The weekend of July 13 saw some high-level Jiu-Jitsu in New York. The IBJJF held the first edition of the New York Jiu-Jitsu Summer Open, in the Nat Holman gymnasium, and the biggest name of the event was Teresópolis, Brazil’s, Vitor Oliveira (GFTeam), who secured gold at both the middleweight and absolute black belt divisions.
Vitor, who passed the guard of DJ Jackson (Lloyd Irvin) in the absolute final, talks about the feat and has some advice for our reader:
GRACIEMAG: What have you learned from winning two golds at the NY Summer Open?
VITOR OLIVEIRA: I had an excellent performance, I was able to apply the positions I wanted. But even with the win, I could see that I need to make adjustments in my game. I think the crowd was instrumental in this achievement – it’s always good to have the fans supporting.
How did your mind operate in the absolute final against the DJ?
This time I believed more in my judo. Early on I applied a takedown and gained two points. Then, I tried not to make mistakes by always attacking. That’s how I applied pressure until I passed the guard. Passing DJ’s guard was time-consuming, because he kept locking my foot in half-guard, but I kept my shoulder on his face and persisted. Near the end, he managed to sweep, but I won by 5-2. The secret to taking him down was to attack at the right time, when he sank the grip on my lapel.
In the middleweight final, you beat Daniel Tavares, of SAS. What have you learned?
I had fought Daniel in the No-Gi Pan last year and already knew a little about his game. I tried to take him down, but couldn’t stabilize the move and ended up leaving the fighting area. The referee brought the fight back to the middle and Daniel pulled the X-guard. I then fell on the side, but didn’t stabilize. Then Daniel went to all fours, which was when I was able to sink the guillotine and finish him.
What is your main trick for the few hours prior to competition?
I try to be as quiet as possible. It’s kinda funny, I always think that I won’t be able to use force [laughs]. My body gets a little soft, but when I get to the mat I am awake and cool. The fighter must always maintain good nutrition, sleep early before the event, try to be focused and avoid eating too much before fighting. It is helpful to have full confidence in your game – this will help in the critical hours throughout the tournament.
What did you learn overall in New York?
I learned a lot about my game. I have to be more alert and adjust my grips better when fighting. I was a little loose when I was caught by surprise in the final with DJ. I like to fight on top very much, preferably in half-guard. So I’ve just got to practice more and get my grips ultra tight.
See the final of the black belt absolute match here: