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How Necessary is it to Compete in BJJ?

How Necessary is it to Compete in BJJ?

This is a debate on which many people have had contrasting views. On one hand, we have practitioners who argue that competitions are necessary for improvement and awarding your next belt, whatever belt that may be. On the other side, you have people who argue that although competitions can help your game, they are not essential to your jiu-jitsu journey. So what is the truth? How essential are competitions to a jiu-jitsu practitioner? 
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How Many Gis is Enough?

How Many Gis is Enough?

In jiu-jitsu, the kimono is the thing we use most. It’s our uniform, our tool and our image. But there has always been the question of how many gis one should own. This is, of course, a question with a very subjective answer. One can obviously have as many gis as they’d like, assuming they have the space and money to accommodate them. However, is there an ideal number of gis someone can own? A number that represents having not too many and not too few kimonos? Let’s explore that question a little and think about it.

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The 5 Most Annoying Types of Partners in BJJ

The 5 Most Annoying Types of Partners in BJJ

If you are new to Jiu-Jitsu don't be this guy. If you train with this guy slip him a copy of this post in his gear bag.

 

1. The dirty partner

Almost everyone has faced someone like this, usually already starting at white belt. These are a combination of practitioners that; don’t wash their gis, don’t cut their nails, and/or walk all day in sandals and don’t wash their feet before they come on the mat. The combinations of characteristics just go on and on. The worst thing about them is that they may carry bacteria that can cause infections on the mat, especially if they cut anyone with their long and dirty nails…gross....

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Why You Want To Learn Judo

Why You Want To Learn Judo

With the development of many different types of guards in BJJ, practitioners are becoming more unconfident with their throws – especially the lighter weight classes. They prefer jumping into a closed guard or twisting into a de la riva guard. The mentality of the guard puller is actually more complicated than this, since a lot of these guys pull guard not only because of a lack of confidence in their takedown skills, but also to avoid their opponent pulling guard on them. Some athletes’ guards are so dangerous that having them pull guard first will put you at a serious disadvantage, even though you’re on top. Regardless of this new mentality in sport BJJ, no one should neglect to focus on judo – at least on a basic level...
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When to Start Teaching BJJ And Why It Helps Your Game

When to Start Teaching BJJ And Why It Helps Your Game

There have been a lot of mixed feelings towards this topic and there are several different valid views on how beneficial it can be to teach jiu-jitsu early in one’s career. For example, many small gyms have blue belts teaching curriculum in cities where there are not many alternate options. These blue belts are often the only guys that put effort into collecting techniques from books, videos or the internet so that they can pass them to others. So the real question is; how beneficial is teaching and when should one really start doing it?
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7 Reasons Why We Love BJJ

7 Reasons Why We Love BJJ

1. It keeps us fit.

Let’s face it – BJJ is the best workout because we exercise our entire body in one session and we burn copious amounts of calories. Think about all the times you’ve heard beginners tell you how sore they have been after their first few training sessions even though they have played so many other sports. Grappling based sports are easily the most challenging for the body...

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Why 8 to 10 Years to Get a Black Belt Isn't Long at All

Why 8 to 10 Years to Get a Black Belt Isn't Long at All

If you've been training BJJ for any length of time, you undoubtedly have heard that it can take upwards of 8 to 10 years to get your black belt. I, myself, am still on this journey.

Many men and women are shocked to hear that it can take 8 to 10 years because, compared to karate or other mainstream martial arts, where you can achieve black belt status in 3 to 4 years, a black belt in BJJ is a grind...

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Acai: Healthy and Fun

Acai: Healthy and Fun

Most people who train BJJ have already heard about acai berries and we think it’s pretty popular. The jiu-jitsu community knows about it because of the Brazilian roots of our martial art. It also began to be known as a ‘super food’- which is a controversial term since there is probably no actual evidence that shows it’s better than other fruits. But we are not here to list you the boring nutritional facts about acai that you can easily find on thousands upon thousands of pages on Google. We are here to tell you about how much fun it can be incorporating acai into your daily diet.
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Dealing With Injury Time in BJJ

Dealing With Injury Time in BJJ

Injury time is possibly one of the most depressing periods for an athlete, especially for BJJ athletes because we utilize our entire bodies. An injury in the smallest area, like a finger or toe, can really affect your game. If you’re a soccer player, a finger injury won’t be such a huge problem - you can still play. However, if you damage a finger in BJJ and you basically won’t be able to grip anything. So especially for us, most injuries can hold us back from training and when they do, it just sucks…a lot...
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5 Reasons You Must Know Breakfalls

5 Reasons You Must Know Breakfalls

One thing that is very commonly visible in jiu-jitsu practice is how many academies actually ignore judo. That mean they do not learn the breakfalls, which is the first thing anyone learns when they begin practicing judo. This is a huge mistake and as many of us have seen, judo really improves a jiu-jitsu athlete’s game. So even if an academy doesn’t focus very much on judo, learning the breakfalls is something that is important, especially for children classes. Don’t forget, BJJ matches start on the feet, and although jumping guard may be convenient for some, until you’re confident with doing that, you will have to take your opponent down, or have them take you down, in which case you have to know your breakfalls – here is why...
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Maintaining Respect in the Academy

Maintaining Respect in the Academy

Although jiu-jitsu has taken a sportive direction in many academies, it is still a martial art at heart. Of course, when you get your black belt, you must be a well- rounded martial artist before you are an awesome athlete. Athleticism is not a prerequisite for being a martial arts expert, believe it or not. That being said, the type of respect we see in traditional martial arts must be upheld in the academy. Below is a list of things that are done in an academy to gain respect from both your teammates and instructors...
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What White Belts Should Focus On The First Month

What White Belts Should Focus On The First Month

Starting jiu-jitsu training is a tough experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re a child or a middle-aged adult, the experience is both confusing and exciting at the same time. The first hurdle you go through is usually dealing with the fact that you’re going to be in such close contact with another person. And since you’re a beginner, every rolling partner is a stranger. You don’t know if they are going to be nice and technical with you, or if they are going to be a jerk that’s going to make your life miserable for the next few months - it’s really going to test you. If the jerk gives you a hard time, what will you do? Will you quit? Or will you drive through and improve? In doing the latter, you will not only gain the respect of your new teammates, but you will also be able to fight back and no longer feel the pain or shame of being tapped so often. That leads to the first point - you should focus on learning to defend yourself while becoming conditioned to handle the smothering and heavy pressure of the more experienced practitioners with whom you roll...
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How Do People Hear About BJJ

How Do People Hear About BJJ

Ever thought about how people get into jiu-jitsu? Not just how they got convinced to train but where their first glimpse of BJJ came from? Jiu-jitsu is quickly gaining popularity. With more and more events each year like Kasai, Fight to Win, and Combat Jiu-Jitsu, BJJ is working its way toward the mainstream. However, most people are still exposed through the UFC.


Royce is one of the major recognizable links between spectating and BJJ. Even with great jiu-jitsu practitioners today in the UFC, tapping out many of their opponents, the image they present is not the same as Royce in his gi. Unfortunately, Royce’s impact will slowly continue to diminish with time...

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Two Ways to Convince Your Friends to Start Training BJJ

Two Ways to Convince Your Friends to Start Training BJJ

When someone is looking for a new physical activity in which to participate, jiu-jitsu is usually not their first thought. At this point, unless you want to be an MMA fighter, most people do not seek out jiu-jitsu first. Usually, they need to be referred by a friend or they have had previous martial arts experience and developed a deeper interest. It’s unfortunate but it’s true - jiu-jitsu is not a sport that anyone can just see on television. MMA is the closest widely televised sport that you can find in relation to jiu-jitsu. Even then, people can’t fully understand what BJJ truly is because what they see in MMA is not the pure form of the sport.

Think about how you started jiu-jitsu – it probably falls under the two scenarios previously mentioned. Since referral seems to be the most popular form of spreading BJJ, here are some powerful and practical reasons to sway the skeptics.

 

You can lose weight in a more exciting way than just running on a treadmill.

 

Usually, adults who are looking to get into a new sport or activity do it for health reasons and/or boredom...
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Why Opening an Academy is so Great

Why Opening an Academy is so Great

Opening your own academy (the dream of any hardcore jiu-jitsu practitioner) cannot be a reality for many, as most have chosen to be professionals in other areas. If you are unhappy with your current work place situation or if you ever wanted to run your own business, opening a gym can be worth some serious consideration.

 

The beautiful thing about an academy is that there is actually a lot more room for creativity in starting one than people expect. You can really make the gym your own interpretation of what you think is necessary. For example, the academy doesn’t have to be just jiu-jitsu; you can attach whatever other activities that you think help accommodate jiu-jitsu and the healthy lifestyle that is associated with it. Activities like Crossfit, yoga, general weight training, Muay Thai, and other fitness activities are all suitable and will also help draw more people into your business...

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Beware of Overtraining

Beware of Overtraining

As we get more involved in our jiu-jitsu training, our desire to improve grows. With every belt level, new challenges arise improving the timing of old techniques, learning the mechanics of new techniques, or even improving overall conditioning. All of this not only requires more time from you but also more effort and physical stamina. The harder you push, the more it will drain you. And the more it drains you, the better your nutrition and resting periods need to be. This is where the boundaries of professional training and recreational training are created. 

The general outlook is that the only real difference between a professional and a recreationalist is the amount of time and effort you dedicate to something. A recreationalist can train once a week or once a month. They can train as often or as little as they’d like because they do it for fun as a hobby or passion. 

 

On the other hand, professionals must train as often as possible to achieve their goals of winning. Because in jiu-jitsu, if you don’t win, you don’t make any coin – it’s as simple as that. Being a professional has its perks...
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Alternate Gear You Need for BJJ

Alternate Gear You Need for BJJ

Many people think that all the gear you need for BJJ is a gi or a rashguard and shorts and you’re good to go. This is not entirely true. While those are the basics of our sport, there are other items that would be helpful in your jiu-jitsu journey.

 

Mouthguard

BJJ is a contact sport, and anyone that has been training long enough knows what it means. Often, we come out with some small cuts or bruises. While most of the time these are minor injuries, there will always be that occasional collision with a spazzy partner that will inadvertently elbow, knee, or head-butt you in the face. Sometimes these hits will be strong enough to not only cut you but damage your teeth as well. 

A mouthguard is an easy answer to this problem. Consider it as a type of insurance. To some, it may constrict their breathing as they get used to it...
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5 Things You Must Consider For Competition Prep

5 Things You Must Consider For Competition Prep

Here are some quick tips of things you should do before a competition, ranging from 3 months out to right before your match. This mainly pertains to beginners that want to start competing. As you become more advanced, you learn what details work best for you.

 

  1. Start your diet early.

Most competitors have to cut some weight to make the most out of themselves at competitions. If you like competing at your walk-around weight, and you do well, then lucky you! But most have to go through the task of reaching a certain weight, and it’s not easy. The best trick is to lose fat and retain as much muscle as possible during the weight cut. More experienced competitors usually have their own system for this, but it can be very hard for beginners. One of the simplest tips is to start your diet early – don’t procrastinate. Starting early will give you some leeway if you still have some weight to cut. One of the most embarrassing things is to get to the scale overweight and get disqualified.


  1. Start all of your hard rolling early.

The logic here is that you need...

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4 Reasons Why You Should Attend BJJ Class Regularly

4 Reasons Why You Should Attend BJJ Class Regularly

Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Attend Jiu-Jitsu Class Regularly

 

  1. Maintaining Sharp Technique

A technique does not develop itself. Neither is it downloaded into your brain and muscles when you practice it only five times. Repetition is the key to your brain and body remembering anything. There have been studies stating that in order to be an expert in any field, you must dedicate one thousand hours to it. Whether it’s true or not, the message is clear - you have to practice, practice and then practice some more. That’s why so many BJJ champions and coaches claim that drilling is the key to success in jiu-jitsu. Remembering it in your mind is not enough since jiu-jitsu requires your full body motion - you have to train your body to remember the techniques so you can execute them without thinking. This is also a great way of remembering details, which are usually first to leave your memory when taking time off of training.

 

  1. Shows respect to your instructor

Are you thinking that you may be ready for your next belt? Even if...

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5 Old School Rules of BJJ

5 Old School Rules of BJJ

Like them or not, these rules are out there. Not every gym abides by all of them, but you may find traces of at least one of these rules in your academy.

 

  1. Don’t ask a higher belt to roll

This is one rule that a lot of black belts like to use to tease lower belts. Most black belts that I’ve seen don’t actually care if a lower belt asks them to roll, many will encourage it. But if you’re at an old school academy, you will definitely hear stuff like this. It’s meant to be a sign of respect, indicating that you can’t go out and just challenge a black belt. This rule does have some practical applications, such as if eager white belts continually ask a black belt to roll but that black belt really needs to train with more advanced people. So, the rule makes it easy for the black belt to just choose the training partners he needs without constantly brushing off white and blue belts. If you are an instructor, then you do have a responsibility to roll with the lower belts since you are their teacher. 

 

  1. Line up for bow-in at the beginning and end of every class

Most of these rules are rooted in judo, and in judo, the bow-in is very important. Students are lined up by belt rank and your toes must be perfectly in line with the mat that everyone is standing on. Your gis and belts must be perfectly tied and folded, and you have to stand with perfect posture. There is no talking in the line and once your instructor drops to his knees, everyone else follows by belt rank - then you bow out...

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3 Ways to Avoid Injury in BJJ

3 Ways to Avoid Injury in BJJ

Below is just some friendly advice. Each suggestion varies from case to case, but if you speak to a great number of people in jiu-jitsu, they will tell you that their injuries occurred because of these reasons. If you avoid certain situations in jiu-jitsu because you don’t want to get injured, it doesn’t make you a ‘chicken’ or a coward. The goal in jiu-jitsu is to train long term, but in order to do that, you have to take care of yourself and make sure you avoid high-risk situations. Every time you get injured, you interrupt your progress in jiu-jitsu - it’s just not worth it.

 

  1. Avoid the “Spazzes”

To begin with, a ‘spaz’ is someone that goes 100% without any control or real strategy. They are the ones that are most likely to accidentally deck you in the face with their knee, heel, elbow, and even head. Usually, we’d like to think that this kind of behavior goes away once someone reaches purple belt, and often, it does.

Spazzes are easy to spot, and it is recommended that you don’t roll with them...

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3 Sneaky BJJ Attacks

3 Sneaky BJJ Attacks

There is no shortage of sneaky moves that can put your opponent in unexpected positions, so it’s impossible to really list them all. But here are a few really specific situations that have put even the most experienced practitioners in some bad spots.  There is no doubt that many of you will have more to add to this list! But here are three to start: 

 

  1. Loop Choke from half-guard.

The loop choke is a long-time favorite for a lot of athletes especially starting at blue belt. You’ll very often find them using the loop choke as their go-to emergency move. It can be applied from many positions, but the sneakiest version is when you’re playing half-guard. You get your cross-collar grip and loosen your half-guard to give your opponent a false sense of security. When they commit to the pass, the often dip their head too low, allowing you to loop their collar around their necks and throwing yourself under them, tightening the choke.

Often when you see someone attempt this in the black belt division, both athletes will keep rolling together, usually until they are out of bounds...
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Aftermath: Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tokyo

On the same weekend as the ADCC in Sao Paulo, on the other side of the globe, Abu Dhabi’s love for jiu-jitsu continued with its first of four major tournaments in Tokyo. The United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) has planned a seasonal grand slam series that will not only help elevate the status of the sport, with its top-notch organization and TV broadcasting, but also provide prize money for black belt medalists. 

The series is to be held in areas that the UAEJJF considers to be the hubs for jiu-jitsu around the globe, each in a different corner of the world; Tokyo for Asia, Los Angeles for North America, Rio de Janeiro for Brazil, and London for Europe.

 

Even though many of the top athletes were busy with the no-gi spectacle of the ADCC in Sao Paulo, the Tokyo Grand Slam was successful in attracting the likes of Marina Ribeiro, Celsio Vinicius, Gregor Gracie, Mike Fowler, Faisal Al Ketbi, Lagarto, Erberth Santos, Clark Gracie, Rodrigo Caporal, homeland favorite – Roberto Satoshi, and many others. 

 

They crowned...

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3 BJJ Association Leaders You Should Know

3 BJJ Association Leaders You Should Know

Gracie Barra – Carlos Gracie Jr. 

Carlos Gracie is seemingly the kingpin of jiu-jitsu. With founding ties to Gracie Magazine, Gracie Barra, and the IBJJF, “Carlinhos” is not only one of the top association leaders, but one of the most important figures in BJJ history (along with his uncle and father, Helio and Carlos Gracie). 

Gracie Barra is the largest jiu-jitsu team in the entire world. They are not only a team, but an organization and a serious business. They have been a successful franchise for many years and provide opportunities for their black belts to open businesses across the globe. They provide support and guidelines for all their branches and really strive to achieve success. 

Carlos Gracie Jr. has some of the most famous students in the world, including Roger Gracie, Jean Jacques Machado, Renzo Gracie, Roleta, Kyra Gracie, and many more. He is very much a behind the scenes kind of guy so many beginners don’t tend to know much about him, but he should be known to every serious practitioner. 

 

Alliance – Fabio Gurgel

Fabio is one of the most technical jiu-jitsu practitioners of all time. Not only is he responsible for building and growing the Alliance jiu-jitsu team, along with Romero Jacare and Alexandre Paiva, but he is also a four-time world champion and a three-time European Open champion. He even won the adults European Open once at the age of forty...

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2015 World Championship Aftermath: Black Belt Male Adult

2015 World Championship Aftermath: Black Belt Male Adult

Every year, the entire jiu-jitsu community looks forward to seeing who will become the next world champion, especially at the black belt level. This year, the results are a blend of obvious answers but also a few surprises along the way.

 

Rooster Division:

No surprises here. We have almost the exact same results as last year, except Rafael Freitas from Gracie Barra is the new bronze medalist along with Ivaniel Oliveira who wins bronze again. But it’s Bruno Malfacine who is most impressive here, once again winning the title for a seventh time defeating Joao Miyao yet again in the finals (albeit in a controversial referee’s decision). But at this pace, it’s only a matter of time until Joao will win his title. Bruno will be a tough opponent to defeat, but without Caio Terra in the division for the time being, Miyao will dominate. 

 

Lightfeather Division:

Without Guilherme Mendes in the picture, Paulo Miyao was able to reach his goal of becoming world champion. Although it’s always unfulfilling for fans to see the absence of the defending champion, it does not take away from Paulo’s achievement – although probably in his mind, he is wishing that he could show the world how he would do this year against Gui. This is a thought that every champion keeps in mind when they win the title; did they really take it away from the previously reigning champ? At the moment it looks like it won’t be happening any time soon, as Guilherme chose to retire and spend his time focusing on his gym and his soon-to-be-born baby. 

 

Feather Division:

No surprises here whatsoever. The exact same results as last year except we now witness the ascent of Gianni Grippo who placed third, replacing Alberto Paiva from 2014. Mario Reis joins Grippo for bronze and ...
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