BJJ Dreams in Seoul

The IBJJF Seoul International Open 2018 held in South Korea over the weekend was truly a story of a dream come true for Gracie Barra Singapore’s David Kim.

Dave always had a thirst for competition and had achieved success in a number of competitions around Southeast Asia, however, it wasn’t until now that he had achieved his goal of getting gold at an IBJJF tournament.

It was always Dave's dream to win an IBJJF Gold Medal.

It was always Dave’s dream to win an IBJJF Gold Medal.

Pointing to some of the IBJJF gold medals on the rack on the wall of GBSG, Dave once said, “I’m going to get one of these some day.” And over the weekend, he did.

But the journey wasn’t easy for the 37-year-old blue belt. Making time to train was and is always a struggle, being a father of two young children and also working as an Equity Trader. But because of his love and dedication for BJJ, he always made time for training despite his busy schedule.

Dave Kim at the Dumau BJJ tournament in Singapore.

Dave Kim at the Dumau BJJ tournament in Singapore.

After disappointing losses at two other IBJJF tournaments in Tokyo, and earlier this year in Manila, Dave better equipped with competition experience, came back strong by winning all his fights by points in the Seoul Open. This victory was made even sweeter by the fact that the South Korean native had won it in the city where his family is from.

Dave on the Podium of the IBJJF Seoul Open 2018.

Dave on the Podium of the IBJJF Seoul Open 2018.

“I think the experience helped a lot,” says Dave about the difference between his previous performances in IBJJF tournaments and this one. “Understanding and sticking to your game and not trying to do too much. And the proper training at Gracie Barra helped a lot too.”

Not one to rest on his accolades, Dave’s next goal is to win by submissions which he hopes to do in the IBJJF Manila Open in January 2019 where many of his Gracie Barra teammates will compete for the first time. One piece of advice he has for his team: “Focus on improving details of your game, and battle test your skills in competition-style training!”

A closeup of Dave's Gold at the Seoul Open.

A closeup of Dave’s Gold at the Seoul Open.