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2016: IBJJF European Championship

POUND FOR POUND GOES TO TO THE EUROPEANS by Laurien Zurhake   In the BJJ world there are many tournaments, but when one utters the word ‘Europeans’, everyone knows exactly about what this person is talking about. In the first month of this year (20-24th of January 2016) it was organized again. And a Team, the Pound for Pound Team, counting twenty-five fighters travelled to Portugal. They accepted the challenge to step on the mats and to test their abilities to the utmost. We did well, for not only did every Pound for Pound Team member acquire valuable experiences and gave the best they had, we also brought home 5 medals, of which one was gold (Benedikt Johannes Schotthöfer – brown belt division / master 1 / male / light) and four were bronze (Miguel Maria Ferreira Mariz Ruivo WHITE / Juvenile 1 / Male / Middle, Petrit Memeti BLUE / Master 1 / Male / Light Feather, Bruno Miguel Semedo Mendes Ferreira BLUE / Master 1 / Male / Light, Mirza Karac PURPLE / Adult / Male / Ultra Heavy). Simply an amazing feat when you take into account that one bracket could count up to sixty combatants or that the PDF file containing all the fighters was more than 80 pages long! We tend to focus on results only, because that is something tangible, something you can grab and show. But what about the intangible processes behind these results? You do not see the hardship, commitment, failures, the blood, sweat and tears that lead to success. I myself was not present during the Europeans itself, but I did...

2016: IBJJF Munich Open

ALL ARMIES OF ONE – ONE ARMY OF ALL Pound For Pound’s Triumph during the Munich Open 2016 by Laurien Zurhake   Sunday the 21st of February was to be that day. That day in TSV Unterhaching Sportarena where many of our Pound for Pound Team comrades stepped on the mats. This international Team gathered together from many corners of the world in Munich. Led by professors Sergio ‘Canudo’ Zimmermann and Fabio Fetter a Team counting more than forty combatants and supporters was ready: it was time to tackle the Munich Open.   And tackling we did! We managed to not only win the Academies’ first place trophy in gi, but also the second place in no-gi with no more than six fighters. This shows more than just winning, for these results reveal the high quality of our teachers and their dedication to teaching, our commitment, endurance, eagerness to learn, will power of body and mind, technique and above all Team spirit.   Ultimately, the moment when you step on the ‘competition mats’, fighting seems to be a lonely business. It is just different compared to sparring and training with your professors and Teammates whom you know and see several days a week. Surely, it is in your own gym, this safe environment where you spend many hours on the mats, where you learn many techniques, where you drill them endlessly, and endeavor to apply them. However, it seems to me that competition is a whole different ball game. Whereas in the gym you learn fighting skills, it is throughout tournaments that you acquire fighting skills. And that what...