Miha Perhavec was first featured in our Rising Stars column a few years back. Since, he’s been training with some of the best people in the World, making a name for himself on Polaris & doing lots of traveling.
1. Please introduce yourself.
Hey, I’m from a small town under the Alps in Slovenia called Kranj. I started training judo when I was 10 and I actually got the chance to train with some of Slovenia’s Olympians as a teenager. At 18 I pivoted to MMA & jiu jitsu, eventually deciding that I’d rather just grapple and leave the face punching to others. I got my blue & purple belt under Alliance and my brown belt from Darragh O’Conaill of East Coast Jiu Jitsu. I’ve competed all over the Europe and more recently the World.
2. What are some of your best results?
I’ve won 6 medals at IBJJF Nogi Europeans, the best being a couple of silvers. I won a bunch of IBJJF and ADCC regional tournaments, including double gold at a few. I medaled at the UAEJJF Grand Slam. But my focus at the moment is maintaining my 3-fight submission win streak at Polaris and challenging for the middleweight title.
3. What’s your next challenge?
I’ve agreed to a fight at Polaris 10 at the end of May. I’m not sure I can disclose the name of my opponent. All I can say is his nickname would translate to Baba Yaga in Eastern Europe and that he’s also a nogi specialist. But don’t quote me on that as Polaris will announce it in due time. I’m also trying to qualify for the ADCC.
4. You’ve had an interesting 2018, what have you been up to?
My girlfriend and I spent last year travelling around the world. We travelled through the US, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Singapore, Dublin, the US again, Hawaii and Japan. We trained jiu jitsu everywhere and explored some truly amazing places.
5. Dang, which was your favorite?
New Zealand is amazing. Hawaii is a close second. But every place on the list had something amazing to experience.
6. Any tips for people who want to do the same?
Yes, a few. First, don’t think it’s going to be comfortable. Second, don’t think that makes it any less worth it. Third, make sure you either have plenty of savings or a sort of location independent income. Lastly, reach out to people! Our community is amazing, we met so many people for the first time and hung out as if we had known each other for years. If you’re a higher rank, make sure to share your knowledge.
7. So, you compete, you travel all the time, what else do you do?
I run Yoga for BJJ with a lot of help from my fiance. I also do the same tasks for Keenan Online & I recently helped Keenan release his Lapel Encyclopedia. Before that I also helped Kit with his Art of Learning Jiu Jitsu.
8. So, do you play lapel guard now?
Haha, I did actually start to dabble in it, after seeing Keenan explain it as a system. Because of my judo background, I’d normally try to get a takedown or pass off the guard pull. My guard was never my best weapon, but I will admit it’s fun to play with lapels once you know how the positions connect together.
9. All the best in your future matches, good luck at Polaris 10! Anything you want to add?
Yeah, shot-out to all European grapplers out there, showing that the level over here is good and that we can compete with anyone. Do more yoga, grab a lapel. Oss!
Jiu Jitsu is forever evolving and will continue to evolve. The only way you can stay ahead of your opponents is by sharpening your current skills/knowledge AND learning new techniques. This is why Keenan created The Lapel Encyclopedia. To help sharpen your current skills while also providing you with new techniques that will allow you to sweep or submit anyone.