BJJ and judo black belt Leo Leite is a two-time world BJJ champion. He conquered his first title in 1999, when he defeated Ze Mario Sperry at the final. In an interview to Gallerr and Graciemag.com Leo Leite talked about his world title in 1999, offered advice to new BJJ competitors and showed the position that he used to win the gold.
“The advice for anyone stepping on the mat or ring is to get up there knowing that you gave it your all during training. I think that, if you did that while training, you have to get in there calm, aware that you did all you could have done and nothing more. You gave yourself entirely to training, and, if defeat comes, learn from it and focus for the next fight. But to know that you got in there and you're 100% prepared.”
“In the old days we used to like watching the lightweight fights. They were more dynamic fights that had more positions in them. The game would alternate more. And today you take the lightweight fights, they close the 50/50 guard, staying there for 10 minutes. A boring, monotonous fight that no one likes to watch. 10 minutes of that. And today you take a fight between Buchecha and Rodolfo Vieira; they jump to one side and to the other, they try to finish it off all the time. So I think that's changed a bit; heavyweight has become more dynamic than lightweight”.
"A curiosity from the 1999 Worlds is that I was already signed up as a brown-belt. I was going to fight at brown belt. 2 weeks prior I was still a brown-belt. I had never fought a Jiu-Jitsu world championship. Not even as a blue- or brown-belt. And one week prior, Gigi Paiva gave me the black belt. Then the Alliance heads told Gigi Paiva, 'You're crazy. Let him fight at brown to score points at weight and absolute at brown. It's important for us to get points in the end and win the teams' competition.' Then Gigi said, 'No. Leave the boy as a black-belt.'"
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