The Brasileiros – An Outsider’s View
by Jeremy Arel in Rio de Janeiro
Tournaments are a way for competitive athletes to test their skills, polish their technique and build a name for themselves. Every competition has its own feel, its own way of drawing spectators in and a unique ability to build bonds between teammates.
The Brasileiros is no exception to this rule. There were fighters from all over the world in attendance and the level of competition was high. This past weekend hosted the brown belt and black belt weight divisions as well as the absolute division. Every weight class had something to offer to an outsider like myself.
Like many Americans I do not know up and coming names in BJJ but I was continually wowed by the technical mastery show cased during the matches. There were a few matches where people stayed standing in a deadlock fighting for takedowns and hand grips but the majority of the matches were medium to high paced with many positional transitions.
In the United States I have attended many tournaments along the east coast (both as a spectator and a competitor) and the intensity level here in Brazil is leaps and bounds beyond anything at home. Typically as a competition wears on the fans become more lethargic, slow down and go home but here as the day progressed the fans became more energetic, excited…and in the case of the finals somewhat frenzied.
What I am trying to say is training and competing in Brazil is serious business. These schools (Alliance, Gracie Barra, Checkmate, Gordo BJJ, and many more) are competing for something more than valuable than money. They compete for pride, bragging rights and the integrity of the sport. They, in essence, keep it real.
If you have not had the opportunity to attend a tournament in Brazil and you are a BJJ practitioner I would suggest making it a priority. There is an almost electric atmosphere that no amount of words can express or convey…it can only be experienced.
Jeremy trains at Charles Hanebrink’s Martial Arts Traning Center in North Carolina. Thanks to Dennis Asche of ConnectionRio for putting us in touch with Jeremy.
This is an installment in our Tournament Review Tuesdays column, where FightWorks Podcast listeners submit reports about Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling competitions that happened the weekend prior. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of The FightWorks Podcast.