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Three Things You Can Learn from Bernardo Faria
Lessons from the short film "Unstoppable"
Bernardo Faria is one of the most successful BJJ competitors to have ever stepped on the mats. As a young man, he faced the same challenges everyone faces as they grow up and try to find their way in the world. What do I want to do with my life? What career path should I take? The pressure to follow in the footsteps of his family and choose a respectable career followed Bernardo long into his colored belts.
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Believe in Yourself and Your Goals
As a young practitioner, it wasn't until he began to achieve some success in competition around the time of his purple belt that he began to finally truly believe in himself as a competitor. From that point forward, there was nothing that was going to stop him from achieving his goals. Though he compromised with his father to do college along with his jiu jitsu, the life of the average college graduate who settles into a career and punches a clock for the remainder of his days was simply never going to be for him.
So set your goal and work tireless towards the achievement of that goal. No matter how long it takes or what set backs get put in your way. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way. Bernardo made dramatic life changes to move to Sao Paolo and eventually to NYC to follow his dreams of being the best competitor and teacher he could be. Whatever your goals are, you can achieve them with steady action each and every day, no matter how seemingly small the day's progress might seem.
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Perfect Your Strengths While Working on Your Weaknesses
Bernardo is a perfect example of the person who has not mastered 10,000 moves, to paraphrase Bruce Lee, but has practiced a few moves 10,000 times. Considered to be one of the premiere half guard and pressure passing experts, he was able to parlay the ability to utilize these same positions again and again to great success against the majority of his opponents.
In addition, when he did identify a weakness, he would often seek out opportunities to work on those weaknesses, such as when he began studying wrestling after have a match when he was unable to take his opponent down. So work to perfect the techniques that work best for you. Think Quality, not Quantity when it comes to your jiu jitsu. But even as you work to hone the moves that tend to work the best for you, always be reflecting on what you can do better and spend some of your time striving to fill those gaps.
Aggressively Attack Your Opponents or Challenges
Taking a page from his mentor Marcelo Garcia's playbook, Bernardo approached every match in a way as to aggressively send a message from the outset that they were going to be in for the fight of their life. By keeping them back on their heels, he was able to send a very clear message and enact his game plan with much more confidence by keeping them on the defense at all times.
Whether it is your opponents or training partners, your goals or life's challenges, by facing them and coming at them with everything you have, you create a momentum that can help you control and overcome the obstacle no matter who or what it is.
Check out the short film, Unstoppable for yourself. Take these three ideas and more from the film and begin setting goals and going after them, no matter what they are.