While he watches one of his athletes warm up, Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” hears the question asked by a Graciemag reporter: Is he going to fulfill the old dream of fighting in a BJJ Worlds with his son, Kennedy Maciel? Maybe close out the podium with the kid, who’s been riding some momentum?
“Yes, it’s about time to pass the baton, right?” Cobrinha says with a smile. “But the reality is that training for an IBJJF Worlds at my age isn’t getting any easier. Last year, to win the Grand Slam, I had to stop for a whole year and dedicate the totality of my time to physical preparation and training, and I left my gym and students to my instructors. It would be very complicated to stop everything again in 2019, especially the two of us with the same focus.”
Rubens Charles’s idea, however, is to retire in style, next to the son who has already begun scaling the cliff that is the career of a black-belt. Last December 16th, Kennedy was one of the standouts of the 2018 No-Gi Worlds as he swept the featherweight division in California.
“My idea now is for us to pick an IBJJF Open near home, with our supporters present, so we can fight together in the same category. It would be quite a family blowout, especially if we win,” says Cobrinha, an unapologetically proud dad. “Kennedy is very determined, he has a physical preparedness that has been getting more and more developed, and can really have a beautiful journey in BJJ. It will depend on him alone, and we’re here for whatever he may need.”
Kennedy Maciel will have in the European Championship, this weekend in Portugal, his biggest challenge to date in the gi. It will be his debut on that stage as a black-belt, in a light feather division filled with talent like João Miyao, Pablo Mantovani, Cleber Clandestino and Hiago George. Want to know who else is fighting? Then click here.