A lesson from the International Masters

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Osiris at 2009 International. Photo: Carlos Ozório

This coming July 22 marks the start of another installment of the International Masters and Seniors Championship. The tournament features great warriors from Jiu-Jitsu’s old guard, athletes who some years ago shone in the adult division. But there are those competitors who spent the greater part of their careers in these divisions. One example is Osiris Maia. Practically all of his 132 Jiu-Jitsu medals came in the master category. He participated in the inaugural International in 1999 and won, the same result he achieved at the last one, in 2009.

“We provide incentive for doing sports. We show there’s no age limit to practicing, even more so with Jiu-Jitsu, which is quite democratic. There’s no age, size or weight; you just need to train. It’s a sport so based on intelligence that we can compete until we’re really old, with whatever resources we have. It’s incentive for those just getting started or who have never trained. Jiu-Jitsu has no age limit,” says Osiris, a black belt who represented Carlson Gracie and is the master at Brazilian Fight academy.

Everyone intermingles and there’s great respect between everyone out there. But everyone’s there to win” Osiris Maia

“At the International everything’s divided up. In the Adult division, we have fighters who could be considered professionals, who make their livings through Jiu-Jitsu. The Master and Senior has athletes who train like professionals and others who are more like amateurs, who are there for the pleasure of being there. It’s a laid back championship; everyone intermingles and there’re great respect between everyone,” adds the black belt.

It’s a guaranteed party. But with athletes like Alexandre Paiva, Marcos Barbosinha, Alexandre Soca, Admilson “Juquinha” Brites, Wellington Megaton and many others who tend to participate in the event, there’s no lack of hotly-disputed matches.

“I like the International, which I’m going to compete at this year even without having trained for it. My daughter Juliana was just born. But I always compete to win and I think everyone’s going there to win. This business of just competing for competing’s sake doesn’t exist for anybody. The point of the competition is to try and win,” says Osiris in closing.

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