he year has only just begun and Sydney Jiu Jitsu Academy already have their eye on their first big comp of 2018 – the Oceania Continental Pro, part of the UAEJJF World Ranking and Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Qualifiying Series. The comp is open to all nationalities, all belts, Kids, Juveniles, Adults and Masters. It will award UAEJJF world ranking points – 1st place gives 140 points. And the best ranked athletes in Oceania on the 12th March 2018 will get a travel package to compete the UAEJJF World Pro in Abu Dhabi.
SJJA will be fielding athletes throughout the divisions and, if 2017 is anything to go by, they can expect to take home a swag of medals. One athlete to watch will be 14 year old Simon Chandra who claimed gold last year at the Abu Dhabi World Youth Championship, among several other impressive titles. I sat down with Simon to find out about his comp prep and what it takes to be a World Champion.
How long have you been training BJJ? I’ve been training for 5 years and competing for the last 4 years.
What belt are you now? Orange.
What is your favourite submission or lock? Omaplata.
What competition titles have you won? 5 x Triple Bull champion, 1 x Pans Pacific champion, 3 x Australian champion, 2017 Abu Dhabi World Youth Champion.
What has been your favourite competition experience ever? The World Pro because it’s the biggest competition in the world and it was my first international competition.
How many weeks out from a competition do you usually start preparing? I start prepping for competitions about 6 weeks out and I like to focus on cutting weight, cardio and conditioning.
Do you do any mental preparation for competition? Not specifically, but on the day of comp I like to try and think positive, like I believe I’m going to win. I also try to relax in the warm up area.
What do you have for dinner the night before? And what about breakfast on the day? I try to have some good carbs the night before a comp, and in the morning I normally eat some eggs or something light.
What is going through your mind as you wait at the edge of the mat about to compete? Mostly I’m thinking about my game plan. That’s what I try to focus on.
How often does your game plan go out the window? Do you find it easy to adjust? Every match is different but I find it easy to adjust because I have a plan for each position.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to young Simon Chandra? The advice i’d give my younger self is to keep training hard because i believe the more hours you put in on the mats the better it is for your future.
Speaking of, what are your goals for the future? To get more Word Titles and to open a gym one day and have my own team.
Good luck to Simon and all the other competitors at the Oceania Continental Pro. If you’re thinking about competing – then totally do it! But first you must become a UAEJJF member which is around $25 a year for Adults and free for Kids & Youth competitors. Once you have your UAEJJF membership then you can register for the Oceania Continental Pro via the UAEJJF website.
Not sure whether to compete? Got questions about comp prep or weight divisions? Talk to your coaches and they’ll be happy to help you out.
And don’t forget, SJJA will be fielding athletes in this weekend’s Events BJJ Initiator Crown on 21st January at the Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre. Registration for competitors are no longer open for that one but you can head along to support and watch some good Jiu-Jitsu.
Written by Chris Burke