Interview with Gyula Szabo

Hi Gyula, could you please introduce yourself to the Readers of the blog?       

Hi, my name is Gyula Szabo, I'm 25 years old and from Budapest Hungary. I'm a brown belt under Mihály Sztraka and I proudly represent Carlson Gracie Team Hungary. Currently all I do is train, teach and compete in jiu-jitsu. My recent accomplishments include: Quarter-finalist at the 2014 European Championships which was my very first international bjj competition, third at the Rome Open, and recently I won the Paris Open in my weight cathegory and became second in the absolute division all at the brown belt level.

What made you start jiu-jitsu?

Like most bjj practitioners I started jiu jitsu because of what Royce Gracie did in the first UFC events. I was always into martial arts and fighting, always looking for the most effective one, thats how I got into BJJ. I started jiu-jitsu in September of 2008 and I was hooked after my first class.

There are a lot of strong bjj players coming out of Hungary. How is the bjj scene like over there?

Yes we have a lot of strong guys, and some tough youngsters coming up too. Jiu-Jitsu in Hungary exists since 2001 so it's well over a decade now. Since then bjj has been growing so fast. There are more and more jiu-jitsu practitioners, the number of gyms  are constantly increasing and we have bjj/grappling competitions all year round. So I guess you could say that jiu-jitsu is blooming in Hungary.

You had a strong showing at your most recent competition in the Paris Open. What do you attribute to your success?        

Thank You very much. Yeah things went good in Paris. I think it was a combination of many things. First of all, its  the hard work, years of hard training will pay off eventually. Also preparing not just physically but mentally was important too. But still, with all the hard work I would be nowhere without the fantastic people around me, who are helping me on and off the mats all the time. And last but not least, experience was a big factor. As I mentioned earlier I only started competing internationally this year so in this respect I'm still a rookie. But in Paris the experiences gathered at the Europeans and Rome open were helping me a lot.

 Gyula attacking the foot.

Gyula attacking the foot.

What are your future goals in the sport? 

I just want to continue the jiu-jitsu journey, keep improving and growing, not only as a jiu-jitsu practitioner but as a person as well. As far as competitions I want to compete as much as possible internationally at brown belt level. I want to test myself against the best guys, gaining as much experience as possible, and of course aiming for the gold all the time. In the long run I want to get to the black belt level and find out what I'm capable there, cause thats what really matters.

If you want to, feel free to thank somebody.

I should thank so many people, since so many people helped me on and off the mats. However, it would make this list too long and I don't want to bore the Readers, so although it will be difficult I am narrowing it down to three. First I want to say thank You to my master Mihály Sztraka from whom I learned everything and who guided me along the way. Also I want to say thank You to my Mom who always supported me in following my passion under any circumstances and to Dezs? Körmendi who makes it possible for me to compete on international tournaments and is a great, wise friend. And of course, I want to give a big thank you to my sponsor: Dokebi!

 Proud absolute division gold medalist Gyula!

Proud absolute division gold medalist Gyula!