By BEN BAUGH
The third time may be as charming as the first two.
Paul Hartt will be making a bid to become a three-time Brazilian Jiu-Jistu world champion next month, as the Charlotte Harbor resident is pointing toward the tournament that would allow him to earn that plaudit. He’s scheduled to compete Aug. 21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
His training regimen has intensified, ramping up from the usual routine, with an emphasis on increased activity improving his chances of capturing another world championship, in a sport renowned for its competitiveness. His commitment and dedication to the sport have earned him the respect of his peers and those associated with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“I’ve been making it to training as a much as I can, I actually just came back from training this morning,” said Hartt. “We have an open mat every Saturday. I’ve been making it to the Fort Myers classes and the Naples classes, working on technique, sparring and going over things with the coaches, trying to get prepared for the tournament.”
Renowned for his offensive-minded approach and aggressive style, Hartt isn’t taking anything for granted, maintaining his edge, knowing that the competition in the Masters Black Belt division will be fierce, with athletes who are equally talented. His previous world championships had come at the Blue Belt level in 2014 and the Brown Belt level last year.
“I’ve been working a lot playing in the guard position, which is the bottom position, just to prepare myself (if he finds himself in that position),” said Hartt. “Traditionally, I’m a top fighter, fighting past the guy’s guard. Since I’m at Black Belt, the tides might turn a little. I might get put on my back. I just want to be prepared for it. Just like me, they’re training hard too. They’re going to do everything they can to beat me. So, I’m just working to improve my weakest technique right now, which is the guard position.”
With the prize in sight, Hartt doesn’t have the luxury of having a day off. He hit the open mat in Tampa on Sunday, to improve his skill set.
Hartt has placed an emphasis on his game plan, knowing his adversaries’ strengths and abilities are comparable.
“It’s going to be strategy more than anything because of the technique level, most of us are going to have it,” said Hartt. “The strategy part is going to be more about scoring points and securing positions. If you get to a certain part of the match, and you find yourself down on points and have to come back in the last minute; I’ve been working on grips and my main position, where I’m best at scoring points...all of the matches are going to be close, regardless of which way they go.”