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Gracie Barra – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Martial Arts – Jiu-Jitsu for everyone – Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone
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Advanced Side Control Chokes

This week Gracie Barra looks at advanced choke attacks from the side control position. Note that most of these attacks are against an opponent with a strong defense in the bottom of side control. When the opponent’s arms are in a solid, defensive frame, it can be very difficult to find an opening to attack. 4 videos by GB instructors teach you some ideas on how to attack the choke. partindo cem kilos

GB Training Plan – Week 10

GB TP Week 10 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 8/20 – 8/26 our classes are based on Week 10 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter 10Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Speaking Their Language: GBK Teaching Vocabulary and Commands

Have you ever heard of the phrase, Kids say the darndest things!? The kids in our schools might sometimes seem like they have a language all their own – full of trends, slang, and just their youthful jokes and goofy phrases. And while we might not always understand the phrases they are playfully throwing around, we have to make sure that we choose our words wisely. The training environment you build for your GBK students must evolve around the essential elements of the GB Method. We have already looked at many of these – the GBK Curriculum, GBK Uniform, and the GBK Belt System and Attendance Cards. These are in a way the physical things of our schools – they represent the things we wear, the coursework we follow, and the tools we use. Sometimes don’t realize just how important our communication is to our training and building of amazing schools. GBK Teaching Vocabulary and Commands In order to provide the best possible training environment for our youngest students, it is imperative that we know how to best communicate with them. Our GBK Teaching Vocabulary and Commands include communication strategies and techniques that are essential to building that positive training environment. You have to be able to share your knowledge and reach the minds and hearts of the next generation of Jiu-Jitsu artists. We do this with 3 core strategies for complete communication.   Continue reading the exclusive article  Speaking Their Language: GBK Teaching Vocabulary and Commands at vhq.graciebarra.com

The Positional Hierarchy – Your First Year of Training

One of the students at my home academy is a competitor who comes from a striking background. Well conditioned and coordinated, he is progressing very quickly since he started training bjj in the kimono 4 months ago. He asked me at the end of class last week if I would recommend that he start to focus on becoming really good at a certain position or submission. Developing his “A game” as bjj guys like to refer to it. I told him that would likely happen anyway. That he would naturally gravitate towards certain positions that fit his attributes and developing game. Read also:Top Game or Bottom Game? Instead I recommended that he concentrate on getting all of his positions down in the “Positional hierarchy”. The Positional Hierarchy: Rear Mount Mount Knee on Belly Side Control Half Mount Guard Top / Guard Bottom Turtle Top / Turtle Bottom Half Guard Bottom Side Control Bottom Knee on Belly Bottom Mount Bottom Rear Mount Bottom A list of the major positions in jiu-jitsu organized from worst to best, or maybe more accurately, from least to most dominant. Looking at the list together with the student I would ask the following questions about each position: 1) Do you know when you are in each position at any point in the match? Can we stop the video of your roll at any point and you identify which of the positions you are in? 2) If you are in a dominant position: ~ How is your opponent trying to escape? ~ How do you control the position? ~ What are your submissions from there? ~ How do you enter into this dominant position? ex. move from side mount to mount? 3) If you are in an inferior / defensive position: ~ How do you escape? ~ Which submissions do you have to defend / counter? ~ How can you move or progress your bad position to the next higher position? ex. move from half guard to full guard? Before thinking of delving deep into a certain position (ex. learning everything in the spider guard) you need to know what to do in every and all of the major positions in the hierarchy. It does you little good to have 5 techniques from omoplata if you have zero ways to escape the mount! In order to have a productive roll, you have to have knowledge of what you should do in each position or you will be stuck, not knowing what to do or resorting to using pure strength to try to survive. The Gracie Barra curriculum is designed to systematically teach students all of the positions (both top and bottom!) for each of the major positions. Read also: 3 Tips For Your First Year of Training Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJEND

GB Training Plan – Week 9

GB TP Week 9 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 8/13 – 8/19 our classes are based on Week 9 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Be An Ambassador For Jiu-jitsu

Since the early days of Brazilian jiu-jitsu first spreading outside the country of origin Brasil and throughout the world, jiu-jitsu culture has evolved along with the techniques of the art themselves. The Gracie Barra philosophy of “Jiu-jitsu for everyone” is a significant factor behind the world wide expansion of the art. In the earlier days of jiu-jitsu in North America, BJJ was synonymous with “No Holds Barred”, the “Vale Tudo” fighting roots in Brasil. The first wave of jiu-jitsu schools were filled with tough guys with cauliflower ears and intensely competition oriented. While these academies produced legitimately tough guys they were also limited. The GB Instructors course describes this approach as “Jiu-jitsu for a few.” Unfortunately, jiu-jitsu suffered from an image problem in Brasil in the early days as a number of jiu-jitsu fighters were involved in violent street confrontations. Since those early days and through the efforts of jiu-jitsu’s senior leaders and visionaries, jiu-jitsu has evolved to be the martial art that millions of people are enjoying all over the world. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. boldly expressed his vision to see a Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu academy in every city in the world. An Important part of this growth of jiu-jitsu is….YOU! Yes, the individual student of jiu-jitsu is important in terms of being an ambassador for the art of jiu-jitsu. As you meet people in other areas of your social life, you will be the first exposure for them that jiu-jitsu even exists. People will form an impression of jiu-jitsu largely based on how you represent yourself and the art. Speaking postively about the benefits of training; the health benefits that one enjoys from the jiu-jitsu lifestyle: the satisfaction of meeting the challenges of learning jiu-jitsu all go a long ways to growing interest in jiu-jitsu. In the back of the mind of many jiu-jitsu students is that they have found an activity that has improved their lives and they wish to share what they have discovered with others. Your enthusiasm for and positive representation of jiu-jitsu may influence someone to try a class. If they stick to it, you have yet another valuable training partner! The more new people who become students, the stronger and healthier the academy. The academy is now able to offer more class times, perhaps even expand to a bigger mat space and nicer facility with every amenity. Grandmaster Carlos Gracie has a list of beliefs that he called the Commandments of Jiu-jitsu. Some of these ideas are important for those students who wish to represent jiu-jitsu in a positive way. “- Talk to all people about happiness, health, and prosperity – Think only about the best, work only for the best, and always expect the best. – Be as just and enthusiastic about others victories as you are with yours.” How can you be an ambassador for Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu? See also on Gracie Barra : Different Reasons To Train Jiu-jitsu Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Instagram: @bjjmarkmullen

GB Training Plan – Week 8

GB TP Week 8 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 8/06 – 8/12 our classes are based on Week 8 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

GB Techniques: Triangle Choke From The Guard

This week Gracie Barra Techniques brings you some videos on many setups for the triangle choke from the guard. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. A triangle choke from the guard is the way most of us first learn the triangle. There are many creative ways to enter into that same triangle choke. Check out how GB instructors teach how to catch the triangle from the guard. 1) The Triangle from Spider * Note how the sweep forces the opponent to put his hand on the mat and leaves the opening to attack the triangle. 2) Cross Guard & Triangle Choke When yoiu opponent counters your armlock from the guard, Prof. Flavio Almeida teaches how to transition to the triangle. 3)Triangle choke set up from closed guard using belt control Control of the belt halps keep the posture of the opponent broken and easier to catch the triangle. 4)Triangle to counter the guard pass /Triângulo partindo da guarda aberta This triangle entry counters one fo the most common ways your opponent will try to pass your guard. 5)From back to guard triangle / Triângulo partindo das costas Technically, this triangle starts on the back and finishes int he guard…but it is so awesome we needed to include it on this list! Read also : Technique Combinations Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 7

GB TP Week 7 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 7/31 – 8/05 our classes are based on Week 7 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

GB Techniques: Open guard sweep

This week Gracie Barra Techniques brings you open guard sweep techniques. Did you know that Gracie Barra Brazil’s YouTube channel is FILLED with great techniques from GB schools from all over Brazil? Subscribe to the Gracie Barra Brazil YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. Sweeps from the open guard are perhaps the most powerful weapon for jiu-jitsu competitors as they can reverse a fight in an instant and get a valuable 2 points. Arm Wrapped Butterfly Guard Sweep Prof. Flavio Almeida shows the basic but powerful hook sweep. https:// Sweep from Spider Guard Prof. Diogo Ferreira of GB San Clemente teaches a sweep using a pwerful spider guard hook https:// X-Guard details and sweep Profesor Marco ‘Piu-Piu’ Joca Shows a great set up into the X-Guard and how to finish with a sweep https:// Spider Guard Sweep with Lucas Rocha On this video Coach Lucas Rocha from Gracie Barra Arcadia teaches a spider guard sweep. https:// Sweep off of omoplata / Variação do Omoplata para Raspagem Advanced technique to roll backwards to a sweep when your opponent counters your omoplata https:// on Gracie Barra : 3 Tips For Better Guard 3 Tips For Better Guard Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 6

GB TP Week 6 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 7/24 – 7/30 our classes are based on Week 6 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Advanced Side Control Chokes

Note that most of these attacks are against an opponent with a strong defense in the bottom of side control. When the opponent’s arms are in a solid, defensive frame, it can be very difficult to find an opening to attack. 5 videos by GB instructors teach you some ideas on how to attack the choke. Lapel choke setups from side control South Choke Setup

GB Training Plan – Week 5

GB TP Week 5 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 7/17 – 7/24 our classes are based on Week 5 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

3 Tips For Your Single Leg Takedown

This week Gracie Barra looks at the details on the single leg takedown. One of the most important key takedowns for MMA, no-gi and jiu-jitsu with the kimono.

GB Training Plan – Week 4

GB TP Week 4 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 7/10 – 7/16 our classes are based on Week 4 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Arm Bar From The Guard

Most jiu-jitsu students know the basic arm lock from the guard. But getting it on an experienced, fully resisting opponent is an entirely different thing! The instant you grip the arm, your opponent defends by pulling the elbow back and your attack is stopped before it even started. If you want to get the armlock from the guard, you are going to need a more advanced strategy. 4 Gracie Barra black belts teach how they catch the basic armock from the guard. is a tricky way to get your opponent to expose his arm for arm lock. Champion Otavio Sousa shows how to catch the arm lock in transition to the guard. See also on Gracie Barra : 5 Important Questions to Ask When Learning a New Move In Class Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Some Great Rolls

It can be very helpful for jiu-jitsu students to observe black belts roll. Sure, you can see some new techniques and positions that you are not familiar with yet, but the important thing to watch for is HOW the black belt rolls.   This week GB Blog is sharing several videos of high level black belts rolling.   While you are watching the rolls ask yourself the following questions :   1) How much strength are they using at any time?   2) Can you see when 1 guy is trying to setup the other with a trap or combination?   3) How are they using leverage more than muscle power?   4) When are they using movement instead of staying tight and trying to just hold a position?   Master Carlos Gracie Jr.   When Black and Brown Belts Play  

GB Athlete Profile : Prof. Isaac Dull

Gracie Barra is proud of the athletes that represent the Red Shield in competitions all over the world. Prof. Isaac “Dull” Dull has been an instructor at Gracie Barra Brasil HQ in Rio de Janeiro and is an active competitor. “Dull” as his friends call him most recently captured the Gold in both the Brasil Open and Campeonato Estadual do Rio de Janeiro in the black belt division. Gracie Barra Blog asked “Dull” about competing in the black belt division and advice for GB competitors. Q:  Isaac, you an active competitor in Brasil representing Gracie Barra in the black belt division. Which Gracie Barra academy are you training at now? Who are your main coaches and training partners? I am training on Gracie Barra HQ in Rio de Janeiro with Jefferson Moura, Joelson Sousa, Vanessa Silva and Fabricio Lopes. I have many training partners but I will tell you about the toughest ones: Gustavo Ximu, Paulo Fernando Nogueira, Gustavo Oddone, Aloisio Dado, Marcio Cunha, Roberto Ferraz, Guilherme Paixao, Diego Peterlee, etc… Q: What are the keys behind your success? What are the elements that go into preparing for a competition? What does it take to win in the tough black belt division in Brasil? My key to the success are discipline and sacrifice. The most important elements are training, eat well, rest well… To beat tough guys you need lost 1000 times, is really hard, the life gonna put you down many times but If you keep competing your jiu-jitsu gonna be better and better. Q: Can you give us an idea of what a week’s training schedule is like before a tournament? How often do you train? How do you change your diet? I use to train jiu-jitsu  in the morning, rest 3 or 4 hours then go do a bodybuilding session and in the night train jiu-jitsu again, everyday, but on saturday no bodybuilding, just jiu-jitsu 1 or twice. Sunday is my day off. My diet is always the same, when I lived with Marco Gracie and his family I’ve learned the Gracie Diet and I use to follow many things from that, it helps to alkalize our organism. Q: You have spent time teaching abroad where you did not have other black belts to train with. How did you keep your jiu-jitsu sharp without black belt training partners to push you? How did you approach your training with less experienced training partners? When I am teaching in a place without many training partners I try to do more workouts, eat better, sleep more to increase hormone levels. My approach with less experienced training partners is easy, I try to check whats his limit then I will start to make tough training partners for me, the ones that have more determination for it. Q: What advice do you have for Gracie Barra students who want to compete in jiu-jitsu tournaments? Many feel nervous before the matches. What is your mental attitude before a Championship match? My advice is: don’t be afraid to lose, it happens, don’t worry about win or lose. The magic happens when you leave your comfort zone. My mental attitude is clean my mind, just be grateful to God because I am health, be impassible. Hoka hey, today is a good day to die. Facebook.com/dullisaac Instagram: @dullgbct dullisaac@hotmail.com See also on Gracie Barra : Bjj Tournaments: Do You Have a Gameplan to Prepare? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 2

GB TP Week 2 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 6/26 – 7/02 our classes are based on Week 2 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

The Details Make The Difference!

Have you ever been to class and learned a new detail for a technique that you already thought that you knew completely? Have you ever watched a YouTube video by a high level instructor and were amazed at how many details there were in a seemingly “basic” technique? The truth is that most jiu-jitsu techniques have several small details that dramatically increase the effectiveness of the “basic” move. Details make the difference! Some tips: 1) All parts of your body must be used in applying the technique. One of the principles that makes jiu-jitsu techniques so efficient is that a smaller person is applying the force and leverage of their entire body against the joints of a larger opponent. Yet I often see students attempting techniques with primarily upper body strength and forgetting to engage the more powerful muscle groups of the hips and legs. A good way to test some of your techniques is to ask yourself (and your instructor!) “What should each of my limbs be doing in this technique?”. You may be surprised at how all of your limbs have a role in applying a technique – when at first glance it seems the other limbs have no role in the move. 2) How is your opponent going to try to escape? Black belts will not rush a technique and ignore the details that prevent the opponent’s most likely escapes. Often we are so excited to be in a submission position that we rush and skip over important details. The unfortunate result is that the technique is not tight and our opponent escapes. Observe the high level jiu-jitsu fighters who move into a position to attack, and pause an instant to take a trip to control the opponent and prevent the escape. This small detail can make or break the technique! Ask yourself : “How can I stop the opponent from countering while I am applying the technique?” 3) Never assume that you know all there is to know about a “basic” technique. The so-called basic techniques are anything but simple! There are subtle but important details that make the basic techniques work for all types of body types in BJJ academies all over the world. When you get an opportunity to train with a top level jiu-jitsu instructor, ask them about one of your favorite techniques. Preferably a technique that you feel that you already have a strong command of. Now ask the black belt instructor about it and I’ll bet you learn a new detail that makes your already strong move go up a whole other level! I have been astounded at some small but significant details that instructors have shown me on techniques that I’ve already been using for 10+ years. See also on Gracie Barra : 5 Important Questions to Ask When Learning a New Move In Class Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 1

GB TP Week 1 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 6/19 – 6/25 our classes are based on Week 1 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Get a Grip! Some important points about grip fighting in Jiu-Jitsu

If you watch some of the world class level competitions you will see that a significant part of passing the guard / defending the guard is about grip fighting. Hand fighting (the no-gi equivalent of grip fighting) is no less important in passing the guard in ADCC style of competitions. In fact, when I was a brown belt my mantra was “break grips!” Before being able to improve my guard passing against higher belts, I had to learn how to deal with my opponent’s grips and how to dominate with my own grips. One of my early jiu-jitsu instructors said that grips were one of the top 3 most important aspects of a bjj match. “Strong grips can dominate a fight” he explained. Here are 4 important points about grip fighting in jiu-jitsu: 1) Grip strengthening You want to have a strong grip? Train it like any other muscle group or action that you want to improve. A Russian judo competitor told me that he used to train his grip by hanging a gi over a chin up bar and doing a timed hang for as long as his grip would hold out. Some gyms are equipped with thick ropes suspended from the ceiling where climbing the rope will really test your pulling power and endurance. *Tip: I like to thread a kimono through the handles of TRX straps/ handles and pull with a handful of cloth grip for my pull ups to imitate pulling an opponent in for a choke. read also: 5 Great Methods of Physical Conditioning for BJJ 2) Know when to grip At a spider guard seminar held by the great competitor and Bjj World Champion Romulo Barral I asked him about the importance of a strong grip to play his spider guard game. In spider guard a powerful controlling grip on the sleeves is absolutely critical. Romulo replied that yes, he did perform specific strengthening exercises for his hand and forearm strength. But his secret was learning WHEN to apply strength and when the grip could be relaxed slightly. He explained that anyone’s grip would soon be exhausted if you attempted to squeeze 100% power ALL the time! 3) Who is dominating the grips? Watching one student try to pass the guard of the bottom player we see both fighting for sleeve control? The question is: “If BOTH fighters have grasped each other’s sleeves…who is dominating who?” The simple rule of thumb is: whoever has the bent arm is likely dominating the grip When grasping your opponent’s sleeve, make sure YOUR arm is bent and your elbow is pulled close into your body! 4) Judo grip fighting In the world of international judo competition grip fighting has evolved to an entire set of skills and strategies in itself. “Kumi kata” it is called in Japanese and the wisdom is that whoever secures their favorite grips first will most likely get the throw. Judo grip fighting teaches that it is possible to dominate an opponent just through superior gripping techniques and nullifying his offense. A significant part of this grip training is learning the techniques to break your opponent’s grips. This strategy is also successful on the ground in passing the guard. If you do not allow your opponent to secure their favorite grip, it is very difficult for them to obtain enough control to pass your guard. * Tip: Before trying to pass against an opponent’s strong grip, stop and break the grip your opponent is using to control your collar or sleeve. read also: 3 Tips to Help Your Guard Passing Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Bangkok, Thailand Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

3 Reasons Your Friends Should Try Jiu-jitsu

Most of us students of Brazilian jiu-jitsu can not imagine our lives without going to the academy several times per week. At a social gathering some of your friends will ask how your jiu-jitsu is going and might express curiosity about what you do at the academy. Many people are interested in trying a martial art or are looking for another fitness activity to get involved in, but they may be unsure what it is all about and how to get started. The best way for them to over come their inertia and inhibitions is to come along with their friend – YOU! and try a class or 2. read also: 5 Tips For New Students in Bjj If you think they need a little convincing, here are 3 Reasons Your Friends Should Try Jiu-Jitsu: 1) See your friends more often For most of us who are busy with work, family, and all of our other obligations, we don’t see our close friends as often as we would like. A bbq once or twice each summer and maybe a birthday party, but most of time we struggle to socialize with some of our favorite people. If our friends are training at the jiu-jitsu academy a few times each week, it is FAR easier to stay in contact and keep the friendship strong. Due to the nature of close contact and cooperation of jiu-jitsu training, many friendships are made and strengthened in the academy. There is no complicated arranging of schedules to meet – I’m training Mon/Wed/Fri this week, see you there! 2) Hang out with your friends while getting fit Instead of meeting in a bar for happy hour, deep fried foods and alcoholic beverages to socialize, how about a fitness oriented activity? It is far easier to adhere to a healthy lifestyle when you are surrounded by people who also eat healthy and who avoid self destructive behaviours like smoking and excessive drinking. Trying to quit smoking, drinking and get more active in your lifestyle? You are also more likely to stay regular with your training if you know your friends will be expecting you at the academy. If you centre your socializing around a fitness activity like jiu-jitsu, you are “killing two birds with one stone” by working out and seeing your friends at the same time. 3) Making new friends and REAL face time With most people owning a smart phone and connected to social media 24 / 7, we are starting to lose actually interacting with friend sin real life! Consider for a moment how many of your friends that your primary interaction with them is to “like” a Facebook post or Instagram photo of theirs. While social media and online communication does make it easier to stay in touch with our social circle, it is not the same as REAL “face time” with our friends. Many of us feel a little guilty about the amount of time we spend online and know instinctively that we should see our friends in person more often. Outside of work our opportunities to meet new people can be limited. The jiu-jitsu academy is a great place to meet some new friends are the positive “can do” types of personalities that we want more of in our lives. In addition to learning how to protect yourself and your loved ones, getting fit around a group of positive people is a great reason to invite your friends to come visit your academy and try a jiu-jitsu class. read also: Do You Want To Start Learning Brazilian Jiu-jitsu? How To Get Started! Have you convinced any of your friends to try training jiu-jitsu? Please share this article with a friend who you want to come try a by class at your school. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Experiment With Your Jiu-jitsu

Students of jiu-jitsu who attend class regularly and follow the guidance of their instructor make the best long term progress. Having a qualified black belt instructor can save one literally years of trial error trying to figure things out. It is important however for BJJ students to take a proactive roll in their learning. Jiu-jitsu addicts will look for many different sources to learn from. The Gracie Barra teams around the world have YouTube channels where instructors share technique variations with everyone. Check out the weekly GB Blog posts where GB features techniques from a different position. One of the most important things a jiu-jitsu student can do to both widen and deepen their understanding of jiu-jitsu is experiment. Experiment with: ~ new open guard styles. Which open guard of the many different types will stick with you and become your favorite guard game? One of my black belt friends compiled a list of different guards : Basic Closed Guard High Guard Rubber Guard Shawn Williams Guard Standard Open Guard Spider Guard Butterfly Guard De la Riva Guard Reverse de la Riva Cross Guard Sitting Open Guard Upside Down Guard The Half Guard Deep Half Guard Z Guard X Guard Sitting Half Guard Instep Guard and so on…

GB Training Plan – Week 16

GB TP Week 16 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 6/12 – 6/18 our classes are based on Week 16 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Successful Stories: Professor Philipe Della Monica  

There are no limits to those who work hard and give their best. Professor Philipe Della Monica is a great example for that matter. Furão (Ferret in Portuguese) has always been passionate about Jiu-Jitsu and since he was young he already knew that he wanted to make the gentle art his profession. In 2007 he moved to California to join forces with Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and contribute to the mission of bringing Jiu-Jitsu for everyone. Unable to speak English, away from his family and best friends, he began his career by helping out at the Irvine Headquarters in California. In a few months, his work and dedication were recognized and Philipe began to teach some at the HQ. In the year 2009, he was sent to Chicago to assist in the development of the region. With impeccable work after 6 months he returned to California in search of his biggest dream: open a Gracie Barra school of his own. A few months later Philipe inaugurated GB Saddleback where he was the head instructor for 5 years and became also a Jiu-Jitsu entrepreneur. His dedication to the school, management skills, and loyalty to the red shield drew the attention of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. In the year 2015 Professor Della Monica was invited to join forces at the US Headquarters. 2 years had passed and Philipe had done an exceptional job dedicating himself with responsibility and passion to Gracie Barra and to the Headquarters in Irvine. In addition to working at the HQ Furão was also very dicated to the GB competition team, the GB North America projects and the support of GB schools. In May, Professor Philipe Della Monica was appointed Chief Instructor of the GB Headquarters – in Irvine, which is one of the most successful and admirable positions to conquer. Congratulations Professor Philipe Della Monica on behalf of Master Carlos Gracie Jr and the entire Gracie Barra family, we thank you immensely for your dedication, hard work and love for the GB Red Shield. As Mestre Carlinhos always tells us “the sky is the limit”, and stories like this are here to inspire and motivate us to always be looking for our best on and off the mats.“This was one of the most important and special days of my life! Master Carlos Gracie Jr. nominated me the Head Instructor of Gracie Barra Headquarters in Irvine and awarded me with my own framed photo. The photo is to be hung on the wall at the GBHQ main dojo area alongside his picture and Professor Marcio Feitosa’s. Thank you, Master Carlos and Professor Marcio, for everything. I’m so honored for this moment and I will continue to work hard every day to spread Master Carlos’ vision, philosophy and keep the Gracie Barra legacy alive.”

GB Training Plan – Week 15

GB TP Week 15 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 6/05 – 6/11 our classes are based on Week 15 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

The Ego In Training

There is a popular saying in jiu-jitsu “Leave your ego at the door.” I have even seen this quote posted on a sign at the entrance of an academy. The common interpretation of this piece of advice is if a student is too focused on winning and losing in training, their learning of jiu-jitsu is harmed. And this is a BIG problem for students to recognize and for coaches to deal with among the students. on Gracie Barra : Life Lessons From Jiu-jitsu Example 1: The student who refuses to tap when caught in an arm bar because if they tap it means that they are no good at jiu-jitsu (at least in their own minds!). Instead of tapping, they stubbornly try to escape and end up with their elbow getting popped and a cry of pain startles the entire class. This is the equivalent of working out at the gym and asking each other : “How much can you bench?” This is the DEMONSTRATION of strength, NOT the development of strength. You build your strength by sets and higher reps. The single maximal effort does little to actually improve your strength. But you try to look cool in front of your buddies! If one approaches their rolls with the mentality that each roll is a measurement of their ability in jiu-jitsu – and even if they are a worthwhile human being! – it is easy to see that will interfere with their ability to learn. Behind many a sore elbow or shoulder in the academy is an ego that refused to tap early enough. Example: The student who needs to win the roll EVERY time and / or be very tight defensively to see if they can survive a round without being tapped. If they balled up tightly and “white knuckle gripped” their collars while watching the clock to see if they could survive the 5 minutes – and consider that a victory? They didn’t try any of their escapes or transitions. They just held on for dear life and tried to stall the roll. Is this effective training? Now there may be some sort of a moral victory there for them in avoiding a tap? But they have entirely missed the MOST IMPORTANT point in rolling in class. To get better at jiu-jitsu! To improve, you need to open up your game, try new techniques and be prepared to have them fail enough times until they are sharp enough to succeed. I recently spoke with a multiple time World Champion who stressed that “training is just training” and to prove your techniques in the tournament. Training is for learning. The truth is that bjj attracts competitive personalities and there is a certain amount of “ego” that goes along with that. I dare you to find a top level competitor who is perfectly fine with losing! That part of the personality that badly wants to win drives them to train hard and develop the highest levels of techniques and conditioning. A certain amount of ego IS important to stay involved in such a competitive and demanding thing as jiu-jitsu.The ego becomes counter productive when it takes your focus off of training to improve and instead just trying to measure yourself. see also: : Adding New Positions To Your Jiu-Jitsu http://graciebarra.com/2016/05/new-positions/ Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Experiment With Your Jiu-jitsu

Students of jiu-jitsu who attend class regularly and follow the guidance of their instructor make the best long term progress. Having a qualified black belt instructor can save one literally years of trial error trying to figure things out. It is important however for BJJ students to take a proactive roll in their learning. Jiu-jitsu addicts will look for many different sources to learn from. The Gracie Barra teams around the world have YouTube channels where instructors share technique variations with everyone. Check out the weekly GB Blog posts where GB features techniques from a different position. One of the most important things a jiu-jitsu student can do to both widen and deepen their understanding of jiu-jitsu is experiment. Experiment with: ~ new open guard styles. Which open guard of the many different types will stick with you and become your favorite guard game? One of my black belt friends compiled a list of different guards : Basic Closed Guard High Guard Rubber Guard Shawn Williams Guard Standard Open Guard Spider Guard Butterfly Guard De la Riva Guard Reverse de la Riva Cross Guard Sitting Open Guard Upside Down Guard The Half Guard Deep Half Guard Z Guard X Guard Sitting Half Guard Instep Guard and so on…

GB Learning : Attacking From the De la Riva Guard

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some videos on the open guard style the De la Riva Guard The De la Riva guard is a powerful guard to use against standing guard passers. Originally popularized by Brazilian black belt Ricardo De la Riva, the guard has evolved over the last 20 years and is an important part of modern competition jiu-jitsu. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. Let;s take a look at some of the techniques that you can try from this great open guard style. De La Riva Guard – control your opponent is perhaps the first and most important sweep to learn from DLR guard. Note the details of the sleeve grip. De la Riva Sweep #2 – Advanced Flavio shows us one of the most important techniques from DLR guard : how to take your opponent’s back. Inside De La Riva holding the Belt – Advanced

GB Training Plan – Week 14

GB TP Week 14 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 5/29 – 6/04 our classes are based on Week 14 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s Philosophy on Jiu-jitsu Self Defense

“Nowadays, words on the streets and internet, everyone wants sometimes to emphasize something and say that there are 2 types of jiu-jitsu. The self defense jiu-jitsu and the sport jiu-jitsu. I think this is a little bit of fantasy from people wanting to divide jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu is only one thing. When someone walks into an academy, and they didn’t know jiu-jitsu, they will learn a jiu-jitsu style that teaches how to defend themselves from an aggressor on the streets. What would be the most common attacks that could happen on the streets and in everyday life. This would be the self defense side, the name people give to this, to give some more significance. They name it self defense, jiu-jitsu self defense. At the beginning, you start learning all the basic positions, the most basic positions inside jiu-jitsu. Then you start to develop your jiu-jitsu knowledge and you start to practice jiu-jitsu with other partners that also know jiu-jitsu and are not beginners anymore. So jiu-jitsu training starts between these two,  with other different partners, then for that they call sport jiu-jitsu. From my point of view, everything is the sport jiu-jitsu, everything is the self defense jiu-jitsu. Because you will already be in a second level, you already learned jiu-jitsu, and now you are learning how to practice your self defense jiu-jitsu with someone who knows jiu-jitsu as well. Then you deepen your understanding of jiu-jitsu. How are you going to mount on a jiu-jitsu practitioner that knows the defenses, that has a good guard, that won’t let you mount on him? You will have to create technical resources to overcome his defense, to go for the mount on this individual. In the case of jiu-jitsu that people call self defense, when you learn in class, you learn how to mount on an ordinary person. You learn how to mount on a layman and this person won’t know how to defend from the mount. But a technical jiu-jitsu practitioner, graduated, he knows the defenses and won’t let you mount because he will know all the  defenses. Then you will have to find a way to circumvent all of this. You will have to create positions, to go for the mount on that person. This jiu-jitsu is a self defense jiu-jitsu in a higher level because if it happens on the streets, this person from self defense (that you learned in those very first classes) also be a guy that learned jiu-jitsu before and won’t let you mount. You have created enough techniques to rip off the defense and mount. So for me, ALL the jiu-jitsu is just one thing. There’s no separation!” Here is a look at a fundamental jiu-jitsu technique that works well both for street situations and sport competition.

Leg Locks In Training

The recent submission only competition events have featured many of the winners dominating with leg locks. Is this merely a new trend in BJJ and submission grappling or is it something that all jiu-jitsu practitioners should be looking to train more? Many more traditional BJJ academies do not allow beginner students to perform leg locks as they carry a certain type of risk of injury (which we will discuss today). The IBJJF rules prohibit many leg lock techniques in competition. Those schools and competitors who are focused on IBJJF tournaments will not allocate much of their training time to techniques and strategies that do not contribute to tournament success. So how should the BJJ student look at leg locks? After all, the legs make up half of our body and jiu-jitsu is all about submissions to the joints of the human body. A Brazilian instructor first explained his philosophy of leg locks and why they were considered more dangerous than armlocks or chokes. “With an armlock there will be more pain before any damage to the arm and the opponent has enough time to tap out and avoid injury. The legs are different. There is discomfort and not much pain in many leg locks (especially the prohibited heel hook) UNTIL there is a pop and something has been damaged. Arms : big pain / little injury Legs : little pain / big injury” For a student without much experience, they will have less understanding of the limits of their bodies. They can be caught in a submission and yet may not feel like they need to tap…suddenly POP! Ouch! The doctor says “Sorry to tell you this but you’ve torn a knee ligament. No jiu-jitsu for you for the next 6 months.” Nobody wants to see this happen. Now let’s talk about the positive aspects of training leg locks. A) As jiu-jitsu students, we need to understand the anatomy of the legs and how to apply submissions (and as importantly counter those submissions!). B) The ankles and knees are often easier to access and attack than passing the guard and achieving a full mount. C) Leg locks can be a great equalizer between smaller and larger opponents. D) To be a complete grappling game, you need to have an understanding of all aspects of jiu-jitsu and this includes leg locks. Regarding training leg locks, your head instructor will let you know which leg locks are permitted in the academy and which are appropriate for your belt level. White belts should not be attacking inverted heel hooks in rolling! When you attack the legs, look for control most importantly and then gradually, slowly apply the lock to allow the training partner adequate time to tap. If you are caught in a leg lock, do not thrash about wildly in an attempt to escape. Accept that you have been caught and tap. Re-tie your belt and start training again. Safety first! Advanced belts will have more legal leg locks available to them. New students should start with the basic Achilles / straight foot lock as this is both legal in most competitions and a great starting point to learn to control the opponent leading to different leg submissions. My final point is that it is important to train leg locks throughout your jiu-jitsu learning. If you only learn the knee bar at purple belt once it is legal in IBJJF rules then you will find yourself a purple belt with a white belt level of knee bar die to inexperience. Train your leg locks, but safety for you and your partner is #1! see also : Safety On The Mats Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 13

GB TP Week 13 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 5/22 – 5/28 our classes are based on Week 13 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

GB Techniques: Technique Combinations

This week Gracie Barra Techniques brings you some videos on 4 more advanced attack combinations in jiu-jitsu. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. The more experienced your opponent, the more likely that they can counter your direct, 1st attack. That is why advanced practitioners of jiu-jitsu attack in combination to get the submission or sweep. 1) Armbar from guard after your opponent defends the triangle There are a lot of attack options when you have an opponent in your guard. You’ll often hear that triangles/armbars/omoplatas are related to each other, and this is a perfect example of that in action by Prof. Draculino target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-saferedirecturl=”"https://www.google.com/url?hl=pt-BR&q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3D5s5-XBJo1CA&source=gmail&ust=1478360654998000&usg=AFQjCNFj1ENg0pANp_UfClad7aZcvuBtGQ””> 2) Mounted Choke to Armlock Combination Prof. Nao Takigawa demonstrates a mounted armlock attack combination. This is a CLASSIC combination attack that every jiu-jitrsu student needsn to learn! 3) Advanced Double Attack from the Mount Prof. Philipe Della Monica shows how when the opponent blocks his kimura he flows to the “monoplata”. 4) Omoplata to Sweep Combination / Variação do Omoplata para Raspagem When you attack the omoplata lock, the opponent can often counter the submission. Watch how to use the submission in combination with a sweep. Read also : Specific Training: A Great Training Method Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Learning : Intermediate Jiu-jitsu : Attack Combinations

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some videos on attack combinations from different positions for intermediate and advanced level jiu-jitsu students. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. Once a jiu-jitsu student has learned enough techniques for various situations in a match, they should start to think in terms of combinations. A single, straightforward submission attack is difficult to get on an experienced opponent. Your opponent knows what you are attempting to do and is not going to let you do it! As soon as they detect what you are doing, they immediately put up their defense. Advanced jiu-jitsu belts develop attacks utilizing technique combinations. The principle of action – reaction is the secret behind successful attack combinations. Your opponent defends your primary attack and by doing so, exposes themselves to the second attack in your combination. We see this concept all the time in boxing where the old “1 – 2” combination of jab – cross remains a highly effective punching combination. Let’s take a look at some easy to learn attack combinations by Gracie Barra black belts. Closed guard choke and armlock Paper cutter choke to Kimura What is YOUR favorite technique combination? See also on Gracie Barra : Escapes: Secret to Freeing Up Your Jiu-jitsu Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Learning : Escapes from Bottom Position

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some videos on escapes from the bottom. The most common technique questions white and blue belt students ask are “How do I escape from the bottom?”. Without a solid technique you are stuck on the bottom. Let’s take a look at how GB instructors deal with escaping from: scarf hold, side control, mount and knee on the belly. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. 1) Kimura Counter from Kesa-Gatame From Gracie Barra Colorado Springs we see how to escape the tough scarf hold position by climbing to the back. Do you know how to escape this difficult control position? 3) Mount escape – Guard recovery This is one of the most important escapes for all levels of jiu-jitsu students to master. Prof Draculino shows us how to combine techniques to escape the mount. 5) Knee on belly escape Having your opponent apply knee on the belly is really tough! Another great escape from Prof. Draculino using a stiff arm to ankle pick sweep. See also on Gracie Barra : Escapes: Secret to Freeing Up Your Jiu-jitsu Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Techniques: Escapes from Bad Positions

This week Gracie Barra Techniques brings you some videos on how to escape from bad positions. Your first year of training, you often get stuck in bad positions on the bottom. You fatigue struggling to escape and all too often end up getting submitted. We need tools to survive and then progress to a better position. Let us take a look at some ideas for escapes from bad positions. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. Escapes from Bad Positions 1) Side Control Escape – Gracie Barra Cool Springs and Green Hills Tennesee Stiff arm escape variation 2) Bridge Escape Top from the Back Prof. Flavio Almeida of Gracie Barra Scottsdale demonstrates how do bridge escape from the back control. 3) Escape from Turtle Position Back To Guard Joe Scarola of Gracie Barra Long Island shows a cool escape from turtle position back to guard and right into an armlock! 4) Side Mount Escape High Leg Method Prof. Flavio Almeida of Gracie Barra Scottsdale shares the “High Leg” on how to escape side mount bottom. 5) Side Mount Control Escape Prof. Danillo Coltro & Coach Fabio Bertolli from GB Australia demonstrate an escape from side mount control using the opponent’s sleeve on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: Take The Back! Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 11

GB TP Week 11 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 1/08 – 1/14 our classes are based on Week 11 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

A Short History of Gracie Barra

Many students ask me about the origins of Gracie Barra and how it is different than the other schools that bear the Gracie family name. Let us begin with the birth of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. on January 17, 1956. Carlos Jr. grew up in the large family and spent many hours learning jiu-jitsu with uncles and cousins on the outdoor mats in the family compound. In he legendary Teresópolis House, located in the mountains close Rio de Janeiro the family would spend time together and of course jiu-jitsu was a main activity for all of the young children running around. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. credits the late Rolls Gracie – who is considered one of the main minds behind the innovation and development of Gracie Jiu-jitsu – with being his main influence. Tragically Rolls Gracie died a premature death in a hang gliding accident. That left the young Carlos Gracie Jr. to take over Rolls part of the academy. At the time the academy was located in busy downtown Copacabana and shared with some other members of the Gracie family. Looking for a location outside of the crowded Copacabana, in 1986 Carlos Gracie Jr. founded the first Gracie Barra school. The new academy was located in Barra da Tijuca a suburb just a few kilometres down the coast from Rio de Janeiro. Carlos explains that instead of putting his own name on the academy, he decided to name the new school Gracie Barra after his family’s name and the area of Brazil that the school was located. The early days of Gracie Barra would find several of the Gracie family members Renzo, Ryan and Ralph, several of the Machado brothers and many other famous instructors.  Many who have since moved to many corners of the world to open up their own academies and spread the jiu-jitsu that they learned at the original Gracie Barra academy. Look at the faces in this old photo framed in the original Gracie Barra who have since established successful academies and teams all over the world. Currently, the original Gracie Barra is located in a fitness gym but a few blocks from the beach in Barra de Tijuca. The school is run by Prof. Jefferson Moura and continues to draw students internationally in search of some of the highest level of technical training to be found anywhere. In 2005, Carlos Gracie Jr. with the assistance of Prof. Marcio Feitosa opened a GB school outside Brazil, located at first in Lake Forest, California and now the city of Irvine, California. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. has stated his goal to bring Jiu-Jitsu to everyone by establishing a school in every city in the world. The Gracie Barra team continues its global expansion now with over 600 schools (and growing!) world wide. Gracie Barra has regional divisions representing North America, Central America, South America, Oceania and Europe. The opening of each new school and each new student who ties up his belt and steps on the mat at a Gracie Barra school is one step closer to achieving the grand vision of the founder of Gracie Barra Master Carlos Gracie Jr. The Gracie Barra Curriculum: The Best Way to Learn Bjj Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

The Fundamentals Class – Not Just For Beginners!

Gracie Barra introduces students to jiu-jitsu through the Fundamentals class. After several months of training the student may then attend the Advanced classes. Some students are eager to start the Advanced classes, excited to learn more advanced moves. But not so fast…the Fundamentals is NOT just for beginners! You might be surprised to see several colored belts on the mats at the Fundamentals class. As a brown belt I went to the Fundamentals classes as often as the Advanced classes. Why would a brown belt with 10+ years experience in jiu-jitsu want to attend a class that showed basic techniques? Because it is the basic techniques that we use in EVERY roll. The mastery of the basic techniques is what being a skilled jiu-jitsu student means. Most of what you use throughout your jiu-jitsu life will be from the Fundamentals classes. Every roll you will : ~ replace the guard ~ escape from side control or mount ~ attack with arm locks and triangle chokes As a brown belt I was refining my basic techniques with details that I was not aware of as a lower belt. That very same triangle choke that the new student struggles to learn is the move that the black belt has honed to a razor sharpness. Jiu-jitsu legend Jean Jacques Machado (who was an instructor in the very early days of Gracie Barra in.Brasil) said “The more you know, the less you use. To use less, you need to know more.” target=”_blank” data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3Dznh2YiKwLkI&source=gmail&ust=1494011929415000&usg=AFQjCNFqG4a9V1Bc545oxWuxU0g5iJOryQ”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znh2YiKwLkI The basic techniques are VERY effective when applied with precision, the correct timing, weight distribution and proper control. It is a mistake to dismiss the basic techniques for more advanced sports positions. One of my favorite quotes by Master CarloS Gracie Jr. illustrates the lifelong usefulness of the basic techniques. “This new acrobatic guards are efficient for sure, but your body can’t withstand them for too long. The lumbar region, for example, as strong as it may be, will never be armored against the passage of time. You can rest assure that the basic techniques, like the closed guard or the open guard with the hand on the lapel that I like to do will never abandon us. At 70, we’ll still be capable of performing them with plenty of mobility. That can’t be said of the berimbolo or the tornado guard.” See you in the Fundamentals class! See also on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: Partner Drills Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Learning : the Kimura Lock

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some videos on the versatile Kimura lock. The “Kimura” was named after one of the greatest Japanese judo icons Masahiko Kimura who famously used the ude garami variation to defeat Helio Gracie in a legendary match in Brazil. Let’s see some Kimura techniques and details by Gracie Barra instructors that you can try in your game. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. 1) Paper Cutter Choke To Kimura Philipe Della Monica, the head instructor at Gracie Barra HQ shows some details on how to attack the Kimura from bottom of half guard. A great tip on switching the legs. 3) Kimura Counter from Kesa-Gatame Victor Estima shows an attack when your opponent sits up in their guard. Catch the Kimura grip and roll into the lock. See also on Gracie Barra : Triangle Choke From The Guard Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 10

GB TP Week 10 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 1/05 – 1/07 our classes are based on Week 10 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Your Side Control Checklist : 5 Tips For You

You have defended the triangle, passed your opponent’s guard and achieved side control…Now what? How do you keep the position without your opponent recovering their guard and squandering all of your hard work? Side control can be the most secure top position with numerous submission possibilities, but requires some technical details to be effective. Here is a 5 point Side Control check list for you: 1) Control the head The best way for your opponent to escape your side control is to turn in towards you. By controlling the opponent’s head with a “cross face” you prevent their ability to turn and face you. Applying pressure with your shoulder is critical to controlling the head! There is a saying in bjj: “If you control the head, you control the body” 2) Get the underhook After your opponent replacing the guard, the next biggest threat to them escaping is for the bottom person to dig an underhook and use that to get to turtle position (or even take your back!) Your job on the top position is to get the underhook and prevent your opponent from squirming up and out towards your back. This is one of the things your coach will be shouting at you from the side of the mat. * Important! Whoever gets the underhook is likely dominating the position! 3) Apply your bodyweight UFC fighter and top grappler Josh Barnett says “There are no free rides on the bottom!” What does this mean? Barnett is saying that the top guy should be applying their bodyweight on the bottom. It should not be easy for the opponent to move and breath if you are applying your bodyweight and pressure! When your opponent is uncomfortable, they make mistakes and leave openings for your submission attacks. * Tip: If your knees are on the mat, your bodyweight is likely on the mat and NOT on your opponent. 4) Keep them flat Most of the best escapes from side control must be executed when the bottom person is not flat on their back and gets onto their side. Your job is to keep applying pressure by driving in with your weight to keep them flat. Toes on the mat, drive forward into the opponent pushing them flat. Don’t rely only on squeezing with your arms…use your ENTIRE body! * Tip: If you have the underhook, drive the shoulder you are using to underhook into their far shoulder to drive them back flat. 5) Change side controls There are in fact several different variations of side control – (in addition to the cross face / underhook common variation). Scarf hold / kesa gatame Reverse scarf hold Knee on belly…etc As your opponent changes their strategy to escape, you must also adapt your position to counter their movements. Be willing to move along with your opponent instead of being static and stiff and giving them an opening. ex. Opponent is attempting to put a knee inside to regain their guard > change you underhook hand to use to block their leg from sneaking inside for guard. read also: Big Guy Jiu-jitsu – A Word for the Heavyweights read also: The 5 Commandments Of Escaping from the Bottom Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Learning : The Omoplata

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some videos on one of the best guard attacks of all..the omoplata. The omoplata is a powerful and versatile technique that can be used as a sweep, a submission and a control position against a larger, stronger opponent. With or without the kimono, this is a technique that every guard player should know! Let’s see some techniques and details by Gracie Barra instructors that you can try in your game. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. 1) Omoplata from open guard – Omoplata partindo da Guarda Aberta we think of the butterfly guard as a sweeping position. Prof. Flavio Almeida shows how he attacks the omoplata when the opponent counters his sweep. 3) Omoplata alternate finish from spider guard is the 2nd sweep that you try when your opponent postures up and stops your first attempt at attack. You perform a back roll together with your opponent’s momentum. Tricky technique! 5) Double Attack from the Mount

GB Training Plan – Week 9

GB TP Week 9 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 4/24 – 4/30 our classes are based on Week 9 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

In Praise Of Great Training Partners

We love to follow the achievements of the top jiu-jitsu competitors and are inspired by their technical innovations, sharpness and creativity. But who is actually far more important to our BJJ learning is that guy beside you on the mat every week. The training partner who is the one you still the new techniques with and who tests you in rolling.

How To Be A Better Guard Passer

If you watch a jiu-jitsu match between 2 evenly matched opponents, chances are that most of the match will be one trying to pass the guard of the other. Many tournament matches are decided by the 3 points from the guard pass. There are many different guard styles: Closed guard Spider guard De la Riva & reverse DLR Butterfly guard…and on it goes.

GB Training Plan – Week 8

GB TP Week 8 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 4/17 – 4/23 our classes are based on Week 8 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Leg Locks In Training

The recent submission only competition events have featured many of the winners dominating with leg locks. Is this merely a new trend in BJJ and submission grappling or is it something that all jiu-jitsu practitioners should be looking to train more? Many more traditional BJJ academies do not allow beginner students to perform leg locks as they carry a certain type of risk of injury (which we will discuss today). The IBJJF rules prohibit many leg lock techniques in competition. Those schools and competitors who are focused on IBJJF tournaments will not allocate much of their training time to techniques and strategies that do not contribute to tournament success. So how should the BJJ student look at leg locks? After all, the legs make up half of our body and jiu-jitsu is all about submissions to the joints of the human body. A Brazilian instructor first explained his philosophy of leg locks and why they were considered more dangerous than armlocks or chokes. “With an armlock there will be more pain before any damage to the arm and the opponent has enough time to tap out and avoid injury. The legs are different. There is discomfort and not much pain in many leg locks (especially the prohibited heel hook) UNTIL there is a pop and something has been damaged. Arms : big pain / little injury Legs : little pain / big injury” For a student without much experience, they will have less understanding of the limits of their bodies. They can be caught in a submission and yet may not feel like they need to tap…suddenly POP! Ouch! The doctor says “Sorry to tell you this but you’ve torn a knee ligament. No jiu-jitsu for you for the next 6 months.” Nobody wants to see this happen. Now let’s talk about the positive aspects of training leg locks.  A) As jiu-jitsu students, we need to understand the anatomy of the legs and how to apply submissions (and as importantly counter those submissions!). B) The ankles and knees are often easier to access and attack than passing the guard and achieving a full mount. C) Leg locks can be a great equalizer between smaller and larger opponents. D) To be a complete grappling game, you need to have an understanding of all aspects of jiu-jitsu and this includes leg locks. Regarding training leg locks, your head instructor will let you know which leg locks are permitted in the academy and which are appropriate for your belt level. White belts should not be attacking inverted heel hooks in rolling! When you attack the legs, look for control most importantly and then gradually, slowly apply the lock to allow the training partner adequate time to tap. If you are caught in a leg lock, do not thrash about wildly in an attempt to escape. Accept that you have been caught and tap. Re-tie your belt and start training again. Safety first! Advanced belts will have more legal leg locks available to them. New students should start with the basic Achilles / straight foot lock as this is both legal in most competitions and a great starting point to learn to control the opponent leading to different leg submissions. My final point is that it is important to train leg locks throughout your jiu-jitsu learning. If you only learn the knee bar at purple belt once it is legal in IBJJF rules then you will find yourself a purple belt with a white belt level of knee bar die to inexperience. Train your leg locks, but safety for you and your partner is #1! see also : Safety On The Mats Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Leg Locks In Training

The recent submission only competition events have featured many of the winners dominating with leg locks. Is this merely a new trend in BJJ and submission grappling or is it something that all jiu-jitsu practitioners should be looking to train more? Many more traditional BJJ academies do not allow beginner students to perform leg locks as they carry a certain type of risk of injury (which we will discuss today). The IBJJF rules prohibit many leg lock techniques in competition. Those schools and competitors who are focused on IBJJF tournaments will not allocate much of their training time to techniques and strategies that do not contribute to tournament success. So how should the BJJ student look at leg locks? After all, the legs make up half of our body and jiu-jitsu is all about submissions to the joints of the human body. A Brazilian instructor first explained his philosophy of leg locks and why they were considered more dangerous than armlocks or chokes. “With an armlock there will be more pain before any damage to the arm and the opponent has enough time to tap out and avoid injury. The legs are different. There is discomfort and not much pain in many leg locks (especially the prohibited heel hook) UNTIL there is a pop and something has been damaged. Arms : big pain / little injury Legs : little pain / big injury” For a student without much experience, they will have less understanding of the limits of their bodies. They can be caught in a submission and yet may not feel like they need to tap…suddenly POP! Ouch! The doctor says “Sorry to tell you this but you’ve torn a knee ligament. No jiu-jitsu for you for the next 6 months.” Nobody wants to see this happen. Now let’s talk about the positive aspects of training leg locks.  A) As jiu-jitsu students, we need to understand the anatomy of the legs and how to apply submissions (and as importantly counter those submissions!). B) The ankles and knees are often easier to access and attack than passing the guard and achieving a full mount. C) Leg locks can be a great equalizer between smaller and larger opponents. D) To be a complete grappling game, you need to have an understanding of all aspects of jiu-jitsu and this includes leg locks. Regarding training leg locks, your head instructor will let you know which leg locks are permitted in the academy and which are appropriate for your belt level. White belts should not be attacking inverted heel hooks in rolling! When you attack the legs, look for control most importantly and then gradually, slowly apply the lock to allow the training partner adequate time to tap. If you are caught in a leg lock, do not thrash about wildly in an attempt to escape. Accept that you have been caught and tap. Re-tie your belt and start training again. Safety first! Advanced belts will have more legal leg locks available to them. New students should start with the basic Achilles / straight foot lock as this is both legal in most competitions and a great starting point to learn to control the opponent leading to different leg submissions. My final point is that it is important to train leg locks throughout your jiu-jitsu learning. If you only learn the knee bar at purple belt once it is legal in IBJJF rules then you will find yourself a purple belt with a white belt level of knee bar die to inexperience. Train your leg locks, but safety for you and your partner is #1! see also : Safety On The Mats Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Different Reasons To Train Jiu-jitsu

The Gracie Barra philosophy of “Jiu-jitsu for everyone” recognizes that training jiu-jitsu has benefits for all types of people. Not only restricted to the serious competitors who push themselves to challenge for tournament gold, children, women and older students also can derive great life benefit from jiu-jitsu. The Fitness It is no accident that many jiu-jitsu practitioners appear much younger than their age. There is something about training and the jiu-jitsu lifestyle in general that keeps people young and vital. For those who found running on a treadmill   in a spa too boring or bored by the monotonous nature of weight training, jiu-jitsu is a way to stay fit that keeps their interest. They get a balance of strength, core stability, endurance and flexibility while learning a new skill. For students who are most interested in fitness, jiu-jitsu is a great challenge. Self defense This is the #1 reason why most people first walk into a jiu-jitsu academy. Fear of personal safety, especially in large urban centers is very real for people. Many are looking to jiu-jitsu to learn the skills to defend themselves in the event of a physical street situation. This is especially true for some of the more vulnerable members of society : women and children. Women who feel threatened in parking garages, on streets at night can do something about these feelings by training jiu-jitsu. Learning how to deal with an aggressor in close quarters can help instill confidence in the rest of their lives.

GB Learning : 4 Most Important Guard Attacks You Should Learn

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some videos on the 3 most important guard attacks that you should master. There are perhaps more submission attacks from the guard than any other position in jiu-jitsu. Which ones should a 1st year student focus on the most? These 3 techniques (and their setups and variations) are the most important ones to get in the your early jiu-jitsu training. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. 1) Choke inside closed guard / Sequência de ataques da guarda fechada triangle entry counters the most common way your opponent will try to pass your guard. If you want to see more ideas on triangle from the guard, check out: Triangle Choke From The Guard 3) Straight Armlock from guard omoplata is great for a few reasons: it is easier for bjj students with shorter legs who have difficulty closing their legs in the regular triangle attack. It works as well no-gi (which is a problem with collar chokes). See also on Gracie Barra : 5 Most Important White Belt Techniques Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 7

GB TP Week 7 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 4/10 – 4/16 our classes are based on Week 7 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

GB Interview: Professor Draculino on Competition

This week Gracie Barra Blog brings you a terrific Interview with Professor Draculino on Competition “Competition is fundamental for athletics in general, and this is also very true for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Competition is an important component to the Gracie Barra community. It drives athletes to strive for goals, reach for new heights, and pursue athletic goals on a different plane from the non-competing JJ students. Not only does competition offer something different and special to students, but it is also a window through which we can show ourselves to the world, demonstrating Gracie Barra’s commitment to excellence.” Gracie Barra HQ read also: Do You Want To Compete? Gracie Barra caught up with Professor Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhães on his holiday in Brazil to ask a few questions about bjj competition. GB: Professor Draculino, can you tell the readers at Gracie Barra a little about how you got started in competing in jiu-jitsu back in Brazil? What do you consider the highlights of your competitive career? Professor Draculino: My competition career in jiu-jitsu began very early. As soon as I was a white belt still a kid. I was 14 or 15 and I got in my first competitions. I had competed in judo before when I was younger and in surfing, but jiu-jitsu competition was something different. It was like a fight without strikes and I got addicted to it! From the time I was 14 or 15 in jiu-jitsu all the way until I was 40 years old I had an MMA fight in Strikeforce. MMA I considered part of jiu-jistu kind of the pinnacle. Extreme! Highlights? Hard to say, I had a lot of highlights. Every single belt I got the main titles. I would being the World Champion in No-gi in the Masters. I was 4 times Pan American Champion in the Adults black belt. 2 times silver medalist in the adults as a black belt, National champion, state champion. And a lot of things, so It is kind of hard to say the highlights of the career but I had really good moments thank God. target=”_blank”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYxifacWtng GB: You have been in charge of running competition training camps at Gracie Barra HQ in USA before major events. How do you run the camp? (schedule, number of sessions per week, conditioning etc.) Professor Draculino: I have been running the Gracie Barra camps for the World Masters. So far we have had really, really good success in that event. We got 2nd place in the 1st championships; all of the others we got 1st place over all as Gracie Barra. Not just because of me in anyway, just because everybody was ready, was training hard. I just show up around 10 days before the competition. I don’t push anybody too hard in the sense that can bring injuries to the athletes. I just make sure that we push them hard in a controlled environment. So we do a lot of specific situations, a lot of specific training. We debate some techniques, we demand them physically but in a way that we try to prevent injuries. Everybody liked it so far. I have been called to do this all of the time so I believe that everybody likes it! I used to do that in Texas and in Brazil. I wish that I had more to go a little more in advance to build the foundation and have more time to put my hands on every single person who attends the camps. It is up to the athlete to be in at least in decent shape and just do adjustments as i9t gets close to the competition. Again but the secret is to push them but make sure that nobody gets hurt. We normally do either in the morning for 2 hours or at night for 2 hours. I normally don’t do 2 sessions a day because I think that it is too much – especially when it gets close to the competition – they do the hard part either in the morning or the night like I said. They do something else if they need to in their time. maybe something more physical or something. And the number of athletes… Man the more the better!mIf the space is big I want to do this for more than 100 or 200! GB: Ideally, how long before a major competition should an athlete begin special preparations for the event? How should they change their conditioning and rolling practices to be ready for the tournament? Professor Draculino: In reality, an athlete must be in decent shape all of the time. He can not be someone who doesn’t train at all or trains too little and then goes in camp. I don’t believe in such things as camps. I believe in being in constant good shape. Training camps should be for when you get closer to the competition. Train in the time of the rounds that you will be competing – so If your time is 10 minutes, do 10 minute rounds. I would say 4 weeks or more before the tournament you should do rounds without interruption. Try to do rounds one after the other, changing partners. But from around 3.5 weeks – 2 weeks before the tournament you should give it a break in between every rounds to replicate what is going to happen there. Since you already have your cardio ready and have your timing ready, you should be replicating more than anything exactly what is going to happen there. At least 10 minutes in between rounds and do like 7 rounds. If you are predicting that you are going to have 4 rounds or 5 rounds to be the champion at a tournament, you should do at least 2 more always. Physical conditioning and all that depends a lot of availability, time, and for each person. I believe that jiu-jitsu should be training jiu-jitsu of course, jiu-jitsu training should always be number one. It should be that way GB: How do you feel about the current popular sports bjj strategies that emphasize positions like berimbolo, inverted guard and lapel guard? Professor Draculino: I am more in favour… Read More »

The Turtle Position

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some videos on submitting the “turtle position”. Instead of accepting a guard pass (and giving up the 3 points) many jiu-jitsu fighters prefer to roll to the turtle position. A tight defensive turtle can be difficult to defeat. How do Gracie Barra black belts deal with a defensive turtle? Here are 5 videos on attacking the turtle. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. 1) Anaconda choke attacking turtle / Finalização partindo dos 4 Apoios you attack the turtle, your opponent may try to grab your leg to get a single leg takedown. You can turn their attempt at a single leg into your own triangle attack from the back. 3) Collar choke from turtle position / “Rologio” estrangulamento Barra Chino’s Head Instructor Professor Rafael Oliveira shows some different details for what is one of the best ways to attack the turtle. 5) Step over collar choke / Finalização partindo dos 4 Apoios

Learning From Videos

The best way to learn jiu-jitsu is from attending classes with a black belt instructor with a structured curriculum. The instructor can correct the mistakes that you make while drilling the techniques (something absent from learning online) and a curriculum takes the student through the optimal progression of positions. If you are training at a solid academy and have some knowledge of positions, you can also benefit from learning from YouTube videos. YouTube BJJ videos are criticized by many, but if used in the correct manner for a student’s experience level, can accelerate the student’s understanding of techniques. How can a student of jiu-jitsu best use abundant online video technique instructional videos? Here are 3 ideas for the best way to learn from BJJ videos. 1) Do your own video Most students admit to difficulty remembering all of the techniques that they learned in class. Here is an easy way : at the end of class pull out your smart phone and take a quick video of the position that you drilled in class. Your training partners will hold the camera while you demonstrate the technique while the details are fresh in your mind. You might even convince your instructor to do a quick recap for your video camera if you offer to buy him a fruit smoothie! Now you have a short video that you can review later to help cement the technique in your mind and a future reference. 2) Search Gracie Barra YouTube channels for related positions and variations. Let’s say that you just learned the De la Riva guard in class. This might be a great position to add to your game. You may have learned how to control the position. The 1st basic De la Riva sweep. What else is possible from that same guard position? How many different sweeps can you do from DLR guard? Are there different grips? What if your opponent does…. My Brazilian Portuguese is not fluent, but I especially love the Gracie Barra Brasil YouTube channel. There are great GB instructors all over the world, but it seems the greatest creativity and pure technique comes from the original home of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. The YouTube channel is constantly updated with new techniques from GB instructors all over Brasil. The techniques are taught in Portuguese so you are also learning language skills…not just jiu-jitsu wink In the not so distant past, jiu-jitsu techniques were not easy to: 1) Find new information. Some hungry for knowledge had to travel to Rio to learn. 2) Record and remember. A pencil and notepad are no where near as accurate or convenient as your HD smart phone video. There has never been a better time to be a student of jiu-jitsu. Use video to hack your learning! read also : A New Student’s Improvement Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 6

GB TP Week 6 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 4/03 – 4/09 our classes are based on Week 6 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

GB Learning : Straight Armlock Variations

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some variations of how to attack the straight armlock. If you don’t know the straight armlock, you dont know Brazilian jiu-jitsu! This submission is incredibly versatile in terms of the numbers of setups and positions that you can catch the arm lock from. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. 1) Mounted Armlocks From GB Japan! is a sneaky setup when your opponent is attempting to regain their guard. Note to the grip that allows the top attacker to spin the bottom opponent. 3) Mount armlock #2 / Variação do Armlock (partindo da montada) starts with a technique to break your opponent’s grip and defeat his posture. 5) Helicopter armlock from guard

Help, I’m In A Slump!

Help, I’m In A Slump! Most students of jiu-jitsu feel like they encounter the dreaded training slump at one time or another in their study. Progress seems painfully slow and you might even feel that your training partners are overtaking you. You have been showing up to class regularly, but improvement seems at a standstill. Take some comfort in the fact that slumps don’t last for long and that everyone feels like they are slumping at some point. Most of us gauge our progress by comparing ourselves with our training partners. Don’t forget, they are improving as well! They are now wise to that Flower Sweep of yours and it has stopped working. This is going to force you to get better and find another way to sweep. This will continue throughout your jiu-jitsu life. Continually adaptation and learning are necessary. Truth is that our progress in any challenging endeavour is not smooth, upward, uninterrupted progress. There are periods of sudden leaps in improvement punctuated by longer periods of study. I have read theories that our minds need these slumps to process and consolidate all of the information. Then we are ready to begin progressing once again.

GB Training Plan – Week 5

GB TP Week 5 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 3/27 – 4/02 our classes are based on Week 5 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

My Favorite Quote on Jiu-jitsu by Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

Many Gracie Barra instructors like Head Instructor Marcio Feitosa – a multiple time World Bjj Champion – tell how they would enjoy sitting around the side of the mat after training and listening to Master Carlos Gracie Jr. tell stories. “Carlinhos” as his friends called him would convey his philosophy on training and the jiu-jitsu lifestyle to the students. read also: The Gracie Barra Curriculum: The Best Way to Learn Bjj My favorite quote of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. was contained in an interview he did for Grace Mag: “I don’t get this obsession with all of the acrobatic guards. They are efficient, sure. But they’re fleeting. Your body has difficulty understanding them for too long. I say this from my own experience. The lumbar region, for example, as strong as it may be, will never be armored against the passage of time. Jiu-Jitsu is for your whole lifetime, and by that line of reasoning you can rest assured that the basic techniques like the closed guard or this open guard I enjoy doing, will never abandon us. At 70 we’ll still be capable of performing them with plenty of mobility. That can’t be said of the tornado guard or the berimbolo.” Beyond discussing what specific guard a jiu-jitsu student should be specializing in, this quote teaches a bigger lesson about how to approach your jiu-jitsu training. Master Carlos is asking the student to look at their jiu-jitsu training as a “lifestyle” and not be short sighted and focused only on the next tournament. Some sports positions stress the back and neck and carry a greater risk of injury to the students. Statistically most students (after blue belt) who quit jiu-jitsu because of injury problems. A student training should be training in such a way as to protect themselves at all times – especially the vulnerable areas of the body. Nothing stops your progress in bjj faster than being off the mat because of injury. There is an old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Secondly, Master Carlos stresses a jiu-jitsu based on the basic techniques that do NOT rely as much on ones personal, athletic attributes. “…the basic techniques like the closed guard or this open guard I enjoy doing, will never abandon us.” Physical qualities as speed, flexibility and endurance gradually diminish as the body naturally ages. If a practitioner wishes to continue to enjoy the jiu-jitsu lifestyle well into middle age (Master Carlos continues to train after his 60th birthday) they must develop a jiu-jitsu not as reliant on athletic attributes. Timing, precision, strong defense, technical solutions are all more important once the athlete gets past a certain age. “Jiu-jitsu for Everyone” is having jiu-jitsu a part of your lifestyle after the student is no longer actively involved in competition. Healthy eating, dealing with stress through exercise, maintaining healthy body and spirit all extend beyond the narrow world of competition. This advice is especially valuable for those student beginning bjj after the age of 35. A popular question is: “I’m over 40, is it too late to start bjj?” No it isn’t! But the older beginning student of bjj would do well to consider the advice of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in their approach to learning jiu-jitsu. read also: 5 Tips For New Students in Bjj Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

My Favorite Quote on Jiu-jitsu by Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

Many Gracie Barra instructors like Head Instructor Marcio Feitosa – a multiple time World Bjj Champion – tell how they would enjoy sitting around the side of the mat after training and listening to Master Carlos Gracie Jr. tell stories. “Carlinhos” as his friends called him would convey his philosophy on training and the jiu-jitsu lifestyle to the students. read also: The Gracie Barra Curriculum: The Best Way to Learn Bjj My favorite quote of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. was contained in an interview he did for Grace Mag: “I don’t get this obsession with all of the acrobatic guards. They are efficient, sure. But they’re fleeting. Your body has difficulty understanding them for too long. I say this from my own experience. The lumbar region, for example, as strong as it may be, will never be armored against the passage of time. Jiu-Jitsu is for your whole lifetime, and by that line of reasoning you can rest assured that the basic techniques like the closed guard or this open guard I enjoy doing, will never abandon us. At 70 we’ll still be capable of performing them with plenty of mobility. That can’t be said of the tornado guard or the berimbolo.” Beyond discussing what specific guard a jiu-jitsu student should be specializing in, this quote teaches a bigger lesson about how to approach your jiu-jitsu training. Master Carlos is asking the student to look at their jiu-jitsu training as a “lifestyle” and not be short sighted and focused only on the next tournament. Some sports positions stress the back and neck and carry a greater risk of injury to the students. Statistically most students (after blue belt) who quit jiu-jitsu because of injury problems. A student training should be training in such a way as to protect themselves at all times – especially the vulnerable areas of the body. Nothing stops your progress in bjj faster than being off the mat because of injury. There is an old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Secondly, Master Carlos stresses a jiu-jitsu based on the basic techniques that do NOT rely as much on ones personal, athletic attributes. “…the basic techniques like the closed guard or this open guard I enjoy doing, will never abandon us.” Physical qualities as speed, flexibility and endurance gradually diminish as the body naturally ages. If a practitioner wishes to continue to enjoy the jiu-jitsu lifestyle well into middle age (Master Carlos continues to train after his 60th birthday) they must develop a jiu-jitsu not as reliant on athletic attributes. Timing, precision, strong defense, technical solutions are all more important once the athlete gets past a certain age. “Jiu-jitsu for Everyone” is having jiu-jitsu a part of your lifestyle after the student is no longer actively involved in competition. Healthy eating, dealing with stress through exercise, maintaining healthy body and spirit all extend beyond the narrow world of competition. This advice is especially valuable for those student beginning bjj after the age of 35. A popular question is: “I’m over 40, is it too late to start bjj?” No it isn’t! But the older beginning student of bjj would do well to consider the advice of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in their approach to learning jiu-jitsu. read also: 5 Tips For New Students in Bjj Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

3 Tips To Improve Your Takedowns

3 Tips To Improve Your Takedowns   If you want to have a complete jiu-jitsu you must become proficient at takedowns from the standing position.   Every Gracie Barra class includes some training in the most effective takedowns from wrestling, judo and self defense techniques in the standing position.   Many students report feeling ill prepared for the standup portion of the match following a tournament. It is far better to train your takedowns all throughout the year instead of trying to cram it all in 2 weeks before the tournament!   Here are 3 tips to help improve your takedowns.   1) Get a grip! All of the standing techniques are dependent on securing a dominant grip on your opponent. And conversely, preventing your opponent from getting the grips that they want.   What is the optimal grip that you need for your favorite throw to work? Learn a few takedowns from that same grip to confuse your opponent to what is coming.   Learn grip breaks to prevent your opponent from controlling you. If you feel uncomfortable with the way your opponent is gripping your kimono, break his grip!  

3 Mistakes Bjj Students Make

The goal of most jiu-jitsu students is to learn as fast as possible. Show up to class, drill your techniques and roll. That ought to do it right?   Not so fast. Many students have periods where their progress seems painfully slow even though they are coming to class.   Why is it that some students seem to come to class often enough yet do not make optimal progress?   Here are 3 common mistakes that jiu-jitsu students make that slow their progress – even when they are regularly training.   1)  Lack of focus One great black belt said that every student should approach each class with “intentionality”. What he meant was that one must have a specific focus in what aspect of their game they are seeking to improve.   Drilling is essential to learning the moves, but must be done in a realistic manner. Mindlessly mimicking the movements while chatting about the weekend will not have the same effect.   Other students get enthusiastic about spider guard for a week but then lose focus and abandon that position to try pressure passing. And so on it goes. They don’t stick any position long enough to make real progress.     2) Ego in.training We have all heard the saying “Leave your ego at the door”. But what exactly does this mean? Don’t many top competitors have ego and confidence?   Yes. But ego is a problem when it: A) Makes a student focus on “winning” every roll. If you get nothing else from this article, please be reminded that your focus in rolling should be LEARNING not winning in training.   B) Ego and fear of losing can narrow your jiu-jitsu. Trying new positions to add to your game involves making mistakes and losing position. If you are unwilling to try and fail, you will restrict your game to the narrow set of techniques that you already know.   3) Advanced too quickly Your jiu-jitsu (or ANY skill) that you wish to develop must be built on.a foundation of solid basics.   Many students, in their enthusiasm to learn all of the awesome techniques of jiu-jitsu want to abandon the important basic techniques and focus on advanced sports positions that they see black belts using in tournaments.   Without a firm foundation of basics, one is incapable of effectively using those advanced positions. Rest assured that the black belts using those fancy guards and passes FIRST mastered their basics.   Good training to you!   read also : Advice For New Students Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 4

GB TP Week 4 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 3/20 – 03/26 our classes are based on Week 4 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

GB Learning : Takedown Techniques

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature important judo throws that jiu-jitsu students should know. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. Many 1st year students express frustration at not feeling comfortable in the standing portion of a match. Gracie Barra Blog has 5 videos by GB instructors to teach you some takedowns to improve your standup grappling. 1) Basic hip throw / Queda de Quadril is a situation where you might use the basic hip throw when your opponent counters your single leg. 3) Ankle pick / Técnica de queda catando a perna of your opponent is too good at standup and you are unable to take them down? Pulling guard to a submission attack might be the answer. See also on Gracie Barra : Techniques: The Deep Half Guard

GB Training Plan – Week 3

GB TP Week 3 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 3/13 – 03/19 our classes are based on Week 3 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Why Did You Start To Train Jiu-jitsu?

I am always interested to ask new students who show up to try a jiu-jitsu class the question: “So what made you decide to try Brazilian jiu-jitsu?” There are a million different entertainment distractions and leisure activities that one could spend ones free time on,..so why choose bjj? Although the jiu-jitsu media tends to focus heavily on competitors and young superstars of the grappling world, I rarely have heard someone say the reason they started was to enter competitions. Statistically, the #1 reason people say they start martial arts is self defense. I have asked 100 lbs little Asian girls why they wanted to train (expecting them to say self defense) and had them shyly answer that they thought bjj was really cool and they wanted to learn a new art. I’ve also had +200 lbs young guys saying they wanted to learn to defend themselves. You never can tell what reasons are behind an individuals reasons for getting on the mat based on their physical appearance. In a more general way of looking at why people train bjj, we could say that it is for reasons of personal development. As mentally healthy adults we look for ways to expand our skills and challenge ourselves to learn new activities in our lives. Students place a great personal value on graduating to a blue belt even though the general public may react to the news you achieved a purple belt by saying “Oh my cousin is a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon do. He is 12 years old.” Earning a belt in bjj is special because it is something that can not be purchased with a credit card. We value the accomplishment precisely because it is so difficult. Show me an undisciplined person with a lack of goals, a diet composed mostly of fast foods, and who doesn’t exercise and I’ll show you a person who is inwardly unhappy with their lack of focus and self-discipline. When they look in the mirror, they don’t always like what they see. Because they know deep down, that they are letting themselves down by not taking care of themselves. From the Gracie Barra ICP: “The simplest answer to this question: What stands in our way of personal growth? is we do. We stand in our own paths – sabotaging ourselves from reaching our fullest potential. John Maxwell gives us an effective visual for this with what he calls the Law of the Lid.  You are the lid. You are the thing holding yourself back from your purpose. Mistaking pleasure for purpose – This goes back to those earlier lessons where we spoke of avoiding the traps of instant gratification. We must be able to put aside those things that give us small doses of instant happiness so that we may fulfill a calling which results in actual, true joy of personal growth and service to others.” Regular jiu-jitsu training can be a great vehicle for self-improvement and feeling good. As GB Prof Flavio Almeida says “If we pay attention to and allow jiu-jitsu to make a difference in our daily lives by applying what we learn on the mat to daily life, we open ourselves up to an exciting path of personal growth that helps us make large steps to improve in what really matters to us.” I have met many students who were waging private battles on the mat. Those going through a painful marital separation using jiu-jitsu as way to keep active and keep their minds off of their emotional stress. Individuals who were battling substance abuse who looked to exchange self destructive habits for a more healthy “jiu-jitsu addiction”. Those recovering from medical problems who decided that they needed top start taking better care of themselves so they could live long for the sake of their families. people relocating to a new city for school or work who could find friends in the academy and not feel so isolated. Former athletes from other psotrs who were looking for a new chanllenge once their college athletic careers ended. Why did you start training in jiu-jitsu? How has jiu-jitsu improved your life? read also:  17 Great Quotes for Jiu-Jitsu Inspiration Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Learning : Advanced Guard Passing

This week Gracie Barra Learning will feature some advanced techniques and strategies to to pass some of the more advanced guards. Often, IBJJF competition matches often are determined by if you can pass the guard of your opponent. As a different job requires a different tool, so different guards require a specific passing technique to pass. Let’s see Gracie Barra instructors show you how to pass some advanced guards. Subscribe to the Gracie Barra YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. 1) Spider Guard  Spider Guard with Caroline, Otavio and Marcio target=”_blank” data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DkHBCYwJq68U&source=gmail&ust=1488925615199000&usg=AFQjCNEuB2uytGW7Y5wyHHqFSPFh1EDFvQ”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHBCYwJq68U 2) Open guard pass to the back / Passagem de Guarda Aberta This over / under pass leads directly to a back take when your opponent attempts to avoid surrendering the 3 points. target=”_blank” data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DsFMyQJ_yAX0&source=gmail&ust=1488925615199000&usg=AFQjCNFBDp78oFtwOdZHZczkhCITayXC_Q”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFMyQJ_yAX0 3)Double unders stack pass to finish / Passagem de Guarda + Finalização Advanced students should try to think of techniques in terms of sequences instead of isolated movements. See how to chain together movements in this video. target=”_blank” data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DRM3dij5X6f4&source=gmail&ust=1488925615199000&usg=AFQjCNGF9umfUyKpI9VTzrpIv_i2EA2tMg”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM3dij5X6f4 4) Guard passing Drills: elbow trap to kneepass Drilling your guard passes is essential to developing fluidity and rpecision when executing the pass. Prof. Flavio Almeida teaches how to move into a knee pass. target=”_blank” data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DFPaZFweWBAc&source=gmail&ust=1488925615199000&usg=AFQjCNGgvuH4pb59rzvQnQaxAJVdrerwkw”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPaZFweWBAc 5) Deep De LA Riva Leg Drag Drill If you opponent gets a deep De la Riva guard on you, you are in trouble! Prof. Flavio shows how to move to the leg drag – a pass every blue and pruple belt should know well! target=”_blank” data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DIyW0IiYpyeE&source=gmail&ust=1488925615199000&usg=AFQjCNE4OPe8a6SePg9XiXBcrST1gmu3hw”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyW0IiYpyeE See also on Gracie Barra : Techniques: The Deep Half Guard   Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

3 Tips To Improve Your Sweeps

The ability to reverse position and come to the top position against a tough opponent is one of the things that makes jiu-jitsu different than most other martial arts. There are innumerable sweeps in jiu-jitsu. For every guard style, each has multiple sweeps. You will certainly learn the specific techniques but also understand that all of the sweeps have a few common elements. If you understand how these elements are essential ANY sweeping technique, ALL of your guard sweeps will be much more effective. Here are 3 tips to improve your sweeps from the guard: 1) Control the posting arm The majority of failed guard sweeps are unsuccessful because the sweeper neglected to control the opponent’s arm in the direction of the sweep. With their arm free, the opponent can post their hand on the mat and prevent the sweep. Always control the posting arm to ensure the completion of the sweep. Jiu-Jitsu Sweep with Marcio Feitosa target=”_blank” data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3D3-z2qeLZ83c&source=gmail&ust=1488925615193000&usg=AFQjCNGwrI0V2oXOx-waN_1SWVB71XLX1A”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-z2qeLZ83c 2) Unbalance the opponent It is very difficult to power a heavy opponent over into a sweep. Judo uses a principle of “kuzushi” which means the breaking of the balance. You can achieve the “kuzushi” in a number of ways depending on the specific sweep. A strong pull on the collar will break the balance for a scissors sweep. Creating an angle for your butterfly guard hook sweep will also unbalance the opponent. 3) Look for the “dead angle” In any top position, there will be a direction where the opponent does not have the ability to post and base out. This is called the dead angle. Only a small amount of force is required to sweep the opponent in the direction of this dead angle. To truly understand what makes a sweep effective, you must know the precise angle to put your opponent. Your instructor can observe your sweep and help you identify the “dead angle” for a specific technique. read also : Advice For New Students Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 2

GB TP Week 2 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 3/06- 03/12 our classes are based on Week 2 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Your First Major Goal : Blue belt

As goal oriented people starting to learn the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, one of the first questions that new students ask is “How long does it take to get a blue belt?”. There is no set answer for this question. The variables of : • Training frequency; • Physical condition when you start; • Age; • Previous grappling experience; • Natural ability; • How much effort the student applies to training. Before we attempt to answer the question, let’s take a look at the Gracie Barra approach to the belt system. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Approach to Belt Promotion “Being an educator, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. used an hierarchy to set learning objectives just as the school system uses one to pass students from one grade to another. The Gracie Barra belt system represents a learning progression with a syllabus and a corresponding grade indicating an individual’s level of proficiency. Earning a black belt is like graduating from high school or college. It indicates you have achieved a basic level of proficiency, learned the fundamental skills and can perform them in a functional manner. Like a person seeking an advanced degree, a black belt is ready to pursue Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on a more serious and advanced level. Of course, the rankings also represent progress towards the ultimate objective of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is to improve the person not just physically, but mentally as well.” source: Gracie Barra ICP Importantly, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. makes explains that “The belt system represents progress against one’s potential and achievement of technical, time and attendance requirements.” MG_4902 Different students have different capabilities and potentials and thus are not compared directly to one another as a basis for grading. Now back to the question about blue belt. Another requirement in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system is the minimum time. At Gracie Barra, the requirements are as follows: • White to Blue Belt: 1 Year Minimum Most students are not able to train uninterrupted for 1 year and usually take a little longer than 1 year to get to the blue belt. A simple answer would be “between 1 and 2 years.” A blue belt represents the 1st major step on the students journey to the black belt and is a very proud moment when the Professor calls them to the front of the class at promotions day and wraps a new blue belt around their waist. Grandmaster Hélio Gracie said that a blue belt should be capable of defending themselves against a larger, stronger opponent by using jiu-jitsu techniques. It is difficult to find fault with that definition. Most blue belts have a solid knowledge of the major ground positions, escapes, some self defense techniques, and possess a few takedowns that they can execute. When rolling they have started to employ more technique and rely less on explosiveness, athleticism and pure instinct. It is a great day when your name is called to the front of the academy and your instructor wraps that blue belt around your waist. How long did it take for you to receive your blue belt? see also: : Are You Ready For Your Blue Belt? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Techniques: Leg Locks

This week Gracie Barra Techniques brings you various techniques to attack the opponent’s legs. Did you know that Gracie Barra Brazil’s YouTube channel is FILLED with great techniques from GB schools from all over Brazil? Subscribe to the Gracie Barra Brazil YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. Due to the rules of IBJJF competition, leg locks are not stressed as much for lower belts in many jiu-jitsu academies. As you gain experience, you must study the ways to control and attack the opponent’s legs. Let us have a look at some of the advanced techniques that these GB instructors show to leg lock opponents. 1) Knee Bar from Butterfly Guard / Leg lock partindo da Guarda Aberta  When you elevate your opponent with the butterfly sweep and your opponent keeps their balance, you can switch to the knee bar. https:// 2) Escape the mount to foot lock / Saída da Montada + Finalização de Chave de Pé Transition from a mount escape right into your own foot lock attack! https:// 3) X-Guard to Kneebar / Transição da Guarda-X para a Chave de Joelho The X-Guard is an advanced position that is primarily a sweeping position, but as we see here, can also attack the knee bar. https:// 4) Calf Slicer / Chave de panturrilha partindo da guarda aberta A great movement from open guard to attack an uncommon leg submission when the opponent turns away. https:// 5) Knee bar and foot lock from spider guard / Chave de Joelho e Chave de Pé. The Estima brothers Braulio and Vitor teach how to use a strong spider guard sweep to get under the opponent and attack the legs. https:// on Gracie Barra : Your Side Control Checklist : 5 Tips For You Your Side Control Checklist : 5 Tips For You Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 1

GB TP Week 1 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 2/27- 03/05 our classes are based on Week 1 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

How Jiu-Jitsu Changes Lives

Beyond the techniques and fun of training jiu-jitsu in class, jiu-jitsu has the power to change people’s lives outside of the academy. The martial arts have a long association with the development of character. The archetypal image is of the older, wise sensei or master who imparts wisdom to the students not only about self defense but about life. Much of this is derived from martial arts movies and you are not likely to see a wizened, bearded master sitting in the middle of the mats dispensing pearls of wisdom to the eager students. The life changing benefits of jiu-jitsu are conveyed in another way to those who take up the practice of jiu-jitsu. One of my favorite quotes on jiu-jitsu (some credit this quote to Grandmaster Carlos Gracie). “Jiu-jitsu Where the weak become strong Where the slow become fast Where the novice become expert” The effect of jiu-jitsu can be especially profound in children : the timid gain confidence, introverts gain experience in cooperating with others, the reckless learn self control. In adults, unhealthy lifestyles are exchanged for better nutrition, becoming fit in bjj class are substituted for watching TV or going to the bar for happy hour are examples of how jiu-jitsu positively influences student’s lives. The excellent Gracie Barra ICP Course articulates the benefits of jiu-jitsu in this passage: Why Jiu-Jitsu Changes Lives? There is no scientific research explaining why and how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu causes such a positive impact on a person’s psychology. Trying to find an explanation instructors typically attribute it to some of the following: • Jiu-Jitsu safely simulates real combat situations forcing the practitioner to deal with primitive instincts and overcome fears and traumas that he or she may have been living with for many years. • During practice, students realize their shortcomings and limitations and have a chance to work on them on a structured environment where everyone on the team is help. • Jiu-Jitsu is a sport of contact and the exchange of energy allows deep connections to develop between training partners forming strong bonds and developing the ability to work as a team. • Jiu-Jitsu helps people set goals and work as a team to accomplish them. The dream of being a champions or getting the next belt is exciting and the support from instructors and training partners helps each student make progress and achieve them. • Jiu-Jitsu techniques are taught under a certain set of values or philosophy. Embracing this philosophy is essential to succeed on the mats. However, the benefits of a individual behaviour dictated by positive values such as discipline, respect, teamwork, loyalty, integrity, and growth leads to significant improvements on other areas of student’s life such and their careers, relationships, etc. All the reasons above are just observations from some experienced teachers. The fact is that Jiu-Jitsu changes lives. It has changed ours and it has changed yours. The largest contribution BJJ training will ever do for a student, being a world champion or a child, man or woman, young or old, is personal growth. “I don’t know why I waited so long to start jiu-jitsu. I wish I would have started years ago!” said one new student said both tired and exhilarated after rolling at the academy. The best time to have started training was 10 years ago. The second best is now! see also : BJJ Quotes: 10 more pieces of BJJ wisdom to inspire and instruct http://graciebarra.com/2014/08/bjj-quotes-instruct/ Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan – Week 16

GB TP Week 16 Gracie Barra is a Global Jiu-Jitsu Team. Our community of instructors, students and athletes is built by over 600 schools in the five continents. Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This week 2/20- 02/26 our classes are based on Week 16 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Virtual Headquarters GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Sharpening Your Sword

This is an old expression that means that you take your best tools (or techniques in the case of the BJJ student) and sharpen them to be as sharp as possible. These are the things that you do best and you want them to be the best they can be. When you are starting training jiu-jitsu, you will get submitted far more than you are submitting your training partners. Being able to experience some early success with a sweep or submission will really inject some enthusiasm into your jiu-jitsu training! In your early training certain positions will feel more natural to you and you will experience some early success with a few techniques out of the many your instructor has demonstrated. This is a starting point for you to develop your personal game. I observed one student in the 1st couple of months of training try several different submissions, but seemed to naturally catch the Kimura shoulder lock. There are few feelings as positive in jiu-jitsu as catching one of your training partners in a submission and getting the tap. Yes! Now the student has a starting point for more focused training. They will of course continue to learn the lessons as taught in the classes, but their own drilling and mental focus can now be directed towards “sharpening that sword”. All of the advanced students in your academy have a few moves that they are known for and this is how they started. Here are a few tips on how to sharpen your own sword – using the Kimura lock as an example 1) Study the Kimura mechanics and variations Ask what are the ways I can get to the Kimura grip? Your first Kimura success was attacking from side control…but how about other positions? Can you also get the Kimura from guard or your half guard? Mount? North south position? Ask your instructor about the fine points of the mechanics. “Is my grip better this way or that way?”. How can you generate the strongest leverage? Experiment! 2) Learn the counters Your training partners will soon recognize that you are a Kimura threat and will start to hide their arms and defend. You now need to understand what your opponent is trying to do to defend your Kimura. Ask yourself “How can I prevent them from countering?” Your instructor can show you how to deal with the most common counters (ex. the opponent gripping their belt – how to break that defensive grip?). 3) Develop a Plan B BJJ techniques do not work 100% of the time. Or else BJJ instructors would teach ONLY that technique and it would be a short class! If your opponent successfully defends your Kimura, what do you do next? In jiu-jitsu, when you devote 100% of your defense to stop one threat, you often create an opening for something else. In the case of the Kimura, if the opponent grips their belt to stop your Kimura, they have forgotten about their neck! It may be time to suddenly switch your attack and take advantage of the new opening to attack with a collar choke. Show your instructor where you are getting countered and ask “What do I do when they have a tight belt grip?” These tips can be applied to any technique that you are experiencing some early success with and want to make your own. see also : The 6 worst white belt rolling mistakes Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

4 Tips to Prepare For Your First Competition

Some BJJ students get super excited when they hear that a competition is coming up. If it is their first ever try at an IBJJF tournament they will suddenly think of a pile of questions. “What are the rules?” “Can I do this technique or that technique?” “Will I have to fight blue belts in my first competition?” (Not unless YOU are a blue belt yourself!) Let’s address a few of the important things regarding your 1st ever BJJ competition. 1) Familiarize yourself with the rules I notice that even competitors who have a few tournaments under their belts do not understand some of the rules. Ex. No, you do not get points for side control. Escaping the mount by bridging to the top does not count for sweep points. You need to understand how points are counted (ex. hold the position for 3 seconds) and what techniques are illegal (ex. knee reaping and jumping to closed guard). Your instructor can answer many of your questions but for the more specific details I would recommend looking at the official IBJJF rules book online. http://ibjjf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RulesIBJJF_v4_en-US.pdf 2) Step up your conditioning! A major difference in the amount of adrenaline and nerves leads many 1st time competitors to quickly fatigue in their matches. Especially the forearm muscles from all of that ferocious gripping. You must be able to match the pace of your opponent or quickly find yourself in a bad position. In addition, you may have multiple matches in the day. You want to be in your best physical condition to be able to display your jiu-jitsu techniques, so pay increased attention to your running, weights and intense rounds before the tournament. 3) Pass the guard / defend the guard The majority of matches in a tournament between evenly matched competitors will involve battles to pass and defend the guard. So, much of your training preparations for the tournament should involve both passing and defending the guard, top and bottom. Guard retention drills to hold and recover the guard. Different passes to deal with a wide variety of guard styles. Lots of specific training where you start in guard and try to pass / sweep or submit. 4) Have Fun! There are 2 ways to look at competing: Dead serious and if you lose that means that your jiu-jitsu is terrible :-( Or you can choose to look it as a new experience in your jiu-jitsu and a way to find out where you are in your learning. One competitor said that a single tournament taught him more about his jiu-jitsu than a year of training at the academy. It is perfectly normal to experience nerves before a tournament. Even World Champions who have been competing since they were in the kids division admit to nerves before a match. You are not alone. Remind yourself that you are there to test your skills and have a new experience in your jiu-jitsu, hopefully with some valuable lessons and new friends along the way. And most of all, have fun! see also : GB Interview: Professor Draculino on Competition GB Interview: Professor Draculino on Competition Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Building a Better World through Jiu-Jitsu

While we strive to provide amazing Jiu-Jitsu training opportunities, we do not do this with an ultimate goal of only churning out International Jiu-Jitsu Champions. Instead, we focus on all of the things that are still necessary for helping build successful athletes because they are the same things that are invaluable for supporting the journeys of these students and athletes. We strive to fulfill the mission of Gracie Barra – Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone – and we need you and your dreams to do just that.

GB Techniques: Side Control Submissions

This week Gracie Barra Techniques brings you techniques to attack from the side control position. In Brazilian Portuguese language, the side control position is called “Cem kilos / 100 kilos” as a way of describing how heavy your opponent feels when they secure side control on top of you! Did you know that Gracie Barra Brazil’s YouTube channel is FILLED with great techniques from GB schools from all over Brazil? Subscribe to the Gracie Barra Brazil YouTube channel to be notified of new video techniques. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQyh4mvJVhfRxIX0NxUDV4g Often new students will say to me in class “After I pass the guard I arrive in side control but I don’t know what to do when I get there!” This technique list is for you! 1) Modified Baseball Bat Choke / Finalização partindo da Imobilização Lateral This variation of the Baseball bat choke from Knee on belly is used on a very defensive, tihght opponent in your side control. 3) Ninja Choke from Side Control / Estrangulamento com lapela partindo dos 100 quilos Professor André Cyrino of GB Jundiaí teaches a tricky way to strangle your opponent using your own lapel. Also known as the Ninja choke because it is sneaky! 5) Reverse scarf hold side control attack / Ataque partindo dos 100 quilos Gracie Barra Head instructor Prof. Jefferson Moura shows a choke from a variation of side control known as reverse scarf hold.

Is the pre-championship anxiety something normal?

For a high quality jiu-jitsu, it is necessary to keep up – not only with the attendance records, but also with the physical and psychological preparation, prior to major championships. Although we do not have 100% of competitors in the GB school mats, being in good shape and with the mental part well prepared means assuring 50% of future conquests, whether inside or outside the dojo. But why do we guarantee 50% of our success with this preparation? Very simple. Currently, the jiu-jitsu is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, both in number of athletes and in competitions. Thus, most of the practitioners who come into championships believe that only training the good and pure jiu-jitsu is enough. Not quite. The evolution of the gentle art requires that athletes keep a good physical condition combined with a good mental balance. There are people who are more than 100% fine with the physical part, but who are still mentally weak. They are those who suffer in advance, even before they fight. Well guys, we’re talking about those sleepless nights before the championship, the butterflies in the stomach, that nervousness just before the combat. All these feelings come down to something that is very familiar among athletes in many sports, the well-known ANXIETY. There are many causes of anxiety, but in the fight world, a perfect description would be exactly this: “Behind the anxiety, there are, hidden, fear and insecurity. So you really wish that those things you dream about happen quickly, in a flash. It is the unconscious way of trying not to lose what you want so much.” No need to be scared, but everyone who fights knows that anxiety never disappears from our lives. It is part of adrenaline and of the victory thrills. The greatest champions in the world – in some cases, two, three, four-time champions, have never ceased to experience that feeling. But among many jiu-jitsu practices and fitness, there is also the emotional control training. There are numerous ways of seeking control of your mind and consequently, your emotions. One of them, meditation, has been a great ally to gentle art warriors and champions. Besides helping with the respiratory part, meditation helps a lot when it comes to keeping focus and concentration. We from GB Brazil will offer you here an exercise that will help you feel less anxious and more concentrated for the next battle: Breathe slowly. Start with a gentle inspiration, counting to three. Now release the air, slowly, counting to three. When breathing, try to make your belly grow on each inhale and shrink at release of the air. Do this breath training at home and find your rhythm. Use this technique whenever you start feeling anxious. Feeling calmer now? Another good tip to be absorbed is being aware that the guy you’ll face is not that huge an opponent. He practices jiu-jitsu just like you, he has the same degree as you do and has no super hero powers. All that being said, being aware that you gave your best is the greatest feeling. “In jiu-jitsu there’s no such a loss. You win or you learn.” OSS Source: www.fontedeluz.com

3 Benefits to Training BJJ – Outside of the Dojo

We are all aware of the positive physical health benefits that come from training bjj. TV host, chef and author Anthony Bourdain (now a 4 stripe white belt in bjj) revealed in an interview that he had lost 30 lbs. in the first 9 months of his training. In addition to fat loss are the development of strength, flexibility, core stability and cardiovascular health. Rain or shine, you can go to the academy and get a sweat going and work every muscle group in your body. Like yoga, jiu-jitsu movements require you to utilize the full range of motion in all of your joints, on both sides of your body. As people age, the mobility of their joints is one of the first things they lose. Bjj is a key to staying young! Less obvious are the benefits that you enjoy outside of the academy. Here are 3 ways that the bjj lifestyle benefits you outside of the academy. 1) Problem Solving Speaker Tai Lopez uses the words “mental 6 pack” to describe the idea of developing your mind to the same degree of sharpness as your abdominal definition. Look at any roll in bjj class as a series of problems that you must solve. You can not spend time fretting that your guard has been passed, you must forget it and move onto the problem at hand…not getting submitted and escaping! You develop the “mental muscle” to solve problems without getting mentally stuck on the fact that something bad has happened. Your mind develops the habit of looking for the next step, a solution-oriented mind. This mindset is important to dealing with life’s problems off of the mat. More than one student has said that after having a 200-pound purple belt mounted on them in class, that the rest of their day is very easy by comparison. 2) Development of perseverance Discipline and consistency. I owe these two factors all have attained in my life. Things have never happened overnight. Results have appeared as a consequence of decades long toil. It is necessary to persist.” Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Obtaining a blue belt or a purple belt is not an overnight occurrence. From the start of your journey in bjj there will be many ups and downs. Periods of frustration and slow progress, and alternately days of tournament gold medals and effortless flow in your jiu-jitsu. You realize that your achievements have come as an accumulation of small efforts – class by class – over a longer, sustained period of time. You must weather the storms and continue with your greater purpose in mind. What do you do the Monday after winning the gold medal in your division in the weekend tournament? You show up to class. What do you do the Monday after a challenging week on the mats where nothing seemed to go right? You show up to class. If this philosophy is successful in your practice of jiu-jitsu, how else might you apply it? If you are attending school to further your education, starting a new job at the bottom of the career ladder or embarking on any new endeavor, you may take the habit of perseverance developed in bjj and apply it to those other areas of your life. Read also: 5 Obstacles to Overcome in Your BJJ Training 3) Positive Habits One of my former students revealed to me privately that they had problems with alcohol. The habit of going out for drinks on the weekend had slowly increased until alcohol had started to adversely affect the other parts of their personal life and impact their health. I encouraged him to make a commitment to show up at the gym 3 x a week for bjj. If he knew that he was responsible to show up for morning class, then he would have a powerful incentive to not have that first drink the night before. If you are going to demand more from your body on the mat, then you need to fuel it with some of the foods that your body needs. Instead of the deep fried foods devoured after the bar, you are making a better food choice that day before class. For the most part you will meet people in bjj class who are more oriented towards health and fitness in their lives. There is less peer pressure to hang out in bars and smoke and drink than to get out for a hike or other physical activity. When your weekly environment and habits change, the number of positive things you do in a week compounds into a far healthier overall lifestyle. This is what we call the jiu-jitsu lifestyle! read also: 5 Ways to Eat Better read also: Green Smoothies – Your Body Will Thank You! How do you feel training bjj benefits you off of the mat? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Transform Yourself: Become a Jiu-Jitsu Ambassador

You have probably already been doing some of the things it takes to be an amazing leader in Gracie Barra like goal setting, building your Jiu-Jitsu skill-set, and being a team player and team leader. While all of these are valuable steps in your leadership journey, we can’t forget about the necessity of being a Jiu-Jitsu ambassador. It is this step that will transform you from being an awesome Instructor on the mats to a true JJ leader on and off the mats.

The Impact Jiu-Jitsu Has On Children

“Jiu-jitsu is a great developer of character, builds their courage, work on friendships with other kids. They close their fears.” Prof. Kayron Gracie The Gracie Barra Competition Network (Compnet) brings together schools in the Gracie Barra family and provides students a chance to test their skills and gain experience in a safe, structured competition environment. Why is it important and enjoyable for young people to compete in a jiu-jitsu tournament?

Do You Want To Start Learning Brazilian Jiu-jitsu? How To Get Started!

When January 1st rolls around many potential students think about getting started training bjj. read also:3 Tips For Your First Year of Training Here are 5 Tips for Getting Started in BJJ: 1. You don’t need to “get in shape before I start”. This is a common statement by people who are apprehensive about getting started in bjj. Part of it likely originates in the (understandable) wish to avoid “paying your dues” and getting tapped a lot at first. Truth is the Gracie Barra warm up and drills will build the type of fitness that bjj requires without being overly exhausting. When you focus on the techniques you are being taught and attend class 2-4 times per week your body will adapt to the new demands. 2. Expect to be the “nail” early on. Jiu-jitsu legend Renzo Gracie famously said “Sometimes you are the hammer and sometimes you are the nail!” When you start any new skill, there is that initial step learning curve. You are not alone in feeling like the proverbial “nail”. I have witnessed well conditioned competitive fighters from other martial arts flounder when they first started. It isn’t only you! 3. You don’t need to buy every piece of training gear in the pro shop to start Some students of bjj are “gear heads” and have every piece of training aid and fashionable rash guard and spats, limited edition kimono…  the truth is you need to spend hundreds of dollars to get going. read also: 7 Things To Keep In Your BJJ Gear Bag A kimono and rash guard are really all you need to get started. Usually your gb school has kimonos in stock in the pro shop and can fit you properly. 4. Being fit to start helps, but your body will have to adjust to the sports specific requirements of ground grappling. This is related to #1 You might have a six-pack and have great “guns” from all of those concentration curls at the gym, but you will find out quickly that the conditioning required for grappling is different! Forget the beach muscles and think more about core strength, abdominal’s and muscular endurance. There is a principle of sports science known as “specificity of training” which means the closer the exercise is to the specific demands of the sport, the greater the carry over benefit. 5. Go watch a class before signing up Gracie Barra recommends that you seek a legitimate gb school with classes run by a black belt instructor. It isn’t always possible to find a black belt where you live but it should be your first choice. Remember, any martial arts school can put “brazilian jiu-jitsu” on their sign, but it is no guarantee that the instructor is qualified to teach beginners! If there are numerous bjj schools in your area drop by and ask to observe a class. You will get a feeling as to the culture and vibe of the school. The Gracie Barra mission is striving to put a qualified instructor and school in your city. Look for a Gracie Barra bjj school near you here! Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Bangkok, Thailand Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Jiu-Jitsu is never ending learning

I have been asked by students “Once you are a black belt, is it necessary to continue to try to learn about bjj?” The underlying assumption behind this question is: Don’t you know everything about jiu-jitsu by the time you graduate to your black belt? No! read also: Bjj Seminars: Why You Should Go! I am currently renewing my Gracie Barra instructor’s certification course ICP5 which features short video interviews with many Gracie Barra professors from all over the globe. One of the common themes expressed by black belt professors with over 20 years experience in jiu-jitsu is how they feel a strong need to continue to study jiu-jitsu. What can they possibly mean by this? There are a few angles to look at this sentiment. 1) Jiu-jitsu is in a constant state of evolution Especially when we are talking about sport bjj competition where new guards with exotic names are being unveiled at each major competition event of the year. At the highest levels, it is an arms race. Bjj teams get their top competitors together and brainstorm and develop new variations on positions and strategies to surprise their opponents. The black belt who wants to be the best instructor, must keep current on all of the new developments in order to provide their students with all of the tools they need to be successful. Jiu-jitsu that we know of today has some new positions (ex. berimbolo, reverse De la Riva guard) that were virtually unknown 5 years ago. What will the art look like in 5 years from today? 2) The depth of the basics Talk to any black belt and they will sincerely express their love of the basic techniques of bjj. An armlock from the mount is a basic move and everyone knows it right? Not correct! There is an enormous depth to the techniques of bjj. Advanced belts can be astounded at the additional details that a top level black belt can explain on positions they have been already using for years. The details on the strongest grip, the timing of execution, “move your hip a little to to the side”, “break the opponent’s balance before trying to sweep”etc. As a new black belt, I had a private lesson with a 4th degree master and I asked to go over basic techniques that I had as part of my game for over 15 years. It was a very humbling experience to discover that my understanding of “basic” techniques such as cross collar choke from guard were not as complete as I had previously thought. The next time you attend a seminar with a top level instructor, ask them for tips on your best technique and you will be astonished at how deep jiu-jitsu is. read also: Details! – The Idea of Advanced Basics 3) Different games I had the pleasure of attending a Romulo Barral seminar a few years ago as a brown belt. Romulo is famous for his dangerous spider guard and spent the seminar explaining the basic grips he used and then a tree of possibilities of sweeps and attacks from his favourite position. What impressed me – above and beyond the specific techniques – that he had a system setup around the grips and basic position: – He knew his best options for sweeps and attacks – He knew what to expect in his opponents defensive reactions – He knew his combinations between the key techniques – He understood how one move connected to and combined with the next The depth to which he understood the nuances and complexity of the position was a real eye opener to me. When I saw the depth of knowledge and experience that he had about that one position, I more clearly understood how deep one could learn different games. It is not only how many moves you know, but on a deeper level, how do you use them and combine them effectively? How deeply do you know the positions in your own “A Game”? This reveals some of the bottomless depth of the art of jiu-jitsu and why it is never ending learning. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan for 06/22-06/28

GB TP Week 9 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 06/22 – 06/28 our classes are based on Week 9 of the curriculum. Standing Strike/ Transitions to the Guard  – Sacrifice Throws/ Guard At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Experiment! Your Own Jiu-jitsu Laboratory

The instructor has a large role in the student’s progression of bjj, especially in that first year of training. As the student gains experience, they should take on a larger and larger role in their own development. Read also:Your Role in learning to Roll – The Bjj student’s responsibility in self learning Between exchanging ideas with other advanced students and what they learn in class, they develop a solid understanding of the basic techniques. Now, from the starting point of sound basics, the students should look to experiment with their jiu-jitsu. I am fond of saying that blue belt is the belt of experimentation. This is a point where the student has enough grasp of the basics, enough mat fitness and positional knowledge to be able to roll effectively. What do we mean by experimenting? 1) Nowhere is this more true than in the variety of guard styles! Once you have an understanding of closed guard and at least one or two variations of open guard, you can explore the other guard styles. Consider how many guard styles there are in modern bjj with the kimono: Butterfly; De la Riva (and reverse!); X-guard; Spider guard; Sitting guard; Closed old school; Lapel guards; Z-guard / 93 guard; Rubber guard; Cross guard; and it goes on and on… Dive in an pick a new style of guard and try to start from that position in your rolling. Observe how your opponent tries to pass; what mistakes are they likely to make? What openings for sweeps or submissions will present themselves? 2) Variations of your favorite positions For every basic “bread and butter” position there are multiple variations. One of my earliest training partners was so crazy to learn every variation of his favorite positions that our head instructor laughingly started referring to him as “The Mad Scientist of Jiu-jitsu”! He was always on the lookout for new variations on old themes that he could find to catch his opponents by surprise. You can scour many sources for new ideas on your existing favorite positions and some black belt channel on YoutTube will have what you are seeking. This is especially applicable when we consider individual differences in body type, height, leg length, etc. Many variations have come about in response to different body types. Helio Gracie was famously known to have adapted techniques to work more efficiently to work with his smaller frame. In fact, whenever a group of senior belts is clustered on a corner of the mat, all you need to do is go over and demonstrate your basic position and the others will get excited and offer “have you seen this way of doing the same technique”? 3) Tweak it until it breaks! One of the ways that you can learn the underlying principles of WHY your favorite techniques are so effective is to deconstruct the technique. Example: If your guard scissors sweep works well with a sleeve grip near the wrist, what happens when you try an elbow grip? If you grip still higher near the shoulder? You will undoubtedly find your technique is more effective with a certain grip and requires less energy to execute. At some point when experimenting with the grip changes, the technique will “break”. That is to say your experiment will fail. You have discovered why the technique needs specific elements in order to work properly. If those essential elements are not present, then you can now diagnose why your technique is not working in rolling. How do you experiment in your own bjj game? Read also: Developing Your “A” Game – Tips on Finding Your Strongest Positions Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

A Look Through my Lens: IBJJF Worlds 2015

Last month the IBJJF World Championships were held at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. Gracie Barra competitors from all over the world represented the red shield. I am proud to be part of such a diverse team of very talented individuals. The days were long and the competition fierce. Here are some of the photographs from last month. I just have eaten four bowls of Açai, and heard “BOA!!!” a couple thousand times behind me. The event is a fun to watch and is an emotional roller coaster for those competing. At every competition I get to experience both the joys of victory and the agony of defeat. It’s a physically and emotionally taxing experience for all those involved. Day 1 – Thursday, May 28th 2015 The first day of the IBJJF worlds has the white and blue belt divisions.  These ranks are always fun to watch because of the wilder style of jiu-jitsu many white and blue belts have. These competitors may have been training for several years but are still in search of that definitive style that begins to define their jiu-jitsu. Day 2 – Friday – May 29th 2015 As a purple belt myself, I fully enjoy watching these matches. The level of technique is a step up from the previous day. Competitors often display a refined level of control and precision while still making small mistakes. It becomes an interesting battle of who can capitalize on those errors first. Day 3 – Saturday Many of the best jiu-jitsu competitors on Earth step foot on the mat Saturday. These brown and black belts are top-level athletes who often train full time to satisfy an illustrious hunger for gold. It’s easy to sense how much is on the line for many competitors with the level of competition being so high. The match was tied but all judges awarded Najmi the victor. After receiving his gold medal, Professor Romulo Barral awarded Edwin his much-earned Black Belt. Day 4 – Sunday – Finals The arena is converted to only 2 mats. Like the ancient coliseum of Rome, all eyes become focused on two competitors, fighting for the chance to claim the title of World Champion. These events are always a memorable for me. Many athletes competing at this event will cherish the days as once in a lifetime experience. Experiences they will remember the rest of their lives. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of that. Till next time Gracie Barra! Patrick J. Flores Gracie Barra Chino patjflores.com

The right tool for the right job

One of the students expressed that he was unable to get his butterfly or hook sweep to work on any of his opponents. I could see from his expression that he was skeptical that the hook sweep was even a valid technique! So poor had been his results, that he didn’t think it would really work on anybody! I assured him that the basic techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu DO WORK! That if he was unsuccessful, it was likely that he was missing a critical detail in the execution of the technique that made him miss it, NOT that the technique itself was flawed or invalid. He explained that when one of the advanced belts stood up in his guard, that no matter how hard he tried he could not sweep the opponent. Ah ha! Here is the problem. He was not using the hook sweep in the correct situation. And this brings up the idea of using the “right tool for the right job”. There is a great saying that illustrates how we can become narrow in our vision in using only one solution for the wrong task: “When all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.” Read also: 6 Steps to Fix a Hole in Your Game I asked the student if they would try to use a guard – cross collar choke if the opponent was standing and trying to pass at distance? “Nope!” But the open guard tripod sweep would work. Would you use the open guard tripod sweep if the opponent was on top of you close with pressure? “Nope!” But the guard – cross collar choke would work. He understood the point. Both the cross collar guard choke and the tripod sweep were great techniques, but needed to be employed in the correct situation in order to be effective. So many times I observe a beginner student frustrated with their inability to get a technique to work. There are usually 3 main reasons why it is not working: 1) the mechanics of the technique are incorrect 2) the opponent is simply more experienced and effective at countering the technique 3) the technique is the incorrect one for the specific fight situation – the subject of this article! Read also: 3 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Training Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

To Compete or Not?

The covers of the jiu-jitsu magazines usually feature a top competitor fresh off of a championship victory. In their own way, the top competitors have become celebrities within the bjj world and pose for photos with fans at tournaments and seminars. We are all inspired by their performances (and especially the technique innovations that the competitors bring to the art and sport). But we have to ask, is it necessary to compete in bjj if you train? It depends on why you are doing bjj. In reality, it is a minority of students who sign up at an academy with visions of tournaments in their minds. Most students will say – when asked why they started – self defense, fitness, challenge of learning a new skill are the most common motivations. Often, once a student gets involved, they develop an interest in testing their skills in a bjj tournament. But it is rarely why they start training. So how important is it for a student to compete? Gracie Barra Professor and World Champion Marcio Feitosa feels that it is very important for students to stretch and test their abilities in competition. Many instructors will say that a student can learn more from one tournament than a year of regular training at the academy! An upcoming tournament will provide strong motivation to train consistently, reach a high level of physical conditioning and stretch the abilities of the competitor. A familiar reason also is the student wishes to see how their jiu-jitsu skills will go when exposed to the increased stress of a bjj competition. Most civilized people will not have many street confrontations in which to test their bjj skills, and a tournament is a great way to put oneself under fire to see how you perform. But not everyone has any real desire to compete. They train for other reasons of personal development, fitness, stress relief, the interest in learning the Arte Sauve. Read also: 5 Obstacles to Overcome in Your BJJ Training Saulo Ribeiro (himself a top competitor) memorably said that he enjoyed running, lifting weights – but didn’t feel that he needed to compete in a marathon or weight lifting contest to enjoy the benefits of those activities. It must be pointed out that one must have a competitive type of personality to engage in bjj training in the first place. The nature of training is more intense, a spirited contest without teammates to help you out of trouble or a ball going out of bounds to stop the action. It is “mano a mano” and even those students who never enter a tournament will have their will and abilities tested by the physical force and intensity of another determined student. For many, their study of bjj has more to do with overcoming personal fears. Confronting their own limitations and stretching their bodies and minds into higher levels through the vehicle of brazilian jiu-jitsu. Several years ago, on the annual academy photo day and graduation at my home, 6 new blackbelt were promoted in a single day. Among the new black belts and highly skilled bjj practitioners that day, half were non-competitors. The non-competitors had little interest in tournament competition, but had all developed a high degree of skill and fitness over the decade-plus of training bjj. So to answer the original question, whether it is necessary to compete or not? You will find good arguments on both sides of the question. Perhaps it comes down to the individual. If you are excited about testing yourself on the competition mat and competing for gold, then go for it! If you have other reasons that motivate you to train, pursue your study of bjj for your own personal reasons and internal victories! Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan for 05/18-05/24

GB TP Week 4 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 05/18 – 05/24 our classes are based on Week 4 of the curriculum. Clinch & Holds/ Foot Throws/ Mount Knee on Belly At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

5 Tips to Staying Motivated in Jiu-Jitsu

The road to a black belt is long. It takes several years, and most people who start jiu-jitsu will honestly never make it to black belt. That’s not pessimistic, but a statistical reality. People start jiu-jitsu for couple reasons and leave for other ones. Everyone will experience hiccups along the way that will slow or completely halt a their jiu-jitsu career. This could be due to injury, change of heart, or a shift in life priorities. Ask any higher belt and I bet they’ve seen a fair share of people who have come and gone with jiu-jitsu. As you move higher up the ranks, you will see many filter out. I feel that motivation is a major factor. People simply loose that motivation to train for numerous reasons. Here are some ways to stay motivated, and get what you want out of jiu-jitsu. 1. Set Goals…Realistic Ones  Some people start Brazilian jiu-jitsu with grandiose ideas. They believe it is easy, and they can get a black belt in three years. It’s important to set goals for yourself but set realistic ones. For example, if you’re a white belt who is just starting, don’t worry so much about getting a black belt. IT WILL HAPPEN WHEN IT HAPPENS. Focus instead on trying to master the fundamental techniques. 2. It’s Okay to Take a Break  I love jiu-jitsu. I also know that if you love something, you will miss it when it’s gone. Taking breaks from jiu-jitsu, even for a couple days, will help remind you of this. It’s also a good way to avoid burning out. 3. Constantly Challenge Yourself Something easily achieved doesn’t provide the same satisfaction as something difficult. It’s important to challenge yourself every jiu-jitsu class. This could mean limiting your use of techniques to only those you’re uncomfortable with, rolling with a larger opponent, or maybe rolling without using grips (no hands). This will help sharpen your overall jiu-jitsu game and refine it over time. 4. Surround Yourself with Like-Minded Individuals They say iron sharpens iron. Having good training partners who can push you to the next level is important. Also, good training partners will keep you motivated and wanting to come back. Consider avoiding individuals with toxic personalities. 5. Face Your Fears Fear is a roadblock. The fear of getting tapped, fear of loosing, fear of failing, fearing the responsibility, fearing competition. It’s okay to be scared. Fear is just an emotion, and emotions are what make us human. Facing your fears in jiu-jitsu is the first step to conquering them. Once you do, those fears will never stop you again, making you a stronger person. Not everyone who starts jiu-jitsu is destined to become a black belt. Some will get there, others wont. Others will walk away from jiu-jitsu taking with them what they always wanted from the sport and there is nothing wrong with that. Jiu-jitsu is a gift and people can learn from it what they need. Regardless of what you choose to do, staying motivated is very important in all aspects of life. It’s what keeps us moving forward instead of constantly looking at the past. Patrick J. Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter: patjflores Insta: bjjfotos

2015 – The milestone of a new ERA to Gracie Barra

Last month, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. received the red and white belt, 8th degree. Here is a journey of life exclusively dedicated to Jiu-Jitsu, to the confederations and of course, to our GRACIE BARRA. And talking about the Gracie Barra, another amazing milestone made all of us starting this new phase fill with pride, carrying the shield on our chest, with restored armor, a gleam in our eyes and renewed strength to go on with Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s vision of taking our schools to every city in the world. Get ready, because the news is huge: In 2015 GRACIE BARRA reached the milestone of more than 500 schools spread across four continents. 500 schools is the concrete proof that we are pursuing a future of achievements and accomplishments. Building a path with no return by changing as many lives and communities as possible around the globe. Being GB is making the difference, it is joining forces and taking responsibility. It’s walking through unknown lands and breaking paths never traveled to take the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone. It’s talking in every language with only one language: the language of the gentle art. And what about the future? The best is still to come. With technologies advancing at an incredible pace, the quality of education getting better every day, and our instructors increasingly well prepared, the sky becomes our only limit. As a GB family representative, it’s your role to be part of a movement that aims to a GB STANDARD quality of education in each one of our units. It is very important to keep this sync and philosophy within our schools, so we can all reap together the fruits of our teamwork. We must never forget the strength of our group. “I learned with the history of mankind that men who worked in groups were more successful than those who worked alone. The group makes us stronger.” Carlos Gracie Jr. And wherever Jiu-Jitsu still does not exist is exactly where we will go to, relentless and unbeatable, fighting, seeking and finding new opportunities to keep our legacy flame alive.

7 Things To Keep In Your BJJ Gear Bag

I have seen students come to the academy with their kimono in everything from a plastic shopping bag from the local grocery store to a huge equipment bag with every conceivable piece of gear! Most students of jiu-jitsu will have a gear bag dedicated to their bjj gear and different items which are useful at the academy. Read also: Take Note! 3 Methods to Remember Your Techniques I looked in my own gear bag and here are the items I carry with me each time to the academy. 1) Camera If you have a smart phone, you may not need a camera but I always keep my camera in my bag for 3 reasons: – The day I don’t have my camera with me is the day a UFC fighter or World Champion will stop by the academy and I’ll miss a chance for a photo after training – Record a technique that you saw that you don’t want to forget – One of your classmates gets a new bluebelt and you want to capture the moment when the belt is tied around their waist 2) Athletic Tape Sore fingers and toes benefit from being taped together to support the injured digit. Also, any small cuts or abrasions may be covered with a bandage, which will come off within the first 30 seconds of rolling! A few wraps of tape will cover the bandage and help keep it in place. 3) Shorts / rashguard If the weather is unusually hot that day or one of your classmates is preparing for a mma fight / no-gi competition you may want to take off the kimono and do a little training no gi. Some days at the academy I will change up the training a little and teach some wrestling ties or no-gi grips. If a student has no rash guard or extra T-shirt, they will train in the only T-shirt they wore to class, and have to leave the academy after training in a thoroughly sweat-soaked T-shirt! 4) Mouth guard Mouth guards come from custom fitted models costing several hundred $$ to the basic “boil and bite” versions. Many bjj students wouldn’t step on the mat without their mouth pieces. All it takes is an errant elbow or knee during a roll and a painful (and expensive!) dental injury could result. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 5) Water bottle Now this one seems obvious, but this is the item I forget the most often. I refill my empty water bottle at home from my water filter instead of buying a new plastic bottle each time. Curiously, the “lost and found” box at my gym is filled with expensive (and forgotten!) “hydration systems”. I am not the only one to forget my water bottle. 6) Analgesic balm / cream My head instructor teased me and called Ben Gay or A535 hot balm “my old man cream”. But on those frigid winter mornings when I was changing into my kimono and the old meniscus injury was protesting, a little dab of heat on the knee sure felt great. Also, if your kimono happens to have any….err….disagreeable odors, the strong peppermint scent of the balm might help cover the smell of the gi. 7) Tylenol Muscle soreness is not uncommon to grapplers. Following a session of passing spider guard, in which I was bent over at the waist for over an hour, my lower back started to twitch and spasm. It is handy to use a few Tylenol (or other equivalent pain relievers) to help reduce the inflammation and pain of an overused muscle. Read also: 5 Tips On How To Care For Your BJJ Kimono What essentials do you carry in your own bjj gear bag? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Your Role in learning to Roll – The Bjj student’s responsibility in self learning

I read one black belt quote that by the time to student reaches purple belt, they should have seen nearly all of the techniques they need to become a black belt. This is not a comment that the student no longer requires the influence of their black belt professor! This suggests that the student now has a larger role in directing their own training and perfecting the techniques that they know. Read also: Ideas to Improve Your “A Game” I have observed two different approaches to learning bjj among students who are training regularly: 1) The student who comes to class, performs only the moves and repetitions prescribed by the instructor during the class, rolls and then heads for home. And this is fine. This is what the student wants out of their training and will continue to improve with regular class attendance and training. 2) The student who will see the techniques demonstrated by the professor in class, sit at the edge of the mat and make notes of what they saw in class. Then go home, get on YouTube to search for every variation and study different details. They might look through their bjj instructionals collection to see what another top instructor says about that same position and the variations. The student will return to class, ask another student to drill the technique over and over again. The student will deconstruct the technique: “What if I place my grip higher instead of lower?” “How does it work if I put my body weight higher or lower?” The student will bring some further questions to the instructor about the position: “How will my opponent seek to counter this?” “What is the way to set up this technique?” This student has taken the technique the instructor introduced and then applied their own self-study to go deeper into the position. There is a word for this: autodidact. While it is possible to learn by more passive methods – just repeating what the instructor shows – students in any area of learning will take that initial exposure of a new idea and apply their own efforts and research to go deeper. Another important point to understand is that one’s bjj is highly individual. You may have physical attributes and preferences for a different game than your own instructor. It becomes more important for you to take an active role in your own learning and seek out other advanced students for their advice, numerous online sources of learning and getting together with training partners and deconstructing and putting back together the techniques. Look for ways you can take an more active role in your own learning and deepen your knowledge of jiu-jitsu! Read also: Advanced Methods: Limit Your Training Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJEND

GB Training Plan for 05/11-05/17

GB TP Week 3 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 05/11 – 05/17 our classes are based on Week 3 of the curriculum. Ground Strike/ Leg Grabs/ Guards At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Drilling. How To Do It Right

“Want to drill?” The students will move to the edge of the mat during rolling, to “drill” their techniques. It quickly devolves from executing repetitions of an arm lock to rambling discussions of moves they say on YouTube that went “something like this”. While there is benefit to students deconstructing techniques to learn the ‘how’ and ‘why’ it works, that isn’t the real purpose of drilling. I recently read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography titled “Total Recall”. In the book, Arnold relates his secret to success in all things: “Sets and reps”. Arnold was not only talking about bench presses! He was referring to his learning of English as a new immigrant, his acting exercises and even speech-giving as a politician. So how does this apply to bjj drilling? You need more than one method of training to improve your bjj. Not only free rolling – although that is beyond debate in its importance. Especially at the earlier stages of bjj, you need to perform repetitions with a partner to burn those grooves into your mind and body on how to execute the mechanics of your techniques. After each set of repetitions, your body moves a little more easily into the position. You stop tensing muscles that stiffen your body and the movement is more fluid. You learn (both consciously and unconsciously) where to apply your bodyweight in order to move more efficiently. This is not accomplished by performing ten reps on either side and wiping your hands and announcing “Ok, got it!” Behind every black belt with a razor sharp arm lock from the guard or lightning fast double leg takedowns are thousands of repetitions. Want to get the most out of your drilling? (Especially in the earliest stages of learning a new technique!) Resolve to perform 100 reps of your technique with a partner. You may in turn, offer to “dummy” for him so he can perform reps of his own technique. Sets of 10 to 20 reps before switching. It may not be as fun as rolling, but if you want to get a new technique into your body and muscle memory as fast as possible it must be “sets and reps”! read also: Top 4 Things In Your First Year of Training Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

MAY LACK OF SLEEP MESS UP YOUR TRAINING?

With our busy routines, it is normal to see people complaining of fatigue, sleepiness and headaches. Despite the extremely tight routine being the trend of contemporary societies, those who love jiu-jitsu – or any other sport, always make some time to train. At the end of the day, it is normal that the fatigue arrives and takes the individual to complete exhaustion. The busy body and worries show up right at bedtime, the most important moment of the day for a sportsman. After all, what is the importance of sleeping for the life of a gentle art-practicing person? It may seem silly, but sleeping well can be the change that you need to improve your trainings. Regardless of being an athlete or student, sleeping is part of the training. How many hours of a good night’s sleep are necessary for a healthy life and good performance in practice? Although this is a dream for many, is sleeping the “whole day” the solution? Check out some valuable information about how many hours to sleep. 12hs – A study published in the “Sleep” magazine found that sleeping 12 hours increases the likelihood of obesity from 25% to 35%. That’s a nice tip: Anything in excess is bad. 10hrs – This amount will improve your muscular response speed by 8%, in addition to reflexes, according to research conducted by the Stanford University (USA). 8hrs – A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that the growth hormone (GH), responsible for repairing muscles, is released during sleep time. Therefore, the more you sleep the greater will be your GH dose. However, the average sleep time for a sportsman should range between 8 to 10 hours, and never exceed 12 daily hours. 6hrs – What’s the use of training hard and not having a good sleep time? If you train and do not sleep the enough, your muscles won’t receive the rest they need to grow. If you exercise daily, you have to sleep more than 6 hours. 4hrs – At this point, your resistance drops from 15 up to 40% and will not enable the necessary growth of your muscles, as concluded by a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. Besides, by the next day you will feel a strong tiredness and bad mood. Fonte: http://www.insonias.com/

Strength and Size Don’t Matter ….Or Do They?

“Strength and Size Don’t Matter” is one of those sayings in bjj that has been around forever. The ability for a smaller and weaker person to defeat a heavier and more powerful opponent is what sets jiu-jitsu apart from many other martial arts. The victories by 170lbs. Royce Gracie in the earliest UFC’s were the catalyst for bjj to become popular in the USA and the rest of the world. With all due respect to Royce, he was not the most imposing physical specimen and his ability to defeat some powerful fighters captured the imagination of the martial arts world. But do strength and size really not matter in bjj? Yes and No. Yes. In that a smaller, lighter person CAN defeat a larger stronger opponent. Most students of bjj have had the experience of being schooled by a much smaller advanced belt and were shocked at how their size advantage was negated by the lighter fighter. When I was a 210 lbs. blue belt I was humbly schooled by a 145 lbs. black belt and it gave me an entirely new perspective on how bjj could overcome a size difference. We have also observed lighter female bluebelts teach new whitebelt guys that they need to keep their arms in lest they be arm barred in short order! When the skill and experience difference is great enough between two combatants, the advantage of size and strength of the larger may largely be negated. Observe a 150 lbs. black belt roll with a 200 lbs. noob and you can see this in effect. No. There is a reason that there are weight classes in combat sports. A big deal is made of a lighter fighter coming up in weight classes to fight an opponent at a heavier weight. In the Absolute division of a bjj tournament, it is rare that a competitor from the lighter weight classes captures the open weight gold medal. When the skill and experience are closer, then size and strength DO matter! If you have noticed the elite ranks of the bjj competitions, you will find superbly conditioned athletes. If strength did not matter these athletes would not devote so much effort to their physical conditioning. It is however, a different type of sport-specific strength than what enormously muscled bodybuilders display. To develop the exact type of strength and physical attributes that you require is known as the principle of “specificity of training”. Your strength training must as closely as possible the demands of ones particular sport. Bjj’ers must be strong ENOUGH to execute their techniques, but being able to bench press double their bodyweight or have huge biceps has limited benefit to the person seeking to be the best grappler. Strength and size DO matter! read also: “You Are Using Too Much Strength!” Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Training Plan for 05/04-05/10

GB TP Week 2 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 05/04 – 05/10 our classes are based on Week 2 of the curriculum. Headlocks / Hip Throws / Hand Throws / Side Mount At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Founder of GB, Master Carlos Gracie Jr., has a new belt

Last weekend (April 24 and 25th), Campinas, Brazil, held the second edition of the GB Conference in the country. The team, founded in 1986 and with more than 200 school owners attending the event, saw its leader receiving the 8th degree black belt – the red and white belt. Officially recognized by the International Federation of Jiu-Jitsu (IBJF), the red and white belt is the continuation of the black belt path. After 6 degrees of black belt, which represents a 50-year period in graduation, one may finally reach up to the “Coral” belt (black and red). The black-and-red belt graduation should last at least seven years. It is noteworthy that a belt graduation period is based on the actual presence on the mat; that is, it’s not a matter of taking the black belt, standing still and even so, getting a new degree after the passing of some time, as Carlos Gracie Jr. himself said during his graduation ceremony: “If you give someone a black belt today and this guy spends 10 years out of the jiu-jitsu, without training, without proving that he is active in jiu-jitsu, those 10 years will not count. If you go back after 10 years from now, you will be a black belt with no degrees at all. The degree is for that guy who is active, within the jiu-jitsu.” In terms of presence, Master Carlinhos – as he is affectionately named by his pupils, needs no comment. Always in a good mood, the son of Grand Master Carlos Gracie trains every day, which gives him an incredible willingness and much strength during the rolls. The days until the red and white belt were not counted by the Master, something that was visibly noticed by his calm face at that moment. This is quite unlike what many people would do, counting every hour and minute for a new graduation. The time has passed in a natural way for the Master, among trainings, injuries and classes, normal habits for a whole life dedicated to the gentle art. 59-year-old, Carlos Gracie Jr, son of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu creator, concludes another cycle, celebrated in a meeting whose purpose was to continue his work. The old belt was replaced by a new graduation and the power to an old dream: to take the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone to a GB school in every city in the world. Surrounded by his followers – men and women willing to fulfill the mission to carry out his dream, Carlinhos was fervently applauded and had at his waist, from the hands of the Master Mauricio Robbe, two new colors. For the founder of GB, it is clear that the new belt not only means his activity time in the gentle art, but mainly the milestone of 59 years exclusively devoted to a sport that has been changing, day by day, thousands of lives around the world.

What Should I Work On? Part 2

In a previous blog article What Should I Work On?, I wrote about what a first year student of bjj should work on. Of course you attend class and learn the techniques that your professor shows you, but in the rolling / drilling periods you can select what specific positions that you wish to prioritize. For those with more experience, the answer to that question is a little different. You already understand in principle the Positional Hierarchy of bjj and know most of the basic techniques. Now you will look toward expanding your arsenal of techniques. Here are 3 ideas of things you may want to work on in your own bjj game. 1) Experiment with more advanced positions. I call blue belt the “belt of experimentation”. For example there are many different guard styles (butterfly, spider etc.) that you need to study and try in your own game to see if they fit. As a blue belt, you have enough knowledge and bjj movements (hip escapes, bridges) that you can competently start to attempt these more advanced guards, sweeps and submissions. As a rough guideline, I advise students to try a month on your new position. Of course, it will not be 100% when you are learning a new guard, but you need to stick with the new position long enough, past the early learning curve and see if it is going to be something you can add to your game. Try them all and have fun discovering new variations! 2) Fix the holes in your game. Everyone has weak spots in your overall bjj game. Some students love playing guard so much that they develop a habit of jumping to guard and neglect takedowns and passing. Some students who may have a stronger wrestling game will avoid training on the bottom and find their guard lags well behind their top game. At some point, if you want to develop a complete bjj game, you must address those weak areas or they will fall further and further behind your areas of strength. read also: 6 Steps to Fix a Hole in Your Game 3) Develop your “A Game” The opposite advice of “Fix the holes in your game” but every bit as valid. All top competitors have a few deadly positions where they are especially dangerous. Those “A Game” positions have been drilled thousands of times to a razor level of sharpness. Your preference for certain positions and submissions will show itself early in your bjj training. Once you have identified what you are good at, you can apply your focus to making those areas as strong as possible. Drill drill drill! Learn every variation and try them all to “sharpen your sword” and have a formidable attacking game. Read also: Advanced Methods: Limit Your Training As a student who is past the beginner stage, you must begin to take charge of your progress and direct your own training to the areas that will most benefit your personal bjj game. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

What Should I Work On?

What Should I Work On? A student question to a black belt Students of bjj must attend class regularly to be exposed to all of the techniques in bjj. The best professors do not teach random techniques every class, or only their favorite positions. They have a curriculum that systematically works through all of the positions and key techniques. That said, each student has a role in their own learning and development. They will certainly gravitate towards certain positions or techniques that fit their body type and style of game. A student’s level also determines what they should be concentrating on: obviously an advanced competitive purple belt preparing for a tournament has a different requirement than a 2nd month white belt! Here are some ideas of what a student might work on in the early part of their bjj training 1) The techniques your instructor is teaching in class In fact I would say that apart from just showing up to class regularly, this is the single best piece of training advice for a new student! Your instructor has a practiced eye to what level the students are at and what level of techniques best fit their current level of experience. Obviously, a beginning student who does not yet know how to pass the closed guard will benefit little from drilling their omoplata entries. The day will come when they are ready for such advanced submissions, but their precious training time is best allocated to the movements which will most quickly build their overall bjj game. The student must have faith that their instructor knows the road ahead and can advise them on how to proceed with their training. 2) learning a move(s) for each of the major positions in bjj (ex. mount, rear mount, closed guard) When the student finds themselves in any given ground position (top or bottom) they should be able to quickly identify where they are. The Positional Hierarchy: Rear mount Mount Knee on Belly Side control Half Mount Guard Top / Guard Bottom Turtle Top / Turtle Bottom Half Guard Bottom Side control Bottom Knee on Belly Bottom Mount Bottom Rear mount Bottom Do you know what you are trying to do when you encounter each of these ground positions? What is the best submission from rear mount? What is the “bread and butter” pass for closed guard? You need to ask yourself “What are the most important techniques to master in each of these major positions?” and get drilling them to build a complete game. 3) Proper mechanics of the moves There is a big difference between the way a white belt executes a basic technique (like straight armlock from the mount) and the way a black belt executes the same technique. The are significant difference in pressure, tightness, pressure, grip and weight placement. A beginner might show you his armlock with 4 steps, while a black belt can show 10 more fine points for the same basic technique! * tip, ask to try your technique on a higher belt so they can feel how tight your arm lock is and where the room for escape is. Ask for them to apply their armbar on you so you can FEEL details that may not be obvious to someone merely watching. You can gain great information on mechanics from watching video, but there is no substitute for having a black belt instructor observe your technique and provide tips on how to do it with the proper mechanics. Read also:3 Pieces of Advice for White Belts Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

6 Great Ways to Get Information About BJJ

For those of us who can’t get enough information and discussion about bjj, there are numerous great resources for the bjj addict to satisfy their hunger. 1) Bjj Podcasts For those who don’t know, a podcast is an audio file (MP3) that you can download and listen to on your phone, laptop or iPod- usually of an interview where topics related to bjj are discussed. Instead of watching another tv show or listening to music, try a podcast of your favorite bjj personality to get a glimpse of their philosophy on bjj. Well-known competitors and instructors in the bjj world share great advice, their philosophies and interesting stories about their bjj lives. Suggested podcasts: Insidebjj BJJBRICK 2) YoutTube channels A great and 100% free way to access not only technique videos (technique collectors can spend HOURS going through endless videos by world champions) but short interviews, full length documentaries and even weekly “webisodes” where talented producers take on the mats of academies all over the world. The traditional criticism of YouTube videos is that in some cases the quality of the instruction is,..er…suspect. But there are plenty of reputable channels that provide top level instruction. Check out these two Gracie Barra channels for great content: gb72videos  gbdanapoint 3) Books The digital age has not completely eliminated the desire people have to hold a paper copy of a book in their hands. This week a student arrived early to class with their copy of a bjj book on drills and spent 30 minutes trying some of the drills contained in the book. I have a nice collection of not only new bjj books but a number of old judo books found in used book stores. You might be surprised how many “new” bjj techniques can be found in the old black and white photographs contained in those old books! 10 Great Books for the Jiu-jitsu Reader 4) Internet Forums Want to ask a question about your bjj? Want to chime in with your opinion on some controversial topic in bjj? Find out about is going on in the bjj world? Internet forums have posts from everyone from “my first bjj class” to Bjj royalty talking (and sometimes arguing) about their perspective on all matters associated with bjj. A rule of advice, try not to get too worked up when someone disagrees with your brilliantly articulated opinion. Trolls abound and delight in provoking the unwary. There are numerous forums dedicated to bjj but these are perhaps the two most popular: MixedMartialArts  Sherdog  5) Facebook Pages & News Consolidators Don’t have the time to scour the internet for your bjj info? Your Facebook news feed can deliver a steady stream of bjj videos, news, interviews and opinions about the bjj world. Most of your favorite competitors and schools will have a Facebook page and just “Like” the page and you will be notified when anything new is posted. My personal favorite bjj website these days is a news aggregator called simply “Bjj News” that features links to articles and videos from around the bjj world all in one convenient place. BjjNews 6) Blogs Of course the source of the best articles on bjj is the very own Gracie Barra Blog ;-) …where several times a week articles are published on a variety of bjj lifestyle related topics. Most blogs offer a subscription service that notifies you by email when a new post is published. Some bjj blogs focus on a specific audience such as women, white belts or those who like detailed analysis of techniques. Gracie Barra Read also:  10 Great Books for the Jiu-jitsu Reader Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

4 Differences Between Sport Bjj and Bjj for MMA (amateur rules)

I attended an amateur MMA event recently and saw how bjj was used by the competitors much differently than what you might see in an IBJJF or other pure grappling competition. This event was under amateur rules* which limit many techniques that the full Unified MMA rules would allow – especially legal strikes both standing and on the ground. * Note that these were amateur rules that did not allow strikes to the head while the fighters were on the ground. This obviously, significantly changes the ground game. Read also: The 5 Expressions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 1) Fewer techniques were used overall When you introduce adrenaline into the fight, the number of techniques the fighters employ is automatically far fewer. If you know 100 techniques, when the stress of competition goes up, that number of techniques that the fighter recalls is down to 30-40. Remove the kimono and many sweeps and reversals disappear. Obviously the collar chokes and lapel wraps too! For those studying bjj as a supplement to their mma training, there are a core of important positions and techniques that should be drilled to perfection. 2) Certain positions were far more important / far less important The numbers of guillotines attempted is FAR higher when the gi is absent. When one opponent attempts a double leg or single leg takedown, the opponent often counters with a sprawl and /or guillotine choke. * Work your guillotine counters! Various types of open guard disappeared without the sleeves to control and opponents did not pass standing like in sports bjj. The top needs to stay close and keep the grounded opponent from standing back to striking range. More important positions: Front head lock & guillotine, half guard top and bottom (basic underhook and head control), mount, rear mount attack and defense, closed guard Less important positions: Open guard (a HUGE part of sport bjj), knee on belly, sports oriented half guard (especially working for sweeps!) 3) Sweeps are nowhere near as important Without both the: A) Points system of sports bjj B) The sleeve / collar grips The importance of sweeps was drastically diminished! The most popular subject for many bjj instructors is open guard sweeps in kimono bjj classes. Infinite in variations and fun to train, it is a huge part of bjj. In MMA type of rules, when the opponent is inside the guard, they usually stay on top close, to prevent the bottom from escaping to the feet and using strikes (to the body in the amateur rules) to the bottom. 4) Takedowns are important! The lesson for the fighters after the event: Drill your double leg takedowns and counters! The double leg was by far the most attempted and successful takedown technique. There are a large number of judo throws and wrestling takedowns that are trained in academies, but the double leg is the King. The lessons from the competition? Bjj for mma is a smaller subset of positions and techniques that must be drilled to the point where the fighter can recall and use in stressful, difficult fight situations when they are severely fatigued. For mma, all of the fancy, flashy stuff must be stripped away and training efforts directed to the most common fight situations! Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

How much can jiu-jitsu change your life?

Most people entering the gentle art have no idea how much this sport can help them to achieve in their lives. At first, the desire to learn how to self-defend and lose weight can stand out as the main reason they are wearing a kimono. Although about 10 years ago it was not so common, today people who never imagined themselves practicing a martial art have found in jiu-jitsu a love for their lives. Women, children, elderly, executives and many other professionals make up a new group of students. More concerned about health and life, these types of people – not very common in the gym some time ago, have adopted the jiu-jitsu as a real lifestyle. A healthy diet, peaceful mind, daily training, sleep and care for the body. The change power of the gentle art is something that does not happen overnight. When wearing the kimono for the first time, the student may not know, but from that moment on, the essence of BJJ lifestyle starts acting upon them. In the first classes, they learn that strength is not always the best alternative and that after some time the knowledge acquired will stand over strength. People take this lesson to life. Brutality and ignorance often become extinct attitudes within practitioners. Realizing how far this fight can go is still something to be discovered in the future. But one thing is certain: far beyond the techniques, jiu-jitsu transforms human beings into super humans. OSS!

Submission Advice to a Blue Belt

One of the blue belt students at my academy asked my advice on what he should do to improve his submissions. He said that he felt that his submission success had recently decreased and felt frustrated. What could he do to break his rut? Read also: 6 Steps to Fix a Hole in Your Game I reminded him that this was partly due to the fact that the other students in academy were increasing their own knowledge of bjj and more specifically submission defense. He was no longer catching them by surprise with unfamiliar moves. They had become savvy to his attacks and prepared to defend! I have seen some colored belts, when their rate of success slows, look on YouTube looking for new, unknown moves to catch the opponents unawares. But this has a limited life. Experienced opponents will quickly learn what is happening and no longer be caught by surprise. You will find yourself scouring YouTube late into the night trying to find an obscure submission that no one in your academy has seen before. I said that after training for several years, that he had likely already seen all of the submissions that he would need to know. The basic, fundamental techniques WORK when applied in an advanced manner. The question them becomes: Are you attacking with single attacks? Can your opponent easily identify what you are trying to do and set their defense? Since defense is always easier than the offense, the opponent can shut you down. The answer? Combination attacks! I recall one of my training partners who had rolled with a black belt describing the experience, that the black belt would alternate between two different attacks. He didn’t know which attack to defend and eventually he would fall behind and leave his arm out or his neck undefended. Tap! Let’s take a look at a basic combination – armlock and cross collar choke from the mount. Everyone after a few months bjj training knows these basic attacks. Yet black belts tap other black belts with these moves. Blackbelts obviously would know the defense… so why are the attacks still successful? Because the attacker can alternate between the two attacks and confuse the defense of the defender. When they attempt to defend the choke, they must extend their arms away from the safe defensive position. Boom! Armlock! They clasp their arms together tightly to prevent the arm bar, but leave the collars open. Boom! Collar choke! Bjj has many different classic submission combinations from all positions. Ask your black belt professor for some ideas on combinations that you can try in your own submission game. Read also: Ideas to Improve Your “A Game” What is your favorite submission combination? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

6 Things Your Coach Yells at You During Your Match

During tournament matches, and even in rolls in bjj class, your professor will often yell out instructions to you (often in thickly Brazilian accented English). At a tournament in a hotly contested match, the volume of the instructions can cause a flock of birds to fly off a tree three blocks away! There are common mistakes that students make in bjj matches and here are the most commonly shouted instructions from your bjj coach: Read also: Advice for New Students on How to Roll 1) “Move your hips! Hip escape! Shrimp!” What it means: You are probably stuck on the bottom, flat on your back. Your opponent has you controlled in side control and preparing an attack. Your coach wants to execute perhaps the most important move in jiu-jitsu: the hip escape to create space and get back to your guard. It is useless for you to lay flat on your back carrying your opponent’s weight. It isn’t easy to escape side control, but the first step is to “move your hips!” 2) “Hand DEEP in the collar!” What it means: The most common problem when a collar choke fails is hand not deep enough in the collar. In fact I say to new students who are learning a cross collar choke from the guard “If you are calling me over to say ‘Professor, my choke isn’t working?’ I don’t even need to come over to see the problem…your first hand is not deep enough!” If you are playing guard and using a collar grip, the hand must be deep also. With a loose, shallow grip, your opponent has no fear of being choked and can pass without fear of your choke. 3) “Get the underhook!” What it means: Both in top and bottom positions (especially in half guard) the person dominating the underhook usually has the advantage. In the case of the half guard: bottom – your coach sees that you are being held flat on your back and controlled. An escape is far more difficult. In the case of the half guard: top – your coach sees that you are in danger of having your opponent take your back. 4) “Bridge! Bridge!” What it means: Many times, when fatigued and under duress, trapped under your opponent’s mount, you can fall into the bad habit of laying flat and trying to use your arms to push your opponent away. Not only are you open to arm locks, but you are neglecting to use the most powerful muscles in your body to escape: your hips! Nearly every escape from the bottom begins with powerful bridging “upa!!” motions to create space and break your opponent’s top base. 5) “Control the head!” What it means: You have passed the guard and find yourself in side control. In your excitement to attack with a submission, you have not noticed that your opponent has hip escaped onto their side (see #1) and is on the verge of escaping. If you don’t stop and put your opponent flat, you will soon be in a scramble and lose your side control position. Your professor wants you to get your arm under their head (a cross face) and force your opponent back flat on their back. 6) “Posture! Posture!” What it means: Usually this means that you are inside the closed guard of your opponent and have decided to take a rest by leaning forward. Your coach sees that you are now vulnerable to chokes, armlocks, sweeps and triangles! The best defense against those attacks is a proper base and posture in the guard! Read also: Advice for New Students on How to Roll What does your coach yell at you during your matches? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Jiu-jitsu as a treatment for cancer – go and win!

What differentiates the fights on the mats from the fights of life? In fact, nothing. Every day, even when we are not wearing the kimono, we do battle, whether it be for a dream or an ideal. However, we cannot always be strong enough – physically or psychologically – to win some battles. Not due to a lack of preparation, but circumstances that often are beyond our will. To illustrate this situation in the dojo, imagine that you are preparing for a championship, and in the peak of your preparation, you get injured. A serious injury, which will require time and willpower to overcome it patiently and only then, go back and start all over again. In the case of Gabriela Oliveira (29), the fight began even before she got to know the real fighting within the jiu-jitsu world. Unlike kimono fights, Gabriela’s combat would not take just a few minutes. Her battle started in an unexpected way: in routine exams. In January 2013, during some routine exams, this blue belt from GB Jacarepaguá (Rio de Janeiro) discovered a node in her right armpit. As could not be otherwise, her doctor ordered a biopsy. Some days later, precisely on March 1st, “Gabi’s” birthday – as she is called by her colleagues, the exam result came, “I got the result. The doctor said I had a Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) and that the treatment was with chemotherapy.” The word “chemotherapy” alone is enough to scare those that will face it. For women, the thought does not change much, but it messes with something that they all value: the hair aesthetics. “I swear that the very only thing I thought at that point was ‘I’m getting bald’. There was not a moment when I thought I was dying or that I could not face it”, said Gabriela. There were 6 months of treatment. 15 days after the end of the sessions, we already could see Gabi on the mats of GB Jacarepaguá, at her first trial class. Little did she know, but that would be the beginning of a new love relationship between her and the sport. “In 2012, I had practiced muay thai for 6 months. But due to lack of time, I had to stop training. During that time, I met some people who trained jiu-jitsu and it caught my attention. I soon began training in GB and there I’m until now.” In the beginning, the life on the mats used to be an activity to fill her time. Due to her treatment, Gabi could not be near too many people. The first training sessions she wore a headscarf. “I did not feel very comfortable. My hair was no longer falling out at that time, but it was still very short and that bothered me a little.” During that time, Gabi was under the command of teacher Villem Coelho, who was her great supporter. “On the mats I would feel I was like everyone else. Being there was like an outlet for me.” Soon came the first degree in the white belt, preceded and accompanied by new great friends, “In particular, Renato Beliscão, who has had a serious health problem as well. When it comes to cancer, 90% of your healing process is in your head, and the other 10% in medical treatments. You may be near the end, but if YOU believe, you have everything to turn the tide. Because in the end, everything is up to YOU. It depends on your FAITH,” said Gabi. So far, you, dear reader, may be thinking that Gabriela’s recovery process was soft. But not everything is perfect. Several times, she thought about giving up and always wondered, “Why do I do jiu-jitsu? This is not for me,” the blue belt remembered. “Every month I promised myself I would quit, but every time, something happened and I never left.” The reason that made her stick with her training came in September 2014, when she started having classes with her current teacher, Eduardo Aguiar. Unsure of how much her body could bear, Gabriela thought seriously about quitting, since, in the beginning, she couldn’t physically keep up with the class’s pace. However, over time, she did improve physically and psychologically and then… came the blue belt! “It’s like watching a movie, you remember everything you did and went through to get there. Only those who faced it know how to describe the feeling. It’s unique!” A new person, a new woman, a new warrior. Today, Gabi trains 3 times a week and also runs another 3 or, as she herself explains, “Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I run. I mean, Edu makes me run.” Examples such as this warrior’s serve as inspiration and example for those who are going through something similar. There is no problem that can stop those who wake up every day willing to overcome themselves. Everyone, one day, will feel like they will not be able to achieve their dreams or overcome some problems, but just like Gabriela said, “God does not give a burden that one cannot bear. I repeated that several times, because I was not strong all the time. I cried a lot, every time I thought I was not going to make it. The treatment itself is very hard. At first I did not have any problem, but during the last sessions I would feel very sick. Thanks to God and to my family strength, I turned it around. Keep the Faith, without it you are not going anywhere. As previously said, 90% of the cure is in your head and the other 10% in the treatment, in the people around you and in the activities that you perform. In my case, jiu-jitsu was essential for my mind, body and self-esteem.” OSS!

Safety on the mats: How to be safe and minimize training injuries!

It is a reality of combat sports that training injuries are a risk. It happens to the best blackbelts in the world, and it can happen to you also. Also, among mat athletes, there exists a danger of incurring skin infections (staph, ring worm,..etc.) Here are 7 tips to avoid injuries while training. 1) Tap early to submissions This one is so common, and yet is largely preventable. You are caught in a submission and say to yourself, “If I just bridge a little more and turn I don’t have to tap…POP!!” Later, with an ice bag wrapped around a throbbing elbow, you say to yourself, “I should have tapped.” Some of those injuries can malinger for weeks and months and provide a painful lesson to tap when you are caught and start again. 2) Warm up adequately This is another one that is so common yet easily avoided. You arrive several minutes late to the academy because of traffic, and decide to just jump into rolling. During a scramble you feel something pull in your neck and now you have a training injury to deal with. Before intense exercise, you need to spend a few minutes moving around to get some blood into your joints and increase your mobility. There is a great saying that applies here: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Don’t be tempted to skip this step. 3) Do some specific stretching & strength and conditioning Strength and conditioning expert and bjj black belt Steve Maxwell says that not only should bjj’ers spend time working the muscles that you use in your training BUT also the muscles that you DON’T use. This is to maintain a balance between the antagonistic muscles groups and maintain flexibility in lesser used muscles and joints. Imbalances between opposing pairs of muscles and neglect of smaller muscles can lead to chronic pain and injuries. An example would be those little rotator cuff exercises you can do with a very light weight. These exercises increase the range of motion in your unstable shoulder joint. They go a long way towards preventing shoulder tightness and insure against hurting yourself. Read also: 5 Great Methods of Physical Conditioning for BJJ 4) Clean mats! Skin infections are sadly not uncommon in some academies. The academy manager must ensure that the mats are cleaned often and sanitized properly. The other part is that those who suffer from ring worm, must treat it and stay off the mat to avoid infecting their classmates. Any open cuts and abrasions must be taped and covered with bandages. An opening in your skin can allow bacteria into the cut and infection can follow. Rashguards, trimmed fingernails, and proper hygiene all help to prevent skin infections. 5) Protect yourself in positions Inverting is a great technique for those more flexible among us to defend the guard and even catch triangles and other submissions. These positions, however, can place one’s neck and spine in a precarious position. If the opponent suddenly reacts in an unexpected way, the pressure and weight can come down in a dangerous way on the bottom player. One of the students had an infatuation with inverting and berimbolo for several weeks. I watched a match against a wrestler where he was getting stacked up on his neck and shoulders. The following week he was sitting slumped at the edge of the mat when rolling started. I asked him what was wrong? He pointed to his neck and grimaced in pain. If you are getting stacked while attacking a triangle and your neck is in a bad position, be safe by giving up the triangle and protect your valuable spine! 6) Injured? Stay off the mat Want to know how to turn a mild injury into chronic pain? Train before it is completely healed and keep injuring and aggravating it! Sarcasm aside, this is very common in academies. We know that you are hungry to get on the mats and train through discomfort, but there is a line where you are doing more damage to yourself than benefiting by continuing to train. The body is an incredible self healing machine, but it needs time to do its work. 7) Be aware of your surroundings When you are rolling you must be constantly aware of your space. Other rolling pairs and walls, benches and pillars are environmental hazards that you must avoid. Have you ever been rolling and had another pair crash into you, and you catch a painful knee to the back of your head? Or witnessed someone execute a throw, launching their partner right into the wall with a crash?! As intense and focused as you are on your roll, you must maintain situational awareness and protect not only yourself, but your training partner and the other students training. Stay safe and stay on the mats! read also: 4 Things To Avoid in BJJ Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

10 important reminders of important bjj etiquette.

Every sport or subculture has its specific set of rules and etiquette. When you are first introduced to the sport and art of brazilian jiu-jitsu, people will explain to you as you go. Not knowing some of these rules of conduct will identify you as a “noob” and even worse, annoy your training partners. Here are 10 important reminders of important bjj etiquette: Read also: 3 Tips For Your First Year of Training 1. Don’t walk on the mats in your street shoes. You transfer who-knows-what substances from the ground to the training area. This is important to prevent skin infections! 2. Cut your fingernails and toenails at the start of every week of training. I have seen people with toenails so long they could swoop down and snatch their dinner out of a lake! Don’t scratch your training partners while trying to get a grip on their kimono. 3. Show up with a clean smelling kimono.  Trying to drill techniques with a partner with a funky gi is really nasty. You probably need more than one kimono if you are training more than once per week. You need to allow it to dry properly in between training sessions. 4. Don’t be the guy who purposely shows up late to miss warm-ups and spends an extra-long time tying his belt or taping his fingers to avoid the drills. It sets a poor example for the other students. 5. Show that you understand the technique being taught in the class before asking all of the “what if he does this?” questions. It is good to be curious about the counters and recounters, but let’s get the original technique correct first! 6. If you have the flu or a cold please stay off the mats, especially if there is a competition coming up. You run the risk of getting all of your teammates sick before an important event. 7. Don’t talk in the background when the instructor is teaching a technique. This is not the time for that hilarious one liner that just popped into your head. This is time to pay attention and allow everyone to focus on what the instructor is teaching. 8. Neither be a super stiff or a wet noodle when your partner is drilling the technique. You can drill with resistance after you have learned the basics of the move. How is it helpful if you are resisting your partner the first time they are attempting a move? Or just as bad, just flopping over limp when they try a sweep? 9. A big one many students have said to me: Don’t go into the bathroom barefoot and then track who knows what bacteria back onto the training surface. 10. Cellphones in the training area are not appreciated. The class time is an oasis way from the rest of your worldly cares. Carrying on a full volume conversation or loud ringtones breaks the atmosphere of the academy and is disrespectful to the other students. Read also: 4 Things To Avoid in BJJ What are your bjj pet peeves? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Weekly Training Plan for 04/06-04/12

GB WTP Week 14 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 04/06-04/12 our classes are based on Week 14 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Being the New Guy or Girl at the Academy…

Jiu-jitsu is a long journey. Many people get hooked and set out on the ultimate journey, achieving the rank of black belt. Along the way, there will be hiccups. This is normal and will happen for everyone. That’s just life, and like a bad position in jiu-jitsu, we must learn to escape or ultimately tap. One speed bump that students might run into is transfer to another academy. This can be due to several reasons such as a career change that requires you to move. For jiu-jitsu students this means having to find a new academy. This can be a bit stressful. Your academy and training partners essentially become extended family. Leaving that family can be a difficult choice, but its important to remember that change isn’t always bad. Here are some tips to help you along the way… Make sure you do your homework  Jiu-jitsu schools are not all the same. Even organizations such as Gracie Barra, which have a standardized curriculum, are not exact copies of each other, and each academy has its own unique flair. This can be a result of the students that train there, or the instructors own personal jiu-jitsu. Make sure to find out if the academy you’re looking at has classes geared to meet your specific jiu-jitsu goals. That could be anything from self-defense classes or fitness. Remember that iron sharpens, iron. If your focus is to compete at the highest level of jiu-jitsu, there are several academies that have competition classes. You have the ability to train with other competitors and learn from the best. Be respectful This should go without saying but just to reiterate an important point. A jiu-jitsu academy is like a home to many of its students. Treat it as such. When walking into a new academy for the first time, respect it as if you were walking into someone else’s home. The last thing you want is to make a first impression as the disrespecting new student. Keep an eye on what everyone else is doing. Though its still jiu-jitsu, different gyms may have different practices, warm ups, ways of training, etc. I also wouldn’t recommend rolling to the death on the first day, especially with new people. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone as a new person. Jiu-jitsu academies are typically very welcoming so don’t feel like you need to prove your abilities on the first day. Having good jiu-jitsu isn’t about being good for one day, it’s about consistency. Be willing to try something new Whatever the reason was you needed to find a new Academy, it provides you with a unique opportunity to start new. This means any bad habits you developed over your time in jiu-jitsu need not carry over into your new academy. This goes for anyone. Tomorrow is a new day after all. Everyone’s journey in jiu-jitsu is different. Some people may stay at the same academy their entire jiu-jitsu career, but not always the case. There are a lot of different points of view, styles, and unique people to meet along the way. Life is made up of many experiences.  “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” ― T.S. Eliot Patrick F. Flores Gracie Barra Chino Insta: BjjFotos

GB Weekly Training Plan for 03/30– 04/05

GB WTP Week 13 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 03/30-04/05 our classes are based on Week 13 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+  

A Tip To Improve Your Guard – Make Your Opponent Uncomfortable

Observing a roll between two students of similar experience, I could see that one student had a far more dangerous and difficult to pass than the second. The second student knew most of the same moves and was using the same guard games as the first, but something was missing for him. The first student was able to keep their balance and posture and fairly easily pass the second student’s guard. What was missing? It is easy to say that one student was just better than the second, but how does that help the second student improve his guard? It helps having the eye of your professor to watch and analyze the roll. Read also: 3 White Belt Guard Mistakes My advice to the second student? I told him that he was making the grips of his various guards correctly: the hands and feet were in the correct positions. Another student watching the match would say that he seemed to be doing everything correctly. But he was NOT making his opponent uncomfortable with those grips! The questions to ask is, “Are you fully utilizing your grips to make your opponent uncomfortable and unable to do what he wants to do?” Is your sleeve grip preventing his own grips on your kneees? Is your foot on his hip really keeping the defensive distance you need? Is your butterfly hook really threatening your opponent’s balance? Is your collar grip really pulling the opponent’s posture forward and making him respect your choke? Is your spider guard hook really killing the opponent’s use of his arm? Merely taking a grip and then hoping the opponent can not pass is very different than using that same grip to control your opponent and prevent them from even getting started with their pass! When my own head instructor put his foot on your hip and took a sleeve grip, he used those grips to completely bend you over at the hip and threaten a triangle or a sweep. I was constantly just fighting to maintain my balance and not be pulled into a submission. I could not even start my own plan. You can not be passive and wait, watching what your opponent wants to do. If you allow your opponent the time and space to get their posture and balance in your guard, what are they going to do?? They are going to pass your guard! That is what they are going to do! When you are playing guard, you must look more closely at your various grips and hooks and ask yourself, “Am I using these grips to make my opponent uncomfortable?” Read also: Bluebelt – Advice on Developing your Guard Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Developing Your “A” Game – Tips on Finding Your Strongest Positions

It doesn’t take long into your study of bjj before you start to experience success with some positions or submissions. It seems that whenever you roll, you find yourself in side control or spider guard and your kimura or triangle choke is right there for you. Especially for competitors, it’s important for them to develop and refine their strongest “go-to moves” for when the tension is high and the medal is at stake. Most likely your “A Game” will reveal itself to you early in your training. Quite simply, you will experience your earliest successes with certain moves and naturally gravitate towards them. It is not unusual to see experienced blue belts with a purple or brown belt level of knowledge and sharpness in their best position! Interestingly, world champions like Romulo Barral reported that the positions that they are best known for now at black belt were positions that were also their strengths at blue belt. Their preference and “A Game” revealed themselves very early on in their training. Here are 3 tips on developing your own “A Game”: 1) Anatomy is destiny To a large degree, your physical attributes will determine your strongest positions. Most triangle specialists have lanky builds with long legs. Same with Darce choke specialists. If you have the legs of a Hobbit, triangle greatness is probably not in your future. But your butterfly guard and guillotines might be very dangerous! Look at top competitors who share the same physical type as you and observe what positions they excel at. Some practitioners actually select a role model whose game they wish to emulate and pattern their game after that black belt. Read also: Top Game or Bottom Game? 2) “Sets and Reps” In his excellent auto biography “Total Recall”, Arnold Schwarzenegger writes about the key to success in all of his accomplishments – whether it was building a Mr. Olympia physique, acting in movies or delivering a Governor’s speech in front of thousands, the key was repetition and practice. The same is true for developing your A Game positions. If you ask any of these World Champions about their deadly spider guard or half guard sweeps they will tell stories of countless hours in the academy, drilling and experimenting with the positions. When it comes to acquiring a high degree of skill in any endeavor, there is no substitute for mat time. You have to accrue the reps. I recall at a seminar one black belt challenging two students to complete 500 repetitions of triangles in a month of training. One of the students asked “Is the triangle tighter if I put my leg this way or that way?” The instructor responded by saying “Perform 500 triangles and YOU tell ME!” His point was clear: you will learn things by repping that you can not learn any other way. Read also:Advanced Methods: Limit Your Training 3) Get Obsessed For a Time Period I am a strong advocate of advanced students starting to direct their own training. Learn all of the techniques that your professor shows in regular classes. But you also must look to direct your own learning in the positions that fit your own game. Concentrate your training efforts (especially drilling and technical idea exchange with training partners) on a certain position for at least a month. Study the DVDs, the YouTube videos, ask your professor and the advanced belts in your academy for their tips. Immerse yourself in that position for at least a month and you will dig deep into the secrets of any submission that you want in your “A Game”. Read also: 6 Steps to Fix a Hole in Your Game Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Interview: Bruno Fernandes

Grace Barra 4th degree black belt Professor Bruno Fernandes is the head of Gracie Barra Montreal, a World Champion and notably known as the instructor who awarded the UFC Champion his blackbelt in brazilian jiu-jitsu. In addition to being one of the most sought after instructors, Bruno is also both a doctor and professor of opthamology at Mcgill University, an example to all of the students that one can achieve high levels in both bjj and other areas of one’s life. SITE: http://www.gbmontreal.ca Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gbmontreal[LINK] GB Blog caught up with Bruno in between snowboarding in the hills of Canada and teaching bjj at his successful academy to do a quick interview. 1) Can you tell the readers at Gracie Barra a little about your background? Where did you grow up and how did you get started in brazilian jiu-jitsu? R: I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I am lucky to have parents that introduced me to sports as early as I could walk. I was already swimming competitively at 3 years old. By the age of 11, I started JJ. It wasn’t long until I decided to drop swimming and focus on JJ instead. The period that I trained at GB HQ was probably one of my happiest. I lived literally two blocks away from the school, and a lot of my friends were living nearby as well. We would train, eat, party, surf, travel, do pretty much everything together. The bond we have created is so strong that it endures despites the fact that we are now spread out all over the word. 2) Who have been the biggest influences on your jiu-jitsu and what did you learn from each of your professors? R: God, there are so many. Without any disrespect for fighters from other teams, but I have been mostly influenced by members of the Gracie Barra Association. Just to name a few: the approach to competition by Marcio Feitosa, Soca’s guard pass, Roleta’s notion of leverage and his crazy sweeps, Nino’s omoplatas, Gordo’s half guard, Renzo’s guillotine, Tinguinha’s spider guard, Draculino’s teaching style. I could go on and on… I feel so blessed to have been able to share the mats with so many stars and be treated as equal, even though I was still just a young blue belt. I do not recall anybody holding back on knowledge and this is the vibe I try to replicate at my school. What we know does not belong to us and it is our duty to pass it forward. 3) You post a lot of food photos on your Facebook. Can you talk a little about your nutritional philosophy. R: I could not stress more the importance of nutrition for health. Eating can bring you in or out of shape quicker than any other change in your lifestyle. With the plentitude of diets and fads out there, eating become so confusing and the information in the media is flat out misleading. It is ironic that we now need to learn how to eat, instead of just following our instincts. Just so you think about it, our brains have been wired through evolution to crave fat, salt, and sugar. Three things that we can’t live without and were once hard to come across. However, now there is so much of it everywhere that we have to consciously avoid it! No wonder it is so hard to be disciplined about it; we are fighting our own instincts. Instead of following any diet, I try to live by a few simple rules: Understand you bodily needs, eat less and avoid crap. It is simple math after all. Eat more than you need and you gain weight, eat less and you loose weight. Keep it simple. 4) Can you talk about your philosophy of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, training and life? R: Always forward. Any day is an opportunity for you to get better, every struggle is a chance for you to learn something and improve yourself. In life and on the mats, I am an eternal student, so I don’t mind making mistakes and learning from them. My style of teaching is a two-way street, where I share what I know but I am also open to what the students bring to class. My typical student is a Jiu Jitsu nerd that studies it deeply and is always on the hunt for new things. It is amazing the amount of knowledge freely available nowadays, so it would be foolish of me to ignore what they can contribute. 5) What do you do with yourself outside of the Bjj academy? Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that most Gracie Barra readers would not know? R: My work for the school does not end when I leave the mats. I can be managing the business side of it, preparing for my next class, writing up some article to share on our social media vehicles and so on. When I have time for myself I like doing yoga, snowboarding, jogging or cruising with my longboard, weather permitting. I love Montreal so I try to spend the day outside working at cafes or trying new restaurants. There is no shortage of either around here. When I have time, I travel to surf. Surfing is the thing I miss the most living in Montreal, so I take any opportunity I have to go chase some waves around the globe. 6) Tell us about the perfect day in the jiu-jitsu lifestyle of Bruno Fernandes R: waking up on my own terms (no alarm clock) ; some cardio by the morning; brunch at a local joint drinking good coffee, a bit of work to keep my mind sharp; training at night; then dinner out with friends. Train/eat/play/sleep/repeat, this is a perfect day for me ;) Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Weekly Training Plan for 03/23– 03/29

GB WTP Week 12 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 03/23-03/29 our classes are based on Week 12 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

A Look Through My Lens: Gracie Barra at the 2015 Pan Ams

♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫ The competition went on from March 12th-15th in Irvine California. During that time the red shield was out in force. Like in many Jiu-Jitsu tournaments Gracie Barra was well represented. Many Gracie Barra competitors from all over the world came to participate in one of the largest jiu-jitsu competitions of the year. Overall Gracie Barra won 3 of the 5 team trophies awarded during the event. Coaching gets very intense. Coaches will not only provide direction for you on the mat but will fight tooth and nail to make sure referees don’t make mistakes. Professor Zé Radiola, having also led the Gracie Barra Pan Am training camp showed great enthusiasm for every Gracie Barra competitor on the mat. At one point IBJJF officials actually came over to calm him down! BOA Professor! AJ Agazarm did very well taking 2nd place in the lightweight division. He shows a lot of heart when he competes and utilizes his wrestling experience to his advantage. His single leg shots are lightning fast. Paired with excellent agility, AJ is a tough fight for anyone on the opposite side of the mat.   Another active competitor, Otavio Sousa placed 2nd in the Middleweight division. He fought several matches, some very close. He showed some great passes and textbook jiu-jitsu this past weekend. In probably my favorite match of the tournament, Lucas Rocha was able to pull through with a last min comeback victory. Fighting out of his weight class, Rocha was able to score the necessary points to gain the win and advance.  He also showcased some awesome techniques throughout the tournament making him a fun competitor to watch. He ended up taking 2nd in the Black Belt Heavy division. Victor Estima from Gracie Barra Nottingham was on the mats during the Pans. He fought very well which included a fantastic debut where he finished the fight in 30 seconds.  He went on to place 3rd in the Middleweight bracket. Professora Ana Laura Cordeiro fought and won gold in the Medium Heavy division. Submitting her opponent and adding another win to her ever-growing list of victories! The Gracie Barra family and the red shield was greatly represented this past weekend. Having won 3 of 5 team trophies from the competition, and many of its competitors showing their talents. Next stop…the worlds! Patrick J. Flores Gracie Barra Chino Instagram: @bjjfotos ♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫ A special thanks for all GB Instructors, coaches, professors and warriors who are working hard to make it happen. Congratulations on behalf on Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and the GB Family around the world.  GRACIE BARRA TEAM

The Dirty Dozen

The 12 Most Important Techniques For You To Learn When Your Start BJJ Out of thousands of bjj techniques on YouTube, which select few should a student beginning their study of bjj focus on?It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed  not only with the technical details of each move, but how to select which ones are best to start with?!? Here are the fundamental techniques that are most important for the beginning student. * You will note that they are slanted heavily in the area of defense, as most student starting bjj need this the most. Read also:3 Pieces of Advice for White Belts 1) Bottom side control: Guard replacement with hip escape, knee inside Why?: You find yourself using this escape from your first roll all the way to when you are a black belt. You have to learn to move your hips on the bottom for all escapes. 2) Guard: Scissors sweep Why?: A classic technique that teaches you all of the elements to be used for all sweeps: break the balance, move your hips, create an angle, control grips. The scissors sweep combines very well with many other guard techniques in combination attacks. 3) Guard: Triangle choke Why?: One of the signature submissions in bjj – works from white belt all the way to the highest levels of MMA and international competition, both gi and no-gi. Learn how to use your legs to attack and choke your opponent. 4) Guard: Cross collar choke Why?: The starting point for your sweeps and other attacks from the guard is the deep collar grip. This was Helio Gracie’s favorite move from the guard. Teaches you how to use your grip to control your opponent and break their posture. It’s the starting point for your other guard attack combinations. 5) Bottom mount: Upa / Bridge and roll escape Why?: Powerful hip bridges are the beginning to nearly all escapes on the ground. You learn to use the power of your hips and leverage to escape the mount – as opposed to pushing with straight arms (and getting armbarred) or worse… giving up your back! 6) Bottom mount: Elbow to knee escape Why?: Along with #1 – “Guard replacement with hip escape, knee inside,” the elbow to knee escape is critical to learn to combine bridging and shrimping movements to escape bottom positions. The first 2 years of training bjj you are going to need your escapes! 7) Top mount: Straight armlock Why?: A classic submission from the dominant mount position. Teaches you how to isolate your opponent’s limb and apply the force of your entire body against their joint to get the tap. This could be your first submission in live rolling! 8) Side control: Americana / Kimura locks Why?: Side control teaches you to employ your weight to control an uncooperative opponent, and is a stable base from which to attack the shoulders with Americana and Kimura locks. Learn the anatomy of the joints and how you can use leverage to force the opponent to tap. 9) Rear mount: Rear naked choke Why?: The quintessential submission of bjj. The most dominant position in the jiu-jitsu positional hierarchy. Especially against larger, stronger opponents and in a self defense situation. The most successful submission in the UFC. 10) Pass the Guard: Over / under pass Why?: You need to have a plan when your opponent captures you in their closed guard. They will attack you and threaten with chokes, armlocks and triangles. You need to get a safe posture and start to pass! This is the place for you to start learning to pass the guard. 11) Pass the Guard: Bull fighter pass Why?: Your opponents will use many different styles of guard against you: not only closed guard. The bullfighter pass teaches you to use your grips, side to side movement to avoid your opponents guard hooks and pass to side control. Blackbelt world champions specialize in this style of pass and so should you! 12) Flying double reverse spinning berimbolo into gogoplata! Why: Because it’s straight up Ninja! Just kidding! The former 11 techniques will far better serve you in this early part of your training in bjj. What are your most important fundamental techniques? Read also: 3 Tips For Your First Year of Training Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Weekly Training Plan for 03/16 – 03/22

GB WTP Week 11 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 03/16-03/22 our classes are based on Week 11 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

The Biggest Debates in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Whether it takes place around the mat at the academy or on popular internet message boards devoted to all topics bjj, discussions on certain subjects invite some spirited debates. As with all subjects with no clear cut truth, the arguments on both sides of the question have their adherents, each side with valid points to support their arguments. These topics surface time and time again in bjj academies around the world in every language. 1) Gi vs. no-gi training Traditional bjj is taught in the kimono the way the Gracie family has done it for decades. MMA fighters and those who prefer training without the gi think this is old fashioned thinking. Both sides of this argument have solid points: Gi: The majority of the gold medals in top level grappling competitions are taken home by competitors who train primarily in the gi. They posit that training in the kimono makes you more technical than training without. No-gi: Why waste so much training time working on grips that completely disappear once the kimono is removed? They say that it is only a matter of time until the no-gi specialists dominate the submission grappling competitions like ADCC. 2) Self defense training vs. sports bjj Two schools of philosophy on the application of bjj: Self defense: Most students begin their training in bjj for the purpose of personal self defense. To focus on techniques that ignore the threat of strikes is moving away from the purpose of jiu-jitsu as first and foremost a martial art for real fighting. Keep it real! Sports bjj: Most people never have a street fight in their entire adult lives, so what is the point of years of training for something that might never happen? Bjj is about staying fit and having fun learning the art. A purple belt is more than capable of handing any potential street fracas. 3) Old school game vs. berimbolo, worm guard, 50/50 guard etc. Has the modern evolution of sports bjj specialty techniques gone too far and become no longer effective for real fighting? Old school: No less an authority than Master Carlos Gracie Jr, expressed his preference for a jiu-jitsu based on the fundamental positions that all practitioners can use effectively – regardless of age. The fundamental positions of mount, guard and back mount will never cease to be effective. New school: No art or sport can remain static and resist innovation. The evolution of the techniques and positions is continuous so that the art doesn’t deteriorate into losing its effectiveness. Bjj practitioners must strive to keep up with the latest advances being introduced by the sports elite or risk being left behind. 4) Bjj as business vs Traditional Martial Arts Bjj as introduced outside of the original academies (in North America especially) has evolved to more of a fitness business model compared to the old model of the Japanese dojo. Bjj as business: As the students are often paying top dollar for quality black belt instruction, many new students view the academy as more of a service they are paying for. The older concepts of sweeping the dojo / helping clean the mats as part of your duties is eroding and students expect to show up for class and have a professionally run experience. Traditional Martial Arts: Some feel that something is lost with the diminishing of the dojo as a center where it was seen as more than a fitness gym by the students and instructors. Not only physical training, but philosophical and ethical teaching was part of the student’s instruction. Formalities such as bowing and calling the instructor Sensei are seen to be important matters of respect and continuance of these traditions. 5) Creonte / loyalty to one school vs. Train everywhere This controversy is alive and well in the bjj subculture Old school: “Creonte” was a negative term coined by Carlson Gracie Sr. (loosely translated to mean “traitor”) to describe students who left their home academy to train with another team. In an era before YouTube, a school’s signature techniques were considered closely guarded secrets and meant to be kept within the walls of the academy. You picked your team and you stayed loyal to that team over the years of your bjj career. The relationship between professor and student is seen as greater than simply a student purchasing classes at a fitness gym. Loyalty is highly prized as a value between the teacher and students. Train everywhere: Some top instructors famously have said that their philosophy is “Train with everyone.” At this point in bjj history, we are experiencing an unprecedented explosion of knowledge and ability to share bjj techniques with each other all over the world. There are fewer true secret techniques anymore. There is a movement towards more open philosophy of sharing techniques but also visiting friends at other academies and training at other schools. The exchange of knowledge can only be seen as a positive for the development and spread of jiu-jitsu. Where do you stand on these controversies in jiu-jitsu? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

The Whitebelt Problem – Getting Stuck in Side Control: 3 Pieces of Advice

Sometimes at the academy, when I have a group of less experienced students who show up for class I will ask the students which position they want to learn that day. “What problems have you been having in your training? Where have you been getting stuck?” Inevitably, a student’s hand goes up and they ask (by far the most common question!) “I keep getting stuck in side control and I can’t escape!” Getting caught under a heavy side control is the bane of the whitebelt’s existence! I can demonstrate some technical side control escapes, how to recover the guard etc. Those are all essential, but the answer to their problem is less obvious than needing an escape technique. Here are 3 pieces of advice to help solve this problem. Read also: 3 White Belt Guard Mistakes 1) “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Escaping from a strong side control is very difficult once the opponent has secured their controlling grips. It is easier to prevent the side control in the first place than to escape it once you are caught. If we “rewind the tape” and see the events that led up to your guard being passed and ending up in side control, we can see certain high risk / low percentage moves that led to the pass. Ex. a) Attacking a triangle when the opponent has a strong posture. They easily defend and stack pass. b) A sloppy sweep attempt before you have established control in your guard and the opponent pushes your legs aside. Question: Are you creating the opening for the guard pass by being careless with a guard submission or sweep? Can you tighten this part and prevent the problem in the first place? 2) Acknowledge that your guard is being passed. One of the aspects of bjj that differs between lesser and greater experienced students is their early recognition that a position is lost. At a certain point when you are playing guard, your opponent will break one of your controlling grips, pin one of your knees to the ground or obtain a solid control of your pants and start to advance their guard pass. You have lost your defensive control! You may either: a) Stubbornly persist with your now ineffective grips and guard as the opponent gains control or b) Acknowledge that you have lost your guard and change to a guard retention technique before your guard is completely passed The willingness to recognize and accept that you have lost control and your opponent is about to pass is a major difference between lesser experienced and better guard players. Give up on your guard attack and start your guard retention or recovery before it is too late! 3) Move your hips! This simple piece of advice should be painted on the ceiling of every academy! When you are pinned on your back or defending guard, look at up the ceiling and read these words…and start shrimping and hip escaping! The hips, abdomen and lower back chain of muscles are the most powerful in the human body and the best way for you to generate the force and space you need to escape side control. Moving your hips is something we can easily forget to do when an opponent’s weight is heavy on your chest…but is far more effective (and less fatiguing!) than trying to push them off using only arm strength. Grace Barra Professor Bruno Fernandes says that the opponent on top control is trying to remove the space and the person on bottom trying to escape is trying to create space. The best way to do this is those hip escapes that are part of nearly every bjj warmup. Read also: 3 Pieces of Advice for White Belts Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Weekly Training Plan for 03/09 – 03/15

GB WTP Week 10 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 03/09-03/15 our classes are based on Week 10 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

The Almost-Blue Belt Mistake – Don’t Be in a Hurry!

Take your time. Get your control first. Then go for submission.” I teach bjj classes in two different academies and have a large number of students of different belt ranks and levels of experience. An instructor who sees the students everyday can start to identify patterns that are common among students of similar levels. I want to share something I have observed among some students who were getting close to their blue belts. read also: Are You Ready For Your Blue belt? Problem: They were in a rush in the top position and would far too often lose the top when they hurried their submission attack. Description: After passing the guard the students would find themselves in either side mount or top mount position. Immediately, they would attack a submission. Sometimes getting the tap, but more often, sacrificing their balance and control and getting reversed to the bottom or the opponent recovering guard. How discouraging to waste all of that effort to pass the opponents guard and find yourself in a submission position only to lose it all and start all over again on the bottom! I call this “lunging” for the submission. You have not established control over your opponent and try desperately to grab the submission before your opponent escapes. read also: Position Before Submission Solution: My advice is simple and easy to follow: “Take your time. Get your control first. Then go for submission.” When I am watching the rolling and spot the student achieve mount, I coach them to “Be patient. Stabilize the position. Flatten them out.” I have witnessed students effectiveness and submissions dramatically improve after implementing this advice. Why is this seeming simple advice so effective? Because when you first arrive in the top position, the opponent will immediately explode with their best escape technique. They don’t want to be there! The best time for them to escape is BEFORE you have secured your hold. If you skip securing your best grips and weight placement, and try to “lunge” for a submission, they will likely succeed in escaping. Instead, take your time. Be patient. Establish your position and base on top. Counter their escape attempts and then attack with your armlock or choke when your timing is right! Watch your submission success go way up and keep your hard fought top positions. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Safety in Sparring

Let’s start this article with a simple update from yours truly: I am injured. I busted my knee during a sparring session. It was by someone I may have mistaken to be harmless… a white belt. Let’s be clear about the elephant in the room (in this case, the gym): let’s talk about going full on, 100% during sparring. And it is always quite interesting seeing bjj newcomers going all out during every sparring session. I am talking about going all out Spartan while their hapless sparring partner is left murmuring the words, “so, what’s happening?” Let’s all agree for a minute that we’ve all been there. We’ve had sparring partners that seem to go out too strong during what is supposedly a harmless activity of skill application and what-have-yous. Let’s also admit that for a time we were once like “that guy” whose eagerness seem to be boundless like the universe altogether. BJJ is supposed to be a safe form of martial arts. Injuries are minimal, although not entirely absent. Risk factor counts, however, injuries do happen Going back to my story, it was one of those days that your eagerness to spar has gotten the better of you. Having had to take a month off BJJ, when I found out that it was an open mat day, I eagerly jumped in after my usual routine of circuit cardio and a bit of stretching. I saw a new face in the gym. He is much younger than I am, but I guess he is physically more daunting for his age. This new fry seem to be looking to spar. So I introduced myself and asked him nicely if he wanted to roll. He said that he was relatively new to the jiu-Jitsu. So I obliged and said that I am not good as well. So we agreed to spar. My intention was to take it easy… and then… while on his guard… a knee bar. And a rather intense one. It was one of those kneebars that seem to stretch the knee’s direction sideways. Overdoing it. I winced in pain (wincing is actually underplaying). I think I just busted a knee. He profusely apologized. Needless to say, I am out of the sport for an indefinite amount of time. There is safety in sparring. And I think that any injury can be prevented given the right guidance. I am talking about your responsibility for your own safety especially during sparring. While I sit on the couch writing this article, I cannot help but regret not taking the right precautions. Admitting my mistake and shortcoming for my own safety prompted to me to write this article. I harbor no bad feelings towards the Spartan-like knee-bar that he pulled off. But I do feel that I could have set the right expectations with him. Prevention is better than a cure. With this in mind, I vowed to actually do the following whenever I start to spar: Do enough stretching. I have been warned. We’ve all been that guy who at a time seems to feel to be too good for stretching. That day, all I wanted to do was to just roll. My excitement got the better of me. Communicate with your sparring partner what you want to gain from the spar. It’s ok to tell your partner you only want to keep it light. Submissions that involve soft joints such as the heel / ankle should be avoided. Focus on techniques rather than strength. After all, that’s what BJJ is all about, right? Never under estimate white belts. Extreme caution should be taken especially with newcomers. Injuries are not fun. But my love for the gentle art will never wane… regardless how many pulled muscles or dislocated joints happen. For now, I will be doing Jiu-Jitsu and spreading the love from the comforts of my couch. There are ways to love BJJ even during times of injury. Stay safe, and spar on. Jiu-Jitsu for everyone!

GB Weekly Training Plan for 03/02 – 03/08

GB WTP Week 09 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 03/02-03/08 our classes are based on Week 09 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

My Opponent is Too Strong!” – How To Deal with Stronger Opponents

The water doesn’t stop when it hits the rock. It simply redirects and moves around the obstacle. A student approached me at the end of the rolling and asked me how he could deal with a lesser skilled but much stronger opponent? A Great question! And he is lucky because brazilian jiu-jitsu was developed to allow a smaller weaker opponent to defeat a heavier stronger adversary. Grandmaster Helio Gracie was a smaller built man and was famous for fighting much larger and stronger opponents. Here are 3 pieces of advice on how to deal with a much physically stronger opponent read also: 4 Tips for Smaller BJJ Students 1) Keep moving There is a 145lbs. black belt at my academy who is very dangerous to roll with despite him being 50lbs. lighter than me. What does he do that makes him so difficult to deal with? He keeps moving. He makes the last move in a scramble, never allowing the larger opponent to settle their weight or grips on him. More than once after rolling with him I have thought “If I could just get ahold of him!” He escapes his hips, he rolls to turtle, he changes sides in passing my guard, never allowing me to set my defence or offence. Follow his example and move! I am going to go all “Traditional Martials Arts wisdom” on you here: Like water flowing in a stream, when it encounters a rock it flows around the rock. The water doesn’t stop when it hits the rock. It simply redirects and moves around the obstacle. 2) Do not contest strength directly This is a tough one because part of our instinct is to resist force when someone applies it to us. He pushes you, you push him. He pulls your sleeve, you pull back. When a puppy bites the other end of a sock and you play “tug of war” you see this instinct in action. Your pull triggers him to pull back. If you do the same, then you are directly contesting strength. And who will win when two people of different levels of strength go at it? Of course the stronger one! When you are locked in any positional battle and catch yourself with muscles straining, catch yourself and remember that it is a losing battle and you will tire faster than the stronger person. Use leverage, timing, distance, angles, your legs against his arms and shoulders to avoid opposing with strength. Seek technical solutions to every situation. If you don’t know what it is, ask your black belt instructor. 3) Use “jiu” – the action reaction principle This principle of “jiu” is the essence of brazilian jiu-jitsu. read also: Got “Jiu”? What is the “Jiu” in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? The student I mentioned at the beginning of the article had more experience than his opponent and could overcome them with a superior knowledge of techniques. However, the stronger student was also attending class regularly and was no longer ignorant of the various positions. He knew what was happening. I explained to the student that he had been winning by using techniques that his inexperienced stronger opponent didn’t know. Now, he needed to change HOW he applied the techniques that he knew. NOT continually try to come up with a new technique that his opponent didn’t know how to defend. Use the principle of “jiu”. When you want your opponent to move his arm to get an arm drag, push his arm down, in the opposite direction. When he instinctively resists by raising it, then use his own strength against him to make him lift his arm where you want it to go! Pure genius! Want your opponent to lean his weight to one side for your sweep? Fake him in the opposite direction. He will then shift his weight in the direction that you truly want! Then the sweep becomes easier because he is helping you to sweep him. There are a thousand similar examples, but the principle remains the same throughout. Use the principle of “jiu” to use your opponents force against him. This way, you can overcome much stronger opponents and Grandmaster Helio Gracie would be proud. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Train in the Gi or No-gi?

Train in the Gi or No-gi? Traditional bjj is taught in the gi and has since branched off into no-gi submission wrestling, bjj for mixed martial arts and training in the kimono. read also: The 5 Expressions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Why do one or the other? Which one is “the best”? Why stick to only one flavour of jiu-jitsu? Should you do all three to ensure a complete bjj game? There are two main considerations: 1) What is your primary area of interest? Do you like to compete in one type of competition over another? Most grappling competitions feature both gi and no-gi divisions and then it makes sense to train without the kimono as well. If you are an aspiring mma fighter, then you must also devote time to training bjj with strikes as a consideration in all of your positions. If you just want to learn the art and sport and someday hope to achieve your blackbelt, then training in the kimono may be the best way for you to go. 2) How much time do you have? What is the best level of training available to you? Some other more practical considerations come into play when deciding what to train. Realistically, how does your bjj training fit into the rest of your life? If twice or three times a week is what your schedule allows, then you must decide where to allocate your finite training times. If you are located in a smaller population centre where there are not an abundance of training options, it makes most sense to find the highest level of grappling instruction available. If you can not find an academy with high level of instruction, training for a while in judo or wrestling with mma fighters will expose you to the highest level of technique. Now that we have considered these points lets consider a few about the nature of training in the 3 different spheres of jiu-jitsu: 1) Mixed martial arts – Training seriously in mma is not for everyone. Not only do you train your bjj for mma, but additional training in wrestling takedowns and boxing / muay thai is essential. Most mma practitioners are highly conditioned athletes with a serious commitment to training. You have to ask yourself if that is what you are willing to sign up for? The benefits of training bjj for mma are that you develop a high degree of confidence in your ability to use your bjj against another aggressive, trained opponent in a high intensity environment. A smaller number of techniques than the kimono training, but an emphasis on defending strikes while controlling and looking for submissions is as real as bjj gets! 2) Submission grappling or no-gi All bjj students can benefit from training without the kimono at times. The student is forced to learn new grips since the collar, sleeves and pant legs are no longer available. That awesome spider guard is not so awesome without the sleeves to control! You can adapt your bjj to use non-kimono grips like under and over hooks, collar ties and wrist controls. You will gain an new understanding of the “handles” on the human body and how to control an opponent. The no-gi style of jiu-jitsu tends to be a faster, more scrambling based game and those more athletic and younger practitioners tend to find advantage in that. Without the kimono, collar chokes are eliminated and a considerable part of the arsenal of a bjj fighter disappears. The student now must concentrate on guillotines, Darce, head and arm chokes. All of which provide variety in your learning and can also be used when you put the kimono on. In my academy, when the hotter weather comes, it can be a great relief to take off the kimono and train in the cooler rash guards and board shorts. 3) Bjj with the kimono Arguably the most technical of the three expressions of jiu-jitsu, this is the way bjj is taught at the best academies in the Mecca of bjj, Brazil. The kimono affords the greatest number of techniques – especially when it comes to the various guard games and sweeps. The student who studies bjj in the kimono will be exposed to new techniques and variations even after training for several years. The pool of knowledge is bottomless and that is exciting for someone who sees bjj study as a life long pursuit! With so many ways for the opponent to grip the kimono and control and attack you, your defences and escapes must be of the highest technical level! One must be cautious however, to understand that some of these kimono grips will disappear without the kimono and your jiu-jitsu can be exposed as lacking in a different situation. It is also important to note that if the student wishes to graduate in the bjj belt rankings, these graduations are based on training in the kimono. You might be a pro mma fighter with submission victories to your credit, but if you don’t train in the kimono, you may never attain that coveted black belt. Which do you prefer: bjj in the gi or no-gi? read also: To GI Or Not To GI – That is the no gi, go, jiujitsu, Brazilian, train, training, shakespeare, ufc, mms, sports, kimono,  (apologies to Shakespeare) Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Leg Locks – 3 Important Points

One of the somewhat controversial debates in the bjj world is the subject of leg locks in training. In many bjj academies, lesser attention is given to leg locks than to the other submissions of triangles, chokes, armlocks and omoplatas. Why is this? The legs offer two joints – knees and ankles – to attack. Jiu-jitsu has an unlimited number of attacks on the human body, so why are leg locks given such short shrift? Leg lock attacks are divided into roughly 4 categories:\ 1) straight foot / ankle locks 2) heel hooks – both inside and outside 3) toe holds 4) knee bars There are some bjj competitors that specialize in leg locks – notably Gracie Barra’s Victor Estima and the feared Rousimar Palhares in mma. With different rules sets in grappling competitions, competitors may utilize varying numbers of attacks. When you know your opponent can attack your legs, it changes your guard strategy! There are some things to consider when you train leg submissions that make them different than your more popular armlocks and chokes: 1) IBJJF rules on foot locks The rules on using leg locks in sports competition are a significant factor in how they are used in bjj. The controversial “leg reaping” rule limits the legal ways you may configure your legs to control and attack your opponent. The arguably safer & legal leg position affords less control of your opponent and makes leg attacks a riskier proposition. The rules for which locks are allowable according to belt experience also limit how many students on the mat may utilize leg lock attacks. Since the majority of the members of most academies tend to be white belts, there are fewer that will be actively using and training the leg locks. See the chart from the IBJJF rule book on which leg locks are legal by belt level under IBJJF rules. 2) Threat of injury Early in my study of bjj, a top instructor told me that the reason leg locks were less popular in bjj was the threat of injury that they posed. He explained that the legs differed from the arms in that there was less pain involved in several of the leg attacks. That a student could be caught in a submission and struggle to escape when something would pop! He said that (if the student didn’t tap early enough): armlocks = more pain but less damage leg locks = less pain but more damage The pain of an armlock will make the student caught tap earlier, before much damage could occur to the joint. Meanwhile, with a leg lock attack, since there was little comparative pain (especially in the case of a heel hook) the student might struggle against the submission before an audible “Pop!” and the joint has been severely damaged (ex. ACL damage). Students with lesser experience in jiu-jitsu may not recognize when their leg is in a dangerous position and suffer a knee injury that takes them off of the mats. In the interest of reducing risk of potentially serious knee injuries in the academy, the use of leg locks especially by less experienced students is discouraged. 3) Harm to development in your overall bjj game In my opinion, introducing students to leg locks too early in their study of bjj has a negative effect on their development of the more important skills of advancing their positions (ex. guard passing to mount). I love to use leglocks in my own game, but also recgnize that they may not be suitable to all levels of students. One of the most difficult skills to learn in bjj is passing the open guard of a skilled spider guard player. If the student relies on leg lock attacks, they may not spend the time to learn technical guard passing and advance to a side control / mount position. Frustrated by the difficulty of passing an open guard, the student is tempted all to often to abandon the guard pass and go straight for an easy submission. The hierarchy of ground positions in bjj is the foundation of the art and sport. Looking for a submission shortcut and avoiding this critical skill development is not a sound longer term strategy for learning bjj. Following this reasoning, the instructor my decide to limit the amount of leg lock attacks in order to channel the students learning to the more important area of guard passing and skill of advancing and controlling ground positions. Leg locks must be a part of the complete jiu-jitsu game. But the knowledgeable practitioner recognizes these other factors and trains leg locks more intelligently. Do you use leg locks in your bjj game? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Reasons that anyone can still catch up with BJJ

I was having coffee with a buddy of mine that I have been trying to get into BJJ for quite a long time now. It seems that he needs BJJ. I also think that he is a perfect candidate to be a buddy in my own journey of BJJ awesomeness.  Aside from his well-built physique, he is also one of those guys that enjoys active activities. But here’s the catch – he thinks that he is too old for BJJ. Yes. He would drop the bomb on me and say, “My friend, I am just too old for BJJ.” My friend in his 50’s would gladly just dismiss the idea. He knows I am advocate of BJJ. Getting a negative response would mean a look of dismay and disbelief on my part and a rather stark comment on why he should give Jiu-Jitsu a try. I was starting to think he really is too old for the art, or he is just playing lazy. I refuse to accept the latter. Will age matter in BJJ? That night, it got me thinking. Did he just have a self-defeating attitude about martial arts, or was he just being practical about the art of BJJ and how he feels that he will not get far with all the belt ranking system mumbo-jumbo and what-not? Will age matter in BJJ? I would have to say yes and no. I am being realistic so to speak. It will depend on how far you want to take the sport. Should you want to take it to the competitive level, then I would say starting on your 50’s may be a bit too late. Let’s be realistic in this sense. It depends on how far and how serious you want BJJ to be. Either go amateur or pro. Or be a fan, or be someone who dabbles on it. I believe that every budding athlete will have their own set of motivating factors. These motivating factors eventually push anyone into the direction that they need to be. Or at least feel. BJJ discriminates against no one. This is what I would believe, having interviewed a countless number of people who got involved in Jiu-Jitsu later in their lives. I have seen people in their 40’s still in their white belts. I have seen disabled, the old, the handicapped etc. Your Motivation I always say that my motivation is my north star. A guide of sorts. It is your bearing. What motivates you to act is the core reason for anyone who would want to get into BJJ. What is your “why” in BJJ in the first place? Why pursue? Why continue? Why spend hours sweating it out instead of just lifting weights in the gym? What is your motivation to begin with? In conclusion, as an ambassador of the art of Jiu-jitsu, I refuse to give up on my friend. I believe that he has the right reason to not get into it, but also, I think that he can also find the reasons to get involved. After all, Jiu-Jitsu recognizes no age. Nilo Valle Chinilla

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: The importance of training instructors

With jiu-jitsu being spread around the world, the mats have gained ground and the gentle art, even more fans. Thousands of students, championships and new graduations are held constantly. How gratifying is to see all this happening! But have you ever asked yourself: “is the path being correctly drawn?” The uncontrolled expansion of bjj (in general) raised many questions about the technical quality of instructors and teachers around the world. After all, the belt itself does not represent the quality of what is being transmitted. Often, the individual may know a lot about the technique, but when it comes to teaching, he/she is a total disaster. The details are not well shown, the “gentleness” of the gentle art is forgotten and then we see the improper use of strength. Fact is that regardless of being a simple student or an athlete (they are all equal, but with different goals), having good results in championships or not, they are reflections of what is being taught. This does not refer only to subjective terms, but mainly to the technique. Regardless of aggressive or calm style or the way the movements are executed, you can always notice if strength is being used or not. Error or hit? Is the student the guilty one? In fact, what a teacher often lacks is the preparation and knowledge about jiu-jitsu for beginners. At Gracie Barra, we have a preparatory course for instructors of our units, the ICP. Apart from our standard, we are not aware of other course with this same purpose in other teams. The difference is in the willingness to learn and, in particular, in the way we teach what was learned.

Off the Gym: Competition Blues

How much pride do you have in your game? How much trust have you put into your training for you to make it to the big leagues? Are you ready to compete? These are all valid questions. Believe you me. It’s normal to be feeling butterflies running amuck in your stomach. You are going against a fellow human being while clueless of his capabilities in the art of Jiu-Jitsu. And in foresight, there is this thing called fear of losing. This article is not to scare you at all. But to actually encourage you to get out of the gym and compete like crazy. Here are some of the best reasons why competing in BJJ is a good idea. BJJ is relatively a safe environment  We all have the founders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to thank for making BJJ what is today: a wholesome sport for everyone to enjoy. The good thing about BJJ as an art per se is that there are already standards for each tournament, sanctioned by IBJJF or otherwise. There are smaller leagues that also adapt the international rules of refereeing, point system, and what-have-you. Test your mettle The logical step to every practice is application. Culmination events are as important as the training itself. Professional athletes see tournaments as a way to calibrate themselves. While training environments can give you the feedback you need, in a tournament where everyone’s desire is to be on top, you might be able to learn a thing or two about your game, or what you lack from it. It can be a full time career Living off of sponsorship can be a double-edged sword. But going out there and doing the stuff you love the most can be one of the most rewarding things you can ever do in your career. Due to the fact that the world of social media has made it a lot easier to get sponsors, competing and being known can be as lucrative and also rewarding as the amount of skills and training you put in to the sport! BJJ teaches perseverance Perseverance is always one of the traits that is strongly attributed to successful individuals. In hindsight, learning perseverance is more than just knowing to persevere. Jiu-Jitsu teaches you exactly that. You need to lose Counter intuitive? Not really. Losing has its benefits. Although, in Gracie Barra we are taught that there is no such thing as losing, but the reality is more athletes have bounced back even stronger after losing a match. Losing athletes are known to be more reflective and pursue a higher level of skill whenever they lose. Winning is good. Losing can be even better. Nilo Valle Chinilla

Healthier Eating – Special Diet Required

One of the most popular questions that budding bjj artists ask is if there is a special diet that will work best for athletes. And if there are, then what are they? There is a common misconception about diets. Others see diets as a way to lose weight. While the rest of the world sees the practice as a way to shed pounds, top athletes know that keeping a healthy, balanced diet works for their bodies like a charm. And that makes a world of difference in the world of active, competitive sports. Here are some top athletic nutrition facts: Carbs aren’t as bad as they seem to be. It’s an athlete’s main source of energy. Sugar that becomes glucose that becomes glycogen for the muscles. How do you balance this out? Bread, cereals, pasta, and fruits will do wonders for muscle storage. Less carbs would provide a lower amount of potential for muscle work. The caveat: heavy training requires carbohydrates. If you are not a fan of the word diet, may we suggest you shift your entire meal planning to the Gracie Diet. The world famous Gracie Diet consists of having the right combination of foods. Master Carlos Gracie believes that certain food contents counter other foods, making the body less effective in digesting them and under-utilizing food and nutritional benefits. You may read about it here at www.graciediet.com. You may also check our archives for recipes true to the Gracie diet. Eating Tips Eating breakfast works best. Think about this, while you sleep, your body uses up energy (keeping the body warm, maintaining blood flow, heart rate, recuperation of muscles etc.). For budding bjj athletes, skipping breakfast should be a big no! It’s your body’s time to replenish nutrients lost while you sleep! Combining fruits during meals makes your diet balanced. Remember that big ol’ chart back in grade school with food groups in it? Yes. The food pyramid. Try to recall where fruits lie in the list. Whole foods are unprocessed! These fruits have yet to undergo chemical preserving. If you can get anything fresh in your diet, you are on your way to good health! Eating healthy and staying healthy is a choice! If you are serious about making it big in the world of BJJ, I’d suggest you keep it balanced and healthy! Best of luck, young grasshopper. Nilo Valle Chinilla

Victories of the weekend: GB PAN KIDS 2015

♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫ Over the last Sunday, the Pan American for Kids won a huge attention from all jiu-jitsu schools around the world. The Gracie Barra Kids Team was stronger than ever and all GB Schools were there together watching and vibrating for our little champions. We are proud to announce a brilliant performance from GB champions at PAN KIDS 2015. Our little champions demonstrated their skills. More than 100 soldiers proudly carried the red shield. Although small in size, their efforts yielded big results: 347 points earned second place for the Gracie Barra team. Pee Wee – Pan Kids 2015: 1st Place – Gracie Barra Junior – Pan Kids 2015: 1st Place – Gracie Barra Teen – Pan Kids 2015: 2nd Place – Gracie Barra It was very inspiring to watch our Future Champions fighting hard defending GB’s red shield last Sunday at IBJJF’s Pan Kids Championships. They showed so much heart and great respect to their parents, coaches and opponents. We watched many kids celebrating victory while others learning how to deal with defeat, but they all did their best and that is what truly counts. Attending tournaments with a mind set of going beyond earning medals, cause a huge impact to their character development. The experiences that they get by surviving and striving under this very intense environment is priceless and it can’t be one hundred percent replicated at the daily practices. They learn how to face their fears, control their emotions, to exercise critical thinking, to fail and learn from it, respect and much more. We won two of the four divisions and we earned the second place overall, but next year I’m confidence that we will win them all!I’m extremely proud to be part of the Gracie Barra team and to see all of the Coaches and Professors united and caring on the legacy of Master Carlos Gracie Jr.  See you guys on March 7th at the GBCompNet!” – Prof. Felipe Guedes – GB San Clemente Congratulations to all of the GB Future Champions who fought hard, defending the Red Shield and keeping the Legacy Alive. “HARD WORK PAYS OFF” Your team and parents love you! A special thanks for all GB Instructors, parents and professors who are working hard to make it happen. Congratulations on behalf on Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and the GB Family around the world.  Check out photos from the event this past weekend: ♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫     Facebook Album Click Here!

GB Weekly Training Plan for 02/16 – 02/22

GB WTP Week 07 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 02/16-02/22 our classes are based on Week 07 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: What are the biggest incentives for a warrior?

There is no secret; the path to the victory consists of lots of training, focus and dedication. This all would not exist without motivation, and this is the driving force of an athlete. Although it’s a door that “opens from the inside out”, the external stimuli are critical to keep the warrior’s spirit alive. But what are those incentives? Where do they originate from? Those who fight, know that there’s nothing better than feeling the heart beating stronger during a training session. The body seems stronger and although tired, you can go on and complete your goal. We breathe and live the gentle art. Thus, we from GB Brazil listed three types of incentives that make a difference for our warriors. 1- Listen to the instructor’s voice: There may be the whole world screaming in the stands, but that voice coming from your corner, low or loud, will stand out, echoing through your ears. Knowing that the guy who accompanied you your whole life is there, just next to you, will motivate you even more to achieve a positive result. 2- Having people cheering for you: When the gym guys get together and scream your name, jump up in their chairs, hit the walls… That typical euphoria scene in championships. Sometimes it may seem that they extrapolate a bit, but let’s speak the truth – it is way good to have these guys on your side, isn’t it? 3- Family Support: Parents serve as true superheroes in each of our lives. Some energetic reprimands, demands, but there’s nothing that makes you happier than seeing them excited for your victory. Either one of these incentives or all of them, having an extra hand coming from outside the mat is very good, right? OSS!

Sport Jiu-Jitsu X Self-Defense – Two jiu-jitsu styles?

Over the past 10 years, the world of jiu-jitsu has undergone numerous changes. The first one refers to the way this art was labeled by society. The fight – before seen as “war weapon” used by the samurai, today has become a sport with no restrictions. Women, elderly and children are part of that reality. With the “universalization” of the gentle art, the championships have grown and continue to grow at the highest organizational level and, of course, the technical level among the athletes has risen very fast. Championships all through the year and crowded mats in the gyms. Students learn the basic principles and, of course, self-defense is an important part of this learning. But what about when students begin to actually fight, i.e., to roll? From there on, is the jiu-jitsu that originated from  self-defense forgotten and the student dives into the sporting world? This is a discussion of years. Different opinions, many debates and the old story continues. Is Jiu-jitsu divided into two styles: self-defense and the sports modality? Does the self-defense side of the gentle art lose ground to the sporting one? In the following video, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. talks about his views on this debate. Watch and listen carefully to the Master’s words. Understand the GB founder’s vision better. Please note the video is in Portuguese and you must click the ‘CC’ button at the bottom of the video to show the English subtitles: Check the video: https://

Love on the Mat: Having a Romantic Relationship in the Academy

“Love is like a virus and can happen anytime, anywhere” – Maya Angelou If Maya Angelou is right, which I’m pretty sure she is…then its possible to find yourself to be attracted to someone you train with. It’s not at all uncommon. You two have a similar passion after all, and could easily use jiu-jitsu this to jumpstart more conversation. People have met under stranger circumstances. It could be the beginning of something great. It’s still a subject I find interesting because some gyms discourage romantic relationships within the academy. I believe that what people do in there free time outside the academy is there own business. If two students choose to purse a romantic relationship, then more power to them. I do however believe that this can be tricky especially in the dating phase of the relationship. Problems of the outside world can easily become a problem on the mat. It’s obviously best to always leave personal matters off the mat but its not always the case. Bringing problems from your relationship to the gym can make things awkward. For some like myself, jiu-jitsu is an outlet and a way to relax. If the problems of the outside world bother you on the mat, it will not only affect your jiu-jitsu but your experience at that gym. An academy should feel like home. When it doesn’t, it can be a depressing feeling. It can leave an empty feeling that doesn’t feel good. What happens when it doesn’t work out? This can get awkward.  Breakups can be an emotional roller coaster. More importantly, you have to ask the question…will both people will stay at the same gym? Who stays and who leaves? What if both people end up leaving? It’s hard to imagine ever having to leave a place you’ve grown so accustomed to, though it’s a possibility depending on how things go. If you are willing to risk that, then you may find something special with someone at the academy. There are many couples in jiu-jitsu and some that even end up getting married.  Romantic relationships in jiu-jitsu are like any other relationship. Students have to realize there could be some consequences to their decision and there could be a lot of ups and downs moving forward. After all, “Love is a Battlefield” – Pat Benatar

The Inspiration You Get From a New Stripe or Belt

It is a cliche of martial arts that many practitioners say “I don’t care about belts!”. Their point is valid: your training should primarily be about having fun and acquiring skills. Read also: A Few Words on Belt Promotions The term “belt chaser” is a negative one and denotes someone who has the wrong training priorities and unduly focuses on the next promotion. But the stripe / belt system has significant benefits to  to students. Yet another often-used phrase in bjj training is the metaphor of training as a journey, with all of its ups and downs, obstacles and triumphs. Few of us have not suffered some of these periods where just getting to class seems like a struggle. But all of that is erased in an instant when your professor calls you up to the front of the class to add a new stripe to your belt. If you have been attending class regularly, your professor recognizes your improvement. At times you have felt frustrated and wondered if you were making any progress at all…you look down at your new promotion and can see a tangible sign of your positive progress! When you return home after class and look over at your training gear bag and see the belt with the fresh new stripe, your feel a surge of motivation. “Now that I am a 4th stripe, I really need to improve my open guard! Get out those instructional DVDs” “I am SO close to my blue / purple / brown belt now! No more fooling around. Time to get serious!” “I got my first stripe!!! I am no longer a newbie!” “I have to be worthy of my new rank because all of the other students in the academy who have same rank are really good!” “Ok, from now on, I am going to class 3 x per week no matter what! No more slacking!” “That’s it! No more McDonalds after training! I have to eat better!” “I promise myself that I will run / lift weights / do yoga each week to help my bjj!” Whatever form that new motivation takes, you feel more positive about your bjj practice, ready to tie up your belt and get back on the mat with a renewed determination and enthusiasm for your jiu-jitsu training. Congrats on your new stripe..now go train! Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Bjj Seminars: Why You Should Go!

Most bjj academies, even those with an advanced black belt professor of jiu-jitsu, will hold a seminar or two every year. A high level bjj compeititor or instructor will roll through town and schedule a one or two day training seminar, usually focusing on a single position. It is a great chance to get on the mat with one of the sport’s superstars. How many other sports superstars would the average practitoner have a chance to share the mat with? Can you imagine being a recreational basketball player and having the opportunity to play a little one-on-one with Lebron James or Kobe Bryant? Yet at a bjj seminar you may well have the chance to roll with and experience getting choked by jiu-jitsu royalty! Some students are enthusiastic and can’t wait to pay their deposit to secure their space in the event. Meanwhile others are decidedly less than interested. When I express my surprise that a training partner is not interested and ask why, they grumble that it is “too expensive” – often from someone who has a well paying career – or that “they can learn all of this from our academy instructor”. To these objections, I counter with the following points: 1) “It’s too expensive” – What price do you put on learning some new information that adds a game-changing position or technique to your game? Yes, the price of admission to the seminar might be the same as what you pay for an entire month tuition at your home academy. I say that I forget the price of the seminar long after I still use the move in my jiu-jitsu. I had dismissed the scissors sweep as something that only worked on lower belts and was too easily countered by more advanced students. It was during a seminar that the instructor explained a few key details that shed new light on a once-favorite position. I saw what I had not correctly understood about the scissors sweep and why it had stopped working! Now I use the scissors all of the time and consider it one of my strongest guard techniques. I forget how much I paid for the seminar? 2) “I can learn all of this from our academy instructor”. I have no doubt that your black belt professor is extremely knowledgeable in many areas of bjj. They would not be wearing the respected black belt if they were not an expert in many areas of the art. The truth is that jiu-jitsu is so enormous that no one knows all there is to know. It is just not possible to be a specialist in every position and its variations. What if you love the triangle but your instructor has a heavy top game emphasis? What if your instructor has a deadly spider guard game with a thousand variations, but your body is much more suited to a different game? A seminar can bring a fresh perspective to your training in a new area, positions that you learned in class but may not be the deepest area of expertise of your instructor. Each bjj professor has their own way of explaining a technique or concept of jiu-jitsu. Many times a different way of explaining the same position will suddenly make clear a new understanding for the student. I use the metaphor of adjusting the camera lens and suddenly bringing a poorly understood idea into sharp focus. A bonus is that at most seminars, the instructor will ask if anyone has questions on any subject or position in jiu-jitsu. Ask about your favorite positions and be prepared to learn something that will take even your best positions to a higher level!   Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Weekly Training Plan for 02/09 – 02/15

GB WTP Week 06 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 02/09-02/15 our classes are based on Week 06 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Look Mom…No Hands! A Great Drill to Develop Your Open Guard

One of the students in my bjj academy had recently injured one of his hands and was forced to miss several days of training. When he returned, he had a hand brace on but you could still tell how painful the hand remained. Unable to grip with it, his training was severely curtailed. The next week I was teaching spider guard techniques –  and seeing how the student was temporarily one handed, it reminded me of an excellent training drill I like to use for open guard. Read also: 3 Tips to Help Your Guard Passing The drill goes something like this: Both students tuck their left hands inside their belt, leaving only their right hands to use to grip. One student takes the bottom open guard, starts with a sleeve grip and the other must attempt to pass. The student defending guard, not having two hands to grip with, can not rely on the pulling power of the hands and must instead, make greater use of their legs to defend the guard. This is the main benefit of using this drill (in addition to it being fun!) I have heard traditional martial arts instructors teach one-handed techniques with the explanation that should you be injured in a fight and have one arm incapacitated, that you must be able to fight with one arm. I think there are more valid (and less kung fu / action movie dramatic scenario) reasons to practice one-handed open guard drill: 1) It teaches you to move your hips from side to side – one of the most difficult skills to learn in jiu-jitsu 2) It teaches you to use your various hooks to impede the opponents efforts to pass The majority of us are used to using our hands in our everyday lives and have less ability to use our legs and feet with dexterity. This drill will also demonstrate to you that your guard can be very difficult to pass if you use side to side hip movement and defensive hooks! A few tips on how to best perform this drill: – start with both students with same hand (both have left hand tucked in belt). This will start with you having a cross grip on your partner’s sleeve – try a collar grip, belt grip, grip the ankle De la Riva style, or opposite hands tucked in sleeve (starting with same side sleeve grip). It is about experimenting – the passer will also learn that passing the guard is more than just grip strength controlling the pants: it is more importantly about side to side movement and removing your opponent’s hooks. – Use short rounds: ex. 2 min and have the partners switch top and bottom A few practices with this drill will provide a new perspective on how you can use your hooks and hip movement to defend your open guard. Good training to you! Read also: Got Takedowns? Is Your BJJ Missing This Important Area? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

An article for our school owners!

This is an article for our school owners! School owners play a great role in the success of Gracie Barra! As a writer, I would like to give each and every school owner a pat on the back for doing a great job  making the legacy and reach of Gracie Barra extensive and felt! Here is one of the those blogs that provide insight on why people stay with a gym and how a gym becomes successful! Student attrition is a phenomenon that BJJ schools constantly face. As we all know, the life blood of each school depends on the number of students training and new students signing up. As a writer / enthusiast, I have been around and have joined numerous gyms. Some gyms I opt to stay for a couple of weeks, some I have chosen to stay for years now. Quality of learning! The quality of learning materials being provided to students plays a huge role. After all, students come in to learn Jiu-Jitsu. Are students getting actual quality from the courses being offered in the gym, or are they getting quality that they only perceive as such? So far, in Gracie Barra, the weekly courses have proven to be an effective way to ensure quality and calibrated learning across all schools! Students need friends! Students need to be able to connect with someone in the gym. It has to be someone that they can relate with. Kids connect better with other kids. Women connect to women. It goes without saying that a gym’s diverse age, cultural, and gender range plays a huge role in keeping a healthy number of students! Encouraging connection between students is beneficial for the school’s growth! Facilities upkeep! Dirty, and unkempt facilities has always been a deal breaker for almost anyone. Need I say more? Some tips on making a school successful! Acquire new blood through referral Several Gracie Barra schools run referral programs! This is a good thing. It provides premiums to students and incentive for having family and friends join “our family.” New blood also brings in more value. Recognize possible fall outs As owners, it is your job to recognize students who are about to fall out of training Jiu-Jitsu. How to do you spot one? I suggest you do a regular touch-base session with them. Try to gauge how they are doing with training. Try to check for possible signs that they are losing interest. A little outreach wouldn’t hurt and shouldn’t take much of your time! Keep things fun People learn better when they are having fun. Try to keep a healthy and light mood in the gym when instructing students. Remember that students join because they want to learn. At the same time, keeping things fun makes students keep “wanting” to learn! Pro Tip: have seasonal activities in the gym. It shouldn’t be all about serious training. Try going for a fun run, and have parties and events in the gym!  Train with them! You gotta walk the talk. In my experience, I have always been inspired and motivated when my sensei rolls with us. Sure. I won’t be able to submit him anytime soon, but a rare chance of rolling with a black belt is priceless! Get visitors to visit often! Imagine a legendary black belt gracing the school! Need I say more? Use social media! It’s free advertising! Keep your posts in Facebook awesome, motivating and drama-free. No one wants to hear drama when they visit your school’s page! We have emo kids for those (LOL!). Update them with calendar invites and mini tournaments. Post photos of your students training. Make them feel belonged by making the world know “they belong!” Nilo Valle Chinilla

Don’t Ignore the Basics : Advanced Techniques Too Quickly

We live in an age with never before seen access to information on the internet. And there are few better examples than online bjj techniques. A few clicks and a search and you can be watching the sports elite demonstrating the advanced techniques that they employ at the highest levels of competition. YouTube is a great resource if used properly. IF used PROPERLY. Every academy has some students who arrive at class with a fancy technique that “they just saw on YouTube” and are excited to try. Yet when they get down on the mat, they are a confused tangle of limbs, unable to remember which hand went where! One of the biggest challenges that bjj instructors face is the student who wants to leap frog the basics, completely bypassing the fundamentals and getting right to the flying triangles and berimbolos. Read also: 3 Tips For Your First Year of Training I had a white belt student ask me some questions about the berimbolo sweep. They explained that they couldn’t successfully get the sweep against some more experienced opponents. Most instructors cringe in these situations! The student, while displaying interest in learning (a positive thing!) was focusing their attention on the wrong thing for their level of experience. This specific student had next to zero guard passing and poor knowledge of FAR more important elements like maintaining the mount or how to defend their closed guard. But here, they were asking about an advanced technique for sports bjj competition, and yet lacked the requisite physical skills (the flexibility and ability to roll over the shoulders) to make it work. I tactfully responded that I was not the person to ask for details on a position that I didn’t use (like Master Carlos Gracie Jr. explained about the popularity of fancy, acrobatic guards in a Gracie Mag article) and that perhaps they should wait in their development to work on that berimbolo position. A second student, very new to grappling although having some striking experience, wanted to add some jiu-jitsu to their training. They immediately asked about no-gi classes and from the expression on his face, I could see he was dismissive of training in the kimono. Read also: To GI Or Not To GI – That is the question (apologies to Shakespeare) I explained to him that it was best that he start training in the kimono and could add no-gi training later when he had some level of proficiency in the basic positions on the ground. He skeptically agreed to try a kimono class. During the warm-up, where fundamental ground exercises are performed, I was shocked that he could not execute the simplest “shrimp” or hip escape movement. He was attempting the first simple forward and rear rolls since he was a child in the playground and it was not a pretty sight! He had visions of mixed martial arts glory in his imagination, but was unable to execute a shrimp across the mat in the Fundamentals class! I think the student had a new respect for the bjj training in the kimono after a few classes and seeing how little he actually knew. I would like to make one last point about the basics: when we see a top level black belt submitted in competition, it is rarely by a fancy technique. The submission was more likely  from a “basic” technique like a rear collar choke or a triangle – all of which you might learn in a Fundamentals class. Experimenting with fancy techniques is part of the fun of training and has the benefit of expanding your way of looking at what is possible in the Arte Suave. Go ahead, try them out and have fun. Just don’t be guilty of ignoring the techniques that you will use every roll during your bjj lifetime! Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Why are there degrees in the belt?

It was common in jiu-jitsu’s early times to find the black stripe on the belt of everyone present on the mat, without degrees. When there was a colleague with a little degree in the belt, such thing was so rare that the guy could even be a target of jokes from older members. Although not that common in past times, degrees always existed, especially in judo – gentle art’s basis. But why were they so rare? Because the focus was strictly on the competitions. Thus, that little space in which we see little tape stripes – there are different colors as well (for the children) – just became valued in the last 10 years. It was just in that transition period from the sportive jiu-jitsu to a modality that anyone could practice that degrees were reborn from the ashes and returned very strongly. Those tapes, despite being something only symbolic, are part of the long road to the black belt. They represent the learning progress of the student, considering or not the results in competitions. Often, they also serve as a stimulus to keep improving. 1,2,3 or 4 degrees, no matter how many you have, the important thing is keep training, moving forward and, the principal idea, always evolving. OSS!

GB Weekly Training Plan for 02/02 – 02/08

GB WTP Week 05 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 02/02-02/08 our classes are based on Week 05 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

GB Pan Am Training Camp [REGISTRATION OPEN]

The GB Pan Ams Training Camp 2015 will take place in Irvine, California beginning Monday, March 2nd and ending Tuesday, March 10th at 14988 Sand Canyon Ave, Irvine, CA 92618. Get Ready for the Pan American Championship with Gracie Barra Gracie Barra will be hosting an official Training Camp for the Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship. The goal of the GB Pan Am Camp is to stimulate the technical development of students, athletes and instructors as well as help our team’s preparation. All Gracie Barra students can join and non-competitors are welcome to join as well. Participants will have an opportunity to train along with many other renowned Gracie Barra Black Belts based in California such as Kayron Gracie, Otavio Sousa, Marco Joca, Gustavo Pires, Philipe Della Monica, Flavio Almeida and more. The Camp technical director is Prof Zé Radiola and the team of instructors assembled to lead the camp is among one of the most capable and experienced in Jiu-Jitsu. 14 hours of instruction and training will be offered to all participants: Week days ALL LEVELS will train from 9.00am to 11.00am *No training camp on saturday and sunday. GB Pan Am Training Camp Costs and Early Registration Discount. There is a 100.00 dollars registration fee to join the GB Pan Am Training Camp. This fee includes all seven days of training. All participants must register online by completing the form below and paying with credit card or Paypal. Keep in mind the space is limited to 80 participants. Gracie Barra Athletes who had 1st or 2nd place on adult division for IBJJF or WPJJC tournaments on the past 12 months will have their registration covered by Gracie Barra (email support@graciebarra.com for the coupon code). Get a Free Official EQUIPE GB 2015 T-Shirt All participants registering for the Gracie Barra Pan Am Training Camp will receive a free gift from GB Wear: the exclusive official EQUIPE GB 2015 T-shirt.   Tradicional BELT CEREMONY  Date: Monday, March 9th  Time: 7pm Place: GB HQ – 14988 Sand Canyon Ave, Irvine, CA 92618 What makes our team special is that you actually create a community around it! All Gracie Barra Certified Instructors are invited to bring in and promote their students at the Gracie Barra Headquarters. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. will be online with us.  Hotel There are many hotels in the area. The hotel La Quinta Inn is on a walking distance and is the favorite one for participants in our previous Camps. You can see more info about the La Quinta Inn here. Training Camp Dates/Times Monday, March 2nd to Tuesday, March 10th. Week days ALL LEVELS will train from 9.00am to 11.00am Address Gracie Barra HQ- 14988 Sand Canyon Ave, Irvine, CA 92618  REGISTER NOW: Fill out my Wufoo form!

A Great Training Method For Your Takedowns

Many bjj students also supplement their training with judo, and many bjj blackbelts also hold advanced ranks in judo. During my last training trip to Gracie Barra in Rio de Janeiro, every class included some training in standup techniques. Read also:Got Takedowns? Is Your BJJ Missing This Important Area? I learned a terrific training method from my first judo coach, Sensei Kojiro Mukai, called “sutegeiko”. Sutegeiko: Randori throwing practice against a higher level judoka My Japanese instructor described it as “throwing away” the opponent. In this practice, all of the students would line up against the wall of the dojo.Then a single student would stand in the center of the mat and throw each of the other students in turn. In my own classes, we use a thickly padded crash mat for the softest landings.With the crash mat, you may throw with 100% commitment to the throw and use full power without danger of injuring your training partner. Some spectacular, high amplitude throws can be witnessed as students find confidence and really let their techniques go! One of the reasons this is such a beneficial training method is that the thrower gets to execute the takedown technique against a wide variety of body types. In a recent class I taught we had a wide variety of sizes and body types. It is very different to execute your favourite throw against an opponent who is 65 kilos / 145 lbs. and one who is 120 kilos / 265 lbs. Similarly, trying to get underneath the defensive arms of a 5’5″ / 165 cm height is very different than a much taller 6’3″ / 90.5 cm You learn valuable information on how you must adapt your technique to the different types of opponents. A few tips on how to use the Sutegeiko training method: 1) Make sure the person being thrown knows which throwing technique will be used so that they may prepare to breakfall correctly. 2) Do one slow throw first to ensure that the person being thrown will actually land on the mat! 3) Although it is important to commit 100% to your takedown, be careful not to land with your elbow or shoulder in the face of the person being thrown. Remember, they are placing their safety in your hands by allowing you to throw them! One last tip: you may discover that you want to try different takedowns that are more effective against the different opponent body types. For example, trips against taller, very heavy opponents as opposed to hip throws. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

BJJ for the Un-“Ideal”

Tailor your game to your body.  You cannot wear clothes that don’t fit. =) If you are struggling with your own growth and find yourself wishing that you got them legs as long as a Victoria’s Secret model, or as tall as a skyscraper, then I would suggest that you keep calm and read on. I would like to see BJJ not as a self-paced program where anyone can just be good at it and dabble it in during one’s free time. I would like to see it more as a process. It’s a path/process. There is a path to take. A process to learn. Even for those who may believe that their bodies are not ideal for the sport. For me, there is a path for each BJJ artist, a journey that could ultimately lead to personal development and growth. There are different routes to take to get to an end point. There are hundred ways to skin a cat, should I say. There are many ways to be good at BJJ. It’s about the mastery of the right techniques. Tailor your game to your body. Be honest. BJJ for the Short Yes. The physically short. Guys who may have not been endowed with a taller frame can benefit from taking advantage of their stature. Guards should work like a charm. It need not only be good. It needs to be stand-out and high level. A small guy’s guard will be his bread and butter as will his ability to escape mounts and sweeps. One technique is also to take the back! If smaller guys can’t mount and keep control, might as well swivel and go for the back mount! Short Legged?  My legs are short. They are Asian and stumpy. I love them nevertheless. It saves me from my typical Wednesday “leg day” routine to the gym. However, I cannot pull off a good triangle even if my girlfriend’s life depended on it. Probably if I was grappling with a six year old, I could. But coming to terms with my own limitations, I focused on my upper body. My arms are “alright.” Kimura’s, chokes, and guillotines became my bread and butter! I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do a life-saving Triangle choke like Anderson Silva, but I know I have the upper body strength to choke someone. And so I started drilling on those submissions. Success I did find. Flexibility in question    Not everyone is born equal. And we are not born flexible. Let’s be clear on that. At least physically speaking. Starting in BJJ is a not-so-flexible-guy’s nightmare. If you feel that you are not flexible, I want you to forget that belief. Everyone can become stretchable. But you have to do the work to get there. Here’s a technique I used… I moved my couch to my garage and replaced it with mats. While I watch TV, I stretch. Any way that I could. I did this for months! My body got used to it! Nilo Valle Chinilla

5 Obstacles to Overcome in Your BJJ Training

In a perfect BJJ world, every training session would see new breakthroughs, energetic rolls where you submit every opponent and leave the mat without a scratch, already eager for the next session.Unfortunately we have other commitments in our lives and have to find a way to balance training with our other obligations. Even professional fighters have their own obstacles to deal with, even when it seems they have the ideal training situation. Here are 5 obstacles most of us have dealt with at some time or another: 1) Lack of a qualified instructor BJJ has spread significantly in the last several years, globally, with more black belt instructors than at any point in the past. But for those who live in some countries where the growth has been slower, or even people who live in smaller centers of population, they may not have access to a qualified black belt professor of jiu-jitsu and an established bjj academy. If the desire to train is there, they find a way. Setting up puzzle mats in a community hall or friend’s garage, people all over the world find a way to learn some bjj techniques and get their roll on! YouTube is a great resource for those without direct instruction from a black belt instructor. GB72VIDEOS GB Dana Point 2) Injuries Perhaps the most difficult part of training bjj over a period of time is the possibility of training injuries. Even professional level bjj fighters have to contend with this reality. Despite having access to the best sports nutrition, supplements, best physical trainers, time to recover and many other factors, the human body is not indestructible. The key is to allow enough time for the injury to heal itself without risk of re-injury and prolonging your absence from the mat. If your injury is going to require a longer period off of training, there is a danger that you could not return to training due to lost momentum. Make the most positive use of the time away to study instructional and perform whatever conditioning may be possible for you, so you are ready to resume training once the injury has healed sufficiently. 3) Lack of Motivation One of the most discussed topics on bjj internet forums is lack of training motivation. If you have been training for any length of time, you have no doubt had bouts where motivation to get to the academy is challenging. Sometimes the answer is a needed training break. Small, nagging injuries, life problems and a feeling of lack of progress can compound to rob you of your enthusiasm. I have found that a week away from training allows the mind a break, the small aches to subside, and my hunger to train returns. Most sports have some element of periodization to them – if not complete off seasons – and so you need to monitor yourself for signs of overtraining. Take a week if you feel you need it and before you know it you will start to miss your buddies and the challenge of rolling. 4) Training Plateaus Our growth in any part of life is not a steady, interrupted upward progression. It is interrupted by frustrating plateaus where you might even feel that you regress! You will also recall periods where the technique flowed, you were suddenly pulling off techniques that have always been a challenge and life feels great. Part of being an experienced bjj practitioner is recognizing that our training has ups and downs. One of the best ways to break a training plateau is to decide to specialize on an area of your game to kick start your progress. For the next month devote your focus to a certain style of guard or learning all you can about the kimura and deepen your knowledge in one small area. 5) Lack of Time This is a difficult one. Most of us juggle multiple commitments to work, friends, family and other hobbies. But somehow those who really want to train find a way to get in some rolling a couple of times a week. A group of students at one academy felt that the best way for them to get in a few sessions per week was to train at 6am before rush hour traffic and before they had to be at work. While most of us ideally would train as many days as we could fit in, I tell students that it is possible for them to improve with two training sessions per week. We all only have 24 hours in a day and sometimes we have to say no to other things to make time for our bjj. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Weekly Training Plan for 01/26 – 02/01

GB WTP Week 04 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 01/26-02/01 our classes are based on Week 04 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

6 Steps to Fix a Hole in Your Game

Whether fixing a technical problem in your bjj game or adding a new technique or position that you want to experiment with, you can find a remedy with the help of your instructor. Here is the 6-step method I use to incorporate a new technique or fix a weak spot in my game. In this example, we will use the butterfly guard. 1) Identify the problem. A specific situation with my butterfly guard retention and ability to sweep: After replacing my guard I arrive in butterfly guard and sometimes get the hook sweep but many times my opponent is able to pass and flatten me out. How can I stop this from happening? 2) Show your instructor and ask advice. Bring the specific sparring situation to the attention of your instructor and show them the exact problem. You have to replicate and demonstrate exactly what is happening so the instructor can “diagnose” what is going wrong. If the technique is performed correctly, it should work! Likely, there is a technical solution to why my butterfly guard is being passed and the sweep being easily countered. 3) The advice. The cause of the problem: What did your opponent do?  My opponent was able to put his weight down low and I was unable to get hook sweep and then after he countered my sweep, he pushed me back, flattening me out and then passed. The technical solution: The mechanics of my sweep were not 100% correct. Two tips: 1) I needed better grips with which to unbalance the opponent (“grab here instead”) and 2) move your hips out a little to create the correct angle. 4) Go back to the laboratory and try the new solution. In the next training session, try the new advice. I try the different grip and the hip movement to create a better angle. My success rate is a little higher, but a new problem emerges: The opponent is able to base halfway through the sweep and counter one third of the time. I can transition to an Xguard or deep half guard, but I am missing something in the original technique. What am I missing? 5) Refine the new advice. I return to the instructor in a 3rd class and say “I tried the advice you gave me and had some success. But I experienced this new problem. What am I doing wrong?”  Repeat your movement and show the opponent’s new counter. The refined diagnosis and solution: “You have the correct grip and hip movement, but you are trying to sweep in the wrong direction! Change the direction of where you are trying to put your opponent’s weight.” Ah ha! 6) Bring it back to the mat. The 4th class I try my refined hook sweep technique and am experiencing a far higher success rate in completing the sweep and getting to the top position! Thanks for the advice, Professor! You can see that oftentimes a problem in your bjj game will require some experimentation and involve several steps before you have corrected it. But there IS a solution to your problem. Try this method of refining pieces of your own game. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Why Even Super Heroes Need Jiu-Jitsu: Learning Technique Always Matters

In comic books, super heroes are larger than life.  Superman has incredible power, and Spiderman has remarkable speed.  Super heroes often obtain these powers by some special event and become blessed with super natural abilities.  Though they have these gifts, super heroes still learn how to use their abilities.  Even super heroes have to learn technique. Comic book heroes are fictional.  They still have abilities we tend to put too much emphasis on.  Super powers are often classified as Super Strength and Super Speed.  Rarely do you hear the super power Super Technical.  Early on in our Jiu-Jitsu careers we place a lot of focus on physicality.  Though power and speed have their uses, technique dominates our sport.  Jiu-Jitsu has proved time and time again that superior technique will overcome physical ability. Today as a purple belt, I love to observe new white belts.  It’s always a reminder of the hard work it took to obtain a faixa roxa.  Now with a more developed understanding of Jiu-Jitsu techniques, I’m mesmerized at how much of a difference a year or even a couple months makes.  For a majority of people, fighting technique doesn’t come naturally.  This results in the wild, uncontrolled style that many white belts have.  Like getting thrown in the water before knowing how to swim, people will naturally flail about. Many new to Jiu-Jitsu will try to use power or speed to overcome an experienced student.  This often leaves the newcomer exhausted and humbled.  Every Jiu-Jitsu student will experience this feeling early on.  Not every student however will experience the viewpoint of the higher belt looking on.  Some may never learn why technique is superior to brute strength. Having natural strength can slow your learning of Jiu-Jitsu.  It becomes something one relies on.  Though it may work on some students, experience and technique will overwhelm physical ability more times than not.  These physical abilities also fade in time.  As a white belt learning Jiu-Jitsu it would be beneficial to focus on the technique and it’s application. At the end of the day, Super Heroes like Spiderman and Superman are fictional characters.  The roll at your academy is very real.  Relying entirely on power and speed to win you a victory will result in disappointment.  Physical ability should be used to supplement proper Jiu-Jitsu techniques.  Learning this early in your Jiu-Jitsu career will be hugely beneficial to your Jiu-Jitsu later on. Patrick J. Flores About the Author: Patrick’s love for martial arts began early on in life.  He was greatly influenced by pop culture and the desire to mimic figures he saw on TV.  This sparked his love affair with combat sports and the culture behind it.  He obtained a BA in History from California State Polytechnic University Pomona and wrote his senior thesis on the development of Martial Arts within the United States.  During this time he practiced Karate, eventually receiving his black belt under Sensei Ray and Shawna Ginocchio in 2011.  Soon after achieving his black belt in Karate, he began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Patrick is currently holding a purple belt under Professor Rafael Olivera and trains out of Gracie Barra Chino.  In addition to training in jiu-jitsu, Patrick attends California State University Fullerton for his MBA.  He hopes to one day use his experience, education, and passion for martial arts to develop a rewarding career. Twitter: @patrickjflores Instagram: @bjjfotos

What changed from the “old school era” to today’s jiu-jitsu?

Those who lived the old days of Brazilian jiu-jitsu know that much has changed. We are not referring only to the changes of the sport’s image among the society, but also to the techniques. The effective basics or more complex positions? There is no better place than bleachers of major gentle art  events to discuss this issue. Roger Gracie’s Choke or the famous “berimbolo”? This second name is the most talked about and applied in combat by the newer athletes nowadays. Although many people are not aware, this position was already known (but not so much seen in championships) by the old school guys. But at that time, people preferred the old and good jiu-jitsu. Currently, the kids – especially those blue belts, who have been standing out in the competitive scenario – loves a “berimbolo” and are becoming experts on this position. Besides this “knot” technique against the opponent, another position that is becoming popular is the “fifty fifty” or 50/50. Rules, punishments, advantages, everything happens when the fight ends up in the fifty. When talking about it, it’s not possible to not divide opinions, there are so many… For the old guys used to the past combats, it turns the fight uglier; for younger athletes, this is an element of fight strategy. When it comes to rules and cloth techniques, berimbolo, fifty, a well known closed guard arm lock or a well fit choke starting from the mount, we can only have one certainty about all of that: the jiu-jitsu is a sport that continues to evolve, it is always in transmutation and many other changes are coming. We, lovers of the sport, have to adapt to them or follow what we believe to be the best for us. OSS!

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: What should a white belt learn to be a good black belt in the future?

White belt, the excitement phase, where the control of force is far away from being part of the gentle art beginner’s life. Hours watching video classes of elaborate techniques in order to arrive at classes and surprise everyone at the time of a specific training or the roll. But will every student who is part of this beginner’s profile be a black belt of success? As with any learning stage, we are always subject to mistakes and successes. However, persisting in errors is not the best of the options. While white belts, we pass through it all innocently, always dreaming of the day that the black belt will come. One day, Master Carlos Gracie Jr, in one of his speeches, said: “A black belt is nothing more than a white belt that never stopped training.” Master’s words perfectly fit the journey of life in the gentle art. During the walk until the black belt, there will be many lessons. But how to prevent errors becoming usual and consequently ending up interfering in your formation as a black belt? The 4 most important points that must be worked at this bjj phase are: 1- Learn to listen: At first, the excitement to learn often brings misunderstanding and hurry. When the student gets nervous and flustered, he/she cannot listen to the advice passed by the teacher. Later this could bring problems to him/her, especially if they are thinking about competitions. 2- Do not let jiu-jitsu go to your head: That’s normal that when learning self-defense techniques, you want to show it to your friends. So far so good. What cannot happen at all is the student deciding to pick a fight to try to put what they learned into practice (true case of night clubs). 3- Respect: From the white belt to the black one, on or off the mats, respect always will be the same for everyone. This is one of the pillars that will help in the formation of your character as a human being and gentle art practitioner. 4- Be careful with the ego: Compliments are part of a good performance on the mats, but they do not replace all the aspects still to be worked. You made it right today. Now try to work your weak points as well. After all, a complete fighter is a versatile fighter.

How Smart Students Use Their Instructors

The majority of classes in bjj academies around the world are structured the same way: warmup, technique instruction and then positional sparring or free rolling. But this is not the only way for the student to learn from their instructor. My first bjj instructor was well known for being willing to share all of the information that the student was willing to absorb.  Some other instructors I have heard rumoured to purposely withhold certain information from students, but this instructor was the proverbial “open vault”. One of the students asked if taking privates was the way for him to progress the fastest. The instructor answered “No need to take privates. Just come to the classes, I’ll answer any questions that you have.” And some of us did! I learned as much from my separate questions as I did from the lessons in class themselves. Yet, when at a seminar or training session and an instructor asks “Does anyone have any questions?” the majority of the students scratch their heads and look uncomfortably at the ground. I ask as many questions as time allows! After the seminar / class, one of the other students would say to me “That was a good question that you asked.” I would respond “Why didn’t you ask any questions? The instructor was right there willing to answer anything.” They shrug sheepishly “I couldn’t think of anything to ask.” I counter by asking rhetorically:  “Did you get tapped out the last time you rolled?” “Did all of your submissions and sweeps work perfectly? Ask those specific questions! That is how you learn!” I never understood why students would fail to take full advantage of their instructors knowledge to improve their personal bjj games. When you arrive for training, tell your instructor that you have a specific problem that you encountered in your last rolling session and ask if he could spend a few minutes with you finding a solution. Now, don’t wait until your instructor is turning out the lights at the end of the night’s training and loading his gym bag into his car before bringing your question. Many instructors are so willing to help and share their knowledge that they will often drop their gym bag on the spot and show you right then and there. The next time you roll, you will get some immediate feedback about what is working well and what didn’t go so well. Bring that question to your instructor and piece by piece you can fill the holes in your personal game and get the absolute most out of your relationship with your instructor! Read also: 3 Pieces of Advice for White Belts Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

What is Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone?

Another year is over and with it many achievements, training and realizations. Our GB family, as usual, remained within what we aim for our team: a constantly evolution to take Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone. Spreading the gentle art and its lifestyle around the world are like the pillars of feeling that drives us. It is not only about wearing the kimono, tying the belt and completing another training session. Being Gracie Barra is – first of all – love for the sport that makes us brothers. But how to describe and share something that only those who are “GBs” know what it is? Why fighting for a mutual goal? Few could express in words, in so admirable a way, what we feel when defending the red shield and the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone project like Arthur de Freitas, instructor from GB Aclimação, São Paulo, Brazil. An inspirational text and a picture that went viral among the GB family in Internet social media, the photo used in the post was taken in 2001, in the first school founded by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. back in 1986 in the neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. Being of great significance for the GB family, this image “click” made history. After all, there we have the mentor of our mission – Master Carlos Gracie Jr – teachers and athletes who have made of the gentle art their lives and were essential to the steps taken to get here. With simple words and the subjective value of this image, Arthur said what we often cannot express. Here’s Arthur’s text: “Every time I look this picture I see who I represent here in the city of São Paulo, and the weight of the responsibility of the most complete Jiu-Jitsu teaching and the Red Shield. I see that we are succeeding generations from the biggest and best team and the most traditional family in the world. I represent the best martial art and self-defense system in one to one fighting which ever existed. And then I cannot help but thank all those involved in this process. Everything that I studied, trained, good and bad moments lived within the sport and those who made my character and my technique. All of that brought me to here. This Red Shield is a very big source of pride. “Medals oxidize. Character, tradition and legacy, do not.” While you guys are wondering how many medals we won, we ask ourselves how many cities we achieved. While you guys invent blows that do not do a thing in a real situation and serve very few practitioners, we teach boys to turn into men. When you guys ask yourselves what is the next movement, someone will be living an inclusive and complete Jiu-Jitsu: falls, self-defense, bjj competition, EVERYTHING. This can only be recognized when you guys understand that medals do oxidize. Character, tradition and legacy, do not.” Some might say that those are “only words”. There will also be those who by reading this beautiful text, even not being one of us, may be touched. Anyway, there will always be a bit of everything and everyone. Consequently, we are that. We cause impact, we reach not only the body, but especially the heart and for this reason we carry the red shield. We use the red color of blood that runs through our veins and that truly represents love. In 2015 we will continue to win and grow towards completing the JIU-JITSU FOR EVERYONE project, fulfilling the dream of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. shared by all of us about having a GB school in every city in the world. OSS! Credits: Arthur B. de Freitas  Instagram: @arthurturogb

Are You Ready For Your Blue belt?

An Instructors Opinion After a student has been training for at least a year they have started to look pretty good on the mats.  No longer making newbie mistakes like giving up their backs when mounted or sticking their arms straight out to be arm locked, they likely have several stripes on their white belt and are wondering when they might be ready for their blue belt? Check the blog  3 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Training More than one martial artist has said that in their opinion, a blue belt in bjj is the equivalent to a black belt in many other martial arts. Whether you agree or disagree with this, the fact remains it is a major goal for most who start training bjj. So how do you know if you are getting close to deserving your blue belt?  A Few Words on Belt Promotions Most of the time the student has been training for over a year and maybe even 2-3 years. Less than 1 year is rare except in special cases where an athlete who achieved a high level in another grappling style such as judo or wrestling crosses over to bjj. You have trained consistently over  time, your face is seen in class regularly (not just in the weeks before a belt promotion) and learned the fundamental techniques that your instructor feels are most important to your game. You can apply techniques against fully resisting opponents of lesser (and same experience) in rolling. You have started to accumulate enough technical knowledge that you can even teach some of the brand new students some technique. The most important thing your instructor is watching is NOT if you can tap a blue belt (although that is certainly a positive sign of your ability). It is possible for a very athletic and stronger person to submit a more skilled but less athletic opponent. But, just because you can tap them doesn’t mean that it is an indicator of your brazilian jiu-jitsu skill. There are professional mma fighters who are beasts on the mat, but due to the fact that they rarely train in a kimono and don’t have knowledge of bjj kimono techniques like the Helio Gracie collar choke, wear a purple or even a blue belt despite the fact they can roll competitively with a black belt. The most important indicator of a student’s readiness for blue belt is determined by the question: are you able to utilize your skills in all positions on the ground or do you still resort to using pure strength and untrained instincts? When escaping side control, are you still trying to bench press the opponent off of you or do you have the training to execute a proper technical hip escape to guard replacement? When  your opponent makes a mistake and gives up the back, have you trained your reaction to immediately take the back or do you not yet recognize the proper positions and the correct strategy in each? Are you executing an armlock by grabbing and yanking on a limb or are you making your hips and legs tight around the elbow and applying the leverage in an efficient manner? Grandmaster Helio Gracie said something to the effect that a blue belt should have the skills to control and submit a larger, stronger untrained opponent. It is hard to fault this definition. If you have learned to apply the core techniques of bjj in all of the major positions, the side effect should be that you can successfully defend yourself against a heavier, stronger unskilled opponent.  And Helio Gracie would probably say you are ready for your blue belt! Also read 3 Pieces of Advice for White Belts Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

GB Weekly Training Plan for 01/12 – 01/18

GB WTP Week 02 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 01/12-01/18 our classes are based on Week 02 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Advice for New Students on How to Roll

For the new student to brazilian jiu-jitsu, starting to spar can be an overwhelming experience. Trapped on the bottom, an opponent’s weight pinning you to the mat and defending a multitude of submissions is an entirely new experience for most people. See Advice for White Belts Starting to roll too early is not the most productive. Unless you understand the positional hierarchy (best to worst positions) and have some notion of what you are trying to do in each of the major positions, you are forced to rely on instinct, strength and speed for survival. The Positional Hierarchy: Rear mount (best) Mount Knee on Belly Side control Half Mount Guard Top / Guard Bottom Turtle Top / Turtle Bottom Half Guard Bottom Side control Bottom Knee on Belly Bottom Mount Bottom Rear mount Bottom (worst) Here are nine tips to use in your early rolling sessions: 1) Nowhere in this article will you find the advice to use all of your strength and try to explode out of every position to prove how long you can survive before being tapped! Don’t try to use 100% of your strength.  Imagine learning boxing sparring and trying to knock out your training partner with every punch. The trainer (likely a former pro boxer) will up the intensity at their end and you will soon be looking up at the lights overhead from your prone position on the canvas! Look for a technical solution to escape inferior positions. 2) Instead of trying to apply submissions from inferior positions (ex. trying to americana your opponent from inside their guard) your focus should be on defense, escapes and improving your positions. Remember this bjj wisdom: Position before submission! 3) Don’t grab fingers to defend chokes. If you break someone’s fingers, they can’t go to work the next day and you have injured their ability to earn their livelihood. 4) Don’t give your back when on the bottom. It is your instinct, but you are putting yourself in the worst position to be in on the ground. Learn how to replace the guard as one of your earliest priorities. 5) Don’t push hard to defend on bottom. You only offer your straightened arms up for armbars and tire your muscles with unproductive pushing. Ask your instructor for the technical way to escape. 6) Tap before something cracks or pops. Don’t get in injured just as you are starting to make progress in your jiu-jitsu. Keep in mind that rolling should be about training the techniques you have learned in class. It is not a test of your toughness. Everyone taps and it is a part of learning. 7) Start to learn some standup takedown techniques from the beginning and start a few matches from standing. There are few sights more sad than a bjj guy with a few years of experience with zero takedowns. 8) Be aware of other rolling pairs. It is possible to get too involved in your own battle and end op crashing into another pair rolling near you. Do you feel your foot kicking something covered in gi? That is another person! You have to be aware of your surroundings and keep your training partners safe. 9) * Most important: Try to use the techniques that you have learned in class – not just whatever thrashing movements seem like they will enable you to survive for 30 more seconds. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Why we “shake” before a fight? Is it fear or tension?

Among the more bizarre and inexplicable sensations we feel just before fighting, the most common is the tremor. Many people see the tremor as the opponent sensitivity. They normally believe that trembling hands are a reflection of the emotional state of the opponent. But unlike that thought, this “shaking” does not always mean fear. If you are a competitor, you do know what we are talking about. The tremor and those feelings in the stomach are common in the days, hours and minutes preceding the fight. But why do we feel it? What causes that shaking? For the athletes, tremor is directly related to adrenaline. If we are about to engage in combat, the body literally gets ready for the fight. Thus, in a risky or threat situation, the body begins to produce adrenaline to make it ready for the moment of action. These reactions activate the autonomic nervous system. Thereafter, both positive and negative emotions are generated, which can trigger the famous adrenaline release in the blood. So shaking is normal. But how long does it take? Time greatly varies from person to person according to their actions. Just remember: Do not to let this nervous state dominate you. Use it to your advantage and do your best. OSS!

Advanced Methods: Limit Your Training

For some more experienced belts, finding training partners of the same level in some academies can be difficult. Not all academies have a variety of training partners of beginning through advanced belts – particularly in newer academies. Or when you relocate to a different city or country where bjj is still developing, access to advanced training partners may not be there. MMA trainer and Combat Submission Wrestler Erik Paulson says that we need 3 types of training partners: 1) Those more advanced than we are so we can work on our defense 2) Those equal in level so that we can get a good workout 3) Those lower in level so that we can work on our offense It is this last type of training partner I want to talk about. Paulson recommended limiting your training as a way to make training more productive when there is a large skill discrepancy. By restricting yourself in certain ways, you can make the training more challenging for yourself with lesser experienced (or even much smaller) partners. Here are 3 tips on how you can benefit from training with training partners of lower experience level. 1) Work your weak side only When you are passing, only pass to your right. Based on my own observations, 90% of people choose to pass to their left – and thus, have 9 x the experience at passing to that side. Only do the triangle on your less dominant side. Sweep to the opposite side. Attack from the other side of your opponent’s body in side control. These are all typical situations in training where you can become very comfortable only executing techniques from a single side. Your lesser proficiency on your less dominant side will make your attacks much more of a challenge and help even out your bjj. 2) No sweeps from your back – only submissions With a well developed sweeping game, you might find yourself automatically working your favorite sweeps every time in guard and ignoring your submission attacks. If the last time you submitted someone from your back, a different President was in office, it might be time to challenge yourself to try to submit only from the guard. When your opponent gets wise to the idea that you are only hunting for armlocks and triangles, they start to keep their arms in tight and making your job much more difficult. This is going to force you to use all of your tricks to get that arm. Your setups and combinations become much more important when the opponent need only defend one aspect of your guard. You will have to combine attacks, switch when tactics fail and use misdirection to catch your opponent by surprise. Imagine your opponent is a 10-time world champion wrestler who is impossible to sweep and get on their back. You must find a way to catch the submission from the bottom. 3) Limit yourself to only one submission You no doubt have several “go to” submissions in your arsenal. The easiest thing in the world is to go for your best position and catch the collar choke for the 1000th scalp on your belt. But telling yourself that “today,..no chokes, ONLY armlocks or kimura” will force you to look at different routes to submit the opponent. You must be creative in how to isolate the opponent’s limb from the defensive safety of their torso. I learned something simple yet profound about the armlock from the mount when limiting my training in this way. I made a resolution that I was determined to perfect my Roger Gracie cross collar choke from the mount. I was ONLY going to try to finish my opponents with this move. Every time I progressed to mount, I attacked the collar with full commitment. My opponents started extending their arms with complete disregard for their elbows to avoid the choking pressure. The armlocks were ridiculously easy. My chokes showed small increase, but my straight armlock subs went through the roof! This is the law of unintended consequences. I discovered that the key to my straight armlock from mount was… to seriously attack the choke! If you decide to concentrate on a single submission, what other things might you learn? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

5 New Years Resolutions Jiu-Jitsu Students Should Make

2015 is upon us.  People often make resolutions.  For Jiu-Jitsu students I’d recommend not making a general resolution like “get better at Jiu-Jitsu.”  After all, you’re going to want to do that anyway.  Here are some more specific resolutions that will help improve your Jiu-Jitsu game. Train more often If you’ve made it a couple years in Jiu-Jitsu, you will notice people who train more frequently than others.  This is normal; everyone has different availability to train.  This is fine, sometimes, with work, school, or other matters, it is difficult to find your way to the gym more than twice a week.  Something is still better than nothing.  Forcing yourself to train instead of sitting on the sofa will be what you need to get better. On a similar note getting back into the habit of training can be very difficult.  Some people take time off for different reasons.  Not everyone comes back.  Your resolution could be to simply start training again! Try a competition  Competition can be very scary at first.  It’s a place where your skills are tested against some of the best in the world.  It will have you training for a specific purpose and be a driving force to take your Jiu-Jitsu to another level.   You will begin training differently and the improvement in your Jiu-Jitsu will be obvious. Eat healthier The holidays usually consist of stuffing ourselves with all sorts of delicious foods.  Bad habits of over eating and consuming bad food can develop quickly.  Keeping a balanced diet is important.  What you put into your body fuels it to train Jiu-Jitsu but get you through the day. Try new techniques BJJ isn’t easy.  Every day is challenging.  There is after all someone trying to choke you on a daily basis.  Improvement takes time and effort.  Students can develop a comfort zone.  In this zone, your Jiu-Jitsu will likely not improve as quickly as others.  Try to push yourself by trying a new guard, alternate variation, or using a weak side. Learn from every roll I’m guilty of not taking every roll seriously.  It’s something I want to change in 2015.  I want to be able to use every roll as a learning experience.  There are many times I train and don’t take anything away from it other than I burned a few calories.  It’s good to focus on the training, analyze, and learn from each session.  This will help you find ways to improve your own Jiu-Jitsu, and develop a stronger game for your entire BJJ career. Patrick J. Flores @bjjfotos  Gracie Barra Chino

Your 2015 Plan and Values

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” How planning really works and how we can apply in BJJ. Our art is dependent on a clear path to becoming better individuals. 2014 was fruitful one in the world of BJJ. We’ve seen numerous new champions rising up the ranks. We’ve seen new schools opening, tied up with Gracie Barra. Pretty much an eventful year. But the success of the organization is all about the amount of planning that the leaders in Gracie Barra have put into their work. More so, the value of planning and foreseeing where the organization needs to be is crucial to growth. So what plans do you think you can have in your life that can provide you with value? A quick definition of value: the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. The topic of value is a vague one. What some may value may not be the same for others. But to simplify the notion of value, I have created a list of things that I think I can plan about that is specific and can provide value all at the same time. Plan To Add New Passion In Addition to Your Current One Aside from BJJ, what other things can you add to your life that you can be passionate about? These could be things that you can get excited about, like a new hobby or another type of sport. It can be a sport or an activitiy that you have been a fan of for a long time. Being passionate about something adds value to your life. It creates something that you can look forward to for 2015! Plan on Spending Time with People of Value No. Not just the rich. These are people who could give you insights on how to improve yourself. This could be anyone that you find yourself being drawn to. These can be people in synch with own principles. These are positive and driven people! These are wise people and motivators who are driven to  giving value to others as much as they would want to put value into themselves. Plan to Add Value to your Life If you feel that you have yet to add value in your life, then it is TIME to plan to add more value to it. Value is something that has worth. That has use. Something that  you can grow from. It could be learning a new move in your BJJ. It can be learning a new language. Anything that you can grow from. Not just in BJJ but in general! Increase Your Life’s Value by Becoming Valuable for Others What value can you offer to other people? What are the things that you can offer those who you think may need of your value? Think about it. Post it in our facebook page and let us discuss value! Nilo Valle Chinilla

GB Weekly Training Plan for 01/05 – 01/11

GB WTP Week 01 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 01/05-01/11 our classes are based on Week 01 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Your Bjj New Year’s Resolutions

After the holidays have passed – and with it all of the rich foods, Christmas desserts, drinks and sleeping off the big meals on the couch, it is time to think about getting back to bjj training. The media is filled with features on health and diet advice for those who have made a “New Year’s Resolution” to quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol and / or go on the dreaded celery and carrot stick diet. As practitioners of bjj, we can use the start of the year to embark on some new training goals to add some fresh motivation to our training. Training Layoffs If you have been absent from the academy for any reason, this is a good chance to get the kimono out again and get back on the mat. Start back slowly and allow yourself enough time to “get the rust out” and restore some of your previous conditioning before returning to the intensity of training that you may formerly have enjoyed. Check the conditioning blog here! One of the biggest sources of frustration for those returning after a layoff is expecting to resume training at the same level and intensity from which they left off. Attaching an unrealistic time schedule to your return to full speed will likely end in frustration. You have to allow your body to adjust to training again. Go slowly at first and build your intensity and frequency gradually. Before you know it, you will be back rolling at your previous levels. Concentrated Learning For those of you who have not been absent from the mats, you can use the start of a new year as a time to begin a new area of study in your jiu-jitsu. I pose the question: What area of jiu-jitsu – if concentrated on for the next 8 weeks – would cause the greatest improvement in your bjj game? I have successfully used this concentrated approach to training to radically improve several different areas of my bjj game.It might be working from a new DVD set that has been released on guard passing, arm triangles, positional escapes or whatever you have identified in your own game. Over a period of weeks this becomes my focus in training and I can raise my level in that concentrated area beyond anything that would have been possible by just showing up at the academy and training normally. This year have decided to focus my bjj New Years resolution on butterfly guard. I have some techniques that I have employed for years, seen some moves that I would like to try to integrate, and need a new challenge in my game. I would also like to tie the different isolated techniques into more of a system, where one technique flows into an other and I develop combinations. Two months of concentrated drilling and positional sparring, YouTube research and experimentation with your training partners (try to enlist them in your campaign ass well) will stretch my butterfly guard proficiency to previously unreached levels. So, what is your bjj New Year’s Resolution?  Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

The Blue Belt Blues

At the year-end academy photo and promotions day your professor called you up to the front of the class and tied a brand new blue belt around your waist. Congratulations! Your now have some color around your waist that represents your technical level and commitment to training. ….Now what? There is a surprising rate of dropout following the promotion to blue belt. These premature retirements have a few factors. I call these the “Blue belt blues.” 1) Let down following achieving a big goal After pursuing a significant goal for a long period of time (up to several years in the case of a blue belt) there can be a sudden psychological letdown once the goal has been achieved. Stories after the early manned space flights to the moon reported that many of the astronauts suffered severe depression following their return to earth. They had spent their entire lives in pursuit of that major achievement and then had a huge gaping hole in their lives after it had been completed. After reaching a certain milestone, it is important to savor the accomplishment, and then set new training goals to renew your motivation and focus. How about deciding to focus on developing your butterfly guard or concentrate on your escapes? How about asking your professor what they would like to see you develop in the coming months of training to improve your game? 2) Increased pressure I asked a newly promoted blue belt how they felt with their new blue. They had a grave expression on their face and answered “Lots of pressure!” This is common and not altogether untrue – especially in a newer academy without an abundance of colored belts on the mats. A blue belt may seem like a big deal! I tease some blue belts and call their blue belt a “target.” Hungry, striped up white belts who themselves are eager to get to their blue belt, see the blue belt as a way to measure how far they might be from their own blue. If they can tap out a blue belt, then it follows that they deserve one as well?! I explain that this is part of the competitive nature of the art (especially among the younger competition oriented students). When you get your purple, the blue belts come after you…and so on. Most of that pressure is entirely self imposed and exists in your own mind. You may look at using that as motivation to fuel your training efforts. 3) Feeling undeserving You would be shocked at how many new blue, purple and brown belts confide in me privately that they feel undeserving of their new rank. They may be mat monsters with a high level of skill, but inside, may view themselves as a pretender. One new blue belt said that they felt like a fake walking around with the new belt and that it didn’t feel real to them. While humility is a virtue, too much is not helpful! Fortunately, these feelings soon subside and the student psychologically adapts to the new level. To these students I ask them if they think that the other students around in them at the academy are deserving of their ranks? “Of course! He/she is a killer!” These are the training partners you roll with every week on the mat and you share that standard of skill along with them. I remind them that the instructor has a high standard for belts and if the instructor awarded them the new rank, that they were indeed deserving and should wear it proudly. Your path in bjj contains many obstacles and challenges. It is important to pause and enjoy your successes. Remember that your blue belt is something that can only be obtained one way: hard work, persistence and developing your techniques. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Your hindsight in competitions

We’ve all lost competitions. Whether it is coming up 2nd or 3rd, we have all been there. Unless you can choke anyone using “the Force,” or sweep someone over by just the power of thought, odds are you have been on the losing end of a match. Hindsight. It is a powerful noun. It connotes the ability of a person to reflect. Retrospection and reviewing our actions are key to growth. I am a big fan of reflecting. During the course of my day, I set around 30-40 minutes for introspection. It is a developed ability. Not a lot of people become fans of looking within. I guess it comes with the job of being in a corporate environment. Whilst dabbling in BJJ, aside from its physical benefits, it has also given me a lot to be introspective about. Whether it’s my game, my reaction to losing, or the way I deal with pressure during competitions. Hindsight is an ability to understand an event after it has occurred. While we learn being in the moment, as we grow, using the past as a reference tool for the present can be an  irreplaceable tool for learning. No. I don’t have a problem with moving on from a losing a match, or anything that comes up short of my expectations to perform. But the ability to look back and “to take yourself back in time” to when those events happened is good. Here’s why: Having Hindsight Improves Problem Solving Skills You can interact with a past event. If you can bring yourself back to a point where you can imagine being in the exact same place and experiencing all the same feelings and perceptions is crucial to growth. It improves your problem solving skills! Case in point: during the last competition I joined, I lost terribly to someone who was more physically gifted than I was (by leaps and bounds). However, I knew that both of us had the exact same chance of winning. Using hindsight, I knew that I committed mistakes that cost me the match (I tried passing the half-guard too early when I hadn’t established proper base yet). While I some fighters say, “Well, he got lucky,” or the perennial, “He’s just stronger!” I go to retrospect instead to solve why it all happened! Some say that I am being hard on myself. I don’t agree. If I lose a match and not learn from it, then I would be really be hard on myself. Hindsight Hastens Learning You will live through a bad sparring session and you move on. But the key to losing is learning. Otherwise the hard lesson learned in losing is for naught should we fail to see its value. Losing presents to so much value in the world of BJJ! Champions weren’t winners before. They endured losing and learned from it. So what have you learned lately? Hindsight Breeds Excitement It is not your past experience that will bring excitement, but the key things that can happen once you learn from it. I am definitely more excited to compete and go back to training. The “aha!” moment is succeeded with this burning passion to wear my gi and have it for one more time (or even more). Hindsight Makes You Enjoy the Present The feeling that something good is about to happen with my Jiu-Jitsu! It just makes training better! When you understand what happened during the competition you know how it can improve your current game! Nilo Valle Chinilla

GB Weekly Training Plan for 12/29 – 01/04

GB WTP Week 16 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 12/28-01/4 our classes are based on Week 16 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

5 Tips On How To Care For Your BJJ Kimono

If the samurai wore armour on the battlefield, then the student of brazilian jiu-jitsu wears their kimono when they step on the mat. Most kimonos for bjj are priced at $100 USA (and more!) and the student needs to know how best to care for their gi in order to protect the investment. Here are some guidelines that have served me well in maintaining my kimonos over my training career. 1) Buy a good quality kimono.  Certain brands have developed a well-deserved reputation in the bjj world as making durable, good quality gis with a great cut. I personally prefer heavier weight kimonos compared to the lighter ones. Several students have been dismayed to discover that the so-called “Rip Stop” pants were anything but! Once you have decided that you want to train bjj, you will consider spending a little more money for a quality bjj kimono that tends to be cut slimmer than the more baggy judo type. GB store kimonos I suggest buying multiple kimonos if your budget allows, since if you are training multiple times per week, you will not have enough time to wash and dry a single kimono in between classes. A good kimono should last you through many years of use. I had one heavy weave that lasted 10 years before the sleeves finally frayed beyond use. * Always select the larger size if unsure when selecting a gi. You can shrink it with a combination of hot water wash and dryer. 2) Immediately air dry your kimono after training. If you have ever made the mistake of forgetting your wet kimono in your training bag after class and left it overnight,..you will recognize the importance of drying it immediately after training. The dark, moist environment of the gi sitting in your training bag promotes bacterial growth. If enough bacteria establishes itself, it can create a permanent “off” smell in your gi. One of my favorite kimonos suffered this fate. Even after freshly washing it, after a few minutes on the mat, an odor of “nacho cheese” would start to emanate from the kimono :-( (see tip # 4 for how to rid your kimono of nasty funk) I find if I wear a rashguard under my kimono, then it absorbs much of the sweat and I can get more than a single class out of a washed kimono (as opposed to washing after every single use). 3) Washing Since the kimono must be washed so often, this is a significant factor in caring for your kimono. I don’t know any students of bjj who regularly use a clothes dryer to dry their kimonos (which promotes unwanted shrinkage). I wash in cold or warm water (after the initial shrinkage) and air dry (outside is best). Bleach is widely considered a bad idea as it weakens the fibres of the kimono. The fibres are then more susceptible to tearing and it shortens the life of the gi. Washing inside out is a good idea to preserve any patches. Hot water will likely shrink your kimono and should be avoided. For a NEW kimono: I have usually purchased kimonos that were sized slightly large for me and then used a hot water wash and a single dryer session to shrink it. After that one time I’d always air dry. * be careful when washing a white kimono if there are any other coloured items in the washing machine. Most of us know someone who showed up at the academy with a pink kimono after the dye from a red item of clothing leeched into the wash water. 4) Funky smell? Ok, you forgot your $220 kimono in your gym bag in the car and now it smells like a wet dog – even after washing! What do you do? Bjj blackbelt and kimono manufacturer John Ouano gave me the advice to soak the stinky kimono is a water + vinegar solution overnight. I filled a pail with water, poured 1/2 a small bottle of white vinegar in the water and left the kimono soaking overnight. Then I washed normally in the washing machine. It worked and my favorite kimono was restored to lemony fresh scent! * The theory is that the vinegar is a strong acid that destroys the foul smelling bacteria colonies 5) Loaning your kimonos This is more of a practical piece of advice. When you bring a new friend along with you to try a bjj class, you will likely loan them one of your kimonos for the class. At the end of the class, your friend will likely offer to wash the kimono at their home and return to you clean at a later point. I would suggest you take the sweaty kimono home with you and wash it yourself – for two reasons: – if your friend’s enthusiasm doesn’t result in them returning to class you can have a difficult time meeting them to retrieve your kimono. I know several training partners who have lost kimonos due to acquaintances not returning them after borrowing. – your friend will wash the kimono and, not knowing, toss it in the dryer and shrink your $200 kimono to dwarf proportions! It happened to me and I lost a $160 favorite gi, so please learn from my loss. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenB

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: How to control anxiety?

In the pre-championship stage, on those days preceding graduation or, the most common of all: that strange feeling just before stepping on the competition mat. What all these situations have in common? Anxiety. Considered to be the disease of the century by one of the greatest psychologists of the world, Augusto Cury, anxiety is one of the human mind problems that most affects people worldwide. This problem can be even more prevalent among athletes who are under pressure and with a routine of intense training. But how to mitigate the effects of anxiety? According to the doctor Arthur Frazão, there are 7 tips to help you control it: Change your attitude toward the problem. Try to find out about what is causing the anxiety; Respect your limitations and, when necessary, ask for help; Take a deep and calm breath. Close your eyes, imagine yourself at a beach and the sea with increasingly slow waves; Keep positive thoughts and avoid situations that may refer to negative or self-defeating thoughts; Value and live the present. If anxiety is caused by the past, nothing can be done to change it; if it is related to the future, it can keep you from actually living the present; Identify what causes the anxiety or sadness and keep yourself away from those things; Engage in any activity and keep your mind focused on this goal, avoid distractions and especially those situations that can cause anxiety. And, of course, in addition to following these tips and besides the practice of jiu-jitsu, look for other “calmer” physical activities like walking on the beach, swimming and cycling. After learning this, it will be surely easier to deal with the pre-championships anxiety. OSS! Source: www.tuasaude.com

IBJJF Background Check.

Recent news on the new background check by IBJJF will probably make Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu one of the most respected martial arts (if it isn’t already). IBJJF’s recent move is to certify and submit black belt applications to a thorough background check. The goal is to ensure the safety of those who will be getting into sports. The recent move, though, is slowly creating some noise in the BJJ community. Now, just a disclaimer: this article is not of Gracie Barra’s opinion, nor its founders or management. This is solely a writer / BJJ enthusiast’s perspective. Feel free to share what you think on our Facebook page. So it’s a move by IBJFF to make sure that BJJ remains a safe environment for everyone thinking about getting into the sport. While I have yet to obtain the actual requisites of the document, I am very much optimistic that there will be a strong follow through, which is good.  I think that all sports, regardless of whether it’s martial arts or otherwise, should hold to a strict standard when it comes to certifying those to be recognized as top-notch athletes. Here are my thoughts on the matter: Surprisingly, the move entails a detailed background check on anyone who is applying for certification and recognition as a professor / black belt. This includes criminal offenses, convictions, etc. Ergo, before being recognized as part of the IBJJF, a professor must have a clean slate /good background. Sounds simple enough? Anybody who wishes to read more about it can click the link. http://ibjjf.org/background-check/ There are however, several outcries about IBJJF’s move. Some say that it simply is impractical. That it holds no bearing on the future of the sport. Meanwhile, others are for it. Some say that it discriminates against those who may have found BJJ as a means to starting anew. We all know how BJJ saves lives, how it gives direction to those looking for one. We’ve read those stories. Regardless of the past, these individuals have chosen to move forward with their lives and  actively do so. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future, to quote Oscar Wilde. The path to jiu-jitsu greatness doesn’t stop with recognition, though. But, then again, it all depends on the individual’s pursuit and their own vision for greatness and eventual growth.  I think doing BJJ for the right reasons will surpass any form of recognition. A black belt is just a piece of cloth you wrap around your waist, anyway. With much respect to IBJJF, I commend the men who strive to make BJJ an entity for personal growth. Making it safer for those who will to follow its path. Recognition is great. But for an individual to recognize his self-worth and growth is far greater than anyone else’s.

Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu: Overate during the holiday season Detox in a day

With the holiday season upon us everybody risks eating more than it’s healthy or advisable. Even dedicated athletes are drawn in the festive mood and can be tempted to have a bite or two more than they should. It’s not hurting anyone, is it? After all, it’s a well-deserved treat after all the workouts, championships, stress and training… For people who are careful to maintain a balanced die, even one day of not keeping up with the routine can cause great discomfort. A feeling of being bloated, abdominal pain and swelling are just some of the problems that can appear as consequence. However, there is a way to avoid all this and it’s not at all that hard! A powerful 1-day detox diet! Salt, sugar and alcohol in excess, are substances that interfere with the body’s organic reactions, inhibiting the natural process of detoxification ​​by the liver. The result is leftover toxins that accumulate in the body, causing it severe harm through: fluid retention, inflammation and weight gain. The sooner you eliminate these substances from your system, the better. A detox diet right after the festive season is the best way to go, as teas and juices with diuretic and detoxifying properties quickly restore the body’s top shape . You can still eat lean protein ( fish or chicken), vegetables and fruits and the whole diet doesn’t last more than a day! The following detox diet is from Health magazine: 1-Day Speed Detox Diet With teas and juices, this nutritional menu developed by Giovanna Arcuri contains 800 calories . Follow it for a day to rid your body of unhealthy substances. Upon waking up 1 Cup (200 ml) of water at room temperature with the juice of 1lemon (without sugar or sweetener) BREAKFAST Green juice : mix the juice of 2 oranges , 2 prunes , 1 cabbage leaf and 1/2 cup (100 ml ) of water MORNING SNACK 1 cup of fruit salad (apple, pineapple and melon) with 1 tbsp . of oatmeal and tea of choice (hibiscus , dandelion or white) LUNCH 1 Dish of salad of dark green leaves (wild rocket , watercress) with 1/2 grated carrot and 1 fillet (100g)of grilled chicken with 2 tbsp . of steamed green beans with onion and tomato AFTERNOON SNACK 1 sliced ​​carrot and cucumber cut into ticks and tea of choice (hibiscus , dandelion or white tea) DINNER 1 cup of parsnip soup (or green salad) and 1 poached egg with 1/2 diced tomatoes and oregano SUPPER Cup of tea (chamomile , lemon balm or fennel) Drink water with lemon (without sugar) upon waking up. It hydrates, balances the pH of the body and detoxifies. Making this into a daily habit will result in shedding off several pounds. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional advice. The use of vitamins and dietary supplements can bring great results for you, but prior to using any dietary supplements or other medications we recommend consulting a nutritionist, doctor or other specialist for evaluation and monitoring . Note: The pictures are illustrative Source of information: http://boaforma.abril.com.br

What Sports Can Teach Your Kids

Kids: our future. And everyone knows that their development is crucial to a lifetime full of potential; everyone needs to agree that at some point, exposing our young ones to the right things will be beneficial to them in the long run. After all, what we all want is their success. Sportsmanship teaches kids a lot! Studies show that 86% of successful people, CEOs, businessmen, have had their share of life in sports, either in high school or in college. So what’s with sports that makes people tick? Sports for one thing has countless benefits. Not only physical benefits. For one thing, physical activity is one of the things that are scientifically proven to promote mental well-being a.k.a. “happiness.”  So what does sportsmanship and sports do to kids? Why expose them to individual sports like BJJ or any other martial arts? Your Kids Will Need to Learn How to Handle Failure Life didn’t create anyone perfectly fit for success. At the same time, no one is born to fail. Success relies on mental acuity and stability. Reaction to failure and the ability of a person to recover from it, can, and will spell the difference. Kids need to learn this at a young age. No. Jiu-Jitsu will not fail our young ones. But, there will be times when they will be on the losing end of a tournament, or will be overwhelmed by stronger kids their age. Be there for them when it happens. Good Parenting + Jiu-Jitsu = strong young ones. Too Many Apps, Less Children in Playgrounds Back in the day, kids would go out and hang out with actual kids. We got dirty from playing in the sandbox. We became sweaty and got baked under the sun. We dug up worms. We made mud pies. We did kids stuff. KIDS INTERACTED WITH ACTUAL REAL KIDS. Today there are too many apps that keep our children distracted. With the help of the internet, they are being limited to purely visual-sensory experiences. The value of interacting with actual kids is lost in the dark realms of the internet. BJJ changes that. Sports changes that! Yes. Your kids will be wearing their gis and actually trying to beat kids (on the mat) in real life! How awesome is that?! And they make friends too!  Kids will Need Goals and Learn the Value of Work Kids have aspirations. Yes. Adults do not know this but kids have aspirations. An infant aspires to comfort, a toddler aspires to communicate. Young ones that are in sports aspire to be good, if not the best! Whatever the goals, goals are goals. It is something they will need to determine for themselves, it is something they will need to work for. As parents, you cannot work it for them. You can’t jump in the middle of a match and submit the other kid (unless you fancy a black belt jumping in front of you and doing a super-triple-quadruple Oma-Plata-Kimura LOL). They will need to work for it. You will need to remind them from time to time. This teaches them that nothing good in life is worth zero work. Breathing requires work. What more success? You can choose not to expose kids to BJJ. It’s your choice. You can choose to keep them inside a 10 inch LED Displayed virtual world. If they matter to you, sign them up for a free lesson here.  You will be glad you did. Nilo Valle Chinilla

GB Weekly Training Plan for 12/22 – 12/28

GB WTP Week 15 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 12/22-12/28 our classes are based on Week 15 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Believing in yourself is the key to the success

How many times does nervousness come up right in the pre-competition stage? Numerous! Besides natural pressure experienced during a championship, and several other factors – psychological or not – lead you to wonder “Am I really ready?” Days of hard training, dedication and persistence enabled you to reach the long-awaited day. The problem about those butterflies in the stomach, nervousness and heart beating stronger is exactly when these feelings get out of control. Many champions considered themselves defeated even before they fight. Have the strong conviction that the world will be at your side while you keep yourself loyal to what is best in you.” Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Sr.  The Great Master Carlos Gracie raised his warrior spirit throughout his life, on and off the mat. He learned that the gentle art has the power to convert psychologically failed people into strong individuals. The last of the 12 lessons left by the patriarch of the Gracie family basically consists in supporting those people who go through this: “Have the strong conviction that the world will be at your side while you keep yourself loyal to what is best in you.” Warrior, imagine yourself giving your best, see in your mind the referee raising your arm. Believe in yourself!

A Few Words on Belt Promotions

I have noticed on my social media at this time of year, my many bjj friends all over the world posting about their graduation to the next belts. The end of the  calendar year, many academies have a club photo day and belt and stripe promotions. It is a happy time and many photos are snapped as the new belts are proudly tied around deserving waists. The Facebook comments are filled with congratulations and “long overdue!” and “well deserved!” The stock response when asked, for many bjj practitioners, is “belts are not important to me,” communicating the idea that the priority of training should be on acquiring skill and knowledge, not on trying to achieve the next belt as soon as possible. But I think that belts ARE important.  One’s journey in training bjj is a long one and filled with many ups and downs. There may be long periods where the student of bjj can feel stagnant and frustrated with a lack of progress. For those who persevere through those peaks and valleys, a stripe promotion can add a fresh burst of motivation to continue training. It is a public acknowledgement from your professor that you have been attending classes regularly, you have improved in your technical level and are progressing upwards in your study of jiu-jitsu. You should be proud to accept the promotion and promise yourself to rise to the new standard. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work and discipline! Over the years, I have witnessed more than a few people who were disappointed after a round of promotions when they did not receive an expected (or more accurately “hoped for”) promotion. In the majority of the cases the students were not regular in their attendance in class and the professor was looking for a little more from them before they were ready for the next graduation. From an instructor’s point of view, I feel many students place far too much importance on “who tapped who” in the sparring sessions as the measure on who should be promoted. I have witnessed sparring sessions where a heavier, more athletic student submits a smaller, more technical student. Even though the heavier student got the tap, the smaller student demonstrated far more technical ability in the roll. It might be a surprise to both students that the smaller student has displayed high enough technical ability to warrant another stripe, while the heavier student still relies far too much on their size, speed, and strength in the rolls. Not all students come into bjj with the same potential. A more physically talented student may need to demonstrate more technical skill even though they are dominating many rolls in the academy. The other side of the reaction after promotions, are the students who graduated to blue or purple belt and express to me privately that they didn’t feel deserving of their promotion. That student may be a monster on the mat, but in their minds, felt much pressure to live up to a higher standard of the new belt. To them I respond that many people have these thoughts upon a new belt. But your instructor has much experience in evaluating these things and would not have awarded the promotion if they were not confident in your abilities. In fact, how many times have we seen our fellow students at a high level of skill long before they actually went up in rank? In these cases the familiar comment “long overdue” may be perfectly fitting. My first bjj instructor said one time in his heavily accented English as he wrapped 2 new stripes on my belt (after a long period without a promotion) “The stripes sometimes take a long time to come, but they always come if you keep training.” Congratulations around the world to all the students who now are wearing new belts! Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

“You Are Using Too Much Strength!”

What does this mean and why is it wrong? Most of us who have trained bjj for any length of time have both given and received the advice: “You Are Using Too Much Strength!” After a few years of training, a more advanced student will realize what this means in terms of being efficient and using leverage and timing in your rolls. But to the new student, this seems like confusing advice. “Of course I am using strength! I have someone on top of me trying to bend my arm! I have to escape!” To further complicate the issue, we have articles on conditioning and strength building for brazilian jiu-jitsu. Many of the top bjj competitiors are extermely well conditioned and explosive. Check a conditioning blog here.  So why is “using too much strength” wrong? One of the best pieces of training advice I ever got early in my study of bjj came at a seminar. The seminar instructor was himself 145lbs. and displayed dazzlingly smooth and fluid jiu-jitsu. He was demonstrating a kimura and the much heavier opponent had a strong defensive grip on their belt. The instructor mimicked trying to use muscular power and grunting in exertion to break the grip. He turned to the students and said “This is NOT jiu-jitsu! Some of these guys have a STRONG arm! You can not beat them this way.” He then suddenly switched to a choke. The opponent, preoccupied with defending the kimura, left the neck undefended and he immediately tapped. The seminar instructor had made his point. If the technique (or more accurately the WAY you are trying to execute the technique) required much muscle power, how would you be able to execute it against a larger, stronger opponent? I am fond of saying that I trained jiu-jitsu in order to learn how to defeat bigger, stronger opponents – not to beat smaller, weaker opponents! One must approach all of your techniques with the underlying presumption that your opponent is stronger than you and overcoming them with physical strength is simply not going to be an option. A second part of this advice is that the beginning student attempts to compensate for a lack of technique with speed and strength. That is understandable if you are in a competition or self defense situation. But we understand that rolling in the bjj academy is for the purpose of DEVELOPING your bjj technique, not merely to prove how tough the individual is. One student at my academy is a superior athlete. Lots of time in the weight room and natural athleticism mean that they can often overwhelm smaller, more experienced opponents. As an instructor, I caution the athlete to not be seduced by their early success in getting a tap over a more experienced student. Sure, they overwhelmed the smaller student and succeeded in getting a submission. But my question to them is “Would their jiu-jitsu be effective if the opponent were the same weight and strength as you?” They would no longer have an advantage in the physical department and find out in a hurry if they had enough technique. Perhaps more accurately, the advice should be “Try to find a technical solution to your bad position in the roll, rather than relying on athleticism.” The person giving the advice is trying to tell you that you are using strength at the wrong time, when a technical solution is really what you need to be doing.  When you are in a difficult situation in a match, pause and ask yourself “what is the technical solution?” Is there a way to escape or pass that would work if your opponent is heavier than you? A technical solution that would work even if you were fatigued and could no longer rely on explosive power? Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Healthy Christmas

And let’s begin the preparations for one of the most desired periods of the year: Christmas. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, time for a great healthy Christmas dinner. If we have the option to make beneficial choices, why not?  Besides, nothing is better than waking up the next day without a guilty conscience, right? Check out the following three very light and healthy replacements for a Christmas dinner.  1) Replace the traditional Christmas ‘salpicao’ for lighter and nutritious salads  The Christmas salpicao is usually made with mayonnaise and other fatty ingredients. Replace it with nutritious salads and your dinner will become more functional and healthy. Christmas cheese sauce salad Ingredients 1 plate of iceberg lettuce 1 plate of arugula 3 tablespoons of lactose-free cottage cheese 5 cherry tomatoes 2 tablespoons of brown/whole croutons 2 fillets (100g each) of shredded chicken breast OR 1 can solid tuna in water Preparation: Prepare the shredded chicken (or tuna) without adding oil and set aside. In a salad bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, and the shredded chicken or tuna. On the top, pour the hot cottage cheese (lactose-free), and then the croutons. 2) Replace the traditional breadcrumbs mix (Brazilian ‘Farofa’) with quinoa or amaranth The traditional Christmas ‘farofas’ are made with bacon, sausage and other foods that are harmful to health. Meanwhile, the quinoa and amaranth are foods that, in addition to being sources of fiber, can be consumed by celiac people, since they do not contain gluten. Quinoa and amaranth farofa (light) Ingredients: 2 cups of amaranth flakes 1 cup of quinoa flakes 1/2 onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley 2 tablespoons of chopped chives 1 teaspoon of olive oil 1 pinch of pepper 1 teaspoon of mustard seed Preparation: Sauté the onion, garlic, parsley and chives in olive oil. Mix amaranth and quinoa with the pepper and the mustard seed. Mix all ingredients until golden brown. 3) Replace the traditional “Greek-style rice” for a more nutritious option.  Opting for healthier recipes, you will add the dish a higher nutritional value and will make your dinner much more functional. Christmas Rice Image from: www.berkeleywellness.com Ingredients: 6 cups of filtered water 1 garlic clove 3 cups of red rice ½ onion 1 chopped tomato ½ green bell pepper ½ red bell pepper 1 cup of chopped cabbage 4 tablespoons of nonfat yogurt 4 tablespoons of quark cheese 2 teaspoon of salt 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley Preparation: Sauté the onion in a cup of water. Add the rice and sauté as well. Add the water, salt and mix. Cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes. When the rice has finished cooking, add the other ingredients. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): ClicRBS Illustrative Images

GB Weekly Training Plan for 12/15 – 12/21

GB WTP Week 14 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 12/15-12/1 our classes are based on Week 14 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Do you think you are the best one in the trainings? Do not like it.

Nothing is more unpleasant than that inconvenient guy who thinks he is the best one in training. Unfortunately, there are practitioners of various sports with such mentality. Being individualistic and extremely self-centered is not a nice behavior to have inside or outside the mat. Usually the guy who thinks he is the best one is the same that does not understand that a workout is nothing more than a simple training, where everyone makes mistakes and does well, finalizes or is finalized. Besides being inconvenient, nothing is worse than when at the end of the training you have to hear the guy announcing what he/she did or did not during the class, who was finished by him or how many points he made against someone. Although jiu-jitsu is an individually performed sport, what makes an athlete is his/her team. Without their training partners, there is no fight, let alone a victory. The “tough guy”, even with his thoughtless actions, is not the villain of the story. There is no reason to ignore him/her. Jiu-jitsu is also a character forming. Often attitudes such as those described above can be avoided with a simple conversation. Immaturity or not, having the humility to teach a colleague the respect and values of the gentle art ​​can be the greatest lessons for him/her. Have a good opinion about yourself and express it to the world, but not with high-sounding words but with good actions.”Grandmaster Carlos Gracie The creator of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Great Master Carlos Gracie taught his students how to prevent these “superiority” attitudes within the mat. The teachings left by Carlos to the GB legacy gave our team the spirit of union within the family, respecting each other. The 11th teaching of Great Master teaches us how to control our ego and become better not only as athletes, but also and especially as people.

Basic BJJ GYM Etiquettes and Reminders for Beginners

Rules are good. While others may see rules as a way to hinder freedom, they liberate us from chaos… or at least make training a harmonious environment for everyone. There are simple points of BJJ etiquette to consider. As future successful martial artists, your growth in the art of Jiu-Jitsu requires etiquette. For training to be fun for others, we must all be sure that we are making the training experience pleasant for everyone. I was speaking to one of the black belts who has been in the business of running dojos, and the subject of Gym etiquette came about. This inspired me to write this article! :) #1 – Hygiene Grappling with someone who doesn’t take much care of themselves can be an unpleasant experience. I am not saying it is a definite “bad experience”, however it is a possibility. Some people have high tolerance for “scents,” but others do not. This also applies to those who may fail to wash their gis regularly. Personally, it’s an unpleasant experience grinding it with someone who may have an opportunity to improve on the aspect of hygiene. Best Practice Have multiple sets of training gis. It’s a small investment. And gis (with the right quality can last for years)… remember to wash them regularly. Sports deodorants do wonders. Find the brand that works for you. #2 Checking for Injuries So you just submitted your opponent and you feel you are on top of the world! Great! Now, your sparring partner is complaining about a strain on his neck or on his shoulders. It is only proper to check if he is “ok.” As a newbie, you have yet to develop muscle sense (a term I coined for being able to know if excessive force was exerted). So checking on your sparring partner if he is hurt (especially if he doesn’t look that well) is a good practice to observe. Best Practice: communicate constantly, especially if both of you are just starting out. Know everyone’s limits. Learn verbal and nonverbal taps. #3 Asking for a Drill Partner One of my peeves is whenever a fighter approaches me while I am resting or training, and instructs me to just lie down so he can do his drills on me! Some fighters do this even without checking if I am willing to be a drill dummy. More so, when a drill partner is a “drill hog,” i.e. someone who just wants to do drills 80% of the time. Best Practice: set expectations about the drills and ask politely! Remember, if you guys are on an open mat session, pretty much it is everyone is in their own time! Tell your would-be partner that you need to practice on a submission, and you need his help. You must also let him know that you are willing to take turns! #3 Sharing of Personal Items Rubbing Alcohol, foot powder, body powder and even boxing gloves. Guys, seriously. These are personal items. It would be best if you will invest a bit of your hard earned money and get your own. Should you need to ask for those, ask permission. It is only proper. #4 Sweaty Floors… Alright. This is a tricky topic to discuss. There are those who sweat more than others. And nothing ruins a good BJJ session than stepping on sweat-drenched mats. Also it is a possible hazard for other students. I’ve seen students slip because of sweaty floors. And not all mats are made the same. Some absorb sweat, while some keeps sweat on the surface. #5 – Celebrate success There will be students who will get ahead of you in their growth. It’s fine. You will grow in your own time in BJJ. It is only good to celebrate their success. Remember: you are in this journey together. It is only right to celebrate their success. I am sure if this is to happen to you, they will be cheer for you as well. #6 – Appreciation goes a long way Never forget to say thank you. If you coach gives you extra time in coaching you, then thank him. Thank your sparring partner for helping you out. Thank the person in reception for addressing your training needs. I believe this is more of a way to improve your training experience. A gentle Jiu-Jitsu reminder for everyone!=) Nilo Valle Chinilla 

How To Submit: Advice from the Masters

Everyone’s favourite subject in brazilian jiu-jitsu is how to catch more submissions on your opponents. The internet is filled with technique videos and new submissions with signature names being invented each week it seems. Many students are scouring the bjj blogs and YouTube channels looking for that new, unknown submission that will catch their training partners by surprise. The 2 most straightforward ways to submit your opponent: 1) Catch the opponent with a submission that they don’t know and were not prepared to defend against 2) Tire out the opponent through pressure and movement until the opponent gives up a submission through fatigue This all works fine up until a certain point. What if your opponent is experienced and KNOWS all of the moves that you are attempting (and the counters!)? What if your opponent is in BETTER physical condition than you, stronger and / or heavier and waiting for them to tire out is not an option? Now we need to find a different strategy to get the submission. Interestingly, my own head instructor rarely submits me with anything but the most “basic” submissions. It is the “basic” straight arm lock from mount or a triangle from guard – not a gogoplata or spinning double reverse Ninja choke that gets me to tap. As a blackbelt, if I know the counters to these common attacks, how is he still catching the tap? I am heavier and stronger (weight room type of strength) than my head instructor so there must be another factor. The answer is HOW he is setting up and attacking the subs? One of my favourite bjj books is a lesser known title, “Gracie Submission Essentials” by Royler and Grand Master Helio Gracie whose area of concentration (if you couldn’t tell by the title already) deals with how to submit your opponent. In reading the lessons contained in the book, I recognized several principles that my own instructor was using to successfully attack with his submissions. Here are 3 pieces of advice on submitting your opponents: 1) Isolate the limb and use superior leverage. Your arms might be much stronger than mine. But your arm is not stronger than my hips, 2 legs and 2 arms exerting force on your elbow joint! Employ your whole body against their single joint. This requires you to isolate the arm away from the body and use the strongest muscles in your body against a comparatively weaker part of the opponents body. When attacking the omoplata or triangle arm bar, my instructor with use his hips and legs to isolate my arm away from my body – where it is in a much weaker biomechanical position and then attack. This isolation is achieved through control: position before submission. 2) In the book, Royler Gracie’s advice is : Squeeze your opponent with pressure to see how they react. Catch the opponent by anticipating and being one step ahead of their defensive movements. Royler’s submission strategy is based on being able to control your opponent and then allow them a small window of space to learn which way they will attempt to move to escape. Steer them to go where you want them to go, and then have a trap waiting for the opponent! When they try to escape through the opening you have provided, snap the trap shut! You are now one step ahead of your opponent and have more time to secure your best submission when the opponent is caught by surprise and slower to react. 3) Double attacks. This is the favourite of Gracie Barra 3rd degree blackbelt Josh Russell and there is no better example than the basic mounted cross collar choke and straight armlock combination. In the mount, the top person has the leverage advantage and can apply their bodyweight pressure to the person on the bottom. World Champion Roger Gracie is famous for the effectiveness of his “basic” collar choke from the mount to submit elite level black belts. Alternating between attacking the collar choke and threatening the arm lock, the opponent must switch their defense between protecting their collar or keeping their arms in tight. They do not know which attack to devote their full defense to! At some point the bottom will get behind in their defense and the attacker will use the superior leverage to catch the choke or arm lock. It is difficult to defend both submissions equally at the same time and when the defender falls behind, the tap usually follows. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Healthy Appetizers

So finally we get to one of the most desired months of the year: December. The 12th month marks the beginning of summer (in the South hemisphere), Christmas, New Year and more. It is a month of changes and decisions. A month where the energies are renewed and promises for a new year are made. Time to think about what was done and what is ahead… what are your goals for the new year? What new things do you want to happen in your life? With over 7 billion people on planet Earth, we have to keep in mind that each one wants, searches and fights for something different, and these differences are what make us special and unique. But we may all have many things in common that make us have affinities, create bonds of friendship and compassion. In this Blog section for example, we can find some or several things in common: jiu-jitsu, sports, health, healthy eating, etc. And if you are new over here… welcome! If you are already adept at a healthy lifestyle and eating habits, this blog is for you. If you want a healthier lifestyle and are looking for changes to make to your food habits, this blog is also for you… A healthy diet 360 days a year? Why not?  We know that food influences our well-being, health, body functioning, mood, mind and courage. And if we could eat healthy snacks even in holiday season meetings, why not? If it’s possible, we should and we can. Today in Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu we present to you some options of healthy snacks for the year-end holidays.  Are you ready? Eggplant Bruschetta Ingredients: 600 grams: Eggplant; 3 units: Clean and ripe tomato; 3 Tbsp: Olive oil; 40 grams: Cream cheese; 70 grams: Gorgonzola/Blue cheese; 1 Tbsp: Dehydrated oregano; 100 grams: White cheese. Preparation: Clean the eggplants (fresh and firm ones) and the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into slices, remove seeds. Put them aside. Place the whole eggplants in a pan with boiling water and add a pinch of salt. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and leave it for 20 minutes, turning the eggplants to cook evenly. Turn the oven to 390° F (200° C). Remove the eggplants from the pan, let them cool a bit, cut off their tips and slice into 1 cm-thick pieces. Grease a nonstick baking sheet with olive oil and distribute the eggplant slices. Spread 1 teaspoon of cream cheese over them, the tomato slice, 1 teaspoon of blue cheese/gorgonzola, about 7 grams of white cheese, oregano and basil to taste. Baste the bruschetta with a little olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for another 10 minutes. Dried Tomato and Tofu Snacks Ingredients: 100 grams: Tofu paste 100 grams: Dried tomatoes 100 grams: Whole bread 1 Tbsp: Fresh basil Preparation: Clean the basil. Put them aside. Using a star-shaped cutter, slice the bread. Slices yield 1 or 2 stars, depending on the size. Cut the tomatoes in half. Assemble the finger food putting 1 teaspoon of tofu paste in the center of the stars. Put it over a half dried tomato. Decorate the snack with a basil leaf. Salmon Snack Images: 2.bp.blogspot.com Ingredients: 50 grams: Nordic cured salmon or Gravlax 70 grams: Japanese cucumber 1/4 tsp: Black pepper Preparation: Clean the cucumber. Put them aside. Cut into slices at your desired thickness. Cut the gravlax salmon (or smoked salmon) in medium cubes of about 5 grams or at the desired size. Assemble the snacks placing a slice of cucumber, a rolled salmon slice or cube and sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper. Decorate the snack as you like it. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention of replacing professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): “Guloso e Saudável”  Images: Google

Take Note! 3 Methods to Remember Your Techniques

Take Note! How do I remember the techniques that I have learned in class? One of the challenges for students of bjj is trying to remember the vast number of techniques that you see each week in class. You see a great move to add to your game, but by the end of the week the details are hazy if not completely forgotten! Sometimes when I ask the students at end of class what we did, many will scratch their heads, already forgetting what we did that very class! How can you improve your retention of the techniques you have seen in class? Here are 3 great ways to take “notes” and remember your techniques 1) Keep a notebook From early on in my career as a student of bjj I was a note taker. After each class in bjj, the techniques still fresh in my mind, I would go to a coffee shop near the academy and note each of the techniques that I had learned, step by step. I used my own abbreviations (opp = opponent) and even created my own Eddie Bravo-esque names for the techniques (The Tomahawk Sweep, The Bully Choke etc.) * In addition to having a record of your techniques, taking notes confers an additional benefit: It makes you observe differently when watching the instructor demonstrate. If you know that you will have to write down your techniques later, you will pay closer attention to each step. You will break down the move into logical steps that you can record later. The drawback to this method is that it is time consuming and if you don’t have a chance to do this immediately after class, you may well forget it entirely. If you do not have a good system for taking your notes, your own instructions can be very confusing (“grab his arm”) even to yourself! Also, this is a difficult format to share with training partners. I had some guys ask to see my notes after a seminar that we attended. But really, they are unintelligible to anyone but myself due to my use of abbreviations and personal names for moves. I keep a digital version in a text file on my computer that takes up next to no space and is immune to spilled acai. 2) Smart phone video  In this age of smart phones and readily affordable video cameras there is an easier and superior solution. Nearly everyone owns a phone with great quality video. Most instructors don’t especially like (some don’t mind at all!) people filming their classes, as they have no control over where that video ends up. But there is no prohibition against the student repeating the techniques at the end of class on their own and recording it for their own personal technique archive. There is a group of students at my academy that will take the time at the end of class to repeat the moves while a third training partner films the best angles. I have offered to buy my instructor a coconut water or lunch if he will consent to repeat the move I want for my video camera. Later, I can watch the movement from a different angle than when you yourself are performing it, and gain additional insight on how the move really works. This is a great, convenient, and immediate method (and inexpensive!) of keeping those positions that you may refer to later. The cool thing about this method is that it is easy to share with not only your friends, but maybe the bjj world at large! 3) Youtube playlists If you are anything like me, your Youtube play lists are filled with cool jiu-jitsu moves. I feel that YouTube GB72VIDEOS is one of the greatest tools at the disposal of the modern day grappler. There are some great channels out there that upload technique videos weekly and provide a valuable supplement to the material you learn in class. How do I use YouTube to take notes on what I learned in class? There are so many technique videos on the internet that it is highly likely that you can find someone demonstrating the same variation that you learned in class. You can create playlists titled with the position (ex. guard passes) and can easily find the video that you want to review at a later point in time. This way you have a library of positions that are important to your game. Here are a couple of my favorite Gracie Barra YouTube channels that I know I can go to if I have a question about a particular position. https://www.youtube.com/user/gb72videos https://www.youtube.com/user/gbdanapoint Do you take notes of your own bjj techniques? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

What does the name “jiu-jitsu” mean?

Have you ever wondered why we have this different name for our sport? Despite the history of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – developed by Great Master Carlos Gracie, the name “jiu-jitsu” has a Japanese origin. In fact, it is a Japanese term. The name, which is now part of thousands of lives, is the way to pronounce and write the Japanese term formed by ideograms (graphic symbol used to represent a word or an abstract concept in ancient times) “ju-jutsu” which means gentle art. Despite what the guys from bjj may think, the gentle art concept is not strictly linked to jiu-jitsu. It is present in over 90% of the world-famous martial arts. Within the gentle art concept – understood as using the opponent’s strength to your advantage – there are modalities like Korean, Chinese, Russian and even Brazilian indigenous martial arts. It may sound strange, dear reader, but according to the martial understandings coming from Japan itself, jiu-jitsu is not the name of a sport. This name that we love so much stands for the Japanese set of defense martial arts with or without the use of weapons. “Ju-jutsu”, gentle art, or jiu-jitsu – regardless of the name that is given to this set of techniques, the only certainty that prevails in the world is that this sport becomes a passion for everyone who starts practicing it. OSS!

5 Tips for BJJ Over 35

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is an example to all over 35 practitioners of bjj on how to live the jiu-jitsu lifestyle. Nearing 60 years of age, “Carlinhos” as his friends call him, continues to provide an example of health and fitness. See his videos of climbing the sand dunes in Florianopolis, Brazil (the leg endurance he builds helps his guard). Gracie Mag featured an interview where Carlinhos is preparing healthy foods that are essential to both fuel and rebuild the body after the demands of training.  A private lesson in Jiu-Jitsu, health and nutrition with Carlos Gracie Jr. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. demonstrates by example how it is possible to enjoy jiu-jitsu and vibrant health well after many others have ceased their other physical pursuits. After a bjj competitor is no longer focused on hard training for competitions, they will look to continue to get on the mat several times a week to enjoy the sport and art. Those who have passed their 35th birthday (or more!) will recognize that their bodies have changed since their physical peak in their 20s. Here are 4 tips for the over-35 practitioners of the art suave: 1) Pay attention to nutrition After adequate sleep, nutrition is the biggest factor in your ability to continue an active bjj lifestyle. For most of us, our metabolism slows after 35 and we can no longer just eat what tastes good if we hope to maintain our bodyweight. We have all seen former athletes who continue eating the same way after their competitive careers end, and balloon up in weight. A greater emphasis on a natural diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables is the best nutritional strategy to provide the nutrients you need for optimal recovery and maintenance of your bodyweight. See related article. 2) Attention to recovery This area is perhaps the most difficult to manage for the older bjj’er. One area where one’s diminished ability to recover is most noticeable is when a minor injury occurs. A mildly sprained ankle which bothered you for a week at age 22 is now a malingering ache for over a month at 15 years older. You want to train enough to stay in your best condition, but be careful not to cross the line into over-training and a greater risk of injury. When you calculate how many times you can train per week, you must also factor in your other fitness activities. Any running, striking training, and weight training must be considered part of your overall training load in a given week. If you feel irritable, run down and / or plagued with small aches and pains, these are signs that you will need to adjust your training frequency and intensity. Quality and quantity of your sleep must not be underestimated when trying to maximize your recovery. 3) Pick your rolls Different practitioners have different goals in bjj. The 22-year-old competitor preparing for the Pan Ams has different training goals (and needs) than the 3 x a week family man. It is certainly possible for them to have productive training together, but the intensity of sparring of the competitor also carries a higher risk for injury. The older, more recreational student must ration their rolls with the young guns. There are members in every academy who are known for their…err….physical or ballistic rolling style. Most people in the academy know who those that fit the previous description are. My advice is to pass on those rolls with students who lack control over their movements and whose reckless movements are more likely to cause an injury that will keep you off of the mat. 4) Basic positions vs. relying on flexibility In a Gracie Mag interview, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. said that he didn’t understand the fascination with some of the newer guards that require acrobatic movements and inverting the body and going upside down (ex. Tornado guard and berimbolo). He feels that the spine loses its flexibility as we age and these inverted positions place the spine and neck at risk. It is not difficult to see how playing upside down guards places your cervical and lumbar spine in vulnerable positions. One accident and your spine can be stressed beyond its limits and you are off the mat. For the longer term consideration of continued training, Carlinhos advocates emphasizing those same fundamental positions that Helio Gracie was using when he trained at 90 years of age. 5) Adequately warm up How many times have we overheard the following conversation: “I was running late for class and missed my usual warm-up. I jumped into rolling and I was going for this move when I felt a pop and sudden pain.” They instantly realize their mistake, and now have weeks and possibly months to contemplate the consequences of failing to adequately prepare the body for strenuous exercise. The next time you are tempted to jump right into the fire, pause and take the extra couple of minutes to warm the muscles and joints up as a preventive measure. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Healthy People Do Healthy Things, Healthy Things Makes Healthy People

Health. It is a word that we often ignore. Media has bombarded us with ads, catchy song about health. Health is a weak subject. Often it is because presently healthy people fail to recognize the value of being healthy, or at least until old age gets ahead of them and their bodies deteriorate. Health is not all about being physically fit. Our bodies may need nurturing, but the same goes for our minds as well. Our activities vary, and our mental state often defines 70% of our well-being. Healthy people do healthy things AND never the other way around. Healthy Thoughts Healthy thoughts are comprised of harboring good thoughts. Good thoughts, simply put, are mental patterns that promote well-being. Researchers show that there are powerful thoughts that promote a healthy mind. The top thoughts for a healthy mind are ones of gratitude. Brainwave scans of test subjects under lab conditions, when asked about things that they most thankful for, show an activity of increased Oxytocin which is the love and trust hormone. Tip: try to check on your own mood. Typically, moods throughout the day are dictated by how we start it off, typically in the morning. The term “waking up at the wrong side of the bed” applies. Other positive feelings come in as love, wealth, money, and personal acceptance. Healthy Activities Healthy activities come second in becoming healthy. Write down which activities you feel have been the ideal for your health. Running, Jiu-Jitsu, biking, et cetera. Let’s go biological for a second. Ever wonder why it feels good after you sweat it out in the gym? The answer is quite simple: serotonin is the enzyme that promotes a good mood. The lack of serotonin inhibits the balancing of our moods. More so, the lack of activities keeps our bodies from producing serotonin, which makes us feel sluggish. Tip: Run for at least an average of 10 minutes a day. You can jog at the very least. Healthy Food Intake Let’s talk about food. Foods affect our moods. Keeping a balanced diet keeps us healthy. Yes. Our parents know best. Nutritionists know better! Review good food intake in www.graciediet.com for more details. I have tried the Gracie Diet. My take: it’s quite difficult to adapt. Healthy foods make a healthy body and a healthy mind. TIP: calorie counting does not determine what is healthy. Consider how it was processed. Avoid processed meats. Energy drinks have lesser value than the cheaper alternative which is H20. Healthy Relationships Our relationships dictate a bulk of our health. Our associations with people connote how our moods can change, or how disposition (and predisposition) happens and manifests. Do you hang out with highly driven people to succeed. While in Gracie Barra, do you associate yourself more with your professors that push you to be your best? Or do you spend time with those who demean, and always try to alter your moods with their actions? Granted, our moods should not be affected by those external factors, but it is still best to protect ourselves from those people. TIP: take a good look at your social media connections. Are those who you are connected to or “following” posting negative posts, complaints or what-not? Are they presenting value to you? Are they putting you in a good mood and keeping your mind healthy? Are there people in your life that seems to suck the life out of you? If you cannot get rid of them, try to connect with more positive people. You can find those in Gracie Barra dojos. =) Credits: Nilo Chinilla Imagens: Pixaby

Self-Audit and the Powerful Habit

Before you read further into this article. I want you to do a self-audit. Let’s try to be conscious. Now, I want you to look at yourself from a third person’s perspective. Like from a CCTV camera’s view. Notice how you move about while working. Your movements, mannerisms, and reactions are all brought about by habits. Habits are derived from behaviors. Behaviors are derivatives of tiny actions that become repetitive. Sounds easy enough? How often do you do a self-audit? Or are you under your own comfort of just letting tiny actions “just happen.” How frequently do you “think things through” before blurting out a comment? How do you respond to a question when someone asks you one? Is it automatic? Are responses you give out automatic, unaudited, natural? Or are these comments well-thought out? Whatever the answer is, it’s all related to habits. Being in martial arts requires a high degree of control. Martial arts teaches an individual a strong habit! Let’s call this self-control. So what’s the value in becoming someone who is fully aware of his actions? A lot. Consider auditing to be a way to upgrade oneself. When we audit, we do away with habits that aren’t making us grow. There is a link between auditing your actions and your habits. And it’s quite simple: know which to keep, and which ones to do away with. If you feel that you have developed habits that aren’t helping you grow, or you are (without a doubt stuck with) unproductive, self-limiting habits. But before we delve further, let us first look at what habits are. Things to know about habits Habits are neutral Habits are neither good or bad. We cannot put a stamp on a mere thought pattern. However, it is what we do with our habits that causes negativity. Being tardy for work is a habit. Missing BJJ training and drills day is a habit. Being motivated to practice BJJ is a byproduct of a habit. Again, these are neither good or bad. Habits can be developed Your habits didn’t exist all by themselves. Nobody has a natural predisposition towards a specific habit. You develop those. It can be as trivial as your choice in food, or as profound as self-belief! Our thought patterns are created by powerful habits. Typically, these are stimuli that are brought to us by our environment. Studies in the field of psychology show a strong correlation between the development of habits and the environment a person thrives in. On a side note: be aware of your environment, they affect habits as well. Habits can be undone There is good news. The habits that you present (those that you are exhibiting in your life, particularly with the ones you aren’t happy with) can be undone. They can be erased. The awesome thing about it is it’s simple. You just need to employ some strategies! Habits Require Practice If you have a habit that you are least fond of, sad to say, you are the one who cultivated that habit. IF you have a habit of skipping training class, or being late for work, or submitting reports late. Again, it’s not just in BJJ where habits are formed or practiced! You are then molded into a person with that habit. All of our habits are results of behaviors. If you have a habit of listening to your instructor, then it’s a practice of developing habits! The Link Between Self-Audit and Habits              The change of habits first requires profound realization and awareness of those that you need to change. Let’s say that you have a habit of reacting negatively towards undesirable people and circumstances. You need to be aware of it first. If you have a habit of not attending BJJ Class, then you need to made aware of it as well. If you are blind to your own areas of growth, then there is no way for you to accentuate the need and drive your own improvement. Remember the practice having an outside person looking in, or the 3rd person perspective? Once you are able to separate yourself and become objective toward your own actions, you are one step closer to successfully auditing an action’s deep-rooted by habits!   Change through Removal Developing powerful and life-changing habits is not easy. But the very first step in developing these is called the self-audit. You have to do a self-assessment on which habits to keep vs. the ones that you are doing away with. Are you eating unhealthy, low-nutritional value food? Try to do an audit on those and see what you can change! Removal is one of the hardest ways to change a habit. You are virtually removing one behavior altogether. Let’s use cigarette smoking. A smoker will have a hard time removing smoking as his habit because he is taking away an entire habit altogether. Change Through Swapping Swap habits with new ones. Let’s say you are fond of just lying lazily in the coach, or smoking, or procrastinating. While you have developed these habits and they have been cemented in your system for a long time, swapping these unhealthy and unproductive habits with the opposite is more useful.  Change Through Improving It’s time to bank on those desired habits. Waking up early, diligence in training, or working out are habits worth keeping and improving on! Change by adding more value to those! You’d be glad you did! Get Feedback For you to be aware, you need feedback. And the best way to get feedback is from people that you trust the most and who are concerned about your welfare. If you need to improve on your game, develop good habits. The rest is easy. Remember: success is not an end point, but a habit! Awareness and self-audit is the key in becoming aware of habits. Try to look at yourself from another person’s perspective. Are you happy about your habits?  Credits: Nilo Valle Chinilla

3 White Belt Guard Mistakes

In recent weeks Gracie Barra Blog has published several articles on developing your guard. In the first couple of years of learning to defend the guard, there are certain mistakes that instructors commonly see in the newer students. Here are three mistakes that white belts typically commit and get passed. 1) Staying flat on your back Once the guard has been opened (either by the passer or voluntarily by the guard player) the passer has more mobility and can move more freely than the guard player. The guard player now has the more difficult task of switching their defense as the passer moves from side to side. If the guard player remains flat on their back, the friction between their back and the mat slows their ability to move significantly. The result is that the passer gets around the legs and passes the slower, stationary bottom player. Moving the hips on the ground (shrimp movements) is not intuitive to most students starting bjj. These movements must be learned over a period of time. The best designed warm-ups will include different types of shrimp drills to help teach the body how to move the hips quickly and efficiently. One of the most frequently heard pieces of advice from your instructor is “Move your hips!” 2) Hanging onto useless grips too long A common metaphor in describing brazilian jiu-jitsu is that it is a chess game. As you make a movement, your opponent counters with one of their own and you are forced to change in turn. Many times I have witnessed the following scenario in a match (and been guilty of hanging onto grips for too long). When you are playing guard you may feel most comfortable with closed guard and attacking with a triangle, but your opponent counters by getting a good posture and attempting to pass standing. The triangle is not effective now that the passer has postured up – the grips you had that were effective while the opponent was down in closed are now not working.  However, the guard player persists in trying to desperately hang onto the triangle. The passer throws the legs aside and the guard is passed. You need to adjust to the new situation in a hurry! If the guard player had acknowledged that their guard was being passed earlier, they could have abandoned the triangle attempt, switched grips and moved to playing spider guard to stop the pass. Stubbornly hanging on to useless grips is one of the mistakes in guard playing that will get your guard passed. 3) Not making your grips count  Former UFC fighter Oleg Taktarov gave the advice that you must use all parts of your body when fighting or trying to execute a technique. Often, I will see a white belt student trying to play open guard, flat on their back with no hand grips, hands waving in the air while they try to play guard with only their feet. Predictably, the guard is soon passed and they find themselves under heavy side control pressure. Even of your hands are not waving in the air, you must do more than simply grab a sleeve or create a hook. You must make that grip / hook COUNT! Are you using that grip to unbalance your opponent and make them uncomfortable? Are you pushing and pulling the opponent so they can never really get set and start their pass? Are you really using that hook to create strong leverage to block the opponent’s pass or have you just stuck the hook in there without much thought? There is a difference between just mimicking the foot and hand positions you see in any type of guard and REALLY using those grips and hooks to make the passer’s job difficult! Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

How to deal with losses

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin How many of you have lost a heartbreaker? You know, you put everything into the competition and you walked away with a loss and broken heart…So now what? How are you going to bounce back? How are you going to pick up the pieces? How do you cope with the disappointment? How do you bounce back from a painful defeat? First off, lets acknowledge, it’s not easy and it hurts! However, at some point, when the pain starts lessening, anywhere from a few hours to a day or so, it becomes imperative to view the match through another lens. That is, how do you begin to pick the pieces up? And what must you do next time to get better? How will you take advantage of certain situations and continually put yourself in a position to get over the hump? The following are five steps to help you, the broken competitor, experience and move past a disappointing performance. Equally so, this list is great for parents, coaches, and friends as they try to support the competitor during the process of disappointment, release, and rebounding. 1. A right to be disappointed: You’ve earned the right to be disappointed. Let’s face it, after putting it all on the line, competing with all your heart, it is practically impossible to put on a smiling face and just forget things after a close loss. Give yourself some time. It’s OK to be disappointed. In fact, it’s even expected. Why wouldn’t you? You care, you practiced, you’re a warrior, and you fought like one! Disappointment is a natural emotion, it even hurts, and that’s ok too. It’s not something that needs to be fixed. It is time that usually heals it. Disappointment can be equated to mourning a loss. Allow yourself the time to decompress, feel your feelings, and settle down. Paradoxically, by allowing yourself the disappointment you also allow yourself the opportunity to release and resolve the painful feelings. One of the things that makes victory so sweet, and motivates us so, is knowing the feeling and experience of disappointment. 2. One step closer: Believe it or not, you are actually one step closer to your goals! The great Babe Ruth used to say every time he struck out, “I’m one step closer to hitting a home run!” Babe would learn from being up at bat, and change his strategies every time he stepped up to the plate. You can do the same.  Each time you lose, you should wonder how could you improve and do better next time. Don’t forget, slumps fit in here too. It may look like you’re going nowhere, even backwards, but keep on plugging away and learning. Maybe the competition is getting stronger or the match-up is not as favorable. Remember the saying: it’s always darkest before dawn. In other words, the sun rises after the darkest hour! Keep plugging away. That slump may be a major learning curve that just needs to be ridden out, much like a wave. And just beyond the wave is smooth sailing. Hang on… 3. Failure provides feedback: If you listen you become aware. Failures, setbacks and obstacles always throw us for a loop, but it’s the true champion that can readjust and glean valuable feedback. Feedback should be viewed without judgment and as a learning opportunity in which you can make changes and adapt, adjusting to the situation next time. Think about it was there ever a great champion, individual or team, that didn’t learn from failures, setbacks and obstacles? All great champions know why they are competing and use this big “Why” to get themselves back on track.   4. Reframe it! Simply stated, after you have decompressed ask yourself the basic questions. What’s another way to look at this loss or situation? How can I find something positive from it? What’s the lesson here? Even though you lost, what can you learn? And don’t forget, at some point; give yourself some credit for showing up and putting yourself on the line. How many others are competing with such a heart as yours?   5. Focus on the process, not the outcome. This is probably one of the most important points and the major one that all other points can probably be folded into. While you lost this performance it is another step toward your ultimate goal. The match gave you valuable experience and exposed you to the situational pressure of match play. This is highly valuable and can’t be duplicated in practice. Remember, all great champions have to pay their dues and earn their experience.   Cheers, GB CompNet Staff.

GB Weekly Training Plan for 12/01 – 12/07

GB WTP Week 12 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 12/01-12/07 our classes are based on Week 12 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Got Takedowns? Is Your BJJ Missing This Important Area?

Recently in my classes, two different students separately approached me and asked why it was a wise use of their training time to learn takedowns? They explained that in sports bjj tournaments, that in the majority of times, one competitor would immediately pull guard, completely bypassing the stand-up fighting. A fair question, as a guard player can totally avoid the strong takedowns of a wrestler or judo player by dropping to their guard. Many sports bjj competitors will enter a competition with their primary strategy being to pull half or full guard and work from there.  The points system doesn’t strongly emphasize takedowns or penalize for jumping to guard. My answer to the students was in two parts: 1) They were correct, that it IS possible to avoid stand-up grappling in sport bjj competition (and in rolling inside the academy) by just dropping to guard. 2) Sports bjj rules and strategy are only one expression of bjj. All of the other expressions require one to have some level of standing grappling ability. It bears reminding that in ALL of the other grappling /wrestling disciplines in the world, being on top is considered the superior position. See: The 5 Expressions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I elaborated by saying that I felt it was my responsibility as an instructor to make them the best grappler that I could, not only focusing on sports bjj. In fact, the majority of the students in most academies will not be entering a tournament and are training bjj for other reasons such as fitness and self defense. Being a well rounded grappler involves training takedowns and at least acknowledging that in many situations on the ground, introducing strikes to the equation changes things! With the threat of being hit, the prospect of being on the bottom suddenly is not as attractive! In the early days of the Gracie family in North America, “dojo challenge matches” were not uncommon. A stranger would show up at the academy (frequently a martial artist from another discipline) and ask for a fight. The students would clear off of the mat and the fight would begin, ending only when one of the combatants tapped or was rendered unconscious. * Search for “Gracies In Action” to witness some of these early challenge matches. I asked the students what they would do in such a scenario? Would they jump to their backs and invite the opponent to freely get on top (with punches from the top soon to follow)? Obviously the answer is “No!” In a tense street or self defense situation, would you fall back to the pavement and invite the aggressor to start in your butterfly guard? Would they allow you to secure your sleeve grips before trying to punch you in the face? There is a very funny video making fun of this scenario that is also food for thought: Do you have enough skills to be confident in taking down an opponent in one of these non-sports bjj scenarios? Most students of brazilian jiu-jitsu know that modern bjj evolved from judo. Today, the two sporting aspects of the arts have diverged to the point that someone roughly described the difference between the two as: Judo is 90% standing and 10% on the ground Bjj is 90% on the ground and 10% standing The actual percentages are debatable, but the point is made that emphasis is different for each art. The question becomes: How much takedown training do I need to do for bjj? My opinion is that you should develop solid skills with a smaller number of takedown techniques that fit your body type and preferences. If the bjj student can regularly drill three different takedowns (that are complimentary and work in combination) then they will develop the ability and confidence that they can execute it when the situation requires. The judo “Gokyo” or syllabus contains 67+ throws, but for the purposes of a bjj student, doing a handful WELL is really what they need. Do not neglect this important part of your grappling and spend some time each week drilling the entries to your favorite takedown techniques! Please share in the comments your favorite judo or wrestling takedown. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ END

3 Tips to Help Your Guard Passing

In recent weeks Gracie Barra Blog has published several articles on developing your guard. Perhaps the greatest innovations in sports bjj in the last several years have come in the number of different styles of guard games: spider guard, butterfly guard, De la Riva guard, Galaxy guard, lapel guard, cross guard…ands even more are being developed as you are reading this article! Each style requires different grips and hooks, each with their own strategies, sweeps and submission threats. The passer in turn, needs some principles that will assist in passing any of the guard styles that they encounter (in addition to the specific guard passes). This week, let’s look at a few ideas on how to pass those frustrating guards and get you into position to submit. Here are 3 tips to help your guard passing. 1) Break grips & remove the hooks In order to control the guard position, each guard style has its specific grips to inhibit the passer’s attempts.  In most cases, if the passer can break a collar or sleeve grip, or remove a butterfly or spider hook, the guard player’s control is dramatically reduced. Attempting to pass a guard while the guard player has their key grips will likely be falling directly into a trap for a sweep or triangle. The first advice is to obtain a good upright posture to prevent your opponent from breaking your balance. Be patient and remove the grips and hooks that are giving you the most trouble before attempting your pass. Often you must stop your pass; remove the troublesome hook/ grip; reset and restart your guard pass. Trying to just blow past your opponent’s guard with their controls intact will allow them to follow you and block your pass. You get tired and make costly mistakes. 2) Change your distance / range Majority of guard passes fall into one of 2 types:  a) pressure passing  b) passing at distance with speed I watched two students rolling this week and one was trying a pressure pass against the opponent’s butterfly & half guard. Despite the passer being bigger and heavier, they were frustrated and unable to break down the defense of the guard player. Coaching from the side of the mat I called out for the passer to change tactics. Step back and disengage and try passing at distance with a Bullfighter / Torreada pass. Within 20 seconds the passer had achieved side control and could now attack with submissions. Why did it work so well? Because when the opponent can predict what you are trying to do, they can set 100% of the their defense against your technique. The guard player was very comfortable in butterfly dealing with a pressure pass, but much less competent when defending a distance passer who could move faster. When you change your tactic, they are forced to defend differently in response, change their guard style, and they  can lose their grip or leverage advantages! 3) Pass on the opponent’s weaker side When it comes to passing, most of us have a dominant side and prefer to pass to our left.  I will go as far as to say that 90% of people pass to their left 90% of the time. As a consequence, most guard players’ defense is well practiced and sharp defending on that side. This is similar to an orthodox fighter confronted with a “south paw” / left handed fighter. Their familiar patterns are now confused and they are less effective. If the passer changes direction and passes to their right, the guard player is forced to defend on their much less familiar side. A purple belt becomes a blue and belt and a blue belt becomes a purple belt on that weak side. The next time that you are drilling your favorite guard passes, try drilling the pass to the opposite side so you are prepared to pass to the opponent’s weaker side. Next week, we will discuss the top 3 white belt guard mistakes. Please share your favorite guard passing tips in the comments. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Wake UP! 10 Benefits of coffee for our health

Coffee consumption has numerous health benefits and, when taken in moderate amounts, it can help to achieve a healthy mind, body and soul. WHAT? Healthy mind, body and soul? It seems we’re already talking the jiu-jitsu language… And speaking of jiu-jitsu, we already know that a cup of coffee just before training is great to give us that boost, right? Thousands of studies carried out over the past few years around this, which is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, reached the same conclusion: coffee is beneficial for health if consumed moderately. Let’s take a look at the Ccoffee benefits? Diabetes: In an investigation conducted by the prestigious Harvard Medical School, where more than 193,000 people were observed, it was concluded that those who regularly drank coffee had a lower risk of developing diabetes (type 2) than those who did not drink coffee at all. Even people who drink the decaffeinated version have a higher likelihood of developing diabetes than those who have regular coffee. Cholesterol: A cup of coffee contains about 1 gram of soluble fiber, which means that its consumption helps to maintain low cholesterol levels. Heart: Some studies even suggest that coffee may contribute to reducing the risk of heart disease. The “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” has a study that shows that healthy people aged 65 and older who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had 53% less chance of developing heart disease. Glucose: Coffee contains magnesium, which makes body cells more sensitive to insulin. The result? Increased insulin sensitivity means keeping energy and blood glucose levels healthy and balanced. Antioxidant: Did you know that a cup of coffee has more antioxidants than a portion of blueberries? Antioxidants are responsible for a number of health benefits, including delaying the aging process and increasing life expectancy. In addition, the anti-inflammatory power of antioxidants is extremely effective, which is crucial in combating heart diseases and diabetes. Metabolism: Besides being a natural diuretic, coffee can be an ally in the fight against overweight. In addition to being a low caloric beverage, coffee speeds up your metabolism, which helps to burn fat and unwanted calories. Depression: The daily and moderate consumption of coffee may help to improve mood and even combat depression. In many cases, having a cup of coffee can also help to relieve headaches and increase levels of concentration and memory. Additionally, it has been linked to dementia combat, ie, coffee consumption reduces by about 65% the risk of developing this psychological illness. Asthma: Several studies point to the fact that the moderate consumption of coffee is effective in controlling asthma – as a reference, most of existing drugs for asthma treatment contains high doses of caffeine. Constipation: Coffee also has a decongestant action, which is extremely effective in combating constipations. Sports performance: Caffeine present in coffee is a powerful ally when it comes to strength and athletic performance, whether you are a top-level athlete or a regular practitioner of some kind of physical activity. Besides, coffee can reduce muscle pains by about 48%, which are often experienced after a physical activity. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and is not intended to replace professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): Chavena.com Images: Google

GB Weekly Training Plan for 11/24 – 11/30

GB WTP Week 11 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 11/24-11/30 our classes are based on Week 11 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

4 Tips for Smaller BJJ Students

The lighter students in the bjj academy have it just a little tougher than their average (and larger) sized classmates. Contrary to the platitude, “size and strength DO matter!” Getting trapped under a heavier opponent that outweighs them by 50+ pounds is no fun! I am close to 200 lbs. bodyweight, which is heavier than average. So what can I possibly know about the challenges faced by the lighter practitioners? While my reality is different than a 145 pounder, it also puts me at the lower end of the REAL heavyweights. The Japanese monster movie sized guys who could attack Tokyo when not at bjj! When it comes time to match the partners up, I am the lightest guy in the heavy class. I have spent much training time learning how to deal with these big guys and here are four tips for smaller BJJ students. 1) Keep moving / stop problems before they start Once the opponent’s weight is settled on you, it is an uphill battle to escape! There is an old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. As the lighter person, you must anticipate when a position is being lost (ex. your guard is being passed) and start your moving towards turtle or a different guard strategy BEFORE your opponent gains the grips they want. Observe how a 150lb blackbelt deals with a much larger purple belt opponent. What are they doing to avoid directly opposing the larger opponent’s force? They are moving their hips in the guard, maintaining distance and not allowing the big guy to really “get ahold of them” and apply their strength. 2) Floating positions on top I trained with a 145 lbs. black belt years ago who was able to control me from the top, but was not applying much pressure on me. I asked him why he didn’t use the shoulder in the face pressure and suffocating top weight that I understood as the best way to employ side control? He replied that if he used pressure on me from the top, that he was effectively “locking” his smaller body to my larger mass. If I rolled, he would be forced to roll along with me and possibly ending up on bottom. His top game was centered around knee on belly where he could control the top but not anchor his body to mine. He described it as “floating” on top of me as opposed to locking on. Since then, knee on belly has been my favorite when on top of a larger opponent. 3) Find positions to keep the weight off of you Many of the half guard bottom positions involve getting underneath your opponent, underhooking their leg in a deep half and undermining their base to sweep. It is great when it works, but when the opponent counters, you are flat on your back with 250lbs. sitting on your chest like a truck! Seeking another solution, I was led to the “Z-guard” or “knee shield” half guard that I found more effective in keeping the opponent’s weight off of me. Using a “structure” or “bracket” of knees and elbows, I found a way to defend on the bottom even when my opponent was using strong forward top pressure. Examine your bottom positions and ask yourself if there are variations that will be more effective in keeping the opponent’s weight off of your body. 4) Go for the back In the movie “The Princess Bride” the hero, battling the Giant Fezik, jumps on his back. How else would you defeat a giant? Having the advantage of speed, a smaller guy can look for any opportunity to take the back and work for submission. When you have the back, all of your weapons are pointed at your opponent and none of his are pointed at you. Larger opponents tend to be less mobile, and if your back control has been practiced enough, it can be very difficult for him to dislodge you. Grandmaster Helio Gracie said that he favoured the choke over the armlock for the reason that an opponent might continue to fight even with an injured arm. The choke puts out even the most difficult opponents. Please share in the comments your favorite advice for lighter students of bjj Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJ Imagens: Google  

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: The 8th teaching of the father of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos Gracie

Anyone who knows the teachings of Great Master Carlos Gracie, knows that the advice provided by the patriarch of the family is not related to ways of techniques executions or secrets of how to finish the opponent. The gentle art is not only about techniques or competitions. Living the jiu-jitsu means bring the teachings of the dojo to the life outside it. Living with different personalities and overcoming numerous adversities to spread the jiu-jitsu to the world gave Carlos an extensive experience regarding the combats off the mat. The creator of Brazilian jiu-jitsu was also target of some criticism – false accusations in an attempt to divert him from the path that would lead him to the highest point of victory. Employ most of time improving yourself and no time to criticize other people” – Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Carlos Gracie never let himself feel down because of those bad comments. He concentrated his forces and his whole life in improving his decisions, without neglecting the importance of technical development. As a good master, Carlos Gracie left the 8th teaching for us to learn how to overcome situations like he lived, “Employ most of the time improving yourself, and no time to criticize other people.”

Student Types and How to Deal With Them

Here’s a cold fact: to be an effective instructor / coach requires wearing multiple masks. Dealing with different personalities requires different ways of handling. You cannot deal with one personality type the same way as you do with another. Sounds vague? In BJJ, there are different personality types. In the gym, it is easy to spot the differences in personality. There are techniques in making students achieve their goals in BJJ. To be effective in martial arts coaching, you must understand the personality type of each student. According to Carl Jung, there are around 16 personality types. Some of these personality types are most common among those who practice martial arts (more on that in future articles). But since we won’t be delving into that, we are going with these personalities inside the gym. By knowing their personality types, you will be able to bank on their strengths and help them succeed even more! BLUE Personality – The Crowd Person This personality type focuses on those who love to be in the crowd. They are the life of the party (or in this case, the gym). They like to be around people. Their confidence level is high. These are people who can drag (or bring) people into the gym and have people sign up. They can influence people with their natural knack for convincing people that whatever it is they get themselves into is very beneficial. They like fun more than anything else. Happy and highly energetic! Capitalizing on the BLUEs You can tap the BLUEs to get others to join special training sessions. If you get their buy-in you already have 70% of the gym’s approval. The magnetic personality of the BLUEs can bring in fun and laughter. You can rely on them to always be a part of competition camps. RED – the Power Wielders These are power wielders. They can are concerned about the WIIFM or what’s in it for them. They are serious about their growth. This personality type is often misinterpreted as selfish. They can come off as self-centered. They have this hunger to push themselves further. The REDs would want results from their training. This is relatively tricky. They can be overbearing at times. Their push is so great! Often they can be impatient if they are not getting the results that they need. The downside is being overbearing. They can ask others to sacrifice their own time for their own sake. They can be pushy and express these feelings through words. They can have the “hell can freeze over” attitude. Since the main focus is themselves, the will make sure that they get what they want, when they want it, and regardless of the price. They will make good future champions given the right amount of training. Getting More From the REDs Their behavior is very contagious! If you push them further, they will do more. To get more from a RED student, you need to show them a prize that they can achieve and what it will take to get it! You will see the hunger in their eyes. Show them how to get the black belt and you will see a steel-eyed dedication. You can also remind REDs that getting submitted in BJJ is normal. YELLOW – the Helper The naturally helpful and accommodating type. They want everyone to do good. Their natural drive is to see everyone succeed in the art. BJJ for them is a way to reach. Their message is always clear: I want everyone to do good because everyone deserves to grow. Among the color personality types, this is the most balanced. They go out of their way to assist other students. They make good future coaches and mentors for others. The downside however is that too much selflessness can lead to their own lack of results. Let’s say that they would rather coach other students than practice on their own. Sounds familiar? If they become too helpful, they forget their own growth. But the satisfaction of being able to help someone out is what drives them to help more. Getting more from the YELLOWs These are guys who are just willing to help. If you see a student demotivated, having a someone who is yellow can do good. Remember that their power is empathy. They talk from the heart. They can appeal to emotion and the core of their motivation. You can get their opinion on the other facets of Jiu-Jitsu such as spiritual growth, motivation, driving to succeed, and bouncing back from a loss! GREEN – the Skeptic The Skeptics. GREENs are the ones who would always have a thing in their mind. Their initial reaction to techniques being taught is, “what is that doesn’t work?” This is quite common. Especially with those who only sees BJJ as a means to get fit. For them, questioning is part of their genome. Often, you would see this personality asking you the infamous question: “what if my opponent does this-and-that?” Dealing with this personality type requires patience. Simply put, their comfort in the gym relies on the ability of the instructor to answer their questions and remove their doubts about the Jiu-Jitsu. These people can be jaded. They may have had bad experiences in previous gyms and other organizations that offer martial arts instruction. Get more from the GREENs So how do you deal with skeptics? It’s quite easy. You have to show them that what Gracie Barra teaches works (and it does, anyway). Although, explaining techniques long-windedly can be tiresome. But a bit more stretch on patience will go a long way! They are willing to listen as long as you “walk the talk.” They are open to stripping off their defenses if you show them that what they are going to do will benefit their growth in the art! Some personalities are a combination of one and another. As an instructor, it is imperative that you know your students. When you capitalize on their traits, you can turn them… Read More »

3 Tips For Your First Year of Training

The majority of students in any brazilian jiu-jitsu academy will be white belt students: those with less than one year of training. And most of them are not initially attracted to bjj to compete in tournaments or learn complex spider guard sweeps. The early goals tend to be more of self defense and increased fitness. Many say that they have always wanted to study a martial art and finally decided to try bjj. The first year is both an exciting and challenging time. Every class reveals a new positions and techniques and it is very satisfying to start to see how the pieces of the bjj puzzle fit together. The first year student can feel overwhelmed at times, feeling that the art is so complicated that they don’t even know where to start. Here are 3 tips for your first year of training. 1) Just keep showing up. You will have some exhilarating sessions where you feel like you are really making progress and then other days you will feel frustrated and like you are not learning anything. This is perfectly normal. You will have highs and lows in your motivation and confidence. You will have both exciting breakthroughs and other times feel as though you have hit a wall. Commit to coming at least 2x a week (ideal is 3x). It is difficult to learn a complex skill with only one session a week. You forget what you learned the previous week by the time the next class rolls around. If you have ever learned to play a musical instrument or studied a new language you will know that your progress is not a smooth, uninterrupted, upward progression each session. The same is true for bjj. You are going to have to give it enough time for your early efforts to bear fruits later. 2) Careful not to burn out. Many students who have been around the academy for a few years have seen some new students come in and immediately fall in love with bjj. They start buying several new kimonos, want to train every day (even twice per day), spend hours watching YouTube technique videos. They may even decide to get inked with a jiu-jitsu tattoo! The zeal of the newly converted, however, soon subsides and they are not seen at the academy again. I am fond of a saying that “anyone can come out of the gate fast…the real progress is consistent effort over a longer period.” So what happens with the these dropouts? It seems that their unbalanced approach is simply not sustainable. They get injured by pushing their bodies too far and suffering an injury. They lose interest and become frustrated when their progress doesn’t match their unrealistic expectations. Similar to crash dieters (who later gain all of their weight back), they adopt a diet that is out of alignment with their day to day lives and can not continue it. To ensure that you do not become a casualty, pace yourself and seek a balance with bjj and the other parts of your life. 3) Do the techniques that your instructor teaches in class At Gracie Barra the instructor is following a curriculum that is designed to optimize the progress of the students. The techniques your instructor is showing are part of a larger, overall progression. Building one skill on top of another, ultimately leading to each student being prepared to attempt more advanced techniques as time progresses. In order to graduate a student to the next stripe or belt, the instructor needs to see that the student is not only trying, but now successfully using the techniques taught in class. It is natural to want to progress as fast as possible in your bjj. And YouTube offers limitless videos on advanced, fancy techniques that are very appealing to a first year student. It seems like a short cut to jiu-jitsu greatness! The problem is the newer student likely lacks the fundamental base, balance, and flexibility to successfully incorporate these advanced positions into their game. What this student needs is a solid guard pass or the ability to control and hold the mounted position (working on fundamentals); not an advanced omoplata sweep. Spending time on these techniques that are not suitable for your current level has the effect of setting back your longer term progress. The best use of your training time is to have faith in your instructor’s plan and try to do the techniques that he teaches in sparring. Read also: 3 Pieces of Advice for White Belts Please share in the comments your favorite tips for first year students of bjj Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Flying Submissions: The good, the bad, and the ugly

As fans and students of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu we can all appreciate the awesomeness of a flying submission.  The explosive aerial nature of the technique stands in training and competition.  We spend most of our time fighting on the ground that it’s cool to see flying techniques.  Watching someone attempt a flying sub can be jaw dropping.  The move however doesn’t come easy, as nothing worth it ever does. The Good A flying submission is solid when done correctly.  Timed properly it can be devastating, taking an opponent by surprise and wining a match.  It also provides submission artists with a sense of pride for being able to finish with such a unique submission.  Even an attempt at a flying submission is generally enough to get the audience excited.  They exert a sense of enjoyment from knowing that the attempt could succeed and also go horribly wrong. Gracie Barra Northridge’s Edwin Najmi has been able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique in competition numerous times as seen in the video here. ?list=UUFBGQmtcJFLm7anXpKNBEFg The Bad The move is high risk, high reward.  A failed attempt could have negative consequence including loosing a match and costing you that spot on the podium.   Many people wouldn’t dare try this risky submission for fear of failure. Learning the technique will take time and practice.  This means drilling the technique in training.  Some academies are hesitant to practice the flying submission due to risk of injury. The Ugly Not only can you fail at the flying triangle attempt, but also there is a chance you may get injured in the process.  The acrobatic nature of the technique can easily cause injury not executed properly.  This can mean landing on your head or neck with some serious chance of injury. https:// Have you bothered to learn flying submissions?  Would you try it in competition? Patrick Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter:  patjflores

Nutrition and the Fighter

Foods fuel the body. What you take into your system will affect your performance. Skip breakfast and you are pretty much doomed for the entire day. Well, not exactly as bad as I made it sound, but you do get the point: breakfast is very important. In doing BJJ, you need proper nutrition. If you goal is to reach a higher degree of performance, you gotta watch what you eat, check your nutritional intake, and be constantly aware of what you eat. Again, it is what you take in that affects your output. There are a lot of schools of thought about proper diet. In my opinion, there is no definite, or absolute diet that will work for anyone. Whatever works for you, and you feel comfortable with is best. But to get the best results, you must face your toughest opponent: yourself and what you eat. Protein and Water A fighter in his training / conditioning period should never negate and forget about protein. The general rule is one gram of Protein for every pound in your body. So if you weigh 200lbs, you will need 200 grams of protein. Mix that in with water though, at a ratio of 1 gallon of water for every 100 grams of protein. So what happens if you don’t take in much water with that amount of protein? Well, indigestion is one thing. Also, to process your protein intake, you will need that much water. Rolling on the mats regularly, attending training, and such will deplete protein reserves quick. But remember: get enough protein, but not too much! Replace Electrolytes Lost Sweating removes fluids. But in doing so, our body also removes electrolytes. Electrolytes are the ones responsible for transmitting nerve signals throughout our bodies. For some the quickest answer is grabbing that regular sports drink. While those may seem to provide the added boost and top-up to those electrolytes that you need, you may need to dilute it in equal parts of water. This way, you also replace the most important fluid in your body which is water. Fat is Not Evil Fatty foods are the body’s primary fuel for low intensity activities. Protein is used for high intensity ones. The right amount of fat intake actually has been proven to increase endurance. If you are up for that intense, semi-marathon training camp, a little bit of fat won’t hurt. It will actually be good for you. Foods to Stay Away From Craving is natural. After all, we all have acquired taste for foods that we have grown accustomed to. But beware there are some foods to stay away from. Here are some typical and common foods readily available to anyone. It is also good to have a day in a week where you are to give in to your cravings. Call it the reward day! Diet Sodas – artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking that it is consuming real food. The result is that our body makes more insulin. Insulin / fat storage hormone. The answer is moderation. Stay away from artificial sweetener. Most athletes suggest drinking electrolyte water instead of diet drinks. Artificial sweeteners provide no value at all to your body. Processed Wheat / White Bread Fact: when wheat is processed as flour, it loses its nutritional value and fiber. When this happens, it contributes to increased insulin, and a dip in energy level. White bread also uses so much sugar. Stick to bread products that says “whole grain.” These are breads with unprocessed flour. Alcohol This should be a no brainer. Let’s name a few things about alcohol. Before you raise that beer can, remember that alcohol inhibits muscle recovery. The more you drink the more your body will have a difficult time keeping up with the training. Also, alcohol flushes important fluids out of the body! Check Out the Gracie Diet At first glance, the Gracie Diet is intimidating. But the concept is quite brilliant, and yet simple: it’s all about balance. If you notice, foods are grouped into 4 parts. Where one group cannot be combined with the other. Developed by Master Carlos Gracie. It’s not a weight loss plan. It’s all about balance and taking in the right foods that will work together with inside your body. You can also check out www.graciebarra.com‘s section on Eating Healthy is Jiu-Jitsu! Eating your way to better performance starts with a decision in mind: decide to be healthy! Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: YES, Chocolate!

Chocolate, choco, choco, chocolate! For chocolate, my heart beats.” (Translated from a Brazilian song from ‘Trem da Alegria’ band) Everyone in Brazil will remember the kids’ band “Trem da Alegria”, back in the 80’s. They would sing about their love for chocolate. What they did not know was what the many scientific discoveries about chocolate would reveal years later. The first findings about the benefits of chocolate for our health were related to the heart. Over the years, more and more discoveries were made, and to our delight the moderate consumption of dark chocolate (70% or more cacao) can bring many benefits to our health. And lovers of the gentle art, keep an eye on tip #10. =) Check out the following 10 positive points related to this delicacy, according to recent studies:  1. Bowel Cancer Researchers at Georgetown University, USA, reported in 2008 that chocolate can help fight bowel cancer. This is because some molecules present in the cacao, called procyanidins, have antioxidant properties which serve to protect cells from degeneration caused by the tumor. 2. Well-being That feeling of well-being caused by chocolate is supported by the action of endorphins and dopamine, related to relaxation. Some scientists claim that this delight is able to increase the production of those substances. 3. Blood flow Studies show that the consumption of dark chocolate improves blood flow and cardiovascular health, as it decreases the tendency of platelet coagulation and blood vessel blockage. It also helps to lower the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). 4. Heart Health Chocolate has beneficial effects on the heart. Scientists at Linkoping University, Sweden, found that bitter/dark chocolate (high in cacao) inhibits an enzyme in the body known to raise blood pressure. The positive result is attributed to the catechins and procyanidins, antioxidants found in the delicacy. 5. Brain Health Dark chocolate can reduce brain damage after a stroke, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University in the US. Scientists found that a compound called epicatechin protects nerve cells. Tests were conducted in rats and staff expects that the effects may be then applied to humans. 6. During pregnancy Chocolate intake during pregnancy may help in preventing preeclampsia (high blood pressure). A research from Yale University, US, suggests that women who have chocolate at least five times a week are 40% less likely to develop the problem than those who consume it less than once. The theobromine compound, found mainly in the bitter and half-bitter varieties, may be the responsible for this benefit. 7. Heart attacks People who have survived a heart attack and eat chocolate may reduce the risk of dying from heart problems, according to a study conducted in Sweden. Tests have shown that tasting the product twice a week resulted in 66% less chances of dying of heart diseases and having it once a week reduced the risk by almost half. That’s because this delight is high in antioxidants that protect us from aging caused by free radicals. 8. Pains Having chocolate can relieve pains, according to a study performed by the University of Chicago, USA. The distraction of eating or drinking for pleasure would act as a natural painkiller. Tests were conducted in mice, but the researchers believe that the same effect applies to humans. 9. Beauty Chocolate is also an ally of beauty. It’s present in the hot tub baths, massages, masks and other cosmetics. Besides the high moisturizing power, the product also combats free radicals, preventing oxidation of the cells. 10. Physical Tiredness Two surveys conducted by scientists at the University of Texas, US, concluded that milk and chocolate is the best drink to recover from physical activities. Benefits would be in the amount of carbohydrates and protein in this mixture. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and is not intended to replace professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): Saúde Terra Images: Google

A Thought from Lao Tzu

What are the things about you that you need to let go of for you to become who you want to be? There are things about us that are keeping us from reaching our goals. Be it with our BJJ, or in our careers, or even in our relationships. There are things about us that we treasure the most. However, not everything is worth keeping. A friend of mine works in a firm that specializes in Leadership and Development. Let’s call him Ryan B. Now, having known Ryan for quite some time now, I knew that he may possess answers to questions about human behavior and the workings of motivation and self-growth. So in a way, I stumbled onto him in social media. And after a few pleasantries, we started talking about values. And things that we need to let go about us vs. the things that we need to keep. Initially, your brain goes into its usually defensive stance (like a BJJ guy going pulling the guard) as it tries to refute the idea of letting go of something that you treasure the most. The logic was quite simple and brilliant: for anyone to grow, one must learn how to let go of the things that are keeping him from moving forward. Just because there are things that we treasure, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these things are valuable. A good example is hoarding. While watching cable TV, I stumbled upon this reality series about those who hoard. It’s phenomenal! Imagine an entire house being filled up by junk. An entire house full of knick-knacks collected for decades! Anything that you can think of. Now, the main objective of the show is to have these individuals let go of these items. They bring in experts, psychiatrists, counselors… the works! But in the end, the decision to let go and be healthy is up to the hoarder.  Taking this into context, and the profound meaning of letting something go, I have come across a question which is complex and yet simple: what are the things that I need to let go of to be good at what I am doing? Let’s take into account Jiu-Jitsu. Signing up for BJJ requires letting go of old habits. These habits could be drugs, unhealthy lifestyles, unhealthy eating, and even some of our associations. These are things that we did treasure at some point. These are things that provide us with so much pleasure. These are objects that generally we  have decided are not letting us grow. Lao Tzu said, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” One of the notable icons that I have come across in Gracie Barra is Professor Orlando Sanchez. He told me about his life before he was in GB. It was a life of abuse and bad associations. Looking back at that interview (I will try to look for the interview and give a fresh take on it soon), in a way, he has let go of those things that kept him from growing. BJJ saved his life. But he took the first steps in letting go of who he was, to become what he might be. So far, he has done great! Lao Tzu was right. These can be million different things that you may let go about you. This may your negative self-image about your own game. This can be the tournament the you lost last year. This can be the injury that you feel is limiting your training. This can be your eating habits that is keeping you from losing those extra pounds. This can be a job that is not making you happy. This can be your physical disability that is keeping you from succeeding (there is an old article in the Gracie Barra archives about a BJJ fighter in Australia who lost an arm and a leg and is now a blue belt!) This can be your own laziness and procrastination. Self-defeating, self-neglecting, self-depriving behaviors. As humans, we derive our self-worth, self-image, from habits and things that get attached to us. Whether these things come into our lives by choice, or by accident! Today’s Question: What are the things that you need to let go of for you to progress in your Jiu-Jitsu Journey? (You may post these answers in Gracie Barra’s Facebook Page.)

GB Weekly Training Plan for 11/17 – 11/23

GB WTP Week 10 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 11/17-11/23 our classes are based on Week 10 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Things to Look Out for When Signing up for Any Martial Arts School

The McDojo phenomenon has been plaguing the world of Martial Arts for quite some time now. Be warned. The phenomenon is very true. Let us first define what makes a school a McDojo. It is one that puts in sub-par instruction for the sole purpose of revenue. Atn its core, it is just a business. Let’s be realistic for a second. Running is school is a good source of income. Money is good. Let’s be clear about that. But as a journeying BJJ guy such as myself, the idealist in me cringes in horror whenever I hear students complain about how inadequate the training is, and how quickly belts are being given out. There was a time when a black belt really meant something. I am always inspired whenever I get to meet someone who has earned his black belt after 7- 8 years in training or so. But would you believe that some schools churn out a black belt within just 2 years of training? Somehow, when some schools  focus more on profits, a martial arts school loses its value proposition of teaching an art that was supposed to be passed down through generations, to a mill of diplomas and a stock room of ready-made black belts ready to be distributed to anyone willing to stay for the next 2 years. Two years = black belt. Sounds tempting to some. Here is one experience that I would like to share: I was a kid. I was around 9 years old when I first saw the movie American Ninja. And right there and then, I fell in love with the idea of wearing a nice Kimono (I didn’t know it is supposed to call a gi) and intimidate my bullies (bullying story will be told in detail in another post). So I asked my uncle if he would give me money to sign up for the elementary school’s Karate program. I was psyched that he obliged. During my very first training session, my wide-eyed curiousity soon became a nightmarish, gut-wrenching experience… I didn’t enjoy it. What I paid was $20 back then, and soon turned out to be more of a hard-core, almost Spartan-like training session. We were training on paved ground. There was no equipament to protect the students while sparring.No mats. Just hardcore paved cement… with a bit of sand coming from the nearby construction site. I had bruises when I get home from training. It wasn’t a fun experience. But there were a lot of us taking the class. We are told to spar with higher ranked students. These students got their blue belts after 2 months. (LOL). And it’s contact Karate. I didn’t know the term McDojo back then, but it was an eye opener. I almost swore off of martial arts. I was also asked to tell my mom to  advance for the next two months for the class. I quit after 1 month. So there. I wish not to dwell on the negative aspects of a McDojo.  But rather, focus on talking about what makes a Martial Arts school LEGIT, TRUST WORTHY, AND WORTH THE INVESTMENT. Signs that You SIGNED up With a Legit School There are not many black belts out there. Simply because the school believes that a black belt is a well-earned badge that signifies skills, hard work. Your school is comprised of people who follow policies for promotion. And if it’s a network of schools, the same rules apply. A solid belt system to make sure that everyone possesses the right skills before earning right of the degree. Your school promotes personal growth in line with training. There is a system of training that is strictly being followed. There are schedules for training that are being followed. World-class competitors are derived from the school. It’s not the competitor, but where the competitor’s lineage lies as well. If a school gives in free trial classes, it’s a sign that it’s a legit school. A school who has no qualms in giving 1-3 lessons for free is school confident in their craft. The instructor assures that the development of his students comes before his own welfare. If the instructor joins in the training program. It’s difficult for those who are new to the world of BJJ to tell the bad from the good. But a little research will do good on where to go, and who to learn from. The McDojo will continue to exist. I believe that there is no way to stop them. But come to think of it, those who know better, do better. And if you are reading this article, I bet you are one of those who knows and will do better. If you have found yourself stuck in a McDojo, better start thinking. If you feel that what you are getting is only 90 minutes worth of aerobics, and a bunch of formless, instruction-less training, then better get out of there. If you feel that your progress is way too fast by being given a brown belt in just 1 year of training, then that is a red flag! The journey in BJJ doesn’t end with the black belt. And I sure hope that it doesn’t end in just 3 years of training. If the values presented to you by instructors focus on self-growth, respect, and awareness, then you are in the right school.

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Mistakes are necessary for the learning of a true champion

In the ring and in life the fight is the same one. You must face the problems […]”, This translated part of a song from “Pregador Luo” – known for making music about famous UFC fighters – reminds us how much life inside the mats resembles our life out of them. One minute we are in our best moment, taking the advantage, winning the combat and suddenly, we commit a mistake and because of that error, everything may be lost. Nobody likes to make mistakes, but unfortunately (or fortunately), some are necessary for personal growth, either with or without the gi. However, not everyone knows how to see in that last error a hit for the future. They leave themselves down by the negative results and give up keep trying. It must be clear that insisting on a mistake is not a smart move. But learning from it and trying to fix it, is acting wisely. But what about those idols who are our inspiration, have they ever erred as well? The answer is yes. Even the father of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Great Master Carlos Gracie has already committed mistakes. And more than once. Carlos, like any other human being, has not always achieved success in anything he did. Different from what we think, Carlos was not born a red belt in jiu-jitsu. Forget past mistakes and focus your energies on the achievements of the future” During his life inside and outside the mats, Carlos learned throughout his journey graduating athletes and idealizing the dream of spreading Jiu-Jitsu, that many times, mistakes are necessary. But he had a different approach: Carlos would use the previous mistakes for future successes. Aware of this need for mental maturity, Carlos left us another thought that makes a difference in our lives, especially in some situations that only those who experienced them understand, like when you spend months getting ready for a competition, following a strict diet, training three times a day and then, when the big day comes, you end up losing just because of a silly mistake. Athletes without experience or even without the necessary maturity to deal with this kind of situation will give up, stop, and in some cases, they even quit the gentle art due to such frustration. Practicing Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, whatever your sport is, we all have something in common: we are subject to errors regardless of where or what time of life we are. Just follow the learning of our Great Master: “Forget past mistakes and focus your energies on the achievements of the future” Stop, think, look back and take a jump to the future. OSS!

Top Game or Bottom Game?

Most experienced practitioners will have a decided preference when asked “In bjj, do you prefer to play top or bottom?” “My takedowns are terrible, so I prefer to just jump to spider guard.” “I have short legs, so I prefer to stay on top and try to pass.” Your physical attributes, your head instructor’s style & philosophy, your competitive goals, and just what feels most fun to you will all determine what style of game you prefer. Lighter students of bjj will often develop more of a guard bottom game, not out of preference, but out of necessity! Matched against larger, heavier opponents on a daily basis, they are forced to defend from the bottom and in the process tend to develop highly technical and dangerous guard games. The bigger guys in any academy will be less mobile on their backs and therefore less effective. Playing from top and getting expert at passing and heavy top control seems to be their pattern.In a previous article 5 expressions of bjj I outlined the difference.  The rule set of whichever “expression” is most important to you will also influence how your top/ bottom game develops. Sports bjj competition players tend to regard the guard position as more important and will even often battle for the bottom position (ever see a simultaneous guard pull)? Many competitions are won by sweeps and advantages by the guard player (ex. berimbolo), so those who emphasize sports bjj will tend to answer more often that they are bottom players. Jumping to guard is also a tactic to avoid surrendering takedown points to an opponent who may be superior in wrestling or judo. Within sports bjj with a kimono, the emphasis on the guard (more specifically the open guards) has lead to great technical innovations in the art of jiu-jitsu. Many argue that these complex, sports oriented guards utilizing the lapels are diverging from the original self defence goals of bjj, but one can not deny they are contributing to the evolution of bjj. An “arms race” of grips and continually emerging new guards is driving the top competitors to create and match strategies never before seen in the art and sport. While in MMA, even those with world champion sports bjj background will avoid accepting an opponent’s takedown and playing guard, fighting for the more important top position. Dealing with punches from the bottom makes the guard less attractive and submissions from the bottom in high level MMA are becoming increasingly rare. It will be curious to see how the increasing popularity of submission-only competition formats impacts the games of those who specialize in that rule set (or lack thereof). With reward for neither takedowns nor guard sweeps, this will lessen the importance of those two areas of bjj and an increase in other strategies. Time will tell. Previous sports / martial arts experience is also a big factor. If you came from another grappling sport that had less emphasis on the guard and sweeps, you will likely have more time spent training takedowns and tend to dominate the top position against pure bjj players. When asked my opinion on top or bottom game in bjj – the true answer is of course both! – I point out that brazilian jiu-jitsu is but one of many different styles of grappling in the world. Every single other grappling system regards being on top as dominant. I also ask the hypothetical question, “If you were fighting a clone of yourself, who would win? Top or bottom?” Usually the response is “The top me!” If we are talking “A-game,” I believe that the top game is probably the higher percentage when you really trying to win. Using your weight and pressure to make life miserable for the bottom opponent. At the same time, most of our training hours in a month are about attending class and rolling with our best training partners and just having fun. If you enjoy laying back and playing some spider guard and trying a cool sweep that you just learned, I say forget the debate and just enjoy jiu-jitsu! Please share in the comments if you prefer to play top or bottom in your game. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

It Happened at GB: Gracie Barra Jacksonville’s at Five Grappling

On November 8th 2014 three of Gracie Barra Jacksonville’s top sponsored competitors were participating in the prestigious FIVE grappling North American Invitational Championships. Top Jiu Jitsu athletes from all over the world converged on Miami and the battles began. Professor Roberto Cuartero soon got the news of something he had never seen or heard of occurring in Jiu Jitsu. His 3 Gracie Barra warriors were on fire! After winning over 20 matches and 2 absolute titles their necks were heavy with medals, but the biggest rewards were yet to come. As the day came to a close they looked in amazement when out of hundreds of competitors and an equally high number of great teams they had achieved a team overall award in gi and no-gi. With hard work and dedication these 3 athletes carried the shield for Professor Roberto and for Gracie Barra. 2 of these athletes also earned one year sponsorships by both winning absolute titles in gi as well as no-gi. Oss! Gracie Barra Jacksonville overall Team Awards CONGRATULATIONS GBJAX Warriors Luri Lucius,Daniel Holmes and Juan Romero!   Check some pics below: Gracie Barra Jacksonville is located in North Florida and headed by Prof. Roberto Cuartero an Aparecido “Bill” Faria Black Belt Gbjacksonville.com 904-716-8600

Ideas to Improve Your “A Game”

A few weeks ago I penned an article about how to correct weaknesses in your bjj game. Today we are going to spin around faster than a 180 degree armbar and look at your best & favorite positions & submissions. It doesn’t take long in your bjj journey before certain positions or submissions start to click for you. It may be a submission that provides your earliest success in getting the tap. It might be a position that allows you to survive longer against the blue and purple belts during sparring. In any case, you probably already know what your best moves are. Now the question becomes: How can we expand on what you are already good at and bring it up to the next level of technical skill? Here are 4 tips to develop your favorite technique: (Let’s use the triangle as our working example this week) 1) Research the variations Youtube is an invaluable resource for students of bjj. If you want to know how the top competitors or master instructors teach the triangle, it is all just a Youtube search away. Search “bjj triangle setup” and start down the “rabbit hole” of watching hours of triangle setups by the best instructors. Ask yourself while watching: What are the common principles they share in describing the leverage and ways to make the triangle tighter? What are their favorite entries and setups? Can you catch the triangle from different positions other than the standard open-guard triangle? Can you use different grips to control the same position? 2) Common counters & re-counters Your opponent will certainly be wise to your setups and attacks after a short while and develop their own strategies to counter your triangles. Now you are forced to adapt and get deeper into the technique! Your instructor can help you with the “what if he does this..” questions. For every predictable defense, there is a technique you can do to counter their escape or even form a combination with armlock or omoplata. I am fond of saying that purple belt is the belt of combinations. Purple belts begin to refine their attacks by combining techniques and using the opponent’s defensive reactions to lead them right into another complimentary technique (ex. omoplata). Obviously, a practitioner of bjj doesn’t have to wait until purple belt to start using combinations, but in my experience, this is the level where the student really begins to think in terms of chaining counters and attacks together. 3) Catch and release This is a really instructive way to approach your training. If you are strong at triangle and confident that you can control and get the tap from your training partner I am going to suggest that you bring them nearly to the point of the tap and then let them go. Now, watch what happens…what do they do? Which direction do they turn when you release the pressure? This will provide valuable information on what you can expect a tough opponent to do when they successfully escape your triangle. Now it is your job to find a strategy or “Plan B” for how they move when they escape. You will be a step ahead of them wehn they make their move. If you have rolled with a high level belt and felt that they were “always 5 steps ahead of you”, you were probably experiencing their knowledge of where you were going to go before you even knew yourself! 4) Ask the champions I love attending seminars given by high level bjj competitors and instructors when they come to my city. Some students complain about the price of admission for a few hours of instruction, but I find that I have nearly always gotten far more value (in developing my personal game) than what I paid! What is the dollar amount that you would pay to make your best techniques even stronger? At the end of the seminar, the instructor will ask if anyone has any questions. You should be prepared to ask questions like: “I have some success with the triangle, but my opponents are giving me a difficult time when they FILL IN THE BLANK, what should I do?” “I love the triangle from guard, but feel a little stale in my game. Can you give me some ideas on some new variations I can try?” “I love the triangle from guard, and I do it this way. Is there anything different I should be looking for?” Please share in the comments your best advice on developing your best positions. Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

10 Questions with Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues

BE HAPPY AND ENJOY THIS SHORT PHASE THAT WE CALL LIFE.” Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues (“Lagarto”which means Lizard in Portuguese) is a well-known Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. from Gracie Barra, who has overcome a battle with cancer, returning to BJJ World-level competition and instructing at a successful academy in the U.K. Gracie Barra caught up with “Lagarto” and we asked him 10 questions about his start in bjj, his battle with cancer, about training and competing and his philosophy of life. I learned a lot from Prof. Marcio Feitosa. He taught me to have a correct posture inside and outside the mats, being an example on a regular basis.” 1) Can you tell the readers at Gracie Barra a little about your background? Hi, my dear friends and readers of Gracie Barra, I am from the “country” side of RJ, a place called Vargem Grande. It’s a special place west of RJ between the sea and mountains. Where did you grow up and how did you get started in brazilian jiu-jitsu? My grandfather encouraged me to train in Bjj since I was 4 years old, but I started to take it seriously between 12 and 13 years old. After that I never stopped training! 2) Who have been the biggest influences on your jiu-jitsu and what did you learn from each of your professors? I learned a lot from Prof. Marcio Feitosa. He taught me to have a correct posture inside and outside the mats, being an example on a regular basis. My Master is Carlos Gracie Jr. He taught me so much about Bjj. Taught about the view of life, energy, food, how important is to have a good rest, how to use the Jiu Jitsu in our days, how to help our friends… And all my friends who I used to spend hours and hours with everyday! 3) Can you give some advice on training for the Gracie Barra students from around the world who are reading this interview? My advice is to take your time. It’s priceless to have someone looking after us, like our professors, listen to them and put your energy into executing the right technique, not to “win.” It’s important to “fail”; that shows us that something is not right. 4) A few years ago, you successfully overcame cancer and returned to training and competition. Can you tell us about that experience and what it taught you about your life? That cancer just knocked on the wrong door ;)) I didn’t change anything in the lifestyle Carlos Gracie Jr taught me. I looked at it as a challenge I had to overcome. It’s funny to say it, but it was a very good experience, I learned things I would not have learned in any other circumstances. Appreciate every second as your last in every little detail, life becomes so beautiful. My Master is Carlos Gracie Jr. He taught me so much about Bjj. Taught about the view of life, energy, food, how important is to have a good rest, how to use the Jiu Jitsu in our days, how to help our friends…”  5) You made the decision to move from Brazil to the U.K to teach bjj. Can you tell us about your U.K academy and how the life is different in U.K compared to Brasil? Yes, that was very hard decision, U.K is a completely different way of life, weather, people, language, habits… Today it’s ok but it took me a long time. But on the other hand the security, everything works, the health care, the transportation, and the respect of human beings. I learned a lot in U.K.and  I believe I turned into a more civilized person. 6) You are still an active competitor. Can you share with the Gracie Barra readers how you are preparing for your next event? Who are your main training partners? Yes I do, I just turned 34 years old and am still fighting as a adult. I like the challenge and that helps to keep me remain motivated to train hard and to help my students. My next fight will be on 23rd of November in London. It’s a new event calls Toukon challenge. By the way you guys can support me by watching online on: http://toukonchallenge.com. I was supposed to fight against Jackson Souza but he had a leg infection, so now I am waiting for a new opponent. About my main parters, I have my students to help me. 7) Can you talk about your philosophy of brazilian jiu-jitsu – training and life? My philosophy is simple: every day learn a new thing. Not just in Jiu Jitsu but in life. Listen to people with your heart, and share experiences, read, eat healthy, and always talk positively and respectfully. And always forgive, we are all just normal human beings.  It’s priceless to have someone looking after us, like our professors, listen to them and put your energy into executing the right technique, not to “win.” It’s important to “fail”; that shows us that something is not right.”  8) Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that most readers would not know? A funny one yes: before my fights I have a voice speaking with me, very clearly: “Lagarto let’s go BICHO, concentrate… Now it’s time go!!…” And just few years a go I realized that voice was the voice of Carlinhos when he use to tell me those same things. 9) One of the instructors at Gracie Barra in Rio told me that you have one of the fastest times to run up to Ship Rock at Pedra da Gavea. Is this true?   Yes that is true. I used to go a lot to the Pedra da Gave with Master Carlinhos. Then eventually I start to go by myself because the training sessions just start at 11am and at 7 am and I was awake. So every day I was there before the training sessions. One day I heard that Master Royler Gracie manage to… Read More »

Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu: 3 mouthwatering snacks.

We know that the rush of day-to-day routine prevents us from looking for something different to cook and vary the diet a bit. Sick of those same snacks between meals? It’s time to innovate. The staff of “Eating well” searched for some easy, practical and tasty options. Enough of eating the same things, tasting those same flavors and chewing that same food. Varying the meals is also an essential part of any diet; after all, no one can “keep doing the same thing, and hope for different results.” To get started very well, we have this recipe for a protein coconut bar: Protein Coconut Bar – 4 servings  Ingredients: 1/4 cup of Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup of Vanilla Casein Protein 4 Tbsp of grated coconut 3 Tbsp of almonds 5 Tbsp of coconut milk 2 Tbsp of coconut flour 40g of Dark Chocolate Preparation: Mix all ingredients in a bowl using a hand mixer (except the dark chocolate). Shape the dough into 4 small rectangles (4 bars). Melt the chocolate under a “bain marie”/water bath (put it in a glass bowl over a pan filled with hot water until it’s melted). When finished, dip the bars into the bowl of melted chocolate until they are completely covered. Place the bars on a tray and place into the freezer. Leave there for 1 hour or long enough to harden the chocolate. Nutritional information per bar Calories: 220 Proteins: 16g Carbohydrates: 6.8g Fat: 13g Oatmeal Cookies – 12 servings  Ingredients: 225g of oats 1 Tbsp of baking powder 1 tsp of cinnamon 50g of brown sugar or honey 1 Tbsp of olive oil 2 egg whites 50g of grated apple and chopped nuts 350ml of skimmed milk Preparation: In a bowl, mix in the oats, baking powder, and sugar or honey. Add the remaining ingredients. Let the dough rest for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and insert them into paper cases/models. Bake in medium heat for about 15 minutes. Nutritional information per serving Calories: 123 Proteins: 4.6g Carbohydrates: 20g Fat: 2.8g Protein Chocolate Mousse – 1 serving Ingredients: 3 egg whites 50g of Chocolate Protein (for the nutritional info purposes, we used Whey Protein) 30ml of skimmed milk Preparation: Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they harden. Add the protein and a little of milk. Beat until it is smooth. Add more milk until the desired consistency is reached. Take it to the freezer for 10-15 minutes and serve. Nutritional information per serving Calories:  320 – It may vary depending on the kind of protein used. Proteins: 63.7g – It may vary depending on the kind of protein used. Carbohydrates: 6.15g – It may vary depending on the kind of protein used. Fat: 4g – It may vary depending on the kind of protein used. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and is not intended to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): Receitas Anabolicas Images: Google

My Guard Doesn’t Work!

The BJJ guard is as essential in learning Jiu-Jitsu as breathing is to a human being. You need to master it. It has to be automatic! It has to be second nature. We know that a lot of BJJ players out there struggle with the guard. Now, before you decide to just forget about playing guard and just stick to a pure offensive, guns-a-blazing approach of learning pure submission, let us first understand how the guard works. Let us dispel some myths about the guard before we get the ball rolling… Myth: the guard is a non-dominant position Fact: it is neither dominant or a weak position. It’s neutral at the least. While in this position, you are able to control your opponent’s posture, set up submissions, and do sweeps. Personally, I think there is a slight advantage to being on guard. Let’s say it’s a 51% to a 49% advantage. Myth: the guard is for those who are on the defensive Fact: that is only half-true! While many utilize the guard simply to delay and buy time (especially if they are up on points), the guard can also be used as a means to start an offensive. So be wary of those fighters who do the guard very well. They will lure you in and drag you into deep waters. Do not be a victim =). So let’s go back to where we started. You feel that your guard doesn’t work. You just can’t seem to control your opponent in that position. You feel as if you are trying to wrestle a bull with its horns. You are not confident utilizing this awesome move! Remember: guard problems are not real problems. So here are the reasons why you are having guard problems. Holding on too tight By holding on too tight, you lose sight of the required technique. You see, when you squeeze in someone with your legs too tight, this is considered a big no-no in doing the guard. The ideal direction is simply to push in forward, not to squeeze on a lateral movement. Avoid this, and you can get your guard working like a well-oiled engine. Also remember when to switch to an open guard from a closed one. It’s not all about instinct. The wider / more open the guard, the less chance the opponent has to overturn you, or step out from it. Check your grip as well. Are you gripping the right parts of the gi? Avoid gripping the forearm. Instead, if trying to control your opponent, try to pull from the elbow. You will get more leverage that way! Also try to pull with a forward-backward motion instead of a lateral direction.  Having Just One Move   Formulas work. Mathematically, we can get the same results from using the same formulas. The beauty about BJJ is that it is so vast and continuously evolving that we cannot rely on one formula. Sticking to just one type of guard (i.e. the closed guard) versus having a variation of guards such as the De La Riva and the Spider Guard, the rubber etc., can prove disastrous. Use a variation of guards for each situation! React according to the changing tactics of your opponent! Be versatile! In retrospect, some fighters just utilize the open guard instead of the closed guard. The result is a loose control of their opponents. Open guard is good when you are trying to keep your opponents at bay, but it can also do harm by letting your opponents move too freely away from your zone. Poor Lower Body Strength and Flexibility Skipping that leg exercise in the gym can be harmful to your game! Going for the guard requires leg strength and flexibility. To acquire these, you will need to do the following at least – leg exercises and a bit of sprinting. Flexibility is developed over time in BJJ. If you find that your legs are easily gassing out, try to add more potassium into your diet. Too Early, Too Late Missed opportunities happen while in the guard, usually related to timing and sweeps. It is never too early to attempt a devastating sweep. It is never too late to execute one. Remember: you are the one pulling off the guard. Although, as neutral as the position is, it’s more of a 51% to a 49% ratio. You already have the slight advantage. Oss!

Learning the BJJ the Hard Way

Scenario at Point Being an spectator at BJJ matches can be frustrating at times, right? You say these things: “I can’t believe he didn’t get to pass that guard!” and the usual, “he could have ‘done this’ and ‘that’ and could have won.” While you cheer on and scream at your team mate (a little informal pushing and a tad bit of coaching couldn’t hurt, right?), something  hits you in the back of your head out of nowhere. You realize that being an spectator is a whole different experience than being in an actual match. Things ARE always easier said than done. BJJ IS always easier said than done. And as the person you were rooting for loses the match, he has learned BJJ the hard way. The virtue behind losing is he will learn from it. He will not forget the lesson taught to him by that opponent that got the better of him. This person has just learned BJJ the hard way. He learned well. Learning BJJ the easy way There are programs, courses, and other learning materials that we can study to learn BJJ. These are tried and tested methods for us to fully understand BJJ! There is the white belt course where you get to learn the basics of the guard and the pass and subs and what-not. There are videos on YouTube explaining how to execute moves properly… Google it, and you shall find. Learning BJJ has become easy. However, rising above the common stock of mediocrity is difficult, and the ease of being a part of the herd is tempting. As humans, our tendency is to prefer comfort over the less attractive alternative which is difficulty and extra work. All the while, the belief that a ready-made system will eventually improve our game always is somewhat appealing. Really appealing. The formulated approach is always good. However, not everything is written down in every Jiu-Jitsu book out there. The X-factor cannot always be written simply because it is difficult to jot down. Also because the “aha!” moment is fleeting! To learn BJJ the easy way is to follow what everyone else is doing. Does it make us grow? Yes. It does. It is learning, nevertheless. There is premium and importance in LEARNING and we put a lot into it, actually. Does it make us rise above, and stand out from the rest? Well, not really. Do I need to learn things the hard way? Let us clear the air for a bit. There is a stigma about learning things the “hard way.” Whenever we think of the “hard way,” our minds kick these words in: hardship, failure, regret, too much effort, etc. For a while, let us suspend those beliefs, shall we? There is a need for everyone to learn the hard way. Although we may not have the consciousness to realize it, whenever we commit mistakes, execute the wrong submission, or lose a match, we learn a lesson the unconventional way. We learn the intrinsic, primal way of growth which is learning through actual experience. And this is  regardless of whether it was  bad one to boot. Whether it is a negative experience, or a good one, we learn from it. Learn things the hard way and come out the stronger  There is no such thing as losing. Whether you lose a match, get submitted, choked or pass out, miss out on taking an opponent’s back, you learn from it. As the going gets tough, only the tough get going. The tough one learns. The tough one succeeds. The tough one learns the hard way, and lives to tell the tale. “Learning things the hard way is beneficial. Iron  hardens through tempering and repeated pressure.” Remember the guy that lost the match? While we only saw holes in his game, and missed opportunities to get the better out of his opponent, he learned something else… he learned BJJ the hard way. He learned lessons that will make him better next time. The lessons stuck, etched in his mind. The experience taught him well. He understood things the hard way and incorporated the real value of competing. He has lived through it. He is enthusiastic about the loss. He has become twice the better competitor! BJJ for Everyone!

GB NEWS: Master Worlds – Gracie Barra took home 1st place as a team.

Rigorous training, along with phenomenal instruction is key. The IBJJF Master Worlds took place this past weekend and Gracie Barra took home 1st place as a team.  There were many red shields in view during the tournament and it was difficult to look in any direction without seeing at least one.   Many Gracie Barra competitors took home medals last weekend.  It’s a long road to a medal at Worlds.  Rigorous training, along with phenomenal instruction is key. The week before the Master Worlds there was a training camp held at Gracie Barra headquarters in Irvine, CA for those competing in the Master Worlds.   The camp director for this event was no other than Professor Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhães; a multiple time Pan American Champion among other accomplishments.  Professor Draculino showed a variety of techniques and shared his philosophy with the attendees over the course of the week.   In addition, students had the opportunity to train with many other Gracie Barra Professors. Competitors had a chance to learn and train with some of Gracie Barra’s best including Master Carlos Gracie Jr. himself.  During the end of Wednesday night training session, Master Carlos left some words of wisdom for the competitors.   He discussed teamwork, and the importance each individual plays to make Gracie Barra as great as it is. People from all over the world competing at the IBJJF Master Worlds attended the camp.  To its success, Gracie Barra took home 1st place as a team during the Master Worlds!  Congrats to all those that competed. Check some pictures below: 

The Big the Bad and the Bully

We’ve all seen the video of the kid who stood up to his bully. A lot may have found the video rather amusing; where the bullied slams the bully faced first onto the pavement. Like David and Goliath gone wrong, the bullied was about twice the size of the bully. No. It’s not a TYPO. The size difference seemed like a mismatch between a pensive, nice guy to a scrawny kid who seemed to have a some sort of a Napoleonic complex. Size did matter at this point. It kind of makes you think about the entire structure of bullying. Why bullying occurs, where it all starts, and what we can do to protect our kids from bullies. There were several outcries about how parents should take action about the bully, or if the bully deserves that beating. Anyway, for those who are curious, here is the link to the video 

5 Great Methods of Physical Conditioning for BJJ

In one of my previous articles on GB Blog, the #3 tip was to do some sort of physical conditioning to maximize your progress in bjj.  Let’s expand on that subject and take a closer look at some methods of physical conditioning for bjj. 1) Running “The basis of all sports is running” – Judo champion Isao Okano There are basically two schools of thought on this topic: long slow distance or shorter sprints? This is a subject for debate among many physical trainers. I feel the logical question to ask is: “What are the specific demands of my sport?” Is it necessary to run for 45 minutes to prepare for a 6 minute sports bjj match duration? I am in the school of thought that says no! I have tried both running methods and experienced better results from sprints. I want cardio mostly to maximize my recovery between short bursts of intense effort in a scramble. An additional benefit would be for weight control. The “metabolic after burn” is when your metabolic rate is higher for several hours after bursts of intense exercise. A set of 10 sprints turbo charges the appetite! 2) Weight training I recommend to avoid bodybuilding types of routines designed for maximum hypertrophy: translation – those exercises and methods designed to make bigger muscles. Bodybuilding is different from sports strength training, requiring more sets and repetitions using exercises that isolate individual muscles. The goal of your weight training (centered around multi-joint, basic movements) should be threefold: a) Protection from injury. Strengthening the muscles around the joints can help protect them b) Develop functional strength in order to effectively perform key movements (for example, double leg takedown) c) Ok, there is also nothing wrong with wanting to look better in a rashguard  ;-) 3) Kettlebells  I love kettlebells largely for the convenience factor. You can store them in the corner of the academy and knock out a few exercises before or after the class. No need to pay for an additional gym membership, or to make the time needed to go for a separate workout. Some kettlebell guidelines for bjj’ers: a) Handful of key movements (ex. swings and Turkish getups) b) Your goal is overall body strength, coordinating the movements between the large muscle groups c) Your sessions should be brief, condensed and intense. No need for hour long sessions! 4) Yoga Some bjj tough guys may snicker at the idea of stepping into a yoga class…until they understand how tough it is and how it can help your bjj. a) Yoga postures and breathing techniques help the fighter relax in tough positions. When you can relax and breath, you don’t fatigue as quickly! b) Yoga postures will expose old injuries and imbalances that you have been hiding / protecting for years. When your body is moving in an imbalanced way, it creates all types of problems. c) Doing positions on one side creates lopsided bodies. You can tighten one side only and start to tilt your posture and tighten muscles on only a single side. Yoga can balance you out. d) Fitness expert and bjj black belt Steve Maxwell says the secret to anti-aging is maintaining full mobility in your joints. This is where yoga postures excel! The positions are designed to move your joints through their full range of motion. 5) Bjj-specific calisthenics / ginastica natural If you are like me and arrive at class several minutes early you can find some time to perform a few bjj-specific movements before class starts. If your life is busy and the other workouts on this list are not possible at times, you can at least maintain your bjj conditioning by some of these drills. I urge students not to waste their precious class time by sitting around the mat, performing a few half hearted hurdlers / hamstring stretches while talking about the UFC. Solo drills like hip escapes, bridges, sprawls and Hindu pushups can condition those specific muscles that you need in bjj without an extra equipment. Clever instructors hide these movements in the warmup but there is no reason that you can not select your own favorites and take responsibility for your own mat fitness. Share in the comments your own favorite conditioning methods for brazilian jiu-jitsu! Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Position Before Submission

3 Ways this advice can help your submission game. This is one of the pieces of jiu-jitsu wisdom that is communicated to new students at the bjj academy early in their learning. There are several different meanings to this simple piece of advice.   1) There is a positional hierarchy in bjj and the dominant positions are much more advantageous to attempt a submission from, than from an inferior position. In fact, attempting to submit your opponent from an inferior position, such as bottom of side control or inside the opponent’s guard will usually result in you being submitted! I recently observed a white belt student trying to choke the opponent from inside the opponent’s closed guard. Worse, I saw another student attepting to cross collar choke the opponent while the opponent was fully mounted! Predictably, an armlock soon followed. I explained that this was a poor strategy, as the person on bottom could easily armlock the extended arms of the person attempting the choke. Furthermore, the person on top (in guard) was wasting energy trying to submit from a poor position that they could use far more effectively trying to advance their position by passing the guard. 2) Everyone loves the submission in jiu-jitsu. Nobody makes highlight videos of great posture or good defense! But the truth is the submission is a small period of time in most matches between similarly skilled opponents. 95% of the match will be spent battling for the dominant position. More of the match is spent trying to pass the guard or prevent the escape of the opponent than any other area. Similarly, in a soccer match, how much of the time is spent actually striking / trying to score on the goal vs. getting the ball and attacker in position to even attempt that kick? You can’t expect to be successful with your submission unless you are attacking from one of those superior positions (see Tip #1) therefore it makes much more sense to spend more of your training time learning your positioning and control than the more sexy submissions. Most blue belts have this realization and decide to focus their rolling more on positional control and transitions. By all means, practice your submission skills, but understand that you can’t submit unless you can GET TO your submission position! Examine your routes on HOW you are getting to your submission positions. 3) Lunging for the submission This is a problem I see most often with students with close to a year or more of training. At this level, they know several submissions and have a good knowledge of positions and guard passing. They pass the opponent’s guard and as soon as they are in side control – before completely flattening out the opponent and controlling the head – they try to snatch an armlock. The opponent on the bottom makes a powerful bridge and escapes the bottom and both the side control and armlock opportunity are lost. The mistake? In trying immediately for the submission, they skipped a crucial step: getting full side control of the opponent BEFORE going for the armlock. It is tempting to try to use speed to catch the submission, but your opponent’s defense will nearly always be faster than your offense. As a consequence you miss your submission and also lose the position. All of that work for nothing! Instead, pay more attention to controlling your opponent, preventing their avenues of escape and then more methodically (and successfully) attack with your submission! My first judo instructor gave me some solid advice that I remember to this day: “Control the opponent. Once you can control them completely, then you can move to the submission at any time.” Share in the comments how you discovered this wisdom in your own training. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: The Right Time For Sweets

We know that a balanced diet and moderate physical activities are essential to keep in shape. We also know that if we follow the right diet 80% of the time, those 20% “off” will not change our results. But what if in addition to that, we could manage that this “fatty” portion of the diet turn in our favor? It would be too good to be true…  Actually it is indeed too good to be true. People, do NOT stop working out and exercising on those days that you decide to go crazy. If you have a party, a barbecue, a dinner or lunch that you already know you will not resist the temptation, and will eat a lot, make physical activity 5-8 hours before. Preferably, very intensely. Thus, the calories consumed will then be diverted to replenish the muscle wasting and recompose the glycogen stores in muscles and liver. Then, less fat will be accumulated! And for those who cannot resist a candy everyday… 1- Try to control yourself and eat them only after the main meals.  When we eat sweets with an empty stomach, blood sugar levels will increase rapidly, which would cause a peak. This oscillation is not healthy, and can be related to diabetes, obesity and other diseases. “The best time is after lunch, because the sugar is mixed with other ingested nutrients like fiber from salads, protein and fat from meat, preventing insulin level peaks in the blood”, advises the nutritionist Gabriella Guerrero. 2- Try to control yourself and eat them after workout.  Yes, many people would think, “But, I’ve just worked out and will I already eat a candy?”. Believe it or not, yes… When we do physical activity, our body produces some “substances” (GLUT transporters) that have the same function as insulin. They take the glucose to the cells. Thus, less of them will go to the blood and it results in less weight and fat. Besides, after we finish the workout, your metabolism stays high for a few hours. Thus, sweets’ calories will not be so accumulated. The body can then process them more efficiently. They will be used to replenish what the body used to practice the physical activity. But, be aware: no exaggeration, just a small portion per day will not hurt you and can still prevent you from suddenly attacking a box of chocolates. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): Tips for Life, Saúde IG Images: Google

It Happened at GB: GB Cedar Park – Make a difference in the world

What are you doing to make a difference in the world? What is your way to help people? Professor Fabio chose make a difference and give the world his best. The question is how to be not only a role model, but someone who has a big heart. On October 16, Professor Fabio organized an special event at GB Cedar Park – TX, a self-defense and introduction to Jiu-Jitsu seminar for security staff and members from “Mission of Hope” from Haiti. “ It  was an amazing experience for both. I had the opportunity to know more about the culture and history from these people and their country. These people had a hard time in life and it’s gratifying to be able to help.” With the “Mission of Hope”, these people have a new opportunity in their life and can learn new things. Professor Gigantinho taught self-defense techniques, bjj history, and leadership. Professor Vilela received a letter from Haiti Community: Dear Fabio, Thank you so much for investing in the Mission of Hope, Haiti leadership team last week by providing an afternoon of self-defense training, leadership development, and team-building! Understanding the idea that the size of an opponent does not matter when proper technique and patient control are utilized transcends the physical aspects of the sport of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and completely applies to the challenges of any organization and of life itself. You were able to communicate those principles in a masterful way that enabled each member of our team, both Haitian and North American, to connect and succeed, as well as have a great time in the process. That generous investment of your time and expertise means that the nation of Haiti will be impacted for years to come, as our leaders continue to work hard towards the vision of helping bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti. Sincerely, Bob King Congratulations for all GB Cedar Park Team. Be solidarity is Jiu-Jitsu.

5 Unwritten Rules of Bjj Etiquette

Many bjj training academies may have a list of rules of the academy posted on the wall for the safety of the students and the harmonious atmosphere of the academy. Just as each subculture has its own set of rules given the unique nature of its activity and goals, brazilian jiu-jitsu has its own rules of the mat. Author Dale Carnegie said that courtesy was the lubrication for a civilized society. Here are a few guidelines that you may not see printed on the wall of the academy, but are nevertheless appreciated by the instructor and the other students.1) Filming the instructor without consentA world champion conducted a seminar at our Gracie Barra academy a few years ago. Since I was the web master for our school web site, I approached the visiting instructor before the seminar and asked permission to do some video clips and / or photographs during the seminar for use on the school’s web site. The instructor responded firmly that he did not permit filming at his seminars. Some photos were ok but no video allowed.Minutes into the seminar, a student whips out his iPhone and starts filming video. The host instructor, embarrassed, had to stop the instruction and tell the oblivious student that filming was not permitted. Some instructors are fine with it, some are not. You have to ask the individual instructor before the class. Don’t just start recording.2) Coaching from sideI was teaching at a new academy several years ago and all of the new students were complete beginners. A new blue belt from another academy would come and take some the classes. During the rolling time the excited blue belt observing the rolls would shout a running commentary of vague and confusing advice to the new students rolling.I could see the confusion and frustration on the faces of the new students. They wanted to respect the blue belt, they wanted to learn more, but the confusing advice like “No!! Don’t do that!!” would freeze them in bewilderment during the roll.I approached the blue belt and acknowledged that he wanted to help, but that the advice was only further confusing the students and to leave the coaching to the head instructor. Later, the new students expressed how they were relieved not to be under a barrage of advice while rolling. 3) Spazzing and then tapping to exhaustionThis is a common scenario with newer students when rolling with a higher belt. They use an enormous amount of strength and try to use explosiveness aka known as “spazzing” – instead of technique – to overcome the opponent.Trying to fight using that amount of energy expenditure rapidly exhausts the fighter. The higher belt weathers the storm and then sweeps the newer student to the bottom. Upon being swept, the newer belt taps out from fatigue before the end of the round and before the higher belt gets to work the top position that they earned.A black belt well expressed the opinion that if you want to tap out due to fatigue, get to a neutral position or top position first. Don’t go wild on top and then take the easy way out once you end up on your back. 4) Grabbing fingersIn addition to being illegal in the sporting rules, it is just a cheap tactic to use in rolling at your academy.Instead of looking for a technical solution to counter the opponent’s collar choke, in panic the student grabs the fingers of the opponent and like a drowning man desperate to avoid going under, tries to peel the grip from their collar by any means possible! I explain that for most of the students in the academy, bjj is a hobby and a fitness activity that is only part of their lives. They must return to their full time careers after class. If you break their fingers by pulling on them, then the student can not go to work and earn their living. Imagine a doctor or a dentist with a broken finger from an illegal technique in class?Safety first and ensure that both you and your partner can return to train another day.5) Be aware of your surroundingsHow many times have we witnessed spirited rolls between students where the trajectory of the fight takes them from one end of the mat to the other, crashing into other students and coming to an abrupt halt at the wall?!At times there seems to be some mysterious, magnetic force that attracts pairs of people training to crash into each other, no matter how large the mat space! If you are rolling and feel your leg kicking against something foreign and covered in kimono fabric, you have probably banged into another pair on the mat. Stop and readjust!The etiquette at my Gracie Barra academy is that lower belts give way to the higher belts on the mat during rolls. In addition, you have a responsibility to your fellow students to maintain an awareness of where you are and not injure them. I have seen students sweep and take down another student right into a wall. The student being thrown is relying on the thrower to throw them safely. If you are initiating a throw or sweep of your opponent, it is your responsibility that they land safely.  This trust between training partners is sacred.If you have a helpful unwritten rule of the BJJ academy, please share in the comments below. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Work your subjective jiu-jitsu

Anything can happen on the mat. What we experience on it not only gives us the lessons of BJJ techniques, but also great learnings we take out into our lives. Jiu-jitsu does have the power to change people’s lives. In some cases, the biggest change in the lives of some happens just on the mats. Every day we learn new sweep techniques, falls, submissions, etc. But do we learn how to cancel out those negative thoughts that surround our minds? How are your workouts for the subjective jiu-jitsu going? Before we talk about these workouts, let us understand the concept. Subjectivity means what happens inside the inner being, i.e., how a person sees or thinks about something. The subjective jiu-jitsu is nothing more than the mental exercise inside and outside the dojo. Often, a great champion can become a loser even before he/she starts to fight. They may have dedicated 1000% of themselves, followed a diet to the letter, did everything right, but at the combat time they just failed. Failing does not necessarily mean lack of proper learning at the gym or an athlete’s mistake. In jiu-jitsu there’s no such a loss. You win or you learn. A mistake is made of many other factors and not always can the athlete see the cause of his/her mistake. They think, “Gosh, I did everything right in those phases just before the competition… Then I got there and nothing came out the way I wanted. Where did I do wrong?” The mistake in this case may be within the athlete’s own mind. Although they have traveled all the way to the victory, they have never imagined themselves as the “victory’s owners”. Keeping in mind that you will face the worst and most difficult opponent is way different than seeing yourself as defeated. A tough battle is not a lost battle. Do not imagine yourself having a hard time. Imagine yourself giving your best every time. Have in your mind the judge raising your arm and your teammates celebrating your conquest. After all, our Grandmaster has already taught us: Think only about best, work only for the best and always hope for the best” This thought of the Master has changed the lives of many BJJ practitioners who would see themselves as losers and, by changing this way of thinking, they became great champions. You may have heard the expression “words have power”, right? Regardless of religion or belief, one thing is for sure: Your thoughts and beliefs do influence the course of your actions and the way you may achieve what you want. Warrior, if you are aware that you gave your best in everything you could before a competition, just imagine winning it. With no pompous attitudes or arrogance. But being simple and with good thoughts, after all that sacrifice of the workout, the victory will certainly be closer to you. Think about it. OSS!

Just Do it!

The Power of Doing So Nike has had the tagline for the past 3 decades. It has proven to be very effective. Those 3 powerful words sum up one of the best pieces of advice that anyone can ever get from anyone… much more than billboards have ever given to anyone who has experienced training rut. Your BJJ is not going to happen unless YOU make it happen. Your life is not going to improve until you have come to terms with your improvement… and do it! Achieving by doing. The power of doing. The power to act on what we feel. Often, this question comes in: am I ready to act? 99u.com has a good insight on acting: just do it. What I’ve learned is that no one is ever ready for anything. You may give days, weeks, or months putting off and planning what you intend on doing with your Jiu-Jitsu. Have you been putting off joining that prestigious competition? Here’s some advice: Just do it! Are you afraid of losing in front of a crowd? Just go for it. Again, we have a saying in Gracie Barra: there is no such thing as losing only learning! Possess the power of acting on your goals. Have the fiery passion to upgrade beyond your current standards. Act! And the rest will just follow! Tips on Doing It  Sacrifice one thing for the other It’s quid pro quo for yourself. It’s trading a least productive behavior to another one. The principle of alchemy is no different than the principle we have in life… for one thing to transform to another, there has to be equal exchange of matter. But the good thing about Jiu-Jitsu is that those who have given up things succeeded! You can dtoo! Establish Habits Before establishing habits, behaviors have to lead to it. Our behaviors determine the course of our actions. It is never too late. Some say, “I am too old for this stuff, “ or “I have tried before but failed!” The reason most people fail is because they fail to establish the habits needed to succeed. Not only in BJJ, but this includes work, life, relationships, etc. Establish a habit of waking up early for BJJ, or finishing work early so you can get off work on time. Establish the habit of creating a meaningful, upbeat, energetic training session. You’d be glad you did! Reward and Punishment This is related to establishing habits. Let’s say that on a typical week where you only attended one session of serious grappling compared to three or more. So do we feel good about ourselves that we do? Of course we shouldn’t. However, without the idea of the presence of repercussions, we become absolutely complacent with “it’s ok. I’ll try harder next week.” There is a notion of reward and punishment: we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves. But look at a broader perspective. NO one is going to improve us unless we are the ones who take out the whip and punish ourselves. But don’t get me wrong. It’s NOT PHYSICAL punishment. Punish yourself by giving up one pleasurable thing that you enjoy doing (not BJJ, I hope). As a writer and future BJJ legend (LOL!), I punish myself if I don’t write anything. I will have to give up going on the internet and social media! Sad as it is, but I have to. But when I do BJJ, I REWARD myself with an hour-long massage session. Pretty nifty right? Men in the world have long given so much credit on the power of doing. Without doing, there won’t be results. It’s as simple as that. Your next stripe and belt level is waiting for you! Go out and do it! Just do it. You’ll be glad you did! Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone… and the doer!

What Our Self-Image Can Do To Our BJJ

Thinking about Quitting BJJ? Before you do? Read on! What is Your Self-Image? Remember the time when you were just a little boy who enjoyed make-believe games? Where you wrapped a blanket around your neck and pretended that you were a superhero. Or put on make-up, wore your mom’s shoes and grabbed her comb and pretended to be a the next singing diva. Well, these were back when we were kids. Truth be told, as we grow old, we lose the drive to be our own heroes and stars. We become flaccid, weak, jaded. Here’s the truth: the world will beat you down… only if you let it. Factor in bills to pay, inflation, the government spending too much money on politicians that couldn’t care less about us, and what-have-you’s. When we were kids, these things did not affect us at all. Should we thank our parents for keeping us from the monstrosities of the world? Well, partly yes. But remember that as we grew older, we were the ones who inadvertently exposed these things to ourselves. So what’s my point? The choices that we made as we became older gradually contributed to our own dismal, sad self-image. The self-defeating images of ourselves in our heads are false images that the negative world has somewhat managed to instill in us. And it will never put any premium in our journey to BJJ awesomeness! As BJJ artists, there is a big chance that your current rank may have affected your image of yourself. Moreover, it may have changed the way that you believed in yourself while you are in training. Believe you me, I know. I have been with all of you guys long enough to figure everyone out. Let’s backtrack a bit. The moment that you decide to get into BJJ, you have this belief that you will be capable of conquering and achieving. However, the moment that you get to spar… (and get submitted) all those things seem to have gone somewhere. No. You didn’t leave those beliefs in the mats, or in the locker room. Your mind took those away from you. It has replaced them with doubt and self-defeating images that you are going to be submitted (again), and eventually be not good enough to Time to Shift Gears There is always hope. And there are ways that we can shift our gears and do a 180-degree turn. Decide that today, you are going to continue moving and improving. Defining your self image. Results doesn’t happen overnight. If you “what” will happen to your growth, then it doesn’t matter “when” it will happen. Yes. You are going to be good. It doesn’t matter when. Just don’t quit. Step 1- YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH Change your self-image. The negative images in our heads are false. They are created by the goblins that lurk deep inside our subconscious, Which translates into our conscious actions. The solution: tell yourself that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! Yes. You are good enough. I know you are. Your coaches think you are! There is little or less the world can do to beat you down if you feel that you are good enough. You are good enough to be in BJJ. You are good enough to join tournaments! You are good enough to rank up from your current belt level. You are good enough to submit someone. You are good enough for any endeavor. Step 2 – Create a different Self-Image I am a big fan of the word “decide.” And the good thing about decisions is that we have the power to decide on which self-image we would like to take on!  But for BJJ’s sake, have this image of a highly respected BJJ newbie that is just awesome on the mats! Stand tall and walk straight, mate! This kid who is wearing the gi is going to be the best there is. He/She will achieve more than what others have achieved in the past! Sounds good right? And this image will take you somewhere! Counter the false self-belief and create a new one! Step 3 – Expect Good Results You will never find a businessman who just invested in a business that he expects to go under, right? You are about to invest in self-worth, expect good returns!  Be that kid again who believed that men can fly. Be that kid again who can put on those shoes and amaze the world! BJJ for Everyone!

4 Ways to be a Good Partner in Bjj Class

The majority of the time in any bjj class, you will be working together with a training partner. During the technique portion of the class you will drill the techniques demonstrated by the instructor and work through the details with your partner. A great training partner is worth their weight in Worlds medals, and a poor partner can make your training session a frustrating waste of time for both. Here are 4 tips for being a great training partner.1) Don’t be a flopperIn watching some beginners in the fundamentals class, the person on the bottom in the guard was having difficulty placing a butterfly hook to perform a butterfly sweep.The partner, on top position, had gone limp and was laying face down, prone on the floor. As limp and lifeless as a mannequin. I could see the problem.I asked the top person if they would actually fight like that? “Would you simply go completely limp and collapse your structure and lay face down in a real match?”Then why would you do that when trying to simulate a match situation? Remember that one must mimic the weight distribution, limb positions and posture that a real live opponent would be doing.2) Resistance is a hindranceThis is the extreme opposite of the flopper. This partner is as stiff and rigid as though they had premature rigor mortis!More than once while demonstrating a technique to the class, I have had the demonstration student tense up and start fighting the move even as I set the initial grips.I have to pause and tell them “Hey, relax your limbs – I am just trying to show the move!” When you are learning a complex technique for the first time, you need some compliance from your partner. The countering and “what if he does this” should wait until you have acquired some competence with the first technique.It is rare to get the technique perfectly on your first few tries. A stiff unyielding partner interferes with your early, imperfect movements as you struggle to find the correct angles.The partner who is countering and resisting as you try to learn has to relax and allow the partner to perform some repetitions before introducing the factor of resistance. 3) Stay on topicYour instructor is showing you a specific position because they consider it important for your development and appropriate to your experience level.But the partner, bored with the basic technique, does a few half-hearted reps of that day’s technique and then wants to show you a “really cool move that he saw on Youtube”. The technique forgotten, he proceeds to stumble through a poorly understood and horribly complicated lapel sweep that might work on an opponent who had consumed extra drowsy-strength cough medicine.Even the most basic techniques have many levels of detail that the black belt knows, which magnify their effectiveness. Let’s say that a sweep has 12 fine details required for the optimal level of leverage and mechanics.Even though you have seen the sweep before, you may only know 6 of those details! As you progress through the bjj belt system you will enjoy continuous “rediscovery” of old techniques that you had dismissed as “old and don’t work anymore”. With a new additional, crucial detail, that old technique suddenly starts working for you.Try to stay on track in the lesson that day.4) Leave the problems off of the matFor many of us, our time at jiu-jitsu class is a respite from the rest of our worldly responsibilities. A time when we get to do what we WANT to do, not what we HAVE to do.When you bow and step onto the mat, that is your time to clear your mind and focus on training bjj.One of my favorite quotes is by boxer Sugar Ray Leonard “When I train, I am free.”Then your stressed out partner catches your ear and launches into a rant about his horrible micro-managing boss and how the entire company would go bankrupt if not for “how important I am down at the widget factory. Why just today the idiot boss said….”Whoa! There goes your carefully cultivated mental state, and you are involuntarily drawn into their workplace drama.My advice is to stop them and diplomatically say, “Hey friend, we are here to enjoy jiu-jitsu. Why don’t we talk about these problems after the class?”Try not to bring your problems onto the mat and crate a negative atmosphere for your training partners. What are your suggestions for how to be a great training partner? Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, TaiwanTwitter: @MarkMullenBJ

Talent Doesn’t Always Win the Game

While not everyone is lucky enough to win the genetics lottery – bestowed with awesome physique, height, strength, an overly active / reactive senses / or mutant powers (Ok, scratch that. Mutant powers do not exist, I think) – you have to remember that talent doesn’t always win the game. And in BJJ, it has been proven repeatedly: underdogs, dark horses in tourneys, have had success despite the lack of talent. Not everyone is born a Michael Jordan or a George Saint-Pierre. However, the question is: how do you compensate? How do you become good just by utilizing your own god-given uniqueness? Again. Talent doesn’t always win the game. The same goes that not everyone wins all the time. However, you can change all that. And it’s just the mindset. So what is your current mindset about yourself? Try to look at your game. While  you are grappling, do you hesitate in that split second opportunity to sweep and take a more dominant position? When you saw the arm and the elbow free to be taken for an armbar, what made you decide to just coast along and stay in guard? Your reaction to the stimulus is all about mindset. It’s not mindset about techniques! It’s mindset about yourself. And mindsets typically can dictate how we react… or in some cases fail to act. And whenever we see ourselves a tad too incapable, we risk not developing our strengths. So be honest about your mindset. How well can you objectively see yourself? Do you think that the cause of this self-defeating mindset is that you lack the talent? Talent is OVERRATED Talent is overrated. Talent is often misunderstood. Prowess over another person’s similar abilities is not talent. The underlying cause for one’s prowess is the next line item below. It’s PRACTICE that is underrated Practice leads to mastery. As we practice, we develop the habits needed to succeed. Not just in BJJ, but also in our careers. Seeing a black belt perform well required of him years of practice, hours of dedicating to one move, and certainly commitment to the craft! No one was born a black belt. No one was born and was destined to be the welterweight champion of the world. These prime athletes practiced and became successful in what they did. Focusing on Core Skills You are probably wondering what core skills you need to succeed in BJJ. I say it depends. In our recent articles, we discussed the importance of defining your own game. Are you the aggressive, go-down-blazing type? Build on your submission game! Practice the core basic skills of being a good submission artist! Delve into books about submission. Watch videos. Get feedback! Feed your ability to submit! Believe that you can develop the talent to move past your mindset. Believe that the path to becoming a better individual through Jiu-jitsu can happen (and it will happen). Believe in your training and the development of your mastery! You do not need talent, you need the right attitude!

3 Tips to Correct Weaknesses in Your Game

As your own game develops in brazilian jiu-jitsu, you will get very strong in certain positions and experience your best success using your favorite techniques. The opposite side of the equation that you will also have some weaknesses in your game! A person who loves to play the open guard will fail to get a strong passing game. Another student coming from a wrestling background will not be nearly as competent defending their guard. Gracie Barra 3rd Degree BB Josh Russell says the ideal is to be equal top and bottom in bjj. As the nature of a fight is unpredictable you can not always decide where you might end up in the match and therefore must be prepared to fight in any position.How do we go about filling those holes in our games?Here are 3 tips to help correct weaknesses in your bjj game.1) Research Once you have identified what your particular weakness is: let’s say it is your open guard; you need to figure out some solutions. Is there a senior belt in your academy known for their formidable open guard game? Ask them about their favorite techniques and drills to start building your own open guard. What are their favorite grips and sweeps? Your instructor can provide valuable guidance as to what might best fit your body type and also work within your personal game.Youtube can be an invaluable resource where you can see how the art’s best train and use their own open guard games. Watch 10 videos on that spider guard sweep and spot the identical principles that the world champions share. The resources are all there for you.2) Get uncomfortable Sorry, but you are going to have to get out of your comfort zone in order to correct a weakness. Your “bread and butter” positions, those you are most proficient in, are going to have to be set aside temporarily and put yourself in uncomfortable situations in training.If you have been a top player, you are going to have to ask your training partners if you can start the roll with you on bottom. Resist the urge to use a wrestling scramble to take the top position when you feel a bit of heat. Imagine that your opponent is a world champion wrestler and that getting to the top is impossible, so you MUST develop a way to win from the bottom!And at first, your guard is going to get passed, until your open guard game starts to improve. This is a bit hard on the ego at first, but it is essential to making progress. 3) Devote a month to specializing “Spend a lot of time in the position”, says GB Black Belt Josh Russell. “That is the key to getting good at any position.” Make a deal with yourself at the beginning of the month of training that the focus of all of your drilling and rolling is going to be your open guard. Set aside the other interesting positions for the time being and concentrate just on this one area. Drilling is an excellent way to get the valuable mat time that you need. You can not always count on your position coming up in sparring, so you must isolate it in drilling.  There are always other students in the academy who also want to drill and you can pair up and help each other.Repetition after repetition of your sweeps will burn a groove in your muscle memory. The neural and motor pathways will be developed and strengthened and your previously awkward sweep will become fluid and smooth. In actual rolling, look for any opportunity to work in your new position. If your opponent attempts to sweep you, you can resist and insist on the top (like you traditionally have done) OR you can say “Ok, here is a chance for me to work MY open guard” and go to the bottom position and start working your open guard. Remember, it is just TRAINING. The primary purpose is to DEVELOP technique, not just to win.Share your own tips on how you corrected weaknesses in your own bjj game. Credits: Mark Mullen Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, TaiwanTwitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Motivational Tools Every Athlete Should Have

Motivation here. Motivation there! Everywhere, you see motivational quotes, posters, quips and what-have-yous. There is only so much that motivational material can do to our lives unless we really take action. Motivation and inspiration only comprise 2% of success. The rest is up to you. And improving your BJJ game is and will always be a challenge. As with like any upstart company, getting the ball rolling and gaining momentum is always a hardest part. Wait! Here is the follow up question: where will the remaining 98% come from? The answer is through action. Action is putting our thoughts, ideas, energy, and (of course) motivation into action. The biggest challenge today is there is not much premium being put into action. Or more so, tracking our progress. But to call ourselves into action, we will need to know where we at and where we should be! Your Progress Chart Writing things down and keeping a record is a good way to track your progress. However, flipping through a notebook (or even picking it up) can be a bore. So dear readers, I would suggest a pin-up chart instead. Creating a chart to fill out with your training progress is useful for those who prefer seeing constant reminders of their progress. Here is a sample that I have been using in my training. you can also use this in line with Gracie Barra’s Weekly Training Plan! The Challenge: keeping track and sticking with your progress plan. Week # Sessions Attended Weight Loss / Gained Spar Sessions done (in minutes) Subs and Guard Current Belt Rank 40 4 2 lbs 20 RNC Yellow 41 4 None 40 RNC Same                                                             I suggest you put this anywhere in your room that is easily seen. The purpose is to track your progress. Always keep a marker handy, though. A contact list of BJJ enthusiasts / Pros / Trainer / Coaches / Black Belts Expanding your network of BJJ contacts is useful. The perks? Aside from meeting possible long-term friends, having a training buddy while going on an out-of-town trip. It’s actually easy to make BJJ friends. Just log into Facebook and you will see tons of BJJ groups (even outside of Gracie Barra). It’s easy to initiate contact. But connecting is the real challenge. The challenge: trying to connect and staying connected. A list of people whom you can ask advice on techniques can be quite helpful. Connecting with people is an art. It’s like BJJ. More on this one in future articles. The Tournament Schedule Calendar Pretty useful. However, there are things to remember about tournaments: they require a substantial amount of training, and can put a dent in your savings. The solution is planning ahead. That is, simply setting out a marker date for the tournament, then training within the prescribed weeks from it, the plan to make weight (if planning  to compete in a lower weight class). Mark the date of the tournament. A suggestion is to pay the entry as soon as possible. It will keep you from procrastinating in your training (because you already have made payments), and often, some tournaments offer discounts for paying early. The BJJ training partner A training partner can be a tool for motivation (or demotivation). With this being said, choosing the right training partner is a good way to progress in the game. Ideally he/she should be someone of the same weight class, (or higher) and of the same level. It can be a quid pro quo relationship where you also remind your training buddy of training, and he/she does the same for you! =) The Training App / Books Let’s go mobile. Gracie Barra’s mobile training app made it to the top 10 most popular athletic apps in iTunes. Here’s the reason: it’s just so good. The production value of the videos in the app is just astonishing. Shot in full HD, the professors share insights and techniques! Don’t miss it out! While you are at it, go and grab some BJJ books out there. Get some reading time going. You’ll be glad you did. The Trophy / Medal Case No. We are not going hedonistic by adding the pleasure of seeing medals and accolades. However, seeing your achievements is something that you can use to keep or boost your motivation. If it’s empty, then it’s about time to put something in it. There are lots of medals to go around, but it takes a lot to go and get one. You are the cornerstone of your motivation. You make things happen. You are the one who puts on the martial garb and strives for excellence. You are your own motivation! BJJ for Everyone!

Be a Dragon Slayer

This is inspired by one of the conversations I had with a Gracie Barra purple belt. I hope this story also touches you and set your soul on fire as it did mine. Let’s sit back for a minute and ponder out a few things that define our lives. This article can be or not be about BJJ, but I guess it deserves a few minutes of reading. Imagine putting on a suit of armor, and sheathing in that old-fashioned cutlass and setting out to face a dragon. Now, this dragon is no ordinary dragon. It has been sitting around in your lot. He has kept you hostage. For most of your life, it has been guarding your lawn and keeping you from taking on that awesome life of adventure. But today, you have decided to slay it. Let’s call this dragon “the unwanted life.” Throughout history, a handful of men and women have been successful in slaying their own dragons. These are individuals who got out of their beds and said that they wanted more out of life! To strive for something more than what their status quo provided them. These are but men who did put on their suit of armor to face their own dragons. The dragons vary in shape and form; from debilitating illnesses, social class, financial ability, physical handicap, mental handicap, etc. However, these slayers battled long and hard to free themselves from these limitations. And thus, the honor of becoming dragon slayers. We all have facets of our lives that stunt our growth. These can be anything from a job that we find unfulfilling to our physical health that we take for granted. In one of my conversations with a Gracie Barra purple belt, he told me that doing Jiu-Jitsu is slaying his dragon. His dragons were huge. It was obesity from eating just anything. It was drug abuse that held him captive for years. It was his lack of discipline at work that kept him constantly in between jobs and not able to keep one for more than a month! He exhibited low self-respect by clinging to people who never cared for him. “Doing drugs, and being a part of California’s gangs was my life. We were stealing, extorting, and doing things that made people respect us. But not realizing that it wasn’t respect. Just fear. You get what I am saying?” He then saw something online that read, “Have the self-respect to walk away from the things that are not making you grow.” “I woke up one day realizing I don’t want this no more. And then, I saw an ad on the web about change. About self-respect. About values. It hit me! Right in the middle, that I can be better than what I thought I was. I enrolled in BJJ in 2008. Not with Gracie Barra yet. And I loved it. It was hard at first. I had habits that were hard to break. Drugs were still part of my system for months. But the will to slay that huge dragon has to be strong. I had to kill it! I knew that I couldn’t do it on my own. So I asked for help. I read articles on addiction. And I knew that I could be better soon!” he explains. He mentions that he is a thousand times better than what he was before. He got a regular blue-collar job that pays for his BJJ and keeps him off the streets. “And it was then, when I was at my breaking point, that I was able to overcome those dragons. Call me dragon slayer!” he adds. To everyone: how big are your dragons? 

Start Them Out Early: BJJ for kids.

Wait! Before you pull out that credit card to get the newest Xbox or an Ipad for your crying toddler, consider other alternatives that are better than having a 5 year-old sit on the couch, squinting and basking on the glare of an 36-inch LED TV, clutched-fist on a game console remote. Yes. There is. In the olden days (well, somewhere between 80’s and the 90’s), the absence of technology-assisted entertainment made childhood a bit more memorable. Imagine the countless, long-term friendships that we’ve made because we all went out of the house and played hide-and-seek with neighborhood kids. And there is indeed value in interacting with fellow kids back in the day. But all is not lost. We still can have our kids experience that…. [Enter BJJ]. BJJ has been around for quite some time now and has been making a huge buzz in the world of martial arts. With the help of social media and the internet, BJJ’s popularity has grown to what it is right now: Jiu-Jitsu has become for everyone. And it’s an art not only for adults, but for the young ones as well. BJJ greats of today actually got into the sport at a young age. It has been said that the Gracies (one of the most prominent families in BJJ) learned BJJ before they could walk. Starting kids in BJJ will be one of the best gifts you can give them for the holidays. So yes. Please hold off on buying an Ipad or an Xbox. Invest in your kid’s growth by enrolling them in this ever-growing martial art. BJJ builds confidence Martial arts (for one matter) is one of the best ways to boost a kid’s confidence. Once a kid achieves a belt rank, submits his training partner, or at the very least learns a new move, they instill within themselves the confidence that they are capable of achievement. A young individual needs to learn that they can achieve. Imagine what this lesson can do for them later in life! This lesson will be of good use throughout their lives. Building self-esteem is very important. Low self-esteem is very real. Often, adults who have low self-esteem have problems interpreting non-critical comments to them as critical. Children with low self-esteem rely on coping strategies that are counterproductive such as bullying, quitting, cheating, avoiding, etc. Although all children will display some of these behaviors at times, low self-esteem is strongly indicated when these behaviors appear with regularity. BJJ can help kids build lasting friendships One of the most important things kids need to forge at an early age is their relationship to their peers. As adults, we put a high premium on whom our kids interact with. A martial arts dojo does the same. In a safe environment, kids are able to rub elbows with kids of their age, and possibly build lasting friendships with them. Lasting friendships are just important. Teaches them discipline and respect and other virtues There are rules inside gyms. And there are rules on the mat. When kids engage in a highly competitive sport, we are teaching them that in life, there are rules. Breaking these rules can either hurt them, or keep them from becoming better. They are taught to respect the elders of the gym through the bowing, and respect their fellow kids altogether. When they are taught to sit still and listen to their instructors, they learn the virtue of listening. When they shake hands after losing a sparring match, they learn humility. BJJ teaches autonomy  problem solving skills Ever questioned the practicality of Algebra’s application to real life? At its face value, there actually isn’t one. However, it teaches math – teaches basic problem solving skills. BJJ is almost the same. Whenever kids do BJJ, it gives them the chance to become autonomous and solve problems on their own. Remember that these are skills. And skills requires constant practice to become behaviors. Kids just look cute in tiny gis Imagine a toddler walking around in a tiny white gi. Isn’t he just adorable? ‘nuff said. =). It never fails to put a smile on anyone’s face.

9 benefits of asparagus for your health

Asparagus for lunch, asparagus for dinner… Asparagus is becoming a really popular dish! You may notice that asparagus is a more and more common option for those who are looking for a healthy lifestyle. Some love (while others not so much) the flavor of these little beauties that can bring many benefits to our health. The staff of “Eating well is jiu-jitsu” always opt for bringing not only what is a “trend” but also what is actually good for our health. We would like to offer you more than some recipes, showing the real value of food for our health. And why did we choose the asparagus? Asparagus is a food that deserves attention; it is low in calories and highly nutritious, offering vitamins and fiber.  It is rich in folic acid, beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, fiber and vitamin C, B, and K. It also has diuretic action and helps fight free radicals. Check out nine reasons below for you to add the asparagus to your regular diet. Anti-inflammatory: It is a wonderful source of nutrients for a healthy body and mind. Asparagus contains many anti-inflammatory nutrients such as saponins and flavonoids quercetin, rutin, isorhamnetin laempferol, which all help fight arthritis, asthma and autoimmune diseases. Antioxidants: It has glutathione, which brings three amino acids (glumatic acid, glycine and cysteine) that combine themselves into a molecule, serving as a powerful oxidizing-reduction agent to our body. Along with the antioxidants from vitamin C, vitamin A (beta carotene), zinc, manganese and selenium, the glutathione present in the asparagus also combat free radicals which cause aging and cell oxidation. Cancer Prevention: It is well known that chronic inflammation and cell oxidation can lead to various types of cancer. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, asparagus is a strong fighter against cancer in the bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovaries, among others. Heart: Folate, a vitamin B complex, is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and is found in abundance in asparagus. Firstly, it is involved in a biochemical event called methylation cycle, which allows for proper transcription of DNA, transformation of norepinephrine to adrenaline and serotonin to melatonin. Secondly, the folate regulates the homocysteine amino acid, which at high levels can be a strong risk factor in heart diseases. And finally, the B-complex vitamins, such as choline, biotin and pantothenic acid manages our blood sugar levels effectively, metabolizing sugars and starches. Congenital Disorders: Folate is also essential for proper cell division. Healthy portions of asparagus can prevent folate deficiency, which has been linked to birth defects such as spina bifida (a congenital defect in which the spinal cord is exposed through an opening in the vertebral column). Diuretic: The amino acid asparagine, found in asparagus, is an effective diuretic and has been historically used to treat swelling, arthritis, rheumatism and water retention caused by PMS. Diet and Digestion: The inulin, a carbohydrate present in asparagus, encourages the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, two bacteria that increase absorption of nutrients and reduces the risk of allergy and colon cancer, besides helping to prevent unfriendly bacteria to take hold in our intestinal tract. Moreover, an eight ounce serving of asparagus contains more than 11% of the RDA of fiber and almost 10% of the RDA of protein. The healthy fiber and protein content in asparagus stabilize our digestion, inhibits excesses, keeps a low amount of sugar in the blood and prevents constipation. And finally, a cup of asparagus also contains only 43 calories. High in Vitamin K: Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K (providing 114% of the RDA in a single cup), which is required for the osteocalcin synthesis, a protein that strengthens bone composition. Furthermore, vitamin K prevents accumulation of calcium in our tissue, which could lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. High in Vitamin C: As mentioned above, Asparagus contains a large dose of vitamin C (more than 30% of the RDA). Other health benefits associated with vitamin C intake include lower blood pressure, healthy immune system and resistance to age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and is not intended to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend that you visit a Nutritionist, Doctor, or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): Images: Google Source (in Portuguese): Saúde e Dica

3 Pieces of Advice for White Belts

90% of his success was just showing up.” Woody Allen  On BJJ related internet message boards there are several popular topics that arise again and again.Two common themes that continually come up are:Q: “I am just starting training in bjj and want to progress as quickly as possible. What advice do you have for me?”Q: From more experienced belts: “What advice would you like to give to your whitebelt self when you first started out?” Here are 3 pieces of advice that I received early in my study of Brazilian jiu-jitsu that have been the most helpful to me.1) Imagine your opponent is stronger than youWhen you are learning a new technique (which will be every class as a new white belt!) you must approach the technique assuming that your opponent is bigger and stronger than you are.After all, we are NOT learning jiu-jitsu in order to defeat smaller, weaker opponents!The techniques of bjj as developed by Grandmaster Helio Gracie depend on optimal leverage to allow the smaller person to defeat the larger stronger. The techniques should work without excessive use of muscular strength. If you must use a lot of strength to complete the technique, how effective is this likely to be when you encounter a stronger opponent?Are oyu grunting and grimacing with effort trying to get that kimura? Not very effective at all!Observe a 150 lbs. blackbelt dominate and submit a much heavier blue belt. How are they doing it? Understand that the basic techniques of bjj should be able to be applied without an excess of physical strength. It is up to you to learn the correct leverage to apply all of your moves in the most efficient method possible. Pay attention to correct leverage and do not rely on your physical attributes.2) Just show up Over the course of your training in bjj, there will be many ups and downs.  You will have classes where you seem to be making great leaps forward in your techniques and your progress is rapid. These are great days to be on the mat! And then shortly thereafter, there will arise periods where your opponents seem to have solved your game and even your best positions do not seem to work.There will be days where you can’t wait to get to the academy and try the newest positions that you have been developing. The time during rolls passes all too quickly. And then there will be periods where just getting to the academy seems like an overwhelming task. Your mind will look for every excuse to not go to bjj class. Bjj feels more like a work obligation than a passion.Just as in life, we are all subject to the highs and lows of our training. It helps to remind ourselves that our journey in bjj is not a smooth, linear upward progression, but in reality, many periods of progression interrupted with frustrating plateaus.Director Woody Allen famously said that 90% of his success was just showing up.On those days when it is a struggle to get to the academy, remind yourself that once you get warmed up on the mat and drilling some techniques with your best training partners, you will feel better and be one step closer to resuming your progress again.“A black belt is just a white belt who didn’t give up” 3) Do some physical conditioning outside of class At first this seems to be contradictory to Advice #1. But when we examine it more closely we can see that it isn’t.One does not need to be the strongest person in the academy to enjoy success in training. But you DO need to be strong ENOUGH to execute the movements properly. One of the first signs of fatigue during rolling is the degradation in the execution of technique. Observe the difference in the guard of the bjj fighter early in the match compared to after exhaustion has set it.  Not tired: moving the hips from side to side; changing the grips; sitting up and attacking; initiating the exchangeTired: pulling with arms instead of moving hips; back of head on the mat because abs are fatigued; holding on defensively; reacting to the exchange Put simply: when you are tired you get sloppy and can not correctly execute your technique!There are many options for physical conditioning outside of bjj class: running for cardio, lifting weights for strength, yoga for core and flexibility etc. In a future article we will discuss some of these methods in more depth. For now, accept the idea that in order to maximize your performance on the mat, you will have to do some homework off of the mat.What is the favorite piece of advice that you received on your own bjj training? Credits: Mark Mullen  Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Experiencing a Jiu-Jitsu Tournament: Compnet 2014

On Saturday, October 11th, Gracie Barra held their annual tournament open to all Gracie Barra students in Irvine, CA.  This year was unique as it honored Master Carlos Gracie Sr., celebrating his life and legacy 10 years following his passing.  Many Gracie Barra Schools were represented along with Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in attendance as well. The environment of a tournament is interesting.  There is energy in the air with hundreds of people competing, and watching the event.  This year I had to privilege to experience the tournament from the viewpoint of a spectator, and a competitor.  It was a very memorable experience that I’ll never forget. Spectating Watching Jiu-Jitsu for the first time can be a bewildering experience.  It’s hard to appreciate the beauty of a locked triangle if you don’t know much about it.  Once you start learning the basics of Jiu-Jitsu it becomes much more entertaining.  You start to understand why the ref is holding up two fingers, or why the crowd claps during a grappling exchange.  Jiu-Jitsu is a difficult thing to become good at so watching good Jiu-Jitsu practitioners can be a treat for the eyes.  It’s also something that takes many years to become good at.  Only those who have experienced the same journey can really relate. Spectating as a coach or a teammate is exciting.  Though you aren’t the one fighting you still feel invested in what is happening and even feel nervous yourself.  Jiu-Jitsu is a team sport.  You can’t really train in Jiu-Jitsu without training partners.  While watching my teammates compete I felt like I was right there with them.  Rolling in the academy creates bonds between you and your team.  Teammates will be there for you, as you will be there for them. Competing  Competing is a rush.  Like a drug, it can get you hooked and wanting more.  It’s a culmination of all the training and a real test of what you’ve learned so far.  Competition is an emotional rollercoaster that I think every Jiu-Jitsu practitioner should experience at least once. For first time competitors it can be a bit overwhelming.  So many things are going through your head.  Your nerves and adrenaline are probably redlining.  There’s a chance you maybe hungry too because you need to make weight.  Then as always something hurts; a foot, hand, or just a couple sore muscles.  Then the match starts and ends.  Win or loose it’s always a learning experience.  You will start come out of every completion a little changed and it’s an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. What have you taken away from competitions you’ve seen or been in?   Patrick Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter: patjflores  

GB Weekly Training Plan for 10/20 – 10/26

GB WTP Week 06 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 10/20-10/26 our classes are based on Week 06 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

GB Kids Competition Team Announcement

To all our loyal and hard working Academy Owners, Professors, Instructors, Program Managers, Kids Coaches and Parents; Thank You! For all your hard work and sacrifice, due to your efforts Gracie Barra has the greatest Youth Jiu-Jitsu training organization in the world today, bringing jiu-jitsu to lives of thousands youths around the world, changing their lives for the better and guaranteeing the legacy of Gracie Barra. You can help guarantee that our kids get the recognition they deserve in tournament competition by making sure everyone signs up as “Gracie Barra” for competition and NO other way. For example NOT “Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu” or “Gracie Barra Corona”. As a team we are repeatedly not recognized as the number one team in competitions solely because we are not judged as a team but as individual schools. Every other affiliation is calculated as one team. Our young competitors deserve this recognition and they have earned it! Again, thank you for your commitment to our youth and for your attention to this important matter! If your students have not registered as GRACIE BARRA only, please send a brief email as soon as possible to changes@nabjjf.com and state that your competitors will be part of the Gracie Barra team. The deadline for this correction is approaching fast! For the upcoming NABJJF tournament, if you can please check the COMPETITOR LIST .

The Chess Game

To defend or not to defend. Offense is the best defense. Defend, defend, and defend. There are just so many opinions on how to handle your own BJJ game. On the internet alone, you are going to get tons of advice from strangers, and even from greats of BJJ! And so far, while doing my research, I have tallied some points where people advise against offensive game and the defensive game. However, I am going to give my thoughts on those: be on the safe side. The Mind of the Offensive Player Having an offensive game is fun. Offensive game ensures that you are keeping your opponents guessing as to what you are going to pull off next. Be it a superbly awesome flying armbar, or a sweep, or better yet, something as cool as taking the back and finishing off a choke. These are athletes who seem to appreciate staying in control of the game. Does this sound familiar? BJJ artists will focus on keeping their game offensive. It is like entering a saloon with guns a-blazing, and going down in flames. I’ve spoken with some BJJ greats, and most of them were like this. Attacking is the key to victory. It takes a lot (and I mean a lot) to be an offensive game player. And I kid you not. At first, you have to have the skill and the patience to study transitions and how to react, and dismantle your opponent’s defense. Like in any other sport, taking the offensive side offers you the opportunity to draw the first blood, and keep the match at your own tempo. Does this sound familiar? The Mind of the Defensive Player I am a defensive player. I like to play defense. It gives you the opportunity to toy with your opponent’s head. Defense is the best offense at times. Believe you me! While being in defense, you are given the opportunity to dictate your own pace of the match. A well-versed defensive BJJ player can nullify the most powerful submission. After all, he has mastered how not to be submitted, right? Right and wrong. Defensive gameplay runs the risk of losing tempo in a heartbeat. As the game of BJJ continuously evolves into different variations of subs, mounts, transitions, and sweeps, (with the addition of blackbelts closed captioning their favorite moves, and patenting the technique under their name), the game of the defensive BJJ artist can be hard. But, while there is wisdom to being on the defensive (often called safe side), it should be taken with a grain of salt that being a defensive player is not all that bad. There are things a defensive player should have to be really good at, though: a tough body, presence of mind, knowing his opponents, knowing the best counters, and patience. While the list can sound very extensive, these are probably the ones to keep in mind to stay on top of the defensive echelon. Should I Be Defensive or Offensive? Actually, the best BJJ artists can do both. Sorry to burst your bubble. Whoever wants to play offense should make the first move. BJJ is chess in gis and on the mats: whoever decides to attack first takes on the white piece, while anyone who would prefer basking under the attack and believing that there is triumph on the defensive side can also choose to do so. This is one of the reasons why this art is so interesting. You never know when you’ll see a good submission artist be on the defense, and vice versa! Final Thoughts  Learn the art entirely. But find your niche. If you enjoy submitting guys, then study being on the offensive, but remember that it is not always rainbows and sunshine on the mats – there are times you will be forced to try to keep things on the defense. Learn as much as you can from  your senseis. You’ll be glad you did. The best BJJ gurus out there will tell you the same. But more so, they will tell you to enjoy the journey. Whether it be on the defensive side, or the offensive. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!

GB Weekly Training Plan for 10/13 – 10/19

GB WTP Week 05 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 10/13-10/19 our classes are based on Week 05 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ??learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

What’s all this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu all about?

This is for those who have seen blogs, TV shows, and dudes with huge muscles walking around gulping down power drinks etc., and heard the term, “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” on almost every other fight show. If you have yet to figure out why you are watching an MMA fight and have not Googled the word Jiu Jitsu, then this article is for you. So what’s the fuss all about? It is quite a cool thing that has taken the world of martial arts by storm. BJJ has come into the light after years of obscurity, when Royce Gracie showed the world how smaller guys can beat those who got a better deal in the genetic lottery of size and strength! Is this some sort of secret society with a secret handshake? Well, before it seemed that it was. It wasn’t very well known as a form of martial arts by most people living in the US. Back then, only the hardcore had come to know of its existence. No secret handshake, though. But it was not that popular back then. But feel free to come up with a secret handshake with your gym mates. Be sure to keep me posted :) Does BJJ hurt? Like love, life, and taxes, yes it does hurt. You see, every sport, martial art, and competitive activity can hurt. After all, it is a physical competition. Chess doesn’t hurt. Although, I have seen people hurl chess pieces at one another in some tournaments. But seriously speaking, it can hurt. But the rewards are greater than the pain. BJJ instructors wouldn’t want you to get injured, or pass out. Wow! I would love to try BJJ, how do I get started? It’s easy to get started in BJJ. All you need is a gi (which you can buy at any gym) and a rash guard… And you will need time as well. Seriously. You need to take the time to get into the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s a given fact. I’vhttp://www.graciebarra.com/e been doing Jiu Jitsu for quite some time now, and I haven’t gotten better yet! Patience, Grasshopper. All things take time. You cannot become really good at something if you only have been doing it for just 2 weeks; you seriously need to wait.Patience is the key in this sport. Expect to be submitted, mounted, and more. It’s all part of the game, my friend. I’m too old for this thing. Or am I? While the competitive side of BJJ is dominated by younger guys / girls, BJJ doesn’t really discriminate by age. You can be 60 or older and still do BJJ. Grandmaster Helio Gracie practiced BJJ until of old age. You can Google him and read about that. Ok. I get it. So how do I sign up? If you have been around the city and see this red big sign that says Gracie Barra, go in.There will be a nice person at the reception desk to receive you and answer your questions. I wanna know more! Make sure to visit Gracie Barra’s Facebook Page, and go to www.graciebarra.com Peace in and out everyone! Jiu-Jitsu for everyone!

TIPS on becoming consistent

Jiu-Jitsu is an art that is best done with consistency. Consistency breeds learning, growth, reputation and all that other good stuff!  If you are stopping short of success, then, in BJJ you need consistency. Let us understand what is the power of consistency and how it can help us become better in the art of BJJ 1. Consistency creates accountability  We are all accountable for our growth. If, let’s say, we come short of reaching our goals, consistency plays a big factor in that. We are accountable for how far we can grow in BJJ. If we get promoted to new ranks, or stay stay stale in our training, consistency will play a huge role in it! Every BJJ artist out there should be consistent. This is where accountability towards one’s growth and goal-reaching happens. So what is your accountability? Are you accountable for your own results? In BJJ, in life etc.? 2. Consistency Builds Reputation  When you are building your career in BJJ, you are to be consistent. Imagine being that “guy” who only comes in to the gym at random times in a month, vs. that awesome dude who consistently trains. When you train in BJJ you interact with people, you build your reputation with the people that you train with! 3. Consistency is your road map to becoming the best there is  Practice makes perfect, and practice is synonymous with consistency. You have to practice your BJJ like how you practice walking and breathing. Consistently and almost automatic! It’s a road map. All BJJ greats have at one point decided to be consistent with the art! TIPS On becoming consistent  1. Remove all distractions  Distractions is a part of life. Managing distractions is not easy, but it can be done. The way to do this is to simply just decide to remove all other distractions that aren’t making you become better in the art! 2. Create an environment where consistency can be conducive!  3. Have a plan for achieving consistency. This is can be as little as taking the time to commit to training, to joining every tournament close to your area.

GB Weekly Training Plan for 10/06 – 10/12

GB WTP Week 04 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 10/06-10/12 our classes are based on Week 04 of the curriculum.   At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ​​learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

7 Jiu-Jitsu Lessons Learned Only From Experience

In life there are some things you will learn on your own.  No one will be able to teach you certain things.  In Jiu-Jitsu there are things you will have to experience to understand. #1.  You will learn what it feels like to be helpless There will come a point in every Jiu-Jitsu student’s life where they feel helpless on the mat.  A skilled opponent can hold you down in such a way that makes you feel powerless. Sometimes the only thing you can do is tap.  It develops humility in Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.  There maybe several people you know that would could benefit from this lesson. #2.  You will bond with people in a different way While training in Jiu-Jitsu, you will develop a special bond with your training partners.  It’s difficult to explain, but it’s a relationship that comes forged only through the rigors of training.  You may not know them as well others, but the bond is still there. #3.  You will see people in a different light You can learn a lot about others when you roll with them.  People react differently to the pressure and challenges of Jiu-Jitsu.  Some panic, some give up, and others weather the storm.  How they react on the mat can show you a lot about them. #4.  You will learn a lot about yourself Jiu-Jitsu is mentally therapeutic.  It will clear your mind and allow you to put many things in perspective.  It’s also a path to self-discovery.  It can help you to find out who you are, and what you’re made of. #5.  You really have to love Jiu-Jitsu I’ve never met a Black Belt that didn’t love Jiu-Jitsu.  For those that decide to stay, it stops becoming a hobby.  It develops into a lifestyle.  It’s a passion that fuels the rest of their lives. #6.  Getting to the top is never easy It’s definitely within the realm of possibility to be good at Jiu-Jitsu training casually. Making it to the top is another story.  Top-level Jiu-Jitsu competitors don’t train 2 hours a week.  They don’t sit out rounds. You have to be willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears.  You have to be willing to go hell and back. #7.  It has the ability to change your life in a way you would never expect to be possible Many people try Jiu-Jitsu.  Not many make it to blue belt, fewer even to purple and brown belt.  Very few make it to black belt. Regardless of when you stop training Jiu-Jitsu (if ever) or what level you are, Jiu-Jitsu can create beneficial change in your life. Patrick Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter: patjflores  

GB Weekly Training Plan for 09/29 – 10/05

GB WTP Week 03 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 09/29-10/05 our classes are based on Week 03 of the curriculum.   At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ​​learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Women and the Martial Arts: Making it happen.

Those who still think that women are the weaker sex are totally wrong. Women are strong, determined. They are warriors who know how to fight for what they want. Woman work this way: They go and do it. It has to work. Thus, it should be no different with the martial arts, especially with Jiu-Jitsu. Believe it or not, the history of women in the martial arts is larger than we can imagine. The women from ancient China and Japan had important reasons to learn martial arts: They had to fight to survive and protect their families. They also had to adapt the techniques to their size and body type. Women from modern society learned those techniques and continued the evolutionary process, practicing self-defense, Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Today’s women have also developed themselves as leaders in the martial arts, teaching, competing, writing and starring in films and demonstrations. While the current martial arts are quite different from the most ancient ones (technically speaking), they still offer great challenges for women. Some women who are taking their very first class may never have been involved in a contact sport, and some may have even been victims of sexual violence in the past. Since this is still a male-dominated activity, women may feel intimidated by men in their classes. What they need to know is that many women have come before them and have become leaders and role models for future generations. Every woman who perseveres in practicing a martial art is offering a valuable contribution to future generations. As the martial arts have been modified to meet the needs of a modern society, women began to participate in various ways. There are many women in this century who made valuable contributions to the modern martial arts. They not only helped to spread the popularity of the sport, but also took a big step in creating equality in the individual arts as well as in competition. Women also served as an inspiration and role models for others who continue to join the sport. Originally, women were excluded from the mat or were completely separated from the men at the practice time. Now, women are involved in almost all aspects of martial arts, including teaching, administration of their own schools, and as major referees in high-level competitions. Gracie Barra has a rich history of women who were trained in the past and currently continue to train at our schools spread across the 5 continents. Those women have contributed for us to achieve high standards of teaching and are admired because they overcame many barriers toward their graduation. They are leaders on our mats and continue to contribute as teachers, competitors and school owners. There are still, for sure, many barriers for women in martial arts today. When a woman walks into any martial arts school, she is likely to be intimidated by the predominance of men in the classrooms. She also sometimes can be treated differently by some partners when doing exercises or free practice. But none of this should be enough to make them give up training. These winner women have already come a long way. “I think there will always be a certain prejudice against women in the practice of JJ or any other combat sport. Practicing a fighting sport does not turn us into men. Instead, we are super feminine. My advice is: Do not care what people say. If you like, if you love what you do, just continue. Do not let anyone get in the way of your dreams or stop you from doing something you enjoy.” Professor Luzia Fernandes, GB Black Belt 3rd degree. The next time you are encouraging a woman to practice martial arts, remember to inform her about the story of those women who came before her. This will help her to get started and also to continue to practice, bringing valuable contributions to the martial arts world.

The Magic of Visualization

Have you ever heard of The Secret? No. We are not going to talk about how the law of attraction will work on your BJJ. Or how the universe will conspire to achieve what you desire. Well sort of. We are going to put a little twist on the new age belief of attracting what we want, and in a way apply it to our art that is BJJ. Let us look at our two athletes who is really into BJJ. The two are identical in skill level, for they have been trained by the same black belt / professor. Now, athlete A has done all that is expected from anyone who does jiu jitsu. He trains. He rolls. But at the end of each training session, he drops everything and forgets about the path he takes. Athlete B is quite different. You see, he takes the art to a whole new level. He has taken his art to a different level. He trains, rolls, and adds a little spiritual twist to his game. He visualizes. As he visualizes, he sees himself training really hard, and in his mind’s eye it is his hand being raised in each competition. He goes into a deep meditative state to expand his mind and raise the level of his game. Now, many may reject (and debunk) the idea of visualization. Well, there is a science to it. The brain actually can learn and experience without the presence of the physical. Science has proven that all experiences happen in the brain. In some extreme cases, the brain can create experience that have never even happened, such as with hallucinations, etc. Now, tapping the power of the brain to create experience and learning, we come to the topic of visualization. The power of visualization is undeniable. Great athletes have used it to great success. For the mind to experience winning and in-mind training can boost any BJJ artists’ potential. Tips on visualization 1. Find a calm spot to do your visualization. This can be your room, or the bathtub or anywhere! The idea is to be in a spot where you feel most comfortable! 2. Breathe slowly. Breathe in slowly from your nostrils, breathe out to your mouth. 3. In your mind’s eye, imagine a calm serene surrounding. It can be anywhere. Stick to that image. 4. Now, comes the fun part. Imagine positive memories of training on the mats. Visualize and remember the laughter and the fun! Then slowly shift to really training hard. Imagine that arm bar! That mounting position that you seem not to master. Imagine those happening. And you are the one successfully pulling it off. Remember the mistakes and imagine correcting them! 5. Visualize feeling fulfilled after two hours of training. Visualize that you have learned a lot in that session! Visualize the energy and the new-found potential of you! 6. Make a commitment to yourself. Affirm what you have seen. Write it down and repeat it. On my wall, I have these words written: “I have chosen the path that enables me to achieve beyond my potential. To stretch my potential and strain it. I will not just learn Jiu Jitsu. I am going to live it. Limitation is only as far as my mind can conceive it. Therefore, I recognize no limits.”

12 Signs You May be Addicted to BJJ

If you’re reading this, you may have already realized you have a problem.  Jiu-Jitsu however is a good problem to have.  If you share the addiction to BJJ, hopefully some of these will stick out to you! 1.  You frequently try new techniques on love ones who don’t train in Jiu-Jitsu Sometimes you see a move or think about a submission.  Many people who are addicted to Jiu-Jitsu will not wait till they get to class.  They will simply go over to a loved one, friend, or even a random stranger and say, “Let me try this thing real quick.” 2.  You check websites like BJJHQ every night I’m in no way affiliated with BJJHQ.com but they have some awesome deals on BJJ gear.  When I first started training, I found myself checking this site every couple days.  Now, I check it every night and multiple times during rolling deals! 3.  You subscribe to one or more Jiu-Jitsu magazines Just in case the power ever went out, Jiu-Jitsu addicts will always have a hard copy of Jiu-Jitsu literature lying around.  Jiu-Jitsu Magazine, Gracie Mag, and Jits Magazine are a few you may subscribe to. 4.  Your YouTube history is cluttered with Jiu-Jitsu videos For you, YouTube is a database of Jiu-Jitsu techniques.  You probably also subscribe to channels such as BJJ Hacks TV, GracieBreakdown, and BJJ Scout. 5.  You wear Jiu-Jitsu apparel 24/7 Your clothes have the words “Jiu-Jitsu” or “Gracie” on them. 6.  You find yourself hip escaping in your sleep Sometimes this happens and your head hits the headboard or the wall. 7.  You start looking at movies and analyzing how they’re submissions are all wrong Action movies often don’t portray realistic fighting.  People addicted to Jiu-Jitsu tend look at submission in movies and start pointing out all the things wrong with it. 8.  You prefer Açai over of Ice Cream Many people are introduced to Acai through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  It’s a tasty treat. 9.  When talking to someone you don’t like, you daydream of ways to submit them Admit it.  This happens. 10.  You’ve tried a submission attempt on a pillow Sometimes no one is around to try a new technique on.  Pillows don’t ever argue or fight back. 11.  When you give someone a hug, you must always get under hooks Under-hooks are important!  It gives you the leverage you need to control someone if you ever needed to.  Just in case! 12.  You experience withdrawal when you don’t train The mat has become a 2nd home to me.  The academy has been a place I can go to relax and break free.  If I don’t train, I begin to miss it and actually have trouble sleeping. Can you think of any I missed? Patrick J. Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter:  patjflore Imagens: Google

3 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Training

Observing the many students who begin training in brazilian jiu-jitsu every year at the academy, there are some very common pitfalls that the beginning student must be wary of falling into. It is not only whitebelt students who may make these training mistakes: one must guard against these negative habits throughout the course of your bjj.  1) Burn Out Many who begin training in bjj quickly fall in love with the sport and totally immerse themselves in the jiu-jitsu lifestyle. They buy several new kimonos, watch all of the Youtube videos and embark on an intense physical conditioning program trying to catch up to the more experienced students.Some may even train every day or multiple times per day!However, the saturation of all of this in the mind can lead to mental burn out. And in the worst cases, the student may abandon their training altogether!To avoid this one must find a balance between training and the other aspects of a healthy life.Remind yourself that any one can start quickly, but it is even, consistent participation over a sustained period that results in a true jiu-jitsu lifestyle.One of the students at my Gracie Barra Academy has a great quote that applies to training burnout:“Consistent effort is more important than occasional times of sprinted effort.” GB student Doug Vermeeren 2) Unrealistic ExpectationsYour progress in training can be frustratingly filled with stops and starts, hiccups and obstacles. Improvement is not always a steady progression and a frequent complaint of practitioners is that their training has become stale.While all of us wish to get better at the fastest possible rate, we must accept that non-linear progression is the nature of anything that is challenging.In many cases of frustration the student has placed a time frame on their expected progress. They feel that they should have achieved a certain belt in a certain amount of time and anything less is cause for disappointment.They may see another student who started around the same time who appears to be progressing faster. Maybe they heard that a bjj phenom achieved their black belt in a relatively short period of time. Comparing ones own progress unfavourably to another who may have very different natural talent, time to train and commitment can lead to the trap of feeling your own jiu-jitsu is lacking.Remind yourself periodically that each person’s bjj journey is different and instead view your own study of bjj as a marathon, not a sprint to the next belt. 3) Wrong Mind set in RollingBjj tends to attract competitive types of personalities. It is very natural to want to show your best and apply your maximum effort each time you visit the academy.There is another side to the competitive mentality that could end of costing you something more important than a victory in any single roll: your longer term development in jiu-jitsu.Those students who possess natural athletic attributes will be tempted to use them at the expense of using the proper technique just to get a win. This comes at the expense of using proper technique.The problem with this is that it has a limited period of success before those will over take you using superior technique. Many smaller students are known to be the most technical in the academy because they have always had to rely on technique in the absence of size and explosiveness.In my first year of judo my instructor took me aside and said very diplomatically that he could see that I was strong (I was a serious weight trainer at the time) but not to use too much power in my judo.Her said to try to develop the technique by setting aside the power for now. When I developed the technique and then added the power, the combination would make me a very difficult opponent.Remind yourself that the purpose of rolling in the academy is to DEVELOP your technique (try to use the techniques your professor shows you), not to prove how difficult it is to tap you. Credits: Mark Mullen  GB Black belt from GB Calgary, Canada Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

The Perfect Week: 7 Straight Days of BJJ

I have a typical 9-5 job and go to school at night.  Like so many people I love Jiu-Jitsu enough to make time to train about 3 times a week.  This regiment keeps me in reasonably good shape and my Jiu-Jitsu sharp.  In addition I try hitting the gym once a week for strength and conditioning.  A couple weeks ago I had my last week of summer break giving me some free time.  I also discovered there would be a rare open mat the day the academy was normally closed.  It presented me with a rare opportunity to train BJJ for a week straight. During this week I trained Jiu-Jitsu for at least one and a half hours each day.  It generally consists of a standard one-hour class and at least a half hour of sparing. The maximum time I would spend on single day training was about three hours.  The first couple days were fine.  Just experienced the normal aches and pains everyone training in BJJ has.  By day 4, I started to notice more bruising from accidental pinching, and knee/calf slice passes.  My energy levels were lower than usual too.  Not just in my Jiu-Jitsu but in my day to day.  My body was only use to about 3 days of intense training. The last couple days were a bit of a blur.  My body was sore from previous days of training.  By the last day (open mat class), I wasn’t able to power out of anything.  It was a good experience.  I know many people have trained 7 days straight or even more.  It really puts into perspective what many professional athletes have to put their body through.  It also made me look up overtraining.  I’ve always heard the term and never experienced it personally. I found out that overtraining could happen in many sports.  It’s when someone exercises so often that his or her body isn’t able to properly recover.  They hit a point of diminishing returns.  Jiu-Jitsu can be a very addictive sport.  For some, training nearly everyday of the week is a common occurrence and there body is use to it.  Others will experience overtraining.  There are some common side effects of overtraining such as muscle soreness lasting for more than 72 hours.  This leads to a loss of strength and physical capability.  Other side effects can be unexpected. Insomnia and issues sleeping can be a side effect of overtraining.  Lack of recovery can cause increased levels of certain hormones.  This increase heart rate and blood pressure leading to over trained athletes having poorer quality sleep.  This reduces their body’s ability to recover properly and may lead to other issues such as depression. Your body needs time to repair.  Not taking time to properly recover can cause issues and result in poorer quality training.  This can sometimes be the reason someone’s Jiu-Jitsu plateaus.  Though training for a full week straight was fun, it’s not anything that I would jump back into anytime soon without easing into it.  Taking days off from training can be good for you as overtraining is a reality many serious athletes must consider. How many days a week do you train and why? Have you ever experienced over training?  Patrick Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter:  patjflores Sources and additional reading  www.livestrong.com/article/504332-can-overtraining-cause-insomnia/ www.webmd.com/depression/features/sleep-problems www.mensfitness.com/training/build-muscle/12-signs-youre-overtraining?page=2

BJJ After Taking A Break

Taking a break a from something you love is essential. Think of it as a breather. Yes. We all need it. And then, we go back to it. And somehow, it is an uphill battle to get back in shape. No matter what your reasons are for taking a break from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, this can help. There are hundreds of reasons why people quit bjj. Most common are financial issues, relocation, life getting in the way of BJJ (LOL!), and even injuries. There are also personal reasons that I have heard of. There is also drama. Although, I have never heard of such drama in Gracie Barra that can drive students away. Yes. I am promoting Gracie Barra. One of the best schools there is, actually. Seriously, google it =) Take It Slow Rushing into full monster mode in BJJ is not gonna help. Think about it, your muscles have become atrophied from not doing the strenuous activity known as BJJ. Going all out is not gonna help. Take this for example: when you first started out training, your mentor / professor gave you the basics. This is designed not to put too much pressure on your body, right? Taking it slow will give you more advantage actually. Back to Basics? Yes. Going back to basics will stimulate your drive to (again) enjoy bjj. My experience in returning to bjj was more enjoyable when I went back to basics. Not that I get to bully the newbies, but it was more interesting to relive the days when I was naive about the art. Ignorance can be blissful. Find a Partner to Train With Yes. Finding a training partner helps you get back on track. Preferrably someone who is also (again) starting out in the art of BJJ. This can be anyone! Like an old gym mate. Getting together back in the gym will always be a good thing. And oh. Both of you can track your progress. Sign Up for the Next Competition Um… taking things slow, right? Well, signing up for the next competition is a good thing. Jiu-jitsu is a competition based sport. Get that drive back by getting the excitement of going against a complete stranger. You may not win, but at least the spirit of competing lives on. Start Eating Right This is commonly forgotten when getting back to active sports. You need to start eating right. No amount of training can help you if you are not putting good things in your body. For more information, you may check www.graciebarra.comblogs on eating well. We have tons of recipes there! Reconnect with Your Professor Your professor was someone that you looked up to. And it’s quite interesting how things may have changed in the gym. I’ll bet your old BJJ professor is excited to see you as well. In Gracie Barra, all professors would love to see those who have decided to give BJJ another chance.

GB Learning: Single Leg Counter Attack

We all have fallen into this pit. The single leg take down is one of the most effective way of taking your opponent to the ground and gaining that sweet 2-point advantage against your opponent, or your opponent gaining it instead. The single leg is a common attack. And almost all BJJ enthusiasts know how to execute it, and not everybody knows how to counter it or when someone tries to counter the counter. There are variations of the attack, but not everybody knows the counter to a counter… or at least anything aside from the typical sprawl. In this video, you will learn a rather advance counter against the single leg takedown. Counter intuitive to any single leg takedown is to give your leg. However, in this set up, when your opponent tries to counter your single leg take down, you can sway them into executing an attack that is to counter his initial reaction of giving his leg towards you, and end it with a hip throw. Sounds fun? Now, the key to this counter is to make your opponent think that you are committing to the attack, then misdirect it by throwing in a step towards his side, then positioning your hips in the right spot for an explosive throw! Need to see more? Watch the YouTube video!  target=”_blank”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RznUwEjelao&list=UUSVTCTmnz_9ZyD3WU1Ucexw&index=2

GB NEWS: GB Trip Diary

On September 14th, some of the most renowned GB black belts will be arriving in Florianopolis, Brazil, where they will spend two weeks with Master Carlos Gracie Jr. With this team together, many new and good things are sure to come. Guess who are the members of this great team? Starting with our Master Carlos Gracie Jr., red and black belt 7th degree, founder of Gracie Barra and visionary of the Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone project. Known to be a man ahead of his time, wise, owner of a strong mind and a very sharp jiu-jitsu, Carlinhos leaves his mark and makes a difference wherever he goes. Following Carlinhos we have Professor Marcio Feitosa, 5th degree black belt and three times Jiu-Jitsu world champion. Today, Marcio is fully dedicated to the Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone project, assisting hundreds of GB instructors and entrepreneurs around the world. Our 3rd member of this battalion is Flavio Almeida, Director of GB Franchising Systems-US, 4th degree black belt and founder of GB San Clemente and Dana Point schools, both located in southern California. A real enthusiast when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu, Flavio “Cachorrinho” has been doing a phenomenal job expanding the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone project. Besides, he is passionate about what he does and, both inside and outside the mats, and he is always looking for new things to bring to the GB family. And to finish with a flourish, our 4th member is the Director of GB Wear-US and GB Shop-Brazil, 3rd degree black belt and a student of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. since 1991, Marco Joca “Piu-Piu”. Since old times, when GB produced the team’s shirts in the “backyard” Marco was already in charge of creating clothing and uniforms for our members. Marco is a major contributor to the success of our clothing department, which now has offices in six countries and provides material for over 400 Gracie Barra schools around the world. And after all, what will happen in the coming days in Florianopolis? Our newsroom hurried to talk with Marcio Feitosa and Flavio Almeida, who by the way are very excited about this trip and other new projects. We did not get to talk with Marco Joca as he had already flown to Brazil, where he will be working on the event preparations. Flavio and Marcio told us that in the next days they will record instruction videos and finalize the 2015 planning with Master Carlos Gracie Jr. “In search of inspiration and innovation for the challenge of tracing the paths to the future of our team, Master Carlos is always our source of wisdom and guidance. I’m very excited about the opportunity to meet with him for a week in order to improve the strategic plan of Gracie Barra while we capture his knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu essence, to be shared with our students, teachers and school owners around the world.” – said Flavio to our staff. “We’ll perpetuate images of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. teaching basic positions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s like assuring that our DNA will never be lost or modified. I consider myself privileged to be living this moment in the history of Jiu-Jitsu, where there is such an attention to the preservation and evolution of knowledge.” – Marcinho spoke to our newsroom. To keep you informed, here’s the list of what’s to come: – Exclusive Content: The videos will not be openly sold. Only Gracie Barra instructors with valid certificates will have access to those images. They will be made available through the internet and will be password protected. – Multiple Languages: The vision of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is to bring a GB school to every city in the world. Today we already have over 400 GB schools in several countries. Thinking about this, GB will provide videos of Master Carlos Jr. in multiple languages ​​via the Voice Over technology.  Isn’t that great? – ICP 5: In 2015, GB will launch a new certification program for their instructors, and of course, with many new features and knowledge. GB quality standard is assured. – Conference 2015: Two GB meetings are being planned for the second half of 2015. There will be two conferences, one held in the US and another in BRAZIL. In 2015 the GB conferences will be almost entirely aimed at the mat and technical parts. The goal is to deepen the knowledge of the GB instructors in takedowns, self-defense, ground, competition, and more. 2015 promises a lot for the GB Family. Stay tuned to our blog to learn more. PS: Reliable sources have informed us that Master Carlos Gracie Jr. will soon be on Californian soil to be with Professor Vinicius Draculino at the Camp Masters, in October.  

Benefits of Slow Roll Classes

Walking into Gracie Barra Chino on a Thursday night is a bit different than any other night.   Like most academies, it has a kids class.  If I show up early enough I can catch them playing freeze tag or tug o’ war.  Part of me wishes we played similar games in the adult class.  I jump into the adult class and the live training that follows.  I usually pick up one or two new techniques, depending on how much I’m daydreaming at the time.  I try to use them during the live training as much as possible but I’m not always successful.  That’s Jiu-Jitsu though.  Once the typical night of Jiu-Jitsu is over, the special slow roll Jiu-Jitsu class begins. The slow-roll Jiu-Jitsu class is the brainchild of Professor Bryan Nakagawa.  Originally the class was intended to be for those 40 years of age or older.  It quickly piqued the interest of younger students and the slow roll class was born.  Focusing on proper technique and application, the class is set up a bit differently and less formally than traditional classes. Professors Bryan and Derek Nakagawa teach the class most nights.  Usually starting off with light stretching.   The main emphasis of the class is to break down techniques and their applications.  They analyze a student’s application of technique and find out why it may not be working for them.  Since students have different body types and physical abilities, the technique can be modified or substituted with a variation that works better for the student. Though the name of the class is “slow roll” it doesn’t necessary equal slow or light training.   The rolls can vary in intensity and in style.  For example, students must roll while holding onto tennis balls at times.  Many people may be asking why… The idea is to de-emphasize the use of the grips.  Though important in Jiu-Jitsu, the grips can provide a false sense of security.  By holding the tennis balls it forces the student(s) to think about the technique.  The student must use proper body movements to pass or evade.  This drill can also be useful in learning how to control an opponent using the proper balance of body weight.  These types of drills may seem awkward at first, but greatly help develop proper technique. The class is about an hour long but goes by quickly.  It ends with a question and answer session.  Each student goes around and is able to ask the Professors questions unique to a problem they may be having. Students leave the class with a plethora of new things to consider in their Jiu-Jitsu game.  The class exposes areas students need to improve on, while also showing how to correct them.  I personally always leave the class feeling more confident about my own Jiu-Jitsu. Does your academy incorporate a slow roll type class in the curriculum? Special thanks to Professors Bryan and Derek along with everyone at GB Chino Thursday nights! Patrick Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter:  patjflores

Top 4 Things In Your First Year of Training

The majority of the students in any bjj academy will be the white belts. This article is especially for you guys! Many feel a sense of being overwhelmed when starting Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Innumerable techniques each with many details to learn. Vulnerable in every position…where do you start?  Where does one best concentrate their efforts? 1) The Flesh out your “Positional Skeleton”Before sparring in bjj is productive, the student must have some idea of the positional hierarchy of bjj and hopefully a strategy to deal with each position that you find yourself in.The Positional Hierarchy:Rear mountMountKnee on BellySide controlHalf MountGuard TopGuard BottomTurtle Top / Turtle BottomHalf Guard BottomSide control BottomKnee on Belly BottomMount BottomRear mount BottomIf we look at this list as a “skeleton” of your bjj game, the instructor must help you “flesh out” the “skeleton” by providing you with:inferior positions: escapes and safe arm positions inferior positions: basic knowledge of how to defend the most common submissionssuperior positions: how to maintain control the opponent and prevent their common escapessuperior positions: a high percentage and fundamental submission for your attacksYou need something in each position before sparring is really productive.2) Mat FitnessStudents may posses a high level of general physical fitness when they start training jiu-jitsu, but little can prepare you for the sports specific fitness that one needs for bjj.Movements like shrimping / hip escapes, bridges, planking and pushing at odd angles are not intuitive for most beginners. Normal weight training routines centered around bodybuilding exercises do not prepare the body for these movements.Most warmups contain some of these bjj specific drills that will start to train those patterns into the muscles. I am a strong advocate of arriving a few minutes early to class to perform a few of those important movements on your own.Mat fitness also refers more generally to such other things as grip strength, isometric holds and the stability and strength required for bracing the core of your torso.Anyone who has ever been forced off the mat to heal an injury – despite doing all they can in the weight room to maintain their conditioning – is reminded upon their return how much of conditioning for bjj is very sports specific.There is no other way to obtain true mat fitness than getting on the mat!3) Survival on the BottomWhen students first begin sparring they discover that old adage “No plan of action survives first contact with the enemy” is all too true!If you are rolling with higher belts you will very likely end up on the bottom and defending an onslaught of submissions.You simply need the tools to survive and look to escape. If you lack the proper posture on bottom and safe defensive arm positions, the top opponent will always be able to control you and you will quickly become exhausted from defending.I saw one new student who did not yet know where to safely position his arms when on the bottom of side control. His arms were constantly vulnerable to attacks from the top and in addition to being stuck on bottom he was getting submitted!A little specific coaching on how to create a defensive posture on the bottom with framing his arms and now he was able to start escaping and getting to the top. 4)Posture on the TopBeing on the top is all about base, posture and pressure. Base and posture the first priority though! If you have a poor base, you will constantly be getting swept and fighting from the bottom.Posture in the guard, keeping your arms in a safe position and having a low, solid base are the starting points for any passes that you want to work.Recently, I observed a lesser experienced student trying to pass the closed guard. They were trying to hand fight and consistently were having their head pulled down breaking the posture and fending off a succession of triangles and armlocks before eventually losing balance and being swept to their back.Before the next class, I took the student aside and showed where to place the hands correctly and safely from armlock attacks. Reminded to keep the hips low and the base wide. The difference in their ability to maintain balance and keep the top position was immediately noticeable in their very next roll.This is by no means a comprehensive list of things the first year student needs to learn. Your instructor will help you learn the fundamentals. This list will help you allocate your efforts to address the most common challenges of the first year of training.Credits: Mark Mullen GB Black belt from GB Calgary, CanadaTwitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

BJJ Quotes: 10 more pieces of BJJ wisdom to inspire and instruct

The first Blog post on BJJ quotes was very popular, so here are 10 more pieces of BJJ wisdom to inspire and instruct. 1) “Discipline and consistency. I owe these two factors all have attained in my life.Things have never happened overnight. Results have appeared as a consequence of decades long toil. It is necessary to persist.”Carlos Gracie Jr.2) “There are no shortcuts in Jiu-Jitsu, on the mats, the truth is always exposed”Unknown 3) ““Even when you spar during training, you should minimize your natural talents.  By limiting yourself, you may find yourself in much worse situation, but you are forced to think your way out, using techniques you would not have otherwise used. When you start doing this, you begin to understand what is really wrong in a certain situation and you begin to understand what actually needs to be done in a technical way in order to improve the situation. You then begin to develop a real, deep progress, understanding the mechanics of any situation.”Rickson Gracie 4) “I always want to be in the top position. Always. My entire game is built around sweeping my opponent and getting on top where I can use agility, positioning, and gravity to overwhelm my opponent’s defences”Marcelo Garcia5) “…something she mentions that she learned from Marcelo. I don’t think this is giving away some big secret, I’m sure others have thought of it before. But she says, one thing she learned from Marcelo is that while some people think you should train techniques on both sides this is actually limiting your training time and development.Since you are training both sides you’re cutting down the effectiveness of one side by 50%. So if you train certain techniques to only one side, your using your training time more efficiently and increasing the potential effectiveness of the technique.Secondly, if you train a certain moves) to one side, you can then train specific moves to the other side, moves that naturally feed into the other move based on your opponents reactions/defence/counter.”Stephan Kesting of Grapplearts6) “Athletes are not permitted certain luxuries like drinking, partying, and eating whatever they want.”Rafa Mendes7) “I can now attest that the experience of grappling with an expert is akin to falling into deep water without knowing how to swim. You will make a furious effort to stay afloat—and you will fail. Once you learn how to swim, however, it becomes difficult to see what the problem is— why can’t a drowning man just relax and tread water? The same inscrutable difference between lethal ignorance and lifesaving knowledge can be found on the mat: To train in BJJ is to continually drown—or, rather, to be drowned, in sudden and ingenious ways—and to be taught, again and again, how to swim. Sam Harris8) “Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.”Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings9) “The deepest benefits of Jiu Jitsu come off the mat.  It encourages a world-view based upon the idea of rational problem solving.  Jiu Jitsu is all about solving problems that are rapidly changing under stress, and that gives you an ability to identify the crux of the problem in front of you, even in a stressful situation and adapt your body and tactics to overcome that problem and to continue overcoming it as the problem itself changes.  It encourages you to use a very rational trial and error method, basically the same method that science uses to overcome these problems.  So it gives you this sort of problem solving mind set, which I think applies throughout life itself.”John Danaher 10) “I’ ve always been a fan of the basics. After you have a good solid foundation of Jiu-Jitsu, the rest comes by instinct. You create, invent. The rest is easy. The difficult part is the beginning.”Carlos Gracie Jr.What BJJ quote inspires you? Credits: Mark Mullen GB Black belt from GB Calgary, CanadaTwitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Green Smoothies – Your Body Will Thank You!

Gracie Barra Blog published an article a few weeks back: Extra Things That You Can Do to Help Your BJJ #1 was Green Smoothies. This was the single best addition to my training in the last several years!There are many healthy ingredients that you can put in your smoothie but perhaps the most important is the center piece: kale.Called one of nature’s super foods, kale is very nutritionally dense and a great way to get those nutrients into your body before jiu-jitsu class. Here are some of the benefits of kale:“Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.”“Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse. One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.”source: webmd.com“While not as well researched as some of its fellow cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cabbage, kale is a food that you can count on for some unsurpassed health benefits, if for no other reason than its exceptional nutrient richness. In our own website food rating system, kale scored 4 “excellents,” 6 “very goods,” and 10 “goods”—for a total of 20 standout categories of nutrient richness! That achievement is difficult for most foods to match. “source: whfoods.com“Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is the number one cause of arthritis, heart disease and a number of autoimmune diseases, and is triggered by the consumption of animal products. Kale is an incredibly effective anti-inflammatory food, potentially preventing and even reversing these illnesses.”source: organicauthority.com My personal experience has been that introducing kale shakes to my diet has greatly reduced my joint pain. Many jiu-jitsu practitioners can attest to sore fingers, elbows, shoulders and knees at times in their training.Joint pain is partly caused by inflammation and kale shakes reduce the overall level of inflammation in your body. I found after a few weeks that I was no longer complaining about sore joints and I was reducing the amount of pre class taping!I had previously tried fish oil capsules and glucosamine with modest success.I usually have my kale shake before my training at the noon class. A quick rinse of the blender after you are done, grab your gear bag and you are off to class. The smoothie provides enough sustenance to fill your stomach without being overly heavy and making you feel full before getting on the mat.* Note – You need to have a higher end, powerful blender like a Vitamix, Blendtec or Nutri Bullet (what I use). Your household blender lacks the power to reduce the vegetables to a smooth consistency > invest in your health and buy a quality blender!I Call this recipe “The Beetdown”handful of frozen mixed berries1/2 apple2-3 leaves of kale (spinach is my 2nd choice)slice of raw, peeled beet1/2 cup of acai juice (plain water is ok)carrot1 tbsp of flax seedwater30 seconds in the blender until you have smooth consistency You may want to add a different veg or fruit – but resist the urge to add some of everything. Simple and fresh is the key.Credits: Mark Mullen GB Black belt from GB Calgary, CanadaTwitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

The “Art” of Jiu-Jitsu: Artist, Photographers, Filmmakers, and Dreamers

Many artists, photographers, and filmmakers have been able to express their passion for Jiu-Jitsu in their art.  Here are a couple of artists that I feel have done a great job expressing Jiu-Jitsu in different artistic mediums. Artwork Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Pablo Picasso Artist:  Meerkatsu (Seymour Yang) Website: www.meerkatsu.com  Seymour Yang is an artist and illustrator from the UK.  He has created many Jiu-Jitsu inspired illustrations using his own unique style.  You may have seen his work on some BJJ clothing.  Check out his website and gallery at www.meerkatsu.com.  Also check out www.tapcancerout.org, a non-profit organization raising awareness and funds through BJJ Tournaments, donations, merchandise, and sponsorships! Meerkatsu has done some work for them in the past.  Artist:  Gawakoto (Bong Abad) Website: www.gawakotoclothing.co.uk/portfolio/  Gawakoto is another UK based company making awesome Jiu-Jitsu clothing with amazing illustrations.  “Gawa Ko To” is Tagalog (Filipino), and translates to, “I made this.”  The artist draws his influence from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the Filipino martial art, Kali.   Check out his site! Photography A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words” – Ansel Adams Photographer:  Stefan Kocey Website:  www.stefankocev.com Stefan is a professional photographer.  He also is a BJJ Black Belt who has taken photos of BJJ and MMA fighters.  His photos capture the feeling of a fight/fighter without seeing anything more than a single photo.  His writing and photos can often be found on Vice.com’s Fightland.  Check out his article and photos on the Metamoris 4 event. http://fightland.vice.com/blog/the-faces-of-metamoris-4 Photographer:  Mik Milan Website: www.yourenotspecial.exposure.co/people-who-train This is a website that I came across lately that showcases photographs of regular people who train in Jiu-Jitsu.  Check out his website or Facebook page called “People Who Train.” Filmmaking “Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actual want to change the world, not just re-decorate it.” -Banksy Filmmaker:  Stewart Cooper Website:  www.stuartcooperfilms.com When it comes to filmmaking and Jiu-Jitsu, only one name really comes to mind.  Stewart Cooper has made many independent films on BJJ.  One of my personal favorite Jiu-Jitsu films has always been “The Spirit of Jiu-Jitsu.”  If you haven’t watched this this video and are a fan of Jiu-Jitsu, I implore you to watch this video right away.  After that, watch the rest of his videos.  Check out the links in the video to find out how to donate so he can continue to make awe-inspiring BJJ documentaries. These are just a few examples of how people have incorporated Jiu-Jitsu into their own passions.  Who are some of your favorite artists that have showcased Jiu-Jitsu in their art?  Written By:  Patrick Flores Graice Barra Chino Twitter: patjflores

Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu for Working Professionals

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu draws people from many different occupations.  People take time off their busy work schedules to train a couple days a week (sometimes more) and train for an hour or two each night.  The time someone remains in Jiu-Jitsu will differ from person to person.  Never the less, everyone will take away something beneficial that can be used in whatever they choose to do with their lives. Exercise:   The human body was never design to sit at a desk and stare at a computer all day.  There is substantial evidence linking sitting down for long periods of time to many health issues.  Unfortunately, many people have jobs that require them to sit for extended periods of time.   Exercise is a great way to counteract the health risks of non-physical labor.  Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu improves cardio, strength, and flexibility.  Exercise can also help boost energy levels to help you become a more productive employee or leader. Clears the mind:  When facing someone who is trying to choke you, many of life’s problems don’t seem like such a big deal anymore.  Many people who don’t train won’t understand this aspect of Jiu-Jitsu.  BJJ can simplify life, helping you relax and put many things in perspective.  For example, companies like Google offer BJJ classes to help break up the busy workday and to help employees relax. Having a clear mindset is also useful when dealing with issues at work.  Many times, a clear mind is the right recipe to deal with an unsolved problem or a difficult decision Networking: Many people outside of the Jiu-Jitsu community don’t realize the incredible networking opportunities within Jiu-Jitsu.  The art attracts people from all walks of life.  You begin to slowly develop a strong network of professionals and friends.  There is an additional layer of trust that forms among teammates making a Jiu-Jitsu network unique. Makes for a Better Person:   Jiu-Jitsu is incredibly difficult to get good at.  To be successful, one has to become a mentally strong individual.  It also helps develop humility, a trait many argue is lacking in todays society.  I think Joe Rogan said it best, “When you get good at something as difficult as Jiu-Jitsu, it makes everything in your life better.” How has training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu helped you in your professional career?  Patrick Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter: patjflores

The Reality of a Street Fight

Have you ever witnessed someone who couldn’t swim be thrown into the water? They generally thrash around, gasping for air, kicking wildly, and at times panicking.  It can be terrifying.  Now imagine a situation where you were thrown into a fight and didn’t know how to defend yourself.  You would probably have a similar reaction to the person who couldn’t swim.  I’ve seen and participated in my share of street fights.  It’s interesting to witness the reaction people have, and choices they subsequently make. A street fight is very different from a sparing session, or roll.  At the academy or gym, you are provided with a safe controlled environment to train in.  The people you train with eventually become friends and a comfort level is established.  No one is really trying to hurt anyone.  In the gym, you can tap or stop the training at any given time for whatever reason.  You are not afforded with these luxuries everywhere. A street fight can happen anywhere with many more variables.  In order to defend yourself properly you have to assess your surroundings.  There is no mat to break your fall.  The person on the other end is attacking with the intent to do harm and may not stop until you’re dead.  You must also take into account multiple opponents and the possibility that they may be carrying weapons. Movies and TV usually don’t portray a real street fight accurately.  For example, multiple opponents don’t attack you one by one.  This can take even train fighters by surprise as they deal many times with only one opponent.  In a real self-defense situation, all rules go out the window.  When fighting for your life, there is no such thing as dirty fighting. You may be confident in your abilities to fight.  How can you be so sure of your opponent’s ability?  Many people can be unassuming and you never know what the other guy is capable of.  The reality is, there will always be someone better than you.  Are you willing to take the chance that he or she isn’t standing in front of you that day? Finally there is the mental aspect.  When engaged in a real confrontation, I find people generally react in one of three ways; fight, flight, or do nothing.  Doing nothing is the worst decision and usually chosen by those who panic.  This is when the experience training martial arts really pays off.  Your ability to stay calm and collective during any intense situation is vital. If you ever decide to engage in a street fight, know what you are getting into and understand that there could be consequences to your actions.  The best self-defense is to never be in a position to be hurt. Have you ever been in a real street fight?  What benefit has training in martial arts had for you in that situation?  By:  Patrick Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter:  patjflores

GB Weekly Training Plan for 08/18 – 08/24

GB WTP Week 13 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 08/18-08/24 our classes are based on Week 13 of the curriculum.   At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ​​learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Entered the comfort zone? Escape from it right now!

Jiu-jitsu is a sport in which every day we can learn a little more. A person, regardless of their level of “refinement” in his moves, the “endless” energy or the better physical conditioning, will never know all the techniques – if there are in fact “all” of them. He or she will not learn everything, and not due to being unable or having any difficulty. The point is that jiu-jitsu is an art in constant evolution, where older guys learn with the newest and vice versa. From self-defense trainings to the ones focused on competitions, being an activity done by a single student or a top athlete from your school, we all have to learn how to define training priorities. But why are we talking about priorities in training? Prioritizing what you like most does not always mean the best choice for you. Many times, that guy who chooses to train his favorite move (and only that one) ends up in what we call the “comfort zone”. To make it easier to understand, imagine that you are an expert when it comes to performing the armlock. Every time you train with someone, you pull him or her and go for the arm. You do this with everyone, but it has reached a stage where all your opponents already know what you will do and they begin to surprise you in competitions or trainings. You then keep insisting on that strategy and get more and more frustrated. Well, if this is happening to you is because you are in the “comfort zone” – where “comfort” means nothing good at all. Getting out of our own comfort zone is what we always need to do, because when this happens we mature, we become stronger and we are always ready for war.” (Eliedson McKinley) From that point arises the need to set priorities to your classes and techniques learned. Training the unknown, learning new positions, risking and putting in practice that new knowledge just acquired during the practice… It’s all part of the priorities of a complete jiu-jitsu student and practitioner, i.e., a versatile one. Being versatile does not mean that you have to put aside that favorite blow, but that you will add other options to it – the ones that will help you to be more complete and effective on the mat. When you leave the comfort zone, you can better recognize your flaws and how to work on and correct them. Besides evolving as a gentle art practitioner, another lesson is learned and taken for life. As our Master of the Masters would say: “For every single achievement, you’ll have to forgo a comfort zone. Will only walk on the water that one who tried giving up the comforts of the boat.”

7 Must See Jiu-Jitsu-MMA Documentaries

1) Gracie Barra DocumentaryGracie Barra Documentary  target=”_blank”>www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLI1ygZHOIQ BLOG CLICK HEREA great look at the jiu-jitsu lifestyle filmed at the original Gracie Barra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Follow Marcio Feitosa around in the beach, hiking up Pedra de Gavea and training and teaching On the mats at Gracie Barra. You will be ready to book your flight to Brazil after watching this…I did!2) Choke – Rickson Gracie Valetudo Japan“Choke follows freestyle fighting champion Rickson Gracie as he prepares to defend his title in the Vale Tudo Freestyle Fighting Championship in Tokyo. Choke is a behind-the-scenes look at the world of no-rules fighting. “courtesy imdb.comThis documentary featuring BJJ legend Rickson Gracie has some unforgettable scenes of him doing yoga breathing exercises in California and meditating under a icy waterfall in the mountains of Japan. A MUST have for your collection. 3) The Day of the Zen“Day of the Zen” is the behind the scenes documentary that fans and student of Mixed Martial Arts have been waiting for!For the first time ever, cameras were allowed inside the gyms, workouts, training sessions and private life of Mario Sperry and the Brazilian Top Team. Filmed on location in Brazil, this full length film follows Mario for one full day, through his amazing training regiment that has led him to become one of the most successful mixed martial arts fighters in history. “courtesy groundfighter.comMost bjj enthusiasts have dreamed about what it would be like to train at a top camp in bjj or mma in Brazil. The camera follows Sperry through a long day of training in jiu-jitsu, conditioning and striking. You get a glimpse of the life of a pro fighter inside and out of the gym.4) Arte Suave“The Arte Suave DVDs are the ultimate Brazilian jiu-jitsu documentary DVDs. Travel around Brazil enjoying the training sessions of Jacare, Royler, Marcelo Garcia, Carlos Gracie Jr, and many more.”courtesy budovideos.comVisit academies in Brazil and see where many of jiu-jitsu’s superstars came from. Lots of rolling and interviews with world champions in their home academies. I have watched this again and again. 5) Budo Jake – Rolled Up“Follow Budo Jake as he travels the world and learns and trains with some of the best Jiu Jitsu players on the planet. Great interviews, techniques and you’ll always see Budo Jake get Rolled Up!”courtesy Youtube target=”_blank”>https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL017148C131F31503Gracie Barra’s own Budo Jake produces the best videos out there. Each episode is a different instructor and includes well conducted interviews, technique instruction and of course Jake rolling at theend. Check out the episode featuring GB head instructor Marcio Feitosa!6) Renzo Gracie -Legacy“Renzo Gracie: Legacy is a 2008 documentary film about Brazilian jiu jitsu pioneer Renzo Gracie.Shot over a ten-year period, it shows the origins of the sport of Mixed martial arts from its bare knuckle days to the explosion of the sport in both Japan and America.”courtesy wikipedia.orgRenzo Gracie is known as one of the true legends of bjj and mma and this retrospective follows his mma career and terrific behind the scenes interviews that reveal the philosophy of the man. 7) Gracies in Action “This DVD documents many fights which occurred in the years just prior to Rorion’s creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Including Royce Gracie’s first fight with Jason De Lucia (The second match was in UFC II) and the Hapkido master who fights Rorion can’t seem to understand why he keeps getting choked out. You will also see Royler and Royce Gracie compete in black belt judo competitions and prove repeatedly that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is more than just a sport.Also included are some of Rickson Gracie’s fights, one against a Russian which took place at the Gracie Academy and the other is the classic fight of his, on the beach in Rio de Janeiro. courtesy BudovideosThese were some of the very first videos of Brazilian jiu-jitsu used in competition and early academy challenge matches. Rorion Gracie narrates and explains the strategy and strengths of his family’s style of jiu-jitsu. This is a MUST see for any old school fans of bjj! Credits: Mark Mullen GB Black belt from GB Calgary, CanadaTwitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Your Jiu-jitsu Cheat Sheet : Little Reminders to Improve Your Game

Back in high school, nervous exam taking students would scribble “cheat sheets” with the formula for calculating physics or math problems and hide them up their sleeves. When they got stuck, they would covertly sneak a peek at their notes and scribble down the correct answer. Every new year of training, I set small, easily remembered training goals. Areas of my game that I need to improve, that I can reduce to a motto or short phrase and look to apply over a period of months.In joking to some of the students in my home Gracie Barra academy, I will tell them that I would write a message inside the sleeve of my kimono. When I got trapped in a tough spot, I would roll up my sleeve to see the message inside: “Move your hips!”.Reminded of the simple answer, I would roll the sleeve back up and, with renewed energy, commence serious hip escapes!It was only a joke (at least the writing part!) but the training clue was helpful in a real, tangible way.Sometimes to grow in our jiu-jitsu, we don’t need an additional technique. What we may need is to do the same techniques a little differently or to stop doing something unproductive.For example:Often during training at end of class, I will observe the students rolling and afterwards, take them aside and give them a simple, succinct piece of advice specific to what I identified in their roll.One student, when attempting to escape from the bottom, would always grip his opponent tightly, with ineffective grips that not only served to anchor him to his opponent, but also exhausted his arms and filled them with lactic acid. My advice / “cheat sheet” message to him was “On the bottom of side control, stop the ineffective grips!”. Every time he found himself on the bottom, to pause and remember that simple piece of advice that could help correct a bad habit.Here are a few of the messages that you might find written inside my kimono sleeve ;-)1) “Move your hips!” – nearly every escape and major movement from the guard requires a hip escape to create the optimal angle. It is unfortunately not an instinctive movement for most of us and we must train it into our conditioned reflexes.Concentrating on this simple principle each time I was on bottom moved my guard up to the next level.2) “Break grips” – Observe most high level matches between black belt competitors and you will see a strategic battle for the dominant grip.I became aware that while attempting to pass the guard, my black belt opponents would secure their favorite grips and I was attempting to pass while they had the gripping advantage.No more! I resolved that whenever I started to pass I would pause and deliberately break the opponent’s grips.3) “Switch sides” – Everyone has a favorite side to play guard as well as pass. I observed that Rodolfo Viera – famous for his guard passing – would rapidly switch the sides that he was attempting to pass.This forced the opponent to change their guard, and often their grips also. Each reset from left to right and right to left caused the opponent’s guard to lose a little of the control and Vieras would pass.Now, when taking my pants grips and starting to pass, I would pause and remember my “cheat sheet tip”. Instead of picking my favorite side and repeatedly trying to pass in that direction, I would change direction at least once, before going with my best pass in the 2nd direction.Reflecting on your own game development, you will have your own areas. Pick a single, simple thing to focus on for the next month. Writing in the sleeve of your kimono is optional.What Are Your Training Reminders?Credits: Mark Mullen GB Black belt from GB Calgary, CanadaTwitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Coconut Water: Nature vs. Science

I learned all about armbars and triangles as a white belt in Jiu-Jitsu.  I also remember being told that there were two things every Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student needs to try; acai and coconut water.  I’ve always enjoyed the taste of both but wondered if there were any real benefits to drinking coconut water over other drinks. Coconut water has always been a popular beverage in countries like Brazil.  Only recently becoming popular in the United States.  Celebrities can be seen promoting popular coconut water brands such as Vita Coco and Zico.  Coconut water can now be found in many grocery stores.  Some stores even choose to carry their own brand of coconut water. Coconut Water vs. Soda Consumers are moving away from fructose-based drinks such as soda.  Some soda companies are now promoting using real sugar in place of artificial sweeteners.  Coconut water has gained a consumer base in people trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle by consuming less artificial sweeteners. Consumers need to be aware that not all brands of coconut water are created equally.  Some coconut waters have additives and can be similar to drinking soda.  When shopping for coconut water, check to make sure what you’re buying is plain coconut water.  Check the ingredient list on the can or box and know what you’re putting into your body. Overall, natural coconut water contains more vitamins and fewer calories than even the healthiest soda I could find on the grocery store shelf. (C20 Pure Coconut Water was compared with Hansen’s Natural Cane Soda) Coconut Water vs. Sports Drinks Marketers have been using athletes to advertise coconut water as an alternative to sports drinks.  Some even claim coconut water is superior to popular sports drinks like Gatorade.  Coconut water does contain substantially more potassium.  Studies however have shown coconut water doesn’t hydrate athletes any better than common sports drinks. Sports drinks may actually be better for prolonged physical activity.  Coconut water after all does contain fewer carbohydrates and sodium.  Both drinks also lack the protein needed for ideal post workout recovery. Conclusion:   Coconut water isn’t for everyone.  Many people simply don’t enjoy the taste.  It’s definitely a healthier alternative to soda.  There is however no solid argument to support coconut water is better for athletes than traditional sports drinks.  At the end of the day, it will come down to whatever you feel taste better. As a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, what do you prefer to drink after an exhausting day on the mats? Sources  Healthandwellness Forbes Imagens: Google Patrick Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter:  patjflores

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Gracie Diet – Longevity and Wellness

The Great Master Carlos Gracie developed the Gracie Diet, a feeding method that is still having success decades after its creation. Today in our “Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu” we will tell you a little story of how the Gracie Diet began and share our food groups table for those who want to follow it. “Let the food be your medicine.” Undoubtedly, Great Master Carlos Gracie should already have had this phrase in his mind when he decided to devote himself to developing the Gracie Diet. Carlos Gracie genuinely believed in the power of food to protect the body, enhance immunity, and prevent diseases. A good piece of evidence for that is the curious story of Carlos Gracie with his first wife, Carmen. Carmen contracted tuberculosis (which was a fatal disease at that time). Patients with tuberculosis should be isolated and not receive visitors (or at least see them from very far.) Carlos decided to take Carmen to treat herself in Campos do Jordão (a mountainous city in Brazil) and spend the last days of her life in a sanitarium. And, to everyone’s surprise, Carlos used to kiss Carmen’s lips, which was considered a suicide in those years. When questioned, he would answer: “I’m immune to the Koch’s bacillus.” Within one day, Carlos Gracie became the hero of that sanitarium. The year was 1996 and Carlos Gracie Jr. was starting to write an article as follows: “Nowadays much is being said about diets. There are the most diverse ones, some prescribed to combat diseases, obesity and even to improve the body performance in physical activities.” Many years later, the scenario is not that different, and the inhabitants of this planet seem to be increasingly conscious about what they are putting inside their bodies. But it was not always this way. It was after suffering from severe migraines – capable of leaving him locked in a room for hours – pleura and even gout, that Great Master Carlos Gracie realized that something had to change. And from the philosopher Hippocrates’ words came the tip: “Let thy food be thy medicine.” Hungry for knowledge, Carlos began reading more and more about that and for years he was compiling all this learning to develop what would be famously known as the Gracie Diet. Health problems were left behind and that once disabled young guy became an athletic man. The next step then was to prove his method’s efficiency, and for that task, nothing would be better than testing that with his own “brood.” Carlos Gracie instilled in his children, nephews and grandchildren the necessity to listen to the body and give it only foods that will serve to its benefit. Gradually, the biotype of the family was being changed and Master Carlos’ descendants grew far beyond his 5’3” and 139lbs. Indeed, as Carlinhos Gracie said “The healthy diet changed an entire family.” But after all, what is the Gracie Diet about? It is about not to poison the body, not make you sick and a building a proper combination of foods. The main objective is to maintain the meal’s pH as neutral as possible, balancing substances through the right combination. The balance imagined by the Great Master is comprehensive and meets everyone’s needs. This is mainly based on not mixing: cereal together, fat with sugars and acid foods with any other type. Making meals at intervals of at least four hours, eating again only when the stomach is empty. But that’s not all. In addition to his concern with solid foods, Gracie would also look for a supplement based on teas so that he could use what is offered by nature to cure the ills of men. “Our body is a machine whose oil is blood. If blood is pure, that machine will work well,” says Carlos Gracie Jr. “My father’s goal was to keep the family fighters well, i.e. free of any disease that might appear by any chance and hinder a possible fight.” The inclusion of fruits as an essential part of the diet may also be credited to the Great Master. “About 30 years ago people would come into my house and see that pantry full of fruits and vegetables. That seemed strange to everyone, because at that time fruits were not more than a dessert, while for our family they represented 50% of our nutritional diet.” Father of 21 children and grandfather of over 50 grandchildren, the patriarch of the Gracies had, curiously, in his brother Helio the best defender for his thesis. A staunch supporter of that diet, Grand Master Helio always had impressive health. “Before anyone started speaking about nutrition my father already realized the importance of cutting red meat before uncle Helio’s fights,” recalls Reila Gracie. The proof that he was right did not take too long to happen: in 1955, Helio fought against Waldemar Santana for 3h40m, nonstop. It’s worth mentioning that in 1955, Helio Gracie was already 42 years old, while Waldemar was not even 24. Therefore, summarizing the whole, calling Great Master Carlos’ science a simple diet is to greatly reduce the significance of his work. “He anticipated many of today’s so propagated scientific discoveries, such as the beneficial role of carotene – a substance found in papaya and carrot – the concept of free radicals and the orthomolecular medicine. Not to mention its pioneering position in the habit of consuming açaí berry, watermelon juice, coconut water and vitamin shakes,” says Reila. Carlinhos complements: “Everyone should balance work with food. We used to bring up that feeling in our students and they would then influence other people. And now we can see the emerging of natural restaurants, juice stores and a whole trend of natural food triggered by us. I see my father as a major precursor of the natural nutrition in Brazil,” says Carlinhos. Who wants to prove those theories, just follow the Gracie diet, shown in the tables below: Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and is… Read More »

GB Weekly Training Plan for 07/28 – 08/03

GB WTP Week 10 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 07/28-08/03 our classes are based on Week 10 of the curriculum.   At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ​​learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Interesting articles about BJJ

Scouring the internet for the most interesting articles about BJJ, I stumbled upon the idea of self-confidence. Almost every sport is supported by the mysterious mind. We have talked about staying healthy in BJJ, but there is an incalculable factor the mind has on BJJ, that will be a game changer. So what constitutes confidence? Confidence in sports (generally speaking) is all about “knowing.” The knowing means being familiar with your skills as a BJJ athlete. So let’s say that you did your homework and you found out that your opponent enjoys the usual quick opening takedown. You step onto the mat. And wait for your opponent to swoop down and grab your leg. Your reaction to this attack is all dependent on how much you know about takedowns. So if he swoops down on you with so much vigor, the next question is: do you know a lot about your abilities to counter, to stuff, to reverse, etc.? The Knowing is an important facet in every sport. If you think that there is a hole in your “knowing” game, then perhaps this article will help. The Knowing is Confidence Level Knowing increases your confidence level. The less you know about a trail in the woods, the more careful you are, the less risk you take. As you familiarize with the before (unfamiliar) trail, you fear less and have more fun. After all, you already know which sharp rocks to avoid on that trail right? Jiu-Jitsu is no different from the analogy. The more you know the less you fear. Increase the Confidence Level There is no other way to increase your level but to train. Getting into the rhythm and patterns of the training helps you familiarize yourself with them. Whenever you learn, the neurons in your brain reorganize to connect with other neurons. It is why some people seem to be wired for the sport and some aren’t. The difference is TRAINING. Train to increase your confidence level. Learn Something New Opponents hate surprises in the mats. Something like a blindsided armbar, or a surprise triangle set up. Knowing that you have some hidden arsenal ready to pop-out is a good confidence booster. Jiu-Jitsu is human chess. Survive the opening up until mid-game, carry on the closing strategies of the game, surprise with a checkmate. The win is yours! You are the Average of Your Peers There is a  saying in business that your skill level and learning will depend on who you hang out with. We are not saying that you should stop spending time with your non-bjj loving friends, but to learn more from the successful people, you have to spend more time with them. Increase this quota by picking the brains of those black belts that you meet.

Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu: Foods that fight stress

At certain stages of life we end up suffering from some stressful moments, don’t we? Sometimes at work, with our family, studying, in jiu-jitsu championships and so on. Regardless the reason, no one likes to live constantly angry… As we know, within the gentle art philosophy we do care about the body, mind, and soul and always through the most natural and healthy way as possible… That involves trying to avoid the use of chemical medicines, etc. But, after all… how can we relieve the stress? With Jiu-Jitsu? Of course! But food can also help with it, and during these periods it is important to keep an eye on it. Here are some tips on foods that help to beat stress, making your diet plan into your own medicine. 1 – Foods high in vitamin C are very beneficial to reduce stress, as this vitamin destroys free radicals that are released during these difficult moments. Oranges, lemons, and papayas are all highly rich in vitamin C. Consume one or two oranges a day or drink two glasses of lemon juice on a daily basis in order to get a sufficient amount of this vitamin. 2 – Sweet potatoes are also considered very effective in reducing stress. When consumed with a glass of soy milk, it is able to give you double benefits. When you’re under stress you tend to eat candies and foods high in carbohydrates. Such desire can be mitigated by eating sweet potatoes. They are also high in vitamins and beta-carotene, which is often beneficial for women who suffer from PMS. 3 – Green vegetables are also great option to calm your nerves when you are very stressed. Broccoli, spinach, kale, and cabbage are full of vitamins and fiber that help replenish your body when you are under a high level of stress. 4 – You should also consume low fat milk since it provides essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, and vitamins B and C. Milk is good for the nerves due to the calcium, which is also good for the bones. 5 – To calm down your nerves, you should also eat nuts, pistachios and dried apricots. These dried fruits and nuts are high in minerals, fiber, and vitamins like magnesium and vitamin C. Furthermore, such nuts are beneficial in controlling heart palpitations and high blood pressure. 6 – Brown rice, whole grains, bananas, lentil soup, eggs, and chicken are also all good elements against the stress. 7 – Carrots help to lower blood pressure, as well as strengthens the heart and the stomach. Besides, it increases the body’s energy. 8 – Pumpkin is great for fighting irritability and depression. Peel it, slice and grill with a little olive oil. It benefits the stomach and moistens the intestines, improving the digestion process. 9 – Goat Milk. This kind of milk is great for improving your mood. 10 – Chocolate, this is one is mandatory! It has high levels of phenylethylamine, which have a stimulant and antidepressant action like the amphetamines and epineprina. This explains why good chocolate is so addictive and beneficial for our mood. But take care with the calories and choose options with over 70% cacao. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): “Corpo a Corpo” website Illustrative pictures Credits: Google

GB Weekly Training Plan for 07/21 – 07/27

GB WTP Week 09 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 07/21-07/27 our classes are based on Week 09 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ​​learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+

Is Your Jiu-jitsu Efficient? You need Seiryoku Zenyo!

I was delighted with the positive response to last week’s article Got “Jiu”? What is the “Jiu” in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu? In fact some students of bjj told me that for the very first time they thought about the principle and went so far as to say that the article proved to be an epiphany for them and that they started to look at their own jiu-jitsu in an entirely new light! We have merely scratched the surface of our discussion of the principle of “Ju” and I want to continue the theme with this week’s article.I had a conversation on the mat a couple of years ago with the head instructor of my Gracie Barra academy, 2nd degree black belt Josh Russell. At the time I was having much difficulty with joint pain – chronically sore elbows and knees and I was seeking some advice on how I could get rid of the pain and train more often. Prof. Russell teaches the majority of the classes at the academy each week and rolls multiple rounds with the toughest competitors in the academy each class. I asked him how he was able to manage that volume of training in a given week and still be able to show up for training the next day? He thought about the question for a moment and in his typical understated way answered simply “I try to be as efficient as possible every time I roll.”Josh went onto explain a few methods by which he approached not only overall training in general but within each roll itself. Over the next week I really thought about that seemingly simple piece of advice and asked myself “How can I make my own jiu-jitsu more efficient?”One of the main underlying philosophies of judo is the principle of “Seiryoku zenyo” (Maximum efficiency). Here is great quote on the meaning: “This is the core of the philosophy of judo.  Do not waste!  Do not waste your mental, physical, and spiritual energy on things that do not accomplish your goals.  In Judo we try not to waste our energy when trying to throw someone.  There is a correct timing and position to executing a throwing technique.  If done correctly, the technique will work with almost no strength…like a hot knife through butter.  If done incorrectly, then you will find the technique difficult to accomplish and requires a tremendous amount of energy.”More succinctly it may be stated: “Putting your energy to work most effectively.”Now let us look at 3 ideas on how we can be more efficient in our own training: 1) An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cureProf Bruno Fernandes of Gracie Barra Montreal was visiting our academy for a seminar and I asked him about timing an escape from the arm lock. Bruno offered the advice “It’s never a good idea to wait for the last minute to escape!” Preventing the disadvantaged position in the first place is a much better strategy! Let’s look at defending the guard for an example. At some point, while playing guard, the opponent will overcome our defense and pass our guard. Hanging onto the guard after the point where we have lost the position will allow the top opponent time to control our head, secure their grips, and apply their bodyweight in tight side control. If instead, we earlier acknowledge that our guard is being passed, we can cease the now pointless guard grips and turn our effort to prevent the opponent from securing the grips that they need. If we start our escape (going to turtle or reguarding) BEFORE the opponent has established their hold down, we use FAR LESS ENERGY than we would attempting to escape a fully secured hold down. This is the single most common mistake I observe in white belts getting their guards passed and ending up caught in side control. 2) Correct timing for the escape. This one was a HUGE one for me. When in the bottom of side control, when the top opponent has secured strong grips and flattened you out, it can be very difficult to escape. If the opponent has the sole intention of holding the position and not allowing the bottom to escape, it can be very frustrating and require tremendous physical energy to even move and start the escape. If the opponent has obtained head control and is applying their bodyweight, even advanced practitioners can get stuck and exhausted on the bottom. The opponent has superior leverage and if their only purpose is to hold you there, they will likely succeed!However, when the top player wishes to submit or change to another position, they frequently must switch their grips (thereby relinquishing some of their control) and move some of their weight (sacrificing some of their pressure). Keep your defensive posture on the bottom, relax your muscles, breathe and wait for your window of opportunity. I adjust the timing of my escape to that brief moment when my opponent shifts their bodyweight to attempt a submission, THEN go for the escape! This is much more efficient than struggling directly against an opponent who is only concentrating on holding you down. 3) Correct leveragesThe first bjj seminar I ever attended, the Brazilian instructor said in his heavily accented English “If you are trying to do this…” and he demonstrated trying to force a kimura on someone who had a strong belt grip defense – grunting and feigning exertion – “THIS is NOT jiu-jitsu!” His message was if you are trying to use a lot of muscular strength to execute a technique, you must ask yourself, “Is this effective against a larger, stronger opponent? Will this only work against someone smaller and unable to withstand my superior muscular force?” Your presupposition in learning any jiu-jitsu technique should be “Will this work against a stronger, larger opponent?”You must always seek the optimal leverage to execute any movement. A perfect example I witnessed was when Prof. Russell was teaching the hook sweep (butterfly guard sweep using a single hook). He demonstrated that trying to move… Read More »

GB Interview: Coach Deanna Yohe

To train the nation’s elite is no job for a newcomer. It’s a job for those who believe that freedom has a price. To prepare our men to face the challenge of securing the free world, one must be as dedicated to the art of hand-to-hand combat. To celebrate our nation’s independence, we’re featuring our military men learning BJJ from one of our budding coaches. A three stripe brown belt, Coach Deanna Yohe of started out BJJ at the age of 37, and a mother of six. She took on the path of becoming a disciple of the art. “I was a little nervous starting BJJ. I began this amazing journey as a 37 year old mother of six and I have enjoyed every bump and bruise along the way. I have had a hard time finding women to train with. For quite a few years my training partners were men and they outweighed me by at least 50 pounds. It has only been in the last two years that women participating in BJJ has become more mainstream.  I am approaching my 43rd birthday in August and I also have an eight month old granddaughter.” she says. Curious about her BJJ lineage, her journey started out with (now) professor Brian Marvin. “When I started with GB my instructor was GB brown belt Brian Marvin. I had the pleasure of continuing with him for several years and watch his progression to Black Belt and the Professor ranking. He is active duty army and was sent to Texas a couple of years ago where he has been teaching at GB Westchase with Professor Ulpiano. Not leaving her learning to stagnate, she is known as a frequent flyer, training with Professor Fabio Costa at Gracie Barra GA. She continues, “Professor Marvin flies in from Texas every three to four months and I also travel 540 miles round trip to go and train with Professor Fabio Costa at GB GA as often as I can.” Now, her stint in teaching for the military is an interesting one. From a volunteer work, to a teaching career in the army, it all started out just for the sheer love of sharing BJJ to our troops. “Some of my students were getting ready for the Fort Campbell Week of The Eagles celebration. They have a grappling and fighting tournament for the soldiers on the Army base. I was asked if I could help teach some of the soldiers. I volunteered a few mornings to help them out. I also have worked with some of the Special Forces soldiers and other soldiers receiving their level 1 and 2 Modern Army Combatives Certification. I am certified both level 1 and 2 as a civilian. She also comments on how her students respond to BJJ, she says, “the soldiers are very receptive to learning bjj. I believe that they like learning more and having more in their toolbox for competitions. I like to tailor what I teach in the combatives seminars to more practical applications in their Army life. These are techniques that could ultimately save their life or the life of their battle buddy. I use more of the self defense applications when I go on base to work with them.”

Got “Jiu”? What is the “Jiu” in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

While teaching the standup throws portion of a class at Gracie Barra I was trying to communicate to the class ( largely made up of white belts ) the idea of using your opponent’s momentum to set up the opponent for the throw. I paused and asked the class “Does anybody here know what the “jiu” in jiu-jitsu stands for?” Several sets of shoulders shrugged and blank stares were the response. I saw that I needed to explain further. First of all, let’s break up the two words: “jiu” means “gentleness” or “giving way”; the meaning of “jitsu” is “art, practice”. The part we are interested in is the concept of “ju / jiu”. The founder of judo, Dr. Jigoro Kano wrote in his book “Kodokan Judo” (and I can not improve upon his definition) so let us listen to Kano as he explains:“Jujutsu may be translated as “the gentle art,” judo as “the Way of gentleness,” with the implication of first giving way to ultimately gain victory. To understand what is meant by gentleness or giving way, let us say a man is standing before me whose strength is ten, and that my own strength is but seven. If he pushes me as hard as he can, I am sure to be pushed back or knocked down, even if I resist with all my might. This is opposing strength with strength. But if instead of opposing him I give way to the extent he has pushed, withdrawing my body and maintaining my balance, my opponent will lose his balance. Weakened by his awkward position, he will be unable to use all his strength. It will have fallen to three. Because I retain my balance, my strength remains at seven. Now I am stronger than my opponent and can defeat him by using only half my strength, keeping the other half available for some other purpose. Even if you are stronger than your opponent, it is better first to give way. By doing so you conserve energy while exhausting your opponent.This is but one example of how you can defeat an opponent by giving way. It was because so many techniques made use of this principle that the art was named jujutsu.”In an interview, world class competitor Ryan Hall said “Jiu-jitsu is not a collection of techniques or moves. It is HOW TO MOVE.” What Ryan was communicating was the underlying use of the principle of “giving way” that makes bjj so effective as a fighting sport and art. We tend to focus on specific techniques or positions as the most important part of bjj training – and they ARE important – but in focusing too closely upon finding the perfect move for a situation – we may overlook the idea that it is HOW it is applied that is the ‘secret’ of jiu-jitsu. Let’s look at an example I observed in a tournament recently: I saw a pair of highly skilled and conditioned bluebelts start a match. One of the competitors pulled guard and the top competitor attempted to pass to the left with a knee cut guard pass. The competitor on the bottom defended well and the two became locked in a struggle to see who could overcome the other’s leverages and grips. The entire duration of the match elapsed without either having attempted any other technique! Now, on the surface they were using bjj techniques. However, there was little evidence of using the principle of “ju”. Instead of trying to find an easier way around, the top competitor tried to force his pressure in the same direction and directly opposed the force of the bottom. Jigoro Kano, observing the match, may have coached the guard passer to first try his pass to the left and cause his opponent to direct all of his defense (grips, angles, posture) in that specific direction. Once the bottom competitor had fully committed his mental intention and physical defense – the passer may have suddenly switched to the opposite direction and run around unopposed to his opponent’s back. Simply by being flexible tactically and changing direction to the opponent’s weak side – the opponent’s defense may be overcome with far less need of muscular strength and speed. The last story I’d like to share was something one of my old bjj instructors said in class. We watched a titanic struggle where one student had unsuccessfully tried to attack the other with a kimura for several minutes in the match. Unable to break the opponent’s defensive grip, he returned to the instructor and asked what else could he have done to get the kimura? Was there a grip break he needed? Did he need to spend more time on weights and get stronger? The instructor slowly shook his head “You can not keep trying to walk through a wall!” He mimicked banging his head against an immovable wall, “You have to look for another way,..look for a window on the other side!” The frustrated student, realizing the point, understood his mistake. The kimura works, but he was not using the principle of “ju” to make the kimura effective. The next time you are stuck in a position, instead of trying to walk through that wall, utilize the concept of “ju” and look for an easier route. Jigoro Kano would nod in approval! Credits: Mark Mullen  GB Black belt from Gracie Barra Calgary, Canada Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Five Problems that makes sense to Jiu-Jitsu students

Jiu-Jitsu is an adventure.  Any adventure worth having is full of hiccups, and problems to be overcome.  Not all problems are serious, and sometimes can be comedic.  Just remember, it’s part of the journey! I’m injured! Does that mean I can’t train? Injury is a reality of any sport, especially in a combat sports.  Although training safely is a priority among good Jiu-Jitsu academies, accidents happen.  More often than not I find Jiu-Jitsu practitioners more upset they can’t train because of an injury, rather than worrying about the injury itself.  Know when you have to take some time off in order to prevent further injury.  When in doubt, consult a doctor, not the Internet. I don’t have any clean gis! Train often enough and you will undoubtedly run into someone without a clean gi.  How will you know?  Trust me, you will know… Remember – respect your training partners.  Wash your kimonos and invest in more than one if you train frequently.  With proper upkeep and rotation, Jiu-Jitsu gis can last several years. I would love to eat that, but I have to make weight… Eating healthy is part of the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.  It’s no secret that eating right is the best way to go but that doesn’t mean we don’t miss eating certain foods. There is some evidence, however, showing that the occasional cheat meal can be beneficial. Okay, I’ll just watch one more Jiu-Jitsu video, and then I’ll go to sleep… The Internet is full of Jiu-Jitsu videos.  Hours can be spent clicking around watching different techniques.  It’s easy to get lost in it and forget you had a list of things to get done today.  Using YouTube’s “watch later” feature helps manage this a bit. Explaining to people why Jiu-Jitsu is so incredible.  Oftentimes people ask why I love Jiu-Jitsu.  My main response tends to be asking them if they have ever tried it.  Jiu-Jitsu is something that needs to be experienced first hand to really understand its beauty.  “Martial” essentially means war or warlike, which easily gets associated with Martial Arts.  People often forget the “Art” portion.  Martial Arts are no different than traditional forms of art.  Some may see two people fighting, but I see two artists hoping to one day create their own masterpieces. These are just a few examples.  What problems, however serious or funny, have you come across on your Jiu-Jitsu journey?   Written By: Patrick J. Flores Gracie Barra Chino Twitter: patjflores

Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu: Good Fat?

You must be thinking, is there such a thing as good fat? Of course there is, and it is essential for the well-being and the health of our whole body. But naturally, the fat consumption must be handpicked and the amount should be just right.   The right choice Fats cannot all be treated equally. While the excessive consumption of saturated fats – present mostly in foods from animal origin – is harmful to our health, leading to heart attacks, strokes and cancer, our body still needs healthy fats to work properly. Also known as unsaturated fats – the majority is found in vegetables – they help to strengthen the immune system and to prevent cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. Below you find a list of foods high in good fats. It is noteworthy that it is always better to consult a professional in order to plan a balanced diet with good fats, proteins and carbohydrates. FISH Salmon Mackerel Trout Tuna Sardines Anchovies Char Black Cod Sole Mussels VEGETABLE OILS Hemp Oil Grape Seed Oil Linseed Oil Olive oil Canola Oil FRUIT, NUTS AND SEEDS Avocado Hazelnut Almonds Cashew nut Peanuts Brazil nuts Pumpkin seed Pistachio Sesame Sunflower seed How to cut unhealthy fats and replace them with healthier fats Replace butter with vegetable creams, which are rich in polyunsaturated fat and low in saturated fat. Did you know that butter has 3 times more saturated fat than vegetable creams? Replace snacks like chips and crackers with raw vegetables, low-fat yogurt or fruit. Choose dairy products with low fat content, such as low fat cheese, low-fat yogurt and skim milk or low fat. Replace fatty meats and sausages with their lean varieties and remove the fat excess from meats before cooking. Reduce your consumption of red meat and focus on the white ones like skinless chicken and turkey. Increase your fish consumption and ingest, at least 2 times per week, oily fishes such as sardines, salmon or mackerel. Replace animal fats with vegetable fats Please carefully read the food labels. Try to make it a habit to verify the fat (lipid) amounts on the food labels. Choose foods with the lowest saturated fat content, ideally with less than 3 grams per serving. Did you like it? Share it with your friends! =) This article has only an informative purpose and is not intended to replace professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or other specialist for an analysis and follow-up. Source (in Portuguese): Becel

BJJ Lifestyles: Travelling for BJJ

Have you ever thought of travelling within the country, or even out of the country for the sole purpose of getting more BJJ into your life? Let me tell you, planning a trip to learn the art can be fun and exciting at the same time. Being a bonafide travelling BJJ artist can have its rewards. We only live once. If you have chosen the BJJ Lifestyle, then you may want to add BJJ trips to your list. One of the possible reasons to travel is travelling for competitions. Your Possible Destinations List: Brazil There is nothing surprising about putting Brazil on your list. It’s a no-brainer to choose the land where the variation of Jiu-Jitsu all began. The country is rich in culture. More so, a country where martial arts is a part of its culture. Brush up on your Portuguese, enjoy the Samba rhythms of Rio de Janeiro and its mind-blowing festivals. I bid thee well. Japan The jewel of the east, and the land of the rising sun, Japan being the country where our art all began. From the samurai lords that practice the art of hand to hand combat to the world known practitioners of Judo, Japan is a destination to be. Japan is a destination for those looking to enjoy the culture where Jiu-Jitsu all began. South Korea One of the countries where BJJ is really booming, competing and training with South Koreans is not an easy ride. I have trained with Koreans. What I can say is that they are tough as nails and take martial arts seriously. Culture wise, it’s a mixture of western and the traditional. Abu Dhabi Does ADCC ring a bell? Yes! It’s the all famous league that has been around for decades. Abu Dhabi hosts the league where legends of BJJ are made. It’s no short of being one of the leagues where  enthusiasts BJJ artists should get into. Here is a traveller’s tip for those thinking of taking that long due BJJ trip outside the US: Traveller’s Checklist from www.travel.state.gov Beware of Any Travel Alerts and Warnings for Your Destination The State Department issues Travel Warnings to recommend postponing travel to a country because of civil unrest, dangerous conditions, terrorist activity or, in some cases, because the U.S. has no diplomatic relations with the country and may have great difficulty in assisting U.S. citizens in distress. Travel Alerts disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats or other relatively short-term or transnational conditions that could pose significant risks to you and affect your travel plans. Are You Prepared for an Emergency? Make sure you have the contact information for the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are going. Consular duty personnel are available for emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at U.S. embassies, consulates, and consular agencies overseas and in Washington, D.C. Contact information for U.S. embassies, consulates, and consular agencies overseas may be found in our Country Specific Information pages. If your family needs to reach you because of an emergency at home or if they are worried about your welfare, they should call the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (during business hours) or 202-647-5225 (after hours). The State Department will relay the message to the consular officers in the country where you are. Pack Smart! Pack light so you can move more quickly and have a free hand when you need it. Carry a minimum number of valuables and plan places to conceal them. Use covered luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your identity and nationality. Avoid packing IDs, tickets and other vital documents in backpacks. Prepare to Handle Money Overseas Check and understand the exchange rate before you travel. Before you leave, notify your bank, credit card company, or other financial institutions that you are going overseas. Avoid carrying cash and consider using traveler’s checks or major credit cards instead (but make sure they are accepted at your destination before departing for your trip). Change traveler’s checks only as you need them. Do not flash large amounts of money when paying a bill.  

Taking care of your mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Jiu-Jitsu beats obesity again

If you travel by bus in Rio de Janeiro you’ve noticed one of the many announcements displayed on the side of busses, buildings and billboards. During commute your eyes wander and you catch a glimpse of the hundreds of signs and billboards. You’re not looking for anything in particular, but then one makes you linger on a bit longer. Just enough to pull out your phone and write down the number/e-mail you’ve just read. For Adjal such a sign proved to be life-changing. The 16-yearold boy commuted on his way to physiotherapy when a sign, no different than the rest, caught his attention. It read: “Carlos Augusto Jiu-Jitsu ” and underneath he could see a bunch of people dressed alike through the window. Passing by every day on his way, his interest began to grow and one day he got off the bus and walked through the door of the school. “I was greeted by Carlos Augusto in person . He explained everything to me – training times, tuition and the way jiu-jitsu works. I left the gym thinking to myself  I would return to learn.” Curious and determined, the current brown belt from GB Rio Matriz came home and told his parents what he planned on doing. The next day his mother visited the school and enrolled her son. He didn’t even have to wait a day! His will to train was so strong that he trained on his very first day in a pair of sweatpants and an old shirt, which later turned into a kimono, as he recalls, “I bought the kimono and began training every day. Besides making me more confident and sure of my physical and mental abilities, I became more calm and collected.” He found himself in a new environment  (the same as the guys in the window), and now he was among those who could previously only see from afar, as he recalls, “At that time I met wonderful people who are still part of my life today. When I started, the Professor Joelson ” Joe ” (currently an instructor at GB Mother River) was a purple belt and trained in the evening. Mauro Santos, the ” Sapão ” was a brown belt and gave classes in the morning. Jefferson Moura , Lucio Rodrigues ” Lagarto ” Villem Coelho and many others were there with me ” he recalled . Everything seemed perfect until he graduated from high school and he didn’t get into university immediately. Unsure of what course to take in life, Adjal found himself taking on a job to make ends meet and as a result his Jiu-Jitsu training suffered. With no time to train during the day, he had to resort to two evening classes per week. 24 hours a day seemed insufficient to wear the kimono and soon Adjal realized that while he was still a purple most of his friends had already earned the much-awaited black belt, “I stopped training regularly. I started attending marketing college at night and worked during the day. I could not find time to study, train and work . Sometimes I trained during vacation and weekends.” says Adjal. Time passed and he stopped training altogether as well as quit college. The pace of work was overwhelming and it began to affect his health as he recalls , “I started getting fat and lazy and found more and more excuses not to train.” Aware that his lifestyle was further leading him away from the sport, Adjal tried to return once more in 2007. After three months a knee injury permanently took him out of jiu-jitsu . Without a proper outlet, work problems began to interfere with the personal life. Waking up early and going to bed late had become something normal for Adjal. After 20+ working weeks and awful dieting regime he became obese. As he himself said , “It is very easy to point and laugh, but it is very difficult and shameful to admit you are obese.” The disease landed him in hospital in 2011 with blood pressure of 23/18. He spent 4 days in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and 8 more days for observation. Adjal was suffering from heart failure. “Due to the weight gain, my heart was not pumping enough blood and oxygen throughout my body. For the first time my life I was afraid I was going to die and I began to worry about my health. There were numerous times I tried to lose weight through a diet after consulting with a nutritionist and a cardiologist “. One year after admission and a lot of tests, a cardiologist informed him he was only alive and well because of the medications that he took to control his pressure. Dependence on medication was what Adjal feared the most and the only alternative to lose weight was bariatric surgery – a procedure performed on obese patients to reduce the volume of the stomach, “I was scared and depressed, because as most obese people I saw no way to beat my condition. But I went in search of help.” The first consultation before the surgery was reassuring. They guaranteed I could have a normal life again and finally be able to return to jiu – jitsu. On January 10, 2013, he underwent surgery and it was a success. The next day he began rehabilitation with a renewed hope that he would be able to train again. At the end of July Adjal called the friend and former training partner Joe, bought a kimono and attended a workout. He spent a few days training in different places until settling in the Gracie Barra Rio Matriz under the leadership of Jefferson Moura, “I started training 3 times a week and work out 5 times! At the end of 2013 Jefferson promoted me to a brown belt and recently I have started competing again. I got my health back, made new friends and a new family,” says the brown belt . With an enviable… Read More »

Understanding Bullies and the Act of Bullying

Yes. You read it right. We are to understand bullies. Although we are not to assume that all bullies are emotionally scarred because of an unhappy childhood, or just “paying-it-forward” by bullying others, we are to shed little bit of light to why they act in such a way. Are you still with me? :) Bullies Enjoy Audience www.stopbullying.gov posits an interesting, often overlooked elements of bullies; the audiences. Bullying is reinforced by the outsiders. Think of them as mere spectators in an MMA fight that screams, “kill,”or shouts, “knock his @#$!! out.” These elements give the bully an illusion that it’s ok to intimidate, coerce, and scare someone. Audiences and supporters. They do get involved, but a little laughter and reinforcement goes a long way to bullies. Bullies and their Assitants Much like the Silver Back Apes of the Congo, bullies have posse’s. These are kids who assist the bully. They are more likely to become bullies themselves after a short while. These kids do not instigate the bullies. Think of this kid as the creepy little dude that gives the bad king bad advices. What Bullies Want Based on studies, these are things that bullies require: Recognition / fullfilment Space Superiority Engagement What We Can Do Do we focus on the person, or on the behavior? It is very tempting to address the and label the bully disturbed, ill-mannered, or just plain evil. As adults, we need to recognize the behavior and address that behavior rather than addressing the bully. Remember that to become effective counselors to address bullying behaviors, we should address the behavior and not the person. Remember: bullying is a behavior. It is a behavior learned, therefore it can be unlearned and corrected. An Answer to Bullying?  Gracie Barra is commited in becoming an organization against bullying. So far, we have seen success stories of bullied kids after being enrolled in the anti-bullying program. Although, bully-proofing starts at home, we are happy to let everyone know that our campaign has seen success and has even given recognition in media. For more information on Gracie Barra’s Bully Proof Program CLICK HERE.  Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone!  

Get Your Game On

As the entire gracie barra family prepares for the compnet, there are however things that a competitor must know. Although training (or lots of it) does a lot to fighters, remember the basics before entering a competition is the key. Before the competition 1. Making the Weight Needless to say, making weight is one of the best strategies in every BJJ tournament. For the sole reason that every fighter performs better in their ideal weight class. Fighters who come in over, or under their weight limit tend to perform worse than those who meets weight. Statistically, fighters who make weight win 28% more than those who do not. But remember there are pitfalls in making weight. If let’s say you are still 20lbs away from your weight class, but the tournament is less than 10 days away, consider moving up class instead. The main reason is that you do not want your body all stressed out because of dehydration, overtraining, rapid weight loss et al.  Remember the Pacquaio-Dela Hoya fight?   2. Know the Rules I have seen a lot of good fighters get slammed with the two scariest acronyms in every competitive sport. This is the DQ. Yes. Not doing your homework by knowing the rules can set you up for a fateful disqualification, or worse injuring someone because you didn’t know that some moves are illegal in your belt level. If the rules are unclear, go see your coach immediately. You wouldn’t want to waste weeks of training just to be disqualified on a technicality. 3. Come in Early There is always wisdom in coming in early. I am saying come in around 1-2 hours before the competition. Coming in early sets you at ease. Your mind transitions to your new environment if you come to the venue early. Remember that Use this time to get a feel of the mats. Relaxing a bit before the big fight can do you good. 4. Warming Up Oh my. It’s basic. But take it from me: you are setting yourself up for failure if you don’t do warm ups. Yes. A bjjj fighter is a high performance engine. These engines work well if the cranks, the pistons and the valves are at optimum temperature. A cold engine eats up more gas and oxygen. It is noisier. It is The same goes with the human body. I cannot stress this enough: Warm up. Or do not compete at all. 5. Wear Protective Gear This is self-explanatory 6. Humility in Winning, Grace In Losing In every competition, there will be winners and losers. It’s reality. But the difference is made by the fighter who can come into terms with the result of the competition; regardless whether he was able to get his hand raised or not. A fighter who remains humble after winning will continue to win. A fighter who keeps grace after losing will eventually win.

Eating well is Jiu Jitsu: Eating well in the rush hour

The rush of everyday life forces people to resort to fast and easy food preparation. Most often, concerned only with the time we spend in preparing the meal we leave out its true value: how nutritional it is. It seems hard to keep all of this in mind, especially after a long day of work and training. But what if eating something healthy means it’s also easy to make? Eating is important, but eating well is much more important! Check out this delicious recipe of scrambled eggs with tomato. SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH TOMATO 5 egg whites 1 whole egg 1 chopped tomato 1 chopped scallion 50g Light Cottage Cheese 1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil PREPARATION: Mix the egg and egg whites in a bowl Heat the stove on medium / low heat and simmer the skillet in the olive oil. Add salt , chives and pour in the egg mixture Mix well with a spatula until almost done . Then pour 1/4 cup of chopped tomatoes Finally add the cottage cheese. CALORIES : 243.5 protein 32.7 17 carbs , 1 Fat 5.6 g This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional advice. The use of vitamins and dietary supplements can bring great results for you, but prior to using any dietary supplements or other medications we recommend consulting a nutritionist, doctor or other specialist for evaluation and monitoring . Note: Illustrative pictures

A World Where Jiu-Jitsu Never Existed

Close your eyes and imagine a world without Jiu-Jitsu. Let’s say that someone was able to rewrite history and forgot to include the dawn of Jiu-Jitsu. Can you imagine how it would be like? Imagine no Gracie Barra schools. Imagine a convenience store, or a doughnut shop built on the same lot where you used train. Imagine a world where there is no Jiu-Jitsu, or a world where Jiu-Jitsu never existed at all. I have been playing with the thought. Let’s paint the picture. 1. No Gracie Diet. Imagine life without the ever famous Gracie Diet. The balanced lifestyle of eating proper will not exist. Therefore, most of us maybe enjoying other means of dieting. 2. There would less volunteer work being done, less donations handed out to the homeless, lesser smiles made. 3. We will see more kids being bullied. We will see these in the news. 4. No one screams “Oss” in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments. There won’t be any in the first place 5. The phrase “Champions in Life” by professor Orlando Sanchez of Gracie Barra Pasadena will not come exist. 6. Anderson Silva wouldn’t have won against Chael Sonnen in their first outing. That arm bar wouldn’t have been possible. 7. For those who found direction and purpose in Jiu-Jitsu, in a world where it never existed, I wish that something else saved them. 8. I believe our favorite Gracie Barra leaders would be a photographer, an entrepreneurs, or a wildlife conservationists, or still be professional athletes. 9. Less trips to the rehabilitation clinic. LOL 10. No trips to the European Camp this year. Yes. No European camp… ever. 11. The epic fight between Royler Gracie vs. Eddie Bravo wouldn’t have happened. We wouldn’t be enjoying it on YouTube, and showing it to our friends how awesome BJJ is. 12. No Gracie Barra Kids Summer Camp.  13. You wouldn’t be reading this. I would be somewhere, with some other company, writing something insignificant which will make little or sense to me. Jiu-Jitsu has given me direction. A beautiful topic to write about. 14. You wouldn’t be meeting great friends, or make awesome acquaintances. However, these individuals will still exist. Somewhere, doing some other thing. What are your thoughts about the world without Jiu-Jitsu? Share your thought in our facebook pages.

Eating well is Jiu Jitsu: your food, your victories

When we talk about the preparation of elite athletes, the first thought that comes to mind is: TRAINING, lots of training! What follows is remembering that physical preparation in general is also important. For many fighters all it takes is maintaining a healthy, balanced diet to stay at their top form. However believing that training and exercise burn out everything you eat – no matter how unhealthy – is a big mistake. The human body is a complex machine and certain foods work like fuel just as others jam it. A consistent power supply of poor quality, always leads to a malfunction. As important as training and exercise are, a champion should strive to maintain a balanced, healthy and nutritional diet that guarantees the proper functioning of the body. Our champion, Lucio “Charly Brown”, a GB black belt from Paraíba, current world master & senior champion, has all the qualities of a good athlete, including putting food in the center of his preparation for victory. Do you think you’re missing out on something in training? Is your body not responding the way you expected? The easiest thing is to change your eating habits and observe a surge in vigor as well as better performance. In the Eating Well is in Jiu -Jitsu  installment for today, we’re bringing you Lucius ” Charly Brow “’s lunch choices . LUNCH FOR GOLD : – 1 serving of raw salad ( lettuce, wild rocket , cucumber and tomato ) – 1 serving of cooked salad (broccoli , carrots and cabbage ) with extra virgin olive oil . – 1 grilled chicken medallion, unsalted , seasoned only with garlic. – 1 small portion of baked sweet potato or brown rice . * If you train after lunch , wait 2h to 2h 30min before stepping on the matts. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional guidance. The use of vitamins and dietary supplements can benefit a person, but we recommend consulting a nutritionist, doctor or other specialist for evaluation and monitoring prior to using any health enhancement products.

GB Weekly Training Plan for 01/06 – 01/12

GB WTP Week 13 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 01/06-01/12 our classes are based on Week 13 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ​​learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+ Pinterest

Jiu Jitsu Changed My Life:Bryan Parke History

We had to post this story. It’s about changing lives through Jiu-Jitsu is what realy counts!!! We have other stories but we will post one at a time.  I was running some errands on a July morning in 2013 when I looked to my left on saw the, “triangle G” above a sign in a tiny shopping center on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. I recognized it as the Gracie symbol! I did a u turn and walked inside… the academy doors and a change in my life happened. When I came inside the area was still being completed but the mat area was done and looked great. I was greeted by Professor Enrique Villegas in a very friendly way, see I had been to another place that does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Tucson and it was not so inviting. Professor Enrique introduced himself as the owner and the primary instructor and asked what questions I had. I introduced myself and told him I was an officer with CBP and was also a defensive tactics instructor for the agency. I told him I always wanted to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and thought it would help with my job. Professor Enrique gave me a tour and explained the Gracie Barra values, promotion system, and explained what was asked of me as a student. The next day I walked back into the gym and joined. My first class was on July 6, my 36th birthday and I haven’t looked back. I only get to train between two and four days a week depending on my work schedule, I have a crazy schedule. I am currently a two stripe white belt and I am slowly getting better. I am beginning to grasp the concept of technique over sheer power. I am a weightlifter and I run and I am a bigger guy. As someone who practices “The Gentle Art” I am a more confident person, I feel a lot better as my physical conditioning has improved, I have lost about 22 lbs., and I feel as though I could take on the world. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu through Gracie Barra has made me a better tactics instructor for my officers and has made me a better and more patient person in my personal life. Professor Enrique is an awesome instructor and I feel very privileged to say that I get to take classes from a black belt. He is a very technical and very patient instructor and encourages everyone to perform at their best. I am very proud to be a member of the Gracie Barra family, especially to be a student of Professor Enrique! I found something that I plan to pursue and be a part of for a very long time.

Taking care of your Mind is Jiu Jitsu tackling life’s challenges

  Nobody is stronger than life “ For fans of the gentle art the many similarities between life and Jiu Jitsu are obvious. The road to a fight is paved with long and daunting training. You prepare for days and days with the goal of becoming a champion, but when you least expect it, during a normal workout you get hurt and it impedes with your capabilities. Those who’ve experienced this know just how big the disappointment and hurt is at that moment in knowing your dream may need to be delayed. After all, you love what you do and are at the peak of your combat form but depending on the severity of your injury it can be days, weeks, months and, in the worst cases, even years before you can go back to training. Eight years, 2920 days and endless agony of not being able to do what he loves most – that was Renato Palmer (48) had to endure. “Nobody is stronger than life ” is the phrase that best defines the story on this true warrior. For years, Renato traveled on a daily basis. This was never a problem as his will to train got him to continue training jiu jitsu wherever he went. “Every time I’d travel to a new town, I’d immediately look for a gym or Jiu-Jitsu schools”. Says the purple belt. The days of travelling the roads of Brazil seemed to have finally come to an end. This brought him the joy of knowing that he could finally train at home, with the former professor Carlos Augusto and his friends – today’s big stars of the gentle art – Jefferson Moura, Lucio Rodrigues “Lagarto” Lucius Sergius “Bear Hand” among others. All of this made him believe the best days of his life had come. But this was far from the truth, recalls Renato “When I stopped travelling, I thought I could then focus on jiu jitsu more seriously, but I had an accident that changed my life. A truck was maneuvering in the courtyard of the company where I worked and the driver asked me to help him open the back door. I walked behind the truck and that’s the last thing I remember. I had partial memory loss, but I know he backed up. That moment changed my life forever .” This effectively ended his daily trips to the beach and his workouts. Renato’s bond with the dojo was severed and he spent countless hours in hospitals in pain and unable to train. The partial loss of memory was keeping him from comprehending the full extent of the severity of the situation. “When I was in the hospital, lying on the stretcher, I did not understand why and where I was. A nurse told me not to get up as I had a serious spinal injury.” He spent 15 days immobilized before doctors decided what course of action to take to do. The first choice was a pelidural lock but it was unsuccessful. As a result his nickname “Beliscão” was given to him by his training buddies. Another surgery followed, this time a laminectomy to decrease the pressure in the injured nerve of the lumbar spine, but it too was unsuccessful. Five years after the second surgery his physical state got worse, “I was suffering from depression. I didn’t bath, got out of bed, and didn’t see a point in living when I was so dependent on others for everything.” A more delicate operation, arthrodesis was scheduled for Renato to relieve intractable pain. After 8 hours of surgery and 18 nails to piece his spine he was able to walk again but the pain was so excruciating he wasn’t sure he could live with it. “When I was discharged, I went to stay with my parents. I couldn’t walk properly, taking care of myself was difficult. I got depressed again and went for therapy. My psychiatrist prescribed me anti-depressants, lots of anti-depressants, “said Renato. Even through he spent most of his days heavily sedated he decided to once again seek comfort in jiu jitsu. At first he could not control his emotions. “Three years ago I could not see a jiu jitsu fight. Not even on television. I once went to see a fight of my son (he insisted ). I had to rush out  in the middle. I didn’t want anyone to see me crying. I cried a lot that day.”recalls Renato Palmer. The only way to forget it all, was the internet. It served as a safety valve and, ironically, it was through it that I re-discovered the gentle art, as he said, “I found Villem on Facebook. I went to the gym and started training. I always followed his advice of NOT SKIPPING STEPS. I had spent nearly 8 years of taking sleeping pills, anti-depressants but after starting to train with Villem, I don’t need any kind of medication. I sleep well, regained my self-esteem, I’ve never been better…Jiu Jitsu gave me back what I had lost  – life.” Today Renato Palmer returns to the mats after a 3-month break (even with a broken screw in his spine), helping in the school by tutoring children and adults. “Renato is a role model, an example of overcoming life’s adversities. Even after his accident, his love of jiu jitsu never went away. He told me I came in his life at the right time, I now think it was the other way around. He is a key part of GB Jacarepagua , always willing to help.” Professor Villem adds. The story of this warrior is repeated hundreds of times across all GB schools, offering the fundamental points to keep moving forward: – DON’T ISOLATE YOURSELF: This was a major mistake for Renato. Go out, find a goal, and work towards achieving it; – HAVE FAITH: Regardless of your religious background you need to have something you believe in to achieve the required strength for recovery; – MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS: Having them… Read More »

New Year – New Attitude

2013 was a good year for Gracie Barra. We’ve seen monumental movements with the number of followers, believers, and practitioners. We saw a huge rise in the potential of each schools. And we believe that that more is about to happen for 2014. An important core in the art of BJJ is our attitude. But before we delve into that, let’s take a few minutes to asses how much we did in 2013. Yes. It’s the past. But for us to get results, we must first look at how much of 2013 was spent in personal development. How much time did you spend in the gym? How many times were you able to push yourself beyond your limit? Did you join any tournaments in 2013?  How’s your health? DId it improve? These are but simple questions that I’d like for you to answer. Briefly looking back at 2013 would be great. But notice the word that i used. It’s briefly. Jiu-Jitsu is all about moving forward. It’s all about our growth. It’s all about moving forward. If you have answered in the negative about your 2013 Jiu-Jitsu experience, how about we move forward for 2014 then? Sounds great? Here are some tips  1. Get yourself off the couch and train- imagine spending hours on end on your free time while your gi gathers dust (or mold) getting off that chair will do wonders 2. Have a vision in mind – your vision has to be in line with your virtues and beliefs. If your vision is not strong enough, you may want to revisit your belief system and see whether it’s for y our personal growth.   3. Interact with your coaches more – learning from your coaches is something that everyone should be doing. It’s not enough to sit around and look at them doing the drills or teaching you that awesome new choke. Look closer, analyse and try it for yourself. 4. Join more tournaments – yes. A few bucks for fun will not  hurt you. Imagine this, i can bet $100 that you have spent more money on things that you never really needed. So do you need tournaments? Yes! it’s all part of your growth process. Jiu-jitsu is an art of practice. Practice is and become good at it. 2014 holds the biggest surprises in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. Be there to see it happen! 

Do you know the meaning of the popular OSS?

In the world of martial arts, particularly in jiu jitsu, you will hear the word OSS used often. Upon ending a class the Master will honor the Grand Master Carlos Gracie; when trying to motivate the students the same word will be used. You will even hear it when training buddies address each other upon stepping onto the matt. Despite the fact that it is used daily many people still don’t know the true meaning behind the word. Although unfamiliar to many OSS has been part of the gentle art for many years. Created at the Naval Academy the universal Japanese expressions Ossu Oss (in Japanese) is the abbreviation for Onegai Shimassu, which stands for a request or the act of asking for something. Out of everyday Japanese use OSS has passed into in the jiu-jitsu vocabulary, albeit with another meaning. In the holy temple of the gentle art it is pronounced, not only with the mouth, but with the heart. This sound in its enunciation demonstrates respect, commitment and trust . Now that you understand the meaning you can step onto the matts and confidently say : OSS!

Taking care of your mind is Jiu-Jitsu: There is a happy ending. Believe it

The essence of jiu jitsu goes beyond its techniques; it is a recovery tool for children, adolescents, adults and seniors that leads them to a happy ending” Times have changed and today parents spend more time at work than at home with their children. This distance, in spite of all their love, makes for families drifting apart, rendering parents incapable of  understanding their kids’ behavior. Even more alarming is their failure to notice early any signs of bullying. When helpless child is constantly made fun of or the target of demeaning and inappropriate jokes by its peers, we consider this child to be a victim of bullying. The term comes from the English ‘bully, which means tyrant and brutal. It recently recently gained greater coverage thanks to media such as television, radio, newspapers and the Internet. People today have a basic idea of ​​the phenomenon but are still faced with its eradication from schools, playgrounds and even the work environment. Children and adults also affected by bullying more than we care to admit and its effects can reach many areas of the victim’s life, resulting in sleep disturbance, irritability, stomach pain and pessimistic thoughts, suicidal tendencies, weight loss or gain and poor self-image. It was in childhood was that Carlos Liberi, a 6th degree black belt , responsible for GB Campinas – SP, alarmed his father with his aggressive tendencies. Born in Sorocaba, he was 10 when his family moved to Campinas, a neighborhood on the outskirts of St. Bernard, at the time known as the “Boy Knife ” neighborhood. In this phase, Liberi was a frail child, but very brave, who fought daily and often got into trouble just because he wasn’t willing to put up with any insults. “After one of these fights, I came home with a black eye at I couldn’t hide from my father, and he decided to have me practice Jiu Jitsu to see if my behavior would change. It did work in the sense that I continued to fight but stopped getting into trouble.”said the black belt . “My childhood , adolescence and adulthood , would have been entirely different and much more difficult  if it weren’t for Jiu – Jitsu .” Gradually he started getting into fewer fights even if sometimes these seemed inevitable, “Some boys would charge other kids this kind of toll, demanding our snacks so they didn’t beat us up. Thanks to Jiu Jitsu I could end this collection… “Liberi said, referring to the playgrounds at school. Time passed and the thin and “difficult” child was in the past. Things could’ve turned out quite differently for the adult but once again the gentle art has changed one’s life for the better. “Jiu jitsu helped me with my self-esteem. When I was 6 I developed vitiligo – an autoimmune disease that is characterized by gradual loss of skin pigmentation but I was never made fun of by the other boys. I believe this happened because of my strong sense of justice to defend my weaker peers from bullies. I was and still am a fan of the Self Defense Training and extremely connected to the competitive world.” “The essence of jiu jitsu goes beyond its techniques; it is a recovery tool for children, adolescents, adults and seniors that leads them to a happy ending. My childhood, adolescence and adulthood, would have been entirely different and much more difficult  if it weren’t for Jiu Jitsu.” Through the story of Carlos Liberi, teacher and regional developer of São Paulo, Brazil GB we are able to give some tips for the parents of our little champions: – Keep a close eye on your child/ren’s behavior. The first signs that he may be the victim of bullying are : Reluctance to go to school; Requests to change schools; Poor academic performance; Loss of focus and attention difficulties; Physical symptoms such as headache or stomach aches and cold sweat , indicating the high level of fear and anguish being suppressed . – If you notice any of these signs make sure to openly address the child’s concerns, assuring them there is a solution at home, at school and in the community.  Gracie Barra says NO TO BULLYING ! Oss

GB Interview: The tale of two brothers – Braulio and Victor Estima

I have absolutely no idea why they need further introducing. Seriously. Who would read this website and not know the Estima brothers? There is much information about their wins, skills and write-ups. But I believe that we still need to let the world know how awesome the two brothers are. But what better way to introduce them than through a good old fashioned interview? Well, yes. That’s a great way. But to give you brief description, let’s just say that these two are one of the who’s who in the sport. Braulio having won his MMA debut, and Victor being the 2012 European open champ. GB.com: The camp is fast approaching. How are your preparations? Prof. Braulio: We are really looking forwards to working together on this camp. It will be the first time we are doing that and I can’t wait. We are planning some thing special using our experience as competitors and instructors. Who eve goes will have an unforgateble experience GB.com: You guys are just one of the well-known BJJ fighters. Tell us what edge do you guys have. Prof. Victor: Well, we believe to be always evolving on the sport. The way we study jiu jitsu allow us to continue to learn with a very open mind. We are very driven and passionate for the sport. we are constantly trying to bring something new to it. We understand the word hard work but we like to combine with smart work. GB.com: Tell us what we can expect from the camp. We heard that it’s going to be one of the biggest in Europe. Prof. Braulio: We will be going over high percentage moves and concepts that we believe it makes the difference to win turnament. It will be very much competition based. It will be a great opportunity to gather the team together not only in strength but specially psychologically. We will be stronger like that. Prof. Victor: The Camp is a initiative of Gracie Barra to give a support to the team here in Europe. it will be something will happen every year. We will be bringing all our best instructors through the years to come. At this camp will be having the presence of myself, my brother Braulio, Flavio Almeida, Marcio Feitosa, Marco Joca, Ze Radiola, Max Carvalho and many other Black belts from GB. GB.com: Let’s talk about the price Prof. Victor:  It will cost 100 Euros for the whole camp and a fee of 30 Euros for each day. That’s the initial fee and an extra 30 EU (or 41 USDs) for each day GB.com: Professor Braulio, how’s the finger? Prof. Braulio: Fingers are good. Just recovering my arm still that I damaged before ADCC GB.com: You guys train together, tell us what move you look out for that the other pulls off a lot. Prof. Braulio: All kind of Triangles and some cool footlocks. I just look out for those whenever Victor tries those out on me.

GB WTP – Week 11

GB WTP Week 11 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 12/23-12/27 our classes are based on Week 11 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ​​learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+ Pinterest

Taking Care of Your mind is Jiu-Jitsu: There is always a way out

Youth is a time of discovery and transformation. Generally, it’s a point in time when people are faced with the formation of their character and decisions that will shape their life in the future. Some people are lucky enough to encounter early on the driving force that will motivate and drive them forward to success, be it professional or personal. Today we are proud to present our very own example of such a person – Rodrigo Martins , a second degree black belt and head teacher for GB Todos os Santos- MG -BR; at the tender age of 16, he was 40 pounds overweight, discredited, without friends and hopes for a future, but it was in then and there that he discovered something that would turn his life around. His overweight, attributed to “Family issues” resulted in extremely low self-esteem and lack of confidence. The mixture of all these problems affected both Rodrigo’s mind and body. Life at that time did not make much sense for the teenager, but in 2000 the discovery of the gentle art gave a new direction to the future black belt, “I have to confess that when I witnessed the first class, due to my lack of conditioning, I wondered if it would be possible for someone like me to be able to execute all those moves that I found so interesting on the first visit to the school,” he said. He was soon able to overcome all of his initial difficulties and move forward with his training. In the course of learning his love for the sport grew. And once again, the transformative power of jiu jitsu gave birth to a champion in life and Rodrigo continuing his studies in a college of physical education in an effort to combine the technical knowledge about the human body and sporting practice, “My past choices were influencing my life. That being said, I decided to study in a college of physical education and live the jiu jitsu way of life, conveying the more people the lifestyle I have learned, helping them transform through the practice of the gentle art, as I did.” “Upon entering jiu jitsu I could not imagine how my life and my habits would change. With almost a year dedicated to the gentle art its influence on me was already notorious. Having lost 40 pounds, gaining incredible strength and health, I managed to encounter lifelong friends and co-trainers!” The feelings of sadness and rejection Rodrigo Martins knew so well before were long gone. The isolated young man had given way to a social guy surrounded by friends, “I improved my health, fitness and made ​​several friends. Not to mention how much my my self-esteem and confidence have increased. And the many trips with my friends/ brothers in training make me a happier man” said the black belt. Today, 13 years after his entry on the mats at Gracie Barra  this warrior’s outlook on life and expression is entirely different: “I feel extremely accomplished a person, as a person and professional, because I see every day, jiu jitsu transforming the lives of several people who share with me the vision of Master Carlos Gracie Jr to take the “ JIU JITSU FOR EVERYONE” and keep the legacy alive. ” If you have been through times that found no motivation to change your life to better understand the 3 key points to chart new goals in life: 1 – THINK DIFFERENT: If you want to change something in your life to live better, first of all you must want . When we want something much will that you had left the strength to walk toward their goal. 2 – DO NOT WAIT THAT ARISING OPPORTUNITY RUN BEHIND: How would the Master Carlos Gracie Jr , “A true champion does not wait for someone to show you the way. He chases its own resources to become a true champion.” 3 – PERSISTENCE : “Not always the strongest throws the disc, or the fastest goal to reach. One win to move on with the decision signed into your mind. ” (Grand Master Carlos Gracie )  

Anatomy of a Submission Artist

I have to admit, I have not submitted a lot of guys in my short (yet fun) Jiu-Jitsu career. Being blessed with a stocky build, I can proudly say that I can mount and take guys down, and win without going for submission. But I can submit. I am able to do it. The difference lies with the number of wins via submission. So what does a fighter have to have to be able to submit guys? Let’s take a look.  Specialty It’s the same technique over and over again. It’s Lousimar Palhares (again going for the leg lock). And again, he is successful. It’s Rhonda Rousey pulling off the same arm bar that we’ve seen a hundred times. So what gives? True blue submission specialists rely on a specialty. A technique that they know they are almost 100% gonna pull off. These guys have trained all their lives mastering one technique. They must have pulled off these techniques on drills more than 10,000 times. Bruce Lee once said that, “I fear not that man who can do 10,000 different kicks, but a man who has practised one kick 10,000 times.” Sheer Aggressiveness There are defensive and offensive fighters. It’s not a fun day when two defensive fighters are squared off one another. However, two offensive styled fighters? What happens? Fireworks. I’ll name a few. Magid Hage is an offensive fighter. His offensive game is so good, he managed to win around 70% of this fights (correct me if I am wrong) through submission alone. Braulio Estima does the same; he never plays with food. Kron Gracie is also one. Physique Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone. However, some are physically gifted to submit using a specific technique. Anderson Silva’s spider-like limbs are just unbelievable; able to pull off the triangle chokes easy-peasy. The flexibility of Marcelo Garcia is just as awesome as his ground game. Creativity Great submission artists are creative. The Korean Zombie’s twister was just out of this world. You will rarely see that in MMA. UFC 157’s Kenny Robertson’s Submission against Brock Jardne with a modified knee bar. Excited? It gets better. They say that it was because the leg was overstretched which caused the pain. Others say the knee was forced sideways which caused the submission. Either way, who submits guys like that? The Can Do Attitude So when Frank Mir busted Noguiera’s arm. The MMA world was split into two halves. Some say it there was too much force. Others say it was just right. He simply said, “I don’t want to feel like fool if I didn’t give it all.” But let’s not get excited. What I am saying is that your attitude towards the submission has be full of conviction. If you are going to commit to the move, by all means, COMMIT to it. But remember: well. Learn to read pressure points, understand breaking points. This is Jiu-Jitsu. MMA is just a reference to the point I am trying to make. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone.

Learn to submit in the side mount control with Diogo “Tutuba”

“All good performance starts with clear goals.” One of the fundamental techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the side mount control. Despite the name “control”, what makes this technique work well is the constantly adjustments and repositioning of your body weight. But it is important to keep in mind the need of a clear goal once you have the side mount control. In a sport Jiu-Jitsu competition for example the rules are clear and holding a side mount control without trying to progress can result in fault, and the athlete can be punished for stalling. In today’s video lesson, given by Professor Diogo Almeida “Tutuba” from Gracie Barra Reserva in Rio de Janeiro, you will learn a great side mount submission. The technique is explained step by step for you to expand your knowledge, progress in the side mount and not get penalized by stalling. Oss!

GB Weekly Training Plan for Week of 11/11-11/17: Week 05

GB WTP Week 05 Since 1986 Gracie Barra has been shattering records, innovating and contributing to the expansion and professionalization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We are a worldwide community of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and our 400+ schools established in 5 continents follow a Weekly Training Plan (GB WTP). This week 11/11-11/17 our classes are based on Week 05 of the curriculum. At Gracie Barra we are united and teach Jiu-Jitsu as a means of personal development and have guided the day-to-day according to the lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu, with attitudes that reflect the values ​​learned through studies on the mat. The progress of a person in Jiu-Jitsu is a result of the dominance of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to see extreme changes in their life. The gentle art style is based on the fundamental principles of balance, control, efficiency, effectiveness, adaptation, mutual support and action of levers. During practice, the student is constantly making use of these principles to perform a desired goal. Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! To stay connected to Gracie Barra please make sure and visit us on our social media channels: GB Facebook GB Twitter Youtube: gb72videos Instagram: graciebarra Google+ Pinterest

CIGB – DIA 1: O LEGADO GB

1˚ dia da CIGB. Instegrantes da GB do mundo todos reunidos em um só lugar, na Barra da Tijuca, de frente para uma das praias mais bonitas do Rio, onde tudo começou. Comprometimento, presença, prestigio e amizade. A familá GB reunida como nunca visto antes para aprender e vivenciar experiências únicas com grandes nomes da nossa organização. Nossos palestrantes do dia fizeram bonito e o Mestre Carlos Gracie Jr. estava mais inspirado do que nunca. Todos ficaram extasiados com as histórias enriquecedoras de Carlinhos. Outro ponto alto do dia do Legado foram as histórias compartilhadas por grandes líderes da nossa organização. Foi um momento descontraído e alegre. E para fechar com chave de ouro o segundo turno do dia, tivemos depoimentos de inúmeros membros da nossa equipe que compartilharam suas histórias fantásticas de superação,resiliência e vitórias nos tatames da vida. É o Jiu-Jitsu da Gracie Barra transformando vidas e mantendo o legado vivo! E para terminar o dia da melhor maneira possível tivemos um jantar de confraternização e o show da banda de integrantes da GB: Seu Cuca. Como sempre não existem palavras para descrever encontros como este, tem que vivenciar! Nos vemos amanhã para o segunda Dia da CIGB – O Jiu-Jitsu GB.   CONFIRA AQUI ALGUNS DOS MELHORES MOMENTOS!