Oh, man just got back from one trip and looks as though I will be back out as soon as tomorrow night for another. I was able to watch some tournament footage while traveling to curb my frustrations of not being on the mat with a lot of down time to think about my game and approach to competition. A friend of mine recently asked me who my favorites were in regards to BJJ fighters. It was tough for me to reply since there's a number of guys that I really enjoy watching but doesn't mean their game influences what I can/try to do.
With a few individuals I've been able to collect a number of their fights from purple to black-belt. In these clips it's pretty clear that the person has already established their game but is just one point of development. From purple to black I can see the same sweep, the same pass and setups but that they are being refined as time passes. I'm sure new things are added to the mix but the core is basically there. I'll admit I probably don't see everything yet when watching tournament footage but it's adding up and when I revisit certain fights I may catch something new here and there.
There's two guys from Japan that have gotten my interest: Yusuke Honma and Dai Yoshioka. Dai in particular has been one of the early black-belts to come out from the Purebred Japan camp. Nowadays he sports a super-loose judo gi with no patches which probably means he's unaffiliated. Both took silver in their weight at the last mundials and represent the growing number of high-level of competitors outside of Brazil and United States. Just some food for thought as it helps me better understand how I want to progress and find my own voice in all of this.
Renan Borges vs. Dai Yoshioka