In 16 years of the IBJJF European Open in Lisbon, only 2 Europeans have managed to win the gold medal in the male adult black belt division.
The first, after 7 years, is Alexander Trans. He won in 2012, 2013 (category) and 2014 (absolute division).
The second, after another 3 years in 2018, was the Portuguese Manuel Pontes.
In 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, the podium was exclusively won by athletes from Brazil, athletes who deserve credit for their qualities and the effort to travel to as many events as possible, increasing the technical value of a BJJ practitioner. The Open format competition gives the athletes the opportunity to compete with high level Brazilians athletes, who give the European Open similar level as the world championships in California. But, right now, it’s about the best competitors on the continent: The European ranking.
In the women’s division statistics look better for Europeans, except for 2008, when we do not have any data.
In this case, in adult / black belts, the first European competitor to win the European podium at adult is Camila Gjelsten from Sweden, in 2006, Middleweight.
In 2010 and 2011, Swedish Ida Hansson wins the category for 2 years in a row.
In 2014, the only European sportswoman who manages to win a title in black belts division is Laurence Cousin.
2015, besides Ida Hansson European gold is won by Janni Larsson from Sweden and Dominyka Obelenyte from USA/Lithuania.
In 2018, England’s Vanessa English manages to obtain a new title for an European athlete.
In 2019, 4 women from Europe won in they category: Amal Amjahid from Belgium, Ffion Davies and Samantha Cook from England and Charlotte von Baumgarten from Germany.
This statistic is interesting in order to be able to establish and maintain an all-European ranking system.
This year there will be a European Brazilian Jiu Jitsu championship only for European citizens, from the European Union and Non European Union zone. This mean around 44 countries.
This will be very interesting since countries will also be in this top rank for this historical first ranking just for the continent of Europe. England and Poland are possibly the leaders in the number of BJJ the practitioners, but, it will be interesting to find the country which will dominate this first top ranking…
The tournament is open for residents of Europe (both EU and non – EU zones) and will held in beautiful Bucharest, Romania.
The tournament is organized by the WBJJA (World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association) and will be using the revolutionary Smoothcomp software which ensure that it runs smoothly and on time.
It will be held on 16th March 2019 and will be Gi only.
World renowned BJJ referee & BJJ black belt Ezequiel Zayas thinks that European Only BJJ championship is a great idea:
I think that one competition for Europeans only is a great idea, and is something also necessary for the BJJ community in Europe. Europeans can fight and check the level. Of course is important to compete with Brazilians and Americans too but for sure this kind of competitions will help to increase the European BJJ level.