Ronald "Jacare" Souza
Submission Spirits 2
Original text and pix by Marcelo Pires
Translated from Japanese by Roberto Pedreira & Yoko Kondo
Question 1: How is your English language study coming along?
Jacare: I'm still in the process of studying, but I think I have made excellent progress. However, what is greater than anything is Extreme Couture training. Guess who I'm training with! Roberto Drysdale, Vanderlie Silva, and the best American athletes like Phil Baroni, Mike Pyle, and Foresto Griffin. They are all strong at ground grappling too.
Question 2: How is life in Las Vegas?
Jacare: A match with Randy in X-Mission last year made it a turning point to come to Vegas. He said he wanted to be my manager. But at the time I was under other management. Therefore, after the match and seminar, I promptly returned to Brazil. Later on in a talk between Gilbert (the owner of Koral Kimonos) and Randy, they came up with the idea again to invite me to their team. This time I accepted. I wanted to learn wrestling and standing techniques from them, and they wanted to learn ground techniques from me. I left Brazil and head straight for Vegas. I stay at Robert Drysdale's house now. It is very close to the Extreme Couture.
Question 3: Have you already been training considerably in Extreme Couture?
Jacare: I have been to America several times, but this time will be the longest, I think. When I came to America before, I went back to Brazil right away after the match was finished.
Question 4: How is the training going in Extreme Couture? How is it different from your training in Manaus?
Jacare: . Regarding training days per week, I train more days in Manaus. But there are training part 2 and part 3 in a day here to cover resting days. I am also doing a physical training which I've never done so far. My condition is good, and my power is going up.. But what is the best thing here in Extreme Couture is that it's very comfortable to be after all. I enjoy training with the other guys and I can sense my progress.. All members of the team train hard together for four hours without a let up. Wanderlie Silva, Gilberto Yvel, Randy Couture, Foresto Griffin, Phil Baroni, Tyson Griffin, Mike Pyle, all together.
Question 6: What have you learned in Extreme Couture?
Jacare: A lot. My striking is improving.. My take-downs are getting better. My stamina is going up. Raphael Areijara (Wanderlie's coach), is giving me cardio training. I'm trying to improve on various points here as a fighter. I really can feel that I'm getting stronger rapidly.
Question 7: Among your team mates, who impresses you most?
Jacare: Foresto Griffin. He's a complete fighter. His striking is good, and the development in his ground game is good too. In addition, his take-downs are wonderful. Anything he does, he does well. I admire that. We always (usually) spar together, and when we start sparring, everybody pays attention to us. It is a tense and exciting training.
Question 8: Right now, who's your best team mate?
Jacare: Foresto Griffin. We train together every day. I like training with him very much. He likes hard training.
Question 9: Have you come across anyone who has great technique but isn't known?
Jacare: Mmm.... I'm not sure because I'm not here to teach anyone, but just focusing on my own training now.
Question: 10 Have you had a chance to train with Randy Couture?
Jacare: We trained MMA. He's a great person and a great athlete. He's older than me but, he is not arrogant. I like his frankness. He tries to tackle skillfully from a perfect clinch. Everybody should learn after the model of it. The secret of his power (strength) is his clinch. That clinch can be shown its full power in the octagon.
Question 11: You are nervous about a match in the octagon?.
Jacare: There must be some differences for sure, but the octagon is nothing to be special. The ring has four corners, and you can lock up the opponent in them. But, in the octagon you can't do it like that. It is easier to defend the takedown in the octagon than in the ring. There might be a fighter who is fit more to the ring.. It might be different according to a fight. I don't think it matters whether is a ring fighter or a octagon fighter.
Question 12. Who do you want to model yourself after in the MMA?
Jacare: It's Randy. He is a great guy He has a lot of experience and enjoys training.. He gives the whole team motivation. He's a mood maker.
Question 13: In MMA, which opponent do you want to try? A jiu-jitsu fighter like Minotauro or Werdum? Or a wrestler type, or a striker?
Jacare: I'd like to try Minotauro. He's the top athlete in the world right now, I'm a fan, you know? But, it's up to the matchmakers.. If I could fight with the top athletes, I would like to try Minotauro or Anderson Silva.
Question 14: What about the fights of BJ Penn, Rogerio Gracie, and Marcelo Garcia?
Jacare: BJ is perfect. It's his weak point to neglect the conditioning, but his jiu-jitsu is outstanding Really, it's a great way of fighting.. Roger, he's an amazing athlete. Wonderful. He is young too. Surely, he will have success in MMA. and be the top, I think.
Question 15: What are his strong and weak points?
Jacare: He hasn't had many MMA fights, so there's not much more I can say about that.
Question 16: What do you think about Marcelo's crushing defeat? Do you think there was a hole in his MMA game?
[Translator's note: The interviewer is referring to Marcelo's defeat at the hands--actually, kneecap,--of Dae Won Kim in Heros, October 28, 2007. The Japanese translator used the expression 惨敗 （pronounced " sanppai ", which is defined as "a crushing, severe defeat"). That seems like an exaggeration. The defeat was more disappointing than crushing. The fight was Doctor stopped due to an adventitious cut inflicted during a tackle attempt.]
Jacare: Jiu-jitsu fighters tend to turn away their faces when they get a punch. He needs to learn more striking. If he becomes better at striking, he will be able to get into the tackle without turning away his face.
Question 17: Many BJJ black belts have lost in MMA so far.
Jacare: . They should understand the difference between jiu-jitsu and MMA. They must learn more about striking. Striking technique is necessary to learn how to try takedown in the striking game.
Question 18: Among the guys who come out of BJJ, who is the best MMA fighter?
Jacare: Minotauro. He won all fights by using jiu-jitsu. He is a cool head. He has his weaknesses too, but he is clever at winning by timing. He is so clever that he waits until the timing of winning comes. His decisiveness is fantastic. I respect him as a fighter and as a person. Considering the victory which he has done, he deserves to be a great fighter.
Question 19: Regardless of background, who is the best MMA fighter?
Jacare: Anderson Silva. He is the most complete fighter as everybody knows. He is good at ground techniques, and can defend tackles too. His striking technique is marvelous.
Question 20: Do you think you can hand him a loss?
Jacare: Yes, I will take him down on the ground by a correct way and a correct timing without getting counter. Once a ground game starts, it's my territory.
Question 21: Please tell us at which academy you started your mixed martial arts?
Jacare: My starting point was ASLE club in Manaus. My first teacher was Enrique Machado. He gave me all the belts from white to black. Now I belong to Extreme Couture, but I am also a loyal member of ASLE club and still a student of Enrique.
Question 22: Manaus, Rio, São Paulo are all different? Which one has the best style?
Jacare: Manaus is the best, I think. Fighters from Manaus have been winning in an absolute class in Mundial since 2004. Roger won in 2008, though. And among 11 classes of the black belt, they won 7 classes in 2004 and 5 classes in 2005.
Question 23: It seems that São Paulo is recently coming up to the level of Rio. What do you think about it?
Jacare Surely their jiu-jitsu level is very high, but I have no idea which is better.
Question 24: Is the nature of Manaus one of the source of your strength?
Jacare: Absolutely,. I can built up my body in the big nature, and just being in there relaxes me. Sometimes I do jogging in the jungle with all team mates. We thank God that we can train in such a beautiful place.
Question 25: From your view, who is the most beautiful grappler?
Jacare: Andre Galvao, Roberto Drysdale, and Kron Gracie. But if considering all the time back to the past, Nino Schembri is the best without question. I liked very much to watch him fighting. But I feel that present fighters are required many more things than before.
Question 26: Among both BJJ and submission, who is the best, do you think?
Jacare: There are a lot. They are all fantastic technicians. But I'm only one who won five times in Mundial in an absolute class (laugh). Compared to the old times, all fighters now are getting more all-round. It's because it is becoming difficult to win without going into a large amount of physical training, let alone with technique, I think.
Question 27: For you, up until now, what was your best match in BJJ, grappling, or MMA?
Jacare: For BJJ, it is 2004. I defeated 20 people in Mundial and Copa do Mundo. It was less than one week between two tournaments, but I won my weight class and an absolute class in each and got four gold medals in all. My condition was very good, and I finished many. For grappling I guess it is the 2005 ADCC. I won my weight class. But unfortunately I arrived only just in time and didn't have a chance to get ready enough. So I couldn't get the first place in the absoluto class. I beat three guys in three good fights but then finally I lost to Roger. But anyway, it was a good experience. I think I want to perform the best fight to be someday in future in MMA as well.
Question 28: . Don't you have any more plan to enter Mundial or ADCC?
Jacare: I love jiu-jitsu. I think I want to do a fight any time. I was supposed to enter Pan Am, but I couldn't make it for some reason. I'm under the contract with MMA now, so thing is not so easy. But I think I want to enter a jiu-jitsu tournament before long. It is MMA which I focus on now, but I never miss the training with gi. It is not conceivable for me to part from "kimono".
Question 29: Where does your fighting style come from?
Jacare: I am succeeding to an aggressive fighting way from ASLE club in Manaus. An aggressive part of Judo affects me on my jiu-jitsu style.
Question 30 : How was your style, keeping on moving, made? Your hip movement during passing is impressive.
Jacare: Keeping on moving is what I learned from Enrique in Manaus. Hip movement too.
Question 31 : The Gracie says that the art of self-defense is indispensable for jiu-jitsu. What do you think about the art of self-defense?
Jacare: The ideas of self defense is important for sure. But jiu-jitsu is developing and MMA is a completely different sport. If the art of self-defense is so great, Royce could have defeated Matt Hughes. Physical aspect is more important now, I think.
Question 32: What kind of physical training are you doing to strengthen here? Are you training with wrestlers too?
Jacare: In jiu-jitsu I'm doing rolling exercise on the mat as one of strengthening training. We run lightly, do a mat exercise from both sides of dojo, and repeat them. It's pretty hard! Training is hard. I do muscle exercise too. I'm getting stronger everyday.
Question 33: Is there anything you changed in jiu-jitsu training? Are you taking supplements?
Jacare: Yes, I've been taking them since I came here. I feel good. I'm taking BCAA and protein. I was just only eating a lot before.
Question 34: Are you going to live in America next year too?
Jacare: No, my home is Brazil. I just come here for training and fighting. The final conditioning toward a fight is always done here. I'm already 28 years old. I'm old enough to be the top in this world.
Question 35: Where do you think you will be around 60 years old? Do you think you will be still training or teaching jiu-jitsu?
Jacare: I hope I will be living happily with my family. I'm going to teach poor children like Enrique does.
Question 36: What is most important to you now, jiu-jitsu, submission, or MMA?.....or, family?
Jacare: My family and friends are always most important to me. They're the reason I'm doing MMA.
Exclusive (this translation) to Global Training Report
(c) 2010, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.