Hillary first favorite at World Pro tryouts

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Hillary Williams bid farewell to 2009 stating her goal for 2010 was to compete in at least 15 championships.

And the Westside Jiu-Jitsu brown belt decided to start the season on the coming 31st, disputing a spot in Abu Dhabi, in the debut of the World Pro Jiu-Jitsu female division.

She will dispute the American East Coast tryouts, in Boca Raton, Florida, and spoke of her expectations and training over the holidays. How about you, going to sign up? If so, click here.

Hillary, in a photo by Mike Pesh

What are your expectations in regards to the World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Cup tryouts? Do you consider yourself a favorite?

As they’ve put together a female division, I understand I can’t miss out on an opportunity like this one. I’m heading to Florida on January 29. I’ve been doing well since 2009, and I know I can win the tryouts. But anything can happen in a match, so I have to be prepared. Truth is, I’ll likely be the least experienced athlete. At ADCC 2009, I think I surprised some people (including myself), and now I’m not thinking of any placement other than at the top of the winners’ stand.

How is training going?

I used the holidays to visit several academies, with the aim of getting beat up and learning. I stopped in at the academies of Renato Tavares, Tom DeBlass, Albert Hughes and Tony Tipton. Now I’m training with Roberto Cyborg, and then I’ll go to Vegas. All of them are ironing out my mistakes, so I will head into championships with a tighter game.

How do you feel about the inclusion of women at this installment of the World Pro JJ Cup, in April?

I loved it. I really would have loved to have competed last year, when lots of friends of mine went over there to fight. I understand that for women Jiu-Jitsu is still growing as a sport, but that’s why we need more championships for women, like this one.

What’s it like competing when there are only two weight divisions, as in Abu Dhabi?

It’s a really big problem. In the men’s you never see someone fighting someone 20 or 30 kg’s heavier than him. It’s like an absolute, which takes away the chances of lighter girls. No one likes talking about it, but strength and size count. At the same time, I understand that for now that’s the way it has to be, since the divisions would be empty.

Is competing in Florida like fighting at home?

Yes, I’m always in Florida to see my training partners, who have become great friends. It’s always a pleasure to train with Renato (Tavares) at ATT Vero Beach. He’s incredible, a true master, who has the answer to any question you may have about Jiu-Jitsu (he’s been in the sport for over 35 years). I’ve known him since I was a blue belt and he doesn’t accept anything less than perfection from me, which makes me get better quick.

Now at Cyborg’s academy there are great training partners for me. If not with the students who train to death, I train with him. Although he’s a super heavyweight and has lots of strength, with me he only trains just a bit above my level to help me. He was by my side at the big championships in 2009, and he knows what I need to do to get better, in training and at championships.

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