An athlete knows that, besides your body, you must have your mind in peace, calm and without internal conflicts in order to be 100% focused on your competition. Muscles are like ‘propellers’ to our physical strength, but being strong without being trained is useless. Likewise, competing when you are not in peace with yourself and with your own conscious never brings the best results.
The name of our section ‘Taking Care of your mind is Jiu-Jitsu’ literally refers to the famous phrase: “Sit mens sana in corpore sano” (or ‘A sound mind is a sound body’). The great athletes learn everyday how to deal with their psychological conflicts. Fighters are just like any other person who also have to face some combats outside the mats.
Sometimes, when we have such problems, it seems the world is conspiring against ourselves, isn’t it? A flu or cold comes up, you get hurt, everything happens at that point. And this is when you get to be very, but very strong to not let be discouraged.
315 days before a competition, Lúcio Fernandes (the “Charly Brown”), 2nd degree black belt and responsible for GB Paraíba school in Brazil, had to face all of these problem and something more. Actually, 2kg more to get rid of. The problem was that, in that point, the scale won the battle and made Lúcio to compete in a category above that one he was used to. “In that higher category, fighting in the ‘heavyweight’ I learned some lessons that I will always take with me, for the life”, said Lúcio. But before we know more about what Lucio did learn in that opportunity, let’s remind some characteristics that comprise the routine of those athletes who are also school leaders.
Teaching classes, administrating the school, holding meeting with instructors, being always aware about championships, training, working out… Wow! Well, this is not an easy routine at all. Besides all that, they have other concerns outside the mats. So, this is exactly like Charly Brown’s routine seems, as himself said: “I have such a hectic everyday pace, among classes and trainings. I do not like to work out and neither have time for that. But I got to review this point. Besides, I was not very well with my mind. Even so, I got to the final of the championship. I got the second place in the heavyweight category.”
After reflecting about his previous fights and taking his mind back to the right place, this black belt guy from GB Paraíba, went to the Absolute Division. The open weight category where anyone can fight against anyone, where ‘the sky is the limit’. “I enrolled myself in the absolute division with another vision. I realized that my strategy against the heavyweight competitors was wrong.” stated Charly Brown. He got into the mats once again. At this time, his problems was left behind and the mistakes were fixed. And the result of such change? South-Brazilian 2014 Champion in the Absolute Division.
Among all the experiences a black belt may acquire, Lucio certainly learned another one, as himself said: “Jiu-Jitsu is very important to my life. All the lessons I learned with the gentle art were always taught during the competitions. Even after a long time competing, I still learn new things every time. At the beginning, I would ask myself what would be the secret. I tried everything. Working out, exaggerated training and functional CrossFit. But now I know that the most important is training your mind. After all, when I have my mind calm, I can achieve a great performance in my trainings and in the high-level competitions.
This episode in Charly’s life is a great example to everyone. As everything in our lives, we must keep the focus and put aside any factor that could deviate ourselves from our right way. If you still did not get the idea, let’s see what he absorbed from that competition: “When I get inside the mat it is like if a ‘start’ button had been pressed. I put myself away from anything outside there. Never forget to train your mind. Leave it even stronger than your muscles. Oss!” Said this guy from Paraíba, Brazil.
That’s an advice from someone who knows what he says. If you are facing anything somehow similar, calm down and reorganize your thoughts. We have an everyday fight inside and outside the mats. Learning from those ‘life fights’ is part of our trainings.
Look out in the videos below one of Lúcio’s fights during the South-Brazilian competition.