Hristo Hristov, president of the Bulgarian BJJ federation talks about the big plans for BJJ in Bulgaria

Hristo Hristov (black gi), dimitris Tsitos, & some of his students

1. Hi Hristo can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Hristo Hristov, BJJ purple belt from Sofia, Bulgaria. I am president of the Bulgarian BJJ Federation and club Real Pain.

2. Please tell us about your journey in BJJ from the beginnings to where you are now.

Hristo in Abu Dhabi

I am traning BJJ since 2007. Before that I practiced taekwon-do, where I got a black belt and traditional ju-jitsu, first dan. I started training  BJJ four years ago, when I organized professional MMA competitions. I am active competitor for the past three years in which I have competed in more than 25 events around the world. I’ve visited traning camps in Brazil, Abu Dhabi etc. I have trained with Royler Gracie and in the De La Riva Academy too. Royler Gracie was my guest in Bulgaria two years ago and he made two seminars in Sofia. Now I am going to WPJJC 2012 with five more competitors from my club.Our goal is to make BJJ more popular here by hosting two major jiu-jitsu events with foreign competitors and big prize fund each year.

On this year’s events we will invite athletes from Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Romania and Macedonia. I want to make these events a tradition in Bulgaria. Last year we did a very good Bulgarian Open competition with big prize fund for more motivation of the athletes. I hope everything goes well and we are able to develop and train more, because the road of jiu-jitsu is long.

3. How popular is BJJ in Bulgaria, and how is the BJJ scene there, and how do you see it developing in the next 5 years?

With Lubomir Guedjev and Rickson Gracie in Rio

Our federation has ambitious schedule – we make big competitions each month, with gi and no-gi. On each 2-3 months we have different black belts in our club. Right now in there is professor Dimitrios Tsitos, black belt in Gracie Barra. In august we expect Rodrigo Cavaca who will lead a camp and a BJJ competition on the beach along with other black belts from Brazil and Greece.

4. Please tell us about your BJJ academy Real Pain.

The academy was found 2008 by myself and Lubomir Guedjev. He is my first BJJ instructor and training partner. Lubomir introduced me to BJJ. Now he is executive director of UAE Jiu-Jitsu in Abu Dhabi. Our partnership continues even to this day. Besides BJJ our academy develops MMA. We are hosting the professional MMA competition called Real Pain Challenge (RPC) which is known for its professional approach from the other organizations in Bulgaria. In our academy we have BJJ, wrestling, box, muay thai, MMA, conditioning training classes and so on.

5. What are your plans for 2012 on a personal and team level?

Hristo with MMA Champions Stelozar Savov & Emil Zahariev

Our schedule is very busy. Now we are going on WPJJC 2012 in Abu Dhabi. We will be there till April 16th. When we are back we will make a national MMA comeptition for amateurs with more than 120 fighters on the list. After this we expect around 10 athletes from Checkmat Greece, who are our friends, to came for a training camp in Bulgaria. On June 9th we will have no-gi competition on Cacao Beach near the sea. The prize fund is $2000. We will be glad to have guests from all countries around. In july we are making one-week training camp high in the mountain in Borovetz for 10 days. In August arrives Rodrigo Cavaca, who will lead a camp for a week. After the camp we will host international BJJ competition with gi, on the beach again, with big prize fund. All competitors from different contries are welcome. In September we will make our MMA competition RPC and our professor Dimitrios Tsitos will take part in it. On October 6th we will host Bulgaria Open – BJJ. In December we have plans for another big competition as a final of the year.

6. Hristo thank you very much for taking time to prsent us BJJ in Bulgaria! OSSS!

Thank you! OSSS!