Atos JJ is home of some of the best Jiu Jitsu competitors in the world, multiple World Champions grace the mat from blue belt to black belt. One such athlete is beginning to standout from all the others, he seems to rise to all challenges both Gi and NoGi. Newly signed Progress Jiu Jitsu athlete Kaynan Duarte by virtue of his recent accomplishments seems to be the next in line to dominate the sport. He received his black belt after winning double gold at the Worlds as a brown belt and would hit the ground running. Taking titles such as the ACB World Title, IBJJF World NoGi, Europeans and Pan Ams. Just recently he expertly dispatched all in his way at Kasai Pro, to take the light heavyweight title. We caught up with Kaynan as he prepared for his next big competition the UAEJJF World Pro.
FME - Hi Kaynan thanks for your time. Let’s start with your recent accomplishment in New York winning the Kasai Pro tournament, in a field with many more experienced black belts. How did you feel coming into the tournament and was there anything you were especially happy with?
Kaynan - Even though I wasn’t training much NoGi before the event, I was feeling ready, and I'm very happy not only with my victory, of course, but also for being able to display some nice techniques for jiujitsu fans.
FME - you’ve had a brilliantly start to your black belt career taking many big wins and defeating many big names on the black belt scene, is there a match or championship which stands out to your as your favourite so far?
Kaynan - I feel like this is just the beginning. I can’t really choose one right now, maybe my first black belt No Gi world title was a different kind of special to me.
FME - Next you have the Abu Dhabi World Pro, how is your preparation going for it?
Kaynan - I feel ready to compete. This is what I love to do, I know I train with the best and that gives me confidence to compete against all the high-level athletes I’ll face, not only in Abu Dhabi, but in all upcoming events.
FME - You compete in many rulesets and competitions whether it is gi or nogi, how do you juggle training for all these different types of contests?
Kaynan - I train both, No Gi a little less than Gi at this moment. And about the rule sets... I train to finish, so that fits all rule sets, haha!
FME - This could potentially be the biggest year a rookie blackbelt has ever had, with the chance to win world pro, worlds, and ADCC on offer. Do you let the thought of winning all these competitions come into your head or do you just focus on what’s next?
Kaynan - Not really, I’m just going for it without over thinking. I'm still improving and gaining experience at black belt. Right now, I'm focused on winning the Abu Dhabi World Pro my first time competing as a black belt.
FME - Training with so many world class athletes not just at Black Belt at Atos HQ must be a blessing, can you explain to those at home how it has helped you improved your game and what it’s like training with multiple high level training partners all under one roof?
Kaynan - The level of the training at Atos HQ is incredible. People are always motivated to improve, we’re always training hard and pushing each other to get better, it's seems like everyone has the same mentality, everyone wants to be a champion, so we pay the price together for it, and the price is... killing each other at comp class. As we say in Brazil “rapadura é doce, mas não é mole”, which means “it’s sweet, but it ain't easy".
FME - Finally you have already got an impressive list of opponents you have beaten, is there anyone in particular you would like to compete against, for the first time or again?
Kaynan - Jiujitsu tournaments have sometimes 5-6 fights, or more if you fight in the Absolute. So, I think it’s only a matter of time until all the big names clash, so I like to let it happen. Sooner or later we’ll all meet on the mats.
FME - Thanks for your time Kaynan! And good luck in your upcoming competitions!