On the birthday of this wacky Jiu-Jitsu school called YouTube.com, GRACIEMAG.com will be treating readers/web users to seven of the favorite matches of Rafael Mendes, a gentle-art hero born and schooled during the YouTube Era.
Now what about you, gentle reader, what did you learn from this selection of videos? If you feel there’s one missing, comment and share the YouTube link with us in the comments field at the bottom of the page!
1. RICARDO VIEIRA VS. ROBSON MOURA (2001 JIU-JITSU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP)
“Excellent Jiu-Jitsu match. This one taught me that it ain’t over ‘til it’s over, as they say in the USA. Ricardo already was a major force in the lower belts, but he was finding his feet at black belt when he came up against Robson, a world champion at black belt many times over. It was pretty much the same deal he went through with me when I showed up as a rookie black belt.”
2. LÉO VIEIRA VS. VÍTOR SHAOLIN (2000 PROFESSIONAL JIU-JITSU LEAGUE)
“I’m a big fan of them both, but this match made me like Léo even more. I was a blue belt, and I remember how I’d practice his moves at the academy. Léo is really skillful.”
3. FERNANDO TERERÊ VS. MARCELO GARCIA (2003 JIU-JITSU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP)
“I don’t believe there’s anyone with Jiu-Jitsu I admire more than Tererê. In this match I can see he’s really confident; afterwards you can see him go off celebrating and saying, ‘I told you! I told you I’d get him.’ Having confidence in yourself makes a big difference.”
4. LÉO SANTOS VS. GSP (ADCC 2005)
“My brother and I had the pleasure of training with Léo Santos when we first started. He was the number-one lightweight for a long time, and no one has a hook sweep quite like his. And flying armbars are beautiful; and without the gi then…”
5. RUBENS COBRINHA VS. MARCIO FEITOSA (2006 JIU-JITSU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP)
“An excellent match between two excellent fighters. That very year I won the Worlds at blue belt, and I got to watch Cobrinha compete. I already knew I’d face him in the years to come, I just never thought it would be so quickly. In 2006 I got my blue belt and he got his black; in 2008 I got my brown and then black. The lesson is that you have to keep your eyes on the kids coming up from other belts, because in a short while they’ll be your opponents.”
6. ANDRÉ GALVÃO VS. RODOLFO VIEIRA (ADCC TRYOUTS 2009)
André is without a doubt one of the best Jiu-Jitsu fighters of all times; he fights pretty, goes for the submission, is well rounded. But what I admire about him most, and which we can see in this match, is how he’s not afraid to go out on a limb. He’s daring in the moves he makes, and that makes the difference. In this match, he pulls guard on Rodolfo while sinking a Kimura and taking his back, a move that doesn’t just require training, it requires daring to risk doing that in the middle of a match between high-level opponents.”
7. RAMON LEMOS VS. RODRIGO FEIJÃO (COPA DO MUNDO 2006)
“Of the times I’ve seen my teacher, Ramon, competing, I think this is the match where I celebrated the most. Ramon always was good at this sweep to armbar. In training it’s way hard defending against it. I remember when we were blue belts and he’d make us repeat the position countless times. After this match, we practiced it knowing just how effective it is…”