At just 19 years of age, João Marcelo is a brown-belt and has a collection full of important medals. After earning two consecutive world titles in the 2021 season, the GFTeam athlete is still preparing to step on the mat with his new belt.
His training is being conducted by his father, Marcelo, in Nolensville, U.S. with the team RMA. Jonny “Big Boy,” who has an intense routine between BJJ training, physical preparation and college, opened up about the experience of being able to train in new situations. Now he’s allowed to finish opponents from the waist down, on the knees and feet.
“The biggest difference in the training as a brown-belt, definitely, are the leg attacks,” he said in a recent interview. “During my career in the purple belt, I executed the straight foot lock well, and now I’ve added shortcuts to the leg lock and the toe hold… I believe it can turn out to be an enormous difference. I’m adapting pretty fast.”
João’s first competition should be before the Pan, which is slated to take place in April in California. Is João the kind of fighter that follows his opponents’ every move? He had this to say on the matter:
“I don’t really like studying my opponents. When I do that, I get very anxious, so it’s something I prefer not to do. I just give it my best and let it flow. My game is sharper now. I play on top and also on the bottom. I’ve been working on some different guards to be able to attack more and also to have some variety in my game.”
To learn more about Jonny Big Boy’s routine, click here.