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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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5 Matches You Will Want To See This Yeard

5 Matches You Will Want To See This Yeard

  1.       Michael Liera Jr. vs Gianni Grippo

 

Michael Liera received his black belt recently and shows a lot of promise in the division. He is a student of Andre Galvao and trains with some of the best jiu-jitsu athletes in the competition scene today, namely; JT Torres, Keenan Cornelius, and the Mendes Brothers. 

Gianni Grippo is a Marcelo Garcia black belt but had spent most of his time until that point training with Renzo Gracie in New York. Gianni has been very active in the last year, fighting to an hour-long draw against Joao Miyao in Copa Podio later in 2014. 

These are two of jiu-jitsu’s rising American stars. They are about the same size - Liera is slightly larger - but this match would be, with a doubt, high intensity.

 

  1.       Felipe Preguica vs Keenan Cornelius

 

This is a match that will happen soon enough, most likely in the absolute division of the Worlds or Pan-Ams. 

Felipe Preguica is the current heavyweight world champion after beating Keenan’s coach, Andre Galvao in the finals. He is about the same age as Keenan and has been on a roll in 2014 with a win at the Copa Podio Heavyweight Grand Prix, beating savvy competitors like Claudio Calasans and Luiz Panza. 

Keenan Cornelius is one of today’s most exciting grapplers with one of the weirdest styles and guards. It’s going to be interesting to see how Preguica will match up against the flexible and long-legged Cornelius...

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