Interview with young Danish talent, Josh Manczak, on his training, academy and BJJ Goals!

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Scandinavia has several upcoming stars, and one of them is without doubt Josh Manczak, a 17 years young BJJ talent fighting out of Arte Suave, Copenhagen, under Shimon Mochizuki, renowned black belt who coaches some of Scandinavia’s biggest names like Alexander Trans, Ida Hansson, Janni Larsson and Shanti Abelha. At only 17 years of age, Josh already competes in the adult division and has recently won the bronze medal in the adult blue belt division at the last IBJJF European Championships (2015). Josh has also recently won the qualifiers for this year’s Abu Dhabi pros. So we had to met with Josh to ask him a few questions. In this interview, Josh talks about his BJJ story, his training at Arte Suave and plans for the future. Thanks to Josh for his time, we really enjoyed doing this interview and we look forward to see him achieve his goals!!

1. Please introduce yourself to the BJJ community of Scandinavia
Hi, my name is Joshua Aman Manczak (josh), I just turned 17, I am a blue belt and I fight at middle weight. I am 181 cm tall and I live in Copenhagen Denmark. I train at Artesuave/Checkmat Denmark HQ under my Professor Shimon Mochizuki. I am a big BJJ nerd and I love watching fights at all levels. My biggest achievement to date is a gold medal at 2014 Abu Dhabi World pro in the category of juvenile and 2014 Danish National Championship according to weight and absolute adult.

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2. What is your BJJ story?
Well, one day my friends and I were wrestling for fun and my best friend at that time just smashed and choked me even though I was a bit taller and heavier him. That really fascinated me. I just asked him if he could take me to the academy where he trained. Fortunately, I happened to live 100 meters away from the academy. Now, I can’t describe myself with out talking about my passion for BJJ.

3. You just won bronze in your division at the 2015 IBJJF European open, take us through the competition and which one was your toughest fight?
I had 6 fights in my division and I submitted my first three matches. During my fourth match, my opponent tried to kneebar me and he got DQed for it. My fifth match, I won by 4-2. At the semifinals, I fought one of the toughest opponents of the tournament, Tarik Hopstock, and got caught in a Kimura. I feel very motivated to fight as soon as possible.

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4. You compete a lot, which competition would you say is your favourite and which one is the toughest?
My favourite must be the Europeans and Swedish Open. I think Swedish Open is a very hard competition to win because there are a lot of strong and skilled BJJ fighters in Scandinavia.

5. Can you describe the Danish BJJ Scene?
It is a small scene but we have a lot of great fighters such as Alexander Trans, Janni Larsson, Shanti Abelha and Ida Hansson. I think the Danish BJJ scene is going to produce a lot of (talented competitors) beast in the future.

6. What is your daily routine and training regime?
I have rescheduled my high school program to such an extent, that my daily routine goes like this: I train in the morning for an hour and in the evening for 3 hours. I do weights two times a week. Furthermore, I teach kids twice a week and I drill a lot because I believe it makes me sharp.

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7. Tell us about your academy?
Artesuave is a big academy and it has a lot of good black belts; if I am not mistaken, there are 17 of them. Artesuave for me is best place in the world and it is also my second home.

8. Who are your favorite grapplers and why?
My top five are FELIPE PENA, ALEXANDER TRANS, ANTONIO JR “CARA DE SAPATO”, GILBERT “DURINHO” BURNS and LUIZ PANZA. I think my all time favourite is CARA DE SAPATO because he is a big guy with a great guard and he has a very nice spiderguard, Dela Riva and 50/50. I think, if he had not switched to MMA he would have been the greatest of all. If you guys don’t know him, I can tell you 3 reasons why he has awesome JIU JITSU: 1. He has flying triangled Leandro Lo 2. He has flying triangled Bernado Feria and 3. Rodolfo could not pass him even though they fought in two occasions.

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9. What’s next for you in 2015 and what are you BJJ Goals?
My goal for 2015 is to win all the major and local tournaments with my partner in crime Marco Birch.

10. Thanks! and feel free to send a message to the BJJ community of Scandinavia.
I would like to thank Moka Hardware for providing me with the best GIs out there, Knockout Sports for the support and thanks to Artesuave. Of course, thanks to BJJ Scandinavia for the awesome interview. OSS

Check out one of Josh’s fights, final of the 2013 Danish Nationals where he competed in the adult division