Mica Galvão is a 17-year old black belt and has already beaten some of the big names in the game.
He has been learning jiu jitsu under his father, Melqui Galvão since he was 2 (yeah, right). And the thing is, Melqui has produced some other talents apart from Mica in a relatively short period. So it’s reasonable to think that Melqui does something other coaches don’t. I wrote about this a while ago.
Now, here’s a video of Mica talking about how he learns jiu jitsu and about his father.
There are some great insights in the video. So, let’s go over them in the following.
1. Mica is an intelligent person, according to his father. Once Mica sees a technique, he can start using it right away.
Does this mean Mica is talented in such a way that most people aren’t? Well, maybe. But I’m inclined to think that Mica has already established many reference points internally and can use them to learn new techniques quickly. Though Mica may have better spatial awareness etc., to emulate what he’s seen quicker than ordinary folks, anyone can increase their knowledge base that they can rely on when they learn new techniques.
2. Mica is constantly learning. It seems like he watches a few BJJ instructionals a week. Also, he keeps his mind open and learns not just from other experts, but also from purple, blue, and even white belts sometimes.
3. Mica implements what he’s learned right away. Some of the fast learners I know do this, too. It’s a simple thing, but surprisingly, not many people do this. Let’s say the technique of the day is the de la riva guard. Would you try using it actively in sparring? Some people do it naturally, but from my reasonable guess, many don’t.
4. Mica’s father, Melqui, asks his students to focus on learning one technique per month. This means that they will become reasonably good at 12 techniques in one year. What happens in five years if you keep doing this? You will have become good at 60 techniques.
This reminds me of a piece of advice by Kid Peligro, which I read a long time ago. (15 years ago or so?) He mentioned a similar idea, except it was more like focusing on one guard pass, one sweep, one takedown, and one submission every month.
If you deliberately practice a technique or two and reach at least a decent level in executing these techniques each month, you will have a well-round game in a few years.
5. Mica finally talks about how Melqui’s way of teaching is different from other instructors, but unfortunately, Bernardo interrupts Mica.
Come on, Bernardo, that was going to be the most interesting part!
But from what Mica briefly mentioned, I assume Melqui covers an overall strategy related to the technique/s he teaches, rather than just demonstrating them.
There’s no magic formula for becoming great at jiu jitsu, but implementing these insights can help you become better more efficiently and more quickly.