Expectations, lessons, and goals of Rafa and Gui Mendes

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Guilherme and Rafael / Photo: Personal archives

Two brothers who have stood out ever since the intermediary belts, Rafael and Guilherme Mendes have already won all the most important competitions at black belt. The talk of fans and always candidates for titles, the Atos fighters sent GRACIEMAG.com the text below. Get to know a bit about the duo and find out why success is a constant with them.

“We’re kicking off the year 2011 and we’ll work really hard so that this year may be even better than the last, not just because of the wins, but because of our conquests and personal evolution.”

“We started practicing Jiu-Jitsu really young, when just 11 and 12 years old and, ever since, we’ve worked hard and dedicated ourselves to becoming great athletes. But we don’t just want to be victorious in the sport, we want to be victorious in our lives, on and off the mats.”

Interviewed in Japan / Photo: Personal archive

“We quickly learned that the principle of evolution is to get better with every second, every movement, so we can’t wait around to be better tomorrow or next month. We need constant evolution and this thought of always evolving keeps you from going soft, keeps you from relaxing, it makes you always improve.

“We know that for each objective to come true one needs a lot of dedication, and we’re willing. Although we are young, we’re focused and disciplined, and that provides us with a certain ease in dealing with the privations and suffering behind each victory. We know that each triumph, on or off the mat, each step forward is just a rung we climb in making it to the top of the ‘great wall.’

“We always expect a lot from ourselves, we demand a lot of ourselves. We do not allow room for mistakes, no matter how much mistakes teach us. We are extremely competitive and we believe that, even being ‘extreme,’ that is what makes us strong and lifts us up.

Seminars in Hawaii / Photo: Personal archives

“Accepting defeat or failure is another very hard one to deal with, we’re not the type to easily accept it, as we know how much we have trained all these years, the dimensions of our dedication and privation, and we always have the capacity to be on the rung above. When you accept defeat, and it stops being something awful or unable to chew, it becomes common in life. So, when it happens, we must reflect and work really hard, even more focused so that it does not happen again.

“Clearly defeat happens to everyone, it would be silly to think otherwise, but we always are at less risk of it if we did our work properly and if our desire to not lose – not be beaten by anyone, even by ourselves – is greater than our desire to win.

“When we made it to black belt, around two years ago, we knew all the hardships we would face. We knew we would need to be prepared for much greater challenges than we were used to and that the demands of us would be all the more intense. But knowing all that, we were ready, our training became all the rougher, our heads even more focused and our privations even greater. Today, thanks to our efforts and our God, we have won all the major tournaments the style has to offer. But that is not enough, at least not for us.

Brothers face off in World Pro final. Photo: Luca Atalla.

“We don’t just want to be two more champions among all the others out there, we want to make history, be examples for our victorious careers and lives. So we have a long ways to go, but we are very happy, as there are only two things we are sure of: having God in our hearts and lives makes a lot of difference, and the other is that we are on the right path.

“Best regards to all, we wish you all the best in 2011!

“We’d like to thank our sponsors for believing in us, our training partners for making us better with every day, and our family for the support. Thank you, God, for your blessings. Train hard, dedicated yourself to the max, and have a lot of faith!”

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