Categorized | Coaching, Featured

Mentors, Role Models, and Why They are Very Important

TL Naples BJJ and BJJ Engineer: Mentor and Role Models and Why They are Very Important.

I hope that you have already thought about this subject a bit, but just in case let me talk to you about Mentors and Role Models and how important they are in our field. I hope you are listening.


Before I go into deep detail about this, lets examine three famous teachers/students: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Socrates (470-399) is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is also an enigmatic figure known only through other people’s accounts. His famous student, Plato, called him “the wisest, and justest, and best of all men whom I have ever known.”

Plato (437-347) was Socrates’ prized student an a Classical Greek philosopher, who, together with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy. Plato was also a mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the western world.

Aristotle (384-322) is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy, together with Plato and Socrates. He was Plato’s prize student, a Greek philosopher and a teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology. He was the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics. Aristotle’s views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance.

In nutshell and for our purposes here, what you need to know to get my point is that in this example, a good teacher helped inspire a good student, who in turn became good teacher and produced his own good student. Not only that, but they pushed their works farther and farther. Socrates never wrote any of his wisdom, Plato wrote it for him after his death, and then Aristotle took the philosophy and applied to many other areas of science that his teacher Plato never had the chance to do. Anyway, these three men are responsible for a lot of modern thoughts and sciences because Philosophy is the mother of all sciences, math, biology, and even jiu-jitsu. It’s the search for wisdom.

Could have Plato done everything he did if he had not met Socrates? Could Aristotle have done everything he desired if he had not met Plato?

Say they all were born in love with the search of wisdom at the same time and were not influenced by one another. AT BEST the three of them will have reinvented the wheel at the same time. Plato was influenced by Socrates, and Aristotle by Plato. It is no coincidence that three went on to become names that will not be forgotten until the human race ceases to exist.

Back to Jiu-Jitsu!

Look at these photos:https://bjjengineer.comwp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=215&type=image&TB_iframe=true&height=500&width=640

Pair #1:

Rubens \"Cobrinha\"  Charles and Michael Langhi

Pair #2:

Terere and Andre Galvao

Pair #3:

Lloyd Irvin and Mike Fowler

Pair #4:

Gordo Correa and Celso Vinicius

Pair #5:

Fabio Gurgel and Marcelo Garcia

Easy one? See if any one can answer what do they have in common? What have they all accomplished?

After you answer the above questions, only one thing follows. Find your mentors:people that you believe can help you achieve your goal and give you the wisdom they posses. Find your role models: people in whose footsteps you want to follow. Surround yourself with successful people, but be loyal and honest. Make up your mind, believe in them, and move forward because time it is not what we have in our hands. When evaluating a mentor, always remember that actions travel farther than words, belts, and accomplishments. You might take classes for three years with an ADCC champ and get no where if he doesn’t want you to become a star as well. Evaluate his actions.

Now I see all of you calling Marcelo Garcia and Leo Viera and the conversation goes something like this:

Excited Pupil: Teacher Marcelo Garcia, I want to be your student and World Champion just like you. I read this article, it motivated me. I want to be your prized student.

Tired Of the Same Story Mentor
: There is the line buddy.

No good mentor will take you as a pupil without knowing you are worth his time. You will have to show and prove yourself to him before he takes you seriously. It’s just a question of time management. The mentor is not a jerk; he just have to many people claiming to become the next Jiu-Jitsu star.

Finally, One Piece of Advice: Don’t Complain. Just do what you’ve got to do for as long as required, do what you are told. If you do that, your shining day will come. If you don’t, you are alone to blame for your shortcomings. Believing is achieving.

5 Responses to “Mentors, Role Models, and Why They are Very Important”

  1. Pete Castaldo says:

    I am amazed at how fun and hard my first BJJ class was at the same time. I dont know if I have ever done something so challenging before, but at the same time I want to continue to train so much. My body felt sore in places I didnt know existed the next day, I felt guilty not going to the next class, but knew I needed some time to heal. I am looking forward to continuing my classes, learning, and getting better at BJJ day by day. I am proud to say that I will continue and nothing will stand in the way of my training. Thank you for motivating me and showing me that I can acheive my fitness goals in a satisfying and fun way, instead of going to a gym and lifting weights and running on a treadmill staring at a wall. I cant wait to go back. My friends were so amazed at how much I loved it, and how difficult I said it was to train with an experienced white belt. I cant wait to see how my skills and abilities grow over time.

  2. Greg Rermgosakul says:

    My first school that I trained at – I learned a good bit. But the school was small; it just didn’t grow for reasons beyond me. The classes were around 90 minutes, but they never flowed with each other. Not the way that my new school flows. I currently train at Crazy88 BJJ Team Lloyd Irvin and I think that the school is just BETTER than my old school. But after reading this lesson, I am starting to look back at my old school. To get right down to the point:

    Am I considered a bad student for leaving my old school in order to pursue better jiujitsu training?

    Will I be viewed by others as someone who is selfish and cares not for his instructor?

    I invested almost 3 years of time and resources in my old school. I did not notice any significant improvements. At Crazy88, I am noticing significant improvements in my game. New techniques, classes that make sense, etc.

    I had to keep looking for reasons to stay with my old school. When I ran out, I had to turn to Crazy88.

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

  3. JOSE says:


  4. Bill Wilds says:

    I remember my first class back into this (Years [7]ago I used to train with some friends) I laugh now because I feel into something that I always disliked, people who use do to do things, boxing Kempo Judo or what ever stopped doing it and then think that they are at the same level as they used to be. After the 7 years of well not doing anything my son wanted to train in Jiu-Jitsu so I told him you want it you do it. (make the calls, research) I went to class, and well I pushed myself a bit to far, I passed out. Talk about a walk up call. I forgot 99% of what I knew. When I awoke I thought what if this was real, and not a class but on the street I could be really hurt right now. I signed up that day and both me and my son love it. I want to thank Roberto.
    As for my role model …. I have so many but one is Randy Couture. Thanks for your time
    Bill Wilds

  5. Jason Kurek says:

    I love the lessons on the mat and on the web. Thank you for such an in depth experience.