The second day of the 2012 European Jiu-Jitsu Championship started out with a bizarre scene. I open the hotel room door to go get breakfast and I stumble upon a female competitor practicing hip shrimping on the corridor carpet. She sees me go by and isn’t the least bit embarrassed. She just switches exercises. Rather than shrimping, she starts doing somersaults.
During breakfast, I cross paths with Lúcio Lagarto. “So there, all set for tomorrow?” I ask him. Lagarto says he is, that “it will be war,” adding that his game is up to snuff, save for one caveat: “Bro, the gang already knows my strong points. Fabio Gurgel, for example, is a great observer; it’s no wonder he’s called the ‘General of Alliance.’ He knows all about Jiu-Jitsu and knows my game. If I end up against someone from Alliance, you can be sure my opponent will avoid all the positions where I’m sharp. Let’s see what happens.”
BLACK BELT DIV STARTS THIS SATURDAY
The hornet’s nest that is the black belt division kicks off this Saturday. Today, Friday, Jiu-Jitsu was well represented in the purple belts. I shot some photos of arm attacks, neck attacks, back attacks and even north-south. The only thing I didn’t see is the leg lock so common at the belt rank: the famous straight foot lock. Referee Muzio de Angelis explained it to me: “Since purple belts are only allowed to do the straight one, they avoid it at championships; if the hold isn’t firmly in place there’s no switching it to another hold; it limits them. Or in other words, they’re not likely to risk losing their position to go for a straight lock.”
May well be. But now from the brown belts up, the guard players better not go leaving their feet astray in open guard, like I saw so often today. But let’s get to Friday’s pics. The complete and updated results can be found here, on the IBJJF website.