Gracie Barra Pernambuco rep Bruno Alves didn’t have it easy at the World Pro tryouts in the northeastern Brazilian town of Natal this past weekend. Alves won five matches in becoming champion of the tryouts, and he addresses the event with GRACIEMAG.com:
What did you think of the level of competition, with so many athletes from the region, the Brazilian Northeast?
Some folks come here thinking it will be easy to win here in the Northeast, but it was as tough as any other World Pro qualifier. My bracket was perhaps the toughest of all, with a real burly bunch from here and the Southeast, like Adriano Silva. It wasn’t easy, it was through the hard work I’ve been doing with Master Zé Radiola that I was able to win. I’ll be in Abu Dhabi again, and making sure of it so early is awesome!
What will you be doing to make sure you take the title in Abu Dhabi?
I have to keep doing what I’m doing, but I obviously have to look at what I did wrong and evolve. I think there are a lot of things I can improve on standing and playing on top. Master Zé Radiola knows what I need to do to be sharper when I get there.
Do you plan on joining other of the team’s representatives to prepare, maybe others from Pernambuco, like Bráulio and Vitor Estima?
Zé is the one coordinating the Gracie Barra competition team, so I think he’ll put something like that together for me. The guys should indeed get together before events like the European Open, the Pan and the Worlds. Everyone is also focused on Gracie Barra getting farther in competition as a team.
You mentioned three major IBJJF events. Do you plan to compete at all of them next year?
I plan on competing at the Pan, the European Open, the Worlds. Besides the World Pro, in 2012 I want to be at all the big competitions. This year I’ve already competed a lot, all over the place, and I plan on keeping it up.