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Comprido on Teaching World Champions

Takes one to know one: World Champion leads others to same fate


World famous MMA and BJJ Coach and Greatmats customer Rodrigo ''Comprido'' Medeiros has guided some of the biggest names in the UFC and Bellator to championship titles while staying true to his roots in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, where he is a seven-time world champion in his own right. Among Comprido's students are UFC fighters former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, Demian Maia, Mike Russow, Pat Berry and Chris Tuchscerer; former Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad; and BJJ world champions Caio Terra, Roberto Traven, Felipe Costa and Jessica Buchman. Here, he speaks about coaching the best fighters in the world.

''I fought countless tournaments. Luckily I win more than I lost. I'm still competing now in the Masters division. It's a little bit tough to fight as an adult with all of this talent we've seen rising up recently.In jiu jitsu, it's very common we start as a student at the academy then we start teaching. We starting competing right away and we start teaching and competing. I've never had a different job in my life. I was always a teacher. That's the only thing I ever did professionally in my life.

I went to the college and I studied physical education because I decided that I want to teach jiu jitsu and I want to be a better teacher so I went to the college to learn the science and the proper way to teach.

I did have a lot of great teachers in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but I wanted a little bit more. At the same time I was competing, but at some point you have to give more attention to your students than to yourself. And it is tough when you realize you cannot compete at the same level that you used to.

I'm still trying to get over that.

That's why I'm still competing. I go in the Masters tournament and I'm still putting myself out there.

I'm not really quite ready to stop competing.

I also believe the best generals lead from the front. And I want to give the example to my students.

Be on the corner of somebody is way worse than waiting to fight yourself. When you are there, you know what you're doing. You're responsible for your mistakes. When you have somebody competing, you have to guide this person with completely interfering.

You cannot make the the decisions for your fighter, but you have to be able to give him a picture - a different perspective from what he's seeing when he's fighting and maybe give him some options. That's really in my opinion, harder than fighting yourself.

To get guys of this caliber ready to compete - I work with (Brock) Lesnar and other jiu jitsu fighters and Caio (Terra) and Felipe (Costa) and Demian (Maia) - it is a very big responsibility and you have to be wise and try to maximize the strengths of your student and reduce his weakness. You have to be able to identify where he's strong and where he's weak and turn his weakness into strength or make him a little bit stronger in that area and make sure he's still doing what he's doing - what his game is because each fighter has a characteristic way to fight. You cannot mold your fighter to yourself. You have to adjust yourself to your fighter.''

Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros
Comprido BJJ
Bloomingdale IL
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