Following on from our top five Purple belt watch list. This week we have compiled a list of five of the top European brown belts to keep an eye on. Enjoy!!
T O P 5
River Dillon – UK - 22 - RGA - River has been one to watch since he was 18 where he won Silver at the IBJJF World Championships as a Blue belt . His Purple belt career was just as prolific where he had won multiple gold medals including some Quad golds at IBJJF Opens such as the London Open and Nice Open. His move up to brown belt has brought even more success, with River taking Silver at the IBJJF European championships in 2017, he would then follow that on with Gold at the UAEJJF London Grandslam in 2017, and multiple Double and Quad golds at IBJJF competitions. He would also double gold at the UAEJJF Netherlands pro 2017 where he was able to beat seasoned black belts and win a ticket to the 2017 Abu Dhabi World pro, where he would place 2nd!
Amal Amjahid - 22 - BEL – CENS Academy - Probably the most accomplished brown belt on the list, and the best brown belt female in Europe if not the world. The Kingz sponsored athlete has been on a tear winning her weight and absolute division in the IBJJF European Championships in both 2017 and 2018. Known for her expansive open guard, as well as fast and intense passing. Amal made her way to the finals of the 2017 World Championships where she was just edged out, coming away with a silver medal. Amal was able to avenge this loss the following year at the 2018 UAEJJF London Grandslam where she took gold!
Emad Omran - 22 - SWE - Prana Jiu Jitsu - Another of a lengthy list of athletes to come from Prana Jiu Jitsu in Sweden. Winning multiple Gold medals in IBJJF and UAEJJF competition, Emad’s purple belt major medals included silver medals at the UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro, and 2017 IBJJF European Open. He repeated his 2017 European performance at the 2018 with another Silver medal, this time at brown belt. A big accomplishment so soon into his brown belt career. An active competitor in Europe, keep an eye out for his quality guard play.
Jakub Zajkowski - 20 - PL - Gracie Barra - The youngest on this list, Jakub had a prolific career at Purple belt, which included winning the UAEJJF World Pro in 2017, and an IBJJF European title in 2016, along with a bronze medal in 2017. He got his brown belt summer of 2017 and he has continued his winning ways, winning the UAEJJF Spanish Nationals, along with the UAEJJF Swiss Nationals. He would also place second at the first ACB European Championships in Poland. Look out for him trying to repeat his 2017 Abu Dhabi World pro -85kg gold, only this time at brown belt - always in a Manto Gi!
Tarik Hopstock - 21 - NO - Frontline - One of the top brown belts in Europe despite only being a brown belt for under a year. His blue and purple belt career was laden with major medals. At purple belt Tarik was able to take gold at IBJJF Rome Open and Euro No Gi two years in a row. He also placed 2nd at the No Gi worlds in 2015 and in 2016 a bronze and open weight silver at purple middle. He would also place 3rd at the World Championships in the Gi, coming back in 2017 to win the European championship in the Gi at purple in 2017 and double Bronze at the 2017 IBJJF World Championships. His young career at brown belt has also brought a lot of success winning double gold at both the Nordic and Swedish Open. He would also place 2nd in his weight and 3rd in the open weight at the European Open and become the IBJJF European No Gi champion. However, above all Tarik won Copa Podio’s European Leg of the Iron Brown belt competition. Where he was up against a selection of the best brown belts in Europe. He was able to conquer the competition and become the ‘Iron Brown belt’. With a spot on a future Copa Podio show and his most likely involvement at the Worlds, Tarik is one to watch.