There are many people I would like to acknowledge for the help they have given me in my practice. If I listed everyone, it would take many pages.
All of those with whom I have had the pleasure of practicing — from those with white belts to those with black belts, from the Brazilians to the foreigners — have in some way helped me with my unending search to improve my technique. They have helped me on my way through a complex martal art which is difficult to understand. It demands years of devotion to attain an upper level of maturity, as well as technical and pedagogical expertise.
I am convinced that it is not enough to gain knowledge; one must also know how to convey knowledge.
There are a few people that I need mention, however, as they have been present througout my life:
My friend and teacher Romero Cavalcante, Jacare, who opened my eyes to the sport. He is an example of how to combine the profesional career of a fighter and teacher with one’s personal life, of how to transform a profession into a lifestyle and to enjoy what you are doing. I met so many friends in his school, not to mention Daniela, who became my wife.
My mother Salvia, who always understood and respected my will to do what I want. This allowed me to devote my efforts entirely to my practice.
My wife Daniela: a great athlete with international recognition, a black belt owner, and a cyclist who won the Race Across America 2009. She has sport in her blood. She is my greatest motivator who helped me discover new dimensions in sports, and who gave me beautiful children and a fantastic family.
My children, Victorio, Julia, and Antonio, for understanding my absence at home and for being aware of my love, a love that is bigger than any possible physical distance between us.
Fabio Gurgel, my great friend and colleague from the Alliance Team — a person with great character and excellent technique — who has always supported me. He is one of the best entrepreneurs in the martial arts world, one who has become an example for me.
Fernando Gurgel, Fabia’s brother and my friend since the age of 3. He has always been like a brother to me. One of the best teachers in the academy.
Orlando Cani, my teacher and yoga master, a wonderful person who has enriched me with his friendship and respect. He is one of those people who is born to set an example of what it means to be a human.
Elcio Figueiredo, my long time friend and brother who, at the beginning of my teaching career, gave me strength. Although now we are far away from each other, he will always remain my oldest brother.
Luis Fernando, like a father to me, always sharing his precious advice and wisdom of the life of athlete.
Sebastian Slowek, my student and friend who is responsible for shaping up this book.
Markku Juntunen, who always comes to my mind when I think of a charismatic person from the martial arts world. He is also a true example of a great student and friend.
Alexandre Puga, my student and friend who works with me at the academy, always supporting me, always ready to help.
I would also like to acknowledge the Gracie Family for their input into the development of the exeptional martial art that Jiu-Jitsu is. I would especially like to mention:
Rickson Gracie, a warrior and an idol who inspired me and my generation. I have been honored with the privilege of practicing with him and being thought of by him.
I couldn’t miss this opportunity to express my appreciation to those who were not a part of my sport’s life, yet played imoprtant roles in my life in other ways.
Life’s secret wisdom is to face every day of your life as if it were your last, trying to be the best possible human, not showing off in front of others, but merely for the sake of doing the best you can.
This type of thinking I owe my uncle Silvio, uncle Paulo, my cousin Marcinho, Davidowi Isaac (Mumm-Rá), my brother Kiko, Gilberto (Giba), Jules Sideratos, and my father Aldo Genovesi, who even though he wasn’t able to assist me in my sporting career and did not see my children grow up, has always been a point of reference for me in both my good decisions and my mistakes.
As my mother-in-law used to say: “... the world is only for a few, for a very few.” Life is in ours hands. We do not have to understand this fact to live in a happines which comes from what we have, not from what we have lost.
—Alexandre Paiva Genovesi