“You have to focus on your strongest positions and how to apply them effectively.”
Hannette Staack is one of the most successful BJJ competitors of all time, having won eight Mundials Championships and 3 ADCC gold medals. Hannette runs the Brazil 021 BJJ Academy in Chicago, USA.
The Jiu-Jitsu Times sat down with Professor Staack to hear her view on competition.
This is what she had to say.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: Professor Hannette, the most common question from novice BJJ competitors is “I feel really nervous before the competition. Is that normal?” What is your advice to students who feel nervous before their matches?
Hannette Staack: It is always good to feel a little nervous before the match, especially when is your first time competing. But you have to keep in mind that, if you did everything possible to prepare for the match, then you are ready for the challenge. Right before the match, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and say something positive to yourself, something like, “I’ll do my best, I am ready for this.” After this you shouldn’t feel too nervous. But if after all this and during the match you forget everything and black out, you are too nervous to compete, then you just need more MAT TIME. I personally always feel nervous before my matches, but definitely way less than before.
#tbt 2008 Quando fui tirar uma foto com uma das pessoas que muito admiro no Jiu-Jitsu @renzograciebjj ele falou: "-Essa …
Posted by Hannette Staack on Thursday, February 16, 2017
Jiu-Jitsu Times: What is the best mental attitude to have before a tournament? Have fun or be dead serious to win?
Hannette Staack: I think it depends on the person. I was never the type of person that would talk with my opponent before the match. I liked to be in my own zone. But each person is different, so I recommend you to see what is the best fit to you.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: How should a student adjust their training before a tournament to be prepared? More physical conditioning? Rolling more rounds?
Hannette Staack: Every person is different, but one thing my professor always said to me and only now I understand is: Is not how much you train or how hard you train; it is about training correctly with set goals. Drilling and practicing the techniques over and over in a circuit mode also helped me a lot for my conditioning in BJJ. My recommendation is to talk to your professor about your goals and get the right people to help you to get there.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: How long does a competitor need to.properly prepare for a competition? Is one month enough time?
Hannette Staack: I think one month is enough if you have already been training consistently for a while. The last month before the competition should be the time to speed up your game and work a little harder, and finally the week before is time to slow down again.
Practicing BJJ is always better when you are surrounded by the people you love ❤️ #family Praticar Jiu-Jitsu é sempre…
Posted by Hannette Staack on Monday, February 20, 2017
Jiu-Jitsu Times: What is your advice for a student’s game plan before a competition?
Hannette Staack: I think the biggest things for me were:
1. Never focus on your opponent’s strongest techniques or trying to counter them. You have to focus on your strongest positions and how to apply them effectively. Of course I am not saying you should not pay attention to your opponent’s strengths and most dangerous techniques, but more like, pushing your game all the time.
2. Drilling/practicing the techniques is one of the most important things for a successful competitor.
3. Discipline and commitment with everything you do.
4. Faith (Have faith in you and in your training) Be confident with the victory.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: What was the best advice that one of your coaches ever gave you about competing?
Hannette Staack: He told me I could be whoever I wanted to be. I just had to believe. No one or nothing could stop me, only myself.
Brazil-021 School of Jiu-Jitsu.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt 3rd degree.