The year 2016 will never be forgotten by Nicholas Meregali. The fighter under Master Mário Reis has won every important title of the circuit in the period. He was a double champion at the European, Pan and World Championship. All that effort netted him the black belt. The 22-year-old admits that the path so far hasn’t been easy, but believes it all helped him evolve.
“I had many moments within BJJ,” Meregali told Graciemag. “Moments of happiness, sadness, victories, defeats, scrambled thoughts… But the most important thing was learning to evolve spiritually. I have everything recorded in my memory, and I know I will use it to help many people in their lives in a near future.”
Despite having had basically the most success a brown-belt can possibly have, Meregali knows that staying at the top comes easily to no one.
“I hope to continue using my BJJ as an ally in my spiritual growth in order to become the person I one day wish to be, an example to the world,” he shared. “I want to be a better human, to seek flawlessness in all acts, gestures, thoughts and feelings, and certainly try to gain control of my machine even further, because I know my own great opponent is myself.”
Meregali’s rise has been boosted in no small way by two-time world champion Mário Reis, whom he treasures like a father.
“The sensei is one of the main people responsible for my evolution,” Meregali says, “on and off the mat. He is a person I can always count on and trust, and I know will be with me for a long time. My game is very similar to Sensei’s — I’m thin, long and thin-shinned as well, so I wound up absorbing a lot of things from him.”
After a long journey to the black belt, Meregali has some advice for those who intend to follow in his footsteps: “The black belt must be viewed as another stage, not the final stretch. Working with constancy and hunger for learning will make you one day be deserving of the black belt.”