Every so often the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community is given a matchup that forces us all to step back and marvel for a moment.
Nothing beats a battle of contrasting styles between two elite, especially when it occurs at one of the premier events on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Recently, we able to soak in one of these types of matches when Justin Rader clashed with Joao Miyao at the 2013 ADCC!
In a recent sit down with Rader, I was able to dig deeper into what his mindset was heading into that match, and what went through his mind while it was going on. You can check out the interview below
Preparing for someone such as Joao Miyao is no easy task. A multi-time World champ, a European champ, a Brazilian champ, and multi-time Pan Am champ, Joao is truly one of the elite in the grappling world and as unique as they come!
Very open in his discussion, Justin didn’t skimp on the details and his overall respect for Miyao.
Brazilian Jiu Jtsu Game Planning & Why It Matters!
“The way it played out,” Rader recollects, “was EXACTLY how I thought it would play out.”
For Justin, it seemed as if the mental preparation and game planning was the biggest asset to have heading into a bout with a tricky grappler such as Miyao, and for it to pay dividends only means he was correct in his training.
“He has a tricky game,” Justin shares. “One of the trickiest I’ve ever had to deal with!” Knowing he wasn’t facing “just another guy”, Rader felt that he had all of his bases covered concerning Miyao and what could be thrown his way…with one exception.
While Justin knew the type of game that Miyao brings to the table, he wasn’t adequately prepared for how intense Joao is when pushing the pace.
Knowing all too well the styles involved, Rader could rest on his laurels
“It was a clash of the two opposite ends of the spectrum.”
A Human Chess Match On The Mat
Given the style and ability of Miyao, Rader knew that one of his biggest offensive assets was going to be taken away. “There’s no smashing this guy,” Justin recalls, referring to his hulkng wrestling-based attack. “He’s just too flexible.”
Rader recalls having to take the first few minutes to adjust to the style and cater his game to match the defensive tactics Miyao was presenting, and his typical straight forward style wouldn’t cut it. “[If you try to advance] he’s going to take your back, he’s going to choke you.”
Once he found his rythym, Rader focused on making sure that Joao couldn’t impose his Berimbolo game and start sweeping him. This would allow Rader to utilize his dominant top-game, and dictate the pace of the match.
With such a big name—and equally dangerous—opponent, Rader passed the test with flying colors, largely due to his preparation and execution, two skills often overlooked in BJJ. Justin has recently released a new course and you can check out the review to it here and check out the full course here!
“I kept it exactly where I wanted it.”