Paulo Miyao Talks Leaving Competition: ‘I’ll be honest, I don’t miss it”

Along with his brother Joao, Paulo Miyao has made a massive mark on sport jiu-jitsu. From purple belt onward, the Miyao brothers used their unique berimbolo games to find success at the highest levels of competition, with Paulo Miyao winning his first IBJJF world championship in 2015. More than just accomplishments on paper, the Miyao brothers led the charge for the berimbolo revolution which has had a lasting impact on the ever-evolving jiu-jitsu metagame.

In a recent conversation with Miyao’s former opponent and current training partner Gianni Grippo, Miyao talked about the transition from competition to teaching.

“For me, it was enough,” said Miyao about walking away from competition. “I won some titles, I lost some also. But for me it was a good journey competing, a good journey of learning. So honestly I don’t miss it. I like to be around but I don’t miss being inside of the mat competing. I enjoy being outside, watching my friends, helping them.”

Miyao has competed well this year with a gold medal at the no-gi Pans, as well as a win over Lucas Pinheiro at Fight To Win. Still, those appearances don’t stack up to the breakneck competition schedule Miyao kept between 2013 and 2019. The transition from competition to teaching hasn’t been without its struggles, but Miyao seems to be coming into his own as an instructor.

“[Joao] is always trying to kill me,” Grippo joked to Paulo. “But you, I feel like you have a lot of technical goals. I can tell when you’re working on certain things.”

“I feel bad if I teach something that doesn’t work,” said Miyao. “So I go there in sparring to do the thing that I am teaching…. At least I am trying to put in the things that I am teaching when I’m sparring.”

Simply put, Miyao has been one of the top black belt competitors of the past decade. So even if we see less and less of him on the mat, we should be thankful that he will continue to share his knowledge through teaching and instructionals.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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