Ary Farias: The Young Man who had the Biggest Bed in the WorldNov 22nd, 2011 by Erin Herle
How did you get started? What gave you interest in the sport of jiu jitsu?
I started when I was 11 years old at the Asle-AM gym with Ronaldo Jacaré! He was one of my biggest supporters and he always believed in my success. I remember when I started, no one believed in me; Jacaré was the only one. He always said, “Ary will be better than me, you will see.” When I joined the team, I remember that it was filled with great, tough kids my age and they beat me a lot! That made Jacaré really sad when he saw me getting beat up (laughs). That was when he said, “Kid, now I will teach you everything I know. You will be better than me. From now on, you are my son!”
Back then I only trained once a day. I trained at the 6:00pm to 7:30pm class, along with other kids up to 15 years old. Then he said: “Ary, I want you training at the same class that I do, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. It was a more professional class, with adults and higher belts. When those classes ended, he was always very tired, but always called me to the corner of the mat and taught me everything. He was always saying, “Ary, with this boy you have to train like this, and with that one you gotta do this!” He always had good will and pleasure to teach me with great detail. Our classes would often go until 1 in the morning!
That’s crazy, right? (laughs) When I completed 5 months of training, he told me, “Ary, I want to see you do the same training I do, the same amount of training that I do, if you want to be the best”. ”THERE IS NO MIRACLE WITHOUT SACRIFICE”. I responded, “Can I start today, master”? He simply said, “Now.” I went home, picked up my gi and my belt and went back to the gym. Man, I remember the other kids didn’t want to train with me anymore because I was making training too hard for everyone who used to beat me (laughs).
As time passed by, everyone started to leave the gym, stopped to attend the classes and chose different paths in life. I kept training hard and steady! That was the time when Jacaré said, “Ary, what do you think about living with me? I’ll treat you like a son, kid!”
I was always very attached to that guy since the start. I said, “Dude, we have to talk to my parents!” He said, “Alright, let’s talk to them today”. They decided that I would live with Jacaré from Monday to Thursday, and from Thursday to Sunday, I would stay with my family. My parents decided that this would be the best for me; my financial condition at home wasn’t the best. It was a great time in my life. We lived at the gym and slept on the mat.
I used to tell all of my friends at school that I had the biggest bed in the world, a 10×15 meters mat! (laughs) I am so thankful to this man who did everything for me: all of his teachings inside and outside of the mats, as an athlete and as a person. I owe him a lot. I’ve been through many moments by his side and he is a phenomenal person. He took care of me from when I was 11 to when I was 16.
What attracted me the most to the sport was the will to win and the will to always be the best at everything. When I wanted to start training my friends, who already practiced, used to tell me, “Ah, you won’t like it. You won’t win tournaments, it’s just too hard.” I love this kind of thing! I am moved by challenges. I like to make everything that is impossible to some people the easiest things in the world. So I told them, “I will train, I will love it, I will win tournaments and I will be the best at this sport”.
Man, for everything in life that you start from zero and aim for success, you must carry a great desire to reach to your maximum limit! You’ll always have a long road filled with obstacles such as: lions, wars, suffering, and everything bad is ahead of you to make you quit but you have to show that you’re a warrior and win every battle that is in your way—never quit. If you want to defeat every one of them, you have to give your best and overcome your limits!
You trained with the greats such as: Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza, Ricardo Vieira, and most recently Ramon Lemos. What was/is training with each one like?
With Jacaré, I learned how to be a samurai and how to value the small details of life. I remember that we lived at the gym, and sometimes we didn’t even have food to eat! I looked at the guy and he was always happy, joyful and had a will to win at life! He taught me that, at jiu jitsu, I should always have an offensive game with no stalling and have a good mindset. With Ricardo Vieira, I learned how to build a great character and have a technical and dynamic jiu-jitsu style full of stunts!
I am always learning with Ramon Lemos. He is always telling his athletes that, without training, being talented means nothing. If you are an athlete who focuses on your work, you will be recognized for what you do and will never be forgotten for what you do or once did for the sport! He teaches me to be a true athlete! I needed a guy just like this; he completes me.
How did you put together what is now your style of game in jiu jitsu?
I really believe in God, and he drew me to have this game in jiu-jitsu. And I work very hard to reach success.
What are the advantages of being a part of team Atos? What was the deciding factor that made you join the team?
I’ve always had a great desire to train with the Master Miyagi Ramon Lemos (laughs). It was the best change. I am a more focused, determined, and disciplined guy because of it. Atos is a family who shelters everyone. The move to Atos happened because I knew the crew’s work ethic and realized that many people at the team have the same goal that I do. It’s a group where everyone trains to be champions, and the trainings are focused towards that goal.
I made the change after a lot of talking with my parents, who are always there to help me with my decisions. It was then that I decided to make the move. I found that it is a complete team in every single way. We have a great example as a teacher and it is a place where I feel completely at home. The crew is very warm, and they give me the adequate support to maintain my life as a jiu jitsu professional. What matters is that I am super happy with my team and my move. Certainly, this decision was made only to make my jiu jitsu evolve even more.
How did it feel to be considered the “featherweight king” by Tatame Magazine after Worlds 2009?
The only true kings are my parents. Without them, none of this would be possible! I took this praise as something very positive, coming from a magazine like Tatame that’s very well regarded in the sport. I am only thankful to them for this praise.
You mostly fight at featherweight but have come down to light feather on occasions like the 2011 Europeans where you won the final against Bruno Malfacine. What weight category do you prefer?
My favorite division is featherweight, for sure. I feel great at it, and I don’t even have to sacrifice myself too much when dieting, but at my gym there are people at that weight division! I am a very realistic guy, and I think that, right now, there is a lot for me to do at the light feather division. I feel very strong there against my opponents.
What are you currently working on in training?
I am always training, channeling and creating new movements for the sport so everyone will be constantly evolving! I was invited by the organizer David Aguzzi to make the superfight of the Montreal Grappling Experience on December 10, 2011, against Rob Di Censo. I have a great war and a mission to accomplish in Canada!
I am training a lot towards putting on a great show to everyone who is present in the day of the event, and I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to go and watch the show that we will promote, me and Rob Di Censo, and please, whoever wants to contact us to learn more about the event, or wants to schedule seminars with Ary Farias at your gym, contact me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. My profession is jiu jitsu, this is my school, my college and my post-graduation. Now I have started my masters program.
What is your opinion regarding belt and ranking? Do you think it’s necessary for each person to stay a considerable amount of time regardless of talent?
This is a very complicated question to answer. I believe that the athlete has to be at a good team, and that before he joins a team he should know the history of the place, who is the teacher and research the teacher’s history. What matters is that the athlete should be in good hands. If he is, the teacher will only award him the belt at the exact moment, when it’s needed!
I believe that in regards to the belt, it depends on the work and the development of the teacher towards the students. What matters isn’t the belt— it only ties your gi. What really matters is to be focused on the evolution of your training. It doesn’t matter if you’re a black belt or not, what matters is to have quality in the sport! Oss!
Special thanks: Thank you to Budovideos.com for the interview, and credits to the reporter Erin Herle. I would also like to thank every fan of mine who roots for my success and who admires me as an athlete. There aren’t words to describe the amount of love that I feel from you! You are the best fans in the world! Thank you to everyone who sends me messages daily.
All photos (c) Alicia Photos