What happens if you're just no good at the thing you love? Felipe Costa loved jiu-jitsu, but his terrible results in competition would leave him demoralised and depressed. Instead of walking away he refused to quit, went back to the drawing board and became a world champion.
In this video, Felipe -- a member of the Brasa team and a roosterweight competitor (58kg) -- talks about the obstacles he had to overcome and the methods he used to rise to the top. He describes the sports psychology tricks he applied to win tournaments, and explains how he approaches his training as a smaller jiu-jitsu player. We also see some rolling footage from his 'light guys only' training sessions, get-togethers reserved for jiu-jitsu players under 73kg.
Film by Hywel Teague for BJJ Hacks
Highlights of the interview include:
00.02: "There is not one fight where it doesn't cross my mind that I already lost"
01.08: "Before my black belt I never won a gold medal in any major tournament"
01.48: "I started at 12, until I was 16 I never won a fight"
02.12: "It was a love-hate relationship with competition"
02.49: "My second year as a black belt I entered the world championship and won"
06.06: "The person who is small and doesn't give up... is going to become maybe the most technical player in the academy"
07.08: " I don't see many people my size on the street, so if somebody picks a fight with me I have to be ready against a bigger guy"
07.26: "If I'm not preparing to fight bigger guys... why should I train on a daily basis with bigger guys?"
07.40: "The safest thing is to fight people my size"
08.23: "I would fight with a guy with long legs, heavy. Then I would get in a tournament with a guy with short legs, faster and moves much better"
11.08: "For me it was about putting small goals to improve little by little"
11.18: "I was pretty technical in the academy. In the tournament, I sucked"
11.41: "Nowadays I would look to a professional for help"
11.59: "I would concentrate and think as if I was in the academy"
12.30: "If I was starting now and had the chance to look for a professional... I would not hesitate"
12.45: "These struggles... it's something that happens even today"
13.00: "I'm more technical today than I was yesterday... so how can my performance be worse?"
13.24: "Your mind is trying to make you do whatever is easier"
13.47: "You have to say 'I'm not giving up now'"
14.23: "When you don't put so much pressure on yourself, the results will come"