Whether you are just a curious or a beginner white belt, or even a dedicated professional Black belt, the following tips apply to all. They are valid for any BJJ practioner who wishes to follow a healthy lifestyle but specially designed if you are preparing yourself for an upcoming competition. These tips and guidelines come straight from Lagarto’s own extensive experience as a professional BJJ competitor and teacher.
1. Planning ahead: your next 8 to 12 weeks
On the 2 to 3 months that precede your competition, you should have setup a training plan, adjusted for you. You need to work on your mental aspects, focusing and developing a muscular memory, which obviously will improve as you progress in your Jiu-Jitsu path. It is also very important to choose well your training partners, considering different aspects, e.g. one partner to work your physical strength or specific aspects of your game, other partner to work more your mental game or strategy. For the Lisbon European Open 2014, Lucio “Lagarto” trained hard for weeks with his good friend BJJ black belt Gabriel Kitober and also black belt instructor Lucio Sérgio dos Santos. Lagarto has been supported by one of the biggest and renown medical sports centre in the world, called Wingate.
2. Setup and commit to a training routine
It’s all about repetition and doing the extra mile. This is what differentiates a champion from the rest of the population. If you look at world champions at any sports, they usually have one thing in common: they have the ability of working further and harder than the rest. At this stage Lagarto focuses in specific drills, always taking an extreme care of what he eats. The quality of the food he takes and measuring the exact amount of calories of intake is paramount.
3. Boost your strengths, work hard on your “soft” aspects
Still related with the previous point. Lucio “Lagarto” focuses in boosting his strong aspects, both physically as technically, my means of explosion drills and high intensity training. Special focus and specific work on his “softer” skills and keeping in mind that this type of train will make him lose weight. Hence the important of controlling the calories spent and subsequent recovery. Balance and coordination are also on the top of his mind at this stage.
4. Approaching the date
At this stage, Lagarto’s training is more technical and more of endurance rather that explosion. The goal is that all the hard training done in the weeks before is ingrained into his mind as it turns second nature for him. He will do longer training sessions. flowing and focusing on cardio resistance. His mind now is empty and carefree, breathing and living competition.
5. The day of the competition
When the day of the competition comes, the adrenaline will be high. Lagarto will take time to meditate for some moments and take care with what he eats. Just before the competition starts, his sense of focus will help control the natural adrenaline that comes from any big competition. Lagarto’s senses will trigger and he will be looking forward for the first moment, the moment he steps into the Tatame. Show respect to his opponent and master, and the referee will give the go. At this point, only a few things count: Lagarto’s game plan, his training partners voices and his physical and mental preparation.
More about Lucio “Lagarto” in Gracie Barra Fulham website.