The Brazilian coach helping the UAEJJF deliver a golden generation
The UAE national team bagged 52 medals at the 2019 Ju-Jitsu World Championship in Abu Dhabi
A customary sight at every Jiu-Jitsu tournament featuring the UAE national jiu-jitsu team is that of a man with a red hat hunched over his chair in the coach's corner, bellowing instructions and encouraging fighters. He is the first to congratulate athletes regardless of the result on the mat.
That man is Ramon Lemos, coach of the UAE national team since 2015 and the epitome of everything the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) values - dedication, determination, drive, passion, loyalty, unity and respect.
Lemos, 40, was born in Niteroi, a city in Brazil just across the bay from the sprawling metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. He is renowned as one of the most reputed coaches in the world of jiu-jitsu, having tutored some of the best athletes in his native Brazil.
Recognising his qualities, he was appointed by the UAEJJF as coach of the national under-18 Jiu-Jitsu team five years ago, before stepping up as coach of the senior squad the following year.
With the steadfast support of the UAEJJF, Lemos has overseen an impressive uptick in consistent performances from the country's athletes, which has brought some impressive results.
The UAE national team bagged 52 medals at the 2019 Ju-Jitsu World Championship in Abu Dhabi, following on from the nine medals the team collected at the 2018 Asian Games.
Lemos learnt the tricks of the jiu-jitsu trade from his father, a renowned jiu-jitsu exponent and coach in his native Niteroi. Having taken a conscious decision to dive into coaching early, Lemos chuckles that having experienced life as both an athlete and coach, the latter is much more trying.
"I believe it is more difficult to be a coach than an athlete as it is not easy to control emotions and expect others to display the level of commitment and discipline that you expect. It is not always easy to get the athlete to do what is required to be a champion. Just imagine trying to develop champions from a group where everyone has a different personality and motivations," he said, adding that his time on the mats prepared him for life in the coach's chair.
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