We sent over a list of questions to one of the top professors Melqui Galvão, who is bringing a very strong team to the Brazilian Nationals in 2 weeks. Here are the interview questions and answers:
1. Who are your black belt athletes competing at Brasileiros?
Melqui Galvao: I'm bringing eight black belts to compete at Brasileiros. Among the best known are Mica Galvão, Fabrício Andrey, Diogo Reis, and Brenda Larissa.
2. What does it mean to you to have your team compete in Brazil? How is competing in Brazil different than competing in the US?
MG: It's great to see my team competing for the first time at black belt. They all started with me when they were still children and many times they participated in Brasileiros, but this will be the first one competing in the black belt divisions so it will be very important for me. It is the realization of a dream of many years. Competing in Brazil is like participating in a football match. I believe that in the United States the structure is better and the championships are more beautiful. But in Brazil the energy is different than in the United States, especially at the Brasileiros.
3. How has your teams preparation been for Brasileiros?
MG: The preparation has been intense. In fact we always train a lot here. But being a team debut, the energy is different. We are very happy to be fighting at home in a great event.
4. Who are some of your athletes that people may not know about that they should watch?
MG: People need to keep an eye out for Nathanael Jackson, Luiz Paulo, and Alessandro Botelho at black belt. In the purple belt I have Kauã Gabriel who was a semifinalist in the ADCC tryouts, taking out several black belts. Plus all my kids who will be competing next week. They are excellent athletes that haven’t been seen yet. They don't compete in the United States and this hinders them a little in the recognition of their work.
5. Which of your athletes will you be bringing to Worlds?
MG: Brenda Larissa, Fabrício Andrey, Mica Galvão and Diogo Reis will be competing at the Worlds. These are the confirmed ones. I have other athletes who can do great as well, but unfortunately they haven’t been seen yet.
The 2022 Brazilian National will be livestreamed for free on the IBJJF YouTube channel. Be sure to catch Melqui's team and the rest of the stars at the event on May 6th-14th.