Tarsis Humphreys – "Never give up. If you have a dream, go for it. Never give up."

InsideBJJ
Congratulations on winning the gold medal at the 2010 World’s. You lost a very close match to referee’s decision in the 2009 World’s final to Romulo Barral. How did it feel to come back this year and win?

Tarsis
I’m feeling very happy because because I trained specifically for this fight. I dedicated a lot of time training to win the World’s. This I what I’ve wanted to do for many years.

InsideBJJ
In a recent interview for Graciemag you mentioned that you fought poorly. Your only loss of the 2010 World’s tournament was to Roger Gracie in the open weight semi-final. Why do you think you fought poorly? What would you have done differently?

Tarsis
I didn’t feel like I had a lot of energy. In my mind, I was thinking everything was going to be bad. This was in my min but it caused a good thing for me. I fought more aggressive and alert to compensate for the way i was thinking.

InsideBJJ
Who is the biggest challenge in jiu-jitsu today? Many competitors say Roger Gracie is on another level of jiu-jitsu. What does that mean?

Tarsis
I agree with what the the competitors say. His jiu-jitsu has no mistakes. It’s so progressive and tight. I don’t know how he does this. Everyone who fights on the ground with Roger does not survive for very long.

InsideBJJ
This is your first World’s championship. You’ve been trying to win a World’s championship since Blue belt. What advice do you have for other jiu-jitsu practitioners who have the same goal and are at lower belts?

Tarsis
Never give up. If you have a dream, go for it and never give up.

InsideBJJ
In 2009, you won the World Pro Cup and it included a cash prize. Do you think the IBJJF should give a cash prize to the first place winners in the black belt divisions?

Tarsis
Yes, i think they need to pay a good money prize. We give the show, and they charge for the spectators to watch us fight. They should give this money to the winners. They have a lot of sponsors, and they charge everybody to compete. So why don’t they give a prize for us?

InsideBJJ
After you won the 2009 World Cup Pro, it was reported that you said you would take the prize money and invest in tuition for a new profession. What were you referring to when you said that?

Tarsis
Helicopter pilot.

InsideBJJ
Can you describe what it’s like to make a living as a champion jiu-jitsu competitor? Most of the tournaments do not give a cash prize. How do you survive?

Tarsis
Teaching personal classes, full classes, sponsors, seminars, videos, and products are basically it.

InsideBJJ
Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Tarsis
Thanks to everyone who believes in me. Thanks to my family and girlfriend. Thanks to all my sponsors – Maxxcomm, CK Park, Keiko Raca Kimonos, Haiti Tatames, Edmilson Dantats LPO System and Quality Nutrition.

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