As i said in my first post it is not very often that a person gets to spend time with their hero, so I certainly feel privileged that I get to train with Professor Terere on a daily basis. Last week this got even more awesome when I got to kick it with him. We finished another badass morning session, putting in the drills and rolling like lives depended on it. I was buying a new Gi from the club but Terere had forgot to bring it from his place, so he was like ‘come to my house after training’, maaaaaan I was like ‘oh shit I am going to Terere’s gaff!’
When we first got out of the gym whilst we waited for our lift, Terere was giving me tips how to pick up Brazilian chicks. Whilst I didn’t quite get all of his advice, I have the distinct feeling even if I needed it, I would not be able to run game as successfully as him! He is seriously one of the happiest people I’ve ever met, so after briefing me on how to mack on hotties, he began to leisurely sing and dance. Bearing in mind we are in the middle of the street, but I’m not one to be left out, so I started busting out my white boy moves as well, anyone that has ever seen me dance knows the deal. In a rare moment of clarity at least a third of a second into my ‘dance’, I thought ‘dude what the hell are you doing?’. Terere has got crazy ass rhythm and looked dope as hell, (check the 0.50 of the video to see his skills) myself on the other hand have no rhythm to speak of and I just looked like a nob.
Walking through the favela together, it became clear just how loved he is by his community. We stopped and spoke to everyone we came into contact with; adults, old people and children, everyone has got love for him and he reciprocates it right back. We passed a group of 7 or 8 little dudes, their faces light up when they saw Terere and he made time to speak to them all and drop some knowledge.
It became pretty surreal when we arrived at his spot, so I’m sat chilling at his house watching the football with his Dad, drinking a smoothie Terere made for me. I seriously had to check myself, I’m drinking a smoothie that a 2 time black belt world champion and in my opinion the greatest Jiu-Jitsu fighter of all time made for me, this shit was straight up gangsta.
After grabbing my Gi and chilling for a bit, we took a tour through the social project ‘Espaco Crianca Esperanca Cantagalo’ which translated means Child Hope Space . First stop, we hit up a sowing spot as Terere needed to get his Gi amended. He puts on his Gi to show the chick what he wants doing but realises he has no belt, ‘Moz have you got your belt’, I’m like ‘yeah sure’. I give Terere my blue belt and he puts that bad boy on! If I ever washed my belt, I definitely wouldn’t now! We had a joke it’s been a long time since he wore Faixa azul; 1997!
As we were walking through the social project I notice this muriel of Terere himself, according to my good friend Nico translated this say’s “This is Fernando Terere, from Conta Galo, 6x world champion in Jiu-Jitsu, an inspiration in this sport and the community and worthy of this great contribution, may God bless him”. How cool is that shit? It shows shows just how inspirational the dude is, not just to the world of Jiu-Jitsu but the huge favela community he was raised in here in Rio. The reason I wanted to come and train with him was due to him being the a multiple time world champion and the owner of the sexiest Jiu-Jitsu known to man. What I have come to see today has made me revere him as an amazing human being who gives freely to his community and provides inspiration for the many that really need it.
A little epilogue to this tale, when I left Terere, the lift of the social project was obviously on the blink, so I had to hit up the stairs, we are like a thousand feet in the sky. These stairs are on some crazy ghetto shit business, there is no light, so I feel I’m descending into Freddy’s boiler room. I hear foot steps and any second expect Mikey Myers to come at me brandishing a butcher knife, however I get a very angry Brazilian vocalising to me or maybe themselves what I can only guess is how pissed off they are at 15 minutes worth of straight stair climbing!