The first time I’d seen him was an old picture folded away in Terere’s resume book. It wasn’t a resume in the traditional sense that most people know them to be because most things in the favela lack the same traditions that most people know. Terere’s resume was a book filled with old new paper clippings, podium pictures, and other relics from his competition days.
It was a blurry picture of scrawny kids with worn white gis, throwing their arms up in a t formation. Terere, Leandro Martins, Fabricio da Silva, Jackson Sousa, and Buda.
Buda was a legend at the project. He was just as good as Terere they said. He found with Leandro Lo they would brag. He had just as much potential as anyone else but some questionable life decisions landed him in jail.
My friend sent me a new clipping announcing that they had finally arrested the right-hand man of Pitbull. Pitbull is the owner of my favela. Yes, that’s right, the owner. He is in charge of our local branch of Commando Vermelho.
The article said he was dangerous. The Ecuadorians said that the police came and took him at the end of training, then they came back and searched the gym and people stuff for drugs. The American from California said they came in while he was rolling. Two ARs and a handgun drawn and took him. They said he was dangerous, but that morning he was leading class and helping an engineer from the United States with his first jiu-jitsu class.
I wasn’t there when they came and took him because I was taking pictures at another social project. I trained with him that morning though. We tapped fists and he dropped down low. One would think that three years in jail would fuck up your conditioning, but Buda was jumping around, chanting Ui Terere, and laughing as he hook-swept me in true Terere fashion.
Terere has a lot of family, friends, and fans, but few people truly know him through and through like the people that grew up with him.
They say he’s dangerous, but he was there at the project day and night training and trying to stay out of trouble.
Favela Jiu Jitsu: Buda at Terere Kids Project