From:graciemag.com

Lucas in photo by Luca Atalla.

Lucas Lepri had a good year on the mats. He won major competitions and saw his work at GMA academy Alliance New York prosper. Looking ahead to next season, the black belt assesses his main challenges in making 2011 even more productive.

Check out the conversation he had with GRACIEMAG.com.

What’s your assessment of your year?

It was really positive, but I can improve and yield a lot more. I started out well and won the European Open, in Lisbon, along with Michael Langhi. Then I had to deal with a number of tough guys at a championship here in New York called Long Island Pride, where I beat guys like Abmar Barbosa, Guybson Sá, and in the final, Roberto Cyborg by 6 to 2. I also closed out the Pan with my friend Langhi and didn’t have an easy time in doing it. To get to the final, for example, I had to make it past Bill Cooper and Jonathan Torres. After the Pan I went to Brazil for two weeks before the Worlds to finish up preparations with Fabio Gurgel and the team. Even with a fever, I competed at the Brazilian Nationals and there was no getting around the result: I ended up losing. But it served as a learning experience, now I see that I have to respect my own limits, no matter how much I want to fight. I missed a week of training and, in the end, I had a week to get ready for the Worlds, where I took third. The No-Gi championships started up in the second half of the year and I managed to win the Pan for a second time and, soon after that, I got my second No-Gi Worlds title, where I got the finish in all three of my matches. Looking back over the year, I competed at all the major championships and managed to place in all of them.

What are your hopes for 2011, do you intend to compete in the big tournaments? Will you be at the European Open?

2011 is coming up and I’m already getting ready for the season, which will be really intense until June, when the Worlds happen. I started preparing to put in a good showing at the European Open. After that I’ll be in the World Pro tryouts, which will happen February here in New York. I hope to be at all the major events like the Pan, World Pro, and Worlds. In know that to keep the titles I’ve won over these years and win the IBJJF Worlds again I’ll have to sweat a lot, but I always expect the best. And, of course, I always rely on the support of my team, my students, my family, and especially, God.

So the main focus is to close out the Worlds with Langhi again?

If possible, we’ll not just close out the Worlds but the other championships. However, the Worlds is always all the athletes’ main focus.

Lepri puts on the pressure at Long Island Pride. Photo: Luca Atalla.

Lucas Lepri had a good year on the mats. He won major competitions and saw his work at GMA academy Alliance New York prosper. Looking ahead to next season, the black belt assesses his main challenges in making 2011 even more productive.

Who are the main adversaries you have ahead of you?

There are a number of top competitors at lightweight and there are others who I didn’t know about showing up now. When I won the 2007 Worlds nobody knew who I was. I won the title I’d always hoped for in my very first year as a black belt. So I always pay close attention to the opponents I already know about and I don’t forget how surprises can always show up.

How is work in New York?

Alliance NY is growing and producing new champions with every day. We’re working on building the foundations, aiming for our students to make the lowest number of mistakes possible. We’re also focused on the self-defense part that gave origin to Jiu-Jitsu and it is extremely important to teach starting at white belt. I’d like to mention Fabio Clemente, who provided me the opportunity to teach at Alliance NY, and Babs, my brother who teaches with me and helps me train for championships. I’m really happy to be part of this team and I consider my students to be my true friends.

Do as Lucas Lepri does and sign up for the European Open clicking here.

What are your hopes for 2011, do you intend to compete in the big tournaments? Will you be at the European Open?

2011 is coming up and I’m already getting ready for the season, which will be really intense until June, when the Worlds happen. I started preparing to put in a good showing at the European Open. After that I’ll be in the World Pro tryouts, which will happen February here in New York. I hope to be at all the major events like the Pan, World Pro, and Worlds. In know that to keep the titles I’ve won over these years and win the IBJJF Worlds again I’ll have to sweat a lot, but I always expect the best. And, of course, I always rely on the support of my team, my students, my family, and especially, God.

So the main focus is to close out the Worlds with Langhi again?

If possible, we’ll not just close out the Worlds but the other championships. However, the Worlds is always all the athletes’ main focus.

Who are the main adversaries coming up in your path?

There are a number of top competitors at lightweight and there are others who I didn’t know about showing up now. When I won the 2007 Worlds nobody knew who I was. I won the title I’d always hoped for in my very first year as a black belt. So I always pay close attention to the opponents I already know about and I don’t forget how surprises can always show up.

How is work in New York going?

Alliance NY is growing and producing new champions with every day. We’re working on building the foundations, aiming for our students to make the lowest number of mistakes possible. We’re also focused on the self-defense part that gave origin to Jiu-Jitsu and it is extremely important to teach starting at white belt. I’d like to mention Fabio Clemente, who provided me the opportunity to teach at Alliance NY, and Babs, my brother who teaches with me and helps me train for championships. I’m really happy to be part of this team and I consider my students to be my true friends.

Do as Lucas Lepri does and sign up for the European Open clicking here.