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Two Best Jiu-Jitsu Copywriting Secrets

These two jiu-jitsu copywriting secrets can make your copy almost unbeatable. I discovered them in my 12-year journey to black belt. 

They were taught to me by my coach, Marco Nacimento, as I headed to the mat for my first grappling competition since I was in high school.

They have, together, helped me medal at the World Masters six times with my age group, bring home gold three times, and win the world title in Brazil. 

Unbeknownst to me, I had been using these two secrets for years. They were already inside me. But instead of applying them on the mat, I was applying them on the page, generating over $100 million in sales for America’s top publishers.

A winning combination

Because Marco put these feelings/secrets into words, I was able to apply them in the match, like magic, no different than how I apply my copywriting techniques as I write. 

The only difference was that instead of seeing the available means of persuasion and winning their minds by argument (as I do with copywriting), I was seeing in real time the opportunities to win that were in front of me and applying these techniques in real time. 

The funny part: Nothing he said to me had anything to do with technique, but everything to do with mindset. It was the same kind of confidence and mindset I had already established in copywriting. 

You see, when I jump into a project, I do so fearlessly, knowing in my gut it is going to be a winner. There is never any doubt in mind that I am writing another million-dollar control. 

To be sure, not every copywriting project was a winner, but I approached each one as if I was going to bring home the gold–and I did–only these were bags of gold. 

How you can use them to improve your copy

Six weeks prior to my first jiu-jitsu competition, I didn’t have that same mindset. Even as all the guys were encouraging me to compete and saying, “Doug, you have to compete. You are the best guy your age,” I had my doubts. 

I would not admit it at the time, but I was afraid to lose. Funny, I was not afraid to lose a copywriting competition. No way. I was going to kick ass and take names. 

But this was different. This was mano a mano. Yet, at the end of the day, it was another competition. One that was not just mental but mental and physical. 

So I proceeded to work on both, training six days a week, two hours a day, dropping from 208 pounds to 195 pounds. 

Another winning secret

Just like I would study other copywriters’ work when I wrote my promotions, I studied my competitors’ work–or his YouTube videos–and practiced against everything I saw. 

In other words, I worked the other guy’s jiu-jitsu swipe file and used it against him! Sound familiar?

To be sure, when I arrived at the competition, I was nervous. I should have been. I was up against the guy who never lost!  

But a sense of calm swept over me right before I stepped on the mat. That’s when Marco whispered to me the two secrets that I had been using intuitively when writing copy, and now I could apply them to jiu-jitsu. 

They were: 

  1. Play your game
  2. Have fun out there 

When I stepped on to the mat, I did so with the mindset, “I’m going to win this one.” And that’s what I did. I played my game and had fun doing it, beating the guy who had never lost 14-2.

Beginning today, you too can use these two copywriting secrets to improve your copy 


  1. By playing your game! 

    Don’t try to emulate someone else’s style. Create one of your own. It’s a whole lot easier to write like YOU than it is to write like someone else. 

    That’s why most people can identify a Doug D’Anna promotion–by my style. Read enough of my promotions and you will too.
  2. Have fun out there!

    Stop stressing. You didn’t get into copywriting to be a mental mess, did you? If so, you are in the wrong business. You need to take joy in everything you do. Have fun with each project. That’s what I do!

This is how I have approached my work for 30 years–with joy, mindfulness, and the attitude that “I will not be denied in the pursuit of my goals.”

That is how Steve Kerr was able to coach the Golden State Warriors to five consecutive NBA Finals, winning three championships.

When you write with joy in your heart, you will be unbeatable. The thoughts, word transitions, and arguments will come to you almost like magic as you form your promotions. 

Of course, it happens over time–not  overnight–just like the journey to black belt. The journey to black belt in copywriting is the same. 

Which is why, if you want to rise to the top of the A-list, you must see your efforts as a journey. One that will be a whole lot more fun when you have fun out there and play your game. 


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Doug D'Anna

As a seasoned direct response copywriter, Doug D'Anna has created more than 100 widely-mailed control packages for the world's largest specialized information publishers—generating over $100 million in direct sales.