Chicago Open champion Lucas Hulk offers tips for you to evolve in BJJ

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Lucas Hulk. IBJJF

Last weekend Atos’s Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa added a gold medal to his résumé by beating the medium heavyweight field at the Chicago Open. He used pressure in guard passes to defeat Matthew Leighton (Bonsai JJ) on points in the final.

Graciemag caught up with Lucas afterwards, and he had some good advice to help you evolve in BJJ, so read on.

Think positive

Adrenaline is part of any challenge, and most athletes feel that. What helps in this process is to think about positive things all the time. When we are in this moment of adrenaline, right before a fight, some doubts may emerge, which is normal. But, above all, we must watch what we think. It is a mistake to think, right before you fight, that your opponent will beat you because they’re coming off of good results. Focus on you alone.

Don’t be picky

Challenge yourself daily in training, no matter how tired. If your training partner has a good guard, try to pass it. If they are a good passer, then use your guard against them. Don’t go for the easy session; always do the training that is the most challenging.

Be observant

It’s normal to see athletes unfocused while not actively training, not taking advantage of that time to study. That is the moment when you can study and improve your BJJ. Take a minute to watch how your teacher applies advanced techniques and masterfully escapes attacks. Rest, but pay attention to what happens around you.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking water is very important to us athletes. It avoids cramping and injury, and sometimes it’s better than any isotonic.

Defeat can be a bridge toward evolution

Losing doesn’t feel good, but it is part of the process of evolution of a fighter. Defeat in BJJ exposes holes that need to be addressed so that you can do better next time. Starting from a given loss, it is advisable for you to act quickly: go to the gym the next day and work on those mistakes. Practice and practice. If you’ve been drilling ten times after training, start drilling 20 times. Whenever possible, do another session, even tired.

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