Monday, December 13, 2010

Cobrinha's new school in LA - interview from facebook page

In an audio interview during the 2010 Mundials, 8-time BJJ World Champion Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles Maciel announced his intention to open a school in California. After looking at many different locations throughout the state, he has signed a lease and is packing his bags to head to Los Angeles. We sat down with Cobrinha to get his thoughts on his future school and what his plans are.
What’s new, Cobrinha?
A lot is new! I am moving to California to open my own school - I have been talking about it for a while, but I am excited to finally say that we have a location and I am preparing for the next chapter of my life. This has been a dream of mine since I received my black belt.

When will the school be open?
Sometime in January. They are working on the space right now to get it ready for classes. As they are working on the facility, I am working on the business side of things and getting ready to move. Everything is happening very fast, and I am excited to get everything in place to start teaching classes.

Where is the new school located?
My new school is located at 4929 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, Suite 104. It is close to West Hollywood, about 25 minutes from the airport. It is located on the first floor of a mid-rise office building.  An office building location is a little unorthodox, but I think it’ll be great – there’s lots of parking, which is difficult to come by in this area.  It is also a very professional setting which is aligned with the way I will run my school.

How big is your facility?
I’ll have everything people will need to get a great workout, and then to clean up, of course.  My school is 3400 square feet with around 2000 feet of mat space, so there’ll be plenty of room to roll. The school has both men’s and women’s changing rooms, fully equipped with showers.

What made you choose this location?
I prefer living in a big city, and it is hard to beat the energy and opportunities that Los Angeles offers.  The climate is similar to my home in Brazil, so I can spend more time outside. Also, Alliance is not currently represented in the Los Angeles area, so it is a way for us to have a base in the area for the many tournaments that take place in California.

Will you be teaching classes there?
Yes, I’m excited to be teaching all classes every day.

Will the classes be focused on competition jiu-jitsu?
Of course I would like to have a good competition team, but it will not be the only focus. I would like to have a balance of sport jiu-jitsu and practical jiu-jitsu to cater to everybody’s interest.

What will the class structure be?
I have always been structured and disciplined when it comes to training and teaching and think that’s what makes athletes successful.  Basically, each week we will be focusing on a certain position and building on that position for the whole week. I do not like showing random techniques each night; I prefer to build on the previous lesson so that we can build a good foundation in our techniques. We will have a fundamentals class that we build upon in our advanced classes. Fundamentals and advanced classes will run back-to-back and will be structured so that people new to jiu jitsu can join and start learning the fundamentals at any point, and the structured fundamentals course will ensure that new students learn the basics quickly.

Is the school open to everyone from different teams?
Yes, all students of jiu-jitsu are welcome. I will be setting up a visitation program for people travelling from around the world to have a place to stay when they are training at my school. I love to meet people from all over who enjoy my style of jiu-jitsu.

LA is a big jiu-jitsu city.  Other than the fact that you’re a 8X World Championship winner, why should people come to your school, in particular?
I think one of the reasons people will want to come train with me is that they enjoy my style of jiu jitsu, which is aggressive and always going for the submission.  They will also see that I really enjoy teaching people at all levels and with different objectives in the sport – whether it be someone who just enjoys jiu jitsu as a part-time hobby or someone who wants to be a world champion.  I get a lot of satisfaction in helping each person reach his/her own goals, whatever they may be.  People who aren’t sure should come check it out with a free trial class!

How long will the classes be?
The fundamental classes will be one hour and the advanced classes will be an hour and a half. I think this is an ideal time frame – it’s important that beginners are careful and don’t burn out or get injured.  However, on the advanced side, we need more intensity, but still need to get people out in enough time to do their day jobs.

Will you be competing in 2011?
Maybe. Right now I am focused on getting my school running first, but I always have a passion for competition.  I have continued to train consistently because I am not ready to close that door.

How do I contact you to learn more about the school?
Right now, you can email me at - I will also be posting updated contact information on my website and my facebook page as soon as I get things set up.

Anything else in closing?
First of all, I look forward to seeing you in LA!  Come by and check out the school!  But very importantly, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Jacare for allowing me to teach at his school for the past 3 years. I have learned so much not only jiu-jitsu, but also how to run a business and how to be a good instructor. I would also like to thank the students of Alliance Atlanta for their patience with me. They have also taught me a lot about how to teach. When I came, I spoke very little English, but I learned quickly with their help. They will always have a home in LA whenever they want!

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