We were lucky to have interviewed Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues and asked him for five specific tips that will help understand Jiu-Jitsu and what can it do to improve our technique and lifestyle – considering you are an experienced or beginner practitioner. Check out Lucio’s great advice!
Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues is a high profile Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Among his great professional achievements in competition – a Gold medal and three bronze medals in the Mundials, two European gold and two Brazilian gold medals, as well as a bronze medal in the Emirates Super Cup black belt open weight division in Abu Dhabi – Lagarto has also become a renown BJJ professor, with special focus in the United Kingdom, where he heads the Gracie Barra Fulham academy.
As a person, for those of us who have the privilege of knowing him, Lagarto is down to earth, straight forward, fair, friend of his friend and always has a smile on his face – even when life is throwing curve balls at him.
1. BJJAdvice: Lucio, first of all, let me thank you for conceding us time for this interview. I’d like to start by asking you the most simplest of questions: what does Jiu-Jitsu mean to you? In what way does it influence you as a person and why would you recommend anyone to start doing it?
Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues: for me, Jiu-Jitsu is a way of life and the philosophy I follow. A healthy lifestyle is tied together to a balanced life and a healthy mind and body. As the saying goes, you can practice Jiu-Jitsu from 7 until 70!
2. BJJ Advice: Beyond one gold and three bronze medals in the Mundials, you also have several important titles, both in Europe as in Brazil and covering BJJ and MMA. From all your competition experience, what was the most difficult fight or opponent that you have ever faced?
Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues: I believe that my most difficult opponent is always myself. I also believe this is valid for anyone. A focused and strong mind will result in positive results, even if it is a matter of time. In what relates to names, every fight nowadays is a battle, the competition level is very high and every fighter wants to achieve an amazing level of professional standard. This is a big challenge for me as I need to balance my teaching and athlete careers!
3. BJJ Advice: Our blog is aimed to BJJ beginners but also to more advanced students that wish to revisit basic techniques. I remember you telling us in our classes that one that masters the details will prevail in a BJJ fight and, for that reason, many times we had blue belts or even brown belts watching the basic technique demonstrations. What are the most important aspects a white belt should take in consideration to be able to build a solid BJJ background?
Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues: Yes, that is true.. The difference between a perfect technique and a more or less applied technique is how well the details are mastered and also the number of repetitions put to it. I strongly believe that you achieve excellence by constant training. It’s better to know 2 techniques and have trained them 2000 times each than to know 2000 techniques and have only trained them a few times.
4. BJJ Advice: When someone decides to learn Jiu-Jitsu, as a white belt newcomer, it is often very hard at the beginning, almost frustrating. What advice would you give to a white belt so that he/she doesn’t quit, overcome adversities and keep a regular training attendance?
Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues: Take a look at yourself and ask yourself “what have I learnt today? Am I better and more knowledgeable today, comparing to yesterday?”. Tapping is part of the learning process and so is the frustration feeling, as long as you are able to turn that feeling into a daily will to learn and evolve in the art. Life itself is full of similar situations… Look at yourself and not the others.
BJJ Advice: Lucio, many thanks for your time and I hope to see you soon in the mat!
Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues: It was my pleasure. I wish you health and peace! You know I’m always hearing guys that started out at the same time as I did saying “Hey Lagarto, remember when we sparred and I submitted you? Remember that I was better than you?“. You can live your life saying “what if I hadn’t stopped training…?“. Some people are born to be the nails, others the hammer! Who do you want to be? It’s in your hands! Now get yourself in your Gi and go training! Ossssssss