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Dennis Lima’s four tips to go far in BJJ

Edenilson Lima is a black belt from Lead BJJ. Photo: Personal archive

Edenilson “Dennis” Lima has been taking advantage of the period of quarantine to produce more and more online content for his students and the BJJ community at large.

A practitioner for 23 years, Dennis has long stood out for his way of studying the sport, even away from the mat. And this week he decided to share five concepts that made his journey from the white belt to the black belt less difficult.

“These are five concepts I’ve applied to my career and that I teach my students around the world,” he said. “To teach, I’ve always had it on my mind that I should test everything out first, and that’s why I’ve managed to grow as a teacher and entrepreneur of BJJ. I had my career as an athlete too, I had a lot of fun and triumphs, but my greatest victories came in my personal life. I’m grateful.”

1- Pick a school

“With the globalization of BJJ, these days we have options when it comes to choosing a school. Understand that not always the best choice is the gym closest to you or cheapest. Doing thorough research online will help you evaluate the reputation of the team and teacher. Set your goal and try to learn whether the school fits your profile. Finally, take a trial class to know whether the environment and methodology suit you”.

2- Learn to listen

“Years of experience have made your teacher into a genuine leader. It’s in them that the student must place all their confidence on and off the mats. Those who have had the opportunity to sit down with a leader and hear stories and adventures of our sport know what I mean. What I see the most at gyms throughout the world are super-talented students that go on training but can’t achieve a successful career in BJJ, simply due to thinking they can make the decisions on their own. That’s a surefire way to waste talent. It’s not enough to be a talented student if you’re not willing to listen to your master”.

3- Commit

“From the moment you become a part of the group, your commitment will make a difference and influence your results. No matter what your goal is on the mat — whether you’re striving for better health or to be a champion — cherish each moment. Avoid being late, turn off your phone and stay focused. Time moves fast, and the more a student gets involved with the class, the more knowledge they’ll acquire”.

4- Be organized

“Make a spreadsheet to separate your types of training sessions so that they don’t get in the way of each other. As you get organized, you will realize that our jiu-jitsu is much more ample, and in your free time you can study important stuff like the rulebook, articles and the enormous amount of video content available online”

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