The last tournament of the calendar year for me is usually the IBJJF No Gi worlds, it’s something I always looked forward to. This year was different though, going in I promised myself and my family that no matter the outcome, this was my last No Gi Worlds. When you know something is your last you appreciate it that much more. With that said the decision to retire from No Gi worlds was an easy one.
Awhile back when I got really sick, I didn’t know if I would be able to do Jiu Jitsu again. Every time I trained I would get dizzy and have to rest. I was positive that competing, the life I had known for the past 10+ years, was over. I was very depressed, although I stayed strong for our team inside it was hard to accept.
As a competitor you have to be selfish and as a coach you have to be the opposite. In coaching and mentoring others I found my happiness. Over time my depression went away, and even as I got healthy again I enjoyed seeing others succeed more than I did winning any tournament. In 2015 I started realizing that coaching was my true calling. Although I had a good year, this year I was happiest in the moments my students did well.
As I prepared for no gi worlds my thoughts were with my students. Yuri had a super fight against Gordon Ryan, Alexis had a UFC fight, Jeremy Jackson who recently joined CTA missed gi worlds due to an injury and I really wanted him to show his Jiu Jitsu to the world. Matt, Rene, Carlos, Jaime, Gabe, Andres Ryan, Benji, Kaniela, Rudson, Nicole, Andy, Dennis, Ric, Manny, and the team sacrificed so much. I wanted to see them all do well.
Once the tournament started some things went good and some things went bad. Through it all the team persevered and was there for each other. Thats the thing that I am most proud of. I personally went on to win my 10th and last no gi world title. In the final I faced Tomo, who trains with me regularly. He is one of our sports rising stars and although this weekend didn’t go his way I am sure in 2018 him, like the rest of our team will do amazing. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years. Through the good times and the bad, it’s always the people not the results that you remember the most. I love each and everyone of you, keep chasing your dreams and never give up! To many more memorable years to come, 2018, LETS GO!!
~ Professor Caio