WBJJA:  What is your opinion about the initiative of organizing a BJJ Europen only championship? Did you see this coming, were you expecting this kind of event to take place at a certain point?

A.V.: Bjj is not yet organised in national federations. The existance of such tournament might help bringing national federations together with ranking (and then with national championship) allowing the best fighters of each nation to fight together like it is in any other sport.

My expectation is that this championship  will create the dynamic required to build national federation supervised by an organised international federation.

The lack of federation in bjj  needed to be fulfilled so I’m not really surprised an attempt arrive.

WBJJA: How long have you been refereeing, and what are the main promotions/ competitions you took part as an official?

A.V.: I have been referring since the purple belt, 7 or 8 years ago. I refereed for FILA, IBJJF,UAEJJF and for NAGA plus many other smaller tournaments and having all the certifications from those promotions.

Reffereeing It help me to in all the aspect of my BJJ life. Helped me when competing, teaching, helped me to stay on level as a fighter and a teacher.

WBJJA:  Are you also involved in the BJJ competitions differently than as a refree? Do you compete/ coach? If so, would you encourage your team to join this first European only tournament?

A.V.: I used to compete a lot, I’m not doing it that much anymore as I ref.

I have my own academy in Brussels, Aorta Team, where I teach.

I am planning to bring some students to the competition because it gives them experience, shows them what is living BJJ, brings them to travel and opens their mind. Competition is the best way to improve their BJJ . In the meantime, I want to keep an eye on the progress or influence that this competition can bring in terms of federations emerging.

WBJJA: What is the biggest challange you encounter as a refferee, and what is that motivates you in performing this?

A.V.: Being a referee is an awesome job.

The challenge is to keep focus all the time, read the fight and give the right decision regarding the rules, putting the pression on the side. Also, being on the mat is also the best place to enjoy the fight.

WBJJA: Thank you for joining us at this event.

A.V.: It is a pleasure to come back in Romania to referee.