Born and raised in Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Juan Cleber is a 28-year-old black belt. Cleber started to training when he was invited by some friends that don’t even train BJJ anymore.
“I’ve started training by mistake. I’ve had some friends that had trained but they weren’t training anymore. At the time they were looking to return and they’ve invited me to do so, but they never actually went there. It got serious when my brother, Ronaldo Junior, started training with me. My mom’s friend told her that the sport would be great for us, so we started to receive support from our parents. On our first BJJ classes, I got some compliments from our professor for how fast I was learning the positions, and that made me feel very happy. On third class my friend gave up but I’ve decided that I would take that serious and I would keep training. I don’t know why but something was telling me to keep training. That was my beginning on Pitbull Team from Master Adilson Bitta. I’m sure that the fact that I’ve begun training on Pitbull’s Team was very, very good for me.”
Juan Cleber now is training in San Diego, California, alongside his brother and new BJJ star Ronaldo Junior training at Atos BJJ with Andre Galvão. Cleber is there not only to train for the IBJJF Pan-American and World No-Gi, but also to help Galvão to get prepared to return to fight at ADCC in September.
“This camp for ADCC has been incredible and very tough because everybody is giving their best effort. We are training very hard and helping each other, so we can evolve as a group, working together. This is actually new for me, because I’m training wrestling now with everyone. I’ve always liked the sport but I never had the opportunity to train it. Coach Jerome has been giving us some excellent techniques. Nothing is more motivating than watching Andre Galvão training every day. I had a dream that someday I’ve could met him, but now I can train with him, get the feeling on how he does his positions, get some tips and etc. I’m really motivated for this season with No Gi. I really want to give my best at the tournaments and I will really keep giving my best at training and I’m sure that the results will come. ”
American National champion at IBJJF’s San Jose Open and motivated after winning at Fight 2 Win, Juan wants way more than earning his gold medals. He wants to use the jiu-jitsu platform to give his family a better life.
“My main goal is to use jiu-jitsu to give my family a better life, especially after my parents going into this journey with me and my brother like it was their dream too. They always had our backs and being by our side, and nothing can replace that. I really want to also use jiu-jitsu to improve other’s life and help them to get a better health and a better lifestyle”.
See how Juan likes to fight: