So, if you want to know what it takes to be high level in BJJ, sometimes it is best to examine closely what the high level athletes are doing. As humans replication is the easiest way to achieve something. We are hard wired to see a behavior that is deemed successful or desirable and then replicate it. So I think this is a great way to improve some of the ways we go about learning BJJ. I could use any athlete , but I am going to use the Miyao Brothers as I have seen a lot more information on their daily lives than some other athletes, and they show a high level of dedication along with their great success. So here are the top 5 lessons we can learn from the Miyaos.
- The Price Is Dedication- Depending on what source you look at the Miyaos are training and teaching almost all day, or at least they use to (not exactly sure about now that they are black belts, but I imagine they are even more busy). This makes sense right? If you want to be great then why shouldn’t you invest as much time as possible? Of course we all cant dedicate ourselves on the same level, but we should try to be training as much as we can.
- Flexibility Helps- The brothers are incredibly flexible and we have all seen their crazy escapes from moves that looked career ending. While some of this I am sure is biological, every athlete can and should incorporate flexibility training in to their routine. This can be practiced on your own or in a group yoga type class.
- Challenge Yourself- Of course we are always challenging ourselves, but the Miyaos have been famous for entering and winning open weight divisions. Considering they compete in some of the lightest divisions ; this is an incredible feat. This has always been the thing that separated them from Rafa Mendes. Rafa is incredible, but I would love to see him in some open weight divisions. This does not mean we all have to be open weight champions, but rather we should always look for new ways to test ourselves.
- Conditioning Matters- Recently I have seen a lot of pictures from their conditioning program which seems to be crossfit style workouts. I am not advocating we all do crossfit, but incorporating a strength and conditioning program can be beneficial to us all.
- Anything Is Possible- Lastly I want to mention that they came from a very poor area and lived at the gym for many years. By societal standards, they probably shouldn’t be where they are in life. But, because they worked hard and persevered ; they now live a life they probably only dreamed of as kids. We should all strive to have as much perseverance as they did.
Of course these are just two of the many high level athletes in BJJ today and every one of them could teach us many life lessons. Who do you follow as guide in BJJ? Do you have any BJJ Idols you try to emulate in both life and on the mats?