Vinicius Marinho: “I was surprised by my own performance”

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Vinicius Marinho on top of Murilo Santana in the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals middleweight final / Photo by Gustavo Aragão/

Starting with the very first training session, Jiu-Jitsu teaches us to pursue the inner calm needed to assess the best exit route. The black belt Vinicius Marinho, an experienced athlete, is living proof of how emotional balance and collectedness are integral parts of any practitioner’s journey.

According to the GFTeam athlete, self-control was, once again, the main ingredient involved in his winning the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals last weekend in Rio de Janeiro.

“This time I was less impatient during the matches. I tried attacking without leaving openings, always thinking about what my opponent would do and seeking to defend with a quick attack,” the middleweight champion told, referring to the final against the stalwart Murilo Santana. “The trick to becoming champion is the same as always: do your repetitions. Is doing the same position a hundred times boring? Yes, but it’s necessary if you want to get better at it and use it in variations.”

Vinicius stated that the victory makes up for any tiresome training:

“It’s an excellent feeling to win the Brazilian No-Gi National Championship. Though I am quite an optimist, this time I was surprised by my own performance. I had three matches against really tough athletes, and the final was against the monster Murilo Santana. I went into all my matches focused, managed to push the pace, and made as few mistakes as possible,” added the black belt, who laid out what he did to get the finish in his first match.

“In my first match, I managed a good submission. I shot for a single-leg on my opponent, he tried kicking his leg free, and I capitalized by body-clinching him from behind. I took him down, passed a hand across his neck and secured the lock. Lastly I stuck in my hooks and squeezed out the traditional rear-naked choke,” he explained.

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