Amazing Weekend with the Gold

Hello everyone,

As most of you know the Pan Am tournament was held in Irvine this past weekend. This is the largest and probably the most prestigious IBJJ tournament in North America, and it attracts the fiercest competitors.

Five members of our Academy competed:
Professor Kai
Professor Hutch
Professor Ale
Eric Walts and myself

Professors Kai and Ale won the first round but were eliminated in the second round. Very close fights, and both said that they learned a lot and planned to come back even stronger next time.Professor Hutch won silver in this category with a strong display of excellent Jiu Jitsu technique and positioning. Eric Walts won bronze in his category.

I'm really happy to tell you that I won Gold in the Open division and a Silver in the middle weight.

I also want to share with you how I got there, because I think that there's a moral to the story (bear with me please!). I've been training for this for almost 2 years, and I was sick and injured immediately before the tournament. Before I competed in the Open category, I won Silver..

.. But I didn't feel like I had won.

We all know the expression that you win to get a Bronze, you win to get a Gold, but you lose to get a Silver. It's weird but true. And so after I won the silver, my confidence was shaken. But then I started thinking about how hard I had worked to get to this place, how I had overcome injuries and sickness even to compete.

You know that I really believe that with good intentions and hard work you can achieve anything. And I started thinking that I had worked hard, and I had good intentions, and I wasn't going to let myself down. I deserved this! And the change in my attitude made the difference and allowed me to win the Gold.

So the moral of the story is to believe in yourself, and thatwith hard work and good intentions you can do anything. Really!

Thanks everyone for believing in me, for supporting me, and for being training partners. We won this one as a team!

Fabio Leopoldo