RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico native is making a name for himself in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu. Abie Gonzales recently competed at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation no-gi world championships, where he took home the gold in the master 3 brown featherweight category.
“My bracket this year, they were pretty tough opponents,” said Gonzales, “I beat the no-gi champion from last year and gi champion from last year, so it’s a big learning experience. You see so much, you learn. I learned so much when I went to that last one, what I need to do, what not to do, and make myself better when I go to the next one, but of course, they’re preparing for that as well.”
The win makes Gonzales a two-time world champion as he continues to improve his ranking in the sport. His family has followed in his footsteps, as they also compete in combat sports, and they say that watching his success has been an inspiration.
“Yeah, it’s cool because I do it too, and just seeing what I can just learn off of him,” said son Adam.
“It’s awesome, just knowing that my family, like we’re united,” said his wife, Laura, “Every night we’re here in the gym, we’re on the mat together as a family.”
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Gonzales also has taken a leadership role at his gym, One Jiu-Jitsu in Rio Rancho. He runs the kids’ program at the gym and has grown it from only a handful of students to around 40 currently.