Have you ever wondered how it is that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, BJJ Fanatics, world champions train so hard and perform so well, or what it is that helps them to focus on those 10 minute long Black Belt matches, where a single advantage can be the difference between a place on the podium or a long and depressing flight home?
Champions such as the Miyao Brothers and Marcelo Garcia train every day. They do multiple sessions per day and are constantly drilling and working their game plans. They have a singular focus on the techniques that make them a success, and they make the most of every training session. There are no shortcuts, and there are no “weird tricks” that will get you onto the podium at the IBJJF Worlds – or even the Europeans for that matter.
If you don’t believe this, you can see for yourself – Marcelo Garcia has an online video service where he teaches techniques, bjj takedown – you can subscribe and view techniques broken down by position, technique type, etc. You can even watch live streams of certain classes.
Caio Terra has a similar service, and many other champions allow people to come and train with them in their general classes or are quite vocal about how they train.
There are some champions that break the mold – Kit Dale has won a lot of titles throughout his career, and while some would call him a mid-tier competitor, his successes are those that someone training at a casual level could only ever dream of. He is vocal about how he “does not like to drill” – and this has caused a lot of controversies. Dale does not do the static drilling that so many white and blue belts do. Rather, he does a lot of positional sparring and active/resistive drilling, which he feels allows for a more realistic feel and develops the flow that you need to do well in BJJ in the competition.
Psychology is something that a lot of world champions place a huge amount of importance on. You cannot win a match if you are walking out onto the mats already expecting to lose. It is important that you try to develop a strong competitive mindset.
Look at the history of some of the higher level competitors and you will see that as they worked their way through the ranks they competed a lot. Even Kristian Woodmansee, an up and coming brown belt, has competed at smaller, local competitions in the last couple of years – every moment of mat time is important. Every chance that you get to test your skills against someone who is trying to win will make you a better competitor. The ‘wins’ in the gym don’t matter because they are wins against people who may have been focusing on a specific part of their game, or who were chilling out after a hard day. Competition is the only yardstick that really matters to someone who wants to win a title.