It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the Arizona-based Broadnax twins, Christian and Christopher. They have been out of sight, but not out of mind. Many have been wondering where they’ve disappeared to, considering the threat they caused to their respective weight classes in the Jiu-Jitsu community in the past.
Christian, who is now a brown belt, was recently spotted at Gustavo Dantas’s AZ BJJ State Championship, doing what he does best: showing some serious athleticism and good, technical Jiu-Jitsu skills on the mats. He competed in both his lightweight division and the open class at the event, and won both to take double gold for the day.
The 18-year-old told GRACIEMAG that he and his twin brother, Christian, have had to take some time away from their Jiu-Jitsu training to attend college. Christian was able to compete at the Worlds, though, and made arrangements to reprioritize his school and work schedules to train twice a day for a few weeks before he got there. He lost in the quarterfinals and was disappointed with his finish, but he did receive his coveted brown belt shortly thereafter. “I still love Jiu-Jitsu,” Christian says, “but it’s hard to train and go to school. My ultimate plan is to refocus on Jiu-Jitsu. I want to make Jiu-Jitsu my job.”
Christian says this last year has taught him patience. Because he hasn’t been training as much as he did in the past, he’s not been winning as much either. But what he’s discovered through this journey is that it’s not all about the “win.” “I’ve learned that Jiu-Jitsu is all about dedication,” a toned down, quiet, and seemingly resigned Christian says. “You either keep going or you quit, and I’m not going to quit. I don’t have that kind of spirit.”
After winning the lightweight final against Gerson Atoigue, Christian ended up facing him yet again in the open class final at the AZ BJJ State Championship. Once again, Christian took the match, and upon having his arm raised, he looked visibly relieved. “It’s been a year since I’ve won gold,” he sighed. “It feels good. I still have a lot to work on. I didn’t want to compete in the absolute. Gerson tired me out the first time! But this time my base was good and my positions felt strong. Everything’s improving.”
Christian’s take on Jiu-Jitsu has really matured over the years, and he feels like he’s truly beginning to understand what Jiu-Jitsu is all about. “Because it’s like a chess game you can’t really be better at just one thing,” he says; “you have to be good at everything and strengthen your weaknesses. You can’t rely on just one part of your game.”
Christian has one more year of college left before he graduates, and then he is committed to being back on the mats full time. Until then, he is simply committed to continuing his Jiu-Jitsu journey of learning more about patience and dedication.