February 15 marked the start of the much-anticipated sixth installment on the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) lineup of events for 2022.
Amongst the international turn out, which saw more than 8,000 competitors descend upon Rome over a five-day period, including multiple world champions and their respective teams, was Malta’s very own Avant Garde BJJ – the academy in which Maltese athlete Murman Korchilava began to hone his passion for the sport of Jiu-Jitsu – helmed by Professor Thomas Vander Eecken.
Having previously represented Malta in judo, and holding two decades of experience under his belt, Korchilava’s already proficient base made for a seamless and welcomed the transition to Jiu-Jitsu.
When the opportunity arose, upon the IBJJF’s announcement in November last year, after COVID-19 eradicating all possibility of competition for quite some time, Korchilava jumped at the chance and confidently committed to preparation.
With only eight months of training (BJJ), and a fierce array of competition before him, Korchilava emerged victoriously, seizing the gold medal (Master 2, Blue belt) in his weight category for his valiant efforts – a testament to both his admirable devotion and stellar guidance of Avant Garde’s co-founder and head coach, Professor Thomas Vander Eecken.
Korchilava put on an outstanding demonstration of both judo and jiu-jitsu, utilising the former to ground his opponent, the latter, to submit – culminating in the ultimate recognition of his progress whilst on the podium, deservedly being awarded his purple belt, signifying his promotion.
Now, back in Malta, Korchilava has already set about devoting himself to his training, at Avant Gard BJJ, for the World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship, scheduled to be held in June this year.
Korchilava constitutes but one of a host of remarkably promising and determined athletes training at Avant Garde BJJ academy, based in San Ġwann – spearheading Malta’s undeniable and exciting advancement within the sport.
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