Congratulations on winning third place at the All-Japan Jiujitsu Championship as a new purple belt! How do you feel about your performance?
I am not completely satisfied with the results and know that I can do better. But overall it was a great experience for me to travel in and experience Japan for the first time.
As a Chinese representative of Jiujitsu, what do you think are the main differences between training in China and other countries?
There is a notable difference between China and the rest of the world, from the training environment to training methods. First, I was surprised by the difference in skill level. The opponents may not be as big, but they are very experienced in control and escapes, making it difficult for me to stay in the dominant position or try to submit them. Another thing I noticed was the large range of ages that participate in Jiujitsu competitions, from 4-year old children to white-haired old men with incredible skills despite their age. There were kids who were only 5-6 years old but showed such solid fundamentals. It was all very impressive.
As an MMA fighter, how important you think it is to train with a gi? What has been the biggest advantage of gi training for your MMA fights?
Gi Jiujitsu training does help in preparing for an MMA fight, but it is not absolute. Today Jiujitsu is no longer mysterious in the eyes of fighters like it was during the early days of MMA. MMA and Jiujitsu are two completely different games. There are a lot of fighters who have abandoned Brazilian Jiujitsu training in favor of MMA-specific training. BJJ is no longer as important as it was before, especially gi training. The main reason I practice BJJ is because I personally enjoy the sport. At the same time, it also helps me enhance my body’s ability to adapt to changes in my fights.
We know you are confirmed to participate at the 2013 ADCC in Beijing. That's a big step for Chinese BJJ. What are your thoughts on this?
I’m happy to represent China at the ADCC, and I will be even happier if I win that title!
Do you have any particular strategies going into the ADCC?
This time I will be fighting a very skilled opponent; so I will do my best to prevent him from exploiting my weaknesses and actively seek out his.
Thank you for your time and good luck at the ADCC. Do you have any last words for your fans?
I’m not going say anything generic like, “I won’t let you down.” I have been working hard to do what I do as a fighter, achieving my goals and not letting myself down. I just hope my fans will continue to believe in me. That provides the fuel I need to keep me going.
ADCC will take place in Beijing on October 19th and 20th. Click here to find out more details.
Liu Wenbo receiving his new purple belt after winning at the 2013 China Open in Shanghai
Liu coming in third at the 2013 All Japan Jiujitsu Championship
Liu with legendary BJJ Coach Ruy Menezes