Brazilian national champion teaches that one opening is enough for the finish

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Raul Gomes Marcello at the top of the 2012 Brazilian No-Gi Natinoals podium / Personal archive photo 

A native of the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, won the roosterweight division at last weekend’s Brazilian No-Gi Nationals, and now the Gracie Humaitá black belt dreams of repeating the feat at the World No-Gi Championship that kicks off this Saturday in California.

Raul had the following chat with GRACIEMAG.com:

GRACIEMAG: What’s your assessment of your gold medal-winning showdown with Tiago Marques?

RAUL MARCELLO: It was a good performance but could have been better. First I managed to pass his guard and then mount. He did manage to replace half-guard but left an opening. From there I worked away until sinking the fight-winning rear-naked choke.

What opening was that?

He tried replacing guard by turning sideways. It’s just that he ended up conceding his back a bit, which was just the room I needed. I slid my knee in and sunk the choke.

All top athletes prescribe repetitions for gaining confidence and proficiency with the moves. How does that work in practice?

Through repetitions you assimilate the move to use when under pressure. It really helps me when at training with my coach, Admilson “Juquinha” Brites, and thus works all the time in competition. I have a diversified game, but my favorite positions I’m always repeating in training.

Now you’re raring to go for the Worlds, aren’t you? Who’s backing you for this next battle?

I owe a lot to my family, my girlfriend, my training partners and the crew in Florianopolis from Carlos Dorado’s team and Gracie Floripa.

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