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Three Lessons from Brazilian Nationals [Part Two]

This is part two of a three-part series about lessons I took home after last week’s Brasileiro.

Emily Leyva became a Brazilian National Champion after five fights in the Light Featherweight Blue Belt Division 🔥

Emily Leyva after winning Gold in the Light Featherweight Division

She beat – back-to-back – three of the best girls in her weight division.

After that, she joined the Open Class – as a Light Featherweight! She’s a warrior.

Earlier this year, she became an Open Class Division IBJJF Pan Champion as a Light Featherweight…

However, this time, disaster struck…

In the semi-finals of the Open Weight at the Brasileiro, she dislocated her elbow… And she kept fighting.

We didn’t even notice the elbow was dislocated because she kept fighting. She lost the fight by two points.

After the fight, she came right up to us, and said:

“Professor, I think my arm’s not in place.”

Then I touched her elbow, and I was like, “Woah, oh my God, we have to put it back.”

We went to the doctor who put the arm back in place, and then we went to the hospital to do the X-ray.

On the way to the hospital, I see that Emily’s crying.

I looked at her elbow, and asked her how bad it hurts.

She said:

“No, I’m not crying because I lost. I’m crying because I made a mistake and couldn’t win.”

She was more worried about her fight than her injury. She knew that her arm would be okay, even though it was dislocated.

Fortunately, we were able to confirm that nothing was broken at the hospital, and her arm wasn’t too swollen after being put back in place.

The next thing she tells me is:

“Professor, I’m going to win Worlds.”

I’m like,

“Okay Emily, you will win Worlds, but you will only fight your weight division, okay?”

She said:

“No Professor, I’ll fight my weight division and the Absolutes. I want to be a Double Gold champ. I know I can do it.”

I thought to myself,

“Oh my God, this girl has too much heart.”

I didn’t say this at the time to her, but within me, I thought to myself:

“This girl will achieve great things in her life because of the positivity within her.”

I’ve only ever seen that kind of intense positivity in the hearts of Champions ❤️‍🔥

It’s extremely powerful when someone has that kind of faith and believes that nothing works against them… That everything happens to make them stronger.

She knows that what happened to her at the Brazilian Nationals will transform her, and make her into a better fighter…

A better human being…

A better Champion 🏆

So that’s today’s lesson.

Emily Leyva is one of the best Blue Belts nowadays and she will be one of the best Black Belts in the future.

Her mindset is so powerful… It’s such a clear example of “Mind over body”.

When the mind is stronger than the body, nothing can stop you 🤜🏽❤️‍🔥🤛🏽


Andre Galvao
Atos Jiu-Jitsu Head Coach
Jiu-Jitsu Hall Of Fame Member​