The next European Jiu-Jitsu Championship, in Lisbon, Portugal, will be one rocking party. Besides the glory of being champion, the winners will automatically gain millions of fans in Brazil, since the event will be broadcast on television on the “Sensei Sportv” program.
The January 26-29 championship will gather a constellation of stars, like Bernardo Faria, Leonardo Nogueira, Jonathan Torres, Bruno Frazatto, Otavio Sousa, Carlos Esquisito, Rodrigo Simões, Francelio da Costa and Yuri Simões, as well as masters-class competitors Rodrigo Munduruca, Jared Weiner, Lúcio Charly Brown and Francelino Gonçalves.
GRACIEMAG.com had a word with some of them and asked what they learned while training over the holidays and what tactics they use in competition. Here’s what they had to say:
SELF-KNOWLEDGE, GAS AND JIU-JITSU
1) “One of the greatest secrets is to learn to train tired. Training when you’re fresh is easy; what’s hard is to see how your body and head respond when you’re panting” Léo Nogueira (Alliance)
2) “My strategy for the European Open was to train in every possible situation. I play guard, defense, on top, standing, submission attacks—all aspects of Jiu-Jitsu” Léo Nogueira
3) “My tactics for championships are always the same: go for it. The respect and admiration I have for my opponents stays on the sidelines when I’m in the match area. When I’m in there things get rough. That’s the way I’ve been competing since I was a blue belt, and it’s been working” Yuri Simões (CheckMat)
4) “When competing, I feel athletes should have their game well defined, so when they step into the match area they know exactly what they intend to do” Francelino Gonçalves (Nova União)
5) “Don’t skip studying the rules, so when you get there they’re fresh in your head and can be used in your favor” Francelino Gonçalves
6) “Being well prepared physically is an obvious one for anyone wanting to compete at a high level. But I suggest you test yourself a lot to get to know your capacity, how far your gas tank will take you. If you know when it’s right to step on the gas, you’ll be more confident in your moves. Another tip is to ask yourself, ‘Is this really what you want?’ If it is, then be prepared” Francelino Gonçalves
What about you, dear reader? Will you be at the IBJJF European Championship? Let us know what you’ve learned during your preparations, in the comments field below.