Lucas Barbosa, commonly known as Lucas “Hulk”, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under André Fabiano, who became known among the mainstream grappling community competing for Márcio Rodrigues‘ team. Lucas Hulk’s breakthrough in the sport occurred in 2014 after his dominating performances throughout the “THE TEAM” episodes, a web based show produced by Copa Pódio in which he participated as a member of Leandro Lo‘s squad. Lucas Barbosa’s talent was later cemented with wins at the IBJJF’s World Championships and Brazilian Nationals in the brown belt division.
When Lucas moved to Rio de Janeiro to follow his dream of becoming a professional jiu jitsu competitor, his training partners called him Hulk, due to his exceptional physical abilities. Particularly his throwing and pressure passing prowess.
At the 2017 IBJJF Chicago Summer Open, Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa added a gold medal to his résumé by beating the medium heavyweight bracket. He used pressure in guard passes to defeat Matthew Leighton (Bonsai JJ) on points in the final.
Now, Lucas offers some good advice to help you evolve in BJJ, so read on.
Adrenaline is part of any challenge, and most athletes feel that. What helps in this process is to think about positive things all the time. When we are in this moment of adrenaline, right before a fight, some doubts may emerge, which is normal. But, above all, we must watch what we think. It is a mistake to think, right before you fight, that your opponent will beat you because they’re coming off of good results. Focus on you alone.
Challenge yourself daily in training, no matter how tired. If your training partner has a good guard, try to pass it. If they are a good passer, then use your guard against them. Don’t go for the easy session; always do the training that is the most challenging.
It’s normal to see athletes unfocused while not actively training, not taking advantage of that time to study. That is the moment when you can study and improve your BJJ. Take a minute to watch how your teacher applies advanced techniques and masterfully escapes attacks. Rest, but pay attention to what happens around you.
Drinking water is very important to us athletes. It avoids cramping and injury, and sometimes it’s better than any isotonic.
Losing doesn’t feel good, but it is part of the process of evolution of a fighter. Defeat in BJJ exposes holes that need to be addressed so that you can do better next time. Starting from a given loss, it is advisable for you to act quickly: go to the gym the next day and work on those mistakes. Practice and practice. If you’ve been drilling ten times after training, start drilling 20 times. Whenever possible, do another session, even tired.
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