Carlos Sapão Interview – “Be flexible in the body and in the mind”

Last updated on 29.06.2019 by

Carlos Sapão Interview - "Be flexible in the body and in the mind" 1 Carlos Sapão Interview - "Be flexible in the body and in the mind"Carlos Sapão is a 4th degree black belt known as “impassable guard”. Became a black belt at the young age of 21 yrs old. Carlos accomplished many Jiu Jitsu titles in Brazil and internationally. He was competing in adults divisions since age 13 and won his first major title at age 16 (Pan American Champion 1997- Blue Belt Adults division).  Currently is a Head Instructor at CS Jiu Jitsu Hillsboro and continue connecting Jiu Jitsu with communities across the globe.

  • Tell us more about you? When did your jiu jitsu journey begin? How did you find out about BJJ?

I started jiu jitsu at 1987,i was 6 years old and my mother put me to train, because I grew up without a father and I needed a father figure. So then she thought jiu jitsu was going to be a good example for me to be around good role models and learn discipline. That’s how I started.

  • What is the difference between jiu jitsu when you started and now?

The difference between when I started to now is that before it was more effective in terms of submission and in terms of self defense. Now it’s more in terms of winning with a strategy, not much of a submission based. People do try submission, but they are also happy if they win by points or advantage. And that’s the difference. Back then no points, no advantage even existed.

How do you see Jiu Jitsu in next 5 years?

Jiu jitsu in the next 5 years I see creating a division in between sports, in between mainstream and also going back to the original way. Where self defense and submissions are what matters.

  • What are your biggest influencers during your growth?

Carlos Sapão Interview - "Be flexible in the body and in the mind" 2 Carlos Sapão Interview - "Be flexible in the body and in the mind"My biggest influence? It’s definitely the Gracie family. Definitely Rickson, Relson, my teacher Ralph, Renzo, everybody from the Gracie family. Uncle Relson, everybody. The Gracie family is my biggest influence in jiu jitsu. That’s how I grew up with.


Samurai Frog Carlos Sapão CS Jiu Jitsu Self Defense is the original way from the Gracie Jiu Jitsu and the old Jiu Jitsu style. The division is again the self defense and submission and also preserve your integrity. Meaning, minimizing the injuries and learning the right movements.

  • How do you sense when somebody is a for a higher belt?

I sense the most when they are super skillful, very talented, but also very humble. If someone knows how to carry themselves with good integrity and are good people, I think they can carry a higher belt, to continue the journey and inspire other people.

  • What do you think about people that travel and do Jiu Jitsu at different academies over time?

I think it’s smart to do it, to cross train and experience other schools. But I also think it’s important to remain loyal. You have to be loyal and you have to be true to yourself and I don’t think you should think that other places are better than yours, unless you have a personal problem. But other than that, I support it as long as you have a home and as long as you keep that secrecy of your techniques from home and learn from other people and perfect it. I like cross training it’s important, but you have to be loyal.

  • Can you share some of your routines? Tell us more about your training and eating habits?

Routine is basically live well, wake up early. If you are in competition phase, you should definitely wake up early, empty stomach, take a nice hydration, on empty stomach drink water. I like lime to alkaline the body. Go for runs, swimming, yoga, exercises, and eat well. Just don’t eat enough to be full, but eat enough to be fed. And I learned from the Gracie family that you have to eat food for fuel. The more nutritional values you put inside, the better health and longevity you will have. So I think, if you are not competing, you should keep the same routine, but you just minimize some of the exercise, but you keep it balanced in nutrition. So it is important to have a healthy nutrition. I can’t say exactly what you should eat or not but if you have the access to a nutritionist or do your research, I think you should know what kind of body you have, what can you eat or not and have a healthy habits.

  • Can you give any advice for our readers?  Any tip that can help people on the mat or real life.

I think the best advice I can suggest is to be flexible, not just the in the body but in the mind. And understand that each day is different and a bad day can be good later and a good day can be bad. So basically, take it day by day, enjoy the experience, think of an endless journey, don’t think of an end. And listen to your teachers! That’s very important. Because they want what’s best for you and if you have that confidence, that’s what makes you grow bigger. Possibly become even better than your teacher. Which is the goal. You know, the teacher wants their audent to become something better. So that way they can feel accomplished as well as a teacher.

  • Tell us what are your future plans

My future plans? You will see my future plans!

I won’t tell now, but you will see it. One thing I can say, we’ve got a mobile academy now and I have also a boutique style academy and that’s a very unique way and CS jj is the pioneer of this idea and model. Anyone who tries to copy, good luck to you because if you’re not an original you are just a copy. So there you go


Simple but effective Take Down from Carlos Sapão

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