Last weekend saw the 2013 IBJJF European Championships held in Lisbon. I did not go but was glued to the tide of social media reporting over who fought who and who won what. By all accounts, it was an absolute barnstormer of an event with many memorable moments that will be talked about for years to come (damn!). A quick round-up of key moments:
My very good friend and sometime instructor David 'Malandro' Onuma won his black belt division too. An amazing one-two for Team Mill Hill & Friends! BTW check out David's Malandro patch. Ahem, a little graphic design effort from moi.
There were more Brits to win gold as well. Luke Costello won the adult brown belt super heavies, Pippa Granger had by all accounts a thrilling match which she won gold in the ladies master light featherweight, my friend Mark Phung won masters brown belt at light feather, Anna Mayne and Vanessa English picked up gold in the womens brown and purple belt divisions respectively. A shout out too to my good pal Steve Fage, who I train with occasionally he won gold in the purple belt senior 2 light division. And there were plenty more too numerous to mention. Well done to all the Brits who travelled to Portugal and test their skills against some very tough opponents.
One of the matches that had everyone talking was Fernando Augusto 'Tererê' against Claudio Calasans. After a fantastic first round win, Tererê advanced to the final after Alan 'Finfou' conceded a win to Tererê and in a touching gesture, handed Tererê the old black belt that Tererê gave to him many years ago.
In a statement afterward, Finfou said, “Fernando Tererê made me what I am in Jiu-Jitsu. He taught me since the white belt. This belt, he gave me one day and asked for 5 reais for it, I knew he was going to buy crack. I told him then that I was going to give him back the belt when when he got back on his feet. There was no better moment than that! I will sleep filled with joy and proud today!”
In the final, Tererê fought Calasans when the referee disqualified Tererê for knee reaping. It was a controversial decision. The video is here, so maybe you can see why people have been debating this:
The fights involving the Miyao brothers and Keenan Cornelius also had the stadium in rapt concentration. To the untrained eye, it might not be the prettiest jiu jitsu on display, but with the smallest error for either player potentially costing them to lose crucial position or grip control, this was never going to be a flaying acrobatic affair. Keenan eventually won both his weight and the absolute divisions, cementing his reputation as one of the best in the world at brown belt.
Full results are printed here.