European Open 2012: early lessons and the photo gallery you were waiting for

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JT having a relaxed breakfast in Lisbon

JT having a relaxed breakfast in Lisbon / Photo: Raphael Nogueira

Ladies and gentlemen, the first two lessons to arise from the European Championship in Portugual and an out-of-sight photo gallery by our partner Kuba Sawicki (MANTO).

USE THE RULES OF JIU-JITSU IN YOUR FAVOR

The  2012 European Championship (check the results here) is the first IBJJF event to apply the new rules of sport Jiu-Jitsu. That is, the crowd and the athletes—for the most part those who didn’t give the new rule book a good read—may have been taken aback by some of the decisions the referees came up with.

I asked veteran referee Muzio de Angelis about it. Look at what he had to say: “Something quite odd has already happened this Europeans. Standing, one of the competitors pushed the other one out of the match area, without performing a shot for takedown of any kind. Such a situation happens all the time in the superheavyweight and ultraheavyweight divisions. Being stronger, the athlete just pushed and pushed, thinking he’d get an advantage point for it. But under the new rules, there’s no benefit in that for the athlete doing the pushing; it gets them a penalty,” reported the black belt ref.

Muzio concluded: “Because he insisted in committing the foul, he was disqualified. Bewildered, he turned to the referee and said, ‘But last year I became champion doing just that!'”

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IN THE LEAD-UP TO MATCH DAY, RELAX

At breakfast this Saturday I recounted what Muzio told me to some competitors, among them JT Torres. “I wasn’t aware of that one,” said JT. With a calm demeanor, munching on cereal—JT only competes tomorrow (Sunday). Saturday is absolute day for the black belts.

I ask JT what a competitor should do the day before competing. “Relax, man, just relax,” he preached, between spoonfuls of cereal. “Rest is a powerful weapon. A lot of competitors aren’t aware of that. The day before a championship, I try to not think about anything that involves fighting. I try disconnecting my mind from any anxiety or tension. The body only really rests if we can free our mind of worries.”

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