport reputation to get better, specially in Brazil, where it’s not very good.

Everyone who lives from BJJ in Rio de Janeiro is having a hard time and a little help from the confederation would be welcome.

InsideBJJ

Is there anything else you’d like mention to your fans?

Felipe Costa

I would like to invite people to train with me, I run 3 programs, one is the BJJ CAMP in Rio de Janeiro, where I organize a 10 days trip to a summer house in from [front] of the beach and people get to train BJJ and get deep in the culture of Brazilians, that only happen once a year and it gets full fast.

The other is the BrazilianBlackBelt EXPERIENCE where people can come to Rio any time of the year and I will take care of them, take to train, visit the city and get to know the best places out there, also get the chance to visit my social project where I teach BJJ for blind kids

And the last one is the Personal Training Program, that is when I visit the academies around the world and help the students and instructors to improve tremendously there techniques.

More info about that can be found at www.BrazilianBlackBelt.com and www.FelipeCosta.com.

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