Through the trials and tribulations of our everyday experiences, we all hope to possess one thing to even the sometimes tilted playing field we call “life”. For myself and most of the followers of this site, that escape is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So few are able to describe the need for training to those who do not participate themselves. Constant questions and unreasonable presumptions spew from the lips of the naive of the sport and life-style we pursue. We as a human race are always presented with obstacles
throughout our time on Earth, and we all deal with such in our own ways. Some turn to a good book, others turn to a hearty meal. Unfortunately it appears more and more people tend to turn to negative means to relieve the pressure. Excessive amounts of alcohol and other foreign chemicals seem to lead the pack of negative habits through my life experience as a young adult. One such mentor of many BJJ practitioners and fans alike suffered such a downturn. Fernando “Terere” Augusto.
When I first started BJJ, like most obsessive participants, I sought out video footage and any techniques of the current elite in the game. For me, I instantly gravitated toward many of the well known practitioners. At the head of the list, was Terere. Not many players at my gym knew of the name. In my environment, he was surprisingly an unknown. Of course my instructors knew of the legend, as does everyone with the obsession of BJJ. But to the “everyday Jiu-Jitsu guy”, the word “Terere” might as well be the dark–Brazilian herbed beverage it literally is. If you watch Fernando in action, that naivety would certainly dwindle.
Fernando “Terere” Augusto da Silva was born November 15th of 1980 in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As per BJJHeroes, He started training Jiu Jitsu as a way to escape the drug traffic and violence which occurred on his streets with his masters Roberto Traven and Alexandre Paiva. His unnatural athletic ability made him a success in competition from the start, winning every major
tournament there was to win from blue belt to black belt. He stated in an interview that he always liked to fight from the top position because he is slightly claustrophobic and being on the bottom causes him significant distress, and so every time he hit a bad position he would spin out of it as fast and explosively as possible. He is considered still today the most charismatic Jiu-Jitsu fighter to have stepped on a mat, and he often brought the crowd to a roar when he fought.
2004 would mark the beginning of Terere’s troubles. After supposedly shouting abusive rhetoric at an airline stewardess as well as acting very erratic, he was promptly detained in the United States and questioned. With the 2001 tragedy in New York fresh in the public’s and law enforcement’s minds, his accused actions weren’t treated lightly. Fernando soon fell into a horrific depressive tailspin, aided by his recent drug abuse that soon led to full blown addiction. He soon abandoned the lifestyle and sport that he seemed to cherish. The addiction was simply too much for even the mighty Terere to handle successfully. After completely dropping off the BJJ radar with the news of his addictions and mental issues for the next year or so, 2006 marked the year Fernando moved to the North-eastern town of Natal to escape his troubles. Thought to be fully cured, Terere decided to make the move back to Rio, only to fall back into his destructive drug addiction.
2009… A brilliant and celebration worthy year for all BJJ players alike. With the efforts of such talent and friends like Marcelo Garcia, Andre Galvao, and Alexandre “Gigi” Paiva- Terere was set on a mission of recovery through both donations and love. This time, he was more determined then ever to return to the glory and comfort our great sport provided him once before. He now has set goals in front of him , and is once again touring for seminars as he did back in 2004. “It’s time to forget the past and look to the future. I want to train and get my body back into top shape. And who knows, maybe I’ll win a Worlds before ending my career,” Terere told GracieMag. Who’s to doubt the charismatic one?