Rafael Mendes won it all. Six times black belt featherweight champion and two times ADCC 66kg champion, the youngest of the Mendes brothers is still not done. In almost a decade competing as a black belt, Rafael was able to fight some of the most respectful opponents you can find in such a high level. Throughout the years, we have talked to Rafa in many occasions and we’re able to extract this five mindset tips for you to have a better performance on the mats.
Train to reach your maximum potential, not to beat specific opponents
Whenever Rafael is getting ready to compete, he could care less who’s going to be his opponents. His main goal is to be the best grappler he can be, as he explains: “Opponents do not influence the way I train. My objective is to reach my full potential and to correct all the gaps in my own game.”
Never let your success get to your head
Rafael has stayed on the top of his division since 2010. He won almost every title he fought for and even so he was able to keep his humble attitude. “No victory changes the way I think and the way I am. I am still the same guy as when I started out at Jiu-Jitsu. I train with one goal, which is to win. No trophy will ever get to my head.”
Recognize your achievements
On the other hand, Rafael is candid to talk about how much he has achieved in Jiu-Jitsu so far. Through years of hard work and also intelligence to find the right balance between training and normal life, Rafael has came a long way. “In Brazil, I never owned a car or a house. I moved to the USA at 22 years of age and today I am the owner of my own business and my work was able to provide for myself and my family. Today, I have found the balance between training, work and family.”