The Team: Part 1. Chute Boxe Academy

When you're in the ring, fighting is a one-on-one competition. If you want to become truly strong, though, you can't with your own strength alone. The support of the fans and support from corner men, trainers and friends become an important source of strength. In short, the team is very important. In this series, PRIDE Fighting Championship puts the spotlight on the "team" and tries to find out the secret behind true strength. In this edition, we speak to Chute Boxe Academy leader Rudimar Fedrigo, the man who created such famous fighters as Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.




Pride Fighting Championships: What was the reason for creating the Chute Boxe Academy?
Rudimar Fedrigo: I was in a car accident when I was just 12 or 13 and I broke my leg. I wanted to strengthen that leg so I began muay thai training as a form of rehabilitation. I became very serious about muay thai after that and decided to create my own academy. At the time, I was only teaching muay thai but we began teaching (Brazilian) jujitsu in the 90's and after that, mixed martial arts.
Pride: When did you officially establish the Academy?
Fedrigo: Almost 30 years ago. I was still very young at that time and I was blessed with coaches and students. [Note: The Chute Boxe Academy was established in 1979 when Fedrigo was just 17 years old!]
Pride: Did you have another job at the same time you created the Academy?
Fedrigo: I was still a student until I created the Academy, so I was training with the help of my parents. Once I created the Academy, though, I was able to make a living through the Academy alone.
Pride: That's amazing. There are a lot of gyms in Japan but there aren't many people that survive on their gym alone.
Fedrigo: I think it's important to become seriously involved in the Academy. Once I began the Academy, I thought about fights and the Academy all day. Sometimes I even held the punching mitts for my students in my dreams. (laughing) It's also important to not be satisfied with the current situation. I've also believed that things can be made better, even if just a little. Another thing is that I have been blessed with the people around me.
Pride: Chute Boxe has produced a lot of famous fighters, starting with Wanderlei Silva. What is the most important thing to you when it comes to raising fighters?
Fedrigo: The first thing I would like to say is that I couldn't do anything by myself in the beginning. The Academy is a team and it is because we are a team that the fighters become strong. For example, Raphael Cordeiro now works as a coach but he was originally my student and a fighter. Now he has grown into his position as a coach and is teaching the younger generations all of the difficulties of his previous training and the techniques that I taught him.
Pride: There are many fighters that believe it doesn't matter if the fight is boring as long as they win. Chute Boxe fighters always try to give exciting fights, though. Is that something that you teach them?
Fedrigo: Yes, that's exactly right. If you are going to be in a fight, you have to push forward and be aggressive. We always have that in the back of our minds when we train.
Pride: Chute Boxe fighters also seem to be extremely well mannered. Do you teach those manners at the Academy?
Fedrigo: There has to be respect between the students and the coaches in training. So, there are a lot of things about which we have to mind our manners. However, we are all friends and I'm always available for advice if anyone has a problem. We think about each other and sometimes we talk about our own lives. It is not just about respect, though. We are a big family at the Academy.
Pride: I see. So the Academy is a very tight unit. Chute Boxe has branches in both Japan and the United States. What are your plans for the future?
Fedrigo: We want as many people as possible to understand the Chute Boxe philosophy. I would like to create Chute Boxe branches throughout the world.
Pride: I hope you will continue to raise incredible fighters!
Fedrigo: Thank you very much. I believe that is exactly why we do our best everyday. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone.