In this episode we start off by introducing a new personality in The FightWorks Podcast Family, as sometimes I need help around the FightWorks Podcast corporate headquarters and Dan’s not available. This episode marks the debut of FakeDan.
In our third installment in the limited series we’re doing on online Brazilian jiu-jitsu forums we speak with the admin from JiuJitsuTalk.com. They haven’t been around long but pound for pound they may have the most active forum out there. Or, as our guest jokes, they may have a forum poster or two who post enough for several dozen members.
Our main feature is a conversation with Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller, the head of Paragon Jiu-Jitsu here in California. An Alliance blackbelt under Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti, Franjinha is a very successful instructor, having produced standouts like Bill “The Grill” Cooper, Jeff Glover, and Tyrone Glover. Franjinha shares his perspective on BJJ instruction, competition in one’s thirties, and how one’s approach to the sport changes over time.
EXCERPT FROM INTERVIEW
The FightWorks Podcast: Why don’t you tell us about when you started Brazilian jiu-jitsu, where, and your story on how you came to the United States.
Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller: I started my jiu-jitsu career in 1989 with my coach Romero Cavalcanti from Alliance. I am really proud to be part of this school. I believe it’s the most powerful school in the world with fighters today like Leo Vieira, Marcelo Garcia, those big names you know? And the guys I have been producing here too like Jeff Glover. For me it’s one of the schools that has the most beautiful jiu-jitsu in the world. I am glad to be from this tree. I came to the United States in 1997, and I started Paragon in 1998. Since then, I have been just teaching and competing in the United States.
The FightWorks Podcast: Tell us how some of your guys first started out. Were these guys who struggled at first, or were they phenoms from the beginning? Did they immediately start doing well?
Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller: All the guys I have, like Tyrone Glover, Jeff Glover later, and Bill Cooper, I’ve built since they were white belts. Tyrone has a wrestling background. Bill and Jeff pretty much from white belt are pure jiu-jitsu guys who never did anything else before. They did struggle in the beginning, and lost a lot when competing. Jeff lost a lot, all these guys lost a lot in tournaments when they were beginners. But I think their hard work, dedication, and patience… I think that’s the most important thing. That’s the way I was taught jiu-jitsu. You cannot do things the middle way. You either love it or hate it. A lot of times when guys come to my school I say, “Look, I’ll give you a seven day free trial.” Because I know if they make it through those seven days they’ll be with me for for or five years. I’m glad those guys stuck around. If you love what you’re doing with anything you’re going to be successful in life. That’s what I try to pass to my guys: whatever you do, do it one hundred percent.
The FightWorks Podcast: So you’re saying there isn’t anything special about these guys. [Their success in jiu-jitsu] all just came from their work ethic?
Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller: Yeah, for sure. Yes I do not see anything special in these guys. They are not unbeatable. They lose and they win. I’m glad they win more than they lose, but it’s hard work. I mean they work a lot. They have put a lot of time in jiu-jitsu, put a lot of time in on the mat. They pretty much breathe jiu-jitsu all day long.