Teacher who lost arm, to compete at Brazilian Nationals 2011

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Higa with Master De La Riva / Photo: personal archive

Adilson Higa, a black belt from Campo Grande, Brazil, suffered a serious accident two years ago that put him in a coma and cost him his arm. But becoming an amputee didn’t diminish his desire to compete in Jiu-Jitsu.

The teacher was featured on Brazilian television program Globo Esporte, where he told of how the hardship he faced early on was in dealing with grips.

“Necessity brought me to developing a number of positions, like one where I pull my opponent’s head downwards to get him to walk. When he walks, I go in with a classic De La Riva guard position,” the teacher explained to Globo.

The effort panned out. Higa has won a number of medals and trophies since the accident, which left him in coma for around a month.

“You only really do things well when you’re happy, and I’m happy in this new stage in my life. The job is well done, well directed and well supervised.”

The next challenge in the master’s sights is the Brazilian Nationals, which takes place this weekend in Rio de Janeiro. Higa says he is not competing out of obligation, but rather sees it as a personal challenge.

“I proved everything I had to prove. The important part is going out there and stepping on the mat. That will be a victory to me,” he says, providing an example of overcoming hardship and motivation to his students. Check out some of his training in the video below, and show up at Tijuca gymnasium to applaud him next weekend.

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