Thanks to Ralph Go for making this interview possible with his translation skills in Portuguese and to Prof Lemos for his time to chat with BJJ-ASIA. -Luke
photo by: Cat de Leon
For those that aren't familiar with you or the Atos JJ team, please share with us how you started in BJJ and the people that make the Atos Team today.
I started jiu jitsu when I was 5 years old, my father was a fighter and he put me in Orient association of Jiu jitsu in Niteroi, after some years I went to train with Andre Pederneiras, who for me is my master until today. Today, I have Atos but I am not solely responsible for everything, I am responsible for training the athletes and every gives their part by dedication and organization. I have a team of students and teachers who help me in everything. I have athletes who are dedicated and I know that we are one of the best teams in the world.
What is the origins of the Atos name and how does this relate to it's members?
Me and Andre Galvao opened the team together, He is the leader together with me. We are both evangelist and believe 100% in Jesus Christ. When we formed atos we wanted a name that would remember Jesus and from there we got the name from the book Acts of the Apostles. Atos means Acts in English. We search to talk to God for all the members of Atos, training the body and also the spirit.
As the head of Atos and instructor to some of today's top competitors, how do you see the evolution of jiu-jitsu as a sport and martial art?
Before, you would never see anyone living through martial arts, Today we can see athletes living through jiu jitsu, building a life through training and competition, Jiu jitsu is a martials arts that generates jobs for those who have dedication. For me this is the greatest evolution of our sport
With new affiliates in the Philippines, what is your impression of the BJJ scene in Southeast Asia so far?
The jiu jitsu has evolved a lot in all the places around the world. Today, Atos counts on an affiliate in the Philippines led by Ralph Go and Ali Sulit, whom are already generating great talents. This year already producing a world champion in the Mundials, Soon they will have champions in all belts.
What plans do you have for the future and Atos JJ?
The plans for the future is to win mundial in the teams standing, build new talents and together with this, open new affiliates with the same quality of the head gym, and generate jobs for everyone.