A moving return. Photo: @FloGrappling
The triumphant return of Kennedy Maciel, current IBJJF European champion, becomes even more significant in the face of events that tested, with maximum force, the athlete’s resilience.
The constant debate about mental health among high-performance athletes is a practice that should always be encouraged with the aim of shedding light on this important issue, but it often remains left aside. A black belt, at the height of his career, needs to live with daily sacrifices to be productive in the many training sessions. It’s not just the body that undergoes a state of exhaustion. When the title of champion arrives, the result of extreme dedication work, the pressure arises to maintain stability and establish itself at the top.
Away from the mat for a year due to knee ligament surgery, Kennedy began to pay more attention to other aspects that go hand in hand with a champion’s good performance. Going through turbulent times, which he classified as “dark”, Rubens Cobrinha’s son found himself in a period of depression during the hiatus.
With perseverance and calm, the athlete proved to be a winner outside the competitive environment as well, investing that extra energy to get back on his feet. In an interview with VF Comunica, the champion revealed the most intimate moments of his complicated phase.
“I felt sick, depressed, I went through a hell of a depression, I was really bad, but this made me know who Kennedy really is, what Kennedy wanted for his life. I made friends with myself. I arrived at zero, I thought I was going to end Jiu-Jitsu, I thought I was going to leave, go back to Brazil and leave everything. It was very difficult for my father too, a very difficult task. Few people know what I went through.”, shared Rubens Cobrinha’s son, wanting to make his own story an inspiration.
To win the European Championship title, Kennedy needed to win two quarries in a row. First, he eliminated Diego Sodré in the semifinals and, in the fight for gold, he fought a war with Alex, Diego’s brother. The fight was decided in detail, after great chances for both sides.
If you have also reached rock bottom or know someone who is going through a difficult period, don’t ignore it, and find out about the problem to try to help. Oss!
Tags: Kennedy reveals thought giving JiuJitsu European gold