Victor Estima is not only lighting up the competition scene having won some of the major BJJ tourneys in 2011 but he is also busy as the Gracie Barra Regional Director of the United Kingdom as well as head instructor of the Gracie Barra’s in Nottingham and Midlands. Professor Victor took the time out of his busy schedule to give us insight into his life style and Jiu Jitsu’s expansion in the UK. He is living proof that with enough discipline and hard work one can be a top competitor while running a successful business.
Tell us about the growth of Jiu Jitsu in the UK?
Jiu Jitsu in the UK is growing very fast. The UK has never been known for grappling but the love martial arts and the sport its becoming popular very fast. It is a massive difference since when I moved here over 6 years ago. We now have a competition every month and and academies are opening all the time.
How did the Gracie Barra Tournament “GB Compnet 14” go?
The GB Compnet was a massive step for Gracie Barra in the UK and Europe. We started interacting a lot more with the instructors and students. We managed to show how big our team is and its potential. We had amazing fights in a safe and friendly environment.
What do you feel you and your students can gain from this tournament?
Its an amazing opportunity for my students to be introduced to competitions with competitors with the same philosophy and discipline. I also could also stop and give advice to the competitors as we are all on the same team trying to improve. We also started to act more like one big team getting everyone interacting and working in the same directions. I cant not wait for the next one and neither can my students
In 2011 you achieved one of your biggest competition goals by finally winning your first World Championship. Tell me what that meant to you?
I am sure that every Jiu Jitsu competitors dream to become a world champion one day. It was not different with me, I thought about it everyday. I came close so many times. Now it’s finally done and I feel like my job its done. Doesn’t matter what happens now I will be able to tell my son that his dad was once a world champion.
What competitions do you plan on competing in for 2012?
I plan to compete the main competitions this year like Pan Ams , Abu Dhabi Pro , Worlds and the no gi events later in the year. I feel like I am in the best shape ever. I think its gonna be a great year for me as far as competition goes.
What is your weekly training schedule like?
Please explain your routine. I normally start with some office work in morning before doing some private sessions for usually around 3 hours. Straight after that I have a group class. Then I normally do my own training with my senior most students followed by conditioning. I get a bit of rest before the evening classes at the school. It’s a pretty intense schedule. I usually work around what needs to be done as a priority. Some days have to do more office work and others more training.
What advice would you give someone who is trying to be successful at managing their own school or other job while trying to compete at the highest level of Jiu Jitsu?
One thing I managed to do well is prioritize my time. Doesn’t matter how much office work or teaching I have to do I always make sure I leave time for my competition training. It’s not easy but its the only way.
What does Jiu Jitsu mean to you? Why have you dedicated your life to this art?
It is my passion. I dedicated my life to it because one day I realized that I did not want to go to work, in order to do that I made the choice to do the sport as my career. What are your goals/dreams for the future both as a competitor and an instructor and how do you want your Jiu Jitsu lagacy to be remembered? I want to win as many competitions as I possibly can in my prime. The biggest thing as an instructor is to offer Jiu Jitsu for all kinds of people. I want to be remembered as a great competitor that also helped change people’s life through Jiu Jitsu life style.
What are some other things that you are passionate about off the mats?
I love music. I used to play the guitar before I started Jiu Jitsu. I am also passionate about traveling and it’s one of the reasons why I love Jiu Jitsu so much. I can make my passion a way of life.
Who are some of your favorite MMA and BJJ competitors to watch?
I grew up watching Royce Gracie. when I started to train Jiu Jitsu I used to love to watch Terere, Pe de Pano, Margarida, etc….
What was your experience of learning Jiu Jitsu in Recife like?
In Recife the sport wasn’t very popular at all. My professor “Zé Radiola” was only a purple belt when I started training. We had limited technique but plenty of heart. However, we were very luck because Master Carlos Gracie Jr. started to help him a lot which he passed on to us and that made a huge difference in our progress.
Tell us a memory of of Zé Radiola that means a lot to you?
When I was about to start training my brother was already training for a while and he was part of the competition team of Gracie Barra PE. I used to always watch the lessons but never joined. My family couldn’t afford the fee at the time. when Ze found out he didn’t hesitated he came to talk to me and said to come train and train for free but to train hard so I could represent the academy some day. He gave me the opportunity to dream in becoming something in life. I am very thankful for that.
What is your relationship with your brother like and what he has done for you throughout your life.
I think we have a very special bond, we share the same passions and believes. Since I moved to The UK I had the opportunity to learn Jiu Jitsu from my brother. He showed me a completely different way to think about it and I started to learn concepts rather positions. He taught me more than Jiu Jitsu. He is a example of determination and discipline. He showed me that it does not matter what you want as long as you work hard consistently toward your goal you will achieve it.