Please get to know a bit more about our head Professor Rodrigo.
Hello Professor Rodrigo, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Sure! My name is Seidler Rodrigo, and I was born in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I am married to Daniela, and we have a son named Pedro who also trains BJJ.
What did you do before you became a Professor at Gracie Barra?
Well, I used to be a pharmacist. I hold a masters degree in pharmaceutical sciences. For many years, I worked at FIOCRUZ (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) in Rio de Janeiro, one of Latin America’s main Research and Development in Bioscience institutions.
How did you get involved in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
My mom and I used to play wrestling in our backyard in Brazil, and she thought it would be good for me to train a martial art. At that time I was not taking that so seriously; it was just a hobby.
By 2009, I was overweight and had high cholesterol. Then I decided to enroll in a Gracie Barra school to improve my fitness and overall health. But I had no idea that this would be the beginning of a life change.
So how did you start your career as a BJJ athlete?
I like challenges, so I started competing since I was a white belt and even more after defending the red shield since 2012.
What were the biggest challenges you faced as an athlete?
I believe all matches are challenging and everyone is there to do their best. I would say the biggest challenge is commitment. You have to truly commit to your training, learning and improvement and pay the price for this. Life will always tempt us to stay home, to not push hard. To succeed, discipline and commitment is the key.
When did you start as a Gracie Barra Professor?
We can be called “professor” once we are promoted to the black belt, so it was December, 17th 2017. I am a Black Belt under Jefferson Moura and I had the honor to be promoted at the very first GB school in the world, Gracie Barra Matriz, RJ, Brazil. But I helped in classes since blue belt and started to teach alone in 2013, as a purple belt.
What is your mission to your students at Gracie Barra Salt Lake City and Gracie Barra West Jordan?
I am a very focused and dedicated person in everything I do. And it’s no different with my students. I think the most important part of my job is to change the lives of my students through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, using the Gracie Barra philosophy developed by Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
My mission as a Professor at Gracie Barra is not only to shape great athletes who will compete, but also to teach my students how to become more confident and, of course, defend themselves and their loved ones when necessary.
In your opinion, what are the main benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
The main benefit is to make you the best version of yourself. It is achieved in several ways. The workout is outstanding and physical activity is fundamental for health and happiness. But on top of this, the game itself, the art is just like an addiction. It never ends. We could add the confidence acquired by learning the best self defense system in the world and all the effects on the brain by establishing good relationships and trust with your training partners. So it helps the body, mind and relationships, for kids and adults.
Is there an important lesson you have learned with BJJ that you would like to share?
That it is never late to start. I changed my career completely after it was really well established, and it was my best decision ever. Do something new, try, keep learning, keep moving. There are great things waiting for you, but you must go there and get them.
What is your proudest moment in your career as a Gracie Barra Professor?
I would say my proudest moment is not about me. The unforgettable day was my black belt promotion. For me, to be recognized by so many references as a black belt is just priceless. We talk a lot about our legacy and it has a special meaning for me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start to practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra?
Don’t be hard on yourself! You have to come to class, trust your coaches and have fun while you learn. Adults are sometimes super exigent with themselves and start to think about performance still as a beginner student. If you just relax and enjoy, you learn. Let time do the job and experience the amazing benefits of this sport.
Let us know a bit about your life outside the mats: what do you like to do in your free time?
I am a husband and a dad, so I like to spend most of my time with my family. We like to hike, to enjoy Brazilian barbecue together, to go to the movies, go bike and stay home together.