Marcos Souza & Roberto Satoshi invite up-and-comers to compete in Japan

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Training in Japan. Photo: Personal Archive

Marcos Souza and Roberto Satoshi are black belt Brazilian/Japanese brothers who live in Japan. They are making their mark not only in the Japan Jiu-Jitsu community, but in the competition scene as well. Marcos recently won the Abu Dhabi WPJJC last April and the younger Roberto completed the feat in 2012.

Today they focus on spreading Jiu-Jitsu in Japan and one way they’ve worked towards that goal is recently inviting three up-and-coming competitors to compete in the Copa Bull Terrier tournament in Tokyo, Japan. Purple belt under Romulo Barral, Edwin Najmi traveled from Los Angeles while new brown belt Michael Liera Jr. of Atos under Andre Galvao came from San Diego. Kit Dale, new black belt from Australia also headed over and was able to entertain them with his humor and good looks.

All three competitors won their divisions. When asked why he chose to bring these athletes out to Japan, Marcos said, “I selected some athletes to make the event more interesting and so I can give opportunities for some fighters to fight here. I feel happy because nobody ever gave me that opportunity but I feel I can help the Jiu-Jitsu community that way.

We asked the coordinator of the tournament about Jiu-Jitsu in Japan:

GRACIEMAG: What was the purpose of flying out competitors from America and Australia to Tokyo, Japan?

By inviting foreigners to compete at Copa Bull Terrier, we would like to help to develop Jiu-Jitsu in Japan. The competitors could have the chance to see and compete with worldwide athletes in a local atmosphere and thus gain insight into Jiu Jitsu in this area.

What kind of competitions are held out in Japan and what makes them valuable for those not living in Japan?

Copa Bull Terrier is one of the largest competitions in Japan. It gains the attention of Jiu-Jitsu athletes all over Japan. There were around 800 competitors this year. The competition is covered in Japanese, English and Portuguese media. We provide live broadcast through Ustream, and Japanese idols give out medals to the winners.

If you do well in the competition, you become famous and well-known in Japan’s Jiu-Jitsu scene.

What can you say about Tokyo in terms of what it has to offer for the Jiu-Jitsu world?

It’s the leading Jiu Jitsu country in Asia. The black belts from Japan go to the other places in Asia like Taiwan/ Korea/ Hong Kong/ China/ Macau, etc. to develop and spread Jiu-Jitsu to more people.

Marcos writes on Facebook: “In this car we have people from different teams from all over the world.. From Gracie Barra to Atos to Checkmat to Bonsai Jiu-Jitsu.. But more important then any team or competition are the friendships you develop along the way.. This is why i love Jiu-Jitsu.” Photo: Personal Archive

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