Hello George, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is George Andrei, I’m a 23 years old BJJ brown belt, born and raised in Bucharest Romania. I’ve been training in BJJ for almost 9 years now at Absoluto Bucharest.
Is this your first time participating in Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship? If yes, why have you decided to do so?
Yes, it is my first time participating! I intended to take part last year as well, but unfortunately I broke my ankle… My peroneum and ligaments were completely torn apart! After 2 surgeries and a 6-month break, I’m so ready to give my all! Above all else, the reason why I’m participating is to prove to myself that no matter what happens I’m still standing as a good competitor. The ultimate reason is to win, of course, just as anyone else would want!
How is your training going leading up to the championship?
For a long time I’ve been trying hard to balance my job as a coach and training as a competitor so I can get the best result from each. I’m currently training 5-6 days a week (Sundays off always to recover!), 2 times per day.
How did the sport of Jiu Jitsu impact you on a personal level? Why do you recommend youth to practice the sport?
First hand, Jiu Jitsu helped me develop a strong sense of resilience, which is why I have the word tattooed on my forearm, haha! It also helped my leave my ego behind and not judge others on appearances or first impressions. Needless to say it had a huge impact on my physical wellbeing… I have grown a strong and resistant body which I am very proud of!
I believe that from a very young age, children should be taught that any kind of movement is good for the body. But BJJ separates itself from the crowd of sports because it incorporates ideas related to physics, anatomy, psychology, and other important sciences which are very important for youth to understand, all of which can be taught in a uniquely fun way through BJJ!
How do you see Abu Dhabi hosting global Jiu Jitsu championships and giving the chance for athletes to compete against the best in the world?
I am very happy to see involvement in BJJ generally, but for some years now Abu Dhabi has been a key location, offering competitors all over the world the opportunity to showcase their talent in a great environment. This motivates me and gives me a lot of hope towards the idea that BJJ is becoming the global phenomena it deserves to be.
Who influenced you the most in developing your BJJ game?
This would be a long list so I’ll try to keep it short yet inclusive! First, my professor Tudor Mihaita always made sure I improved my strategy throughout the years – on this occasion I want to tell him I’m so grateful!
In terms of famous athletes, Nicholas Meregali is the name which came to mind instantly. I see myself in him when it comes to physical traits and skills, we seem to think alike when it comes to gameplans.
Last but not least, all my colleagues have each contributed to my self-discovery as a competitor, making me realize every day what works for me and what doesn’t.
Would you like to give any advice to our readers that would help them either on the mat or in their lives?
I know it might sound like a cliché but despite any obstacles you meet in life, never give up on your goals. Some days you’ll feel like the world is crumbling, and that’s normal… but you need to find the courage to keep going, find ways to cope and push through. Remember: it’s all in your head! Your perception controls everything.
We care about Jiu Jitsu so much that we decided to create this page for all the people like us – that eat, breath and live the Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle! We truly hope our content will make every one of your days better, on the mat and off the mat!