Sunday, June 01, 2014

jiu jitsu in Hawaii

Romolo Barros, who founded the Hawaii Triple Crown of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, believes jiu-jitsu has made him a better person.

He was born and raised in Brazil, but didn’t learn jiujitsu until he was a senior in high school living in California with his older brother Robson (who also is a black belt), and their roommate was Rorion Gracie, creator of the hugely successful Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Learning jiu-jitsu improves your overall life in every way – to be a better husband, a better father, a better human being and a complete fighter,” explains Barros. “You will become more secure with yourself. You will learn how to defend yourself, but in the process of getting there, you also will learn a lot more than just how to be a better fighter.

“The essence of Gracie jiu-jitsu is leverage – using the least amount of force for the maximum results. Whatever position you fall into, you just have to find the leverage there, and you’ll be fine. So Brazilian jiu-jitsu is for everyone: big, small, weak, strong, young or old.”

In addition to jiu-jitsu, Barros also loves to surf, and he moved to Hawaii 30 years ago for the waves, as well as the beauty of the Islands and the aloha spirit.

Shortly after, Relson Gracie (Rorion’s brother), also moved to Hawaii and started teaching his family’s style of self-defense here. Barros started training with Relson, and together they shared a passion for promoting jiu jitsu in Hawaii. “Relson was the first to put on jiu-jitsu events here, but then he stopped and I felt there was a need to continue it,” says Barros. “It’s about the opportunity to showcase the talent in Hawaii through friendly competition, So, I created Hawaii Triple Crown of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”

Barros, who is a fifth-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, owns and operates Brazilian Freestyle Jiu-Jitsu/Gracie Elite Team, as well as the Brazilian Freestyle Jiu-Jitsu Association.

“Although I originally learned jiu-jitsu from Rorion, I got my black belt from Rickson Gracie, who continues to be my mentor and close friend,” adds Barros. “And Rolls Gracie also was a great friend, instructor and inspiration. I got my first belt, a blue belt, from him and Rorion. Rolls passed away very young, but left a legacy for all of us, just like Grand Master Helio Gracie did.”

“One of the greatest things about jiu-jitsu is it makes you a more humble person,” adds Barros. “I see it all the time in class. You also become more confident, and you develop physical and mental skills. It’s one of the best workouts you can have.

“From when I moved to Hawaii, jiu-jitsu really has grown a lot. There used to be only one school, Relson’s school, and then mine. Now, I can’t really tell you how many there are, but there’s got to be hundreds.”

Barros continues to teach and train jiu-jitsu, as well as surf, swim and lift weights. He also follows the Gracie diet, which is based on a proper combination of foods.

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