This task of being a “reporter-collaborator” for GRACIEMAG is no easy one. We always try to correspond to the heights Jiu-Jitsu sets for us. We believe the best way to give thanks is to report about occurrences that make the gentle art even greater. However, one needs ideas and to pay a lot of attention to what’s going on. They say ideas are like cats and not like dogs. There’s no point calling them, they come when they want. While the question of attention is primordial, we can’t let the details escape, as they end up being the cherry on top.
There are things so obvious we end up not seeing the need to jot them down. It just that, during the rush cause by anxiousness to send in a red-hot bulletin or article, often we forge the obvious. Or in other words, we don’t forget the cherry, but the entire cake.
That happened to me this week. In the rush to send in the news on the inaugural Desert Force event in Jordan followed by the Asian Cup in Abu Dhabi, I left out two major figures from both event, who appeared on network television in the Middle East. That’s right, MMA and Jiu-Jitsu show on broadcast television in the Arab world, guaranteed popularization of combat arts in these parts!
Figure number 1: Zaid Azmi Mirza
Zaid came up with the idea for, promoted, organized, and above all, believed in Desert Force’s success. Were it not for the momentum of this Jordanian brought up in Brazil, even while suffering the sudden loss of his father, the event would have been nothing more than a blue print. It was a lapse not having mentioned him in the article, but he didn’t complain. I was the one struck by the absence. The second Desert Force show is already scheduled. Fighters, get your CVs ready.
Figure number 2: Ali Monfradi
The young blue belt from Bahrain of just seventeen years of age is a fixture at tournaments in Abu Dhabi. He’s been surprising folks at local competitions ever since he was fifteen. His refined technique, flexibility, and now strength have a number of black belts pointing to him as being the next major promise from the Gulf. (He’s always competed in the adult division). Even my colleage on Emirates Team Pedro Lott, on vacation in Europe, contacted me to call attention: “How could you have left out the kid from Bahrain?”
Things brought about when you get run over by happenings. It was a tumultuous end of the year, lots happened. But we try to offer the maximum of information, but the maximum doesn’t fit on the page or in the memory. So we go telling the story of the gentle art and its figures little by little, from A to Z. Better yet; from Ali to Zaid.
There will be more to come next year, whether in GRACIEMAG magazine or on GRACIEMAG.com!