France’s Jeremy Flores made history this month by winning the most prestigious stage of the world surfing circuit, Pipe Master, at the dreaded Pipeline in Hawaii. In his last two heats on the way to the title – he even went up against the greatest surfer of all times, Kelly Slater, in the semifinal –, Flores had to draw on some of the main lessons he acquired, believe it or not, not in the sea, but in the Jiu-Jitsu dojo.
“Never give up” is the lesson conveyed by Professor Yannick Beven, a Brazilian who teaches the gentle art and physical education in France.
“Jiu-Jitsu shows how one can turn around a match that is all but lost at any moment. That’s really important in surfing, when we’re at a disadvantage and need to be patient to wait for the right wave,” the surfer told the globoesporte.com website.
When Jeremy started practice in the gentle art he was a weakly kid who stood out in surfing. Examples of fighters who never abandon the waves are Rickson Gracie, Murilo Bustamante, and Ricardo Arona among countless others. Illustrious surfers who like putting on the gi include, besides Jeremy Flores, Kelly Slater, big-wave rider Rodrigo Resende, and Joel Tudor. Tudor, after becoming one of the greatest longboard champions around, went on to compete in Jiu-Jitsu and even participated in the ADCC.
To illustrate how the bonds between the two sports are strong, room had to be made for a dojo at one of the most talked about residences in Hawaii, the Volcom house, headquarters for some of the greatest local Hawaiian talent in Pipeline.