This spring has been a great season for the Rio Grappling Club, with good news coming from all corners of our association. Numbers are growing at our new headquarters in Wroclaw, and I can already spot some new talents developing their potential, and old faces returning to the mats after months or years of inactivity.
Last comp before summer was the Bad Boy Cup, where 4 of our students entered. Here the full results of our team:
Marek Musioł – silver, elite u76kg;
Rafał Iwaszczyszyn – bronze, elite u76kg;
Filip Kopij – bronze, white belt +100kg;
Wiktor Siekierka – bronze, white belt u76kg;
Europe slows down during summer and with the heat some people refrain from training, but we decided to keep classes everyday throughout the summer, to sharpen the few dedicated ones for the next season. The guys that competed in Konin or Pyla are amped and myself too.
Our students from Italy has exceed all expectations to brilliant win all but one divisions entered in the Roma BJJ Challenge, not to mention Erik Tornaboni from La Spezia that on the same day fought the Italian Sambo Nationals and applied his ground knowledge to win a silver medal at his weight (u90kg), and also a bronze in u100kg.
The expansion of our network in Italy is a process that we started in 2005, when Bernardo Serrini from Livorno became our Italian representative and friend, bringing value to the whole organization. Through him came Gianluca Boni from Bologna and Erik Tornaboni from La Spezia. With Gianluca came Matteo Menna, from Ferrara.
We also have been working along with other good clubs in Italy since 2005, and in 2007 I gave my first seminar at the beautiful city of Firenze, returning many times to the gym of Matteo Calamandrei. Very committed about BJJ, Matteo has trained extensively Judo and Freestyle Wrestling, but is in the ground that he feels comfortable. Now he and his team are joining the Rio Grappling Club, consolidating our presence in the Tuscan region (where it all started, both the RGC and Italy itself…). Needless to say, on my trip to Italy next month we will have a big dinner gathering the whole italian team to celebrate the RGC Firenze.
In Brasil, Luiz Eduardo Dentinho just won the light weight brown belt at the Rio de Janeiro estate championships from the FJJERJ, and from South Africa Dennis Ovcina (RGC Tap Out) went alone to Port Elizabeth and won 2 gold medals, beating everyone at his weight, and after coming close at the open weight.
From Port Elizabeth, Jan-Hendrik Coetsee tells me that his new matted area was finished, meaning that finally we have our own place in the friendly city. Nathan and Joe Raaths from the RGC Quantum Tribe have found a new place and have already moved the gym to newer and better facilities, bringing along Marina Veronese twice a week to teach girl’s only classes. Brown belt Marina is the highest ranked woman in our association and now she will have a chance to develop her teaching skills. Energetic, technical and flexible, she is also the highest ranked BJJ brazilian native living in South Africa.
In Brasil and South Africa the seasons are inverted and more subtle (than Europe), so they will keep going through autumn and winter as we prepare for summer, hoping that the heat and vacations do not interrupt our training too much 😉