Tony De Souza interview 2004

Tony De Souza is the highest ranked wrestler who also trains Jiu Jitsu. He has a very unique submission wrestling style and has inovated many new moves including the Peruvian Neck Tie, Monk Guard and many more. He is also one tough SOB!!OTM) Where are you at now? Still training in Rio?TDS) I`m in Iquitos, which is in the Peruvian Amazon. I was in Manaus for a couple of weeks after Jungle Fight and then took a boat for a week to get here to Iquitos in the jungle.

OTM) Who were you training with?TDS) I was training with Nova Uniao in Manaus. Now I`m teaching jiu jitsu at a judo school to about 30 kids under 16 and a few adults.

OTM) How did you like the training in Manous? How does it compare to JJ in Rio? TDS) I loved manaus. I did not train much, most of all I was giving classes and living the nightlife. They party from monday to monday. The conditions on which the people in manaus train are completely diff than the ones in Rio. The trainings are for one a lot hotter climate wise, and the people are warriors.

OTM) What belt are you in BJJ now? Do you train in the gi much?TDS) I am a brown belt at BJJ. I do not get a chance to train so much with gi since my training is specifically to fight MMA lately. I love training with the gi when I get a chance do.

OTM) What was your back ground in Wrestling?TDS) I started training wrestling when I was 13. I won various things and beat some tough people, but never turned the corner at nationals.

OTM) Tell us about your front headlocks? How did you become so good with head locks and chin whips?TDS) My style of wrestling has always been unorthodox. That is one of the things that hurt me. I did not wrestle to win, but rather to hurt my opponent. I got inspired to using front headlocks when I was 15. I attended this wrestling clinic by Mark Schultz and started chocking everybody.

OTM) So you were choking people in wrestling using Marc Schultz old chokes? Did that ever get you in any trouble?TDS) By my senior year they made a couple of my holds illegal. I choked a guy out at the div 1 nationals, lost the match but he knew i got the best of him.

OTM) What is the Monk Guard? Is that like Telles’s guard but no gi?TDS) Ya, the monk guard is a combination of wrestling and luta livre. I train with Robert Leiton Sr. and he always gets his escapes going to the knees and then bumps with the knee behind the ass. So I took that and got some more variations of that sequence of movements. It works well.

OTM) Would you say the monk guard is good for a grappler who doesn’t want to hang out flat on his back like a traditional BJJ guy? Ha ha haTDS) The monk guard is defiantly a way to get off of your back. Especially if you are fighting MMA, is the worst place you can find yourself in. Too many people know what you will be doing in a closed guard.

OTM) Who is Robert Leiton Sr.?TDS) Robert Leiton is almost 70 years old. He has been grappling for 50 years and is one of the forces behind the success of many Brazilian fighters.

OTM) Tell us about your fight in Mecca.TDS) The Mecca fight was my first fight in almost 3 years. Against Luis Azeredo, who is considered the top Brazilian fighter at 80 kilos by many people in Brazil. Very exiting fight, and it was great that I came out on top.

OTM) It looked like in Mecca you had a full twister on the guy? Why did they pull you apart?TDS) The ref told he did not know what i had. I also heard that Azeredo and him are from the same camp. The fight was over, but it does not matter.

OTM) You set your twister up completely different than Eddie Bravo, did you use the twister in wrestling? How did you come up with the set ups?TDS) I have been using those type of holds since I started wrestling back in the day. I was not very good at takedowns, but I could leg ride the piss out of anybody at any weight all the time. Its all about keeping the hooks, you just hang there and let them waste their energy.

OTM) Tell us about your fight in Jungle Fight.TDS) My second fight here in Brazil was against Carlihn Lima. Strong on his feet, so I took him to the ground and finished him in the second round.

OTM) How did you finish that guy in JF? He looked like he was in some real pain!TDS) I finished him with a katagatame. People are not used to the pressure that I`m used to grappling wise. They find no holes to breath and panic, it’s how much pressure you are used to or can take.

OTM) How did your style of grappling develop?TDS) My style is Cholitzu, and I have been working on it since I was 13. I have always been searching for ways to inflict pain and hurt my opponents.

OTM) What does Cholitzu mean? Where did it come from?TDS) Cholo is the derogatory name that people call the Peruvian descendent of Inca. It`s the jiu jitsu of the Cholos here in Peru. I came up with the idea.

OTM) How have you incorporated your wrestling to jiu jitsu?TDS) It goes like butter and bread. It is the same principles, the only difference is that you use more power with the wrestling techniques.

OTM) What about for NHB?TDS) I have always loved fighting. There is nothing else that I dedicate time to. I have always developed my game with my thoughts on how it would be useful for me in a fight.

OTM) What is next for you? Will you be grappling in Abu Dhabi?TDS) I will be in Lima till February. I would love to go to Abu Dhabi again, just waiting for the invite. Well hope to see you and your new moves there! Good Luck Tony D!!!!

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