One of the greatest talents to enter the black belt divison in the past couple of years, Tarik represents the generation of BJJ athletes ready to take over the competition circut at the highest level. Besides winning many world championship titles at the lower belts, Tarik is also a really nice guy! Hope you enjoy learning more about this outstanding Jiu Jitsu player.
Could you share with us how you got started in martial arts and BJJ?
I’ve always been a sucker for martial art movies and throughout my childhood I’ve tried a broad variety of activities like breakdancing and capoeira. I was first introduced to jiu-jitsu in 2011 by a classmate in high school. At that point I was already doing some judo and newaza was one of my favourite aspects of the sport. It didn’t take long before I was hooked and started to attend classes on a daily basis. Thanks to Eduardo Rios and the rest of the team I felt I had found a place where I belonged.
When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career as a high-level competitor in BJJ?
After 2 months of training, I decided to try competing in the Swedish Open. Where I got caught in an armbar after just a few seconds into my first fight. That motivated me to train more and set my aim for other competitions. But it wasn’t until 2013 when I won my first European title that I realised that I wanted to pursue a career in jiu jitsu.
Most memorable moment in your competition career?
So far I’ve had the pleasure of having many memorable moments through competitions, seminars and training camps. But the ones I cherish the most are the ones I get to experience alongside my teammates. Social support is such a key factor to staying motivated whether we win or lose.
Hardest opponent that you have faced in competition?
I’ve faced many difficult opponents over the years, so it’s hard to say who was my hardest opponent. Rather I’ll give a small list of names: Jonnatas, Kaynan, Victor, Erich, Tommy, Lucas Gualberto, Leo Lara (in no particular order).
Someone you have not had a match with, that you would like to face?
I would love to fight Tainan Dalpra or Isaque Bahiense.
Congratulations on reaching the black belt. What are you most excited about being a black belt?
Thank you! I am excited to compete in the black belt league! There is of course other commercial advantages as well, but competition is my main goal for now.
What is a week like in your training schedule? Has anything changed since you became a black belt?
It all depends on what I am training for and how long I got to prepare for it. In this training phase right before Europeans, I’m training jiu jitsu twice a day, with one rest day a week. Not all training are high intensity and I try to focus a lot on the technical and tactical aspects of the IBJJF ruleset.
What's next for you in BJJ? Next big goal that you have targeted?
Europeans and hopefully qualify for Worlds
Favourite cheat meal post victory?
I’m not too picky, but I do love steaks, sushi buffets and burgers!
Anything you would like the Jiu Jitsu community to know about you?
You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, where I post videos twice at least week!
Looking forward to a post victory sushi with Tarik soon!
-Team Progress Jiu Jitsu