Posts in Category: Felipe Costa

15 meses después de romper mi ligamento cruzado 

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15 meses después de romper mi ligamento cruzado

 

De chico, competir era lo normal, por lo menos dentro de mi grupo, eso era lo que hacíamos.
 
No existían grandes pretensiones al respecto, no había sueños de conquistar la fama más allá de un apretón de manos con aquel compañero de entrenamiento, de playa, o de calle que admirábamos mucho o a quien le teníamos mucho respeto en el colegio. No teníamos ese sueño de vivir del Jiu Jitsu, ni de recorrer el mundo gracias a eso, de que nos pidan permiso para tomarse una foto con nosotros en la calle, o en los eventos de la modalidad. También no existía, ni en el más distante de los pensamientos, siquiera soñando despierto se nos cruzaba la idea de pensar que alguien viajaría desde el otro lado del mundo para conocernos o nos invitaría a su país con el mismo fin. 

Competíamos porque entrenábamos, y entrenábamos porque competíamos.

Había quienes parecían haber nacido para competir, con excelentes resultados; estaban aquellos que demostraban nervios antes de entrar a luchar pero a la hora sabían qué hacer, y luego estaba yo: aterrado a la hora de la lucha, y siempre obteniendo pésimos resultados.
Según mi punto de vista, de mi grupo, yo era el único así. Ahora, en retrospectiva, tengo la seguridad de que no era tan así. Yo era el único de los que obteníamos malos resultados, a quien no le importaba perder, e inclusive después de cada derrota, seguía intentando, incasablemente. No tengo la menor sombra de duda de que el hecho de poder lidiar tan bien con mis derrotas me ha tornado en un gran vencedor. 

Pequeño detalle, en esa época, recuerdo mi profesor (a quien admiraba profundamente) siempre diciendo que él competía para servir de ejemplo.
En esa época me parecía muy honorable de su parte, pero hoy, su frase me toca aún más profundo

Recientemente unos alumnos se pronunciaron interesados en competir, entonces, aunque no estuviese entrenando propiamente para eso, me inscribí en el campeonato con la intención de servir de ejemplo. Por circunstancias más allá de mi control, mis alumnos desistieron de competir pero mi nombre ya estaba en la planilla, entonces porque no asistir igual? Llegue a pensar que no tenía mucho sentido, pero si a fin de cuentas, competir es lo que hago, porque no hacerlo una vez más?

Termino siendo una mala decisión. En la final, cuando iba venciendo y a un minuto de terminar la lucha, mi adversario torció mi rodilla ocasionando una severa lesión que me obligó a parar inmediatamente. Ahí fue cuando me di cuenta que esta lesión no era como ninguna otra, esta era severa. 
Poco tiempo después mis sospechas se confirmaron, había sufrido una lesión de ligamento cruzado (LCA) y lesiones en el menisco. Ambas lesiones que me dejarían seis meses sin entrenar y aproximadamente demoraría un año en cicatrizar por completo

Prepararse psicológicamente para una recuperación como esa es tarea para pocos. Casi tocando los 40, la motivación no es la misma que la de un joven, entonces mi mente se puso en piloto automático, intentando no pensar, sino hacer. Cumplía mis tareas diarias buscando recuperarme, un día después del otro, sin dejar que la pereza me gane, sin faltas, sin atrasos, como lo he hecho durante toda mi carrera de atleta. Hasta que un día el piloto automático dejó de funcionar y el colapso fue total. 

Ahí fue donde simplemente paré con todo, y cuando una reacción amenazaba de volver, duraba pocos días y el desánimo asumía control de mi nuevamente. Si hubiese hecho todo en tiempo y forma, hubiese vuelto en 8 meses. Pero vuelto a dónde?

Un día, un amigo me dijo algo relacionado a otra situación, por la cual él expresaba frustración ya que no conseguía cerrar un negocio con un grupo de personas, y me comentó “de nada sirve ofrecerle comida a quien no tiene hambre”. Sin ninguna pretensión, era la mejor metáfora que describía mi situación actual. Ya no tenía más hambre de gloria en lo que respecta a competición, ya que afortunadamente había conquistado todo en el pasado. Entonces, ¿cuál era mi motivación para dedicarme al máximo a mi recuperación y llegar nuevamente a un nivel de atleta?
Fueron meses de batallar con mi cabeza, momentos en donde decidía volver a entrenar seriamente y momentos en los cuales pensaba que ya estaba bien así, que no había necesidad de más.

Este sería el punto para comenzar el Grand Finale diciendo que conseguí encontrarme con mi mismo y que estoy de vuelta, dispuesto a enfrentar mis mayores desafíos, pero no es el caso. Aún tengo la cabeza llena de dudas y todos los días pienso en desistir o direccionar mi foco a otras metas.
Dentro de este torbellino de ideas, intento entender que tal vez no haya nada de malo con el hecho de tener otras prioridades en mi vida y que el Felipe competidor va a convertirse lentamente en una memoria, pero les aseguro que es muy difícil aceptar que eso puede ser una realidad, capaz no de ahora, pero de aquí a un tiempo. Una parte de mi sigue queriendo exprimirme al máximo, para que no quede duda de que di todo lo que tenía para dar.

Hoy, me exprimí un poco más, después de 15 meses de haberme lesionado, competí y gané en un campeonato local (Aberto de Verão FJJ-RIO), vea el video.
 

Cuando me lesioné, mi primera sensación fue de miedo ante el diagnóstico y subsecuente recuperación que demoraría un año. Doce meses parecen una eternidad si se los mira hacia adelante, pero cuando se los recorre y se mira para atrás, parecen un instante. Piense en eso cuando le suceda algo parecido.

Curioso por descubrir lo que está por venir!
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Posted by Felipe Costa Feb 06, 2018 Categories: BJJ Felipe Costa Jiu Jitsu Motivacional Motivational

15 months after my knee injury (ACL ligament torn) 

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15 months after my knee injury (ACL ligament torn)


Competing was the rule, at least among the people I grew up with, that was what we did. 
 
We did not create major expectations about it, there was no dream of conquering fame beyond a firm handshake with great admiration for that academy friend, a guy at the beach, on the street, or a school friend we highly regarded.
We did not even dream of making a living out of Jiu Jitsu, travelling the world, having people taken a picture with us in tournaments or on the street. Even less so to think about people willing cross half the globe just to meet us or invite us over to their country with the same purpose.

To us, we competed because we trained, and we trained because we competed.

There were those who seem to have been born to compete always having excellent results; those who seemed nervous but when the time came, they knew what had to be done; and then there was me: a nervous guy, completely scared at the time of the fight and always getting terrible results.

At the time, to me it seemed that I was the only guy like that from the group. Now, in retrospective, I realized it wasn't like that. I was the only one, among the worst, who did not really care about losing a tournament or been defeated, I would still kept on trying relentlessly. I have no shadow of doubt that because I was so good at dealing with defeat, I became a great champion.

My professor at that time, someone I deeply admired, really marked me with something he said, that he still competed because he wanted to set an example for us.
At the time, I thought it was really cool, but today, that phrase reaches me more profoundly than ever before.

Recently, some students wanted to compete in a tournament, and even though I was not properly training for a tournament, I signed up for it with the purpose of setting an example for my students. Due to circumstances beyond my control, all of my students decided to withdraw from the competition. But my name was already on the sheet, so I thought, why not? I even thought it was pointless to compete in that tournament, but if competing is what I do so, then, why not?

It turn out to be a terrible decision. At the final, with only a minute left to finish the fight, I was up in points when my adversary tried a twisting knee lock (which is forbidden in the sport) and caused my knee to bend forcing me to stop immediately. That is when it hit me, this was not just another knee injury, this one was without a doubt, the worst.

After a while, my suspicion was confirmed, it was a complete torn of the ACL and the lateral meniscus showed some damages as well. This was an injury that would prevent me from training for six months and it would take a year to fully recover.
Prepare yourself psychologically for such a recovery is a thing only few people can do. Closing up to my 40s, motivation is not the same as it was when I was young, so I went into automatic pilot, I was not going to think, I was going to do. So I basically fulfilled my daily duties seeking a full recovery, one day after the other, chasing laziness away, no absences, no delays, basically displaying the same behavior I have had throughout my entire professional career as an athlete. Until one day the automatic pilot stopped working and a major breakdown happened.
I simply stopped attending the therapy sessions and, whenever a slight reaction would appear, it would last only a couple of days and discouragement would take over again. If I had done everything by the book, I would have been back within 8 months of the surgery. But, back to where?

I remember one time a friend was frustrated for not closing a deal with a group of people, and said to me: “there is no point in offering food to someone who is not hungry”. Without a doubt, that was the best metaphor that pictured my situation at the time. I had no desire to conquer anything in terms of competition, since I had already conquered them all in the past. So what was the point in dedicating myself to full recovery as a professional athlete? 

I had to battle my own thoughts for months, rambling between going back to training to compete and keep doing things the the way I was without seeking anything else.

That should have been the point I found myself in the Grand Finale, thinking I was back and getting ready for all of the challenges to come, but that was not the case. Every day, I still find myself with a head full of uncertainties and, every day I think about quitting or focusing my energy somewhere else.

In a whirlwind of doubts and thoughts, I am still trying to make peace with the fact that I may have other priorities at present and that the competitor, Felipe,  will slowly become a memory, but believe me when I say, is a reality very difficult to accept perhaps not tomorrow, but some day. A part of me still wants to squeeze out every part of myself, to leave no room for doubt, to know that I gave my best.

Today, I squeezed myself a little further, after 15 months of my knee injury, I fought and won in a local tournament (Aberto de Verão FJJ-RIO), see video.

When I injured my knee, at first I was scared with the fact that it was going to take a year to fully recover. If you are looking ahead, twelve months seems like an eternity, but when looking back, it is more like a blink of an eye. Think about it whenever you are going through something similar.

I am curious to find out what lays ahead!
 
 

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Posted by Felipe Costa Feb 06, 2018 Categories: BJJ Felipe Costa Motivational Video BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a language  

Clique aqui para ler esse artigo em português

In 2003, after becoming a Black Belt World Champion, I was invited to spend 3 months teaching in the EUA. I decided to go because of the experience, the chance to travel and to be able to dust off my English. I had not professional expectations whatsoever.

I came back from that trip wanting to make a living from Jiu Jitsu, but always keeping a realistic outlook of things. When weighing off the pros and cons, I deduced I could profit from teaching Jiu Jitsu around the world for a maximum of 10 years  (that is the average time it takes a person to get their black belt). After that time, I knew I would have to have to choose another life path.

felipe costa jiu jitsu ohio

 

Today, I realize it’s been over a decade since I came to that conclusion (GULP! – swallowing hard)

So, why would a country I helped train several graduates, whom now have their own academies and teach me so much every time I visit, still invite me over if not for the friendship built throughout the years?

I would dare to assume, without sounding pretentious, that I still get called to teach seminars not because of my Jiu Jitsu techniques – those are hardly a secret now, but because of the way I understand and apply the techniques. It’s the different combinations and the way I can fraction the sequences that up to this day raise  an  interest.

 

If grappling techniques were letters (each of those letters representing a movement or a grip), after teaching the alphabet, I would be left with nothing else to teach. 

What I teach is a language, the Brazilian JJ language. What I teach are not just letters, but a combination to create words, and the way I do that is by spelling them so that everyone can understand.

That is why a teacher can never lose his motivation to spar. Because Sparring is the moment every instruct has to apply those learnt words; to create new phrases under different circumstances, physical limitations (injuries, age, etc.),fighting style of the “opponent”, rules (no time, with points, fight until someone is submitted, etc.)

 

After a 5-month recovery period from my surgery, I went back to training with a lot of physical and mental limitations from undergoing a complex medical procedure and, consequently, the lack of stamina. Needless to say the negative impact a long term recovery can have on someone’s motivation to the point of having to exercise a control on one’s ego. 

Combinations would not come into my mind immediately, but with several adjustments and time, I was certainly getting there. At present, I am not 100% recuperated, but I am better. I can manage to combine more efficiently, due to having less “pain” as a limiting factor. 

My last seminar was based entirely on those new “phrases” I had to create to dribble with my limitations at that time. 

Can I say I invented/created something new? I am not sure, I don’t think so. My virtue may be reflected on my creativity trait and  the way I can perceive combinations. Same combinations that may be perceived by others across the world to create a whole new “grappling” language other than Brazilian JJ. 

At the end of my last seminar, a student came to me and said he was not aware of my wrestling knowledge. I laughed in disbelief replying that my expertise in that area was limited. He was surprised of my answer because he saw my grips were highly rich on wrestling details. Further, he showed me some  takedowns using the very same grips I had previously taught. I was marveled! 

Different languages (modality) may be created by the same letters (techniques), with diverse combinations in accordance to each particular need, cultural influence, and rules. 

Seek to learn the words, the phrases, the languages, and not just the letters. Surround yourself with people who holds a vast vocabulary, understands the combinations, and most certainly, your evolution will be grand.

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Posted by Felipe Costa Jul 03, 2017 Categories: Felipe Costa Gracie Jiu Jitsu Motivational