BE HAPPY AND ENJOY THIS SHORT PHASE THAT WE CALL LIFE.”
Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues (“Lagarto”which means Lizard in Portuguese) is a well-known Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. from Gracie Barra, who has overcome a battle with cancer, returning to BJJ World-level competition and instructing at a successful academy in the U.K.
Gracie Barra caught up with “Lagarto” and we asked him 10 questions about his start in bjj, his battle with cancer, about training and competing and his philosophy of life.
I learned a lot from Prof. Marcio Feitosa. He taught me to have a correct posture inside and outside the mats, being an example on a regular basis.”
1) Can you tell the readers at Gracie Barra a little about your background?
Hi, my dear friends and readers of Gracie Barra, I am from the “country” side of RJ, a place called Vargem Grande. It’s a special place west of RJ between the sea and mountains.
Where did you grow up and how did you get started in brazilian jiu-jitsu?
My grandfather encouraged me to train in Bjj since I was 4 years old, but I started to take it seriously between 12 and 13 years old. After that I never stopped training!
2) Who have been the biggest influences on your jiu-jitsu and what did you learn from each of your professors?
I learned a lot from Prof. Marcio Feitosa. He taught me to have a correct posture inside and outside the mats, being an example on a regular basis.
My Master is Carlos Gracie Jr. He taught me so much about Bjj. Taught about the view of life, energy, food, how important is to have a good rest, how to use the Jiu Jitsu in our days, how to help our friends…
And all my friends who I used to spend hours and hours with everyday!
3) Can you give some advice on training for the Gracie Barra students from around the world who are reading this interview?
My advice is to take your time. It’s priceless to have someone looking after us, like our professors, listen to them and put your energy into executing the right technique, not to “win.” It’s important to “fail”; that shows us that something is not right.
4) A few years ago, you successfully overcame cancer and returned to training and competition.
Can you tell us about that experience and what it taught you about your life?
That cancer just knocked on the wrong door ;))
I didn’t change anything in the lifestyle Carlos Gracie Jr taught me. I looked at it as a challenge I had to overcome.
It’s funny to say it, but it was a very good experience, I learned things I would not have learned in any other circumstances.
Appreciate every second as your last in every little detail, life becomes so beautiful.
My Master is Carlos Gracie Jr. He taught me so much about Bjj. Taught about the view of life, energy, food, how important is to have a good rest, how to use the Jiu Jitsu in our days, how to help our friends…”
5) You made the decision to move from Brazil to the U.K to teach bjj.
Can you tell us about your U.K academy and how the life is different in U.K compared to Brasil?
Yes, that was very hard decision, U.K is a completely different way of life, weather, people, language, habits…
Today it’s ok but it took me a long time. But on the other hand the security, everything works, the health care, the transportation, and the respect of human beings. I learned a lot in U.K.and I believe I turned into a more civilized person.
6) You are still an active competitor. Can you share with the Gracie Barra readers how you are preparing for your next event?
Who are your main training partners?
Yes I do, I just turned 34 years old and am still fighting as a adult.
I like the challenge and that helps to keep me remain motivated to train hard and to help my students. My next fight will be on 23rd of November in London.
It’s a new event calls Toukon challenge. By the way you guys can support me by watching online on: http://toukonchallenge.com. I was supposed to fight against Jackson Souza but he had a leg infection, so now I am waiting for a new opponent.
About my main parters, I have my students to help me.
7) Can you talk about your philosophy of brazilian jiu-jitsu – training and life?
My philosophy is simple: every day learn a new thing. Not just in Jiu Jitsu but in life.
Listen to people with your heart, and share experiences, read, eat healthy, and always talk positively and respectfully. And always forgive, we are all just normal human beings.
It’s priceless to have someone looking after us, like our professors, listen to them and put your energy into executing the right technique, not to “win.” It’s important to “fail”; that shows us that something is not right.”
8) Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that most readers would not know?
A funny one yes: before my fights I have a voice speaking with me, very clearly: “Lagarto let’s go BICHO, concentrate… Now it’s time go!!…” And just few years a go I realized that voice was the voice of Carlinhos when he use to tell me those same things.
9) One of the instructors at Gracie Barra in Rio told me that you have one of the fastest times to run up to Ship Rock at Pedra da Gavea. Is this true?
Yes that is true. I used to go a lot to the Pedra da Gave with Master Carlinhos. Then eventually I start to go by myself because the training sessions just start at 11am and at 7 am and I was awake. So every day I was there before the training sessions.
One day I heard that Master Royler Gracie manage to do it in 17:30 minutes, then I start to try break that record. I got my dog, Labrador, and start to try it. It was hard because my lower back (due to my height, 1.94 m) used to kill me! Then I looked to my dog and I started to walk like him ;))))
That helps…( With with my hands on the floor). It was hard to break that record. Twice I woke up with my labrador licking my face! But eventually I did it in 17:00 minutes at the Ship Rock without vomiting.
My philosophy is simple: every day learn a new thing. Not just in Jiu Jitsu but in life.”
10) Tell us about the perfect day in the life of Lagarto
It was during my treatment. All my friends came to my house to spend time with me, when my friend Daniel Amaral hugged me and he said “I love you so much my dear friend”. I just realized that the must important thing of my life is our real love and friendship. I don’t know how you are feeling right now or how is your life, but that is what we really take from this world.
BE HAPPY AND ENJOY THIS SHORT PHASE THAT WE CALL LIFE!