Combat Sports Project Est.2012
Combat Sports Project Est.2012

Interview with BJJ champion Cristiano Kaminishi


For the series of interviews, planned, I decided to start with my friend and long time sparring partner Cristiano Kaminishi, from Axis BJJ- Tokyo HQ.


Could you please introduce your self and lets us know about your gym, rank and achievements in BJJ and MMA.

My name is Cristiano Kaminishi . I am from Brazil . I started BJJ in Dec of 97 in Tokyo at Gracie Japan . I started pro MMA in 2004 in Deep Impact in Japan . I am second degree black belt in BJJ, 8 times national champion of Japan, 7 times Dumau Kimonos BJJ Cup champion, 2 times Ground Impact Pro BJJ Cup champion, 2 times Parana State champion, also have won the gold at the 4th Annual Hawaiian State Cup in 2000, Panams in 2002, Brazil Cup in 2002, Surfight BJJ in 2002, Asian Cup in 2006 and many other tournaments in Japan. Placed 3rd in the black belt masters division in 2011 and the European Championship in 2011.

 Why did you start training and what got you into BJJ?

After I watched the UFC 1,2,3 and 4 with Royce Gracie , I was curious about learning Gracie Jiu Jitsu . And now I am so glad I had 80% successes in all tournaments I decide to compete .

Tell us a bit about all the gyms you have trained until now. What is the difference between all the gyms in the different countries?

All my career I tried to learn as much as I can . So in 2001-2003 I spend some time in Brazil to learn from Brazilian Top team . That time was the best time for BTT with all the big names from Pride FC. Minotauro, Minotouro, Murilo Bustamante , Paulo Filho , Mario Sperry , Ricardo Arona , etc. But also in 2002 I dedicate so much to learn more Bjj from these legends . That year for me was the best year with big results . I won the panamerican Bjj in Orlando /USA , I defeat Roberto Abreu Cyborg, Braulio Estima. At Brazilian Nationals I defeat Romolu Barral . All these fighters are now World black belts champions and ADCC champions . For mma fights I always trained in Axis BJJ in Tokyo but since it is a BJJ gym, the MMA training was not on very professional level. After my first and unique loss at Heat mma in 2007 , I decide move to USA for prepare for the fights at American Top Team academy in Florida .It was really good experience see how all the UFC fighters training . They are very professional .

What was the funniest moment you had in the sport?

The funniest moments were when all fighters and coaches from Brazilian Top Team came to fight at Pride . All the time they were pranking each other and told us a lot of old stories about others fighters and teams !

Which sport accomplishment made you happiest in your life?

When I look behind , I came to Japan to work in factories , 12 hours a day , but I choose and invest my time to learn Bjj , I think I did the best choice fort life . I travel for 14 countries to compete and teaching . I meet so many nice people , I learned so much. Now I am sponsored by Tribus Kimonos and can travel the world, teach BJJ and make money at same time. It’s priceless.

What was the most difficult moment you have experienced in your sports life?

My injuries were the most difficult part in my career . I had 3 surgeries just recently . Nose , knee and shoulder . But the one thing really piss me off is my lower back problem . Hernia disc , maybe I need one more surgery this year . I will try to keep fighting until 40 years old . If not possible I need to start thinking about  retirement.

Have you ever felt like you should be doing something else for living? What are your current projects?

I am so glad that I started Bjj long time ago. My projects are still fighting mma , teaching Bjj and in the next 2-3 years I would like to  open my own academy in Brazil .

What are your future plans?

Fix my lower back and back to fighting.

What is your advise to our readers?

There are no secrets , only dedication, discipline and honesty- those are the secrets for the success !

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