By Maggie Left
Nov. 11th 2022
Adam Wardziński is probably one of the most influential European characters, a humble fighter from Poland who’s consistently reached the top of the podium when competing at major tournaments, opens and super fights while avoiding controversies at the same time.
The Checkmat black belt is the current IBJJF European heavyweight and Abu Dhabi World PRO Champion. Born and raised in Poland, Adam started training jiu-jitsu in 2010, when he was 18 years old. At the time he had very limited access to train and learn consistently with people from other countries and, as lucky as he was to have fighters like Alan do Nascemento “Finfou” or Marcus Buchecha influencing his career, this limitation was probably one of the main reasons why he started experimenting with the position that came more naturally to him, the butterfly guard.
When the game started to change to a more open version of it, his very unique system evolved adapting to the current passing game style, using hooks to bring his opponents to their knees and tiding them up. In his lazy butterfly version, the guard player’s upper body is on the mat which takes off a big load of body weight from the hips allowing a better mobility, therefor becoming a dangerous weapon for sweeps, but also a way to access submissions which were not available in the classic version of the butterfly guard.
The Polish black belt has had an unarguable impact in the game in the last few years. He has taught all around the world his different guard variations, transitions and sweeps in seminars, camps and online instructionals. One of his most common sweeps, the over hook belt grip, was performed at the last ADCC Worlds Championship up to 5 times in the finals this year. The rising generation seems to be very receptive to the use of the butterfly guard as a key element to their game, and it’s for a good reason… It works!
Not only through his teachings has Adam left his mark in BJJ, earlier this year he became the first European to ever win the heavyweight division at the European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Not satisfied with it, he wants to make what no other European athlete has accomplished yet… Winning both European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship, GI and NOGI. This weekend the ADCC veteran will potentially face Perttu Tapio Tepponen, Fernando Andrade dos Reis or Frederic Leonhard Vosgröne among others to try and get to get that gold medal.
If everything goes according to plan he’ll compete the following weekend at the Abu Dhabi World Pro, will he be able to keep his crown at the GI competition right after competing NOGI in Italy? His last performance a couple of weeks ago at the IBJJF London Fall Open, says he might. Adam had 9 matches winning 7 of them via submission. He became Heavyweight and open class champion in both GI and NOGI, beating well known International fighters like Charles Negromonte, Eric Bergmann, Szilard Sule or Sean Coates. Not a bad warm up for his next challenges.