The ACB JJ 6 kicks off tomorrow in Moscow, with some of the world’s best 60- and 65-kg grapplers taking to the mats to see who will take home the honor of being the Grand Prix champion. Among the competitors, which include the Miyao brothers, Osvaldo Queixinho, and Augusto Mendes, will be Kim Terra, who just this year won gold in the Masters division at Pans and won bronze at the 2016 No-Gi Worlds.
Terra says that his win at Pans this year was his “favorite” victory so far, but he’s refusing to live in the past… or the future, for that matter. He has tunnel vision for the ACB JJ, where he’s looking forward to “coming back with that belt and a lot of money.” “Anything beyond that doesn’t cross my mind right now,” he says.
Even though Terra will be going up against some of the best in the world on Sunday, such competition is standard fare for him; he’s been going up against high-level competitors for so long now that this event is just another day on the job for him. His biggest challenge, he says, will be the jet lag that comes from traveling to the other side of the world. But over the past year, he’s been dealing with a larger, more painful obstacle: two herniated discs in his spine. Never the type to throw in the towel when things get hard, Terra knew that he had to keep training, so he enlisted the help of Dr. Andre Chevalier from Team Clinic to get him on the healing path. “He has helped me tremendously in coping with the pain and being able to train every day,” says Terra, who also gave Dr. Chevalier a shout-out on his Instagram page.
Now that his body and mind feel equally ready for some intense matches, Terra is hoping that he won’t run into the same problem in Moscow that he ran into at Worlds. “The rules didn’t favor me, as usual, because I like to fight, and my opponents like to play [with the rules], and IBJJF’s rules not only allow them to do so, but also favor the ‘smartest’ fighters rather than the best fighters,” he says. “I will not change my style because of that, though. Fans can keep expecting me to go for broke every single time I compete.”
Terra is aware that his style may not always win him gold medals, but his motivation for staying true to himself and his technique is about more than just his own ego. “I love winning, but I will never do so at any cost. I believe that, if we, as fighters, want to see jiu-jitsu taken to the next level, we have to start giving the fans what they want instead of focusing solely on winning matches.”
Regardless of what the final result may be tomorrow, don’t expect Terra to “double pull, stall, or play safe.” He’s there to take that belt home to CTA, but more importantly, he’s there to make a serious impression not only on Moscow, but on the entire jiu-jitsu community.
Watch the ACB JJ stream live starting at 11:00 a.m. EST on Sunday, July 16 on the ACB JJ website.