One of the best Featherweights in Jiu Jitsu right now is, without a doubt, Isaac Doederlein.
The 28 years old American, black belt under Cobrinha, has won important titles in the last year and a half: he won the Brasileiro 2019 (second american male ever), the King of Mats 2019 and the IBJJF European Championship 2020.
Isaac is currently the #2 Featherweight in the world of BJJ (with Gi) according to the FloGrappling rankings.
Grappling-Italia has reached him for an interview about his latest wins and some technical aspects of the game.
(Thanks to Isaac Doederlein for his kindness and availability)
You won the European Championship 2020 in the Featherweight division defeating 4 opponents. What do you think of your own performance? Who gave you the hardest match?
I was satisfied with my performance! I don’t believe it was my best one, but I got the result I came for and have fixed all my mistakes since then. My toughest match was definitely my Final with Leonardo Saggioro.
You are the second american man to win a gold medal at the Brazilian Nationals, an incredible goal you reached in 2019. What’s your favorite memory of that tournament?
My favorite memory of this competition was definitely winning against Paulo Miyao! We had many close battles in the past and it was an amazing to win and prove to myself that all of the hard work is paying off. I also enjoyed the energy of the crowd in the arena, there’s nothing else like it!
I think you have an amazing footlock. I love this technique, so I want to ask you: what’s the best position to use a footlock and what’s the secret to apply this move correctly?
I always have to give credit to my friend Mikey Musumeci for showing me this position! The positions I like to use it from are 70/30 and Modified X guard! The secret is to finish the submission with the toes in your armpit.
If you could change only one rule in the IBJJF ruleset, which would it be and why?
I would change the time of black belt matches from 10 minutes to 7. I believe this time would be perfect to force athletes to push the pace, and force more action to be more entertaining for the audience.
Do you study your opponents? Do you keep the same gameplan in every match or do you change every time?
Yes, I like to study my opponents! I think it’s important to understand reactions and strong positions they play, so I can be prepared to fight against them. The trick is to always to be prepared, but don’t think about what they’re going to do. You must focus on playing your game and imposing your will. If they find a way to suck you into their game, you will be prepared to handle the situation and find a way to get back to yours. I like to change my game plan according to who I fight against.