BJJ world champion Dominyka Obelenyte on why she left Marcelinho Garcia’s team

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Dominyka receiving her black belt. Photo: John "Ric" Ricard

Dominyka receiving her black belt. Photo: John “Ric” Ricard

Black-belt Dominyka Obelenyte surprised many people when she announced she was leaving Marcelinho Garcia’s team. Obelenyte got each of her belts under Marcelinho, and it was under him that she won four world championships — two at her weight class and two in the open division. In spite of all of that, she decided to switch teams, from Alliance-Marcelinho Garcia to  Team Fabio Clemente.

“I’m not going to delve too deep into why I switched,” she told Flograppling, “but there were certain circumstances that arose in my time there, and I kind of saw my time there running its course. Just kind of needing something else that I couldn’t find there, that I happened to find here. In this academy I feel a different level of support and different type of family. Not necessarily so much better, that it made me reconsider everything Marcelo has taught me – no.”

Obelenyte says the split was cordial.

“I have the utmost respect for my former instructor,” she added. “He will always be the person to have given me belts blue through black, I’m always going to respect him, and he’s always going to be a really important vital part in my Jiu-Jitsu journey.”

As to why she picked Team Fabio Clemente, she explained her reasoning: “I just felt it was time to move on for myself. And that’s not to discredit Team Fabio Clemente; these guys have been really amazing to me and they’ve provided me with great training, lots of support; they’ve really opened their doors to me and taken me in as one of their own as soon as I showed interest in becoming part of their team.”

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