Read how one man has given so much to the art of BJJ
We had the pleasure of holding an exclusive interview with Vinicius Magalhaes, known as the one and only Draculino! Draculino is a well-known sixth-degree black belt in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Master Carlos Gracie Junior. Born on July 30th, 1971, Draculino has spent the majority of his life dedicated to mastering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While he is unarguably one of the most talented in the sport, he is also multifaceted in his experiences in combat sports. His dedication to the sport has shaped its trajectory well into the future.
Beginning in the early ’80s, Draculino began his journey in Judo, which led him into Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After becoming an avid surfer, he was introduced to the Gracie family, which paved the way for his career as a connoisseur and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor. Gracie Barra was the first school Draculino attended after his surfing journey leading him into the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After falling in love with the sport, he has been involved in the community and instructing for over thirty-five years! While he was an avid competitor, he has shifted his focus to the sport’s involvement and growth through Bara Gracie, in which he is a prominent leader and a very successful GYM owner. His passion for art has impacted many lives the world over, and he plans to continue to do so well into the future.
The Gracie family and school taught Draculino more than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It taught him “how to maintain health, how to avoid toxic things in life and remain disciplined in a world full of distractions.” Master Carlos Gracie Junior helped Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lead the way to a more healthy and rewarding life, which is something Draculino is very thankful for.
Martial Arts is a beacon for lessons in every area of life, the largest being confidence. It allows a person like Draculino to become comfortable in every aspect of his life, regardless of the hardships placed in front of him.
While Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was once unpopular or intimidating to the average person, the sport began to shift its culture, which widely impacted the popularity and acceptance of the sport internationally. Currently, Draculino trains individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their desire to compete professionally. While there is a plethora of competition-based gyms or offerings, they opened the door to everyone and allowed the sport to thrive on an international level. Much like the beaches in Rio in how no matter if you’re wealthy, or poor, black or white, or any other distinction, you are welcome with open arms. This OPEN and welcoming environment stemmed from their passion for the sport, which has led “Gracie Barra to be considered ahead of its time in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,” according to Draculino.
The influence Draculino has had on the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is nothing short of amazing. The culture of respect surrounding the art today is unrivaled against any sport and has created masters of class and competition. Furthermore, the Gracie family and their deep roots in the sport have created a platform for masters of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu like Draculino and Professor Liborio to share their immense knowledge of the art with others. Regardless of each individual’s size, shape, or features, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has something to offer for everyone from any walk of life. Discipline, respect, and confidence are some of the foundational gifts’ individuals learn a great deal of when coming into contact with the sport. It’s incredible to see the transformation in people’s lives, often total 180’s. Draculino says, “The future of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is very bright and will only continue to grow as time goes on.”