Judo Youth Olympian Vandric Castro Transitions to Jiu Jitsu

Listen to what The Arena’s Vandric Castro has to say about his transition from a high-level Judo world to the foundations of his new journey in Jiu Jitsu.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Vandric Castro:
My name is Vandric Castro, I’m 22 years old from the Island of Guam. My first real love of Martial Arts came from judo, started when I was about seven years old. It’s taken me in a lot of places, I’ve competed mostly in the Asian circuits. Probably my biggest accomplishment being participating in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. About the age of 20, is probably when I made the transition into Brazilian Jujitsu. I started in the Academy of Purebred back in Guam, went to college four years, moved out here to San Diego, then I found The Arena. It’s been a really good experience learning from them rolling with the guys, sharing what I know of Judo and just taking in all the knowledge they have of Jiu Jitsu and just trying to blend it together to make a pretty unique style. My goal is to make the transition from the standup to the ground a little more fluid.

Coach Baret Yoshida:
Off to start, We could tell he had phenomenal judo. I watched him all the time. You make guys do somersaults and you just demolish these guys. It’s very fun to watch him. Sometimes it gets him in trouble when he misses a throw, he could end in a bad position. But I think he’s getting better at recovering. Slowly, he’s going for less and less higher risks rolls.

Vandric Castro:
A lot of times, my throws don’t go exactly how I want. So I end up with this guy just monkey holding my back, and that’s a recipe for disaster in the Jiu Jitsu world. So I think that’s one of my biggest challenges right now is to complete the throw in a way that I can land in a more advantageous position. I really wanted to jump into a new world where I could be a beginner again and just work on absorbing knowledge. I think it’s what motivates me and being in this new world, swimming with all these sharks, there’s just a lot of fun. Wouldn’t really trade it.

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