Felipe Pena needs little introduction. He is one of the greatest BJJ athletes of all time, who won first place at almost every prestigious tournament – more than once, at some of them.
“Preguiça” also beat Gordon Ryan twice. He lost in their latest (third) match – but soon enough, on February 25, the two athletes will face each other again at Who’s Number One (WNO).
So, what does it take to reach Pena’s level of success? It takes a lot of sacrifice and overcoming of obstacles.
He shared what he had to overcome, in an interview with BJJEE:
Being an athlete, especially in Brazil, is very hard.
People looked at me with different eyes when I was at the beginning of my career and when I said that all that I wanted to be was to be a Jiu Jitsu athlete. I needed to overcome that bias.
But of course, there are so many other obstacles in front of you as an athlete, and to be successful you need to overcome yourself everyday.
And what’s the most important thing for success? It’s paying the price for it:
I did everything and abdicated so many things since I was 15 years old in order to accomplish that [his success]!
My advice would be: everyone can do it and get there. But you need to be willing to pay the price and you can’t ever stop believing, no matter what.
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Felipe Pena is one of the most successful black belts of his generation, with three black belt world championships in the gi including the 2021 IBJJF Absolute World Championship.
- Create opportunities for sweeps, back takes, submissions, and more to keep your opponent on the defensive as you flow through your arsenal.
- Work systematically from your guard based on what they are giving you, so that you can be efficient and patient in your movements.