Most of us would have heard of Brazilian Jiu Jit Su. This martial arts has already made it’s mark in Borneo, with the establishment of Persatuan Jiu Jit-Su Negeri Sabah that has organised numerous grappling competition such as Headhunters Challenge, Sabah Open and Badak Challenge.
How did you started BTT?
Since Martial Art has always been my passion and interest, I’ve decided to setup a Muay Thai gym and hire a trainer from Thailand. The initial idea was to just have fun with some friends and to train among ourselves but slowly more and more people started to know the place. The gym was officially open for public in 2012. It was known as Muay Thai Fitness Gym by that time then renamed to Borneo Top Team soon after that.
My father was a Chinese martial art practitioner and I was influenced by him at a very young age. I started practicing Taekwondo since I was 7 years old until middle school. I was actively involved in athletic competition, basketball, rugby and soccer and that is one of the reason I stopped my Taekwondo journey.
How did you get into Luta Livre?
Prof.Antonio Battistessa, BLL brown belt, owner/founder of Sabah Top Team introduced Brazilian Luta Livre to me. Knowing Brazilian Luta Livre (Free wrestling @ direct translation from Portuguese) is actually a no-gi grappling, it caught my attention in no time. Since we were doing no-gi grappling all these while, (No-Gi Grappling is known as BLL) I didn’t hesitated to open up to Brazilian Luta Livre.
How did Master Gustavo get into the picture? Is he permanently base in BTT?
After a few phone calls with Prof. Antonio Battistessa, I’ve decided to find a BLL coach to come and teach in my gym. He made some calls and finally Master Afonso Cego from Brazil (BLL Black Belt stationed in Manila, Philippine), responded with a great news, saying his friend from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil would love to come and teach in my gym! Soon, we’ve arranged Master Gustavo Muniz to come. He is now BTT Head Coach and co-owner of BTT. He is now permanently based in BTT.
It was a great honor to have Master Gustavo Muniz, a 3rd Dan Brazilian Luta Livre Black Belt, to come all the way from Rio de Jainero, Brazil and coach in our gym in Sibu. He has more than 20 years of experience in Capoeira and Brazilian Luta Livre.
Tell me a bit on martial arts scene in Sibu? I know a lot of people always say Sibu have lots of gangster, did it happen before that gangster disturb you or your students?
There aren’t many martial art gym in Sibu, especially MMA or grappling gym. We are the only gym in town teaching MMA and Brazilian Luta Livre. It was a tough work promoting and introducing the sport to society in Sibu.
|The growing family of BTT|
Is it easy to get Sibuian to take up MMA? What is the overall response?
It was very tough when we just started. MMA is not a stranger to them but many think that is a violent sport. Through some roadshows and demos in publics, people started to see it as a sport just like other martial art. Right now we are doing lots of public events to educate and to create awareness to the public the benefits of practicing MMA.
|martial arts demo by BTT|
Tell me some of the achievements of BTT.
We’ve won some competition from time to time. 1 of our fighter, Bryan Tan managed to compete in MIMMA Grand final last October in Stadium Negara. Even though he didn’t win the fight, we are still proud of him.
|Lucas (L) with Bryant (center) and Brandon (R)|
|Yannis will compete against Niker Tan ( MIMMA3 Finalist)|