We finally caught up with Soca, it was a little hard cause he’s been training so hard for Abu Dhabi. We finally caught up with Soca, it was a little hard cause he’s been training so hard for Abu Dhabi. He gets a bye on the trials since he did so well in the last two Abu Dhabi Championships. Don’t think that has slowed down his training. The day we caught up with him he trained no less than an hour straight in 95 plus degree heat. We got some good pictures and asked a few of the questions you guys suggested. Soca’s real name is Alexandre Carneiro. Enjoy the interview.
OTM: So you didn’t need to compete in the Abu Dhabi trials this year since you did so well in the last two competitions?
AC: I was the champion is the first event and the vice champion in the second so I don’t have to try out for this year.
OTM: Do you take one of the five slots open for Brazil or do you have your own slot reserved?
AC: No, my spot is separate from those for Brazil.
OTM: Are you ready for revenge against Royler Gracie this year?
AC: This year I am training a lot more this year. Last year I was only able to train for a month before the tournament because of my surgeries. I had surgeries on both knees, my shoulder and my septum. This year is going to be a lot better because I am training. I am ready to fight against anybody. I still fought well last year. I had a half hour fight against Russian guy that I finished. Against Royler I went for the legs and Royler surprised me. I made a mistake, but I fight good.
OTM: Were all your injuries caused by training Jiu-Jitsu?
AC: Yes they were.
OTM: What do you think of the rules of the Abu Dhabi Competition?
AC: The new rules are not great for Jiu-Jitsu guys. Because the minus one point if you pull the guard, you are already loosing. The main problem is in the first five minutes there are no points, but if you pull to the guard you still loose a point even if it’s in the first five minutes. So then in the first five minutes they are trying to get you to move but if you end up in the guard you loose a point. So it can ruin the excitement of the event because in the beginning some people will try to stay standing. I’m my case I feel good because I am going to finish people not win by points.
OTM: Who have you been training with to prepare for Abu Dhabi?
AC: I want to thank everybody from Gracie Barra for training with me and helping me out.
OTM: Have you changed your game to work with the new rules?
AC: No, not much my game has always been very aggressive and to attack go for the tap. Now I will play my game even more aggressive and play my game same as it has always been.
OTM: What is your prediction for the super fight between Ze Mario Speary and Roberto Traven?
AC: Both are great fighters and they are both very good friends of mine. However, I think Ze Mario will win. The fight will end on points.
OTM: Who do you think would win between Rickson Gracie and Sakuraba?
AC: Rickson. Rickson is the king.
OTM: What does it take to become a Jiu-Jitsu champion like yourself?
AC: Dedication, a love for the sport of Jiu-Jitsu, a clean head for the fight, you must pay attention to what you eat. I am a long way from my being in my prime. I am starting to become a well rounded fighter and paying more attention to my body.
OTM: Are you weight lifting?
AC: Yes now I am starting to lift weights, and prepare better for my fights?
OTM: Do you prefer the no gi game better or with a kimono?
AC: I like them both. Right now I am training with out kimono, but when I get back I will be training with Kimono. My Technique all came from with kimono and I am taking that technique and passing it to my with out kimono game.
OTM: Who is your favorite fighter right now?
AC: Renzo Gracie is the best. Not just because his technique is above everybody, but also his mental game is strong too. There is nobody more valiant than Renzo, he is ready to defend the honor of Jui-Jitsu at any time. It is important to me to be a great fighter to also be a good all around person.
OTM: How are things going at your academy? How many students do you have and who are the up and coming guys?
AC: Four or Five months ago I moved my school to a new school that teaches a lot of martial arts. I brought all my students with me. We have around 50 students. I have a few Brazilian champions; Bruno Cellil, Pedro Faulo and George Gray.
OTM: I hear you are going to be a father any day now, boy or girl?
AC: It will be a girl and her name will be Louisa.
OTM: At the club the other night you had a flock of girls with you. Can you please give the gringos some advice on meeting Brazilian girls.
AC: You just have to go up to them and go for it. It is not a big deal.
OTM: Anything you’d like to add?
AC: I’d like to invite everyone to come train at my academy. I’d like to thank my sponsors The Loft, Kimono Krugans, Gracie Sports, and Academy de Praya where I work out. If people have some questions for me please email me SocaJiu@zipmail.com.br
Our interview was translated by Amal Easton. He is one of Renzo’s top purple belts now teaching in Colorado. Check out www.tcsn.net/rags/bjj for more information.
I’d like to apologize to both Soca and all of our readers because it took so long to get this interview up. He is a very cool guy and went out of his way to help us out while we were training at Barra. We’ll touching back with him in Abu Dhabi. Send Soca some email and tell him you saw his interview On the Mat. Keep Training!