Gracie Barra Nottingham’s Sean Coates takes purple belt Europeans package
Victor Estima student and long revered purple belt talent, Sean Coates, left Blackpool on Sunday
knowing he was heading to the IBJJF Europeans in January, courtesy of BJJ247.
He secured that knowledge after clutching gold in the purple belt absolute, winning a prize package
from theBJJshop.com which will see him flown to Lisbon, Portugal in January – with accommodation
and entry fee included.
Speaking on the day, fresh off a successful day in the office, Sean said:
“I feel good, really, really good.” Sean beamed. “It’s great that in Jiu-Jitsu we’re getting more and
more professional deals and professional competitions. This event attracted all the best purple belts,
there were loads of guys and I managed to get the win.”
The purple belt absolute included Kojak’s Sukata purple belt standout and long-time opponent Lee
Simpson, BJJ247 referee Phil Clegg, Sebastian Szyszka – Abu Dhabi silver medallist, technical
supremo Lukasz Baranowski and Grant Short, a seasoned competitor from Team Lagarto Teeside –
“I was keeping an eye out for which guys entered and there were loads of guys that I knew and had
fought loads before. There were recognised names and obviously when there’s a big prize on offer
that you want to go and get, you have to be prepared for everybody.”
With upcoming white belt and female absolute Europeans packages to compete for, Sean shared
some of his knowledge ahead of the Brighton International Open next weekend.
“When it comes to the absolute I would say you should definitely not go with the flow. I’ve fought in
a lot of absolutes and had a fair bit of success but your tactics for an ultra-heavyweight shouldn’t be
the same as the tactics for a super featherweight. You have to consider the physical characteristics
of a person like the shape, mass and proportion of a person as well as their movement, speed and
strength. Obviously you don’t want to be on bottom if you’re against a big guy!
You also have to consider the way you play guard, playing De La Riva against an ultra heavyweight is
probably not the best idea. Spider guard is probably better so you can keep him away, but with a
small guy you don’t want to give him an inch of space. It’s about learning to take each fight as it
comes, changing your tactics and method of winning. That’s how you’ll get absolute success in the
long term, rather than being stubborn and sticking to what you’re comfortable with.”
Sean returned straight to back to training at Gracie Barra Nottingham, with the European’s in mind,
believing the prize represents peace of mind, as well as a chance to become European champion.
“It’s a massive opportunity. I went for the Europeans this year and I got silver, just falling short. I felt
it was a good performance for my first year, I beat some really tough guys, including one guy who is
considered one of, if not the best purple belt in the World, but I fell just short when I got to the final.
So to have another crack at the whip – I’m absolute chuffed! To have that set in stone, rather than
worrying about saving up or finding a place to stay is a really big deal. It’s a huge aim of mine to
become the European champion.
Silver is never a nice medal to get, so I have another chance to perfect it this year. To get purple gold
is going to be sweet, I really, really want it.
The great thing about these packages, like the blue belt package that was won in Birmingham as well
as all the upcoming packages, is that when you win you don’t just get the guarantee of going, but
you get the confidence and momentum by winning. You enter knowing you deserve to go, instead of
paying to go, which gives a huge psychological boost. All these other guys wanted this great prize,
but I won it so psychologically it’s great.
You get a financial boost and a confidence rush that you deserve”