It was a great day for the Helio Soneca Association.  We got to witness two lifetimes of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clash and our Mestre came out the victor.  This fight taught us a few things, but the heaviest take away was the simple refrain of “practice what you preach”.

Two decades ago, when Soneca and Megaton first met on the 1996 World Championships stage they were fighters, pure and simple.  They had both reached the finals after impressive performances and all eyes were on their mat as the business of combat commenced.  This fight was a different matter.  Both men are and always will be fighters, but the matter is no longer simple, and pure does not describe what either legend is to the game.  As they met in Abu-Dhabi Soneca and Megaton are instructors, coaches, businessmen, and masters.  They are not one thing as they were, but rather pillars of their respective tribes, with much more responsibility on their shoulders.  

The fight itself was brilliant.  In the opening seconds Mestre Soneca pulled guard.  This was a calculated move against an opponent with awesome Judo and takedown skills.  Once on the ground the chess game continued with Megaton working a close-in and heavy passing game.  Both men fought for the right grip, years of experience determining perfect placement.  Soneca initiated his signature half-butterfly guard and with the patience and persistence of many hard fought victories he worked the system.  When Megaton unbalanced to the back Soneca took up the space and capitalized on the opportunity, taking the top.  Once in a passing position Soneca countered submission attempts and began the grinding climb to side control.  The fight ends with Megaton retaining his guard, and Soneca retaining his winning streak against a titan of the Jiu Jitsu landscape.

Just months ago Soneca was here in Colorado, and taught us the guard game he used in this fight.  Practice what you preach.  The little details and concepts he insisted we repeat until they were right are exactly the things that made his game work against Megaton’s 30+ years of experience.  In interviews and pre-event statements Mestre Soneca again gave us a supreme example.  When asked about his preparations for the event he laughed and informed us that he is always prepared. Practice what you preach.  It is one thing to be a great teacher and lean on accomplishments of the past, it is another to encourage risk and growth through competition and stay to the sidelines yourself, it is yet another thing to teach technique while you continue to learn and coach competitors while you challenge yourself against the best in the world.  It was a good day for the Helio Soneca Association, because we know our master practices what he preaches  




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