Rafael Dallinha: From Surfing In South Brazil To Sunny San Diego

A black belt under Rodrigo Medeiros and proud owner of RADA Jiu-Jitsu in La Jolla, Rafael Dalinha will be competing against Ryan Robinson at Fight 2 Win 95.

Having moved to the US fourteen year ago with less than $1,000 in his pocket, the former surfer from Florianópolis worked long and hard to get to this point in life. Now he looks to add a win in F2W to his list of successes.

“I worked very hard for it and now everything I dreamed has become a reality. I’m proud of this journey.”


Fight 2 Win 95 – Rafael Dallinha (RADA)


On his personal history with BJJ…

I was an active surfer competitor back in Brazil but not good enough to win contest. (laughs)

Right next to my house that was an academy where all my friends were training, so I decide to give it a try and I love it right away.

I started training BJJ for the very first time in 1999, that was the best thing I did for myself, Jiu Jitsu not only helped me to believe in me more and respect people but also thought me discipline, resilience and willpower that I am able to carry over to my personal life.

In 2004 I moved to US to compete the IBJJF Pan Ams and to start training bjj with my Master Rodrigo Medeiros in San Diego. My plans were to stay here for 6 months only but I fell in love with San Diego and decided to start my Jiu Jitsu journey here. I’m the owner and founder of RADA Jiu Jitsu Academy located in La Jolla which carries a few academies in its association.

When I’m not training Jiu Jitsu I’m usually surfing, surfing is a big part of my life and I love it. It also balances the grounding jiujitsu brings. I also enjoy traveling around the world as I share jiujitsu and get to know other cultures that enrich my jiujitsu and life.

Today my biggest motivation in Jiu Jitsu is to teach my students everything I know, in life my family! I do for them!

On the culture at his academy…

My gym is a small place filled with lots of great people. I offer all different levels of training, I have classes focused competition, and classes designed to people interested on the physical aspect of the sport as well, and people that just want so to sweat and forget about the life problems. I always try to make sure I keep a good family environment, having a great vibe and making sure everyone is happy in my priority.

Biggest influences…

My biggest influence in life are my mom and my dad, they always worked very hard to have what they wanted, I learned from them that when you want something there’s no other way to do then work hard and never give up.

Challenges he had to overcome…

For sure the biggest obstacle in my life was my knee injury that I had at the IBJJF Pan Ams semifinal back in 2007. I blew out every single ligament on my knee and ended up doing 5 surgeries after that. All the doctors said that I would never be able to compete jiu jitsu again, I stopped competing for several years because of that, but recently after doing lots of physical train I decided to come back to the competition scene again, I missed the feeling and I’m too young to retire like that…lol

Proudest accomplishment…

For sure is my Academy and my team, I come to US with $725 on my pocket, I had to work in so many different jobs to be able to pay my bills. I always had a dream to have my own academy with my students, I worked very hard for it and now everything I dreamed has become a reality. I’m proud of this journey.

How would you describe your jiujitsu to somebody that’s never seen you compete before?

Very technical and high pressure.

On his F2W95 opponent, Ryan Robinson, and his preparations…

He’s a great Jiu Jitsu player and a very strong guy, we have trained together long time ago and I’m sure he’s much better now. Nothing but respect for him, it’s going to be a war.

I’ve been training Jiu Jitsu 5 days a week and doing physical training with Ivan from Fisio Pro 3 x/week. Black belt fights are always hard to predict, I want to be very technical with high pressure. I hope I can put him on my game and go for the submission.

What’s next after this…

I’m planning to do more super fights like F2W for example, definitely the big IBJJF tournaments like World’s, Pan Ams and Europeans as well. Will be more active and competing more.

Last words before F2W95…

First, I would like to thanks F2W for the opportunity to be competing on my back yard in San Diego, this is going to be epic. Thanks to my family, friends and students, I love you all! Big thanks to Kingz Kimonos for all the support.

Anytime you are in San Diego come visit my gym in La Jolla, RADA Jiu Jitsu…everyone is welcome! Peace everyone and let’s train! OSS

By | 2018-11-21T21:49:01+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Interviews|0 Comments

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