So as I said in my last post, Ive already been here for a month but i wasnt with consistent access to the internet and so theres some catching up to do.
When I arrived here in Rio de Janeiro, I was picked up from the airport by my friend Douglas Lins, brown belt from GFTEAM and taken directly to Niteroi (the city neighboring Rio de Janeiro) to fight the World Cup! I was tired from the 14 hour flight, but was hoping it was nothing a little Jack3D and a good warm up couldn't fix.
This tournament, which has always been named the World Cup, was changed this year to the Mundial de Jiu-Jitsu Olimpico of the CBJJO. Despite the awesome name and the fact that its federation sanctioned, poor orginazation has always plagued this tournament and thus it has never been able to achieve solid participation.
Tip: Don't expect every tournament in Brazil to run as well as those of the IBJJF, even if its run by one of the other federations. There are various other federations here in Brazil that throw tournaments and they almost always run late and often have questionable refereeing. Every chance to compete is a chance to improve so dont write off these competitions but dont expect to go at the time that it says you will on the schedule.
As luck would have it, my first opponent didnt show and I was already in the semi-final. After a tough match I finished my opponent with an armbar and was through to the final. Though I am under professer Claudio Franca and fight for Coalition 95, when Im down here in Brazil I fight for the team of my brazilian brothers, GFTEAM. With another stroke of fortune, my good friend Jaime Canuto was able to fight his way to the final as well on the other side of the bracket and we closed the division.
Then came the absolute. Once again the first opponent didnt show and i was again through to the semi-final. After another hard fought fight on the feet (see the embedded video) my opponent landed on the bottom as the result of a failed takedown attempt and i was able to pass, mount, and finish. Again, a teammate from GFTEAM was able to fight their way through the other side of the bracket to meet me and close out the final.
Not a bad first day in Brazil!!!
The rest of GFTEAM did awesome as well, bringing home various gold medals. Professer Theodoro Canal won the adult black belt featherweight division and Jake Mackenzie closed out the adult black belt lightweight division with Vinicius Marinho and Glauco Barbosa. There were also many other gold medals brought home by GFTEAM athletes of lower belts.
Stay Tuned for more stories and travel tips are to come!!