One of the most popular names in contemporary Jiu Jitsu is certainly that of professor Marco Antônio Barbosa, or “Barbosinha” as he is affectionately called by his colleagues and fans. Owner of a legendary trajectory in the sport, Barbosa told BJJFLIX about his return to major tournaments at BJJBET in 2020.
“For me it was a new beginning in competitions. I resumed competing last year at BJJ STARS at the invitation of Fepa. I didn't even want to compete, but he convinced me with the money, and it was very good, so it was worth it. Especially because I wasn't competing, but I was training. I never stopped training, because training is in me, it's already part of my daily life, so I just adjusted the training and came back. But I can say that it was a great start. This year, with BJJBET, I realized how big the event was and how honorable it is to be in a place like that, surrounded by amazing people. And when you see all those people, the excitement and the desire to compete always comes back. It was just wonderful! ”
Professor Barbosa says he never stopped training, and that was essential for his return to competitions and to achieve satisfactory results in tournaments, despite the pandemic or even his age.
“I train Jiu-Jitsu practically every day. My goal is to continue training regardless of competitions. I am 52 years old, what claim do I have as a champion?
I go on competing because it's still in me, but I still practice because I like to train Jiu-Jitsu. And I can't stand still, I can even train a little less, but I can't be without training... And physical training, because if I like and want to continue training Jiu-Jitsu I need to make my body strong. So for this competition I just aligned the training with the goal I wanted.
Age always matters, of course. I think that all of us who are a little older and participate in this type of event have to be aware of this, that we're no longer in our 20s. Recovery, strength, flexibility, stamina, everything changes. It's necessary to be very careful in doing specific training so you won't get hurt and have good performances. You have to learn, to know yourself, knowing yourself makes it easier to plan how far you can go with training.
Even our fighting style changes, whether we like it or not, we start losing our reflexes a little, the reflexes are no longer the same. That confidence of many positions that I practiced and I don't use today, especially standing, is inevitable. And of course, seeing the performance of a 50 year old guy is different from seeing his performance 30 years ago with the vitality of a 20 year old. "
Due to the pandemic, Jiu-Jitsu training had to be adapted, this also happened at Professor Barbosa's academy.
"Training is training, there's no way around it. You need to have real people in order for you to train, you need other humans for you to be able to practice Jiu-Jitsu. And in Jiu-Jitsu there's no social distancing, there's no distance at all. I had this period of reclusion in which most people were at home, I had some friends and athletes who helped me a lot. They did my part of Jiu Jitsu training every day. What about the classes? We had to adapt, there is no other way, we needed to keep the rules our government makes us follow. There is no other way, we have to keep it that way, but there are many who train normally. People get together and train, because Jiu-Jitsu classes with social distancing is terrible, those who train Jiu Jitsu know the difficulty and how rolling is necessary.
He also left a message for those who wish to keep competing:
"It's important to know yourself more than ever, to know your limitations and qualities to make the most of the time and effort we put into our bodies."
As athletes, we already have to be extra cautious with food and resting. At the age of 50, this is essential. Our care must be doubled. The body is no longer the same and it takes longer to recover, we must pay special attention to physical training. So take care of your body. Take care of your mind. Both have to be well for you to be able to train. If you like to train Jiu-Jitsu and want to compete, you need to be well. "