The ADCC Interview with Marcelo Garcia


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4x ADCC Champion Marcelo Garcia hails from the state of Mina Gerias, Brazil but now calls the urban jungle New York City his home. 

Recently I made a trip out the concrete jungle to turn back the clock and talk with one of the ADCC greats about his glory years and preview the upcoming bi-annual mega-tournament, the ADCC World Championships. 

Press play, sit back and come along on this two hour ride with Marcelo and I as we dive deep into the difference between winning and losing, the biggest lessons he's learned over the years and his thoughts on the current state of jiu-jitsu competition. 

Interview Notes:

1:00 - It’s good to be remembered, talking about jiu-jitsu

2:00 - The beginning: “I never enjoyed no-gi”

3:30 - Marcelo’s teammate going to ADCC

4:00 - The first time Marcelo was forced to train no-gi

5:00 - Finding fun doing no-gi grappling

6:00 - 20 year old Marcelo does his first ADCC Trials

8:00 - Marcelo almost not getting into ADCC 2003

9:00 - The feast before ADCC

10:00 - Getting the call for to compete at ADCC

11:00 - “You’re in”

12:00 - Marcelo’s first experience at ADCC

14:00 - “In 2003 I wasn’t supposed to win, but inside I didn’t see myself losing.”

16:00 - On fighting the grappling legend Renzo Gracie

19:00 - An unreal experience, I felt I didn’t belong

20:00 - Self belief carried Marcelo to greatness

23:00 - A complete surprise to win ADCC

25:00 - I haven’t forgot how much hard work I’ve put into jiu-jitsu

26:00 - The feeling of winning  an ADCC World title

27:00 - Training and competing with Terere / ADCC Finals

28:00 - The first time someone wanted to take a picture with Marcelo

29:00 - Marcelo competed the weekend after ADCC 2003 in the gi

31:00 - Overcoming past loses that weekend, focusing on winning

33:00 - On Confidence, “people lose before they step on the mats”

35:00 - Making your opponent think he’s gonna lose

36:00 - On putting people to sleep

37:00 - It was life changing to win ADCC

39:00 - Coming to USA for ADCC 2005

40:00 - Where do you find the motivation to do it all over again?

42:00 - How does it feel to win two ADCC titles?

43:00 - “I thought things would change”

45:00 - Why did the absolute division so important to Marcelo?

46:00 - Doing absolute since yellow belt

47:00 - “I wanted to show people all my jiu-jitsu”

48:00 - Jitsu works against anyone, big or small

49:00 - “I still have the fear of losing”

50:00 - Trends in winning the absolute divisions

52:00 - It’s entertainment

53:00 - ADCC 2001 vs Shaolin, most memorable match

55:00 - That match changed my life

56:00 - Marcelo’s first loss in ADCC 2009

57:00 - I don’t want to make excuses

58:00 - Training in NYC and building his gym in 2009

60:00 - Coming back from MMA training, “MMA is bad for jiu-jitsu”

1:02:00 - Overcoming losses

1:03:00 - What did you learn after losing to Pablo Popovitch

1:05:00 - The cost of pride in jiu-jitsu

1:06:00 - I don’t want to be called a stall’r

1:09:00 - Passing knowledge to students

1:10:00 - Every second counts

1:11:00 - Life can change if you become a world champion

1:13:00 - You need to believe for ten minutes, not last two minutes

1:15:00 - You need tough rounds in training, don’t back down

1:18:00 - The mental side of jiu-jitsu

1:20:00 - They will get tired before me

1:22:00 - Don’t lose focus during a match

1:23:00 - Marcelo isn’t happy with the level of jiu-jitsu he’s sees

1:24:00 - Take a chance

1:27:00 - Don’t be upset when you lose a ref’s decision

1:28:00 - How do you make jiu-jitsu better?

1:30:00 - The ref is against you

1:31:00 - Will we see Marcelo back at ADCC?

1:32:00 - Money at ADCC

1:34:00 - “I’m enjoying so much being a father”

1:38:00 - Moving to New York

1:40:00 - Giving advice to his students for ADCC

1:43:00 - ADCC strategy

1:45:00 - Graduating to the role of coach

1:47:00 - “I want my students to win so bad”

1:48:00 - Marcelo predicts Felipe Pena vs Andre Galvao

1:51:00 - Marcelo’s final words and advice for upcoming competitors

1:53:00 - Take responsibility to be a good role model

1:56:00 - The end.