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Macsen’s Journey: From White Belt to Aspiring World Champion at Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu

December 6, 2023

In the heart of Yate, the Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu school is cultivating a new generation of martial artists. Among its young talents is Macsen, an 8-and-a-half-year-old dynamo whose passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has propelled him into the spotlight. In this exclusive interview, we dive into Macsen’s journey, exploring his motivations, experiences, and aspirations within the world of BJJ.

Discovering BJJ:

Macsen’s journey in BJJ began in July 2021 when he was just 6 years old. Having previously explored a non-contact martial art, Macsen yearned for a more physically challenging discipline—one where self-defence played a prominent role. Upon attending his first BJJ session, Macsen instantly fell in love with the art. It was the challenge he had been seeking, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Overcoming Fears and Offering Advice:

For children contemplating the leap into BJJ, Macsen offers reassuring words: “Try it out, come along, everyone is friendly and will look after you. Jiu-jitsu is for everyone.” He emphasizes the importance of persistence, encouraging newcomers to attend regularly, ask questions, and witness their knowledge grow week by week.

Competitive Achievements:

Macsen’s competitive spirit has not gone unnoticed. Since spring 2022, he has amassed an impressive collection of 3 gold, 8 silver, and 3 bronze medals. His proudest moment was winning silver at the Compnet UK National—a testament to his resilience against a large and competitive field.

Maintaining Drive and Overcoming Setbacks:

Macsen’s drive to excel in BJJ competitions is fueled by a relentless work ethic. While initial losses were disheartening, he turned them into opportunities for growth. “I want to be the best I can be, and that is why I continue to train,” he explains. By believing in his abilities, learning from coaches, and steadily gaining confidence, Macsen has transformed from a nervous competitor to someone who relishes the spotlight.

Advice for New Competitors:

To those just starting their competitive journey, Macsen advises watching competitions first to understand what to expect. Participating in interclub competitions helps build confidence, and he encourages newcomers to replicate their training routine during matches. “Keep reaching for your goals. You will get there. Grab hold of your goals and hold them tight,” he adds.

Aspirations and Describing BJJ:

Macsen’s goals in BJJ are ambitious—aiming to become a world champion, an ADCC world champion, and a household name in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. When asked to describe BJJ in his own words, Macsen chooses three adjectives: challenging, fun, and technical.

Macsen’s journey at Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu is an inspiring tale of perseverance, growth, and passion. As he continues to rise through the ranks, we’ll undoubtedly witness this young martial artist achieve his dreams and make a mark in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Macsen at a competition

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