Leo Vieira is an accomplished competitor with World BJJ and ADCC titles along with many other international titles. The once brilliant and impulsive competitor that would forgo points for action even to the detriment of his personal results matured into a great strategist and that change led to even more titles. For a few years now Leo has doubled up as the leader of Checkmat team. A team that a few years ago was challenging for the top and then suffered a setback. Now the resurgent Checkmat with its leader at the helm and up close is ready to make its move and be a top force. Here is what Leo has to say about the Worlds 2013
KP- The Worlds is 2 weeks away how is the team preparation going?
LV- Our camp has a fixed schedule but we are in many locations. We adapt so we can give support to our athletes that are located in deferent cities, that way we can train better and fit everyone’s schedule to get the most benefits to all. Our athletes are instructors in different cities and their commitment as athletes is as strong as their commitment and responsibilities to their students and academies. Then on weekends we get together, now as you can imagine, with the event so close we will have our team together with all our competitors from Brazil and Europe coming here.
KP- Which of our competitors have the strongest chance for Gold in the Worlds Black Belt division?
LV- Even thou everyone is looking at “Buchecha” as the favorite, just as I am, I see other possibilities of medals in all of my athletes. Jiu-Jitsu is like soccer, it is a “box of surprises” however the results are a function of the training combined with your STRATEGY. You can always increase your chances with dedication and preparation but there are many things that can alter the course of your event and your path to the podium in competitions. Just as we had a different Marcelo “Lapela” Mafra in the Pan we are preparing other “Surprises” this year in the Worlds
KP- Your team Checkmat has been nipping at the top of the podium, what do you believe you need to do to reach team gold?
LV- In a word, organization! For 3 years I couldn’t get a VISA for the USA and that absence is felt by our athletes, they lose some of their motivation and they lose the focus as a competition team. Then there was a surprise split in the team and the birth of Atos team that got many of out top athletes and that took away from our strength and our ability to add points and is also competing with us with the same objective which is to reach the top.
Now I am here for the tournament and to give a direction to our instructors and athletes to re-establish the structure that we once had for our team and increase our competitiveness
KP- To what you attribute the success that your team has had in the last events?
LV- I attribute the surge in our results to the dedication that our athletes to achieve good results and the commitment of our instructors with their students. We have excellent professionals and athletes that are always ready to help each other with the team goal as the main objective even putting their own personal goals aside. Those who had a different vision from this commitment to the team have moved away and this leads to a natural selection
KP- What are your immediate plans?
LV- Now the focus is the Worlds and to organize our team as a whole. My objective is to create a structure here in America where I can have easier integration with our athletes in Europe and Brazil. My plan is to have a training center here and to have that as our headquarters with offices, mat and lodging for our athletes and affiliates.
KP- Anything you want to add?
LV- I want to personally thank each and every member of our team, whether they are competitors or not, those who believe in our values, not because we have something to give back to them but more important for what we have to reciprocate in terms of feelings, help and sincerity. I want to thank our sponsors and partners who have followed us in competition and our rivals who make the competition a chance for us to showcase our worth and give us reasons to better ourselves. CHECKMAT RULES ! Thanks KID
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