Last weekend I got the opportunity to sit down with the Heat heavyweight Champion, Cristiano Kaminishi. Originally from Brazil, he is half Japanese and half Brazilian, making the move to Japan at the age of 17. A BJJ black-belt under Watanabe-san of Axis Jiu-Jitsu, one of the pioneering BJJ academies in Japan. Cristiano shares some details of the early days BJJ and how things have grown to a considerable scale in Japan. Also about his transition to MMA and how he's kept busy as a competitor in both the gi and in the cage. It's also an interesting note that Cristiano was there in the early days of Pride helping friends/teammates from BTT like Paulo Filho, Mario Sperry and Nogueria.
I first become aware of Cristiano from watching the Ground Impact DVD series produced out of Japan when he was a brown-belt (2003) and later compete as a black-belt in the 2004 edition. For someone of his stature, he is known for playing an extremely tight guard-game but inversely so when it comes to MMA. Not that it's intentional the fighter says but he takes the fight wherever it goes and is comfortable both standing and on the ground.
A true gentleman and wonderful ambassador for BJJ and MMA in Asia. We hope to see more of Cristiano in the future as he's stated he's eager to return and is open to give seminars wherever he is made welcome. On this recent trip, he already made the rounds putting on seminars in Hong Kong, Phuket and Bangkok.
I'm very grateful for his time and hope you enjoy the interview.
Also, you must check out our MMAinASIA's previous interview with Cristiano as it gives a very in depth look at the fighters history from his beginnings to today.
|photo by Chinook|