Make setbacks a weapon, like the beast who started on a Styrofoam mat

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Flyweight Michael William demonstrating a variation of the arm-triangle in Fortaleza / Photo: Junior Samurai/GRACIEMAG.com

If one quality Jiu-Jitsu provides its adept is not giving up, it sure fits Jiu-Jitsu black belt Michael William.

William, an MMA fighter, got his start in Jiu-Jitsu thanks to a social project in Santa Terezinha, a community on the outskirts of Recife, the capital of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. Shaped by the hands of Marcos Vinicius and Daigo Rodrigues, he learned his first moves while practicing on a mat made of Styrofoam covered in canvas.

“I didn’t even have a gi top. Nowadays, I feel my No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu skills come from that. I went two years only practicing submission grappling, without the means to buy a gi,” recalled Michael, who would later move to Fortaleza, where his opportunities to shine in MMA cropped up.

“I challenged Jussier Formiga for the Shooto Brazil title twice but came up short. But I won’t give up; I know my big break is coming,” he added confidently.

In the video below, Michael William demonstrates a variation on the arm triangle exclusively for GRACIEMAG.com readers. A tactful teacher, the diminutive fighter explains how you force the opponent to flip. And once in side-control, Michael capitalizes on a fatal mistake from the opponent, drops his arm and grabs the elbow for the finish.

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