28 Jul 2008

The Winner Takes It All

Recently I’ve been coming across a lot of newspaper articles about up and coming young sports athletes who are supposed to be the great British hope for medals when the Olympics comes around to London in 2012. But we have a number of young talents in the UK who are already winning gold medals at non-Olympic sports, and in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is arguably no brighter star than 17-year old Daniel Strauss.
I’ve just got the news that Daniel, who is an assistant instructor at Nick Brook’s Mill Hill BJJ club and regular crusher of Meerkats, has won gold at the blue belt, featherweight category at the Rio de Janeiro State Championships. This tournament is pretty much up there amongst the big prestige events in BJJ, OK it’s not quite the Mundials, or the Pan Ams, but it’s still Rio and attracts the top competitors around the world. So to take it to the Brazilians and beat them at their own game…5 fights – 4 won by submission…is an out of the world achievement. Read more about Daniel’s fights here.
When he comes back, I shall give Daniel the honour of beating me up yet again, erm, pretty much as he always does anyway. God, and when I think back to my days as a very lazy, spotty, geeky 17 year old, obsessed with girls but too scared of them (hey, who said nothing has changed??), it's hard to fathom just how much work, dedication and personal sacrifice it takes to rise to the pinnacle of this, or any sport.
But, the Wagon-Wheel of success doesn't stop there folks. Of course I should also mention Nick’s own fantastic achievements at winning Gold in the brown belt category at the CBJJ International Masters & Seniors Tournament, also in Rio.
As one comment from a poster on the European Fight Network forum affectionately observes:
“This is further proof (as if it were needed) that of all the skinny old brown belts held together by sticky tape, Nick is the best”.

Indeed! But it's also pretty cool that I'm training at a club full of successful and decorated competitors. I shall take this as inspiration when I myself attempt to win a gold medal at this year's Jikishin Nationals in the slightly less than Copacabana surroundings of Southend on Sea.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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