Introducing the Team Nogueira Dubai “Member of the Month”! Every month we will be celebrating our stand-out members who have shown extra grit and determination or achieved an exceptional training goal or personal best. And of course we’ll also reward the winner with special prizes!

This October we’re putting Cronje Venter on the pedestal. Cronje, 45, is a dedicated BJJ student hailing from Bloemfontein in South Africa. He earned his blue belt at the TND midsummer ranking and shows great dedication and consistency in training. His enthusiasm is so infectious that he has had the whole family training alongside him! We interviewed him recently to get an idea of what makes him tick and his motivations for being part of Team Nogueira Dubai.

TND: When did you join Team Nogueira? What disciplines do you take here?
Cronje: I joined Team Nogueira Dubai back in December 2014. I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the 28th of that month, and since starting, have never looked back.

TND: What made you start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Cronje: Although I had heard about and admired BJJ for several years, the decisive motivator for me was to support and encourage my sons, Keenan and Andrew, who were also members at the club and participating in MMA and BJJ at that time.

TND: What are your aspirations as a fighter?
Cronje: For me, I am very realistic about what I may achieve and will carry on for as long as I can, taking it one session at a time.  Hopefully, if it depends on me, I will be participating for several years (if not decades) to come.

“The thought of what lies ahead should one persist with training is a big motivator for me.  Additionally, I want to set an example to my sons about the importance of persevering in life despite the ups and downs that one may encounter.”
– Cronje

TND: What motivates you to get up and come to class?
Cronje: Knowing how I will feel afterwards, even with the occasional nicks that are picked up during regular classes. Also the thought of what lies ahead should one persist with training is a big motivator for me.  Additionally, I want to set an example to my sons about the importance of persevering in life despite the ups and downs that one may encounter.  Last but not least, a few training mates with great sense of humour (thank goodness, as lack thereof would have resulted in me being “unintentionally” hurt a long time ago!) and similar passions for the sport.

TND: What / Who inspires you?
Cronje: Jesus Christ and my family – particularly my sons and of course my wife Suretta (who is also now training at the club)

TND: What advice would you give to someone looking to start practising Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Cronje: Take it one day at a time and “never quit”. It’s never too late to start!

TND: What’s your favourite thing about being a Team Nogueira member?
Cronje: The team spirit and coaches who are second to none!

TND: Who are your idols in the sport?
Cronje: Royce Gracie and Renzo Gracie.

TND: Choose three words to describe yourself.
Cronje: Down to earth.

Cronje Venter October Member of the Month

Well done Cronje, you are a gentleman and a fighter! See you on the mats, and enjoy your complimentary month’s membership at Team Nogueira Dubai!