Paulo Fernando Augusto
Early Beginnings in Judo
Born in the metropolis of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1970, Paulo Fernando Augusto discovered his affinity for martial arts at a young age. One day at the local YMCA, a five-year-old Paulo feasted his eyes upon a Judo class in action; and immediately, he begged his mother to sign him up for lessons. While his other siblings Carlos and Valeria were also interested in Judo, Paulo thrived at the sport, incessantly practicing and never ceasing to achieve a new level of understanding through his continued persistence.
Training underneath Master Yamasaki
As a precocious learner, Paulo Augusto attracted the attention of the illustrious Shigueto Yamasaki, the pupil of Master Ryuzo Ogawa, also known as the cofounder of the first Brazilian Judo academy alongside Mitsuyo Maeda. With his extensive experience, Shigueto Yamasaki improved and honed the abilities of Paulo Augusto to formulate an outstanding adversary and a perfected practitioner of the art. In fact, many of the protégés of Shigueto turned out to be excellent fighters like Carlos Catalano and Shigueto Yamasaki Jr., who was gold medalist in the Men’s Batamweight division at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba. Moreover, standing in as a renowned official and expert, Shigueto has acted as a referee for a myriad of competitions including the Olympics of Montreal in 1976, Moscow in 1980, Los Angeles in 1984, and Seoul in 1988. In addition, Shigueto and his brother Shigueru Yamasaki were regularly instated as coaches for the Brazilian National Team on many occasions.
Success in Judo
Underneath the tutelage of Master Yamasaki, Paulo met with international Judo success on the local, state, and national levels of competition by the ripe young age of 17. In fact, his abilities were so well-rounded that he was officially recognized by the Paulista Judo Federation with his first black belt in 1988. Over the next two decades, Paulo would go on to become one of the most decorated judoka in the sport, receiving his 2nd degree black belt in 1992, 3rd in 1998, 4th in 2004 from the prestigious United States Judo Federation or USJF. In addition, Paulo was awarded the title of Master Judo World Champion in 2002, during a competition in Ireland, not to mention he has over 34 gold medals from Judo-based events. Moreover, Paulo has been sanctioned by the Kodokan Judo Institute of Japan as an official professional practitioner.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Takes Hold
While Judo was his original passion, Paulo Augusto was swept up by the frenzy known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 1986, when Shigueto’s nephew, Fernando Yamasaki, suggested Paulo incorporate BJJ into his training regimen to accentuate his Judo. Not unlike Judo, Paulo quickly adapted to the styles and forms of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu due to his proficiency for absorbing martial arts. As before, Paulo was noticed for his adroit abilities; and shortly thereafter, he was training underneath Master Otavio de Almeida Jr., who is currently an 8th degree black belt and the President of the Sao Paulo Jiu-Jitsu Federation. Paulo found himself within the folds of some of the most skilled Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters at the advent of its flourishing popularity, especially as Almeida Junior’s father, Master Otavio de Almeida Senior, was one of the original groups who started BJJ, alongside the Gracie family dynasty in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Furthermore, Otavio de Almeida is cherished for his introduction and development of classes specifically aimed toward women and children, not to mention the reasonably low fees he charged to give an alternative to the high-priced vale tudo Gracie experience, both platforms his son continued to represent.
Success in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Over time, Paulo Augusto found glory and success in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, much like his career as a judoka. In 1991, Paulo was bestowed the first-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from his two masters, Octavio de Almeida Junior and Roberto Moreira Lage. Adding to his already massive list of achievements, Paulo adorns his 2nd-degree black belt in 1998, 3rd in 2002, 4th in 2005, and 5th in 2008. As a competitor, Paulo went on to win 7 gold medals, one for a California State Championship and 6 for the Sao Paulo State Championship, as well as several national and international honors by winning 3 Brazilian Championships between 1995 and 1997, 2 Pan American Brazilian Championships from 1996 to 1998, 1 World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 1997, and 1 California State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship. In 2012, Paulo was awarded one of the highest honors in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by becoming a Rokudan 6th-degree black belt, and in 2014 he was inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame for his contribution as a competitor and teacher.
Good Fortune in Education and Business
Due to the discipline and teaching he had gained as a practitioner of Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Paulo Augusto has discovered much success within the real world. By utilizing a judo scholarship, he was able to attend Paulista University in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he studiously applied himself and graduated with a degree in International business. However, this achievement was just the beginning, as Paulo traveled to the United States in 1997, where he learned English at a miraculous rate in comparison to his constituents. After three grueling months, he was a fluent speaker of English, which allowed him to resume his career in business. After four years, with many long hours and late nights, Paul passed some of the most difficult state and national financial exams including the Series 7, Series 66, and the major Life Insurance assessments. By the end of 2001, Paulo’s hard work and determination paid off, as he was hired on as a financial advisor for UBS Paine Webber. For a short period of time, Paulo enjoyed success at UBS, but he had a change of scenery after transitioning to the financial department of Bank of America Investments. While both of these employments were fulfilling in their own ways, Paulo eventually took up property management, by passing the Real Estate Broker exam in 2004.
Love of Teaching
Paulo Fernando Augusto’s formative years, as a scholar of Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, taught him many things such as discipline, the importance of memory, reciprocity, thankfulness, and perseverance, among other characteristics. However, most importantly, as a student underneath Master Shigueto Yamasaki and Master Octavio de Almeida, Paulo learned to be an efficient and effective teacher through persistent practice. Alongside learning English as a second language, Paulo actively continued to practice Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at schools in the area of Carlsbad in North San Diego County, California. Here, the instated instructors recognized his natural and uncanny ability to teach effortlessly. Following the birth of his first son, Thomas Augusto in April of 2004, Paulo no longer wanted the financial goals he had begun to set out for himself, and instead, he refocused and recommitted himself to the task of passing on his knowledge of Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Therefore, still committed as always to excellence, Paulo Augusto runs the most well-known school in Carlsbad due to his lifelong and unyielding passion for martial arts.