Samir ‘Samouel’ Krvavac is a exciting rising star in the European BJJ circuit. Coming from a 100% Eastern European mix: Bosnian/Slovak, he grew up in Greece where he trains at Gracie Barra Greece. Check out this interview with Samir:
Hey Samir, can you please introduce yourself to the BJJ Community of Eastern Europe?
My name is Samir Krvavac and I am 29 years old. I am a brown belt and I live and train in Greece. My academy is Gracie Barra Draculino team, located in Athens. Some of my latest main achievements are:
2nd place in the open weight category of brown belts in the Abu Dhabi 2013 trials in Warsaw, Poland. 1st place, brown and black belts open weight, Acropolis Open, Athens 2013 1st place, purple belts -100kg, European Open, Lisbon 2013 2nd place, purple belts open weight, Danish Open 2013 1st place, purple belts -100kg, Samurai Cup, Geneva 2012 1st place, purple belts open weight, Geneva 2012.
You have quite an interesting background. I understand that you are half Bosnian half Slovak? Tell us more.
My mother was from Bratislava and my father was from Mostar, Bosnia. They met and got married in Germany, where I and my sister Severina were born. After my mother’s second marriage with a Greek, we ended up in Greece and I got 2 more siblings, Julia and Aggelos. I have lived in Greece most of my life time.
Please tell us about your Jiu-Jitsu story (when and where did start training, your journey etc).
I started training Bjj in Athens, Greece around 2008. I fall for the sport immediately and I never stooped training since then. I have been training in the same academy since the very beginning. In this academy, I also met my girlfriend Anna three years ago and we have been training together, traveling for competition and sharing all the Bjj joys and frustrations since then. Anna is doing her PhD in Sport Psychology and she has many times helped me to be in the best mental state for competition.
What can you tell us about the BJJ scene in Greece? How is it growing?
Even though Bjj in Greece is relatively small compered to other European countries; it is growing rapidly and this year we had the record number of more than 200 athletes competing in Acropolis Open. Greek athletes are doing well in international tournaments too and I believe that the sport will grow even more in the coming years.
Please tell us about your BJJ academy, team and professor.
As I previously said, I have been training all my years in Gracie Barra Greece, Draculino Team. It is the biggest and oldest academy in Greece and the instructors are Christos Markez and Aris Chatziiakovou (black belts under Draculino).
You competed in 2013 in Poland at the WPJJC Warsaw trials. How did you do and what were your impressions of the scene in Poland?
The 2013 trials in Poland was my first tournament competing as a brown belt. It was a tough tournament and I faced some very strong opponents (from Poland and other countries). In my weight category I had two fights from which I won one and this brought me to the third place. I managed to overcome the feelings of disappointment and I fought better in the open weight, where I had four fights from which I won the three and this brought me to the second place. Overall it was a great experience, even though I am still disappointed for loosing that final and the travel package to Abu Dhabi. Warsaw was a very nice city (with great food) and I hope I will visit Poland again.
Please tell us about your strength and conditioning routine.
I train Bjj every day (sometimes even twice per day) and I complement my Bjj trainings with weight lifting sessions (3-4 times per week). I prefer the classic power lifting exercises. For transportation, I always use my bike and I think this is good for my endurance and conditioning…and the environment as well
What’s next for you and your team in 2014?
I want to compete in Abu Dhabi World Pro, as well as in as much international tournaments as I can. Unfortunately, so far I haven’t manage to compete as much as I wanted (I have never been in Abu Dhabi or in California for the Worlds) since traveling for competition requires a lot of money. At the moment I am searching for sponsors and I hope that in the future I will be able to compete more.
If you want to thank somebody or sponsors, feel free
I would like to thank my instructors for teaching me all I know and my team-mates for helping me in my preparation for tournaments. I would also like to thank “Do Or Die Europe” and the MMA shop in Greece “Fighters Clothing” for sponsoring me with gis.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my story Best of luck with everything!