Last December, Romulo Barral pocketed 5,000 dollars by outdoing his friend Otavio Sousa and André Galvão to win his division at the IBJJF Pro League. The Jiu-Jitsu professor from team Gracie Barra didn’t get much time to celebrate, though, as training will not be put on hold. His goal in getting back to the grind? To win his first European Open in Lisbon, Portugal, at the end of this January.
We spoke with the Brazil-California transplant about his training for the IBJJF tournament. Here’s what he had to say:
GRACIEMAG: Are you already in tip-top shape for the European Open in Lisbon?
ROMULO BARRAL: I’m ready and really happy to get to participate in my first European Open. We’re aiming for a first title in Lisbon. I’ve been preparing for it ever since the Pro League. I didn’t stop for Christmas or for New Year’s. I’ve got a strong team at the academy. I managed to set up a really good competition team. I’ve been training with my students and teammates every day. I’ve got a number of Gracie Barra black belts training with me, like Rodrigo Freitas, Bruno Antunes, Lucas Rocha, Otavio Sousa, Rafael Tinoco and Magidinho, as well as my own black belts Cristian Belo, Larry Scot and Ben Saloman. All of them help me, and on top of that there’s my physical conditioning trainer Leo Frincu.
Have you gotten a look at who all is in the medium-heavyweight division? Do you have an idea who will be the biggest obstacle in getting the gold?
I haven’t looked at my division yet to not get nervous. But for sure everyone there is going to be tough.
What’s your big goal for 2013?
As an athlete, to participate in all the main Jiu-Jitsu tournaments. As a coach, to do the best job possible to help my team and students. My main objective in 2013 is to fight for my fourth world title as a black belt as well as to win my first world absolute.
How would you define Romulo Barral’s style of Jiu-Jitsu?
It’s non-stop offense. I like going on the attack, both playing guard and passing.