40 yr Old Gustavo Dantas on Why He Still Competes in the Adult Division

40 yr Old Gustavo Dantas on Why He Still Competes in the Adult Division



The BJJ Mental Coach Gustavo Dantas, is a fourth degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Andre Pederneiras. With nearly 20 years of coaching experience and being a World Class competitor, Gustavo is a Public Speaker as well as Certified Mental & Life Coach with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from UFRJ (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro). Gustavo left Brazil in 1999 with a couple thousand dollars, two bags, and one teenage dream: to have his own 100% Jiu-Jitsu Academy and make his living through the passion of his life, Jiu-Jitsu. The Gustavo Dantas Jiu-Jitsu Academy was established in Tempe, Arizona on March 6th, 2012, re-enforcing the statement, “Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams. Hard work pays off”.

Gustavo was the Jiu-Jitsu coach of the Mixed Martial Arts Gym, Arizona Combat Sports for eleven years, where he achieved his 2-0 MMA Record. During that time, Gustavo started the mission of promoting Jiu-Jitsu in the State of Arizona, becoming the vice-president of the Arizona State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation and turning a small, 40 competitor, “in-house” tournament in 2001 to an impressive 700 competitors in 2011, helping Arizona to be recognized as one of the Jiu-Jitsu power houses in the United States.

mental coach

Gustavo recently qualified and competed in the IBJJF world championships in the adult division (Under 30 yrs old):


“I am a forty-year-old entrepreneur with a lot in my plate. I sacrifice a lot of my personal and professional time to prepare myself for tournaments, especially in the adult division, which is a different “ball game” by the way. Besides the Jiu-Jitsu training, I also include in my routine: Swimming, Strength & Conditioning and Physical therapy session, which is very time consuming, but is not all.

I teach classes and seminars, I run GDJJ Academy and a non-profit organization called Live Jiu-Jitsu. I also promote tournaments in Arizona, and I am currently pursuing a new passion in my life, my Public Speaking career with The BJJ Mental Coach, which is extremely fulfilling, but very time consuming. Oh I forgot, I have a personal life too 🙂

“Do I have anything to lose competing in tournaments?”

Why did I post this question? Mainly because I know for a fact that some people feel that I have “a lot to lose” in competing (especially in the adult division where the odds are against me). A tournament loss could compromise my “status” as I am an established teacher in the United States with a lot of students. I also have a lot of worldwide support from The BJJ Mental Coach movement.

Very often people will give me compliments about the competition challenges that I have been accepting lately. Most of them say things like: “You have guts man!”

Why Do I have “guts”?

What makes me different than any other person who trains and competes in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and accepts the big challenges? Is it because I am putting my “status” or my “reputation” on the line? No, it is my perspective! I ALWAYS remind myself: “Gustavo, you have NOTHING to lose! This experience is a win-win situation!”

In the past year I competed nine times. I went to Abu Dhabi, Munich, Rome, Gothenburg, Las Vegas, Long Beach (twice), Irvine and Torrance. I met great people and I was introduced to new cultures. I learned a lot about Jiu-Jitsu and, the most important thing to me, I learned a lot about myself! I learned how to deal with my emotions more efficiently as well as failure, success, wins and losses.”

Read more about Gustavo and his journey to qualify for the worlds…