JT Torres recently won the black belt middleweight division at the IBJJF Las Vegas Summer Open this past weekend. After being on a seminar tour, he took to the mats in Sin City to get his competition fix. Traveling from his Atos academy in San Diego, CA under GMA member Andre Galvao, he proved his abilities with two matches ending in a gold medal.
JT spoke to GRACIEMAG about his matches and what he’s looking forward to in the near future:
GRACIEMAG: You’ve been on a tour of seminars around the states since June, so what was your motivation to finally compete again?
JT TORRES: My motivation came back honestly shortly after arriving in San Diego. Before moving to San Diego it was a hectic and troubling time in my life, to the point where I could not focus on BJJ and considered calling it quits. Once I got over to the West Coast I was able to really let go of everything and clear my mind and refocus on my love for BJJ.
What were your matches like and how did you defeat both opponents? Was one tougher than the other?
My matches went really well. I was beating my first opponent before submitting him with a bow and arrow choke from the back. And then in my final match I was able to get the sweep and take the mount towards the end of the match and win 6-0. Both opponents were tough but I think Carlos Diego Ferreira was a little bit more experienced competition-wise.
Did you notice a difference between the middleweights and the usual lightweights that you go up against? Did you compete in the open weight?
The big difference I noticed was the speed. I feel that the lighter guys have the speed advantage. I did not compete in the open weight only because I am planning on competing a lot these upcoming weeks and did not want to risk injury fighting the bigger guys.
What is your focus these days? Will we see you participating in the no-gi season?
My focus these days are definitely no-gi. Professor Andre Galvao and my teammates Rafael Mendes and Keenan Cornelius are all fighting the upcoming ADCC, so I am in there everyday training with these guys in preparation for ADCC. Yes, you guys will definitely see me fighting in this year’s no-gi season! Hopefully ADCC as well If I can get an invitation for the 77 kg division!