FightWorks Podcast contributor Bruce Hoyer brings you this quick interview with Antonio “Nino” Schembri, the ultra flexible black belt known for his creative attacks. At the 2006 Mundials, Schembri took third place just behind Marcelo Garcia (first place) and Andre Galvao (second).
Bruce: What have you been up to lately?
Nino Schembri: I’ve recently opened up my first academy here in the United States with my partner and friend, Alexandre Novaes. Jiu-jitsu is growing at a tremendous pace but there is definitely a large gap forming in the quality of teaching and technique in BJJ. I’ve arrived to help fill that gap.
Bruce: Where are you teaching now?
Nino Schembri: My academy is located on 1005 N. Aviation Boulevard, in Manhattan Beach. My students will learn the techniques I was taught since the age of thirteen along with the moves I have developed during the past twenty years. You can find more information on my website www.ninoschembribjj.com.
Bruce: Do you plan to compete soon?
Nino Schembri: Definitely! I plan to compete in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as MMA. But right now my focus is on growing and operating my academy.
Bruce: You are known for crazy moves. Where do they come from?
Nino Schembri: Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, all I ever did was live the jiu-jitsu lifestyle. I would train three times a day, surf, eat a very healthy diet and get a lot of sleep. Brazilian jiu-jitsu allows for a temendous amount of creativity. Training hard every day, along with my flexibility and competitive spirit, helped me develop many positions and variations during my years of experience with BJJ.
Bruce: You also have crazy flexibility. Is this natural or something that you have to work on? If you have to work at it what do you do?
Nino Schembri: I was born very flexible, but it is something I work on every single day in order to maintain. Stretching and yoga are a big part of my training regimen.
Bruce: You have had many great BJJ matches. Which one was your favorite?
Nino Schembri: Wow, this is a difficult question. I’ve literally competed in hundreds of competitions and super fights. One jiu-jitsu match that really sticks out in my mind was when I first submitted my opponent with the gogoplata. It is a choke applied with the foot that is set up off of the omoplata. It is a move that I developed myself.
Bruce: Who are you helping out these days?
Nino Schembri: At this moment mostly myself and my partner Alexandre Novaes. I am really putting a lot of effort in making our academy stand out as a top-quality Brazilian jiu-jitsu school.
Bruce: Anyone you would like to thank?
Nino Schembri: First I would like to thank God, my mother, my brother, all of my fans, and last but not least, my partner Alexandre Novaes.
Bruce: Thanks again for the answers. Hope to hear from you soon!
Nino Schembri: Thank you, Bruce, for this opportunity!