#202 Felipe Costa of Brasa Jiu-Jitsu

Felipe Costa Brasa Jiu-jitsu
Felipe Costa plays guard against Joao Carlos Kurao at the 2008 IBJJF World Championship, where he came in third place.

Felipe Costa is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a well known representative of Brasa Jiu-Jitsu’s competition team. A perennial competitor, Costa has medalled at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s World Championship several times and now travels the planet offering seminars when he is not preparing for competition or running his BJJ training camp in Brazil. Costa regularly documents his activity over on youtube, where among other things, you can check out him painting Brasa teammate Demian Maia’s nails.

Today FightWorks Podcast contributor Christian Simamora interviews Costa, who is also behind a commendable effort to teach BJJ to the visually impaired in Rio de Janeiro. Costa discusses how Brasa was born from Alliance Jiu-Jitsu, where the team stands now, and much more. We will also answer several emails from you, the Mighty 600,000.

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The FightWorks Podcast: Hello, this is Christian Simamora, reporting for the Fightworks Podcast from New York, and today we have a very special guest with us, direct from Rio. He is a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, a multiple time world champion, and now he also has a very compelling story to share with us today. So please welcome Felipe Costa to the show. Felipe, thank you for being with us. How are you?

Felipe Costa: Hello Christian. I’m good, and it’s a pleasure to be here with you. Thanks for the invitation: it’s an honor.

The FightWorks Podcast: Absolutely. It’s an honor for us to have you. So why don’t we start off. Our listeners, as I always mention, are a mix of newcomers to the sport of Brazilian jiu jitsu, and some of our listeners are old, hardcore fans. But for the sake of everyone, why don’t you take a few minutes, introduce yourself and tell us about your background in jiu jitsu.

Felipe Costa: Well, I started jiu jitsu in 1991, when I was twelve years old. It took me about ten years to get my black belt. As you might know, some top guys take less time than that. It took me a long time to get my black belt. I always say this, as I think it’s encouragement for other people, because I am the only guy who never won a tournament at the lower belts, but after I got my black belt, that’s when I started to win tournaments.

I think that is very interesting. It gives hope for everyone out there who perhaps isn’t doing as well as they’d wish in tournaments, and maybe even technically. In 2002, when I got my black belt, I fought my first Worlds tournament as a black belt, and I lost, in my first fight. 2003, I came back, and I won for the first time. World champion. That was my first title ever, as a black belt, the world champion.

After that, I have made it to the podium in all world tournaments, up to 2009. Basically, I have managed to win all the major tournaments: Brazilian tournament, state, European. Last year I got second at the Pan Ams, and I’m planning to go again this year to try for the gold.

So, I don’t know if I already said too much, but that is basically my career as a competitor, you know.

The FightWorks Podcast: That’s a great way to start off, and actually, that’s one of the reasons why we brought you on the show. We felt like you have a very compelling story to share, so I’d like to dive into that a little bit more. How did you got from being an “average competitor” to a champion at the black belt level? What changed for you?

Felipe Costa: Well, first of all, I think for me it was like a dream, because everybody dreams that “I’ll grow up to be a champion at the black belt level.” But it wasn’t a dream like this. It was something that I was willing to push myself to the limit, try my best every time. I didn’t win any major tournaments, but it wasn’t like I didn’t win anything. I was competing a lot, so that gave me a lot of experience, to help me when I go there.

It is not like I never competed in my life, and then suddenly I was a world champion when I fought the first time. I was fighting in every tournament that I could to get a lot of experience. I think my drive to go towards that goal, the training and the experience as a competitor was what altogether made the difference.

The FightWorks Podcast: Where does that drive come from? I feel like, had I been in your shoes, not winning any major competitions all the way through black belt, I might have been tempted to give up, and I’m sure many of our listeners have felt that way, one way or another. Where did you get that drive? How did you not give up?

Felipe Costa: I think because I was surrounded by a lot of good guys who were getting their titles. For example, Comprido, who was like a neighbor, not like next door, but we lived in the same neighborhood, but he was always champion. He even started jiu jitsu after me, and he was conquering everything. So having such a close friend, a good friend, winning so many competitions and also sharing his knowledge and experience with me, made me think that I could do this also. I always believed in my technique, and it’s just about not giving up. During all the years that I’ve been training, I have had contact with many people who I considered at the time to be much better than me, technically, physically stronger. I saw those guys giving up, maybe because of girlfriends, because of work – and I don’t blame those who have to work and can’t train as much as they want. But I have also seen people who are just giving up because, I don’t know, they wanted to go to the movies at night instead of training, you know, because it takes a lot on your body. All of you guys listening that do train, you know there is not a single day that something doesn’t hurt on your body. If you can pass through that, then I think you’re halfway.

The FightWorks Podcast: So, do you attribute your success, from the lower belts to the higher belts, just to your willingness to endure and not give up, or did you somehow change your training when you became a black belt that allowed you to perform better at tournaments?

Felipe Costa: I feel like my training has changed a lot. This year, my training is not going to be the same as last year. I’m always improving, I’m changing little things. Also of course, my mindset has changed a lot. I’m going to say this, and I know a lot of people are going to go “man, that’s exactly how I feel!”

When you first sign up for a tournament, in the beginning – of course there are exceptions, but in general – you are so nervous, on the day. Before, you are excited, “I’m going to win!” When it gets to that week, you are like “Nah, I don’t feel as much.” When you’re at the tournament, you’re thinking like, “What am I doing here? I could be at home, playing with my dog or something. What am I doing here?”

When you go to the tournament thinking like this, of course you’re going to lose, because you don’t want to be there. You want to finish as quickly as you can. Not in a good way: sometimes, finishing quickly means you are going to tap, rather than finishing the other guy. For me, it was like this many times. What happened was, right after the fight, right after the tournament, I was feeling so bad, like I could do much better than this. So this was step by step, my mind was changing.

Later, I was saying, “I’m going to win my first fight.” I would go with that drive, willing myself to win the first fight. Of course, as soon as I won the first fight, I would lose the second, because I was already happy with that result. It goes little by little, which is why I think people have to compete a lot. Then you’re going to be happy with the second fight, then you’re going to be happy with a medal. How many friends have you had that manage to make it to the semi-finals and think “I already have the tournament third place, I’m happy,” and they lose. Sometimes they fight, and you see they could do much better. I’ve had many friends like that.

So, I think you have to compete a lot, so you can get past that point, where you get to a point where you want the gold medal. For me right now, I’m happy with whatever medal I get. It is not so much about the result. Now I give myself little challenges, like sometimes I say “I want to fight, and sweep the guy like that,” or “I want to take the guy’s back.” Smaller goals, ok?

I would put my big goal, to win the gold medal. I would win my first fight and not even celebrate. It’s not because I wasn’t happy, but because that was just one step towards the medal, the gold medal, which was my goal. So it’s about this: taking it farther and farther, and not giving up along the way.

The FightWorks Podcast: Absolutely, that is a tremendous message for all of us to take, and I think it is very applicable to life as well. It sounds like in addition to your willingness to not give up, you were also surrounded by a great, great team. So, we often have, on our show, representatives of Team Alliance, Gracie Barra, Gracie Humaita, but some of our listeners may not be familiar with Brasa. Please tell us a little about the origins of your team, Team Brasa.

Felipe Costa: To make a long story short, in the very beginning, the major teams in Brazil when I started in 1991 were Gracie Barra, Carlson Gracie, Nova Uniao – a team from the suburbs, who won a lot – and before Alliance, there was Jacare and Fabio Gurgel. They got together, and then they made the Alliance. I think that was around, maybe ’93, or maybe ’94, I’m not sure about the exact date.

But anyway, that’s how the Alliance team came about. Of course, there was Gracie Humaita, and all the other teams who were very good, like De La Riva. But I’m saying that the teams who would always make top three in big tournaments was Alliance, Gracie Barra and Nova Uniao. All my life, I train in the same Academy, the same address. During that process, the team changed around me. I was still only eighteen years old when they started to have a conflict inside Alliance, and because I was so close with some of the guys, like Comprido, Leozinho, Terere. There were many guys, top guys, like Demian Maia, that started to be unhappy with some situations in the Alliance team, and they decided to split.

At that point, I was very young, and I just stayed with my friends, my close friends, and the same address. It is important to understand this: just the name changed, but the people were still the same, the people who were training were still the same. After that, the Brasa team started to grow, because all the major competitors were still fighting, Leozinho, Comprido, Terere, Demian Maia, etc, you know, many of them.

At one point, a little bit after that, Terere decided that he wanted to make his own team with Telles. That’s when they created TT. The old guys, the old listeners, I’m sure they know. The new guys, they can look on the internet, it was big thing, developed very fast. Everybody knows about it.

Brasa stayed together for a couple of years, and the team was going good, up to a point where some of the members decided they wanted to make another team. That’s when they created Checkmat, it’s still going, but it’s a good team. There was the split again of Brasa, and again, I stayed at the same place.

Let me tell you what I think about all this: this is natural. Some might say, “Oh, jiu jitsu always has this trouble.” But I think in any job, you know, any kind of business you have, there will always be disagreements. Sometimes it is hard to get back and fix it, and people end up splitting. So, what I take from all these experiences is what really matters are the friendships you make. along the way. I’m not saying this to sound politically correct – is that correct to say, does that make sense?

The FightWorks Podcast: Yep, absolutely.

Felipe Costa: So yeah, I’m not just saying this. What I learn is like this: before, when I started, people from different academies, they could never train with friends if they were from another team. Nowadays, that doesn’t matter anymore, you just have to trust. Of course, you have to go to a place where you feel comfortable, but there is no need to be enemies with people from another team. That’s what I believe.

Today, I’m one of the leaders of Brasa, but I train every week at the De La Riva Academy, I train every week at Soulfighters – it’s another team in Brazil that is growing, in Rio de Janeiro – and I train at Brasa, also. Why, because I trust everybody, I get along with everybody there. So, whoever still has this mentality of ‘enemies’ in the other team and stuff, it’s a waste of time, in my opinion.

The FightWorks Podcast: Yeah, I think especially for some of our newer listeners, who are in an environment where the idea of cross-training is not so foreign, it’s a really interesting history to hear about how back in the day, in old school jiu jitsu, training with other teams was actually something that was looked down upon.

Felipe Costa: Just staying this, giving them the idea, was really bad. It was different academies. I had a friend from school, he was one of my best friends. He trained at Carlson Gracie and I trained at Alliance. We were friends at school, but we would never train together. What a waste, how much we could have shown to each other, but we never trained together because it was not allowed, it was a ‘big secret.’ He would say, “ah, we were doing this kind of thing,” and I would be super curious about what he was doing. It was the same the other way around. It was not allowed.

If I would visit him, and my teacher found out, I would have been in trouble. That’s how bad it was. The few places who still do it like this…come on, like I said, it is a waste of time.

The FightWorks Podcast: Absolutely. So, updating some of our listeners on who is currently a member of Team Brasa, who are some of your teammates, who are some of the better known competitors and instructors who represent your team?

Felipe Costa: We have a lot of people, of course, but to tell you the top names that people will right away know who I’m talking about, I can say Comprido, who is currently in Chicago, teaching there. Roberto Traven, who is in Atlanta, teaching there. We have Luis Filha, who is in [somewhere]. We have Telles, who is in Sao Paulo, and Demian Maia, who is also in Sao Paulo. We have some guys in Rio de Janeiro, like myself, I still live in Rio. Igor Silva, Estemo Branco, who is a guy from the old times that the old listeners will probably know.
Also some other competitors, like Igor Silva, maybe those guys won’t be familiar with the name right away, but we still have a lot of nice guys.

The FightWorks Podcast: Absolutely. So, what do you think, if you had to boil it down, what differentiates training with Team Brasa from training with other teams out there?

Felipe Costa: Well, I can only talk from my experience, and I’m not saying, by what I’m about to say about Brasa, that the other ones are not. From what I’ve seen at Brasa, people pay a lot of attention to technique, they are very concerned about that. There are also people who do a lot of physical training.

But when I see and compare the teaching to other places that I’ve had a chance to see, I realize how much more we pay attention to the technique. This is also the feedback I get from people who train with us, who had a chance to be in our camps. We manage to mix the basic techniques, what some people would call the old school jiu jitsu, with the stuff that you use nowadays in the tournaments. So if I had to pick one thing, it would be the technique. I think it is a group with very good, very fine technique. That’s what I think.

The FightWorks Podcast: So let’s shift gears and actually refocus on your individual accomplishments and endeavors. Your first documentary, ‘The Path to Success’, if I’m not mistaken, addressed some of the stories you already shared with us – your rise to an elite competitor as a black belt. But you also have a new documentary, that I’ve seen clips of on YouTube. Tell us a little bit more about this project.

Felipe Costa: Well the first one, it’s called ‘The Path to Success’. It was exactly like the story I told you at the beginning of this interview. I wanted people to know that there is somebody who is not physically gifted, who is a small guy, skinny, but became technical enough to win a world championship. The message that I wanted to say is that I’m like you, all of you who are listening. I’m a normal guy who loves to eat junk food, you know, I’m not a super athlete. I still made it in the top level of Brazilian jiu jitsu, and I made that after ten years of fighting and losing. That is the message that I wanted to send, that is why I decided to make the first DVD.

The second documentary is not a DVD, I just had the idea of putting together my training DVD. I had a surgery at the beginning of the year and I couldn’t train for like a month. I thought maybe it is good to show people my return, like me losing weight, the training, getting beat up. Step by step, going to a tournament, maybe winning, maybe losing. Whatever happens I’m going to show it.

So far I put the first episode on the internet. I’m going to try and put it up every fifteen days. The first episode was a big surprise, because in two days there were over four thousand viewers. I was really amazed. Of course, if you compare to, I don’t know, soccer in Brazil, it’s nothing, but for jiu jitsu, four thousand in two days, I was really surprised. I got a lot of emails, with people encouraging me, and asking when I was going to post the second episode.

So the second episode, I’m going to post this week, I’m just finishing subtitles. What I do is I do it in English and in Portuguese. Most of the time I talk in English, but of course, I’m here in Brazil, so a lot of the time there are people talking in Portuguese and I talk with them, so I put subtitles. It’s bilingual, so people in Brazil can watch it, and people who speak English can also watch it.

The FightWorks Podcast: You mentioned two things that I want to touch base upon, but let me do this one first. So you mentioned how you’re a regular guy, and you also mentioned something very key, which is that you’re a small guy. I had the honor of meeting you very briefly at a seminar you had at my academy here in New York City, and you are, you’re a small guy, and I believe you’re a champion at the roosterweight level, is that right?

Felipe Costa: Yeah, that’s right, the lowest weight class.

The FightWorks Podcast: I think this might be a question that a lot of us think about. Not many of us are very big, many of us who maybe train jiu jitsu just two or three times a week are like you: as you mentioned, not athletes. So, how does a guy of your stature, someone who is your size, your weight, your height, what is your advice for smaller folk who often have to train with larger people? How do you suggest we approach our training?

Felipe Costa: Well, first of all, you have to focus on technique. A smaller guy almost every time will be more technical than a bigger guy. The reason for that is because the bigger guy doesn’t need so many details to make the same principle, the same move. A smaller guy, when he mounts, he needs to check his balance, hold the head properly, so he can shoot for the mount. A bigger guy, he just throw the leg and he mounts, because he’s bigger. That’s a raw example, I’m not going into details: there are some big guys who are super technical. It’s just like a raw idea of what I’m saying.

But most important, people say “How do you avoid getting hurt?” I don’t get hurt because I fight the whole time protecting myself. It is all about how much you expose yourself. That is also another important point I would like the mention: I don’t mind at all tapping, and I see a lot of people who don’t like to tap. They don’t like to tap during training. Those kind of people, they get hurt more frequently, and they give up more, because when they start to get tapped too much, they get afraid, and they don’t go to the gym as much, because people are getting better than them.

Or maybe they get hurt, and after a month, people that they were better than, start to get better, because they didn’t stop training. So they get ashamed that they’re worse, and they give up. So I think it is very important not to have that ego, it is just training. A lot of people also, because they don’t compete, they make the Academy their competition. That’s very bad for the environment of the Academy.

So I think one of the keys, after the technique and all this, the main key is for you to train and protecting yourself, so you don’t put yourself in situations like this. Of course you’re going to improve, and you’ll come to a point where you’ll be safe with most weights.

The FightWorks Podcast: One thing that really stuck out to me was that you are not afraid to tap. You actually read my mind, I was going to ask a question about your second documentary. You mention that you were injured, you had surgery, and I believe you said you were off the mats for at least a month. Did you feel any nervousness or fear of tapping to lower belts when you returned to the mat?

Felipe Costa: No, not at all. Do you know why? Because I tap everyday. Today, in my training, I tapped to a blue belt, and I tapped to a brown belt. This is true, that happened today, and I also tapped to a black belt. Ok? So this is something that happens everyday. Why? Because the black belt, he tapped me because he was better than me at the time. The blue belt, he tapped me because I put myself in a situation where I had more trouble to defend. It got to a point where I couldn’t defend, and he actually tapped me. The same goes for the brown belt. So, because I tapped to the guy in training, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to do good in a tournament. That doesn’t mean that I’m worse than the guy, and of course it doesn’t mean that I’m better than the guy.

Man, so many people have this mentality, they don’t want to tap. One day I read an interview about a guy, I don’t even know where he was, but he was saying, “My teacher is so great he hasn’t tapped for the last five years.” When I read this, I was like, “Man, this guy, there is something wrong. He is beating up all his students!” He never lets his students get an armbar on him, or something. What is that? So that teacher is probably making the Academy his tournament. I’m sure if that guy – and it was not a big name, it’s not like I don’t want to say who it is, I really don’t remember who it was – I’m sure if that guy, if he would enter a tournament, he would not do very good. I think it’s the wrong strategy, the wrong way to go.

The FightWorks Podcast: I can say personally, that is very refreshing. I’ve had a couple of injuries in the years that I’ve trained jiu jitsu, and its always my first fear, getting back on the mat. After so much time off, knowing that because of my conditioning and because my technique isn’t as sharp as it should be, my fear is to tap. That makes me hesitant to go to the academy. So to hear someone of your stature and your background say that, I’m sure is a relief to a lot of our listeners who are out there.

Actually, that allows me to segue into something I’ve seen that you offer, but I’m not very familiar with it. It is something you call the ‘Personal Training Program’? Tell us a little more about what that entails.

Felipe Costa: I start to do the Personal Training Program after I got the world tournament, because before that, I wasn’t planning on living from jiu jitsu. I was lucky to live from jiu jitsu after that, there were many opportunities, and I managed to take it well and I’m very happy to live from jiu jitsu today. The Personal Training Program was an idea, because I was seeing that a lot of people would travel to give seminars. When you just give a seminar, if you go to an academy where you don’t know anybody, and you just take two hours, of course you’re going to show some good technique and stuff like this. But you’re not going to be able to see what the student’s name is, what the structure of the academy is, and it is harder to help.

So my idea was if I got to some place and stay five or seven days, or longer you know, but at least five days, and train with them on a daily basis – I’m going to maybe watch a class, I’m going to train with their students, I’m going to give you a regular class – there is no doubt that I’m going to be able to teach stuff that will be more useful to the school.

So that is basically the idea. Instead of going to a place and just give a seminar of two hours and go home, not even get to know anybody, I go to places and I stay at least five days. The thing has been going so well that I have been going so well that I go to many countries in Europe, I go to US in different states. Actually, when we met in New York, I don’t know if you remember, but I stayed there the whole week, and I was teaching the group class. I think it is a very successful way, and its an alternative that a lot of people can not do, because maybe they have academies that they cannot leave for so long, and stuff like this. So it was kind of a niche that I found, and I’m super happy with the result. A lot of people seem to be happy too.

The FightWorks Podcast: How can folks take advantage of that? Do you have to be a Brasa affiliate, and how does someone get in contact with you to learn more information?

Felipe Costa: Well, anyone can read more about it on my website, FelipeCosta.com, or BrazilianBlackBelt.com, there is lots of information about this. It doesn’t have to be Brasa: like I said, I go to many places that people are not Brasa. Sometimes they do become Brasa afterwards, sometimes they don’t, it’s not a rule or anything. It is just about sharing knowledge, you know. The team stuff, it doesn’t matter. I’m super relaxed about this.

The FightWorks Podcast: Winding down, I know it’s been a long day for you in Brazil, but before I leave, I definitely wanted to touch base upon some very special work that you’re doing. I believe our audience may find this inspirational as well. Currently you’re working at the Rio de Janeiro Benjamin Constant Institute – I believe that’s the name of the location – and you’re working with visually impaired athletes. Tell us what you and some of your teammates are doing down there.

Felipe Costa: We started this thing in 2007. It was myself, Comprido – when he was still living in Brazil – and Michele Marta, another teammate from Brasa. When we started, we had no idea how to lead the class, how to treat them, you know, because it is a school in Brazil for the blind kids. Even that term, I don’t know how it sounds in the US, but here, if you say “oh, the blind kids,” it’s a little bit…it’s not correct, you know. You should say, as you said, ‘visually impaired.’

The thing is, what surprises, once you get there, those kids, they don’t mind at all. They are super confident about their lives, they are super happy. For example, if we were talking too loud, they would go, “Hey, I’m blind, not deaf!” They make those kind of jokes all the time. So it makes you super comfortable about it. Before we went there, I was like, “Man, I’m afraid I’m going to say “Hey guys, look here,” you know, this is going to be embarrassing. But they say like this, you explain something, and they say “I see, I see.” They don’t feel sorry for themselves. I think that’s the important thing for people to know, they don’t feel sorry about themselves.

They enjoy the class so much, and it gives them so much more confidence. It is really like, I go there, and when I get out, I feel like I’m learning more than I’m teaching. If anybody comes to Brazil, its going to be a pleasure if you come and train with us, you’re going to understand what I’m saying. They are really special kids, super great, and they have talent. They compete in three tournaments, in the last, I don’t know, maybe one year and a half or two years, and every time, some of them get medals. The last tournament, out of ten, eight got medals. This is amazing, I think it’s a great result.

It is not because I am a great teacher, it is not because they are super athletes, it is just because it is jiu jitsu. Once you get in touch, once you engage, it’s jiu jitsu, you know. You’re going to learn, if you’re deaf, if you’re blind, if you’re whatever. It is the only sport that I know that can be done equally: they are not fighting against other visually impaired children. They are fighting against kids who can see, regular, there are no special tournaments for them.

The FightWorks Podcast: That’s pretty amazing, actually. I’m curious, what inspired you to do this work, what inspired you specifically to work with visually impaired athletes?

Felipe Costa: Well, the idea came from Michele. At their school they have a swimming pool, which is open for the public, and she was swimming over there. She heard that some people volunteer, for example, you could volunteer yourself to read for some of them. Or you could volunteer yourself to teach English to one of the kids. They don’t have sport, they don’t have a lot of options. I mean, there are sports, they do athletics, they play soccer, better than me, you know. I swear: they have a ball, they have a noise, and they all have blindfolds. Not all of them are 100% blind, some of them can see like shadows and stuff. So to make it fair, they all put on a blindfold, and go by the sound of the ball. The only ones who can see are the goalies. It is amazing how confident they are on the ball. I cannot do that good, and I can see perfectly.

So when we saw that there was an opportunity to teach them, to give them another…because what happened is, we’re not concerned with making a world champion over there. If that happens, that would be awesome, but our concern is that we’re teaching something to them that they’re going to be able to do for the rest of their lives. There are kids who have already graduated, and they have joined academies close to their house. This is awesome, you are teaching something that they can keep forever. That’s I think the nicest thing.

The FightWorks Podcast: Absolutely. Now, you mention that, because of the way that you must engage with your opponent in jiu jitsu that really, it is one of the few sports of any sports that basically, you can learn whether you’re visually impaired or not, it’s basically the same. But I’m curious if there are any different ways that you have to teach jiu jitsu. Do you have to modify your approach, or how you teach a technique, for someone who is visually impaired?

Felipe Costa: The difference is you need to give them more attention. You have to teach almost like, personally, but what’s interesting is that, in like a regular class, the teacher goes in the middle, the other guys stand around, right? The thing is, sometimes, we have three teachers at the same time, and sometimes we have only one. So when I get one of them to show the other ones who are around, they are so eager to see what I’m showing that they get close and they start to feel, with the hands.

So if I say, “Ok, you have to put your knee close to the head,” they are there with their hands holding my knee, to feel where that knee is going. I have noticed that when people see this, they get very emotional. It is amazing, it’s a beautiful thing. Imagine a teacher teaching in a mirror, and people checking how the grip is, and checking where is the weight, is it on the side, where is the hook. So, that’s the difference, but it is still much the same.

The FightWorks Podcast: I can definitely speak for the show and the audience, in that we definitely congratulate you on that important work, and as that progresses, we’d love to hear more. Especially tournaments results: if you’d like to shoot us an email, we’d love to hear more about how visually impaired students are doing down there.

So listen, as I mentioned before, I know it has been a very long day, it is actually much past 11 your time in Rio. Let’s wind down, and I’d like to give you the opportunity to share any closing thoughts you might have with our audience.

Felipe Costa: Well first of all, I have had the chance to follow the show you guys make. I think it is super nice, it is always interesting things. I want to thank you for the opportunity, again, and I want to invite whoever is planning to come to Brazil soon, we’re going to have our BJJ camp on July 30th. There is information on the website, BrazilianBlackBelt.com. Everybody is welcome, it will be a pleasure to train with you guys.

The FightWorks Podcast:Well, Felipe, thank you so much for your time, this has been a really enlightening interview, and we hope to have you on soon, as your schedule allows.

Felipe Costa: It would be a pleasure, just let me know, I will always be available for you guys.

The FightWorks Podcast: Alright, thank you so much.

Felipe Costa: Thanks, Christian.

2 Replies to “#202 Felipe Costa of Brasa Jiu-Jitsu”

  1. A great interview. As an underweight white belt who keeps getting tapped out by people who’ve been training for a fraction of the time I have, I found this really inspirational. I’ll try not to get so bent out of shape when I’m forced to tap from now on. Two hours ago, I didn’t know who Felipe Costa was, but he’s already managed to inspire me.

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