Remastered: 16 lessons from the 2011 Worlds

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[Adapted from an article published in issue No. 172 of Graciemag, in 2011.]

1. Gilbert Durinho’s lesson

After coming close so many times, the Atos lightweight beat one of the toughest fields in World Championship history. The lesson: Don’t give up if your goal has been eluding you. It is those tries, which people mistakenly call frustrations, that will make you achieve more than a simple goal, but your lifelong dream.

2. Kron and Tanquinho’s lesson

The two finalists (at lightweight and featherweight) moved down in weight to reach their best results to date. Endeavor to find out whether your results are being held back by a lack of dieting — or even just a little sauna before a tournament.

3. Gabrielle Garcia’s lesson

Once, after beating ultra-heavyweight Luiz Felipe Big Mac, Alexandre Souza said, “You don’t take down a big mountain; you climb it.” If you are an opponent of Gabi Garcia who currently can’t beat her, then practice and study more. Adopting the rude strategy of dissing the absolute champion is typical of those who have gotten the jiu-jitsu spirit all wrong. Great opponents can shape our character and our game.

4. Lesson from Tyler Brey

In Long Beach, the blue-belt from Infinite Jiu-Jitsu proved that you don’t need a black belt to thrill a crowd. His legs rendered useless by a congenital spinal defect, Tyler parked his wheelchair at ringside and dove on in. “If you limit yourself, you’ll never get anywhere,” said the fresh-faced Californian. “I don’t have it all, but God gave me what I need to do what I want.” Stop whining about the difficulties and ask yourself how you can make a difference.

Tyler Brey, numa das grandes cenas do Mundial 2011 da IBJJF. Fotos: Ivan Trindade.

Tyler Brey, in one of the most memorable moments from the 2011 IBJJF World Championship. Dan Rod/GRACIEMAG

5. Lesson from Angélica Galvão

André’s wife took five years off from training to take care of her daughter. Even after so much time on the sidelines, she came back and became purple belt world champion. Find inspiration in her accomplishment; keep in shape and get back to training tomorrow, regardless of your reasons for having put Jiu-Jitsu on hold in the first place.

6. Lesson from Braga Neto

The Roberto Gordo pupil won the world championship in 2008, after which he had a run of poor results until capturing his second title, this year in California. Persist, keep training and believing; after all, storms and fair weather are a normal part of any journey.

7. Lessons from the Mendes brothers

The first brothers crowned black-belt world champions in the same year, they started out together and made it to the top together. Invite the ones you love to train with you. Jiu-Jitsu only strengthens the bonds – and helps with your objectives.

8. Lesson from Pé de Pano

Early in 2011, Márcio Cruz told he would be making his return and pursuing a medal at the Worlds. Keeping his word, the black-belt commonly known as Pé de Pano only hit a wall in an evenly matched semifinal with Cavaca. If you truly believe the promises you make, state them, share them with friends and even rivals. Hold yourself to them and make ’em happen.

9. Lesson from Hannette Quadros

Dare. If the move being offered by your opponent is a flying armbar, go for it, and rush to the crowd to celebrate.

10. Lesson from Letícia Ribeiro

Letícia said her student Bia Mesquita is the reason she can’t quit competing. Iron forges iron; steel shapes steel. Teach your training partners everything you know so you’ll continue to evolve – and win alongside them.

11. Lesson from Léo Nogueira

Winning the absolute gold medal at the Brazilian Nationals a few weeks prior was key in his success at the Worlds. Hiding your game may be effective, but testing it against the best is far more productive. Be prepared to face challenges the moment they surface.

12. Lesson from Cris Cyborg and Ben Henderson

Jiu-Jitsu may not be your only concern in life, but it should be top of the list of the less important ones. Train, test yourself at all times, and you may just nab a bronze medal to show your friends at the UFC like Ben did, or a gold medal to show off around Strikeforce like Cris did.

13. Lesson from Marcelo Garcia

Be wary of beaten old precepts like “It’s easy to make it to the top; what’s hard is staying there.” Plenty of superstars toiled doggedly in the lower belt divisions, facing all the challenges they could handle, stomped on their egos, and today they seem to win on autopilot. That’s the case of Marcelinho, who took on all the absolute had to offer at brown belt, developed an unbeatable game, and is now five-time middleweight world champion.

14. Lesson from Alexander Trans

So what if what you’ve been doing is hardly acknowledged in your country or not ackowledged at all? Fight, hone your skills, and strive to be the best in your country at what you do. In time you may, for example, come from Denmark to become champion of the world in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu…

15. Lesson from Luanna Alzuguir

Cracked rib in the heat of battle? Well, then. Get a quick finish, grab your gold medal, and go get it taken care of happier and more fulfilled.

16. Lesson from Rodolfo Vieira

Don’t let titles or glory change the way you see the world and do things. A short tale from Graciemag’s World Championship Blog illustrates it. On day 1 at the Worlds, Rodolfo got in a lengthy line like everyone else to collect the IBJJF T-shirt and copy of GRACIEMAG to which all 2,300 athletes signed up were entitled. Getting near his turn, Rodolfo stuck a hand in his pocket and realized he didn’t have his IBJJF ID, promptly leaving the line and telling a friend: “Shoot, I didn’t bring my card; I’ll come back tomorrow. There’s no way to prove I’m signed up for the Worlds.”

“What are you talking about, you nut?” his friend replied. “You’re on the cover of the magazine you’re about to pick up. Everybody knows you are you.”

Even so, Rodolfo stuck to the rules and left, returning the next day to pick up his magazine and T-shirt, happy as a lark.



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