Astra sponsored Rio Patterson, a teenager from Yate near Bristol is now the Junior World Champion after giving his ‘best performance ever’ in his chosen sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The World Championships took place back in July in Wolverhampton.
At only 15 years old, Rio already holds the Welsh, British and European titles, and has now added his latest medal to his expanding collection.
Rio is sponsored and supported by Astra Security, and last week he visited the Astra offices, to meet the team and explain more about his journey to world success.
Above: Rio Patterson with his recent World Medal, and members of the Astra Security team.
We did a brief Q and A with Rio, and here’s what he had to say….
Q: When did you start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and what made you take up the sport?
Rio: I had always been into sport, and near where I trained with rugby there was an MMA gym, and I just started Jiu Jitsu – I’ve been training for the last 2 years and been competing seriously for just over a year and a half.
Q: What is the hardest part of competing?
Rio: Meeting and seeing your opponent for the first time. If they’re bigger or more aggressive than you it can be quite daunting.
Q: How do you feel before you fight?
Rio: Initially I’m nervous, especially during the build up and seeing my opponents. But, once I’m on the mat, everything is very natural, and it comes easily, and my nerves disappear.
Q: What type of training do you do and how often?
Rio: I train in Jiu Jitsu mainly, but I also do skipping, running and the gym on top of that for my fitness, stamina and strength.
Q: Is Jiu Jitsu a future career prospect?
Rio: Of course, you can work as a coach and open a gym.
Q: How does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu differ from other martial arts?
Rio: There is no striking and there is more floor work than standing. There is grappling and other techniques that are only in Jiu Jitsu.
Q: Do you have a special diet?
Rio: Only when I need to go up or down in a weight category, otherwise I can eat how I like.
Q: How do you balance schoolwork with training and competing?
Rio: School work always comes first. I train 3 – 5 times a week. My homework is finished first, and then I’m free to train.
Q: How has Astra Security helped you with competing in the sport?
Rio: Astra has helped me to fund the travel costs to get to and from competitions; training costs; and buying new kit. I really appreciate the support and help.
Q: What is your biggest dream involving Jiu Jitsu?
Rio: Hopefully, when it becomes an Olympic sport – to compete with Team GB in 2024. With Jiu Jitsu being a growing sport, hopefully I can be part of Team GB soon.