Ecuadorian Ace “Sinistro” Iturralde: “God is going to give me the strength to become a black belt world champ.”

Francisco “Sinistro” Iturralde is one of the most exiting BJJ stars who recently was promoted to black belt. He fights out of Alliance NY. Last weekend he won the No Gi Pan Am at black belt beating the highly touted Victor Oliveira. He competes very frequently and is sure to make a bang in the black belts. He is a multiple time World and Pan champion at lower belts. Sinistro hails from a place where BJJ is still in its infancy. While Ecuador is geographically close to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s heartland, the popularity of our beloved sport is still nowhere near as popular as its South American brother. In a place where high-level competitors and training partners are few and far between, this young prodigy was able to hone his skills under the guidance of his two brothers, Leo and Juan Miguel Iturralde.

Source: Submission Control

“How did you start Jiu Jitsu?

Francisco Iturralde: I started Jiu Jitsu at seven years old, but I actually didn’t like it, so I stopped training. When I was thirteen, my older brothers openned an academy, so I picked it up again. I have been training ever since.

What does your nick name Sinistro mean and what’s the story behind it?

FI: Actually means kind like HARD, the translation is little difficult. My teacher Fernando Soluço gave me that nickname when I was a yellow belt at fourteen years old.

Who are your main influences?

FI: Well in life I always look up to Jesus, but in jiu Jitsu, my main influences are my brother Leo and Juan Miguel, also Tarsis Humphreys, Marcelo Garcia, Terere and Cobrinha.

How would you describe your style?

FI: I’m a free fighter, I always try to have fun, if not is just not good. I try to always get the submission as soon as possible. I’m guard player at heart, but I like to pass too.

What has been your proudest moment in BJJ thus far?

FI: Every day I thank God for this beautiful sport and for all the passion that I put into it. So I think every little challenge that I can overcome on the mats, and the joy that one has with one’s friends is worth any title.

BJJ in Ecuador is still very new, was it difficult to find top level guys to help you train for international competitions such as the Mundials?

FI: It is still new but it is growing a lot and basically the best training is in my home with my brothers and teachers, HAHAHA! Also there are a lot of guys that dream of becoming world champs, so I think there is enough high quality training in Ecuador. Also, I get to visit Alliance gyms around the world, so I always get high quality training.

What can we expect from you in the future?

FI: The only thing that you can expect is that I’m going to work hard. I believe that God is going to give me the strength to become a black belt world champ.

Any final thoughts?

FI: I want to thank my sponsors SYR and Bull Terrier, they support me a lot. If you are in SoFlo (South Florida) stop by for some good training session at Monsters- Sinistro BJJ under Alliance! Like us on Facebook… Monsters Trainig Center. VIVA JIUJITSU! OSSS!

Read the full interview here

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