There is one detail that I started implementing in my training around 2 or 3 years ago, that helped me a lot to improve my results in competitions. Honestly its not a technique detail, its more like a way of thinking and behaving during the rolls in the gym.
For a long time in my career, I always tried to roll with the objective of “winning” the roll. I never had a big ego that would stop me from trying new techniques because I was scared to lose, but I always had the goal of “winning the roll”.
Then in 2013 or 2014, I started training a little differently, instead of training to win the roll, I was training only to score points and get the submissions, without worry anymore if I would win the roll or not.
This made a huge difference in my training, because for example, before I when used to pass someone’s guard, I would stop in the side control, breath, try to establish the best side control I could and then I would start trying something, but always being super careful, because my goal was to win the roll. Then, since 2014, my mindset was different, I was just focused to score points and get submissions, without caring anymore if I would win that roll or not.
So the difference with my new mindset today is: that once I pass someone’s guard, I stay there for 3 seconds, to make sure that if it was a tournament I would score, and right away I try some new attack or the next move. By doing this, I’m always pushing myself a lot, and I’m never stopping, so I’m always working on new attacks, taking risks to lose good positions, and always moving my Jiu-Jitsu forward.
When its tournament time, I try to be much more calm with each good position, but the fact that I have been training with my new mindset, makes me feel much more aggressive and I have better timing on my attacks.
This was a game changer for me, because once I started doing this, I began to feel my Jiu-Jitsu was more aggressive and my submission percentage increased a lot in competition. I believe that it was the key for me to win double gold in 2015 World’s getting 6 submissions in 7 matches, and also double gold in the Pan-Ams 2016 getting 5 submissions in 5 matches.
My suggestion to everyone is, when you roll try to maintain control for only 3 seconds and then focused about progressing to the next position. Do not stall in any position for too long, stay just long enough to get your points (3 seconds) and then focusing on moving to the next position. Don’t worry if your opponent sweeps you, or escapes. Just concentrate on the next move and going for the submission.
This is one thing, that after training for a while with Marcelo, I realized he does. When he rolls with you, he wants to pass your guard, and he wants to score, but as soon as he establishes side control, he is already thinking about going to the north-south choke, or some armbar, or any other attack. When I see him in the tournaments I see that he is a little bit more calm, he doesn’t rush, but his timing gets so good training with this mindset, that any mistake you make, he will catch you right away, maybe with a guillotine, or any other attack.
I hope you guys have enjoyed it, and I also made a video talking about it, to make sure you get it.