As the next LI Pride event approaches, we wanted to get to know the leaders of the LI Pride championship team, Eloy Santos and Milton Regis.
On March 8, the LI Pride XIX event will be held at St Josephs College. You can register at www.lipridebjj.com
Check out the behind-the-scenes look at New York’s own tournament:
GRACIEMAG: Are you excited for the event?
ELOY SANTOS & MILTON REGIS: We are thrilled to bring one more edition of the LI Pride. For us it is like a son getting bigger, stronger and better. Each edition gives us more experience and expertise. We have the support of the most important schools from NY, NJ, MA, DE, PA and NH. And we are not surprised to also get athletes from all over the country and international competitors, too.
Why did you decide to start a Jiu-Jitsu tournament in NY?
Well, the fact is the Jiu-Jitsu competitors and teachers were unhappy with the service offered at the other grappling events. There were no Jiu-Jitsu tournaments in the NY area, even having so many Jiu-Jitsu academies, and so many athletes.
How long have you been running the PRIDE NY?
We started in 2007 with only two rings inside a small gym behind the church, but with very good feedback from the competitors and Jiu-Jitsu schools. We still have so many challenges but also a big dream, with every edition breaking the records. Building a good reputation is not an easy job. Beyond the championship, there are a lot of expectations. It is our responsibility, to preserve the integrity of the competitors and to give our spectators a chance to watch a true show of Jiu-Jitsu.
Any big names confirmed?
We have had so many top athletes fighting at our events and they are always welcome. But it is very important to make this championship a platform for the next generation champions. Making everyone comfortable to fight and have a chance to win, if not the medal a chance to learn a lesson and have a great experience.
Do you have any message for who is looking for to compete at the PRIDE XIX?
Yes. Train hard to do your best, physically and technically, to represent your academy. Also invite everyone: family and friends. Help spread our lifestyle and the good news about the fastest growing sport in America. So, from all of us, the LI Pride Championship staff, dedicating our best to make another very good show.
Is there anything else we need to know?
Our work through the years has been accompanied by an evolution and a development of sport Jiu-Jitsu rules. Many thanks to the contribution of the greatest masters and professors in this martial arts. Particularly Grand Master Francisco Mansur, red belt who has worked over the years to study and improve the sport and the rules used in the official events around the world, making this sport uniform and respectful.
For more info and registration for the PRIDE XIX go to http://www.lipridebjj.com/
Check out this video about the tournament: