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Worlds’2015 Blue & Purple Part II: Giving a hope, strengthening the spirit and never give up!

By on June 9, 2015

Have you read already first part of our Worlds’2015 Blue & Purple series, where three IBJJF Worlds’2015 medalists told us about their way to podium? Now you can get more wisdom from world class purple belt competitors about how to keep your mind sharp, your body full of energy and to stay focused on your big goal. Have a nice read 🙂

Jessie Carpenter from Team Jucão USA, Keene, New Hampshire, US, being first at female rooster weight purple belts’ division: 

Jessie Carpenter from Team Jucão USA, Keene, New Hampshire, US

Jessie Carpenter from Team Jucão USA, Keene, New Hampshire, US

I do not go to training camps but it sounds like fun. Before competition, I stop experimenting with new techniques and deliberately drill my precise skills. I also ramp up the intensity of my rolling for cardio while taking care not to get injured. It is a fine balance. Many factors go into preparing for such an event.

I don’t worry about specific technique too much because I am going to play whatever makes the most sense at the time. I have a plan, it is flexible.

My leading focus was energy management this time around. I made modification to my diet leading up to the event and I found that by eating less sugar I had a lot more sustainable energy. My body started burning fat for fuel, which may have made a huge difference in my performance.

I love playing the top game. I feel pretty secure in passing position and I am happy with the combination of passes that work for me. However, I feel the best way to get there is to guard pull and sweep. Many women are pulling double guard and gaining one advantage but my sweep was quick.

I am happy with my performance this year. I lost my first match last year and it was pretty heartbreaking. I learned from my mistakes and improved my game to come back this year. I intend to continue to do that to reach the next level. I might work on being more aggressive in closed guard. I did receive penalty for stalling/defending without much concern. It is important to be better next time. I hope to practice many gi chokes and leg locks over the next year too.

I would like to thank my Professors, Dan Caulfield and Ailson Jucao Brites, my home team Flow Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, our mentor school Team Jucao USA, my community in southern New Hampshire and all the supporters who donate one time and especially those who continuously support the adventure. There is no way I could do this alone. It is not only my own hard work but also the work of many people in and around our BJJ community to realize such great ideals. Thanks also to breakpointfc.com and fans for sharing the journey.

My progress as a World Class athlete is important to me because I want to give hope to people everywhere that are having hard times. The challenges here on the mat and those you face personally are the essence of success. Embrace the challenge and reap the rewards. Much love my family and Thank You all for this amazing adventure!

BJJ Mag: What is your advice to beginners before their first competition?

Just play the game. It is the same game you train every day that you hit the mat. You may feel nervous but remember that it is fun regardless of the outcome. When you lose there is no excuse, only opportunity to learn.

Nicholas Meregali from Alliance, Porto Alegre, Brasil, male heavy weight purples’ champion of the World:

Nicholas Meregali from Alliance, Porto Alegre, Brasil

Nicholas Meregali from Alliance, Porto Alegre, Brasil

My training has been the same since January. I did my pre-competition in academy. I focused on training my mind more than the body, because IBJJF World Championship was the most awaited event of 2015 for me.

I trained a lot the technical part and the spiritual part. The technical part consisted of different positions and the mental / spiritual part were a lot of reading and visualizations.

I pulled guard mostly, I did different sweeps and I tried to finish early. I had no preferences, if the opponent wanted to play top or bottom game, I could both play my guard and pass opponent’s one.

Now I am very happy. I want to compete more. The World is the most anticipated Campeonato of the year, and I will continue to compete. I am willing to study more positions and to improve my jiu jitsu.

I would like to thank you for all the people who are the part of my life; all of you are responsible for my development as a person and athlete. My sponsors, QUALICÔCO, BOSSFIT and KORAL, the support you offer is essential for me in being where I am today, thank you.

BJJ Mag: What is your advice to beginners before their first competition?

My advice is to fight with happiness and to stay focused. It is very important to be relaxed while competing in order to perform the best jiu jitsu you could, and your empty mind is your way to perfection. The championship sometimes look like a small war, and right things you do in your everyday life cause victory in competitions.

Ketra Bartek from Gracie Humaita, Austin, TX, US, medium heavy purple female silver medalist:

Ketra Bartek from Gracie Humaita, Austin, TX, US

Typical training was already 5-6 days a week with 2-3 days a week of weight training/cross training at place called Atomic Athlete.

Three weeks before World’s I cut out all weight training and just focused more on BJJ. I wasn’t going to gain that much more strength in that time, and better to tighten my technique and to apply that extra fitness already gained.  I’d train 5-6 days a week, fitting in double sessions whenever work would allow it.  I started to implement in some sprints and running to help improve my cardio, till I had a knee issue.

The biggest difference was after training sessions, I’d be monkey in the middle, or round robins, or round rabbits (as my instructor Paulo “Coelho” Brandao likes to call them. Coelho means rabbit.)  I’d get a new partner every minute for various times, always over 7 minutes till Paulo decided I had had enough.  I think it made all the difference. It would break me down but made me address how to keep myself motivated, and moving.

I think learning how to keep a good pace was the most useful thing for my game.  Guard recovery has always been a helpful strength of mine too.  I honestly don’t know if I prefer top or bottom.  I need to work on my takedown game. I have so much respect for people who do real takedowns. I always fear giving too much up and getting stuck in a closed guard, so I often prefer to jump guard.  I have a strong guard game, but I think I find playing top game more fun.  It’s just more recently developed.  I think most women experience developing their guard game first and top game second.

Overall I’m happy with my performance.  I proved to myself that I belonged there, competing with the best of them.  Of course I’m already thinking of the things I want to fix about my game. 😉

I’m definitely going to be at Worlds next year!  I want that gold!  It’s also always such an amazing experience, win or lose.  I love seeing so many people dedicated to the sport.

As to how I’d change my training camp? Next year I will take advantage of Leticia’s Gracie Humaitá women’s training camp.  I have a great team out here in Austin, but not many competitors, so it’s an amazing opportunity that I kick myself for not already taking advantage of.

I love aggressive cuddles!  BJJ is just a more advanced version of two puppies playing, and I’m never gonna give it up.

I really am thankful to my team Gracie Humaitá Austin, Atomic Athlete (who makes me faster, stronger, and harder to kill), my friends and family for being supportive and dog watching, and my work for putting up with my ridiculous amount of schedule requests.

BJJ Mag: What is your advice to beginners before their first competition?

Don’t give anything up.  Remember it’s what you love.  Look forward to that moment on the mat, not to the after.  You’ve done all the hard work up to this moment, now is the fun.

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