The season of Romulo Barral had been sensational. Last October, he shone, submitting actor Kevin James in the fun movie “Here Comes The Boom,” and remained sharp in his Jiu-Jitsu with his gi on. In January, the eminent guard player and remarkable guard passer won the European Open. At the Pan, however, he met defeat in the semifinals and later in Abu Dhabi he placed second because of an injury in the final against Andre Galvao.
Recovered, Romulo Barral has the desire to win the fourth world title in his career as a black belt. He is one of the beasts guaranteed at the World Championship, which begins on May 30 and runs until June 2 in Long Beach, California.
Currently the medium heavy world champion, the Brazilian professor living in Los Angeles talked to GRACIEMAG.com about his training for the Worlds, lessons learned at the Pan and more.
GRACIEMAG: How was the recovery of the injury you suffered in Abu Dhabi, in the final with Andre Galvao?
ROMULO BARRAL: The recovery was better than I expected. I managed to recover in time to train and prepare for the Worlds in Long Beach. During the recovery, I was only thinking of returning in time to fight the most important tournament of the year.
How is the training at Gracie Barra?
The GB HQ is in Irvine, away from my gym. So I couldn’t train there. I have a big team and I’m doing a camp at my gym. I’m training and commanding the camp at my gym, GB Northrigde, with the whole gang. I didn’t change anything after my last world title in 2012, I always try to evolve after competitions and correct errors to come back stronger. I’m more experienced and focused for another World title.
Did the defeat by Guto Campos at the Pan teach you a lesson?
We always learn from mistakes. I’ve fought him a few times and the last time he was better and got the victory. Respect to Guto, who is a great athlete. In the next fight with him I’ll try to impose my game more and not make mistakes. A fight with him will always be hard, but I will definitely try to be victorious this time. I’ll come to this Worlds with a very good mindset. I’m very excited, prepared and confident for this competition. I think I’m more comfortable than ever.
Is experience the keyword this year?
Yes, I think the experience is going to be my strongest aspect in Long Beach. In the World Championships I have fought, I went at least all the way to the final since I started as a black belt. I have been in almost 10 Worlds finals. I hope to get to one more and take the gold with me.
Check out this video and set of photos below of Romulo Barral and his students as he prepares for his next run in the medium-heavyweight division: