“The Importance of Mentors”

In business and sports, it is common practise to seek mentors as guides to help you find your way. So why not seek the same with your Jiu jitsu training? I believe it is important to always seek knowledge and look for ways to improve your game, technique and teaching methods. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of a mentor. Mentors are people who inspire you, who have travelled the path before you and have a deep understanding of the knowledge and skills that you seek to acquire.

While it is extremely important to listen to, learn from, practise and study what your instructor teaches you, it can also be of great benefit to seek additional knowledge and learn everything that you can about the art! Sometimes this may be through following and studying the techniques and careers of the great Jiu jitsu/MMA Coaches and competitors. Attending seminars, watching dvds/videos, studying books and magazines, reading and listening to interviews etc. Doing these things inspires you, allows you to understand the art better and see things from a different point of view. One of the things that you will realise when combining the knowledge and ideas that you learn from your mentors with that of your instructor is that there are many ways to learn, improve and achieve your goals. Everyone’s path is different and if you are open to it, you really can learn from anyone.

Hanging out in Rio with Mentor Mario Sperry and Coach Fabiano Capoanni.

Some examples of some of my mentors include legendary BJJ/MMA fighter and coach Mario Sperry, whom I believe is still one f the greatest BJJ/MMA coaches of the modern era. I have been fortunate to train with him on a number of occasions both in his original Academia(academy) Sul Jiu jitsu in Porto Alegre as well as Brazilian Top Team headquarters in Lagoa, Rio De Janeiro. His knowledge of Jiu jitsu is phenomenal and encompasses the entire spectrum of self defense, competition(both gi and no gi) as well as mma. Another mentor who inspires me to learn and master the art of Jiu jitsu is Marcelo Garcia. Marcel Garcia’s devastatingly effective technique has allowed him to dominate and submit some of the greatest grapplers on the planet in various competitions both gi and no gi and I greatly desire to study and learn more from him.

Myself with mentor, Marcelo Garcia after a very humbling private class!

Some others who I avidly follow and hope to one day learn from include the likes of:

-Renzo Gracie (Jiu jitsu/MMA legend and master coach)

-Fabio Gurgel (Jiu jitsu legend and master coach)

-Rickson Gracie (Jiu jitsu legend and technical master)

-Dave Camarillo (Jiu jitsu/Judo Innovator and MMA coach)

-Rorion Gracie (Jiu jitsu legend, master coach and master businessman)

-Greg Jackson (MMA master coach)

-Lloyd Irvin (Jiu jitsu master coach and businessman extraordinaire)

-Osvaldo Alves (Jiu jitsu master coach)

-Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira (Jiu jitsu/MMA legend) – I have had the pleasure/pain of rolling with Mino before! 🙂

-Randy Couture (MMA legend)

I could probably go on and list another dozen names but I’m sure you get the idea! 🙂 Each of these mentors have different skill sets and as such I look up to them for different reasons. One thing’s for sure, these gentlemen combined have several lifetimes worth of knowledge and I hope to learn as much as I can so I can pass that on to my students! I hope you decide to seek a mentor or mentors to learn from and learn more about the beautiful art of Jiu jitsu.

God luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu jitsu Kingdom


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6 Responses to ““The Importance of Mentors””

  1. armed Says:

    Well Couture broke Mikey Burnett’s neck when he took him by surprise in training during taping of TUF. Not sure he’s the best to train with.

    And Renzo, well, he may get you signed by zuffa, on whose events you’ll forget there is such a thing as JJ.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Wow! I have never heard that! I do however know of a few people who have trained with him and say nit only is he a beast but a total gentleman! Each to their own I guess.
      As for Renzo, he’s legend!!! I’d love to train with him and learn from his vast experience! Renzo is still one of the top BJJ MMA trainers around!
      Kind Regards

  2. Derrick Garza Says:

    Hey brother, thank yo for the feedback, and im so glad to see you have a blog also…i will definitely be following it! Good luck with everything!

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Thanks Derrick and you are more than welcome. I’m sure you will find writing a blog as a great learning experience as I have! Let me know if you have any questions, have a good one mate!
      Kind Regards

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    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Thanks Ebonie, I’mso glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the kind words, I’llbe sure to check out the link and see how it works out for me!
      Kind Regards

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