Europeans and the 1st. South American BJJ tournament

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Floripa, 2nd of December, 2006. For the first time in BJJ history, the sport would have in its calendar a tournament for south americans. As in all official BJJ tournaments, this was also open for non south-americans and I brought four europeans to compete. Dimitrius Tsitos represented Greece and Draculino Team took silver in his division after being punished by a suspect decision when he was attacking his opponent all the time from closed guard and the referee took 2 points from him, favouring the local athlete.

The 3 other europeans that came with me were from Rio Grappling Club: Mariusz Koziej from Wroclaw, Poland, won brilliantly his division in a single fight in which he scored 9 pts and went on to finish but his opponent struggled and did not tap. In the open weight, he took bronze after another referee signaled two of his points to his opponent. After much complaint, the referee even apologised to me but he had already given the results so nothing could be done. Bernardo Serrini and Gianluca Boni came from Italia to train in Brasil with me and compete in the beautiful island of Santa Catarina. The first took silver in the purple belt master after winning well his first fight and losing the final by one weird advantage (again by the same referee that #*@ up Dimitrius). Gianluca was in a dificult weight division and lost to the champion after winning his first fight, with more experience he can do well and come back next year to win. Another student of mine from Brasil, Leonardo Soares, from Juiz de Fora, now representing the BTT, fought very well and got gold in the black belt middle weight adult.

After all it was time for me to compete after 6 years without testing myself in official BJJ comps and I reckon my performance was not that bad, but I need to work harder in order to have a good chance to win the europeans, my goal for early 2007. I took silver in the middle weight master black belt, after winning against Mauricio Zingano by 5 pts and losing to Eduardo Baiao in a fight that I had to defend a tight leglock and almost choked him out but lost by 2 points (reversal) and felt the need to be with more rhytm of competition as he has previously won the BJJ Masters International this year. The impression though is that if I had a bit more timing and had trained longer for this I could have won my matches last weekend. Now my focus is to participate in the European next january and organise the Second Londinium Grappling Cup in february, the training and preparation will keep thru the festivities of Xmas and New Years Eve.

Roberto Atalla

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