GB Competitor: Prof. Carlos Souza

Prof. Carlos Souza was one of the key members of the Gracie Barra Team that were victorious at the Subversive team grappling event in Dallas, Texas.
“I focussed on how strong we are and what my team represents to me.”
Subversive is a unique team vs team concept that takes place once a year matching some of the top BJJ schools in the USA in high-level matches.
Prof. Carlos’ performance was distinguished by his 2 exciting knee bar submission wins in the event. This week Gracie Barra talks about competition Jiu-Jitsu with Prof. Carlos Souza
Q: Let’s start by telling the Gracie Barra readers a little about you and your background. How and when did you start training Jiu-Jitsu? Where is your current home Gracie Barra school?
Carlos: I started training Jiu-Jitsu through my brother, Marcio Feitosa, who gave me my first gi and guided me into the sport.
I am from Teresópolis, Brazil and my city has a tradition of being a storehouse of great athletes, mainly in the martial arts. As a child, I always wanted to train but my mother was worried and wouldn’t allow me. When I turned 12, Marcio talked to her and put me to train. I started in Jiu-Jitsu at the same age as he did.
Today I live in Arizona and I am part of the Ambassadors team.  I teach and train at the Gracie Barra Arcadia School and I am honored to learn daily from Professor Flavio Almeida.
Q: You had a successful event at Subversive in Dallas. How did your matches go?
Carlos: I managed to test myself by fighting against world champion athletes with high-level Jiu-Jitsu. I implemented my best strategy and had two quick leg lock submissions, one of them beating Checkmat and taking my team to the finals.  Our final matchup was against the Unity team where I fought against one of the best lightweights in the world. This was a huge challenge being a first-year black belt, but in the end, I fulfilled my duty and helped take my team to the highest place.
Q: Are leg locks (and more specifically knee bars) something that you are known for? Was a keg attack strategy a big part of your competition preparation?
Carlos: I play a game of leg fights during my workouts at the gym.  My strategy is to always put my training partner in my game first.  In competitions, I try use this strategy to have better control and more attacks. My best attacks start in that game.
Q: Can you share with the GB Online readers about the preparations weeks and months before getting ready to compete in a major tournament? What is the weekly training like?
Carlos: When I found out that I was chosen to represent my team in this big event, I focussed on how strong we are and what my team represents to me. That’s why our team did so well – we did not fight as individuals. We fought as a team, and for Gracie Barra.
Q: What is the difference between entering a BJJ tournament to have fun and gain experience and preparing to try to win a major competition at a high level?
Carlos: Honestly it is all the same to me. Any tournament I fight in, I test my level of Jiu-Jitsu, my skills, and represent Gracie Barra.
Q: Can you share a piece of advice for young GB competitors?
Carlos: 6- One piece of advice I would give to young competitors, is to know that we do not fight alone. Understand what really means to you, stay true to your objective, and you will certainly be rewarded.
Q: Last question. Would you like to give a shout-out to any coaches, training partners, or sponsors?
Carlos: I would like to thank my family, friends, and team partners at Gracie Barra,
my teachers Marcio Feitosa and Flavio Almeida, my team partners at Gracie Barra Arizona, and the important people around me who are also part of this. Nobody fights alone! All glory to God
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia