Marcos Cunha, leader of TMC, wants to work with volume and quality in the new season

At the beginning of the year, the main focus is on the month of March: the IBJJF PanAms

Growth of the team, with a large delegation of competitors, is one of the plans for 2024. Image: @marcosvscunha

Headcoach of TMC, a Jiu-Jitsu team currently expanding, Marcos Cunha only has reasons to celebrate. From teaching Gentle Art in Blumenau, Santa Catarina, to transforming lives through sport and boosting athletes in the competitive world, such as Bruno Sena and Duda Tozoni, the black-belt today also lives with the spirit of an entrepreneur. As the growth of a team depends on factors other than the ability to teach, Marcos Cunha provided TMC with good professionals, always monitoring this process from within. The entrepreneurial mindset is already showing its results. In its growth phase, Team Marcos Cunha already has academies in Brazil, United States and Canada.

During preparations for the IBJJF PanAms, scheduled to take place in March in Florida, United States, Marcos Cunha took a brief break to talk to the VF Comunica team. Read the full interview!

TMC has been showing a very significant rise as a competitive Jiu-Jitsu team. What are the team’s plans for the 2024 season?

In the first semester, we want to have the largest number of visas approved so that our athletes can enter the United States. We are planning to arrive at the Worlds with the largest delegation that TMC has ever placed at a major event. With this, we can fight for the best results and finish the Worlds among the five best teams. This is our plan for 2024. We also want to fight in major events around the world. We gave up on the European because we are focused on the Pan. We are also going to start strong at the Brasileiro and we want to take a good delegation to the World Pro, in Abu Dhabi. We are also going to expand to No Gi, a modality in which we didn’t have much strength, we didn’t work much, but now we are strongly committed and we will compete a lot in No Gi during 2024. Here in the United States, we are closing some superfights for our athletes to participate.

The commercial and competition scenarios are completely opposite, even though we are debating the same sport. How do you analyze the two fields based on TMC’s growth?

The expansion of our team in the competitive environment is largely due to our UCLA project, created in Brazil in the city of Blumenau. It is a high-performance project, which creates opportunities for athletes to experience Jiu-Jitsu full-time. With this initiative today, in the future they will be able to make a living from Jiu-Jitsu. Many athletes are arriving and I prefer to work with those who are blue-belts, that way I can improve in our own way. I say this because I have my own competition work methodology. So, I prefer to work with blue-belt athletes to mold them, step by step. This way, they are polished as we want and act according to our methodology so that we can, together, have a good understanding in the big championships.

The expansion of the team in the commercial field is largely due to my ability to identify my strengths and weaknesses. How did I understand this? I realized that I’m a good teacher, a good coach, a good trainer, that’s what I do best, that correlation with people, but I’m not a good administrator. Then I started outsourcing these areas that I wasn’t good at. I managed to build a good team that has helped me a lot. As a result, standards were created within our team, such as uniformity, planning, lesson plans and team accreditation. We become more professional. Now the team is moving forward. Many people, based on our competitive results and this organization that we are presenting to the world, want to join us. We are expanding in Brazil and my arrival in the United States was also to work with this expansion of the team here. In fact, we are also expanding in Canada. I believe this will be a year of gigantic growth for TMC in every way. I have a very good team, working fully towards this. This way I have peace of mind to do what I do best, which is serving athletes and teaching my classes inside the gym.

Teaching methodology, based on concepts and mechanisms, is the one that most promotes technical development according to Marcos Cunha. Image: @marcosvscunha

TMC is gaining strength in the United States, a country where Jiu-Jitsu is developing at an expressive speed. Jiu-Jitsu is a Brazilian sport, but today the best opportunities don’t arise on our soil. How are your Brazilian athletes living this reality abroad?

We are working hard for TMC to grow and advance significantly, not only in the United States, but around the world. The athletes are understanding this, they are working, giving their best to achieve great results and, in doing so, elevate the team’s name. But the move from Brazil to the United States really affected them, but in a positive way, because the United States is a very different country from Brazil in terms of structure. We have a much better structure for training here than in Brazil. Financially, the athletes can stay here in a safer way. With the money they get here, they pay for registration, expenses and even buy supplements. This in Brazil is very difficult, the reality is totally different. So, talking about training, it all depends on the teacher you trust. However, in terms of structure, the United States as a country, in my view, is far ahead of Brazil. This helps a lot in the improvement of our athletes’ techniques. Financial peace of mind means they have better performance during training.

What do you think about the differences in methodology for competitors and practitioners, is there really such a difference in teaching?

I think that the methodology, of concepts and mechanisms, helps much more in the improvement of both the athlete and the regular practitioner. The position repetition methodology is very good. However, in my view, it somewhat paralyzes the evolution of practitioners. I can’t really see this difference in methodologies in Brazil and the United States, because there are teachers who work in both ways, in both places. Here in the United States they like repetitive lessons more, many gyms work that way. However, I realize that teams that achieve great results prefer the concepts and mechanisms, which I like to apply. This way, I broaden the vision of my practitioners and my competitors so that they can understand that Jiu-Jitsu does not work in a straight line, it is adaptable to different methods. Jiu-Jitsu is malleable and you can create something if you understand the concept and mechanism, based on the guidance I teach in class. Then I can see the improvement. When the process is robotic, of repeating what I taught, just repetition, without allowing the athlete to create something, I can’t see this athlete evolving much over time. This is my opinion, but in general for teachers from anywhere in the world and not just between the differences in methodology in Brazil and the United States.

Duda Tozoni is one of the highlights of Marcos Cunha’s competitive team. Image: @dudatozoni

What are the highlights of TMC and what do you project for your main athletes in this 2024 season?

Duda Tozoni, Bruno Sena, Patrick Possamai, Bruno Caglioni, Inoa Barbosa, Gabriel Nascimento, Wilson Barbosa, Lukas Telles, Xande Barbosa, Jonatas Mogli and Carol Fernandes. As I already said in the first question, I plan great results in 2024, but knowing that it is very difficult, very difficult. However, it is the difficulty that motivates us to work. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be fun. So, it is by overcoming difficulties that we become great. That’s our motto. I really believe in this 2024 season, in the great results of our athletes so that we can achieve a much greater projection for the TMC.

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Written by Emmanuela Oliveira

Emmanuela Oliveira é faixa-marrom de Jiu-Jitsu e formada em Comunicação Social. Dentro do tatame, aprendeu que é possível conjugar Jiu-Jitsu, escrita e o gosto pelas artes visuais em um só pacote.

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