The Mendes’s secret

The Ramon Lemos black belts managed an unprecedented feat at the 2011 Worlds. Photo: Deb Blyth.

Champion of the 2009 ADCC Rafael Mendes is through to another semifinal in the No-Gi event. This Sunday in England he’ll face off with Robson Moura. Should he win, he’ll be meet up with the winner of the match between Charles “Cobrinha” – his opponent in the 2009 final – and Jeff Glover.

Regardless of the outcome this Sunday, Rafa has spent the last few years running rampant in all the world’s biggest tournaments. The same goes for his older brother, Guilherme. This season the pair from Atos came up with an unprecedented achievement: it was the first time that two black belt brothers won different divisions at the same World Championship. The secret to their success is unveiled in GRACIEMAG #175.

“We did indeed skip the famous ‘abyssal phase’ a lot of athletes go through when they move up from brown belt to black. We started out at black belt already winning major tournaments. I feel that’s the result of a series of factors we went through at previous belt levels,” says Gui Mendes.

“We competed a lot and trained a lot, which made us extremely confident in our Jiu-Jitsu. We learned that having any feelings can hamper our performances when competing, so we started going in to compete with our heads empty, just visualizing our plan for victory,” Gui continues.

“We were always very observant. I remember how, at the lower belts, we’d sit in the stands and watch the other kids in our division compete. We’d notice what they got right and wrong. We always tried attacking their weak points,” he adds.

Want to find out more? Get your copy of GRACIEMAG #175 and subscribe here to get future issues at home.

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