No Holds Barred: Carlos Carvalho on ADCC and Grappling Everywhere, and Strikes in Brazil

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On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Carlos Carvalho, the executive officer of the USA ADCC Federation (

Carlos is in New York to compete at the New York Summer International Open IBJJF Championship this Saturday, July 13. Returning recently to competition after taking a break, Carlos had a very successful trip to Rome, Italy, winning gold at the Rome International Open IBJJF Championship on June 29 in the black belt male senior heavyweight division, and also winning gold at the European Open No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2013 on June 30, also in the black belt male senior heavyweight division. He hopes to return home to Columbus, Ohio, with another medal from New York.

We spoke with him Friday at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York.

Besides discussing his own return to the mat, we focused on the seemingly unstoppable growth of grappling virtually everywhere in the world. He noted the great improvement in the level of competition he had seen in Europe, and how he expects this trend to continue.

In the USA, the ADCC Federation has a busy schedule of events coming up, with the next tournament set for Saturday, August 3, in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Mountain Pointe High School. More ADCC tournaments are planned for the USA this year in the Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, and Miami areas.

The 2013 ADCC World Submission Fighting Championships will take place October 19-20 in Beijing, China.

"There's a lot of tournaments that are trying to figure out a formula to make this sport interesting to be watched by the general public," he said. "In some different rules in some organizations, the fights take too long. In some other ones, it takes too short. In some other ones, it's not fair this. In some other ones, it's not fair there."

He sees the ADCC rules, where the first half of the match is submission-only and the second half has points, as the best.

"In particular, the rules of ADCC are the most fair and the most active set of rules for the grappling that we have today."

We also discussed a program which is being organized with UAE Jiu Jitsu to bring both black belt and brown belt instructors to the United Arab Emirates to provide instruction in jiu-jitsu.

Besides discussing grappling, we also continued our examination of the mass protests in Brazil against the out-of-control public spending for the FIFA World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics, while the basic needs of the bulk of the people are not being met. After nationwide mass demonstrations erupted in June all over Brazil, on Thursday, July 11, there was a ''National Day of Strikes, Stoppages and Protests'' led by labor unions. Tens of thousands of workers marched in the streets and held a one-day strike in dozens of cities to demand workers' rights, better working conditions, and more investment in many areas such as public health, education, and transportation. We discussed the importance of these ongoing struggles by the people of Brazil, some of the lessons which the combat sports can teach those involved in these struggles, and more.

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