At his year’s IBJJF World Championship, no brown-belt soared higher than the unstoppable Kaynan Duarte. The Atos fighter scored double gold and was promoted by André Galvão right after clenching the absolute. His performance prompted us to ask Galvão about what we can expect to see from Kaynan in the coming months and years. Here’s what he told us.
GRACIEMAG: In your view, what are Kaynan’s chief qualities that can lead him to become a great champion also as a black-belt?
André Galvão: Kaynan has good ears. He listens to what I tell him; we have good rapport in training and championships. Not to mention he also listens away from the mat. On top of preparing him professionally as an athlete, giving him tips for training, positions, the technical side, training and dieting, I also worry about his career and personal life as a human being. My wife and I help not just him, but all of our fighters in this area outside fighting, because that part is very important in the development of the athlete.
What about crunch time? What does he excel at?
During fights, he has a good vision of what is going on, he’s very talented and has monstrous strength, he is big and has the perfect body type for fighting. He can fight with pressure, but if needed, he can also scramble it up. He really is very talented.
How do you see him outside the dojo?
He keeps it to himself, but is charismatic with teammates, humble, and likes to make others laugh — he’s got a great sense of humor. He is organized with his personal things; he likes things in the right places.
Are there similarities between present-day Kaynan and a young Galvão?
As an athlete? There are. After all, he was a champion of everything at purple and brown, quite like I was in the past during my period at those belts. We are quite different, personally and technically speaking, but with my experience, all I’ve been through and all I see him go through, he points to a grand, brilliant future in BJJ. I’m sure he will get a little further than I. I think he will become an absolute black-belt champion, because he has the right size for it, and he’s also having a kind of support I didn’t have at black, which is having an experienced teacher by his side.
Any particular trait that will likely get him that far?
He trains really well, but in the championships he takes part in, he goes far beyond what he trains. Kaynan, when training, is one guy; in competition, he’s another — he turns into a lion in tournaments. He likes competing — it’s impressive how much he grows in a competition. It’s a quality that’s very similar to mine.