Posts in Category: Caio Terra

5 basic rules of cross training for Jiu-Jitsu 

Does your teacher let you visit other academies?

POSTED BY DEB BLYTH

RESPECT, ETHICS, NO SECRETS, DISCIPLINE, and FRIENDSHIP—those are the five basic principles of   Brasa black belt Felipe Costa’s new, cutting-edge-training team sessions created for anyone from any team, but they have to meet one requirement. “We are uniting people from different teams to come train,” Felipe says, “But we all have one thing in common: we’re all under 160 pounds (73kgs).
 
Felipe got the idea for these training sessions because he’s always found it difficult to put together a group of higher belts who are light, like to train hard, and want to compete. “Whenever I get the chance to talk to my opponents at various competitions, we light guys always agree about how hard it is to only train with heavier training partners at our academies,” Felipe says, “So, I thought why not bring people together who share the same passion, but just happen to be from different teams? We can help each other get better. In the end, that’s what we all want, right?”
Jiu-Jitsu practitioners from Brasa, De La Riva Team, Soul Fighters, GFTeam, Nova Geracão, Carlson Gracie, Gracie Humaitá, and Brazilian Fight, to name a few, all attend Felipe’s training sessions. “We have about 40 people who come to train three times a week,” he says, “This is something unique to the world, so many top fighters under 73kgs from all over come to train. Cross-training between teams was something unimaginable when I started back in 1991, but things have changed and we all need to adapt. So, everyone is welcome, as long as we think alike.”

I thought why not bring people together who share the same passion, but just happen to be from different teams? We can help each other get better. In the end, that’s what we all want, right?

Thinking alike includes the five basic training principles. “Despite your rank or team, once you join our training team everyone is the same,” Felipe says, “It’s like making a new team, at least while inside the mats. No one is allowed to make fun of or put down another training partner. That’s respect. Everyone who comes to train is loyal to his own team, but also loyal to the training partners who are giving their best to help each other. So, to show ethics, we do not comment about our training to our teammates from our original team.”
Felipe also says they don’t hide or hold back techniques. There are no secrets on the mats. “We just want to get better, so the best way to do that is to share our knowledge,” he says. As far as discipline goes, everyone must arrive on time and only miss training in the case of something extreme. “It’s our way to show respect for our training partners’ time and effort to be there,” he says, “And lastly, without trust, there is no improvement. Despite our team flag, we are friends and there is no need to oppose each other. This is the biggest lesson we can teach the world.”

"...without trust, there is no improvement. Despite our team flag, we are friends and there is no need to oppose each other. This is the biggest lesson we can teach the world.”

Felipe leads the training sessions, but follows the recommendations of physical fitness trainer Itallo Vilardo. “He’s the best BJJ trainer I have ever had,” Felipe says, “We are lucky to have him leading us through the training. The results are amazing.”
So far, Felipe has enjoyed much success with his “little guy” training sessions. “I spoke to Ricardo de la Riva about the idea of this training, and he was the first one to say we could use the space in his academy to do it,” Felipe says, “He also joined us and gave us the honor of getting to roll with him a little. He deserves all the good things people say about him. He is a legend in the sport and we are all so honored to have the chance to be friends with him and have him roll with us and teach us in each session.”
 Caio Terra’s way
Felipe says, although this type of cross-training has not been accepted in the past, he and another famous small fighter , Caio Terra, are good friends and have trained together since Caio was a white belt. “The fact that Caio enters the open weight and gets great results is amazing and living proof that technique can overcome strength,” Felipe says, “He is no doubt the best rooster today. When Caio was still living in Rio, he used to invite people from different academies to train with him at his house, where he had mats laid out. I was often there and we helped each other get ready for many competitions. With all the traveling I do throughout the year, visiting many academies all over the world that defend different flags, I have learned that it doesn’t matter if someone fights for a different team than yours. In the end, if someone does BJJ, he shares the same passion as me, but he just happens to be on a different team. So what stops us from being friends and training together? The politics from the old generations aren’t holding up anymore; this new generation is stepping up and changing this.”
Felipe says his training is really making a difference in the life of small fighters because little guys have some major challenges they have to overcome as Jiu-Jitsu fighters. “The truth is the small guys suffer!” Felipe says, “But I think everyone agrees that the small guys who don’t give up usually become the most or close to the most technical guys in the academy. If I had to give advice to a new small Jiu-Jitsu guy today, I’d tell him to first learn how to defend himself, learn how to avoid injuries, understand the limits of your body, and then, once you pass that phase, you will be very good at the art!”