Pinoy-Belgian jiu-jitsu fighters gear up for Balkan Championships

Raquel Bernal-Crisostomo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 31 2019 06:08 PM

Pinoy-Belgian jiu-jitsu fighters gear up for Balkan Championships 1
Filipino-Belgian brothers Ian and Ryan Lodens are now training together as jiu-jitsu fighters.

KNOKKE -- Filipino-Belgian brothers Ian and Ryan Lodens are gearing up for the Balkan Championships set for September.

The event is vital in the Belgian Jiu-Jitsu League as it will serve as a qualifying round for the world championships which will be held before the year ends.

The siblings have recently been to a training camp in Greece to further advance their techniques.

They won their fourth world championship last year. Earlier this year, they bagged the bronze and gold medals in the European Championships.

In January, Ian received the Sportsmanship award, while Ryan was awarded Most Promising Youngster.

Ian was even asked to endorse an Italian sports apparel brand which made him more popular in the Flemish region of Belgium.

Last year, Ian along with Natascha Van Es won "Belgium Got Talent." With the prize money he received, Lodens was able to bring his mother back to her hometown in the Philippines to see their family.

Yet with all the accolades he received, Ian said he cannot rest on his laurels. 

“I have to work harder and better if I want to improve on my skills. It feels good that my younger brother Ryan is winning the world and European titles as well so now we train together,” he said.

In 2017, Ian won bronze in jiu-jitsu at the World Games, which is considered as the Olympics for non-Olympic sports like karate. He hopes to surpass his performance and aims to win either gold or silver in 2021.

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