This weekend sees six of Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Phuket, Thailand’s top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grapplers pack up their GIs and head to Manila, Philippines to take part in the annual Pan Asian BJJ Gi and No Gi International Open.
The event at the SM Mall Of Asia is the largest gathering of competitors in the South East Asian region. Now in its 8th year, the competition is recognized by the International Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu Federation as the premier BJJ event in South East Asia.
Tiger’s own Gear Shop Manager and BJJ veteran, Kitty Teppo, 27, will be joined by fellow grapplers Chris Hines, 26, Jesper Freyschuss, 25, Alex Schild, 23, Oscar Mendoza, 35 and Matt Andrews, 33. In what will be their Pan Asian games debut, team leader Kitty knows that intense preparation will be vital their success.
“We’ve been focusing on technique, sparring and long cardio workouts to cut a bit of weight. Training with Wiktor at the evening class has been great where he has been doing a really good job. He knows that we are going into competition so he changes the drills and techniques to our advantage.”
This will be Kitty’s second large scale tournament this year. In March 2012, she and fellow Tiger competitor ‘Tommy’ Yang Seung Ho took part in the Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship Malaysia Trials. This time round, Kitty knows traveling as larger team will be the backbone of their strategy.
“The good thing about going out there with a team is you have the support of your team. You’re doing it together and you’re in the same boat. It’s more fun to have that support and also when you know your own teammate’s game it’s easy for you to corner them.”
After the success of ‘Tommy’ Yang Seung Ho’ bronze medal win at April 2012’s World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Tournament in Abu Dhabi, all hopes are on for Kitty & Co. to represent Tiger at the grandest BJJ stages in the region
“For Tiger it’s a good thing that we have a team going, we can show that we have a good, legit BJJ programme. We have good trainers here who are taking care of us. Last time we went to compete there were only two of us. It will be interesting to see what we can do with six of us going there.”