Ronaldo Adriano Mendes Dos Santos was born in Sao Paulo - Brazil on the 10th May 1984. He has 2 sisters and one brother. His sister and he were adopted at the age of 2 and 4 into an extremely strict home. His father was a military and they lived on an Air-force base for majority of his young life, and Soccer & Capoeira was his life. At 23 he made the decision to move to Australia to learn English and look for better opportunities, that when he met his wife Brooke Mendes dos Santos (His biggest supporter) after being in Australia for 1 year, which is when he decided Australia would be his new home. It definitely was not easy to start with, with his lack of English it was hard to find a job. After struggling for a while someone gave him the opportunity which he needed. Life started to become easier. His wife and he bought a house. They then tried to get into the healthy lifestyle of eating well and doing a lot of cross fit. His wife than fell pregnant with their baby girl in 2016. It was then he decided he wanted to train BJJ. All he can say is it was instant love from there. It was like an addiction, He couldn’t stop. His wife came to every training session and watched his passion grow and grow. He than decided to compete in his first competition after just 1 month of training. He lost his first match but he learnt so much. From than his coaches Shane Poppleton saw the fire he had inside to want to compete and he has pushed and supported him at every comp since then. Over the past year he has competed in 14 competitions, in that he has bought home 16 Golds 2 Silvers and 2 Bronze. This month November 2017 he received his Blue belt. Now his BJJ journey continues bringing his family with him, BJJ is now a part of their lifestyle.
Q&A Session Between Ronaldo Mendes dos Santos and Elite Sports
Question: What will you suggest to the newcomers?
Answer: Set yourself challenges every time you train. Ideally, approach everything as though it's the first time - with a beginner's mind and an amateur's love. You can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.
Question: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
Answer: Fighting to me means the world, when I get onto the mats, it makes me forget about any stressful thing that might be going on in my life. BJJ is my happy place.
Question: What are the essential things for the training?
Answer: To be humble, to always listen, ask questions, focus and work hard.
Question: What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
Answer: I walk on the mat with a smile, I walk off the mat with a smile. Win or lose I am happy. I have hunger and love for the sport
Question: What is the meaning of success in your mind?
Answer: Success to me is when I can sit back look at my fights and win or lose be completely happy with what I have achieved. Also being able to share my love for the sport and have someone who wants to be included in the great sport because of me is success in my books
Question: With whom you would like to fight, and why?
Answer: I would love to fight Erberth Santos, not because I think I could win but because it would be amazing to roll with someone so amazing
Question: HIs there any difference b/w your common days’ diet and during competition training diet?
Answer: Common days I can’t say I am the best eater, I do love food, but when comp is coming up I do eat clean because I do feel it makes a big difference
Question: How does a beginner will prepare for the competition? Any advice for beginners?
Answer: First comp are always going to be hard because of the battle you have with yourself. My advice would be keep a clear mind, don’t have in your mind you are going to lose because you’re just a beginner because you don’t know if the person your competing against is a beginner to. Always remember you don’t lose you learn, see it as a normal open mat.
Question: How is it helpful to have the information about your competitor?
Answer: I personally don’t like to know. If you go into a fight knowing they could be experienced you end up overthinking everything.
Question: Is the martial arts necessary for a common person? How?
Answer: I think martial arts is great for the common person, not only does it get you fit and healthy but it can help with self-esteem and self-defense, also discipline
Question: Which moment is memorable for you in your past competitions?
Answer: Would have to be my first Gold, it was the Brisbane Open comp in 2016. Could not keep the smile off my face.
Question: How do martial arts help to build a leader?
Answer: The discipline, the knowledge you can teach people and the amazing team you can build.
Question: How is the road plan necessary for any competition?
Answer: : I think having a plan helps you improve. The plan should be to focus on what needs improvement and to perfect the things you are good at.
Question: Do you have any advice for your competitors?
Answer: : Relax, I’m a friendly guy.
Question: How much importance has the sports gear in any competition?
Answer: : Very important if you not comfortable with what you’re wearing it can make you feel uncomfortable with your fight.
Question: What should we learn from the legends /or from the seniors? Who is your inspiration?
Answer: : I think it’s clear the legends and our seniors never gave up to be where they are today, so I think the most thing we have to learn from them is never to give up. My inspiration is my coach’s Shane Poppleton and Daniel Lima. Shane because he teaches me to relax and enjoy the sport and Daniel because he pushes me even when I’m tired.
Question: To whom you would like to compliment for your success?
Answer: : My wife Brooke, she always has my back, she has supported me at every training session, every comp. She is like our team mum, always makes sure everyone is fed and hydrated. Also of course my coaches and my team mates
Question: Who is your favorite legendary fighter? Why?
Answer: : Rodger Gracie – because he is the greatest, his matches and knowledge are always amazing