A few weeks ago I asked Pedro Schmall, a Gracie Humaita black-belt who's been treaching across Southeast Asia to answer a few questions about his experience so far. He's currently in Beijing as head BJJ instructor for the AOW fight team. I want to thank Pedro for taking the time to reply along with a number of pictures he's taken during his travels. -Luke

Pedro, could you give us a little background on where you're from and how you got started in BJJ? Who have you studied under and who gave you your black belt? How many years?

I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I use to compete in surf tournaments and I never won, it was when I had 15 years old. Many of my friends said to me at this time “you have body type to do jiu-jitsu” (Later I understood that any kind of body type is good for jiu-jitsu). So I was visiting an academy and fell in love immediately. Training twice a day plus my background from my childhood in judo and the fact that at this time only blue belts use to be able to compete, I got my blue belt in 1 month because my instructor would like to see me competing in a youth tournament. I won this tournament, and it was the first thing that I won in my life, and was the first of a sequence. It was in 1989. My first instructor was Fernando Pinduka a black belt under Carlson Gracie that taught me a solid base of the basic BJJ, when I got better and looking for strong partners to train with, I went to study under Carlson Gracie. I had excellent training sessions over there and increase a lot my abilities. After Carlson left to USA some of my friends changed to Royler Gracie academy and they were inviting me to visit there and take a look and feel the vibe there. I visited Royler’s academy once and never more left. Royler taught me a lot of BJJ and gave to me the brown and black belts. So since 1989 until now were almost 19 years of BJJ.

In the last year, you've taught in Bangkok, Taipei and now Beijing. Could you tell us about your experiences in each city? What was the transition like?

I had a wonderful time in these cities and I having it also here in Beijing. I love my time here in Asia. The people that I met on these BJJ academies, in each city, are really nice and I am felling really fortunate do having this experience.

How do you see BJJ in countries outside of Brazil, US or Japan where it is already established?

BJJ is spreading around the world and these three countries have the biggest percentage of people that are doing it. I am here in Asia helping to spread the BJJ bless, because it was a blessing in my life and I believe could be a blessing in everybody lives.

What do you see is as the most important step for BJJ to grow in a positive way in South East Asia?

I think so it is growing in a positive way already and everybody should take care of it keep the politics away and keeping the union inside the community even if you are from other academy or other country. Lets rivalries just to the competitions days, the academies owners should help each other instead try kill each other business.

With your recent move to Beijing, could you tell us about your new position at AOW? How did you get involved?

The company that hired me calls Adoria Entertainments. It has three arms the AOW (Art Of War) that is a MMA show, a MMA Team and the Beijing Brazilian Jiu-jitsu that is a BJJ academy. I am teaching BJJ at the academy and coaching the MMA Team.

What is your daily and weekly schedule like?

I am teaching and coaching the MMA team on mornings and teaching at academies on evenings, Monday to Saturday.

What advice would you give to those just starting BJJ?

Just tell that BJJ is something wonderful and for sure will help you on your life. It is an excellent tool to relive the stress and keep you in shape. But you need to surpass the two firsts phases of your BJJ game when you are a really beginner, the head lock phase and the frustration phase, after that BJJ will be really fun to practice.

Anyone you'd like to thank or say hi to?

You know Brazilians don’t say hi … They send a hug! Hahahah. I would like to send a hug to everybody that I met in Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani (Thailand); Taipei, Kaoshiung (Taiwan); Jakarta, Bandun, Bali (Indonesia); Beijing (China); especially to Nitti, Ole, Casey, Jon, Yuri and Andy that were whose brought me to those cities and all of my students over there. My best whishes to all, keep training and I hope see everybody on the mats soon! I would like to invite to anybody that is reading this interview to visit my blog at
www.learnbjj.blogspot.com and I promise news posts soon with videos. And anybody that wants get in contact just reaches me by email pedroschmall@hotmail.com. Positive vibration for all!






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