[by Danny O’Donnell]
GD Jiu Jitsu Instructors Josh Rodriguez and Horlando Monteiro at the 2017 Brazilian Nationals
The CBJJF Brazilian Nationals have always been regarded as one of the most talent rich Jiu Jitsu competitions in the world. Many of the sports top athletes reside in Brazil, but because of financial restrictions, they are not always able to make it to the U.S. for the Pan American and World Championships. Competitors who train primarily outside of Brazil view the “Brasileiros” as a huge opportunity to test their skills with the elite in their respective divisions.
GD Jiu Jitsu coach Josh Rodriguez competed in the Brown Belt Adult Light-Feather division. In his first match Josh utilized his trademark lapel guard system to run up the scoreboard before eventually taking his opponent’s back and submitting him with a bow n arrow choke. In his second match Josh continued to control the pace of the match with his lapel grips and scored a pair of sweeps to win 4-0. Josh had the following to say about his next battle in the quarter finals. “There was a mistake I made when passing a grip and he got me to turtle.” This would even the score on advantages. “I ended up playing in his guard and I was trying to play it safe because it was tied and I got caught in a triangle armbar.” Josh’s amazing performance was a direct reflection of the work he puts in on the mats every day in Arizona.
Black belt Medium Heavyweight monster Horlando Monteiro also made the trek to his home country to test and refine his competition game. “I had 4 hard fights against some high level jiu jitsu fighters. My first fight I faced an athlete from the same state where I grew up and I won by points.” Although Horlando is known for his attack oriented guard, he used his ever-improving passing game to secure the points in the first match. “My second fight I was able to control the fight and won 6-0. My third fight I fought a good athlete from Cicero Costha’s school and I won by ref’s decision.” In the semifinals Horlando took on the always tough Alliance competitor Renato Cardoso. “I was winning the fight from then beginning until 7 minutes in. I made a technical mistake and ended up losing. It was a great experience and I felt ready for anything. Fighting in Brazil is great because it’s where I’m from!”
While traveling and competing out of the state is no easy task, Josh and Horlando looked right at home on the mats in Sao Paulo. Keep an eye out for these guys as they represent GD Jiu Jitsu and Nova Uniao at the 2017 IBJJF World Championships and fight their way towards World titles in their respective divisions.