Checkmat team leader Leo Vieira told ADCombat why he felt that Checkmat still hasn’t dethroned Alliance as the overall team. He also discussed the success of Checkmat which features such beasts as Buchecha, Lucas Leite, Yuri Simoes, Cavaca, Alexander Trans etc…
“KP- Which of our competitors have the strongest chance for Gold in the Worlds Black Belt division?
LV- Even thou everyone is looking at “Buchecha” as the favorite, just as I am, I see other possibilities of medals in all of my athletes. Jiu-Jitsu is like soccer, it is a “box of surprises” however the results are a function of the training combined with your STRATEGY. You can always increase your chances with dedication and preparation but there are many things that can alter the course of your event and your path to the podium in competitions. Just as we had a different Marcelo “Lapela” Mafra in the Pan we are preparing other “Surprises” this year in the Worlds
KP- Your team Checkmat has been nipping at the top of the podium, what do you believe you need to do to reach team gold?
LV- In a word, organization! For 3 years I couldn’t get a VISA for the USA and that absence is felt by our athletes, they lose some of their motivation and they lose the focus as a competition team. Then there was a surprise split in the team and the birth of Atos team that got many of out top athletes and that took away from our strength and our ability to add points and is also competing with us with the same objective which is to reach the top.
Now I am here for the tournament and to give a direction to our instructors and athletes to re-establish the structure that we once had for our team and increase our competitiveness
KP- To what you attribute the success that your team has had in the last events?
LV- I attribute the surge in our results to the dedication that our athletes to achieve good results and the commitment of our instructors with their students. We have excellent professionals and athletes that are always ready to help each other with the team goal as the main objective even putting their own personal goals aside. Those who had a different vision from this commitment to the team have moved away and this leads to a natural selection
KP- What are your immediate plans?
LV- Now the focus is the Worlds and to organize our team as a whole. My objective is to create a structure here in America where I can have easier integration with our athletes in Europe and Brazil. My plan is to have a training center here and to have that as our headquarters with offices, mat and lodging for our athletes and affiliates.”
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