Tatame sat down with Greg Jackson recently for a wide ranging interview.
Evelyn Rodrigues: Fighters usually have a preferences for a style of fighting. How do you expand the skill and technique of an athlete without changing their strengths?
Greg Jackson: That's a good question, and it is the hardest part. You must be able to build and improve the skills they already have, but also need to understand that they have weaknesses and make it a strength. So when I start working with a fighter, I try to identify what he wants to do, what are their strengths and weaknesses and is basically a process, and then we reached a point where I say, 'Okay, these are the techniques that I need you to work and that's what you need to avoid. '
ER: And the mental part? As part of this training?
GJ: We are supporters of the concept of suffering to win. So we train very hard and work the whole process of getting tired, dealing with fatigue, being in pain, etc., as if it were all normal. And then, what happens during the fight does not affect you mentally.
ER: What is the biggest problem presented by the athletes who will train at your gym?
GJ: I think the biggest problem for any fighter is not the fight itself, but what happens outside the cage, for example, when they are involved in a wrong relationship, or drugs, or fail to train, to engage. These are the biggest problems I've seen.
ER: What is essential for a fighter's early career? What he needs to have to be a good fighter?
GJ: A fighter who is starting his career has to be able to deal with disappointments - that's the most important thing. Many fights are canceled, your opponent may get injured, you can lose. If the fighter is able to deal with this disappointment, he can try to move on and eventually get closer to becoming a champion. All the great champions of this sport has ever had to deal with many disappointments.
Read entire interview... (original Portuguese)