Having been involved in Jiu Jitsu for over 25 years with 20 years of teaching experience 4th Degree Black Belt Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhães is a prime example of a man who has fully dedicated his life to the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle. Not only is he considered one of the greatest feather weight competitors of all time but he is also considered one of the greatest instructors of all time having awarded over one hundred black belts which includes the likes of many top competitors like Romulo Barral and Samuel Braga. Professor Draculino currently spends his time as the head instructor of Gracie Barra Texas as well as running his own online training database DraculinoBJJTraining.com. Even with his busy schedule Professor “Draculino” still had time to give the Gracie Barra family an insight into his life through Jiu Jitsu. His life on and off the mats is an inspiration to all of us and sets a good example of what we should strive for in our life.
Rio and Belo Horizonte are quite different than Texas. What are some of the things you love about your new home?
The people in Texas. They are the best! So nice, helpful, dedicated, and also tough! Everything is organized, clean and beautiful. I love my new home!
What is something interesting that most people do not know about you?
My life is an open book and I have a pretty “normal” life. Maybe a lot of people don’t know that I am a Lawyer that graduated from one of the best Universities in Brazil with really good grades.
Besides Jiu Jitsu, what are some other things that interest you?
Surfing and reading books of all kinds but mostly hanging out with my family and having a good time!
What is your best memory from Jiu Jitsu?
Let’s put it this way: everything that I have in life; material, emotional, and even my loved ones, came to me through Jiu-Jitsu. So Jiu Jitsu is my existence.
What was the highlight of your Jiu Jitsu career?
As a competitor, to be able to compete in the highest level and have always had good results. But my main accomplishment is as a Professor. I taught and teach lots of World Champions and MMA studs but mainly, I helped on the forging of countless characters.
What is it about Jiu Jitsu that made you want to dedicate your life to this art?
Like I said before, everything that I have in my life came from Jiu Jitsu. I fell in love not just with the art, but the way of life preached by the Gracie Family. Having access to that can change ANYONE’S live forever.
Who are some of your favorite competitors to watch in both Jiu Jitsu and MMA?
Jiu-Jitsu in my time I liked Royler Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Roberto Gordo, and Jean Jacques Machado. In the new generation I like Roger Gracie, Romulo Barral, Samuel Braga, and Cobrinha. In MMA I go with Ralph Gracie ( the REAL Pit Bull), Renzo Gracie, Ricardo Ameida, Shinya Aoki, and many more. So many tough guys!
Tell us a memory of of Master Carlos that means a lot to you?
I have had a relationship with Master Carlinhos since 1989. So 23 years. We spent countless hours on the mats and off the mats too. He taught me not just techniques but also the Jiu Jitsu life style. How to eat well, how to behave, how to treat others, and more.
A specific day that I will always remember is when he, out of the blue, called me in a corner and said: ” You should begin to do the Seoi Nage throw. Your body type is ideal for that.” I was a Blue Belt with 118 pounds. You have to understand that there were BEASTS on the mats that day (Maters Renzo, Rillion, Ralph Gacie, and many more). Then he spent, no joke, TWO HOURS with me teaching, correcting the details, and even telling me to practice on him! People left the school, and we stayed there for a long time. With all those great and tough people on that mats, me, a kid and a mere Blue Belt, got all the attention in the world. No need to say that it is my best throw to this day.
How do you want to remembered on and off the mats?
As a guy who changed lots of people’s lives for the best by being a dedicated, loyal, and sincere person. And also that I “walked the talk” my whole life.
If you could have gone back and change one thing in you Jiu Jitsu journey what would it have been?
I would not change anything. Every mistake that I made was key in making me evolve as a fighter, professor, and person.
What do you tell your students who are considering giving up?
That the benefits that they get from learning the art and the life style that surrounds it will make them a better person physically, mentally, and spiritually. Also, that like with every other thing in life, it takes time and decent dedication to get all these benefits. So if they want to stop, they will be interrupting something splendid in their lives. They should relax and enjoy the journey because time on the mats and living the life style will make them understand and never regret the decision of continue their training.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
Continue the legacy of Gracie Barra and Master Carlinhos all over the world and to keep changing people’s lives for the best through Jiu Jitsu.
Anything else that you would like to add?
I would like to thank you for the opportunity and tell all the readers of this interview that it does not matter who you are: rich , poor, young, old, big, small, tall short, shy, outgoing, strong, weak. Through Jiu Jitsu, you will always find a way to improve your life as a whole.
Check out this video of Professor Draculino explaining his take on the blue belt:
Black Belt on Black Belt: Alberto Crane and with Draculino
Now learn 54 perfect techniques in 12 minutes from one of Gracie Barra’s finest!