Marcelo Garcia Interview

We sent our roving OTM reporter to New York to talk with the man who many consider to be the best pound for pound grappler in the world: Marcelo Garcia. We sent our roving OTM reporter to New York to talk with the man who many consider to be the best pound for pound grappler in the world: Marcelo Garcia. The two time ADCC champion is remarkable for his extraordinary abilities in Jiu Jitsu, but should be equally know for his positive outlook in life; Marcelo also happens to be one of the nicest guys in the sport! Paul Schreiner sits down Marcelo on the eve of Marcelo preparing for a historic third straight run at the prestigious ADCC title.

OTM: What are you doing to prepare for Abu Dhabi?

MG? I’m helping my students and thankfully the academy is full and generating good training for me – lots of people have been coming to help to – my professor Fabio, Tarsis, also some big names like Dave Camarillo are here helping to push my training. I’m also cross training with Gilson Oliveira.

OTM: How is it different entering the tournament as a two-time champion – is the mental preparation different?

MG: I really don’t want to think about the pressure. But the easy way for me is to remember what happened last time and just try to do the same thing.

OTM: I notice when you train even though you move through many positions – do you always train very hard?

MG: I like to train with intensity but I like to move a lot – not use strength always find another way do something – do you understand?

OTM: Many people want to see a no-gi match between you and roger – have you thought about how you would approach another match with roger?

MG: I will make the best fight possible and I will enter with a different strategy than I used in our first fights in the gi. More important for me is to bring everything I have into the fight and express my jiu jitsu completely.

OTM: How is Jersey City treating you – are you rocking a gold chain yet?

MG: I’m not going to get a gold chain.

OTM: When you are guest dj at the academy what do you play? (it was previously explained to me that there is a rotation at the academy – different people bring in their ipods and make training playlists – when you’re it, you’re guest dj)

MG: Ramones are my favorite – it’s the only band I’ve really followed for a long time.

OTM: I just found out that you skateboard tell me a little about that…

MG: When I used to skate it was like jiu jitsu for me now – it was so fun, I did it all the time. But you’re always alone when you skateboard and in jiu jitsu you train with you’re friends. I started skating when I was 10 or 12 and I skated only street but I was serious about it. After like 10 years of jiu jitsu I tried to go back to skating, but half pipe and I learned to drop in and skate the pipe. The next day I went back and when I dropped in, I almost broke my foot and had to fight my next two tournaments with my foot seriously hurt – Grapplers Quest and Luta Casada. The guys there at the skate-park said I really went for it and did well, but I realized it was too dangerous for my career

OTM: What do you do to relax?

MG: I eat. I love going to nice restraints and trying new food.

OTM: What’s your favorite?

MG: Thai, but real Thai – you know.

OTM: Your life seems truly devoted to jiu jitsu – do you find it to be a spiritual path in addition to it being a sport that you really excel at?

MG: Jiu jitsu is so fun for me because it’s what I love, it’s my work and I get to make friends doing something I enjoy. Many people don’t have the luxury of doing something honest that they honestly love.

OTM: What’s the deal with you and Borat?

MG: Its fun for me – now whenever I go to teach seminars people ask me to do my Borat impression, I get messages on my phone impersonating borat. (He plays me ridiculously funny message). Have you seen the outtakes?

OTM: no, actually I haven’t

MG: man, you really need to.

OTM NOTE: If you haven’t seen the video on youtube of Marcello’s Borat impersonation, you’re seriously missing out.

OTM: What’s your favorite movie?

MG: I don’t think I can tell you

OTM: Ok, what’s the worse movie you ever saw?

MG: Van Helsing

OTM: Favorite tele-novela?

MG: I just saw the last one that just finished. (laughs)

OTM: Back to business, what’s your opinion of the ADCC rules?

MG: I really don’t think they need to change because I already feel a big change between 2003 and 2005. In 2003 people stalled a lot but not in 2005 of course it’s because of the referees. For me the rules work really well, the only thing I really see is that in the first period where there are no points scored it gives the opportunity for people to stall – stall and try to wait until the points are counted to start fighting.

OTM: What are you going to do after Abu Dhabi?

MG: I’m going to skateboard a lot, and then I’m going to eat a lot and then start to work a lot on seminars and start training a lot for mixed martial arts.

OTM: I hear you have a book coming out – can you tell us a little about that?

MG: For the first time I got to do exactly what I want – to show everything I want, explain it in a way that makes sense to me. I show everything about the x-guard.

OTM: With seminars, it seems you’re constantly traveling, what’s the best place you’ve been to?

MG: One of my favorites is New York, but of course I have great memories of teaching and traveling in Hawaii and Paris, France.

OTM: There was a lot of internet buzz about you possibly fighting mma. Any updates?

MG: I’ve been getting lots of offers, I just want to see who will respect my jiu jitsu the most – who will make me an important part of the show and give me the chance to show what I can do.

OTM: You mentioned earlier that Dave Camarillo is here training with you. How is it training with him?

MG: He is definitely very good – I haven’t had that kind of training in a while and he is at a very high technical level

OTM: Well, we are all very excited about watching you do your thing at Abu Dhabi – is there anything we should look out for? Any secret weapons?

MG: I always think I have something new to show – something I usually just do in the academy, but I’ll only use it if they defend the techniques I usually do.

OTM: Again, thank you so much for your time

MG: You’re welcome.

Watch Marcelo in action this weekend at the ADCC championships! OTM and present a LIVE internet PPV! Check out to order right now!

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Riccardo Ammendolia