Gregor Gracie is one of the most accomplished modern Gracie competitors, with matches and wins in Polaris, ADCC and much more, he has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to training Jiu-Jitsu. Here are his 10 times to help you evolve you Jiu-Jitsu game quickly!
Train with Discipline
This is the first and main factor because without it you can’t get anywhere. Many successful people and athletes believe in different methods of training, diet, style, but no one has ever reached the top without being disciplined. For the path of the practitioner, there will always appear barriers, doubts, disappointments. It’s a long journey, but many have already travelled it, and it has always been long for everyone. With discipline, you will get there.
Believe in Yourself
The psychological part is crucial for the athlete, especially in an individual and contact sport. No matter who or where you fight, believe in yourself. Learn from the lessons of those who fought there before you, whether personally, in films, books or documentaries. I recently read coach Bernardinho’s volleyball book, “Transforming sweat into gold”. I like to take notes on interesting passages, and from time to time I reread it to keep myself motivated.
Train with Everyone
“You can improve on Jiu-Jitsu by rolling with everyone, from white to black. When training with a lower-ranked guy, try to apply a new position, or let the opponent attempt a finish and try to escape. Another effective way to train is to set a goal, for example, I will only finish in the triangle. Create difficulties and improve daily”.
Test Yourself in Other Styles
I always liked to train other fights, mainly judo and wrestling. New abilities always help the fighter and even though it is not a specific position, at least your base will improve a lot. Get out of your comfort zone and be more demanding, mentally and physically. In the end, this will allow you to become a more complete fighter.
Strength Training is Important
I’ve always hated working out, but I’ve learned the worst way that training is vital: by hurting myself several times. Even if you don’t think about getting strong, working out is important to prevent injuries and to recover more quickly from one workout to another.
Be Aware of the Body
Every athlete depends on the body to work, so take good care of it, with diet and rest. I have always had a good and healthy diet, with at least one fruit meal a day and a minimum eight-hour night’s sleep. When you are young you can sleep for two hours, which the next day is zero, ready to train five hours if necessary. However, as one gets older, the lack of rest weighs heavily. If you want to train harder and enjoy Jiu-Jitsu until you get old, save your energy and rest well.
You can be Your Best Teacher
As you train, try to think about what’s happening. Why couldn’t you defend that position? Why did the guy surprise you? So the next time you find yourself in the same position, you can try something else, a new detail. You may not be able to avoid the submission the next time, it may take a hundred times, but every hundred times you have to try something new, until you fix the defence.
‘Victory has many fathers, defeat is an orphan’
The competition is the result of their training and dedication, but not always the best wins and the worst loses. I have won fights that I should have lost, and I lost when I should have won. The big mistake is to think that everything is wrong to lose and want to change the training entirely. It is necessary to analyze calmly what you want to change, because many times it’s enough to keep trying. Another mistake is the guy being a champion and thinking that now it’s all about keeping, without overcoming any more. Analyse your training with wisdom, winning and losing.
Have a Game Plan
The fighter should have a game and a fighting strategy, but should not limit himself to that game alone. Jiu-Jitsu is infinite! Try to be complete, playing from the top, from the bottom, practising various types of guard and attacking in various ways. If you’ve been through that before, you’ll feel comfortable when it happens again.
Seek Help in Class
Since I was a teenager I helped with the kids’ training, and that was until I started teaching here at Renzo’s academy in New York. That made me a more technical fighter, because many times I would show a position and a student would ask why the footprint was here or there. It made me think about the position and the answer. And then I went from just knowing the position to understanding the position and Jiu-Jitsu.