* Four-time world champion in Jiu-Jitsu and recently retired from the sport, Michael Langhi continues to work with the gentle art and is currently responsible for Alliance São Paulo. The black belt, who belongs to the team most often world champion (12 titles), highlighted in an interview with TATAME that he supports professionalism in the sport and the fighter must look for the best academy to achieve his goals, but warned that this is a martial art. Therefore, the athlete must have a sense of where he is going and create his trajectory within the sport.
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“Professionalism has to happen, this is good for the sport, but we must not forget that Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art. It has a whole sense of belonging to a team, it is not like football, where who pays more, gets it. We need to belong to a team, to belong to something. I think this is worth a lot more than money. For it to be sustainable, it has to be more about the opportunity and the career plan, than the money on the table. Decisions need to be long-term, never short-term, ”said Langhi.
“Today, we see some projects that only have a single source of income, and if at some point this dries up and athlete is forced to change teams again. When he looks at his lineage, it will be full of curves, he will have gone through three or four teams. There is no way to associate a teacher with him. My story is straight, I look back and see (Rubens Charles) Cobrinha and Fábio (Gurgel), and no one else. I belong to the team, I earned my place here within Alliance, through my work and my dedication. You have to professionalize (Jiu-Jitsu), but the projects need to be sustainable and not something that depends on a person. As long as that person is willing to help, things will happen, but when it is over, students are forced to find a new path. Most of the time these athletes go in search of a dream, and then they find themselves in an obligation to change teams again ”, commented Michael.
Over the past few years, big names in the sport have joined Alliance to be part of the team, but Langhi ensured that none of them were “hired”. The black belt said that everyone arrived by their own will and pay for the gym, like everyone else: “Actually, we don’t see anything different (between the athletes). They come to our gym because we were always on top, winning. So, they wanted to know what the training is like. Champion walks with champion. They associate our academy with winning titles. These people (Bruno Malfacine, Mário Reis…), they came here of their own free will. There was no financial stimulus, unlike what is happening. I myself came to Alliance paying monthly fees, Bruno also. There was no counterpart for these people, ”he concluded.
* Por Yago Rédua