ABU DHABI, 20th October, 2023 (WAM) -- The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, scheduled to take place at the Mubadala Arena from 1st-10th November, is set to welcome more than 6,000 athletes from across the globe. Among the medal hopefuls heading to the global capital of jiu-jitsu is Mario Torquete, a Brazilian teacher who made it his life mission to lose 60kg and participate in next month's championship.
Torquete, a certified para jiu-jitsu teacher with the Brazilian Federation of Para Jiu-Jitsu (FBJJP) and a black belt since 2018, is based in Primavera do Leste, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Set to make his competitive debut at the ADWPJJC this year, it has been his aspiration to compete in the UAE capital since 2019, when he visited after receiving an invitation from his professor Mario Edson to join the Committee overseeing the Para Jiu-Jitsu competitions at that year's event.
"At the time, I weighed 175kg and I had no expectation of being able to compete," said Torquete, who is 34 years old. "I promised myself the following year would be different and that I would not only help Para Jiu-Jitsu athletes but compete also. Unfortunately, the pandemic came, I lost my job as a jiu-jitsu teacher, and ended up postponing my dream. In 2022, I started the weight loss process and, with the help of sponsors, I will be able to fulfill my dream of stepping on to the mat at the Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship having shed nearly 60kg."
Torquete's weight loss journey was no easy task, yet his focus remained unwavering on his goal of making weight for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
"It was very difficult; it took almost two years, doing all the dietary reduction, weight training, and Jiu-Jitsu every day - just exercises, supplements, and nothing else," said Torquete, who is affiliated with the Cowboy Jiu-Jitsu team, led by para-athlete teacher Mario Edson from Canarana, Mato Grosso.
"My focus was only ever on ADWPJJC, it has always been my goal to be able to participate," he added. "My target was to reach 120kg and now I weigh 118kg, so the next step - which would be a dream come true - is to stand on the podium and bring a medal home."
Torquete, who funded his trip to the UAE by successfully telling his story to local companies who in turn offered their support and sponsorship to help him compete, hopes to inspire and help others. He emphasises the importance of focusing on one's goals and the satisfaction of achieving them.
In November, he will fulfill his objective of participating in the Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship and is eager to use his experience to "help inspire and assist other people" on their personal journeys. He will participate in Men's GI / Black / Master 1 / 120KG division.
"I focused on my goal," he said. "Now, next month, that goal will be realised - I can be proud of my achievements, whatever happens. But, naturally, now my goal has already changed; now I am dreaming of a medal."