Posts in Category: Academia

Is youtube techniques making your game better or worse in BJJ? 

Felipe Costa explain it all



Professor Felipe Costa Is About To Take You To School

fc1In today’s world of technology and social media, martial arts are not spared from the good and bad that comes along with the phenomenon. No one knows this better than Black Belt World Champion and ambassador for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Felipe Costa. He has used the Internet and technology to increase the cohesion among practitioners of the sport as well as his own team. Check out what he has to say about being a Black Belt on the mat and on the keyboard!

MMW: Before technology and Internet became so big how did people training martial arts increase their knowledge when they weren’t at the dojo or gym?

FC: Going to tournaments was the only way to see what techniques the other fighters were doing, it wasn’t a common thing to have people filming the fights, and even when someone did it was not available for everyone to see. Since most of the techniques we would learn was inside the academy, we often would work specific techniques, such as the basics, over and over. I think that solid base helped me to have a better understanding of the game today and makes it easier for me to add something new to it.

MMW: How has the increase in technology impacted the martial arts? What do you think is the biggest pro and what is the biggest negative?

FC:The impact was tremendous, the techniques were kept as secrets among teams, I guess that was the reason why a student who would visit another academy was considered a traitor, because the team would see it as a danger for him to show what details were being used in his academy. Also when someone from outside would visit they would have to face the best guys available at the academy the moment of the visit.

That is also the original reason for team mates not fighting in the final of the tournaments, why would they “show” their secrets to everyone if they could decide this in close doors?

I guess the pro of technology is that this slowly is reducing. People are not afraid to share the knowledge anymore, this information can reach more places and much faster than if this technology wasn’t there.

The negative side is that some people are trying to “run” before they even know how to “walk”. Having access to many fights, techniques and drills is great, but a beginner still needs someone to lead him and decide what is the best time to learn this or that technique.

MMW: Do you think online learning such as, Gracie University, Mendes Bros, or MGInAction, are good ways to learn BJJ?

FC: I believe it is good. Of course nothing is better than having an academy, with a good black belt to lead you on a daily bases and direct your training, but we can not forget, many people in the world don’t have this available.

I also have my online training program at My initial idea was to have a way to be closer to my associates and help them to improve answering specific questions they have and leading them to learn what they NEED based on the level they are right now, not just to post a million techniques, there is a big difference. They need to know the technique, meaning that they have seen it before and know how to apply the technique.

I’m not interested in having my student learn a million of techniques, but not being able to apply them. I want them to know only what they can use. This is why my online training is working amazingly.

I invite the readers to take a look now, please use the Promo-code:MIXEDMARTIALWORLD to have access to what I’m talking about and see for your self. Feedback is welcomed!

MMW: What is your opinion on the newer generation of martial artists learning a lot on YouTube?

FC: Having YouTube to see the fights, see techniques and everything else that is available there is awesome! The problem I see with YouTube is that there is no direction. YouTube doesn’t tell you what is best for you at the level you are right now.

It’s like you’ve been in the ocean with a little hook trying to catch a shark…you need to listen to your instructor when he tells you “Look, at the moment, with the hook you have you can’t catch a shark, start with a tuna”. Let’s translate that to BJJ: You are a white belt trying to learn Berimbolo. So you need someone to tell you “Berimbolo is not the best for you right now, start with the De La Riva outside hook” Understand what I mean? YouTube is not bad, what is bad is how it’s being used.

MMW: How have you used technology for business? Teaching? Learning?

FC: I travel 6 months out of the year teaching BJJ and that makes it nearly impossible to have my own academy in my home town in Rio. The online ACADEMIA was the solution I found and my students love it. We exchange information daily and the BJJ level is going up much faster

MMW: How has social media like Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram increased martial arts accessibility in your opinion? Has it primarily been positive or do you think it has impacted the roots of these arts in a negative way?

FC: The social medias makes everyone closer and this is a very good thing, but just as it makes the one’s away from you feel closer it can make the one’s close to you feel distant. It’s something new and we still need to learn the best way to use it. Sometimes people are more worried about how the picture will come out so they can share it, than actually enjoying the moment.

MMW: Do you think if you had access to all the resources online that young athletes have now would your fighting career have gone differently? If so why and how?

FC: Impossible to know for sure, but makes me wonder as well. But I think it would have helped me since I get the impression that many people are being helped with this information.

It was so rare to have access to fighter’s info and opinions, and now we can have all this in the palm of our hands. I enjoy seeing where this is going I hope a good direction, so far I like it.

MMW: Anything else you would like to bring up?

FC: I would like to invite everyone to join our BJJ CAMP that will take place in Cancun next August 31st. I will be teaching along with Black Belt World Champions Comprido and Caio Terra.

This camp is a perfect mix of BJJ and vacation, it’s a very familiar atmosphere and we are already taking reservations, please take a moment to look at more info here:

What kind of Jiu Jitsu advice would you expect from some one who have conquer the Black Belt World title? 

what to expect from your intructors, how to avoid some pitfalls in training, advice to lighter competitors and much more

Our friends from BJJ Today have just recently posted an interview with Felipe Costa where he shares some advices on what to expect from your intructors, how to avoid some pitfalls in training, advice to lighter competitors and much more. Take a moment and check it out! 

Training Advice From A World Champion

It’s not every day that you will get some awesome and useful direct training advice from a Black Belt World Champion. But today is that day.

We’ve been able to secure an interview from Felipe Costa who is a renown Black Belt World Champion and a top level competitor when it comes to tournaments around the world. It wasn’t always this way though. In fact, he lost every single match he had in competition during his first three years of competing. But, he is now well known for being the first to medal at the worlds at Black Belt without having previously medalling ever before. So how did he turn it all around? You find out how in the interview below.

You will also get s bundle of tips from Felipe based on a series of questions we’ve asked him to help out with which is directly related to improving your training and BJJ game. There are some real nuggets of wisdom in this interview so enjoy and pick up a tip or two.

Training Advice From A World Champion

BJJ Today:  Felipe, you have one of the most inspirational success stories in the world of BJJ, if not in the world of sports in general, would you tell us about your journey?

Felipe Costa: What is surprising for most people who see the results I have achieved as a black belt is the fact that I’m the only Black Belt World Champion that never won an IBJJF tournament before reaching my black belt. I also lost ALL my fights for several years before ever wining a match. No one at the time could believe that someone with this record could end up conquering gold medals in the most important IBJJF tournaments. This is why I made this documentary about my path in BJJ.  I hope a lot of people get the chance to see and share with friends…

BJJ Today: What are the most important factors that are involved in becoming a champion and why?

Felipe Costa: I don’t think I have any secret to reveal here, it’s discipline, commitment, passion and never giving up. Making smaller goals toward your main dream is also important and help you keep motivated as you strive towards your main goal. I see a lot of people who say they want to become champion, but they don’t want to make the effort to get there.  It is like if they wanted to wake up one day and be the best without going through all the hard work, pain and dedication to get there. Those will never be the best.

BJJ Today: What advice would you give to those who are on the threshold of giving up?

Felipe Costa: Answer this question: Is that what you want the most for you? If so, and you give up, you will never know how far you could go or what you might be able to achieve.

In my opinion, you don’t have to be the best in the world; you have to be the best you can be. If that is enough to reach the top, awesome! If not, at least go as far as you can!

BJJ Today: You have spoken in the past about the going-into-battle mindset for competition as being far removed from your own mindset as you prepare for and enter into competitions. Would you tell us a bit about your mindset? What difference does it make?

Felipe Costa: I understand each person is different and what works for me, doesn’t mean that will work for you. Some people need to be aggressive before a fight, others need to be relaxed or even the fear of losing my help someone with big ego to win.

For me, what I have noticed that works is simulating my training environment because there is no other place that I enjoy more in BJJ than training with friends and team mates. That is why I say I try to have fun. You will see me many times with a smile on my face right before shaking hands to start a fight…I mean no disrespect to my opponent, its just how I feel most of the times.

Of course it took me years to figure out that was the ideal mindset for me, and I wouldn’t even be surprised if my own mindset changes over time. What is important is that each person try and decide what works for them.

BJJ Today: What are some of the pitfalls that we need to avoid when training?

Felipe Costa: Believing that you are getting worse or not progressing.  I find that hard to believe in BJJ. In my understanding we are always making progress, sometimes more, others less. People have a tendency to judge their progress based on the rolling experience they have with teammates or even in competitions, but it may be true that your teammates are learning faster than you for whatever reason, not that you are getting worse or stopping your progress.

That are moments when you feel that you are not progressing or that you are getting worse, just as there are moments where you think you are getting better than everyone. Do yourself a favor and ignore those two moments of you BJJ career, they are both pitfalls and paying too much attention to them will truly damage your path of progress in the sport.

BJJ Today: As a successful teacher of BJJ as well, what is your philosophy or approach when it comes to training others?

Felipe Costa: I try not to force the ones I teach to have same BJJ style as myself. I look for the technique that best fits the student body type, and I try my best to teach or adapt the techniques I use for them. A solid understanding of the concepts will allow them to think and decide for themselves, and this is what I try to give them.

BJJ Today: What should students of BJJ expect of/from their instructors?

Felipe Costa: They should expect the instructor to ensure a safe and fun environment where they train, a class where you can trust your training partners, and instructor(s) who are themselves willing to learn and willing to teach students according to their individual needs.

Your instructor should pay attention to your needs and be open to your approach when you request attention to any problem you have been having.

I believe a combination of that will give anyone an opportunity to grow and progress in their games.

BJJ Today: Shifting gears now a bit, it seems that while champions are always well-rounded in their game, they also have more or less signature styles or approaches given their own body types and personalities. How would you describe your game?

Felipe Costa: I agree.  I see my self as a person with a game that requires the least waste of energy possible and I look for techniques where I can balance, base, timing and leverage in a way that I can save my strength and cardio for crucial moments of my fight or training session.

BJJ Today: As a smaller, lighter practitioner, what advice would you give our smaller, lighter readers?

Felipe Costa: As I said before, hang in there and you will become one of the most technical guy in your academy.  Some times it will not be easy, but what is? Just make sure to have as much fun as possible in that process.   In the end, that is all that matters.

BJJ Today: As one who has this down pretty darn well, what specific detail advice could you give us about taking the back and controlling and submitting from there?

Felipe Costa: I believe the key is on the control of the opponent’s hip, just like in many other situations.  I have put up a course on my site where I explain many details about it.  Please feel free to take a look:

Registration is free and you can have access to that information using this CODE: BBBFREETRIAL.  Please give me a feedback after you see it so I can know your opinion.

BJJ Today: Any other tidbits of technical BJJ wisdom you might be willing to impart?

Felipe Costa: I really have a lot of pleasure talking about BJJ techniques and would love to have some of the readers contacting me so we can exchange information.  My site is

BJJ Today: What is your vision for Brasa team in the future?

Felipe Costa: Brasa team’s goal is to keep growing, but not at any cost.  We want to have growth with quality, where everyone who is part of it is happy and improving.

BJJ Today: Tell us a bit about the BJJ CAMP you, Comprido and Caio Terra are hosting this year in Cancun, Mexico.

Felipe Costa: Yes, this will be a very exciting CAMP, perfect for BJJ practitioners and their families who are serious about Jiu-Jitsu but also want to have fun and experience the lifestyle of this sport. It starts AUGUST 31st and we are already taking reservations. The black belts teaching will be Comprido, Caio Terra and myself. I’m very much looking forward to this opportunity to be there again in Cancun.   You can learn more about it and register at

BJJ Today: Thanks so much Felipe!

Felipe Costa: My pleasure.

And we have some great news for everyone as well. As you may already be aware from our Facebook page (here), BJJ Today is in the process of developing a number of eBooks that will feature information and advice from various World Champions on topics and techniques that will help improve your game. The eBooks are being developed at present and it’s quite a mammoth task but we’ve been able to secure Felipe Costa as one of the contributors to one of the eBooks.

So just giving everyone a heads up on the eBooks and once they are complete, we’ll be giving quite a few away so stay tuned for that.

In the mean time, if this training advice from a world champion has been useful, please help us share this knowledge with other practitioners by clicking SHARE above left.

May 08, 2013 Categories: Academia BJJ Felipe Costa Jiu Jitsu Camp