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Meet the young prospect from Manaus on the rise in Ireland

Erick Sousa was ADCC Ireland champion. Photo: Reproduction

Erick Souza is a Brazilian sensation in Europe. The man from Manaus has been living in Ireland since January this year and has made a huge noise in the main championships he has competed in. Erick competed in two rounds of ADCC Ireland and won three gold medals. In one of the editions, he used his efficient Jiu-Jitsu and won the weight class and the absolute, after scoring six victories by submission.

Erick has been training Jiu-Jitsu for 14 years and has been a black belt since the beginning of 2021. He currently trains at the JSBJJ Academy in Dublin, under Professor Jorge Santos. In an interview with VF Comunica, Erick confesses that he didn’t expect Jiu-Jitsu in Ireland to be so high.

“I’m from Manaus and in Brazil we have the perception that we’re tougher, we train harder, but Jiu-Jitsu is also advanced here in Ireland, especially in nogi. I do competition training at the JSBJJ Academy and I see that the Irish are too tough. I also coach at Sam Mc Nally’s academy, an ADCC veteran. The guys there are also very dedicated and talented, and I have a totally different view of this place than I did when I lived in Brazil,” says Erick.

Erick points out that the championships are sure to be intense and evenly matched and that Ireland has produced fighters who are adept at grappling. The black belt also points out that Irish teams have been gaining more and more ground on the competition scene.

“In addition to the traditional squads, there are several qualified local schools that have helped the growth of Jiu-Jitsu in the country. I fought in the ADCC Ireland and was champion in my category and lost in the absolute to a good Irish wrestler. With each championship, I realize how good the Europeans are at BJJ,” says the Brazilian.

Erick Sousa recognizes that a champion stands out from other athletes on and off the mats. That’s why he’s been honing his ability to communicate in English in order to open doors in BJJ. For this reason, the support that Seda College has given him has been crucial to his development as a teacher and athlete in Europe.

“As soon as I arrived in Ireland, I started training at Jorge Santos’ JSBJJ Academy, and through the academy, I met Thiago, from Seda College, who offered me a scholarship to study English. I realize that lack of communication is one of the biggest problems for athletes. Knowing how to communicate in another language, especially English, is essential. Learning to speak English opens doors to grow in Jiu-Jitsu, whether to travel to other countries or to give seminars. This has helped me a lot and I see the importance of English in the life of an athlete. Seda helps me with all the support I need to compete and this support has reinforced my desire to compete in the IBJJF World Championships next year,” says Erick.

Erick Sousa has ambitious plans for the future and wants to be a reference with and without the gi. He lists his upcoming commitments and has his sights set on the ADCC.

“I came to Europe in January on a scholarship and was able to compete thanks to the help of Seda College. My focus now is to fight in the Rome and Dublin Opens and the European No-Gi. I’ll be returning to Brazil in January to compete in the ADCC. My goal is to make a name for myself in and out of the gi, and that’s what I’m preparing for,” says Erick Sousa.

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Written by Gabriel Almada

Jornalista aficionado por luta e faixa-roxa de Jiu-Jitsu

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