Name: Piet Wilhelm
Rank & Organization: Black Belt, Renato Tavares BJJ Association
1) What do you consider your worst BJJ moment, and why?
Worst BJJ moment for me has having people stab me in the back along with kicking people out. I consider myself a very giving person and unfortunately people have taken advantage of it. It doesn't change who I am just makes me more leery of people. Former students of mine have gone behind my back to open their own place under a different association while trying to recruit current members. Having to kick people out sucks, but it is for the safety and morale of people that I consider family.
2) What’s an “AHA!” moment you’ve had in your journey?
AHA in my journey must have been as a brown belt. When you realize that students are going to mimic what you do. Not so much as technique, but as far as character. It is important to set the right standard for people to follow. I was going down a bad path at the time and students would do the same and it would reflect with the numbers on the mat. Now as a black belt I keep a high spirited training environment and surround myself around positive people. Now with usually 25-30 people in a morning class and 60 in an evening class.
3) What’s the best jiu-jitsu advice you’ve ever received?
Be advice I have ever received was to do actually not listen. I was told I should do contracts and charge for belt promotions. I chose not to do that. I don't want people here that don't want to be here. I also don't want promotions to seem as a reason to keep the lights on. I see it all the time with some academies. Promotions come around when academies are struggling financially or competitively. Professors promote for retention. By not having a promotion fee I can also fail someone. Have you ever seen someone not get promoted when they pay a testing fee? Nearly every school is a 100% pass when there are fees.
4) What is one habit you have that you believe has contributed to your success?
Consistency, consistency, consistency. And practicing what I preach. I require people to strive to live a healthier lifestyle. I was once 245 lbs and out of shape. Now at the age of 40 I am 175 lbs and 9-10% body fat. If someone wants to EARN their black belts, 18% body fat is the minimum standard. Brown belts without the right mindset will eventually quit or get into better shape to set the right example for others to follow. I am also always consistent about trying to make improvements.
5) How do you mentally and physically prepare for competition?
Mentally and physical preparation. Mentally- It isn't anything worse than someone trying to truly take my life, so mentally I am not ever worried. Physically- I stay in shape, so I don't worry about getting into shape for a tournament. I usually roll in every class I teach. Monday and Wednesday it is 4X a day. Tuesday and Thursday it is 2X. Friday 2X. Saturday and Sunday 1X. Each one of the sessions is usually 30 min to an hour of rolling. I also lift and do plyometrics 3X a week.
6) Who is your favorite superhero?
Superhero? Corny as it sounds, it is my father. Other than that - our US Troops that support and defend our nation. I'm not up to speed on what all Marvel Comics & DC Comics have.