Sabbath has been training in BJJ for over 6 years at Infinity Martial Arts Springfield in Queensland. In June 2017, he moved into training with the adults, whilst still continuing in high level kids. He also trains in adults MMA. Since starting BJJ when he was just 7 years old, he moved through each Junior BJJ belt and currently a full green with one stripe. He also trained in Junior MMA and received his Junior Black Belt in 2014.
Across 5 years of competing he has competed in over 60 local, national and international BJJ competitions, and has acquired his fair share of medals. He has trained under the guidance of over 8 instructors whilst at Infinity, all explaining their own techniques and concepts. Throughout the school year, he greatly enjoys BJJ and trains multiple hours a day from Mon-Sat, sometimes having to reduce his training during exam blocks. Once the holidays hit, he smashes training as much as he can with an added hour or two per day.
Q&A Session Between Sabbath Steel Smrecnik and Elite Sports
Question: What will you suggest to the newcomers?
Answer: If something is difficult, stick with it and eventually you will find yourself overcoming many of the challenges you may have faced.
Question: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
Answer: Fighting for me is part of my life and I find myself in appreciation of the sport that has helped me learn, grow and gain confidence over my ever-increasing years of training.
Question: What are the essential things for the training?
Answer: Hard work and dedication are the most essential aspects of training. The effort and willingness/persistence of a fighter is crucial to acquire great skills in this sport. Having a good instructor is also extremely important for the growth of any fighter.
Question: What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
Answer: My focus and determination, along with my willingness to continually learn from my instructors and fellow students.
Question: What is the meaning of success in your mind?
Answer: Walking off the mats each day knowing that I have tried my hardest, which in turn, I know allows me to continue to develop new skills.
Question: With whom you would like to fight, and why?
Answer: Thiago Ortiz, who is the current world champion for my division. I fought him in the Pan Pacs this year and would love to rematch him now that I know his sneaky moves. I have enormous respect for his BJJ skills.
Question: Is there any difference b/w your common days’ diet and during competition training diet?
Answer: I generally maintain a healthy diet consisting of a good intake of energy and protein to assist in my training. In the week or two leading up to a competition, I generally maintain this diet, although, if facing the possibility of blowing overweight, I pay extremely close attention to my intake to stay within my weight category.
Question: How does a beginner will prepare for the competition? Any advice for beginners?
Answer: Remember that when you walk onto the mats, that although you may not win, you’ve gained a new of level of experience and learnt something new. A medal is just a bonus.
Question: How is it helpful to have the information about your competitor?
Answer: When competing, knowing how your opponent fights and their level of capability can help you gain the right mindset and skillset to combat this, providing you with an advantage. If for example your opponent was very skilled at pulling guard and dominating from a closed guard position, the aim would be to work on escapes and passes from guard, and have the mindset of keeping distance and maintaining a dominant position, or in the worst case, an offensive open guard.
Question: Is the martial arts necessary for a common person? How?
Answer: Although not every single person in the world needs to know a Martial Art, I think it would be greatly beneficial for most people, even if only for self-defense or exercise purposes.
Question: Which moment is memorable for you in your past competitions?
Answer: The fight where I finally beat an opponent that I had been unable to beat in many previous competitions.
Question: How do martial arts help to build a leader?
Answer: The form of discipline shown by instructors in martial arts, initiates a level of maturity and self-control that is used in the first steps of leadership. As explained by Infinity’s own Professor Neil Owen, those who hold a higher rank (colored belt) should aid those with less knowledge than them, especially newcomers, in their learning. Through this responsibility, they gain leadership abilities that can be used both inside and outside of the Jiu-jitsu community. Furthermore, assistant coaching opportunities allow for great leaning potential. In addition, martial arts also assist in building confidence, which is an essential leadership quality.
Question: What would be your dream fight?
Answer: Magid Hage vs Batman, BJJ only.
Question: How is the road plan necessary for any competition?
Answer: In competition a plan is always useful. Although not necessary, as well as there being an extremely high chance of it changing through the fight, a plan can help give a fighter an idea of what may be ahead and allow them to focus on training in specific areas. This premeditated advantage can give a fighter more peace of mind when heading onto the mats.
Question: Do you have any advice for your competitors?
Answer: You will have good days and bad days in competitions. Keep up the hard work and never give up just because you have a bad day.
Question: How much importance has the sports gear in any competition?
Answer: Incredibly important in BJJ or any other sport. Having the right gear in preparation and in competition can mean the difference between a faster movement or execution of a certain technique. If you feel good, you have an advantage straight up.
Question: What should we learn from the legends /or from the seniors? Who is your inspiration?
Answer: We should learn, not only new techniques and concepts, but great sportsman-like characteristics. A constant source of inspiration for me is our Head Instructor at Infinity, Neil Owen, who has been a mentor to me since I started training over 6 years ago.
Question: To whom you would like to compliment for your success?
Answer: All my past and present instructors and mentors that have given me encouragement and allowed me to develop my current level of skill in BJJ.
Question: Who is your favorite legendary fighter? Why?
Answer: No-one in particular. I like several different fighters as I enjoy a variety of fighting styles.