Hello Serena, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello everybody I’m Serena Gabrielli – I was born in Rome, Italy and am 34 years old. I started Jiu Jitsu 12 years ago and I’m a second degree black belt under professor Andrea Verdemare. I am a 4 times European Championship, one time World Championship, one time silver medalist at Worlds and Pans and I’ve taken bronze medals at Worlds (IBJJF and AJP).
Is it your first time participating in Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship? What is the most memorable experience from your participation?
This is my third time competing in Abu Dhabi and the first time was the one that impressed me the most because it was the anniversary of the sheik so everything was in memory of him and it was gorgeous.
How is your training going leading up to the championship?
I usually train 3 times per day, one conditioning and two Jiu Jitsu classes Monday to Friday. I train this way during all throughout competition season to always be prepared.
I believe that everything is gonna be alright! I don’t do a special routine for every competition, I just train as hard as I can. Luckily I’m competing a lot during this period so I’m training hard every day to keep prepared.
How did the sport of jiu-jitsu impact you on a personal level? Why do you recommend youth to practice the sport?
Jiu Jitsu gave me a lot of self confidence and it let me understand that there is always something good even during bad times. For that reason I recommend it to youth because it can give them a strong will.
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 think at the moment Abu Dhabi and the AJP are one of the best options for professional Jiu Jitsu because everything is organized to perfection and also because they give the chance to grow with our personal career.
Who influenced you the most in developing your BJJ game?
The person who influenced me the most is my professor Andrea Verdemare because he’s a rooster weight, he can adapt his game to everyone, and he always finds a solution for each situation, especially bad positions. I also love a lot Mendes Bros style.
Would you like to give any advice to our readers that would help them either on the mat or in their lives?
The only thing I can say is to never give up because even when everything seems go wrong there is always something good to learn.