Hyperactive children hold an unique energy. The difference between hyperactive children and the other ones, besides being extremely active, is that they show excessive behavior, agitation, impulsiveness and struggle to focus. Parents are often frustrated in the attempt to find a physical activity that complements the medical treatment. Usually they opt for soccer, or swimming, but the child may not like these activities. That’s when they find the jiu-jitsu. Thereafter, a small champion is born, with a brand new future.
Teaching our little guys how to release all that endless childhood energy, without losing principles such as respect, is a special task for Jiu-Jitsu. The gentle art is life changing, not only for adults but also for those who are the future of the world: our children. Let’s imagine a 12-year old guy, chubby and hyperactive. Normally, this is the profile of most victims of bullying in schools around the world. These same characteristics would fit into Inácio Neto’s story.
In 2000, the young Inácio had his first contact with the kimono. Since then, the mats have become part of his life and, consequently, interest in competitions was built. The problem is that when a jiu-jitsu fighter wants to take competition seriously, many difficulties come his/her way. The BJJ popularization in the Brazilian state of Piauí is still small compared to other regions. Even so, the reality of Piauí athletes is not very different from all the others. Sponsorship and encouragement are lacking, both from the government and private companies. Inácio Neto was at least a little lucky, as he told: “My father and some friends’ companies helped to fund my travels. Unfortunately, I remained a bit away from the competitions during University. It was a hectic time. But as soon as I graduated, I knew what I really wanted for my life: living the BJJ lifestyle.”
Even after the academic and professional achievement, something was still missing to consolidate the desire of a lifetime. The walk, as usual, was long. This current Las Vegas Open absolute champion had his first opportunity in 2012, in the city of Omaha, Nebraska. A new experience, a new language – everything was new to our warrior. Between MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) classes and a night security guard job, indications of a successful future began to emerge. A new year had arrived: 2013. And with it, another chance. This time it would be four months in Minneapolis, the city where Inácio began working for GB.
“I am very grateful to the teachers Flavio Almeida, Felipe Guedes, Diogo Ferreira and Coach Fernando who were essential for my learning period there. Of course I could not forget the teacher Ulpiano, a guy who needs no further comments, and who has an enormous heart,” Inácio Neto talking about the key people for his achievements.
Gradually, the first steps have been overcome, until his great idol Flavio Almeida “Cachorrinho” invited him to join the GB Team in California. As he recalls: “I stayed there for nine months. Worked in San Clemente and Dana Point, the largest school during my teacher training. I currently work at GB Westchase, an unit with over 400 students. All classes with full mats and training “on fire” the whole day. I’m having the opportunity, space, and freedom to be able to do here what I can do better in my life, which is living Jiu-Jitsu intensely and 24 hours per day, whether teaching or training in the dojo.”
With so many victories in and out of the championships, the deserved black belt arrived in June 2014. The black belt premiere was golden, but it does not mean the commitment as a teacher and athlete has in any way decreased, “I’m training hard. I do know I have big challenges now as a black belt, but I rely on my willpower. After all, my nickname is “Guerreiro” (Warrior in Portuguese) just because fighting is what I do best. Many battles to come. The first one will be the America National, then Dallas Open, Miami Open and the No-Gi World Championship. I am very happy and fulfilled here in Texas and I just got to thank God and the teacher Ulpiano for everything he is doing for me.”
This is the story of another GB warrior for our legacy “book”. The hyperactive child is in the past, but the energy seems to have increased even more, as the new black belt said: “My dream as every athlete’s is to be champion as many times as I can. The competition lives within my heart, but I also focus as a teacher. I try to learn more and more every day, so that one day I can also have my own successful school. Gracie Barra is much more than a jiu-jitsu team. GB is my family. “