KP- What made the Federation change the venue for the Worlds to the US after so many years in Brazil?
CG- The reasons we moved the Worlds to the USA this years were many, the strongest ones are the incredible growth that Jiu-Jitsu is having here in America creating a huge market for all that love, practice, live and will live from Jiu-Jitsu. The second main reason is that it was about time to have it move around and have it somewhere else other than Brazil after 11 editions .
KP- What do you thing the impact is going to be of holding it here?
CG- I believe it is going to have a formidable effect for the art and for everyone involved in it, because for the first time the Americans will have the chance to participate as a majority in the largest event in the World.
KP- Some people are saying that these are not the real worlds because the leve is less sincesome of the best from Brazil are not competing. What do you say to them?
CG- I say they are very wrong in their opinion. The highest caliber athletes are able to travel and compete here, their sponsors pay for them to come and compete. There are those who can’t come because they can’t afford the travel and lodging costs but that is going to happen no matter where we hold the tournament . I ask them: "How many good Americans where not able to travel and compete when the Worlds was held in Brazil in the past? Now they will get the chance to compete here. Any change is always good for some and worse for others. "
KP- Do you believe the Worlds will eventually rotate going to other parts of the World like Europe, Asia etc?
CG- Without a doubt that is going to happen
KP- I still remember when in 1995 you held the first Pan-Ams here. You broke down barriers and the Federation and Jiu-Jitsu has grown tremendously in America since. What has been the most difficult obstacle you have encountered since those days?
CG- The greatest difficulty we have faced are the lack of vision of some people.
KP- Now with the Worlds in America what are you expecting of the American fighters especially the Black Belts?
CG- As I stated, the growth of Jiu-Jitsu here in America has been incredible and from what I have witnessed, the fighters here are getting better and better and I expect them to have a strong showing
KP- Do you have a lot of American Black Belts come and offer to help with Judging and other aspects of the event?
CG- Those who are not here competing in the event usually come and offer to help I am fully appreciative of their help. There are those who feel that they are not ready or capable of judging or are afraid to make mistakes, to those I say "come be a part of it", we are here to help and support and have you be a part of this great event.
KP- What is your message to the athletes that are competing in htis event and to those who are thinking of competing in future events?
CG- To those who are competing in this edition I wish them all good luck and that they take the most advantage of the experience they are going through. To the ones that are thinking of participating in the future, I tell them that competing in this event or another quality event will add a lot to their development as a person as well as a fighter as they certainly will gain experience in their art and with that they will also gain more confidence and learn a lot about themselves.
Now go train Jiu-Jitsu,