How to turn injury and pain into boosts for your BJJ, with Roberto Satoshi

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Roberto Satoshi poupando o braço direito no Grand Slam de Tóquio. Foto: Ane Nunes/Gentle Art Media

Roberto Satoshi sparing his left arm at the Tokyo Grand Slam. Ane Nunes/Gentle Art Media

A Brazilian black-belt raised in Japan, Roberto Satoshi moved his fans in June during the BJJ Worlds when he lost his final to Lucas Lepri without fighting. With a dislocated left shoulder and in tears, the lightweight had to abandon the contest and the dream of a first world title.

But in July 15 — just a month and ten days later –Satoshi triumphed at the Tokyo Grand Slam before his students. What lessons did he get out of such trajectory?, you might ask. Lucky for you, Graciemag talked to Satoshi to find out.

“I’m still feeling the shoulder,” said the Bonsai JJ representative, “but soon I’ll be recovered. The lesson that remains is that injury in high-performance sports is normal — it’s part of our life on the mats. I’ve trained BJJ since I was five, and often I’ve felt something. But I never let that shake me, much less thought about quitting training.”

He added: “In reality, in the long term the injuries have only helped me not have a limited game. Every time I got injured, I was forced to change up the technique or switch the side I was going to make a move on. Don’t forget: got a bad knee? Do a half-guard session. Got a bad left arm, like I had? Play guard to the right. What’s important is not to stay out of the gym too long, which will undermine body and mind.”

You can watch Satoshi’s final versus Tiago Bravo right here.

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