Great potential for Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the region, says guru
The growing popularity of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the region has drawn a guru of the martial art, Ricardo de la Riva, to set up Maverick MMA in Singapore, his first affiliate gym in the region.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu has drawn much interest in Singapore in recent years, but the 53-year-old Brazilian believes that there is still room for development, which he hopes his gym that was set up here two months ago, can help with.
He said: “It’s got everything here to grow more.
“For the sport to grow more in the country, the main factors are the qualities of the schools and competitions. Their professors are always updated and certificated and competitions will always enhance the quality of the sport in the country so we can share knowledge among gyms and test the level of the students, motivate the students to improve the level of the sport get better.”
He also picked the country because of its accessibility to other areas in the region, making it the most suitable location, adding: “We decided that Singapore would have huge potential for sharing and developing the sport in Asia in general.
"Also considering the thirst of Singaporeans for knowledge, not for physical activity but for knowledge itself of the martial art, we decided that Singapore would definitely be the place with the biggest potential.”
De la Riva invented a move called the “De La Riva guard” which helped him to overcome bigger opponents.
This has ultimately influenced his style of fighting and the way he teaches his students. Instead of relying solely on physicality, de La Riva takes pride in his more technical approach as he feels that it makes the sport accessible to all.
He stressed the importance of creating a nurturing environment for students to learn in, saying: “I try to make my game fight as technical as possible, not physical so that it suits all types of bodies, people, personalities.
"Secondly, I try to make it as fun as possible so that people can learn and have fun. It’s not military style. Students should, and are supposed to share because one will only improve if the whole team improves together. It’s not about winning, it’s about learning.”