The Rio De Janeiro State Championships

Hey guys, sorry for not posting this past weekend but things were a little crazy. I was able to finally find an apartment and move in while also competing on Sunday. I also started a little blog fan page at www.facebook.com/imbjj that I update daily with cool photos, videos and such…

Anyway here’s the next episode “The Rio De Janeiro State Championships”.  Hope you guys enjoy it!

P.S. I’ve been getting a couple requests for subjects that people want me to do an episode about and I plan on doing most of them fairly soon. So if any of you guys have a request I’d be happy to hear it!

First Video! a look back at the past year

So on the flight from Tel Aviv to New York I had a lot of time to kill and figured I might as well try to figure out the video editor that I’m going to be using for the vlog. After a bit of playing around and always thinking that it would be really cool if I had a highlight reel of my own here it is, my first little video project… I hope you enjoy!!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/1aOWnOIOdMo]

A Good Place to Start From

I’ve been planing to launch a blog for almost a year now but it’s never happened for some reason. I guess I just didn’t think it was important enough for me to put the time and effort into it.

A couple of days ago I wrote a long post on FB about the past year in my life and i really enjoyed writing and sharing it. The post also  received a ton of positive attention in the form of likes, comments and even shares, some by people I’ve never met and after seeing and enjoying the out pour of support i decided to go ahead and launch IMBJJ (Itamar Marani BJJ)!
This blog/vlog is going to be something special for me where i get to share my journey with everyone. I figured there’s no better way to start it then with that aforementioned FB post. So here it is and I hope you enjoy!

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so it’s been one year since i decided to walk the path less taken and by myself a ticket for a 6 months stay in Rio to see if I could do this jiu jitsu thing for real. looking back i couldn’t be any happier. I got to meet so many interesting people, see a lot of new and interesting places and experience things i just wouldn’t have if i had just gone to uni like I was planning to. I lived in Rio Brazil , Worcest (MS) USA, Tel Aviv Israel, Bangkok and Phuket Thailand and was blown away and humbled by the generosity i was shown by some along my travels and was also surprised at the negativity i got from some and came to understand where it really came from.

I learnt just how much you can’t take even the little things, like speaking the language and being able to communicate and enjoy people’s company for granted (honestly if it weren’t for skype and viber i think i might have gone nuts). I also saw how much being humble and working hard will earn you the respect and friendship of people who you yourself admire and how much people are wiling to give of themselves when you yourself are selfless.
there where a lot of ups and downs, wins and losses, disappointments and hardships but i grew tremendously because of each and every one of them. i understood the meaning of doing what you love and looking back it’s kind of cool to see what i was willing to put up with at times in order to that while just being grateful for the opportunity. i slept in guest houses, hostels, apartments and gym mats and my entire day was built around training, sleeping and eating. I studied the art with a focus and dedication but also gave focus to the “off the mat” part of the BJJ spirit and started to understand what kind of martial artist i want to aspire to be.
on the professional side of things i got promoted to blue belt and had a record of 23-7 and was able to learn from all 7 of my losses. it was a good year but i hope to dwarf it this year and i’m stoked to head back to rio tomorrow, train my ass off and try to achieve my goal of becoming a world champion this year.
on the personal side i can only hope that this year goes as well and ill be able to grow as much as i did last year. It’s really amazing to be able to look back and see how much i’ve changed.
All in all i had an amazing year and as much as i dread the though of being apart from my girlfriend for 5 months i’m looking forward to this next chapter in brazil and cali.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone i’ve met and hung out with along way, everyone who’s gone out of their way to help me, to everyone who’s supported me (you’ll be surprised how far a message on FB can go when you’re alone in a foreign country lol) and most of all to Minyoung Kim for all the endless support.
sorry for the long rant!
all i can say is that i can’t agree more with that saying: “quit your job, travel the world, do martial arts, be awesome”
there are way way to many people to tag in this post but i truly appreciate all the friendships i’ve made… thanks for a great year guys!
oss!

Here We Go!

All right guys and gals, welcome to my blog. I feel like I’m on a fairly unique journey and I think that a lot of people might find this blog interesting and informative. My goal is to win the Mundials (world championship) at the black belt level in Brazilian jiu jitsu and this blog will follow my travels around the world as I seek out the best places to train so that I can give myself the best shot at achieving this goal. I will also report on the competitions I participate in and the ups and downs of this lifestyle.
So who am I? My name is Itamar Marani but I’m known on the mats of Rio as “quebre osso” (or bone crusher in English lol). I’m 24 and I was born in Israel but also spent 6 years of my childhood in the USA. After I did my three year military service back in Israel I went into the federal air marshal service for two and a half years. During that period I also spent time doing security at airports abroad and I lived half a year in Mumbai, India and half a year in Bangkok, Thailand. I am the middle child in an amazing family which I am very blessed to be a part of and who have truly supported me immensely on my venture off the beaten path. I thank them for everything and this blog is dedicated to them.