4 Annoying Obstacles For White Belts

Posted by admin

Aug 7, 2014 4:17:00 PM


It’s safe to say that BJJ is not your conventional recreational sport. Although in theory it is for everyone, there are many who are unable to overcome some of the challenges they may face at white belt, especially that nerve-wrecking, but exhilarating first class. Here are four of these many obstacles that white belts have to deal with regularly. Many of the higher belts have already forgotten those days, so this can be a reminder and a way to empathize with our beginner brothers.

  1.       The blue belts want your blood

Well, they are not out to actually hurt you, but they are going to have their fun. The memory of being a white belt is still fresh in the minds of the blue belts. They know how hard it was for them, and they have every intention of making it as hard for you – all for good reason though, since that’s what it took for them to get their blue.

White belts are also the only ones that the blue belts can beat regularly, since they still have the struggle against the purples, browns and blacks. Dominating white belts is the best way for them to practice techniques that usually would not work on the higher belts. I guess you can say that white belts are the grappling dummies of the BJJ world – not a light label to carry!

  1.       Overcoming the full contact

This is harder for some than others. There are those who are naturally used to the scrappy nature of BJJ. They don’t care if their face is scraped by a gi or if someone’s sweat plops in their eye. But for a lot of people, this can be an issue that requires patience to resolve. There are those who realize they can’t handle it and abandon their training before it really even begins. Some others are stronger in character and develop the will to overcome these obstacles – this is when the real jiu-jitsu training begins. Either way, many of us may have forgotten how awkward it can be in the beginning of

  1.       Soreness and mat burns

Like with any new exercise, the body will get extremely sore. Since jiu-jitsu is a full body workout, most white belts will experience soreness like never before. Although painful, this can be viewed as a positive result since this means they will be building muscle and burning fat.

However, the same thing cannot be said about mat burns. Because white belts do not know how to move properly yet, and choose to fight mainly on their knees most of the time, they tend to drag the topside of their foot across the mat. This usually burns their skin and you’ll often see beginners with tape all around their foot to avoid scraping the scabs. With experience, white belts will usually spend more time on their butts (to play guard) or on their feet (to pass guard) so the burning stops.

  1.       You’re going to lose to guys half your size

This comes as the biggest shock for beginners. People always think size matters in almost any situation. So often you will see larger beginners destroyed by blue and purple belts half their size. At this point, the beginner either swallows their pride and continues to learn or ends up leaving because he just can’t handle the embarrassment. An action that is frowned upon in the BJJ world – you must leave your ego at the door.

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

4 Best Marvel Characters for BJJ

Posted by admin

Jul 31, 2014 12:18:00 PM



Spider-Man (lightweight)


Who could not add him to this list? Marvel’s lightweight BJJ champion right here for sure. Spider-man, aka Peter Parker, received a bite from a radioactive spider - passing him it’s abilities. Similarly to Beast, he has the perfect balance of skills. He is easily one of the most agile characters in Marvel. He is light and quick. I can see him being one step ahead of his opponents and flowing with every movement. Although his strength is impressive, I wouldn’t see him having a very strong pressure game since his speed would be a stronger card for him to use.


Mr. Fantastic (middleweight)


Yet another case of an experiment gone wrong with another genius – Marvel seems to be full of them. Mr. Fantastic is the leader of the Fantastic Four, Marvel’s third coolest superhero group after the X-Men and the Avengers. His ability? He is basically a piece of rubber. He is able to stretch and condense to the extreme as well as neutralize electricity. That easily makes him the most flexible character in the Marvel universe. His limbs can’t be broken, nor can he really be choked. He can coil himself around anyone or anything like an “anaconda” to squeeze out his submissions. I can see that becoming his jiu-jitsu nickname. The only extreme situation where I can see him losing is against someone like the Hulk who, using his superior strength, could stretch Mr. Fantastic to his limit, possibly ripping him eventually, just like when you pull a rubber band too much.


Beast (heavyweight)


Beast is a member of the X-Men. Once having a human form, his mutation pushed him into permanently being a blue and shaggy beat-like creature. His powers in combination with his superior intelligence make him one of the most suitable BJJ Marvel fighters. He also has a great balance of strength, size and agility. He is able to grip with his feet like a monkey and I can see him baseball choking all his opponents into submission. His only major weakness would be his short and stubby legs, which would possibly make it difficult to triangle opponents of his own size.


The Hulk (superheavyweight)


The Hulk is an unfortunate case of another scientist who was exposed to something called ‘Gamma Radiation’ that caused him to periodically change into a green titan when he gets mad – although in time he learned to control himself and his transformation.


The first thing that probably comes to your mind is “BJJ? He should go straight to MMA with that ground and pound”, however, this Marvel superheavyweight would be more than suitable for BJJ as well – who would break his grips? The Beast? Nope. The Thing? Nope. Once the Hulk catches you, you will tap – that’s if you have a chance.


Also, how on earth would you submit something so strong even if you did catch him? Good luck arm-barring him, he will bicep curl your body. Good luck leg-locking him, he’ll leg curl you. That pretty much goes for every other submission you can think of including the effective and sensitive wrist-locks and heel-hooks. He would easily be the absolute BJJ champion of the Marvel world. However, don’t expect him strapping on a triangle with those short and thick legs – not that he really needs to use it.


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Topics: Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists, BJJ in Everyday Life

5 Reasons Why BJJ Is So Addictive

Posted by admin

Jul 24, 2014 4:31:36 PM



     1.  When it comes to physical fitness, it produces results.


No one can deny the gratifying results that BJJ produces for its practitioners. At first, people hesitate because they are either uncomfortable with the full contact factor or they don’t believe it will really help them get in shape. But after a few classes of embarrassment from realizing how out of shape they are, most people drive themselves to continue and it doesn’t take long to see that pounds dropping. After you get that ball rolling, it’s hard to back away because you develop the fear of returning to the state you were in before you started training. If anything, you slowly progress to training more often and with higher intensity to maximize your fitness results – that’s not including the supplementary exercising you may have to do depending on your commitment level to competing.


  1. The unexplainable feeling after a good class of technique and rolling.


Think about how you feel after a jiu-jitsu class. Besides the obvious complaints of “sore” and “tired”, there is also an unexplainable feeling of joy. Sure, this is a feeling that you can get from other fulfilling exercises, but there is something special about walking out of the academy after a class and feeling good. You feel like you just worked hard, got an exercise and probably learned something new – there is no such thing as a BJJ class where you learn absolutely nothing. This is a valuable feeling that you get addicted to, subconsciously or not, when you do a jiu-jitsu class.


  1. You meet interesting people from various backgrounds.


One of the additional benefits to all the great exercise you do, and the techniques you learn, are all the pleasant people you meet. You develop deeper camaraderie than in most other activities. Rolling with people creates valuable levels of trust and you feel like you’re part of a team, and in some cases, a family. This is, for many, a valuable quality that can be nurtured by continual participation in classes.


  1. The desire to improve technically.


Just like with the fitness results, as you see your jiu-jitsu game improving, you will want to keep coming back into the gym to refine your skill. You will also probably develop friendly rivalries in the process with teammates. You will want to come back until you’re able to beat some guys or execute certain techniques. This eventually becomes an addiction as you see positive results. That’s why people become unmotivated to train when they hit a plateau and see little improvement.


  1. The feeling that you are part of something bigger - the international BJJ community.


Many people, including professionals, not only find jiu-jitsu appealing because of its fitness and technical qualities, but also because it immerses you into a huge international community. There are many memes online that demonstrate the type of connection jiu-jitsu athletes have between each other, even when they have never met before. The most popular of these is a photo of Leonardo Dicaprio from The Great Gatsby holding up a glass of champagne for a toast. In writing it says “the look you spot someone who also does jiu-jitsu”. You join an international community of people who understand you, and you understand them.


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Topics: Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

5 Top Jiu-Jitsu Brother Champions

Posted by admin

Jul 17, 2014 12:53:00 PM

It seems that in jiu-jitsu, having a sibling to train with is priceless. You have someone to constantly push you and keep you on your toes because the rivalry between siblings can become intense. You can also have a partner to train with almost any time. If the gym is closed, you can always train at home with your brother or sister. Below is a list of five sibling pairs that everyone in the jiu-jitsu world should know.



Braulio Estima and Victor Estima

These brothers are both from Gracie Barra and have carried the Barra flag with pride. Braulio is the older brother with four world titles under his belt. Victor is the younger Estima brother and also has several world titles under his belt like the no-gi world championship (2011) and the European championship (2012). However, Braulio is more celebrated than his brother, especially for his performances at the ADCC and catching Andre Galvao with an inverted triangle - something very hard to pull-off in no-gi, especially against an athlete of Galvao’s caliber.


Saulo Ribeiro and Xande Ribeiro

These brothers represent Gracie Humaita. Saulo Ribeiro is the elder, with five world titles under his belt – 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002. Xande Ribeiro’s victories came in the later years, being two-time absolute champion in 2006 and 2008. He also has world titles at his belt in the years of 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. Each brother has his own style but both like to generally stick to the basics.



Paulo Miyao and Joao Miyao

This is the newest sibling power on the block. This is their first year as black belts and they did not disappoint. Already, both athletes were able to get silver at the worlds in their respective divisions. Both teammates hail from the Cicero Costha academy located in Sao Paulo. Another notable name from this team is Leandro Lo. Both Miyao brothers are famous for their deadly berimbolo game and they are just getting started. These brothers, unlike the others mentioned in this list, are twins.



Guilherme Mendes and Rafael Mendes

These are the two most popular brothers in jiu-jitsu today. No one even refers to them by their individual names any more – they are just known as the Mendes Brothers. Guilherme is the older brother and has four world championships under his belt (2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014). Rafael, also known as Rafa, is the younger brother and is also a four-time world champion in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. However, Rafa also has the prestigious title under his belt as two-time ADCC champion in 2009 and 2010. These brothers run one of the world’s most popular academies in Costa Mesa, California – an RVCA sponsored gym.



Leo Vieira and Ricardo Vieira

These two brothers are the pioneers of the list. They are founders of Checkmat, one of the world’s top jiu-jitsu teams. Leo Vieira is the older brother and is the 1999 black belt world champion. But he is remembered more for his prowess in the ADCC where he was champion in 2003 and 2005. Ricardo Vieira is the younger brother and was black belt champion in 2001. He was also world champion at every belt division before that. These siblings were able to leave a real legacy with their name by having top competitors in the Checkmat team and turning it into a global organization.


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Topics: Pro BJJ Players and Superfights, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

The Coolest Submission in MMA History

Posted by admin

Jul 10, 2014 11:35:00 AM


There are a lot of lists out there of the top submissions in MMA. But most of these lists are compiled by UFC fans who have never even stepped on the mats in their life. They have no conception of difficulty as well as what should be considered ‘cool’ by practitioners. Below is a list based on technical difficulty, which is what really makes them cool to us, not to mention the aesthetic value. Below are some submissions we have seen over the years in MMA that you would expect from comic book superheroes – especially spider-man.


5. Shinya Aoki vs Keith Wisniewski (Shooto) – Standing ‘Snapping’ Armbar


As you all know, there are many techniques that do not have fixed names in jiu-jitsu. So for the sake of description, I’ve named this technique the ‘snapping armbar’ because of the speed required to execute it.

For most of the fight, Aoki put pressure, always closing the distance and looking for a takedown. At the two-minute mark, Wisniewski made the mistake of loosely over-hooking Aoki’s arm and allowing Aoki to control it at the wrist. What this did was place Wisniewski’s elbow on Aoki’s ribs, giving Aoki the timing to twist his body and snap the arm at the elbow. You can hear a loud ‘crack!’ and Keith verbally taps from pain.


4. Chan Sung Jung vs Leonard Garcia (UFC) – The Twister


Eddie Bravo had always dreamed of seeing ‘The Twister’ done in an MMA match, a technique that he popularized and sharpened specifically for no-gi wrestling in hopes of it becoming excepted by people for street defense.

This dream became a reality when Chan Sung Jung, The Korean Zombie, executed this technique on Leonard Garcia in the UFC. The twister itself is not a particularly difficult technique to pull-off in no-gi or even gi, but in MMA, everything becomes harder to achieve because of the striking. So for The Zombie to pull this off, it took a lot of practice – which he admitted he did in many interviews.


3. Shinya Aoki vs Joachim Hansen (PRIDE) – Gogoplata


A lot of people argue that if you pull off very unorthodox techniques in MMA, it’s probably because your opponent is not very savvy. Well, sure, that is true depending on the situation, however in this situation, this was not really the case. Joachim Hansen, although not traditionally trained in BJJ, is an avid grappler who had competed in many submission wrestling competitions, including the ADCC. However, because of Shinya’s sheer talent and flexibility, he was able to pull this off quite skillfully.


2. Ryo Chonan vs Anderson Silva (PRIDE) – Spinning Heelhook


Now this is a match that you don’t have to be a longtime MMA fan to know. The UFC has shown this moment many times over since it is easily Silva’s most embarrassing loss of all time.

To be brief, Silva was slowly breaking down Chonan with strikes and he really had very little to do except surprise Silva with a perfectly executed heelhook entry. Silva got caught on the instep of a punch and set himself up for this breakdance-like submission. Without a doubt this was Chonan’s greatest career achievement.


1. Rumina Sato vs Charles Taylor (shooto) – Flying Armbar


This is the technique that set the bar for ‘fancy’ for us all. RuminaSato appeared to have wings for many of his early Shooto matches. To this day, you won’t see anything like this in a ring or an octagon. Granted, this was in the earlier days of MMA, the level of understanding for most fighters was quite low, however, just the sheer athleticism required to execute this technique, especially on a resisting opponent still leaves us awestruck.


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Topics: Pro BJJ Players and Superfights, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

5 Dangerous Techniques in BJJ – Part 2

Posted by admin

May 29, 2014 5:00:00 AM



Before you think it, I will mention it - yes, most techniques in BJJ are dangerous because it involves joint manipulation and other awkward positions. However, in this list I will talk about the moves that lack so much control that either combatant could get hurt. This means, that perhaps a tapping in time won’t save you. Oh, and one more thing, this list only includes legal techniques.



  1. The Triangle

Yes, the beloved triangle. But, it’s not exactly the triangle itself that makes it dangerous, but a certain position that could put you out for the rest of your life. This danger was first brought to the attention of the jiu-jitsu world when a video of an accident at a Brazilian tournament was released. Two blue belts were in a match and one of them strapped on a triangle from the guard. The opponent stood up to defend while the attacker was still latched on to his neck and shoulders. This is a typical defense for a triangle, but what happened next was horrific. To hold himself up, the attacker flipped onto his own chest, behind his opponent, while still holding on to the triangle with his legs. So to help you imagine this, his back was curved the opposite way underneath his opponents - backwards. His opponent, not knowing the danger that lay ahead, sat down to continue his triangle defense. As a result, there was a loud crack as the attacker’s spine snapped in half from the seated weight. The poor boy screamed in agony and was incapacitated for the rest of his life. It is very important for everyone to know about this horrible event and understand to never flip backwards when doing a triangle on a standing opponent. It is the responsibility of the instructors to make sure of this.



  1. Double Underhook Pass

This is another seemingly harmless technique that could go very wrong. The double underhook guard pass is a very basic pass that is taught to white belts. You simply scoop both your arms under your opponent’s legs and stack them onto their neck. This makes it very hard for your opponent to resist your movement to the side to take sidemount. However, if done with too much force, on the part of the passer, it could lead to similarly devastating consequences as the triangle.


Another tournament in Brazil can be brought as an example. Two blue belts were in a match and one of them began to do the double underhook pass. With all his strength, the passer lifted his opponent with the double underhook grips and flipped his opponent to the point where he was almost on his knees but not his neck. The opponent’s head was still folded underneath his body and the passer landed on top with all his weight, snapping his opponent’s neck. As a result, the unfortunate guard player was left immobilized for the rest of his life. This is another instance of tragic accidents in jiu-jitsu that can be avoided with proper guidance from the instructors.

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Topics: Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists, BJJ in Everyday Life

5 Dangerous Techniques in BJJ - Part 1

Posted by admin

May 22, 2014 12:43:00 PM


Before you think it, I will mention it - yes, most techniques in BJJ are dangerous because it involves joint manipulation and other awkward positions. However, in this list I will talk about the moves that lack so little control that either combatant could get hurt. This means, that perhaps tapping in time won’t save you. Oh, and one more thing, this list only include legal techniques.


  1. Wrist Locks

We’ve all been caught by this at some point in our jiu-jitsu experience – except for maybe white belts since it’s only legal starting at blue belt. The wrist is one of the weaker joints in your body since it does not have the same support as your elbows and shoulders. Wristlocks also only really work well if they are put on very quickly. If you try to wristlock someone slowly they will more than likely escape. It can also be considered a type of surprise attack because of the speed required, which means that the damage done will be even worse if your wrist is relaxed. Wrist locks can be used from many different positions - almost any time your wrist is bent. This is another reason why it is so dangerous because it can be used on you anywhere and any time. It is a favorite of many black belts to earn an easy victory. That’s why so many people think wrist locks are considered “cheap” or “cowardly”. But the truth is, this is jiu-jitsu and if it’s legal in competition, you better be conscious of it. And if you’re a black belt, you have to be street ready, so you should definitely protect your wrists.


  1. Jumping Triangle

Anything “jump” related will have its problems. The jumping triangle can be done from either when both opponents are standing, or if one opponent is seated in open guard and a standing opponent jumps to catch the triangle with his legs. The reason this is dangerous is because many practitioners miss their target and the results can be quite ugly. If it fails when both opponents are standing, then the person trying the technique could easily land on his back, winding himself, or landing on his head, which can damage the spine. The bigger you are, the harder you fall. So that’s why you will always see more lightweights doing this technique. The same thing applies for this technique against a seated guard opponent. If you miss your target, you could easily kick them in the face or land on top of their head. It is definitely suggested to proceed with caution.


  1. Flying Armbar

This is even a step up in danger than the jumping triangle. Why? Well because for this technique you have to be on an angle where your head points more towards the ground, unlike the jumping triangle where it’s more likely that your back will hit. There are many videos out there on Youtube that show the consequences of a failed flying armbar. Many attempts lead to a practitioner knocking themselves out and having serious spine damage. So if you’re feeling light on your feet, maybe think twice before trying it out.


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Topics: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

5 Things to Focus on When Teaching BJJ to Children

Posted by admin

May 1, 2014 2:07:00 PM



     1. Safety

Most parents who send their children to martial art classes usually have very little experience in the martial arts themselves. This means that the first thing that comes to mind for them is ‘is this safe for my child?’ Unlike many other activities that they could be sending their children to, martial arts is usually full contact, especially the more athletic based ones like wrestling, judo and BJJ. So, it is the responsibility of the academy and the instructor to make sure that the classes are as safe as possible. How can you insure this? Well, there is no 100% guarantee to avoid accidents, but there are ways to really diminish the possibilities. 

Firstly, spacing is really important. This applies to adults as well, but kids are far more clumsy and less conscious of their surroundings. So make sure that there is enough space between the pairs of kids practicing. If your class is too large, then you have to incorporate some sort of activity that allows for shifts – some students sit and rest while others work, or divide the class in a way where some kids are doing an activity that takes up less space while the others do activities that involve more space because they are in pairs, working with a partner.

Secondly, another good tip, although seemingly minor, is to never keep your back facing the class. The instructor needs to face and see as much as the class as possible to spot potentially dangerous positions and moments before they turn into injuries - such as children performing a technique poorly.

  1. Balance


It’s already quite obvious that teaching methods used for adults and children are very different. With adults, you can jump into technique details as much as you want, relative to the level of the students. But with young children, technical details have to be approached differently, and sometimes, the goal is not necessarily to have them remember the actual technique, but to develop things that are far more innate, such as balance and conditioning their bodies for the future in jiu-jitsu. Of course, there are talented children that pickup technique the same way adults do, but for the most part, children should learn to prepare their bodies so that when they are older to learn more of the details, they will do so with ease.


  1. Fun


You can try to be as serious as you want as an instructor, but the truth is, kids can’t focus for as long as adults can, so you have to find creative ways to teach them while making it fun at the same time. Games are, of course, a great way of engaging them. Games can include things related to themes like balance, learning breakfalls or gaining agility and flexibility. A game also has to be something that is dynamic and constantly changing so that the kids can stay focused. If the activity drags on for too long you will always notice a drop in enthusiasm. So classes have to be fast-paced and full of energy.


     4. Discipline


One of the main reasons a lot of parents send their children to martial arts is because they want their child to learn how to abide by rules and develop a sense of respect for the people around them. Often, kids that are troublesome at home are sent to martial arts classes to be disciplined. Although dealing with misbehaving children is not the goal of BJJ classes, this is a reality that instructors will face on a regular basis.


It’s hard to turn away a membership signup because a child misbehaves in classes. However, there are different levels of bad behavior and therefore it really depends on the skill of the instructor for how they will deal with this.


Many children, especially ages 6-9 have short attention spans and could easily lose focus during the class. They could start talking to others or even stop practicing techniques at any given moment. It is up to the instructor to keep things dynamic and exciting. However, sometimes you will run into children that can be aggressive or refuse to listen completely. They could talk back to the instructor and basically have no positive response to anything that is said to them. In this case, if the situation gets really bad, and nothing can be done, it is well worth it to tell the parents that the child cannot attend classes any more. When there is an uncontrollable child in the class, not only does it disturb the other children from learning, but it also makes the instructor look bad that he is incapable of dealing with the child. It’s bad for business and bad for the students.


5. Values


This is probably one of the most important things a child can take home from a jiu-jitsu class. Besides learning to defend themselves on a practical level, should they be bullied at school or worse, they also learn values on how to treat other people on a day-to-day basis.


Firstly, kids that train jiu-jitsu are far less likely to be aggressive towards others. Any buildup of energy is released in the class and they also learn how to gently practice with their peers. They learn how to communicate and interact with people of all backgrounds, depending on where you are in the world. The list just goes on.


But most importantly, children learn respect. They learn to respect their elders, authorities and peers. When a child learns a throw, they learn how to be gentle even though they are doing something seemingly violent.


Another type of discipline they learn is dedication. Children who go to jiu-jitsu class regularly learn how consistency can yield good results. They will see this eventually when they are graded and receive a new stripe or belt. That’s why gradings are so important because it summarizes all the hard work they have done in the past. A lot of these habits are learned subconsciously and your children will not realize their importance until much later in their lives. But when they do, they will be thankful to their parents for making the effort of taking them to class.


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Topics: Academy Etiquette, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

5 Cities You Should Travel and Train In

Posted by admin

Apr 24, 2014 3:08:42 PM


The international progression of jiu-jitsu is really easy to monitor. The Gracies popularized it in Brazil and then diverted their efforts to America. It’s easy to see that Brazil and USA have the highest amount of BJJ athletes. However, Japan, the world’s third largest jiu-jitsu market (after Brazil and the USA), also has gyms worth experiencing. Here are five cities you must visit and train in in your lifetime.


  1. San Diego

Originally, Los Angeles was one of the more famous hot spots in the USA for jiu-jitsu because of the large amount of Gracies that went there to live in the 90s. Rickson especially built a local reputation for himself when he ran his academy out of his garage. However, as the sport grew and other champions started to move to California, San Diego became the more natural choice for large academies to open. The weather and lifestyle was more suitable for Brazilians because of the beach life they were used to in Rio de Janeiro and other parts of Brazil. Now, San Diego houses a huge network of academies that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. The weather is great and you have various world-class gyms to visit - what more could you ask for?


  1. Rio de Janeiro

Rio is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In addition to its aesthetic beauty, Rio is the mecca of BJJ. Helio Gracie’s original academy was built there and still runs there today - known as Gracie Humaita. That is only a fraction of the history that rests there. To train in Rio is to experience that history first hand in several old academies. This is definitely a place worth visiting and taking the time to immerse yourself in the fun Brazilian culture we have all heard about from our academies and Brazilian instructors.


  1. Tokyo

It’s always interesting to think about how jiu-jitsu had originated in Japan, was reinvented by the Brazilians but then made a return to Japan and embraced by so many athletes. Tokyo is another massive international jiu-jitsu hub. It houses many schools that have plenty of black belts to roll with that have their own unique styles as the Japanese are a very creative and passionate people. You will experience jiu-jitsu games that you won’t necessarily find in the USA or Brazil.


  1. New York

New York is the USA’s second jiu-jitsu hub after San Diego. Originally, Renzo Gracie had moved to NYC to get his jiu-jitsu better known. In time, Renzo became successful in building the busiest academy in the world. Later, other champions like Vitor Shaolin and Marcelo Garcia followed suit and have done so successfully. Now, NYC houses many gyms and you can easily walk around and notice guys sporting their jiu-jitsu tees and hoodies.


  1. Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is Brazil’s economic center, the NYC of Brazil. With international culture and plenty of good food to experience, SP also has tons of world-class gyms to visit. The most reputable would have to be the Alliance headquarters run by ‘The General’, Fabio Gurgel - a man who needs no introduction. There are many other famous champions that come from SP, but today, the best known are Leandro Lo and the Miyao brothers.

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Topics: Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists, BJJ in Everyday Life

4 Reasons Why BJJ Is So Cool

Posted by admin

Apr 10, 2014 1:57:07 PM



Brazilian jiu-jitsu has been one of the fastest growing underground sports in the world. It has a community of its own that has not necessarily been accepted by any mainstream media, but that can be a good thing. It makes it exclusive, mysterious and cool. At first, people think you do some sort of traditional martial art like karate, but at second glance, they can realize it’s much, much more. Here are a few reasons why doing jiu-jitsu is just so damn cool.


  1. You learn how to control deadly force

The keyword here is control. What does that mean? It means that although you learn how to break limbs, put people to sleep and even worse – you also learn how unnecessary it is to use it - unless in very extreme circumstances, you never have to use it. This is what you learn in jiu-jitsu - the techniques, but also the responsibility. When you get your black belt, consider yourself a type of superhero and you should only use your powers for good.


  1. You get fit doing something useful and exciting

Sure, eventually if you want to be a good competitor, you have to do BJJ and weight lifting. But let’s admit it, weight lifting is boring, so is running on the treadmill – at least for most people. With BJJ, you get the best bang-for-your-buck. You learn how to kick butt and you shed the pounds. It’s a pretty sweet deal and all your friends that don’t do BJJ and just go to the gym to lift weights should be jealous!


  1. Be part of an exclusive international community

BJJ is international, but it is still underground and not mainstream at all. All over the world, practitioners understand this and no matter where you go in the world, you will find refuge at the closest gym. What do I mean by refuge? Well, if you’re lost or just looking to get some vacation training in, you can always get help from an academy – we help our own. The hospitality I have seen from gyms around the world is unsurpassed and it’s way too easy to get along with our fellow practitioners - we just have way too much in common. As Genki Sudo used to preach after his MMA fights – we are all one.


  1. Meet lifetime friends

So people say that golf is a great way to get to know someone. You know…you get to hit a ball in the sky and have a nice chitchat while you take a stroll to go ahead and hit it again. A lot of businessmen use this activity as a way to bond with clients. Well, jiu-jitsu is another way to bond with someone. What develops more trust than fighting someone and possibly catching them in a dangerous position but not following through? Sure, a tap should release you from a submission, but the person releases by choice. The point is, you will become so close with people at your academy that it will become like a second family or network of best friends. Your academy will always have your back.

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Topics: Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists, BJJ in Everyday Life

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