Bleachers packed throughout the day. Cries of joy in victory. Dismayand cries of defeat. Complaints about refereeing.
All this and the black belts haven’t even put on their gis yet.
The second day of competition of the European Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2010, on Friday in Lisbon, proved once again how the power behnd the art is the passion of its practitioners, which leads to to friendly competition, training partners, and, of course, their families.
From the eight match areas came several examples of this passion.
Nicholas Herbert is 53 years old and has practiced Jiu-Jitsu since 2005. A student at Jiu-Jitsu Factory, the Dutchman born in Bahrenfeld has collected nine European Championship medals, all at blue belt. But that’s nothing, the technician now residing in Ede carries in a small notebook a true monument to his dedication to the sport. A black belt in judo and also a practitioner of sambo and traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Herbert records on the yellowed pages the results from every single one of the competitions he has participated in since, astonishingly, 1972. Why such dedication? Why compete?
“To survive!” he replies.
At the other end of the spectrum, Makenzie Dern is about to turn 17 years old. The young and beautiful talent comes from noble lineage. The daughter of Wellington “Megaton” Dias, the now-European champion’s father is her greatest motivator and, at the same time, an unwavering guide. The winner of her weight division in several championships, including the 2009Worlds, Makenzie still still has some time ahead of her before getting her purple belt.
– “She’s still really young!” Megaton sums up.
From Greece, comes another example. Andreas Michailidis had 10 matches at blue belt in Lisbon. Of these, he got the submission in nine. He left the Casal Vistoso gymnasium with two gold medals on his chest, one for the heavyweight and one for the absolute blue belt. He overcame Kari Peltola 6 to 0 in the open weight final.
And finally, a student of Renzo Gracie in Manhattan, Kay Stephenson won the absolute female purple with three submissions in three matches.
When the lights went out at the Casal Vistoso, the one thing for certain is that tomorrow there would be more to come. The black belt beasts come on the scene and those who put on today’s show will have something to smile and cheer about. One day they’ll get there themselves.
Team results for white belt (Novice) and blue belt (juvenile) have been published:
1 – Ilan Turjeman Academy
2 – Gracia Barra
3 – Gokudo
1st – Alliance
2 – Gracie Barra
3 – Checkmat BJJ
To see the results from the first two days of the 2010 European, click here.