Black belt Clark Gracie, 28, has already demonstrated the value of his sharp guard since the No-Gi Worlds last year, when he lost a close match against DJ Jackson in the final.
Earlier this year, some missteps. But everything would become just stairs to the top of Pan 2013. In Irvine, Calif. this past Sunday, the son of Carley reached the biggest title of his career, in a middleweight infested with superstars with many styles, from Leandro Lo to Kayron, from DJ Jackson to Otavio Sousa.
In the absolute, he had already shone and almost surprised Leo Nogueira. The fight ended with Clark on the back of the super heavyweight champion from Alliance.
“Having the Gracie name on the birth certificate is not easy … The guy has to kill a lion a day,” said Clark, shortly before action in Irvine.
The black belt born in California explained the reasons for his progress this season:
“My preparation has been better than ever. This year I’m taking it more seriously, training with a coach, while training Jiu-Jitsu stronger every day. Furthermore, I teach as well. I spend the whole day on the mat and it helps at the last minute,” said the versatile fighter. In the final of the Pan, Clark saw Marcelo Lapela pull for his guard, but he was undeterred. He put pressure to pass at the last minute and got the submission, an omoplata choke.
“If it was easy it wouldn’t be fun,” philosophized the ace. “But that’s it, my goal is always try to submit everyone. Sometimes we can do it, sometimes we can’t.”
On Monday, professor Clark came back enshrined to his students at the gym in La Jolla, Calif. With an eye on the ideas of family, he not only teaches the techniques that work in competitions; he also likes to teach many self-defense techniques, including kicks and stand-up defenses.
Check out the winner of Pan 2013 teaching: