Oooh look what came in the post at Meerkatsu HQ today? A postcard from Portugal...
Howdy boys! My name is André Costa Silva, I'm 28 years old and I'm a white belt jiu-jiteiro from Portugal. I've been training for about half a year and I've been hooked on it from day one. There's nothing quite like it and chances are you already know how efficient it is from MMA, but you have to try it to know what this obsession is all about.
BJJ in Portugal started when Brazilian black belt Lauro Figueirôa arrived in Lisbon in the mid-90s. Not long after him, several other Brazilians arrived and started teaching a bit all over the country. In the early 2000s BJJ started creating its fingerprint in Oporto by the hand of my teacher, Prof. Marco Carneiro (aka Marcão) who would later found ArtSuave Jiu-Jitsu which now has 6 branches in several gyms/academies around Oporto. Lots of talented people here, so much so that just this Saturday our team won the National title in the Nacional Open.
Talking of BJJ tournaments, Portugal hosts every year one of the most important tournaments in the world, the IFBJJ European Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship which gather hundreds of top competitors from allover the world including many world champions.
Not a whole lot of big name seminars going on here but we're not too bad with recent visits from Raphael Macuco, Royce Gracie and Bráulio Estima.
If you happen to visit Portugal do bring your gi with you, from north to south you won't have any trouble finding one of thirty-odd great academies to train at!
You can find a list of registered academies and much more on the Portuguese Federation website:http://www.fpjjb.com/ (under “academias”)
...and my own blog is http://portuguesewhitebelt.blogspot.com/