GTR Archives 2000-2020










Interview with Fedrigo Rudimar



Global Training Report


What is Chute Boxe?

Interview with Fedrigo Rudimar (Trainer of Vanderlei Silva and Pelé)

From Gong Kakutogi

No. 110

June 6, 2001

Interviewed by Paulo Ruy Barbosa

Translated (into Japanese) by Shu Inagaki

Translated (from Japanese) by Roberto Pedreira


Q: Why did you begin to be a teacher of Muay Thai?

Fedrigo: I started Muay Thai when I had 13 years old. At that time I suffered an accident while riding my bike. My leg was run over by a car. I started Muay Thai to rehabilitate my leg.

Q: Muay Thai for rehabilitation? The cure seemed like worse than the injury!

Fedrigo: Ha Ha ha, I guess so. After that I started to really like Muay Thai training and have continued doing it since then. Muay Thai was first introduced into Brasil, in the city of Curitiba, by a man named Nerio Boruges de Souza [spelling may be incorrect--impossible to tell from the Japanese katakana]. He was a guy who went to Thailand to learn Muay Thai and then came back to Brasil. At first he spread it to Curitiba. When Nerio retired, I took over and began teaching. 

Q:  Is Muay Thai getting popular now in Brasil?

Fedrigo: Cuurently, there is a Brasil-Muay Thai federation, and it is recognized as a legal sport. 

Q: No fooling?  Are Muay Thai competitions held frequently in Brasil now?

Fedrigo: No, almost nothing.  But in Curitiba we hold a competition named  the Storm Muay Thai World from time to time. A new talent enters the scene and can test his technique. The new talent is discovered there. 

Q: I see. Please tell me about the Chute Boxe Academy. When was it established?

Fedrigo:  When I was 17, I began teaching in an open space of the town. At that time is was a tough period. First I taught my friends from school. Then their friends came and then my students were increasing. So I started teaching in a sports club. In 1980 I opened my own academy. 

Q:  "Chute Boxe" means "Muay Thai" in Brasil, doesn't it?

Fedrigo: Yes, that's right. It doesn't denote a special school or style.

Q: In the beginning you were teaching only Muay Thai?

Fedrigo: Right.

Q: When did your athletes begin competing in Vale Tudos?

Fedrigo: . Our athletes had been entering Muay Thai competitions in Brasil and also entered the competition in America in 1988. They won the titles in a lot of competitions. Around that time in Brasil, Vale Tudos began to get popular. I thought it was a good battlefield for our fighters. But for those fights, we need to have techniques for the ground too. So our fighters started training jiu-jitsu. Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu is the perfect combination. 

Q: What was the first Vale Tudos  competition your students participated in ?

Fedrigo:  Around 1991, there was a big confrontation between chute boxe and capoeira fighters here in Curitiba. So we decided to do a tournament. We won all the fights.

Q:  Was it held informally?

Fedrigo: No. It was held in a gymnasium. It was the first Vale Tudo in Curitiba, so it attracted a tremendous amount of attention. The tickets were sold out. 

Q: When did Chute Boxe fighters begin winning in international competitions?

Fedrigo: In 1996 there was an event held in Sao Paulo. Pelé vs. Macaco. Vanderlei made his Vale Tudo debut in that event. Only one week before the fight, he was asked to enter the fight. Nevertheless, he entered to Absolute [no weight limit] division. His weight was only 85kg, though. It was surprising. Moreover his opponent had 102 kgs.  It was terrifically exciting fight with blood gushing everywhere. The fans really enjoyed it. I think it was Vanderlei's most violent fight. Vanderlei won but his finger bone was broken and his eyelid was cut and couldn't continue in the tournament. His opponent got his head bone broken, and rushed directly to the hospital. 

Q: That sounds like Vanderlei, for sure. What a great event it was!  Did you recommend him to enter that fight, or was it his own decision?

Fedrigo: He came to me and said, "teacher, I want to enter this tournament....". I  said  "no way, Vanderlei, you haven't trained enough". He  said,  "no that's wrong. I'm confident. Enter me into the no weight limit division". "Ok then", I  said "it's you who will be fighting. Do what you want". But we were surprised by Vanderlei's wonderful fight. I didn't notice that he was such an explosive fierce dog until that fight (laugh).

Q: ha ha ha... a fierce dog!  But then, what is the secret of Chute Boxe's success in the Vale Tudo world? A special way of training, or a special strategy?

Fedrigo: I am a Muay Thai coach, and I also have a purple belt in Jiu-jitsu.  I have a long experience bringing up fighters for Vale Tudo. I work with my fighters six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, from 10 in the morning until 12.  And at night we do weights, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. The key to our team's success is that the team has a strong team cohesion. We have been doing it together for 12 years, and we ball trust one another. It's like a family. That is an important point, I think.. The fighters only have to think about training  and fighting. I support them in every way so that they can concentrate exclusively on their fights.

Q: .It is a nice environment for the fighters, isn't it?

Fedrigo:   Yeah. We take kakutogi very seriously. When Chute Boxe fighters go into fights, they aim absolutely to win and don't ignore any preparations for that. Of course, no one is unbeatable, but we always step forward to get victory in our hands. 

Q:  How many of your fighters are now capable of successfully fighting?

Fedrigo: Here we have ten guys who would who would perform a good fight in any contests. But now  I am working on to increase the number of members on our real fighting unit. There are eight Chute Boxe academies, and about 2,000 guys training. So we have a full of "reserve army" of Chute Boxe fighters. 

Q: In Japan there is a kind of kakutogi with a similar name to Chute Boxe, called "shoot boxing", a kind of kickboxing where joint-locks from stand-up, and throwing are permitted. Have you heard about it?

Fedrigo: No. This is the first I've heard about it. Japan is a place where a lot of kakutogi were born. It is interesting to see that there are a lot of competitions that we don't know about. 

Q: Are you thinking about sending any of your fighters to shoot boxing?

Fedrigo: It sounds tremendously interesting. I am waiting for an offer.

Q: How about K-1?

Fedrigo: K-1 is also a fantastic event. Vanderlei might be in K-1 in the near future. He has contract exclusively with Pride now, and also he wants to climb up further to the top of the Vale Tudo world.  But K-1 isn't a dream that can't be realized [jitsugen fukano yumei ja nai]

Q: But the K-1 fighters are all big. Some are super heavyweights who have has much as 120 kgs. [264 lbs.]  Do you think Vanderlei can beat fighters like that?

Fedrigo: If we go into K-1, we'll do some special training. Vanderlei can put on weight up to about 98 kg [215.6 lbs.] while he keeps the condition he has now. At this weight, I believe he can fight with the super heavyweights.

Q: Really? I'd like to see him fight [Jerome]  Le Banner or [Peter] Aerts. By the way, I heard that the Chute Boxe team will go to Thailand for training. 

Fedrigo: We are thinking about going to Bangkok to train for one week, after Pride 14. We got an invitation from one of the famous gyms in Thailand. 

Q: Getting back to the previous subject, did you put Vanderlei through any special training before the Sakuraba fight?

Fedrigo: No. Always the same training for every opponent. However, we started wrestling training several months before the fight, with a coach named "Hayman" [Raimon?]. He was living in America and learned a lot of techniques but returned to Curitiba. Thanks to that, the wrestling skills of our fighters has improved and become  stronger. As for vale tudo, we are far from perfection in technique. But thanks to wrestling drills Vanderlei's ground technique has shot through the roof.

Q:  Really. When Sakuraba started firing at Vanderlei on standing, did that surprise you?

Fedrigo: I was very surprised. And he caught Vanderlei a few times. But Vanderlei has a strong chin. It was amazing because Sakuraba is never overpowered by any opponent. But for me, I thought Vanderlei would win by quick KO. Vanderlei was in super good condition and I knew that Sakuraba probably couldn't withstand Vanderlei's onslaught.

Q: Well, you were predicting a victory by KO weren't you?

Fedrigo: I was sure of it.

Q: How about a rematch?

Fedrigo: If a rematch happens, without a doubt, Vanderlei will KO Sakuraba one more time. Sakuraba will never be able to defeat Vanderlei. [GTR note: The rematch has now been scheduled for the next Pride event in July.]

Q: Is Vanderlei expected to make an appearance in Pride 14?

Fedrigo: I don't know yet. But it seems that Pelé will be making his Pride debut in the next Pride. Pelé is a fantastic fighter. I think he will put on a great show.   

Q:  There is a rumor that UFC will tie up with Pride.  How about Vanderlei challenging for Tito's title?

Fedrigo: That would be extremely entertaining. When Vanderlei and Tito fought before, it was really deadlocked. If we do it, we want to fight Tito under Pride rules.

Q: Under Pride rules, you think Vanderlei will win?

Fedrigo: Obviously. Under Pride rules, Vanderlei will win. Because Pride rules are less restricting and compared to before Vanderlei's technique has improved a lot. With these new rules, Pride is more like a Brazilian Vale Tudo, so it is better compared to before.

Q: Don't you think the new rules are dangerous to the fighters?

Fedrigo: Absolutely not at all. Pride has a good management, and provides good medical support and a physical check for fighters who go in.  If you want to talk about dangerous, every attack is dangerous  including kicks, knees, and elbows. Besides, the new rules make the fights more exciting.

Q: Finally, some message for the fans in Japan?

Fedrigo: When a Chute Boxe fighter climbs into the ring, it is guaranteed for sure the fight gonna be exciting. Everyone will be stoked. You wanna see a fight with fighting spirit, don't you? This is the kind of fight we Cute Boxe team plan to show you. So please root for us.




Order Chute Boxe DVDs below. The prices seem to vary. If I were you, I'd get the cheaper one, as long as everything else is the same. I have seen these DVDs, and if you are not already an expert at all the "ranges" they address, the material could be a solid introduction. --Roberto












GTR Archives 2000-2020