Interview: Professor Anna Cordeiro of Gracie Barra Upland
Anna Cordeiro Talks about BJJ, Her Most Unforgettable Match, and Blackbelt-hood
There is so much cliche about women empowerment and the rise of the what-was-known as the inferior gender. Gender activists would be proud to know that women have taken a big leap in the world of what-was-known as small world of Jiu-Jitsu.
To date, Gracie Barra has around 400 schools spanning across 5 continents. All mixes of race, class, gender, beliefs, religion merge into a whole new language of understanding. The understanding of an art that crosses all known boundaries.
Professor Anna Cordeiro is a woman in control. Driven by grit to succeed in her chosen art, to teach a language easily understood by many.
Fear the belt or the woman. Either way, it works for her.
GB.com: How long have you been a black belt?
Prof. Anna: I’m a black belt since july 2009, at the time I was 23 years old.
GB.com: we’d love to know where all the awesome training came from.
Prof. Anna: When I still lived in Brazil I used to take classes at GB Brasilia, professor Eliezer Pieze, Rafael Freitas, Roberto Tussa, Dande a lot of good professors used to teach classes over there. Some of them are now teaching here in America. When I moved to America luckily I stared to teach classes at professor Marcio Feitosa & Marter Carlos Gracie school. It make me grow so much as a BJJ competitor and as a professor.
GB.com:Black-belted women seems to be very rare. Can you share us your thoughts?
Prof. Anna: There’s so much more girls training now days than before. This is a natural process, more and more people will know about bjj, in a few years we’ll have more practitioners and more black belts in the women’s category.
GB.com: What’s a day-in-the-life of Professor Anna Cordeiro?
Prof. Anna: My life it’s a pretty simple life. I can dedicate my self completely to BJJ. I usually use my mornings to workout at the gym, I like to cook my own lunch, then I spend the rest of the day at Gracie Barra Upland It all couldn’t be possible without my husband’s help Rafael Novaes. We together opened a GB school about 3 years ago and we’re very happy with the results so far.
GB.com: Sounds very busy. Anything outside BJJ?Prof. Anna: I just do BJJ, everyday all day!! I like other sports like, volleyball, swim, workout but BJJ for sure is my favorite!
GB.com: Share to us one of the most memorable matches that you were in
Prof. Anna: I think the most important and hard was against Hannet Stak. I was just a young brown belt in the finals of Pan Ams facing the champ of the champions. I never had fought at this division before, it was my first Pan Ams and I had no pressure to win, because nobody knew me. It was a hard mat, but I won the fight by points. After that I became more popular and a lot of good things stared to happen.
GB.com: Top game or the guard?Prof. Anna: I pull some times, because takedowns are not my best subject. But I really like to play on top.. I have no problem, top or guard I just like to play Jiu Jitsu.