Massive Congratulations to Bruno Alves for winning the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
He retains his title from last year as world champion and makes this the third time he has won this competition. It was a dominant display with Bruno winning 3 fights, with 3 submissions, and not getting a single point scored against him in all 3 fights.
He worked extremely hard leading into the competition and was very well prepared so to get the result on the day makes it all worth it. He followed his nutrition plan and trained hard in the gym on his strength which I believe helps him continue to improve each competition he goes into. He also works hard on his conditioning so that he is able to repeat his efforts on the mat. How well prepared he was for this competition was noticeable in one of his final sessions, where I watched him train against some of his students and not even break a sweat. His students are good athletes in their own right but Bruno is just at entirely different level. He is a great role model to have.
Bruno will do whatever it takes to be prepared for a comp. Our weight cut in the final day or two didn't go exactly to plan but I was never worried as I know Bruno will listen to advice and do the most extreme things to be sure he can compete. He spent 4 hours in the sauna the day before comp, which is far from ideal, but what he had to do. Not many athletes can do this. He listened to the refuelling process well and within an hour or 2 of weighing in he had his energy back and was already close to being back at his normal weight. By the next morning he was feeling really good and ready to compete.
There were a few things that messed up the weight cut slightly, the day of competition being pushed back for example. This isn't optimal but it is reality and why you have to always be prepared to adjust things as a coach. You can have the best plan in the world but things come up and you have to know how to problem solve to get the best result still.
In a documentary about Michael Jordan there is a comment made about him that said every time the hype around Michael grew, so did his performances. He always performed higher than what people talked up. I see this with Bruno and his jiu-jitsu. He is great at his sport and many people admire what he does. As they do the hype grows but so does Bruno's performance, which was shown in this display. It is because he is a very humble man who is always looking to better himself in every area and he works hard to be able to do it.
Not only did he win the world championship himself he also had 3 of his students from SJJA win gold becoming world champions as well. In total SJJA won 4 golds from 6 competitors which is an enormous effort. I know they will produce many more world champions in the coming years, this is a great start.
It is a pleasure working with Bruno and the SJJA team, and Gemma and I look forward to the next challenge.
Massive congratulations to Gilgamesh Blanch for winning gold in Abu Dhabi in the adult blue belt 62kg division. Gil had won last year as a youth and has now backed that up with another great performance becoming a world champion in the adult division. It is a big step up and great to see him be able to not only compete at the next level but win.
He has a lot of skill and with some added strength he could really take his game to a whole new level. It is exciting to see his progression and we look forward to see more of it. With Bruno Alves showing the way, both on and off the mat, I can't see why Gil can't keep on progressing.
We also have to say well done to Sol who competed in Abu Dhabi also. His preparation was a little interrupted with injury but he still competed hard. He was unlucky to be beaten and popped his shoulder in the fight. He will come back better for the experience and again with some more strength behind him will progress into an even better athlete.