Interview with Jose Carlo: one of the top BJJ black belt competitors and coaches in Scandinavia

He came from Brasil and started the Kimura team in Norway from the small town of Gjøvik. Today Kimura is one of the strongest teams in Norway with academies in Hamar, Eidsvoll, Egersund and Stavanger. Jose is also European champion 2017 and European champion open Class no GI 2014, as well as being the coach of two of the best Norwegian grapplers at the moment, Espen Mathiasen, and Tommy Langaker. In this interview, Jose talks about his coaching philosophy, training routines and the BJJ Scene in Scandinavia.

1. Hi, Please introduce yourself to the BJJ Scandinavia community
My name is Jose Carlos Hissa Granja. Kimura nova Uniao. Black belt. European champion 2017, European champion open Class no GI 2014, 3rd place in My weight class and open class no GI in the world championship in California 2014. 3rd place with GI in the world championship in 2014. Brazilian champion in my weight class and open class in 2013. Multiple times IBJJF champion.

2. What is your BJJ story?
I started with judo at my school when I was 8 years old. Started to train BJJ when I was 16 years old at Kimura in My city Natal. My master was and still is Jair Lorenco. I always was training a lot BJJ and also MMA e vale tudo at kimura.

3. You have trained many champions like Espen Mathiasen, Tommy Langaker and more, do you have secret programme?
No, I do not have any secret. When we do something that we love it always goes well. We train hard, drill a lot and study different strategies. All this without putting pressure on the athletes.

4. What did you think of the performance of Espen and Tommy at the Europeans, Pans and Copa podio?
They are flying. Tommy finished all the fights in European and Pan. Total of 10 submission. In addition, Espen gave a show this year in the Copa Podio with 6 very exciting fights, I really enjoyed them! In addition, both were European and Pan champions. Espen finalized the 6 fights and in the pan he finished 4th of 6 then we are going in the right way! I am very happy to have dedicated athletes which have the same objective

5. Being one of the top BJJ black belts in Norway, how do you see BJJ evolving in Norway and Scandinavia?
I am very happy to see BJJ growing so much in Norway and also in the Scandinavia. We already have a lot of great athletes here in Norway and Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The growth of BJJ in Scandinavia is comparable to the growth of BJJ Brazil at the 90’s. It is growing and it is not stopping.

6. Tell us about your academy
It all started in a city called Gjøvik, there I started my first academy. From there, the BJJ family grew and today we have an academy in Hamar, Eidsvoll, Egersund and Stavanger (all in Norway). My philosophy is to be a family, we want all the members to be united and happy. I want to help the insecure to be secure and the aggressive to be educated. BJJ can make you life better for sure.

7. What is your training routine
I train fitness at the gym in the morning. BJJ from 11 to 12.30 and I train BJJ in the evening for 2 hours. I do a lot of mental training with my students.

8. What is next for you in 2017
I am going to the world championship in Las Vegas, last time I lost in the semi finals but this year i am going to WIN!

9. Favourite technique?
Half guard but I also like takedowns.

10. Thanks and feel free to send a message to the BJJ Scandinavia community
I want to thank all the teachers in Scandinavia that do a great job. Working together for so that BJJ becomes even bigger. Thank you all.