This past weekend on Oct. 5 and 6 at the 2013 IBJJF Masters and Seniors World Championship, the father of Rafael Lovato Jr., was present. He competed in the black belt senior 4 category and took home the bronze at his first black belt competition. As Lovato Jr. explains on his instagram, the American black belt world champion pays tribute to the man who helped him become who he is today. Even though the roles were reversed as he took on the role of leading his father’s training for the tournament, he still looks up to him as a role model.
“In April 2009, my family & I, & all the @lovatobjjmma students were hit with a huge shock when my father suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where his heart actually stopped and he was revived. My father stayed strong, recovered, and came back a new man. He got himself back into great shape and set out to accomplish two missions. The first was to walk the Camino de Santiago across Spain. This is a 6wk journey that you do with nothing but a backpack and he accomplished this goal last year. The picture on top is from the day he left.
The 2nd mission was to finally compete as a Black Belt and he was able to achieve that goal today! He trained for over 6 weeks to get ready for the competition and I had the pleasure to help him get ready and be the trainer for my father, when it was the other way around for most of my life. He hadn’t competed since he was a purple belt, over 13 years ago. Despite that and having to go down an age category, he still fought great and only lost by a takedown, giving his all the whole time. If you want to know where my heart, dedication, work ethic, and passion come from, it his from him.”
Congrats to Rafael Lovato Sr. and Jr. for their continuous inspiration in the community.