Love stories happen every day, but when they happen in the context of sport they are on another level. A couple of weekends ago a BJJ couple, Janine and Igor (now the Mocaibers), tied the knot. We call them a BJJ couple because that is how they met, on the mats while training… and training, then training some more. As you can imagine a shared daily routine with anybody brings about a certain connection. However, between the right two people, that same daily routine can build an affinity.
The Mocaibers’ is a story of affinity, this is why we want to share it with you.
As Jiu Jitsu artists, we tend to look for that perfect partner on and off the mats. To high level BJJ practitioners marrying each other thanks to love that Jiu Jitsu helped develop and connect: someone who understands us, someone who shares in what we love. Same was the case here, have no doubt. One is a PanAms blue belt champion, the other a first degree black belt that competes at the high level as well. Most extraordinary is that this tale of routine and affinity and love happened over the span of a just few months, but, much like on the mats as you choke your opponent, when you know it is right, it is right.
Janine and Igor are that couple that a lot of couples wish they were: always in a good mood, polite to each other, supportive of one another in each of their goals. Whether they are training together and pushing each other in Jiu Jitsu, or doing strength and conditioning as a couple, or simply out in their day-to-day life they are in love with watching one another succeed, and it is something amazing to view from the sidelines.
Their wedding took place on their home mats at Toronto Top Team in the presence of their closest friends and family, also in attendance for the occasion was their respective professors. The addition of that extended family made the event a little more special to both of them. Something that seemed tough to do once you took in the entire ceremony – the venue, the attendees, and bride and groom themselves: both wearing white, looking stellar in brand new gis.
Igor waited for Janine while her father walked her to her soon-to-be husband. As they both stood before the officiant their smiles were radiant and spoke the joy for this day happening. Both were asked to read or say something about each other and some last words before they officially become one and both read letters filled with smiles and laughter. After that it was simply a matter of ring placement and an announcement.
In the moments beyond, amongst the whooping, the kissing of the bride, clapping, and many congratulations from those of us attending. Igor and Janine began playfully tussling in the shiny new gis, smiling and laughing, their grips strong and their positions near perfect, there was competition in there. No mistaking that. What there was also not mistake of was the love and respect toward each other, in their eyes, and in the hold they had on each other. They’d let neither one fall. It was undeniable.
Words by: Gregg King