If you’ve been following the European and World BJJ competition scene, you have probably heard of Tarik Hopstock. This year he won the IBJJF Europeans at purple belt, a title he had already won at blue belt. He is also the IBJJF Europeans NOGI 2015 Champion and medaled at the Worlds in California.
BJJEE sat down with the Norwegian prodigy to find out more about his BJJ life:
1.Tarik, can you please introduce yourself to the BJJ community?
Hey, I’m Tarik Hopstock and I train under Eduardo Rios at Frontline Academy. I live in Oslo, Norway and I have been training since 2011. Besides training jiu-jitsu every day, I study and work to make ends meet.
2. Can you tell us more about your interesting mixed background?
I’m half Norwegian and half Moroccan, I’ve lived a couple of years in Morocco, but I have lived most of my life in Norway.
3.What’s your BJJ story?
I formerly started out training judo in a small club for two years, but there were only one training every week. I searched for somewhere else nearby to start training more often and a friend of mine introduced me to Frontline Academy. Eduardo Rios is an inspiring trainer and really pushed me hard to reach my goals. As a juvenile he would sometimes let us train with the more advanced classes and get beat up. From there on I got addicted to this amazing sport and it never ceases to amaze me.
4. What attracts to competition?
I think what attracts me the most to compete is that I never feel more alive than when I step out on the mat. Of course I do it to test myself and what I am capable of, but it is in that moment when the adrenaline is pumping in me that I truly feel present.
5. What is your mindset when competing?
I’ve tried a couple of different mindsets and I found out that I’m not the angry type. I want to enjoy my time competing, so that I always get excited and motivated to compete more.
When facing a well-known opponent, it keeps me calm to think that we’re all flesh and bone and that I have just as much chances as he does.
6. How would you describe your style of Jiu-Jitsu?
I am a typical “guard player”, but lately I’ve really grown fond of passing. I always try to keep evolving my game, especially when competing it’s important to keep growing.
7. Tell us more about your training at Frontline, your training regimen and about your instructor Teta Rios.
Frontline Academy is one of the best academies in Scandinavia. I could never ask for better training partners, I believe many of them will be my friends throughout my life.
I usually train 2-3 times a day depending on if it’s a preparatory or a competitive phase. Eduardo Rios is our main instructor, his passion and enthusiasm for the sport definitely spreads throughout the academy.
8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I see myself competing against top athletes around the world. Hopefully jiu-jitsu will be a bigger sport and perhaps I’ll be able to make a living out of it.
9. Feel free to thank your friends and sponsors.
I want to thank Frontline Academy for all the support throughout these years. A big thanks to my professor Eduardo Rio for always helping me out.
I would also like to thank my amazing sponsors for making this possible;
Rios Gear for always keeping me fashionably updated with the best Gis and fightwear!
Voss Kiropraktorkontor (chiropractor) for always having my back and all the support throughout my travels and training!
Defense Soap for keeping me on the mat with a euphoric feeling of freshness and cleanliness, and a healthy hygiene!
BJJ Fight Gear for supporting my travels and for all their great grappling products.
Sumo Restaurant for helping me out and always serving the best food!”
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