Catching up with Caio TerraFeb 8th, 2011 by Erin Herle
Well on his way to becoming a household name, Caio Terra is doing something right. With wins in open weight divisions, a willingness to spread his knowledge to anyone and a serious down to earth attitude, he is sure to succeed in making his mark. Here he goes into depth about ref decisions, his reputation and even what he has in store for this coming year.
How is your training going?
My training is going well. My schedule consists of jiu jitsu 12 times a week as well as working out after that every day. I work out to prevent injuries and I also focus on being a more strong, explosive competitor.
What is your motivation for competing?
I compete to get better. While some train to perform better in competition, I rely on competition to be better. It’s hard to motivate yourself once you have accomplished most of your goals. You have to create new goals and that can be just as difficult. It is easy to train once a day without even being motivated, but a professional athlete must train more than just a few times a week. I like BJJ and training is a part of my life but I sacrifice a lot of things in life to train as much as I do. Fortunately, it has been paying off most of the time.
You have faced Bruno Malfacine in the finals of many tournaments over the past years including blue belt level. Would you consider him your rival or equal?
He’s a great athlete and deserves my respect but he’s not my rival. I like to watch him compete because he’s definitely one of the best fighters nowadays. My main rival is myself, however I would love to beat him again.
In the past you have openly refuted against calls and decisions made against you at competitions and I know you’ve placed blame upon the competence levels of the current referees as well as lack of regulations. Do you believe that bias is a common factor in the decisions of the refs?
I think it can affect a referee’s ability to accurately do their job but I think it could be many different factors. It happens with some more than others. Throughout my jiu jitsu career I have always been a part of a small team so without a big group or name to back me up and yell in my favor, the refs saw it easy to make bad calls against me. I don’t believe they have any kind of feelings towards me, though.
Regarding the other factors:
First is that they might not like that fact that I was also a ref. I know the rules well and some of the refs feel challenged by it.
Also, some of the refs say that I talk too much during the fights but I don’t see myself talking more than any other black belt.
There are other reasons that I would rather not expose. Sometimes they do make mistakes but I can’t be too mad at them because besides few of my matches, the refs have done a good job.
And I want to make sure that I say it’s not every ref that has made mistakes with me. It happened with just a few of them and I would rather believe that it was involuntary.
How often do you choose to fight in the open weight divisions and what can you contribute to your success in entering these in the past?
I will normally enter the open divisions if I am feeling healthy enough. I have nothing to lose, and the experience I gain doing it I will pass to my students.
I was always the smallest guy at my gym so I have had to learn how to deal with bigger guys since I started. Up until I received my black belt my main training partners were Luis Guilherme and Matheus Andre. They were very good and way bigger so I had to develop a game to be able to deal with them which made me understand better jiu-jitsu and develop an unusual type of game. I’m very happy with my learning experience, because I love the fact that I’m able to teach people all sizes, not only small guys or someone with athletic abilities.
What are your feelings towards the label “little guy jiu jitsu?” Do you think your accomplishments are overlooked because of your connection to this phrase?
I think it is not just me, but all my opponents that don’t get the respect we should. I had to win the open class not once but a few times before people started noticing me. The smaller weight classes are always overlooked, unless the guy has trained with me LOL
Do you like to plan ahead for the future or do you enjoy living in the moment? How has this helped you throughout your jiu jitsu career?
I plan some things but I live in the moment mostly. I don’t have plans for my competitions, though. If I’m not too sick or too hurt I’m competing. I have competed many times hurt and/or sick, sometimes without training for a couple months, but competing is my way to learn quicker and I always try to as many times as possible. I do have my main tournaments and I do train way harder for them but I try to train no matter what is coming up.
How hard was it for you to adapt to an American way of life when you moved to the US? Do you consider America home more than Brazil now?
It was actually not that hard. In the beginning I felt kind of lonely, but I think that’s how it is wherever you move. To be honest, I have no desire to go back home besides to visit my family and friends. I love Brazil, though.
What competitions do you have planned for 2011?
I want to compete as much as possible. I will compete in the Pan Americans and at the Worlds Gi and No-Gi for sure, no matter how sick or hurt I can be. I also just won my invite to the Abu Dhabi World Pro Cup in April. I will try my best to be present at the rest.
Any seminars or special dates you want to mention?
I will be in Omaha, Nebraska on February 26th and New York on the 27th. If you would like to request a seminar at your school you can contact me on my website. I am open to any school and I hold no secrets.