Imagine being just 16 years old and sporting a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt around your waist… And winning the ADCC Trials.
Impossible? Well, somebody forgot to tell that to Cole Abate.
The 16-year old Art of Jiu-Jitsu representative earned gold at the last ADCC East Coast Trials by winning matches in spectacular and intelligent fashion against many older, much more experienced athletes. On a recent episode of The Grappling Hour podcast, Abate explained his mindset and tactics going into the matches.
Here’s how he went into the finals match against Keith Krikorian, a seasoned ADCC athlete:
I think a lot of people counted him out in going to the finals… He was one of those guys that we were aware of since the beginning of the tournament… He’s got good wrestling, he’s got good leg locks, so you really have to be on your toes the whole fight. With it being the finals and you getting negatives for pulling guard, I really just wanted to feel out his wrestling.
I felt his grips on the feet. He seemed very experienced on his feet, good wrestling, good level changes, good stances. So what I did is I was able to open up a shot. I got pretty deep on a single leg. But instead of taking the risk and going for the takedown right away, I used that as a chance to pull to my guard without taking a negative point.
I was playing my guard for the first half of the match. Was able to get under his legs and sweep him and get on top. As soon as I got on top that was right when points started so I was like okay now it’s time to rack up points. So I passed pretty quickly as soon as I got on top. I was able to make him expose the back at one point, was able to get to the back.
I was able to get to very dominant positions in that match and solidified my spot in ADCC next year.
Hear more from Cole Abate and how he secured his place at ADCC 2022 on the podcast below: