Felipe “Preguiça” Pena represented the Gracie Barra team at the Brazil Teams’ Nationals 2016. After the tournament, Graciemag.com did an interview with the black belt, where he commentates the finish used in his fight at the Brazil Teams’ Nationals, talks about what he deems necessary to rear a blue-belt, and reveals how he overcomes his adrenaline before tournaments. Here are the most important points. Check out the video and watch the full interview.
Brazil Teams’ Nationals
“Well, it was my first experience at the Brazil Teams’, the first time I fought. Really cool experience — it’s always cool to fight in a championship that does not depend just on you, that’s not an individual sport.”
Adrenaline in tournaments
“The adrenaline before the competition is normal — I think everybody gets it, but I think that, the more you fight in tournaments, the more experienced you get, and that reduces that adrenaline a bit, removing some of the nervousness, but that adrenaline, that nervousness before the match, I think it will always exist. Especially before the first fight. At least with me, after I fight in the first match, I get relaxed, I sweat and then I’m calmer.”
“When you are starting out in BJJ, through the purple belt, maybe the brown, you don’t have your game really put together yet. Some people form a specific game earlier. I took my time assembling my game. To this day my friends tease me: “What’s your game? You do the spider guard, de la Riva, you like passing and moving to the back.” So I think it’s very important, especially at the start, to do repetition. BJJ is not an easy sport — some people have a knack for it, but especially at the beginning it’s too many details.”