Marcus Almeida ‘Buchecha’ – widely considered as the best BJJ fighter of the planet – came to BJJ Academy/Checkmat BJJ Amsterdam to share his winning moves with us. Besides his winning moves, he also shared his story and future goals with us in a nice interview. Even though he suffered a serious eye injury two days before the seminar, he was still able to do the interview and give a really impressive seminar. Watch the video below for a highlight of the seminar and the interview! For pictures and a review of the seminar click here
Who: Marcus Almeida Buchecha
Where: Sao Vincente, Brazil
What: 6x IBJJF black belt World Champion (3x Weight and 3x Open division), 6x IBJJF Pan American Champion, 5x Abu Dhabi World Pro Cup Champion, ADCC 2013 Champion, 4x World IBJJF Nogi Champion
How did you get into BJJ? In the beginning it was really hard. Because I lost my first 9 tournaments at the very first match. I thought about giving up a couple of times but I kept trying and after I won the first one in 2005, I always had great results. I won the Worlds in my division and the open weight since the blue belt to the black belt.
Who do you look up to in BJJ?
I grew up watching like Roger, Jacare, Xande, Leo Vieira, Cavaca and Marcelo Garcia. So I think these are the ones that inspired me the most.
How do you deal with pressure?
I don’t try to think about that. I don’t think about the others. If I fight, it is because I really want to fight and I try to put my mind in the right vibe. If you start fighting for the wrong reason, for the others, then you start making mistakes. I try to think why I was made to be there, how hard the training was and why I was there. It is because I really enjoy it and I really like it. I just go there and have fun!
When did you feel you could be a World Champion?
I never really thought about being a black belt World Champion before. When I was a blue belt, my dream was to become a World Champion at blue belt. So I start working hard and it took me 3 years to conquer that. It was really nice, but I never really thought it was possible.
What do you think of the level of BJJ in Europe and the US?
Brazil has more high level than anywhere else. But the sport is growing so much in Europe. In the US the level is really high already and for sure in the the next couple of years we are going to see some Europeans/Americans becoming World Champion at black belt.
What is the difference between UAEJJ 6 min and IBJJF 10 min matches?
I think 6 minutes is more intense. People can show better Jiu Jitsu because 10 minutes is a long and people get scared to get tired, so they will stall too much. 6 minutes becomes more dynamic. A 10 minutes match is horrible to watch if it is a boring fight. If we hope that Jiu Jitsu will go to TV one day, then 6 minutes is perfect.
Would you consider switching to MMA?
We are professionals, just like MMA fighters. We have to train, do diet, do conditioning, a lot of time leave outside of the country. Everything costs a lot of money and when we fight for the big tournaments they don’t pay. It is really hard and sometimes it gets frustrated. I’m glad that we have tournaments like World Pro and ADCC that pay good money. MMA attracts a lot because of the good money.
Do you have any advice for white belts?
They say a black belt is a white belt that never quits. I think that is true. Jiu Jitsu is a really complete and complex sport. So it is hard in the beginning, but once you start getting it you are going to get addicted and you are never going to let it go.
What are your plans for 2015?
I’m going to compete at the World Pro and I don’t know what else. Maybe Metamoris and the Worlds.
How do you see the future of BJJ?
It is good. BJJ is growing a lot. I hope to see that it will grow more and more and the people who have the power to do that, really should do it. Otherwise the sport will lose some of the big names to MMA which is happening right now.
We would like to thank Marcus Almeida ‘Buchecha’ and everybody who came and supported the seminar. If you ever have the opportunity to train with Buchecha or attend his seminar then don’t miss out. Great person and athlete, on and off the mat.
Follow his journey: https://www.facebook.com/MarcusBuchecha