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Jiu-Jitsu Books 


Roberto Pedreira












Global Training Report 



The Essential Portuguese You Need to Know 

to Roll in Rio 

(including giria)

 By Roberto Pedreira

By the way, if you plan to go to Rio to train jiu-jitsu, you will want to read Jiu-Jitsu in the South Zone, b y Roberto Pedreira.



Added October 6, 2014: How to Learn Brazilian Portuguese the Quick, Painless, and Free way.





abaixa a bunda lower the butt
abriu o bico be tired
amarelo coward
americana figure 4 armlock
armô scam
atleta athlete, fighter
baiana double leg (or Barzagar)
barato cool
barrigada bridge
bicho tough guy (beast)
bolsa purse, prize money
bombado guy who uses bombas (steroids)
bota pra baixo put on bottom
bota pra dormir put to sleep
boxe  boxing
boxe Thailande muay Thai
cabeçada head butt
cai bem fits well
cara guy
carioca resident of Rio
casca grosa tough guy
cascudo tough guy
cem quilos  side control position (literally, one thousand kilos)
cervical neck crank
chão floor, ground
chave key, lock
chave de bicepes bicep crush
chave de braço armlock
chave de pe footlock
chute a kick
chute boxe kickboxing
cruxifixo hell choke, "jigoku jime"
corrido fast
creonte traitor
dar um rola spar, roll
desfecho outcome, result
duro tough guy
em joelho starting from knees
em pé stand-up
equipe team
escovar win easily, dominate
escrima pummel
esgotado tired
estrangulamento strangle
ezequiel forearms choke
faixa frouxa fits loose (undeserved belt)
faixa pesada fits heavy (well deserved belt)
forte strong
fraco weak
fecha a guarda close the guard
finaliza finish
frouxo coward
fugir de quadril "escape" the hip
gancho hook
gas stamina
giria slang
guereirro warrior
gola collar
gola rodada pass the collar
golpe a punch, or other effective attack
gravata técnica headlock
guardeiro a good guard fighter
guilotinha guillotine choke
inversão reversal
joelhada knee strike
joelho na barriga knee on belly
jogo game
joga por baixo play from bottom
joga por cima play from top
kimura ude garami shoulder lock
legal cool!
luta armada worked fight
lutador fighter
macete details
macetoso a "technical" fighter
mais o menos more or less
mäo de vaca gooseneck wristlock
maneiro cool
marmelada worked fight
mata leaõ killing the lion (hadaka jime/rear naked choke)
montada mount
morreu tired
muito bacana very cool
mutuca coward
nocaute knockout
pancada a punch
passador a good passer
passa o carro win easily, dominate
passa o rodo win easily, dominate
pedalada heel stomp kick from ground
pega as costas take the back
pisão stepping stomp kick
pontape a kick
porrada a punch
postura posture
punição penalty
mandinga devious, deceptive, misleading, unforthcoming
mano guy
mata leão rear naked choke (hadaka jime)
marrento cocky, arrogant
marrudo arrogant, cocky
meia guarda half guard
murro a punch
passagem a guarda passing of the guard
passando a guarda passing the guard
passa a guarda pass the guard
patrocinador sponsor
pedreira tough guy
pegada grip
queda take down
quimono (also spelled 'kimono') gi
regra rules
relogio clock (koshi jime choke)
revanche revenge
ringue ring
saida exit, escape
sangue bom good guy
sarado buffed guy
soco a punch
tatame mat
tempo time (stop rolling) 
time team
torcida fans, supporters
triângulo triangle, sankaku jime
vai go (start rolling)
vira de quatro go to turtle position






Commonly used verbs (infinitive forms)




clinch, grab



agredir attack, insult
armar scam, set up, fix, assemble
arriscar put at risk
brigar brawl, fight
chutar kick
desafiar challenge
derrotar lose
derrubar knock down, take down
esmagar crush
emplogar grip, grasp, seize, grab
empurrar push
empatar draw, tie
enrobar stall
esmurrar punch
espancar beat up
estrear debut, do for the first time
evitar avoid, prevent
faltar stall, fail, lack
fechar close
fortalecer strengthen
fugir escape, flee
ganhar win, earn, gain
girar rotate
jogar play
levar take, carry
levantar lift
lutar fight, struggle, wrestle
machucar injure
sair exit, leave, escape
soltar release
patronicar sponsor
pegar get, grab, catch, take
proteger protect
pular jump (to guard)
puxer pull (guard)
quebrar break, smash, shatter
socar hit, strike
sobreviver survive
soltar let go, release
raspar sweep, scrape, shave
rodar roll
vencer win, defeat, conquer, vanquish



Body Parts 



 bacia  pelvis
 baço  spleen
 bariga  belly











 canela  shin



 costa s






 coxa  thigh



 dedo de mão


 dedo de pé


 dente tooth
 estômago stomach
 figado liver
 joelho knee
 lumbar lower back
 maõ hand
 nariz nose
 nuca back of neck
 olho eye
 ombro shoulder
 omoplata shoulder blade
 orelha ear
 osso bone
 pé foot
 perna leg
 pescoço neck
 pieto chest
 punho fist
 pulso wrist
 quadril  hip
 queixo chin, jaw
 rosto face
 rótula kneecap
 rim kidney
 tornozelo ankle




Belts and Colors











 preta  black



grau dan, degree (degrees of black belt)


Tabela do Pesos 

(Competition Weight Classes [masculino])

Nome de Peso


Galo (rooster)


Pluma (plume)


Pena  (feather)


Leve (light)


Medio (middle)


Meio pesado (half heavy)


Pesado (heavy)


Super pesado (super heavy)


Pesadissimo (very heavy)


Absoluto (absolute)

Unlimited  無着別

Note: One kilo = 2.2 lbs.





 Family relations are very important in Brazil and especially when the family is like an army (as Renzo describes the Gracie family)

avô grandmother
avôs grandparents
caçula kid brother


sister in law

brother in law

familia family
filha daughter
filho son
genro son-in-law
irmão brother
irma sister
madrasta  stepmother
mãe mother
neta grand-daughter
neto grand-son
nora daughter-in-law
padrasto stepfather
pai father
pais parents
prima cousin (female)
primo cousin (male)
sobrinha niece
sobrinho nephew
sogra mother-in-law
sogro father-in-law
tia aunt
tio uncle
vovô grandfather





Many thanks to Leka Vieira, Aloisio Silva, and Taka for help in constructing this glossary and to Dr. Carlos Eduardo Loddo for proofreading and valuable commentary, and to Pedro Alberto for helpful corrections.


Want to learn Brazilian Portuguese the easy way? Or any language for that matter? 

Read books written for kids. (Obviously you need to learn the writing system first if it differs radically from the one or more that you are familiar with.) Textbooks will tell you what the writers think you should know. That isn't necessarily what all native speakers know and it isn't how they normally communicate with each other. Native speakers know what they know because they grew up with it. You will miss a lot of that if you learn primarily from textbooks (or phrasebooks). Kids' books would include anything written for kids (school textbooks and comic books for examples). Naturally you will need a dictionary, grammar books, and if possible a native speaker to help you get through it. If you are lucky enough to actually be "in country" and people see you reading the books  they remember from their childhood, they will probably be nostalgically intrigued and want to or at least be willing to help you. It's a good way to meet "people" "socially" (it worked for me).



Where to find such materials? Used book stores, among others. I found these in a used book store in São Paulo in 1997. I still have them and they are still useful. I'm partial to the Tio Patinhas   (Scrooge McDuck)series. Tio Patinhas is featured in Aventuras em Patópolis too.






















Some other easy learning methods are: 

(1) Reading  magazines, especially copiously illustrated magazines, because one picture is worth a thousand words. If the caption says "Carlão, em luta dramatica, encaixa o gravata decisivo" and the picture shows Carlão, in a dramatic match, locking in a decisive guillotine/front choke/headlock, you will then have a pretty good preliminary clue what luta and gravata mean. 

(2) Reading  newspaper articles about topics that you are already familiar with. Especially if the paper runs a series, as O Globo often does. The vocabulary will be used repeatedly and probably in various forms and contexts.

 (3) Watching movies and TV with captions (American movies/TV with Portuguese captions, Brazilian movies/TV with English captions, and so on).

 (4) Talking to very young and very old people. They are less likely to have complexes about foreigners and foreign languages and probably won't even try to speak English or anything other than their own language. They might even think that you are Brazilian for a while.

Learning a language is learning a culture. You need to know what native speakers take for granted. Reading what native speakers read and listening to what native speakers do is the best way. The difference is that you should read and listen at your second-language ability-related age, not your chronological age. There are some short-cuts for literate, reasonably well-educated adults, but as with most things, you have to walk before you can run.  



If you want to go to Rio, but can't, you will want to read Jiu-Jitsu in the South Zone.  It is the closest thing to being there, other than being there.








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(c) 2000-2015, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.

Revised October 6, 2014

Revised May 10, 2015.





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