Guilherme & Rafael Mendes give us an insight about their goals for 2012, their training & conditioning regimen, nutrition, and their opponents

Guilherme (left) and Rafael Mendes (right)

1. Hi Rafael and Guilherme, it’s a great honor for us at bjjeasteurope.com to have you on our humble website. You have many fans in Eastern Europe! First question: We saw your fights at the Houston Open and you guys look in great shape. How is the preparation for the Pans going? Where is your training camp and who is training with you there?

First, thank you so much for the kind words, it’s a pleasure for us! We are training really hard as we always do for the competitions, you will never watch us fighting without training, because that’s not the way that we believe to become champions. Champions need to be prepared, champions are made before they beat people in the tournaments. We are training in San Diego, California, with Andre Galvao and his students, a lot of though guys! The training is going really good, Andre is a great fighter and has a really good mindset, what is amazing for the training, always pushing us up and that is what we are looking for, so we are feeling more than ready to be in action!

2. How have you planned your year regarding BJJ competitions, training in Rio Claro and seminar travels?

With their mother and girlfriends

 We are very organized people and we are always planning our future goals and our schedule, always putting the training as priority. The training in Rio Claro is amazing and we love Ramon as our professor, he is the guy who has the hability to bring us to the next level just talking and coaching. We choose to come to US to train at Galvao’s because of our next goals, what we will be sharing soon, but we can say that it’s being great! We schedule our seminars, three weeks before tournaments. we do not schedule seminars after, so that we can rest our body on the weekends to be 100% for the competition, that’s the way that we are doing now.

3. What are the main changes that you have made to your games to improve your Jiu-Jitsu even more in 2012?
We are really nerds regarding learning jiu jitsu. We are never satisfied, even after winning big tournaments.  For sure we love to win and it’s an amazing feeling, but I’m saying that we are always trying to update ourselves with fresh techniques, improving our best positions and developing solutions for our mistakes. We are always trying to submit more, everybody knows how hard is to submit though black belts, but we are always trying to find the right way to do it. Our game is not about “die or kill” like a lot of guys says, our game is to win, always trying to reach our best performance, finishing the fight as soon as possible, but never putting ourselves in risk, we are athletes, the first place is what we are looking for.

4. Guilherme, do you plan on always competing at pluma or Pena? And which weight better suits you?

Normally my weight is about 154 pounds (feather weight), but I like to fight as light feather, I like to fight against flexible opponents and also I want to be champion, and with Rafael at my division we’ll need the double of years to win what we want (just one can be the real champion per year), so I will be competing as light feather in the big tournaments. I have a really hard time cutting weight, but there is no miracle without sacrifices and I’m willing to suffer to be champion.

5. Please tell us more about your Strength&conditioning routines (do you do more high reps/lower weights or low reps/heavy weights). And how often do you do S&C when preparing for a tournament and how often in off season?

We have a personal trainer who makes all our Strength&conditioning for all year, his name is Thiago Mendes (he is our cousin) and he has a Studio in Rio Claro (Brazil). The training depends of our schedule of tournaments. Every beginning of the year, we sit together and we show him our goals and he develop our schedule to be 100% for the Worlds, our main goal. The training sessions changes during every month, but is pretty much more about cross fit, with circuit of a lot of repetitions, because we think is really important to train our cardio, our endurance, much more than our strength, the strength we will be working on the mat, sharpening our techniques to be really tight. We do weights lifting twice per week, depends the period it’s very heavy.

6. Is MMA part of your future goals?

No.. we can not say that we will never fight MMA, but it’s not our main goal.

7. You guys have been competing at a high level ever since your childhood. At such a young age, you have won almost all there is to win in BJJ and sub wrestling. How do you stay focused, and concentrated on your Jiu-Jitsu career?

Rafael winning the Worlds

Because this is our life, what we love to do and where we put all our desires of become successful. We do not train jiu-jitsu, we can say that we live jiu-jitsu, we stay envolved with jiu-jitsu all day and that’s what has been changing our lives. Since we started we became young athletes and this is very different than guys who are just competitors, because we are willing to change everything that we need in our routine to become better. We are always eating healthy food, never partying, never drinking, we do not use drugs, because we do not like this kind of things and we want to be a good image of champions.

8. With training 3 times a day, you need a lot of time to rest and eat well. Please guide us through your nutrition/diet and what type of supplements/ vitamins do you take?

We take supplements before and after our training sessions, simple things like BCAA, whey protein, recovery and vitamins. Some times when we are really tired we are taking pre workouts to help us to keep on fire! lol About our diet, we just follow what our nutritionist says.. eating health food and many times a day.

9.Are there any bjj players in the competition circuit that impress you?

We are always watching new bjj players and they skills, every year we can see many new talents coming, now we can see a lot of guys using the techniques that we made famous and it make us really happy, because we can see that we are adding somethings in the sport! We like to watch our friends Durinho, Frazatto, Calasans and Aldre Galvao.

10. What are your reactions to Samuel Braga’s recent interview saying he was the one that invented the berimbolo? From my knowledge, you guys never said that you invented this move, just more curious about your thoughts.

Guilherme winning the worlds

I do not like to say that I invented something, but I’m sure that we developed the berimbolo, created this name and made the technique famous with hard working, showing people that they can use and it works very well. I think we created the technique with our details, I saw his video saying about his berimbolo, that technique that he is using is not the same that I do. To be honest, I think he is a tough fighter, who is not wining anymore, and wants to reach the attention of the media using our names, we have been working hard to have results on the tournaments. We’re not saying somethings and trying to climb up people’s name. If he created the position, why he is saying it only today? The people can see  that we do the berimbolo since we are purple belts in the competitions, and now, the technique has become famous and he had the idea to say that he does it since he was yellow belt, I do not know, just sounds weird! lol.

11.Guilherme, what doyou think about the “sword cutting” incident with Samuel at the mundials a couple years ago?

I think I was just just celebrating my world title, I was not touching him our some thing like that, a lot of guys celebrate like this, Braulio Estima celebrates using a machine-gun, Michael Langhi celebrated his title with a machine gun in the same year.. the problem is that we are athletes, when we go to the competition we need to know that we can win or lose, if you lose you have the right to angry or upset, but never the right to be aggressive with your opponent. I will never do it, because that is not what I learned from my master.

12. Rafa, what do you “really” think about Cobrinha?

I do not really know him personally to be honest, we are opponents in the competition and it’s always hard to be friends, because we are always trying to beat each other, but I recognize that he is a great fighter.

13. What do you think about the new IBJJF rules? Especially the ones relating to the 50/50 guard? IBJJF is going to be a lot stricter and has implemented rules to combat the “stalling” in the 50/50 guard.

It’s not about 50/50, it’s about everything, if you are stalling the fight you will be penalized. I agree it.

14.Will you enter the absolute division this year? Rafa you did at the World Pro last year and lost to rodolfo by a small margin in the final – that fight was actually a little controversial. Rafa what are his thoughts are about that?

If the refeere raised his hand, he won. That fight the refeere decided he was better and I do not have what to say, it was a good fight and i’m going to fight always looking for the victory, it doesn’t matter who is my opponent.

15.You seem to have a good relationship with Lloyd Irvin’s team. How did that come about? Did mike fowler and tracey gooddell join Atos? They are competing under them at this weekends Abu Dhabi trials.

Part of Atos team

We went to his academy in Maryland before and it was a nice time there, he is a nice person and the guys there are amazing. We have a great relationship with Mike and Tracey, and they are representing Atos now. They just asked about training at Atos and Andre said what every leader says, to training with the team for the competitions you need to represent the team, and that was their decision, and they are very welcoming, amazing people who are adding a lot on our training sessions!

16. Have you visited any countries in Eastern Europe yet? Are there any plans for seminars in the region? And Are there any plans for opening a Atos afiliate school in Europe?

Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to be in the Eastern Europe, we want to have a tour of seminars there in the end of this year, it would be great and maybe opening an affiliated academy there!

17. Guys thank you so much for taking time to answer your Eastern European fans. All the best for 2012! OSSS!

It was a pleasure, we love to share our thoughts with the world, so the people can know more about us! Also if you want to keep following our career please join our fan page on Facebook www.mendesbrosfans.com and twitter www.twitter.com/mendesbros

“God is the way – I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

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