Nice to meet you, Mr. Carvalho. It´s a pleasure to have you at the BJJ Summer Week!
Please introduce yourself to the readers.
I’m Max Carvalho and I am a 3 rd -degree black belt under master Ze Radiola. I am from Brazil
but I’ve lived in Hungary for 15 years. I am working only with Jiu Jitsu and I have students all
around eastern Europe and from the Asian part too. I’m doing what I love to do, teaching Jiu
Jitsu and competing.
How did you start with BJJ and why? What kept you doing it?
I started Jiu Jitsu a long time ago. All Brazilians are crazy about football and I used to play
football myself. Once I saw a video on TV about Royce Gracie at UFC beating everybody, even
though he was a small guy. That got me interested and I started watching all the DVDs about Jiu
Jitsu, but I never had the chance to train. Then, I met my master Ze Radiola and I saw there was
a school and I was excited to learn. So, I started with him and everything has been great since the
beginning. That’s the reason I am still doing it. Ze Radiola is an amazing person who made me
enjoy Jiu Jitsu so much that today I live only with Jiu Jitsu and it’s my full-time job.
How is it to be part of such a known team as ZR Team? What are the positive aspects and are there any negative aspects? You are living in Hungary for 15 years can you please tell us more about BJJ there?
To be part of a team like ZR is like working together with a family. It’s easy to make friends
with Jiu Jitsu and it opens doors for you. So, ever since I started with Jiu Jitsu, my master was
also my friend who cared about his students. During the training and seminars we always have
someone to care about us, which makes me feel very good. Basically, there are only good things
about being part of ZR Team. The bad thing is only that we’re getting old and the body no longer
follows the things we want to do. I love being able to represent this team.
When I went to Hungary 15 years ago, Jiu Jitsu wasn’t very well developed there. There were
only a few guys there training Jiu Jitsu, but not too many people knew about this sport. I tried to
make it more popular by arranging competitions, camp training, and seminars with other black belts.
Nowadays, we have a lot of people doing Jiu Jitsu and there are high-level fighters, including
world champions in IBJJF and European champions. The level there is very good compared to
15 years ago and they’re very close to the Brazilian level.
How was it to train under Ze Radiola?
It is amazing. He is the guy who loves teaching and he teaches with passion. It’s easy to learn
with him, easy to enjoy Jiu Jitsu when he’s teaching. He’s always laughing, having fun, and he’s
always a happy guy who motivates people. Sometimes, this is the most important thing. He has
amazing technique and skills, but he’s also an amazing person.
What was your biggest achievement in BJJ from your point of view?
This is a funny question because at the beginning I thought that the best thing I could do is to
become a world champion or something like that. But after a while, I realized that that’s not the
best thing I can do in my life. The best thing nowadays I can do is change my students’ lives the
way Jiu Jitsu changed my life. I feel very good seeing that my students are now living Jiu Jitsu.
They started working with me and now they are able to pay their bills and travel around the
world. That’s why I think this is my best achievement.
Which is your go-to move and what positions you don’t like?
I can’t lie about this as I love doing the Triangle, which is my favorite technique. Ever since I
started with Jiu Jitsu, the Triangle has been my best move.
What are you doing aside from BJJ?
When I am not doing Jiu Jitsu, I do Jiu Jitsu. I love the sport so much that I do it 24 hours a day.
In my free time, I love playing video games, watching movies, talking with friends, but I don’t
have too much time for other things.
What do you think makes a good coach and how did you produce so many good competitors?
To be a good coach required dedication and you need to have a good base of Jiu Jitsu skills, but
you also have to know how to deal with your students. You don’t need to be a champion, a tough
fighter, but you need to know how to share the information with your students, how to make
them understand. So, it’s a combination of things. Being a champion gives you status, position,
and marketing, but you’re only going to be able to make good competitors if you have good
skills and know how to share them. There are many people who are good at what they do, but
they don’t know how to teach that and that’s why they aren’t good coaches.
Do you have any advice for the readers?
Do Jiu Jitsu and be happy because in Jiu Jitsu you can find everything, such as a reason to live
for, the way to lose weight, and find friends. So, just keep doing Jiu Jitsu only because you love
it not for proving anything to someone.