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2017: IBJJF International Zürich Open & UAEJJF Zagreb Pro Championship

ALWAYS CONNECTED by Kimberlj Boehm   There exist a well-known proverb about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and its positive affect on social relationships that says „bjj connects people“. This May our team fought on different fronts in different countries at the same time so we couldn’t stay all together physically, but we fought with the force of our team connected in our minds and hearts. Team spirit has no boundary, so we all stepped on the battlefield with the united power of our Pound for Pound family. Of course everyone of us went into the fight with his or her individual goals, but we walked the walk together, striving in the same direction to give our best, have fun and enjoy the moment. In overall we came back home with 3 medals from Zurich and one medal from Zagreb as well, plus one of our brothers won the ticket to the Grand Slam Tournament in London next year. All of us fought good fights, some won and some lost, mostly very close by points. But it`s not all about the medals. A gold medal is beautiful thing, but if you`re not enough without it, you will be never enough with it. The real fight was fought every day in the preparation and our toughest opponents were the people we saw every day in the mirror. The effort is between you and you, coming to the gym every day sweating your ass off, no matter if you had a hard day at work, dealing with pressure or adversity, no matter if you`re sick, injured or tired. A true champion wins in his...

2016: IBJJF International Zürich Open

  BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE how it tastes to win or loose by Kimberlj Boehm   Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland and belongs to the places with the highest standard of living worldwide. The term standard of living is the general well-being of individuals and societies, outlining negative and positive features of life. Individuals – those with individual passions and peculiarities, which leads us to the topic: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – a special individuality that flows through our veins, connect us deeply within and one another and for which we take emotional and physical hurdles again and again – because we love to do it! On May 9th and 10th, 2016 the annual IBJJF Zurich Open took place and the Pound For Pound Team went there with 15 fighters. For some it was the very first tournament, a few others extended their first experience in a new belt division, some of us fought in a totally new weight class and had to face opponents with different size and therefore new physics. Seen overall we all strove for the same objectives: exceed limits, control our thoughts, overcome fear, bring the best possible performance, test our skills, have fun, keep together and never give up! The most notable motivation for all of us was definitely our professor, Sergio ‚Canudo‘ Zimmermann, who due to an injury had to accept a loss after being undefeated for several years. Despite strong pain he fought for our team until the last second of the match. He made the 2nd place in his division, but he stepped off the mat as a winner. Most people would give up at...

2016: IBJJF Rome Open & IBJJF European NoGi Championship

  MODERN GLADIATORS by Laurien Zurhake   Rome, often called the eternal city, speaks to the imagination: her famous and glorious history as Caput Mundi, Capital of the world during the Roman Empire, as well as her renowned demise. The 7th century author Bede once wrote: “as long as the Colosseum stands, Rome will stand; when the Colosseum falls, Rome will fall; when Rome falls, the whole world will fall.” This passage reveals the importance and centrality of a city in general and of a specific structure in particular. Luckily for us the Colosseum, originally called amphitreatrum Flavium, still stands and what a sight it is! Upon approaching it for the first time I tried to imagine how it would be like to enter the arena as a gladiator and hopefully depart again through the Gate of Life and not through the Gate of Death. I write extensively about the Colosseum, because the gym, Palazetto dello Sport, were we all fought, was clearly built with the Colosseum in mind. It has the same oval shape and entrances everywhere. In ancient times, these entrances were designed to structure the entry of the sometimes 60.000 spectators and to let all of them vacant the place within minutes afterwards. Up to a point the Rome Open and Europeans BJJ No-gi may have been similar to ancient times: many different people, faces, languages, gestures, but all assembled for a similar purpose, namely either to watch or to compete. To be sure, nowadays we do not fight to the death, nor are we perceived as that which is not Roman (that is to say...

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...

WINNING ISN´T NORMAL

Winning isn´t normal. That does´t mean there is anything wrong with winning. it just isn´t normal. it´s highly unusual. Every competition has only one winner. no matter how may people are entered, only one person or Team wins the championship. Winning is unusual – as such it requires unusual action. In order to win, you must do extraordinary things. You cannot just be one of the crowd. The crowd does´t win. You have to be willing to stand out and act differently. Your actions need to reflect Unusual values and priorities. You have to value success more than others do. You have to want it more. WANTING IT MORE IS A DECISION YOU MAKE AND ACT UPON – NOT SOME INHERENT QUALITY OR BURNING INNER DRIVE OR INSPIRATION! You have to make that value a priority. You cannot train like everyone else. You have to train more and train better. You cannot talk like everyone else. You cannot think like everyone else. You cannot be to willing to join the crowd, todo whites expected, to act in a socially accepted maker, todo what is „in“ . You need to be willing to stand out in the crowd and CONSISTENTLY take exceptional action. If you want to win, you need to accept the risks and perhaps the loneliness because …….  WINNING ISN´T NORMAL!!!     Author...