Poland’s Kornel Zapadka has achieved an impressive resume of competition results in the past few years. In this interview with BJJ Eastern Europe, the Polish beast talks about the booming BJJ scene in Poland, his many travels to Brazil and his big plans for this year:
1. Hi Kornel, can you please introduce yourself to the BJJ Community of Eastern Europe?
Hi everybody, my name is Kornel Zapadka, I am 35 years old BJJ black belt under Ricardo de la Riva. I come from the city of Koszalin, it is northern Poland baltic coast. My main profession is bjj, but nowadays it would be difficult to earn money from this, and that’s why I compete in MMA. It gives me opportunity to succeed in my plans. My Academy is Berserkers Team, but i also train wrestling and judo. When i am in Brasil I train in De la Riva Academy. I won three times Mundial CBJJE (blue, purple and brown belt), three times international Master & Senior Jiu Jitsu Championship, World Jiu Jitsu NO Gi Championship, three times European Jiu Jitsu Championship, Polish BJJ and ADCC Championship and many other events all over the World.
2. Please tell us about your Jiu-Jitsu story.
My BJJ story started in 2004, thanks to my friend Daniel Dowda, who was a student and a great competidor in Linke Gold Team Academy. In the beginning I trained only with Daniel, and later i trained in Ronin Gold Team Acadamy in Koszalin. After a month of training there Daniel took me to Szczecin to academies Linke Gold Team and Berserkers Team. After three years of training and wining Polish, European and World titles i founded my own Berserkers Team acadamy in my home city of Koszalin.
3. Please tell us about your experience training and competing in Brazil.
In Brazil I train Jiu-Jitsu in Ricardo DeLariva`s academy on Copacabana. There is great atmosphere for training, you can find here a lot guys with black belts and high skills. Twice a day I roll with them that’s why I can develop my skills. I`m very happy that I can train with one of the best known Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu professor Ricardo DeLariva. I really love the atmosphere that you can find on Brazilian competitions. My trainers and friends help me in preparing for every competition, I am always very well prepared that’s why I win.
4. Please tell us about your BJJ academy and team in Poland, and the Polish BJJ scene.
In Poland I train in Berserkers Team academy. It is the best bjj academy in Poland. It is run by Professor Piotr Bagiński, who is a BJJ icon in our country. He is also trainer of Polish national team in Grappling. Szczecin is the headquater of BT. I live in Koszalin(160 km away from Szczecin). I had my own affiliate of BT in Koszalin for few years, and I plan to reactivate it from the beginning of the next year. My trips to Brazil and other travels (competitions and training camps) were the reason why my club stopped functioning.
5. How would describe your bjj style and game? Who are BJJ players that you admire?
From the early years I trained Judo, later free style wrestling so I like stand up a lot. I have few favorite throws like: morote seoi nage, uchi mata, which i changed a little bit for BJJ and other combinations and thanks to them I’ve won many competitions. So when it comes to ground game I focus on good control, balance and switching positions, and later then on finishing techniques.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has always been my idol. When it comes to currently competing competitors I like Rodolfo Vieira.
6. What’s next for you and your team in 2013?
My dream is to win black belt World Championship. Since up to now i won blue, purple and brown world championship. To become a complete fighter i must win black belt division, and that’s my main goal. I plan to go to Brazil in July on CBJJE Mundial, Rio Open and International Master&Senior Championship. I have also in my plans two MMA fights this year.
7. If you want to thank somebody or sponsors, feel free
I want to thank all my sponsors: Tomsol, Poundout, Maddog, Trec Nutrition,Alto and all others who support me. I also want to thank my family, my girlfriend, all my trainers and sparing partners, friends and all my fans.
8. Thanks Kornel and all the best.
Thank you for this interview. Best Regards to BJJ EASTERN EUROPE, all readers and all martial arts fans.