I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicolas Crema, Union Team Brazil Brown Belt under his father, Professor Alessandro Crema and Professor Gerson Brown in Porto Alegre.
Congratulations to Nicolas on his recent promotion to brown belt. Get to know Nicolas below!
What’s your name?
My name is Nicolas Nascimento Crema.
Where are you from?
I’m from Porto Alegre, Brazil.
What do you do for a living?
I dedicate myself entirely to Jiu Jitsu. I teach private classes and the kid’s program of my gym as well.
What’s your belt rank?
How did you discover BJJ?
When I was really young, 9 years old I think, I told my father I wanted to do Kung Fu, because of a game I played on the computer. He was a blue belt at the time, so he told me to try a Jiu Jitsu class.
Grandmaster Murgel was teaching the kids with the help of Rodrigão, who was a brown belt at the time. I fell in love with the art immediately.
How long have you been training in BJJ?
I started at 9 and stopped at 11, then I started again at 13 and never stopped. I’m 20 now, so 9 years.
What are your BJJ goals?
My goal is to be a black belt world champion, win as much as I can and teach seminars all over the world. These are my ultimate goals, but if you ask me my goals for this week’s training are to sharpen my berimbolo game even more, lol.
I think it’s very important to set small realistic goals, they help me to improve faster.
What’s your favorite submission?
The Brabo Choke from the KneeSlide position, this one is my favorite, but I hit Bow and Arrow Choke more often.
Favorite Jiu Jitsu Practitioner?
Lucas Lepri, he’s flawless when competing, and also a great human being, very humble and smart. I think he’s a great role model.
What has training with Grandmaster Murgel and the Union Team Brazil taught you?
That Jiu Jitsu is not only techniques, but it’s also a way of living. I’ve been taught to be a good person and have a great character. Be loyal to my friends and my beliefs. The great part of the art is its philosophy. I learned and I’m still learning to be a better human being.
What advice would you offer to someone wanting to get started with Jiu Jitsu?
To forget about getting belt ranks and focus on getting better at Jiu Jitsu. I will roll the same way now if I’m wearing a white, purple or red belt.
I know a lot of bad brown belts and good blue belts, at the end of the day, the belt color can lie, but your abilities will never lie.
So, focus on improving and the graduations will come.
And a tip to improve faster: set small, realistic goals.
If you have a guard that everybody passes, see how they do it and discover a way to avoid their pass (or if you train at Union, ask Grandmaster Murgel, he’s like the living Google of Jiu Jitsu, lol).
Now that you know how to avoid the pass, it’s time to train it, set a goal like “nobody will pass my guard within 30 seconds” and keep improving the time until you feel comfortable.
What do you do when you’re not training?
Now I’m having my “vacations”, so I’m only training twice a day. So I have time to hang out with my friends, go to the movies and have fun as a normal adult.
But when I’m preparing myself to compete, I say I train 24 hours a day, my training is training, my rest is training, my nutrition is training, and when I’m not doing any of this, I’m studying new techniques.
What’s your favorite food?
Hamburger, my nutritionist would want me to say eggs, but sorry, it’s hamburgers, lol. mm…