Jiu-jitsu greats Roger Gracie, Romulo Barral, and Braulio Estima working out at Martin Rooney’s facility in New Jersey.
When I was at the gym earlier this evening the weight room setting and my ongoing, inescapable thoughts of 2009 BJJ World Championship coverage conspired, bringing me a memory of the above photo. Maybe I was imagining what it would be like to weight train with the guys in the picture, who knows.
All of the athletes in the photo above were black belt medalists at the 2009 BJJ Mundial:
- Roger Gracie won first place in the Absolute and Super Heavyweight divisions.
- Romulo Barral won first place in the Medium Heavyweight and second place in the Absolute divisions.
- Braulio Estima won first place in the Heavyweight division.
In any case I couldn’t help but realize that all the jiu-jitsu guys in the photo have more in common than their amazing performances this year. They also have more than their Gracie Barra background in common. What I realized when I remembered that image is that they’ve all shared time with Martin Rooney, the fitness trainer to many combat sports athletes and author of the popular book Training for Warriors: The Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Workout.
So while I don’t think I was able to hear any champagne popping from all the way across the country on Sunday, a celebratory protein shake of some kind was certainly in order. Congratulations Martin!