One of the Jiu-Jitsu standouts of 2010, Atos team’s Gilbert “Durinho” Burns came close to perfection. The fighter won almost everything he was in, losing to Michael Langhi in the semifinals at the World Championship. With the season having come to a close, the black belt has already turned his attention to next year, which kicks of with the European Open from the 27th to the 30th of January in Lisbon, Portugal.
Check out what he had to say in a conversation with GRACIEMAG.com:
What’s your assessment of the season?
It was good in several ways. Whether in competitions, seminars or trips, it was all very productive. I feel my Jiu-Jitsu has evolved a lot and so have several aspects of life. I improved as a teacher and as an English speaker, for example. I made a lot of friends in the places I visited, ones I intend to keep for a long time, and I got to know a bunch of places I’d always dreamed of seeing and learn about a number of different cultures. I did well in competition too. I closed out my weight division at the European Open, won the World Pro qualifiers, the World Pro itself, the Brazilian Nationals, Deep X, and the No-Gi Worlds. I beat a number of tough athletes like Celso Venícius, Rafael Formiga, Augusto Tanquino, Jonathan Torres, Lucas Leite, and Thiago Alves, among others. But I also failed in some respects that set me back a lot, like at the Worlds, where I lost on a trifle, by a mere advantage point, my only loss of the year in my division. But I’m working to fix that, to not make anymore mistakes.
Your biggest opponent in 2010 was Michael Langhi. Tell us what you’re going to do in order to beat him next season.
There isn’t much I can say about Langhi, he won everything he entered in 2009 and 2010, he’s excellent. And this wasn’t the only time we faced each other. We’ve been meeting since we were purple belts and he’s always been hard to handle. Back then I’d get ahead 2-0 on the scorecards but now I have to work to keep up. I don’t like thinking about one fighter in particular, I want to be champion and not think exclusively about Michael. I have to do on average five or six matches to win a major championship, so I feel I have to be concerned with myself, in being 100% and not making mistakes. I have faith in my game and I believe in my team. In 2011, we will be even more united and so I feel it will be easier to reach my objective of becoming the number-one lightweight.
What are your main goals for 2011, which events are you targeting?
In 2011, I intend to compete at all the major competitions on the IBJJF calendar, the WLPJJ tournaments, the World Pro, and the ADCC qualifiers, among a number of others. I want to compete more, because I want to evolve more and I know that competing will help me a lot. I want to get better with every training session, every match, every competition, but always focused on the Worlds. I want to get the submission in every match of every competition I’m in. That’s my focus in 2011: to get the submission in every one of my matches.
What’s this business about you being an ambassador now?
Whenever I’m in Rio I try to keep up my training and not piddle around. I’m always visiting academies like Oriente, where I got my start with Rafael Barros, and Top Brother, my friend Casquinha’s team. I was recently invited by Pastor Anderson Leite to participate in a project where they nominated me “ambassador.” They call it “Projeto Ide Jardim Gramacho,” an initiative by the International Missionaria do Evangelho Pleno religious mission. It will be a success. There were around seventy needy children there on the first day and all raring to train. They will have access to Jiu-Jitsu, judo, gymnastics, information technology, meals, and medical attention, among other things. I was stoked to be a part of it and I’m grateful to Master Casquinho for the invite. Anyone interested in helping in any way, maybe by donating gis, just contact Pastor Anderson Leite (21 7847-0189 ID: 8*36215). For sure a lot of champions will come out of the project. A merry Christmas to all!