Get to know BJJ World Champion - Felipe Costa

Felipe Costa is a former professional jiu-jitsu competitor, and one of his generation’s main figures in the rooster weight division, who conquered world titles in all three (3) major federations in the sport (IBJJF, UAEJJF, and CBJJO).

Costa was most recognized for reaching the pinnacle of the sport as a black belt without having had much success at the highest level during his past colored belt career.

This success he achieved in the pro-circuit was maintained throughout his career and spanned for 15 years in which Costa consistently maintained a top 3 rank in the division.
(description from BJJ Heroes website)


Food: Lemon Pie

Beverage: Sparkling water and Mate

Movie: Granhog Day

Animal: My female boxer Penelope, who passed away in December 2013 at the age of 13, made my love to her spread to all animals and since October 15 I  decided I could not be accessary with the way animals are treated until they reach our plates and decided not to eat meat anymore. I do eat Sea Food "socially" (When I travel and eat in other people's house), but never ate other animals since them. 

Hobbies: Reading

Quality: Loyalty

Flaw: Several

Favorite Attack: From back and from mount

Sport Idol: Anyone who steps up and fights

Never leaves home without: Thinking about my family

Mad about: Pancakes, lemon pie, Rio de Janeiro, beach, my FAMILY. (not in this order, lol)

Hate: Rice and cigarettes

Obsession: Fiddle with my toes (like father, like son)

Dream: In terms of sport I have already achieved it by winning every major gi tournament as a black belt, including the World Championship in adult division. Now I just want to travel teaching BJJ and making new friends!

Fight of your life: Each fight is a major challenge for me, particularly psychological.

Statement: "Everyone wants to be successful until they see what it takes to get there".

Documentary about a rough path to the success

An amazing documentary, where Black Belt World Champion, Felipe Costa shows how is possible to change from a regular BJJ fighter to an expert competitor.

Felipe Costa shows all the steps he took to reach the top level where he has been since he got his black belt in 2002.

Felipe Costa short  Biography 

Felipe Costa was born on September 17, 1978, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Interested in martial arts for self-defense as a child, Felipe joined a jiu-jitsu club in 1991, an academy he represented from white to black belt, albeit, being coached by several different instructors over the years, at this same location. During his progression in the sport, Costa had Rodrigo Comprido as one of his mentors and it was Mr. “Comprido” who promoted Felipe to black belt in 2002.

Felipe’s competitive success, after earning his black belt, came as a surprise to many grappling outlets, particularly once Costa conquered his first world title in 2003. This due to Felipe’s past performances, having never won a gold medal of a major competition prior to receiving his black belt.

Felipe had competed before in the lower belt divisions but had never won a major tournament (Mundials, Pan American, Europeans, etc).

‚ÄčAnother important landmark in Felipe’s popularity in the sport was the athlete’s first documentary. There he told the story of his steps into becoming World Championship, his underdog story got him many followers and people who admire his unusual steps to reach number one. In 2010 Felipe launched a series of online episodes called “Felipe 30+” in which he gave fans another eye on his path to the World Championships (the Mundial) after a serious injury. The episodes showed a bit of how Felipe programmed his recovery while showing a little of his private life – all these episodes were (and are still) available on YouTube.

Felipe Costa is also an active writer and posts many of his perspectives and experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on his social media. In 2020 Felipe announced his retirement and his last tournament and gold medal was in 2019 when became Brazilian National champion for the second time.

(description from BJJ Heroes website)

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.