The Four “D”s of Success in Jiu-Jitsu & Life

Robson Moura, Gustavo Dantas & Vitor “Shaolin”

The Four “D”s of Success.


What does success mean to you? On September 12th, 2015, I had the opportunity to travel to UK to be a spectator and coach at the Polaris Professional League in Cardiff, Wales and watch a very successful event. Polaris is a European organization that promoted its second edition with its card featuring eight matches (gi & no-gi) that included competitors from Brazil, Italy, Japan, USA and UK who competed in a submission only rules format with one fifteen-minute round, including my friends, idols and The BJJ Mental Coach®movement supporters Robson Moura (5x IBJJF Black Belt World Champion) and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (3x IBJJF Black Belt World Champion).


Why did I ask you: “What does success mean to you?” It’s because people have different perceptions of the meaning of success. The Hall of Fame UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden’s definition of success is on point:“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”


Robson and “Shaolin” don’t combine eight IBJJF Black Belt World titles by accident; they possess very unique quality, the four “D”s of success:







Robson and “Shaolin” own their very successful schools in Tampa, FL and New York City, NY. Both competitors have NOTHING to prove in their competition careers, but they still have the “itch” to compete despite their very busy schedules.


Besides owning his school in Tampa, FL, Robson has a crazy traveling schedule with a lot of seminars all over the World. He has one of the biggest Jiu-Jitsu associations in World, RMNU, twenty-seven years of training, and he still loves to challenge himself.


As far as “Shaolin” goes, there is one word to describe him perfectly: HUSTLER! Prior to the trip, I had the opportunity to share the content of my program “Inner Discovery for Outer Success” and speak for the first time in NYC to “Shaolin’s” students, and I was able to witness his madness!


The 3x World Champion is a human being like everyone else, he as a wife, three kids, two dogs and two cats (lol). Three times a week he wakes up at 4:30 AM, yes 4:30 AM! Drives from New Jersey to NYC and teaches multiple classes, including his first one at 6:00 AM, trains (Jiu-jitsu and Conditioning), and drives back to Jersey at the END of the day.


Even though I’m older than him, he has been my Jiu-jitsu role model since the 90’s. Being his teammate at Andre Pederneiras’ school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he set the bar very high of what “Hard Work” looks like to me.


Robson had a very tough fifteen-minute match against another legendary competitor, Baret Yoshida, a competitor that I had the opportunity to compete at the ADCC back in 2001. Robson had a very tight armbar, but Baret was able to fight out of it, and Baret was able to set up his signature crucifix move, but Robson was able to escape from it. It was a very technical match that ended in a draw.


“Shaolin” competed against the Japanese standout Daisuke Nakamura. After a few back and forth sweeps, “Shaolin” was able to take his back around the twelve-minute mark and finish from the back.


Even if Robson and “Shaolin” have lost their matches, I would have said that they succeeded in their endeavors of competing at Polaris. Despite their personal and professional responsibilities, they stick with the four “D”s of success: Discipline, Determination, Dedication and Desire. They were prepared technically, physically, strategically and especially MENTALLY. They know that they did the best they could with the tools and knowledge that they had at the moment. That is success! “Peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”


What about you? Do you possess the four “D”s of success? Not just to accomplish your goals on the mat, but MAINLY off the mat. The four “D”s of success concept is about mental toughness! It’s also about going after your goals and dreams, facing your fears and anxieties daily, being comfortable with uncomfortable situations, reaching your full potential and becoming the best version of yourself!


Learn to control your mind instead of letting your mind control you, and you will achieve the success YOU desire. OSS!


Gustavo Dantas


Gustavo Dantas, aka “The BJJ Mental Coach”, is a 5thdegree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Bel and the owner of GD Jiu-Jitsu Academyt. A World-class competitor and coach, Gustavo is a Certified Mental and Life Coach with a Physical Education degree, who help competitors to discover what is holding them back from performing to the best of their abilities and reaching their full potential. Gustavo has created the innovative program for BJJ Competitors called: “Inner Discovery for Outer Success. For more information on Gustavo’s DVD’s  please visit









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