Johnny Munoz Jr. is a seasoned fighter. Whether in the cage or in jiu-jitsu matches, he diligently walks into each situation with a clear thought in mind, which is to carry out his fight plan. It seems that with so many fights under his many belt levels, Johnny understands his own formula for success. This past SJJIF Worlds tournament was his most recent jiu-jitsu competition. After the event, I had a chance to talk with him to ask him a few questions.
- Your many victories, what do you attribute your success to?
Competing at the 2016 SJJIF Worlds was a lot of fun since I haven’t competed in bjj tournaments since the 2014 SJJIF Worlds. Since I didn’t have an MMA fight lined up, I seen that there was additional cash incentive, I decided to sign up. I had some good matches against guys from Mexico and Brazil, so it was awesome representing for the USA. Winning the 2016 SJJIF Worlds wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for all my teammates at C-Quence and my Mother and Father who are the head coaches of the academy. Also this wouldn’t have been done if it wasn’t for my hard work ethic, competition strategy, and the confidence that I have within myself.
- How do you maintain your winning streak? Which NABJJF/SJJIF tournaments have you maintained dominance?
I’ve been competing at the NABJJF/SJJIF competitions since I was an orange belt in 2007, and have never lost a match in my weight class. I feel that the reason I continue to have constant success in the NABJJF/SJJIF tournaments is because I feel nobody knows how to play those rules better than me. There are no advantages, and refs don’t decide your faith. It amazes me how guys can call themselves world champs when a referee picked them to win probably because he had a better hair cut that day…. if you follow what I’m getting at. When there’s a tie score at NABJJF/SJJIF, you go sudden death which is how real winners are decided. Another reason I feel I have success at the NABJJF/SJJIF tournaments is because I believe in myself. I visualize everything before a competition in my head and see myself winning every time. I tell myself that I’m the “best in the world” and that I just gotta go out and show everyone why I am. This is why I feel I’ve maintained dominance in every NABJJF/SJJIF competition I’ve done.
- At this past SJJIF Worlds, what did you learn about your jiu-jitsu game?
One thing I learned at this world tournament is that I felt too relaxed as if I wasn’t going to compete. I remember in my matches thinking to myself “man this guy is really trying to come at me right now. I need to start getting aggressive and snap out of this relaxed stage that I’m in right now.” I believe I felt this way because in MMA it’s a lot more intense compared to bjj competitions, so when I was out there I wasn’t worried about guys swinging for the fences trying to punch me in the face. My advice for individuals who compete is that being a little nervous is better than being too relaxed.
- Final thoughts or advice to other jiu-jitsu competitors?
BJJ nowadays has become soft with a lot of phony competitors out there fooling individuals on social media into thinking that they are legit. Seems like people are just trying to become famous rather than get better in BJJ. My advice would be to do your research before admiring these kinds of individuals and getting training tips from them. Also I advise not to get caught up in cults. There are gyms out there that resemble cults, where everyone dresses and looks the same. BJJ is for everyone, and should allow one to grow to become a better individual and not be a clone of someone else. In my opinion, I highly recommend that bjj practitioners roll a lot, drill, and don’t make excuses in their training. Those are the keys to improving one’s BJJ game. Train hard and embrace the grind!
Congratulations again and we look forward to seeing you in upcoming events! OSS!
You can follow Johnny on his jiu-jitsu journey: @kidkvenbo on Instagram/Twitter