When people think about grappling in Russia their thoughts almost certainly turn to sambo, a martial art focused as much on throwing an opponent as locking in a submission. However, accomplished BJJer Rodrigo Cabral is looking to change that perception through his work in the Eastern European nation at the Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
Cabral heads the school, an opportunity that resulted from a chance meeting in his native Brazil.
“It all started six months ago when Dmitry Selivakhin spent some time with us training in Rio de Janeiro,” revealed Cabral in an interview with BJJHeroes. “Dmitry belongs to an MMA team in Russia named Strela MMA and he showed interest in opening an Alliance franchise in Russia,” adding that he was selected based on his physical strength.
A recent winner of a gold medal at the Brazilian nationals, the 30-year old Cabral also expressed his appreciation for how quickly his students have picked up on BJJ, crediting their backgrounds in Sambo and overall desire, saying, “They are very focused and determined in everything they do and this is extremely important… important for anything you want to achieve in life.”
He also hopes to develop BJJ competitions in the region at some point to continue the sport’s growth, explaining, “They do have submission wrestling competitions but no Jiu Jitsu so far.”
With another tool to work with, and BJJ’s popularity catching on in Russia, it may only be matter of time until the world’s top submission artists come from a far less temperate place than Brazil.
PHOTO CREDIT – ALLIANCEBJJ