The IBJJF European Jiu-Jitsu Championships are the first major tournament of 2023. Additionally, the event is also the first gi grand slam event, so the divisions are always very competitive as athletes aim for a major title and ranking points for the season. For Melqui Galvao Jiu-Jitsu’s Brenda Larissa, it will not only be her first major event of 2023, but also her first time ever competing at the Europeans. So far as a black belt, Brenda has competed at the Brazilian Nationals and the Worlds, where she’s earned gold and silver medals, respectively.
“It will be my first experience in the European Championship. I’m preparing myself in the best way to make a good presentation and look for the title.”
Brenda will compete in the light-feather division among athletes such as Mayssa Bastos, Rose-Marie El Sharouni, and Fiona Middleton. Her performances at the 2022 major championships were among the best of her career as a black belt. Brenda’s only loss of the year came to Mayssa Bastos in the rooster weight World Championship final. The match saw Brenda and Mayssa trade sweeps throughout, and ended 6-4 in Mayssa’s favor. Brenda spoke about her accomplishments and takeaways from last year.
“I was very happy to have won my first Brazilian title as a black belt. I wanted to repeat the feat at the Worlds but unfortunately I couldn’t. I had great fights and I did my best and learned the necessary lessons. I learned to always be aware of the competition rules while fighting.”
Professor Melqui Galvao, one of the most well respected and accomplished coaches in jiu-jitsu, has led Brenda’s training since her early years competing as a kid. Brenda won countless tournaments throughout the colored belts alongside her other highly accomplished teammates Diogo Reis, Fabricio Andrey, and Mica Galvao. Melqui has not only improved his athletes jiu-jitsu technically, but has also created an environment where all his athletes push themselves to the limit to achieve their best results.
“Melqui is my biggest supporter. He helped me with my choices from the beginning, always playing the role of coach in the best possible way.”
Building off her best year as a competitor, Brenda is ready to take on 2023 utilizing all of the lessons and experiences she gained last year.
“I intend to compete in the main championships, the Europeans, Pan Americans, Brazilian Nationals, and World Championships. We will always have a new version to present. I hope that 2023 will be a year of many achievements.” The IBJJF European Jiu-Jitsu Championships kick off on Monday January 23rd and can be watched exclusively on FloGrappling.