Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Your Dreams

I have heard it said that you are truly fluent in a foreign language when your dreams are in that language.

After I started BJJ I spent a lot of time thinking about it and trying to perfect my technique.  The funny thing was I didn’t dream about it very often.  Now that I have had to stop training at the dojo, I find I am dreaming about it more.

Case in point: Last night I dream I was in front of a large public building that had a open forum area.  A man was acting very strangely and began to get violent.  He came by me dragging what looked like a another man he had accosted.  Without thinking about it I hoped on his exposed back.  I got one hook in and my arms in place for a Rear Naked Choke.  My weight pulled him down and he let go of the other guy and tried to get ahold of me.  I was having trouble getting the second hook in but I was still able to cinch the choke tighter.  Then my wife woke me up for work. D’oh!

My dreams seem to point in the fact I feel confident enough to use BJJ in a elevated situation but that my confidence is not rock solid.  In most of my dreams I just can not finish.

I would be interested to hear about others Jiu-Jitsu dreams and their thoughts on them.  How often do you dream about BJJ?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Review of the Jake Johnston Seminar


On Feb. 24th I cashed in some of my hard earned nickels and dimes and attended the seminar Jake Johnston was teaching at West Side Jiu-Jitsu.  Now I can’t say I have been to a lot of seminars.  My last one was with Sylivo Behring in 2010.  But I have attended enough of them, I think to say I know what I like and what I don’t in one.  I think my number one pet peeve is paying to work out.  I expect to be taught by a master when I go to one.  I don’t want to waste precious time doing things I can do any day of the week.  We had 4 hours with Jake and I was very please that none of it was doing jumping jacks or other exercises.  Jake got right to it.  It was noted after, by Mark, that this was Jake’s first official seminar.  I for one thought it was excellent.  Jake stayed true to the principles of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and shared good solid fundamentals.  The 4 hours flew by.


Jake taught us a lot in that 4 hours and its of course hard to remember it all.  I have posted all the pictures I got on Facebook.

Jake started out with working on  mount escapes.  He then worked into defending the cross choke while mounted.  He taught us an exercise for working that defense into a sweep.  We went over an excellent guard pass that was the most effective one I’ve used to date.  It combined leverage with gravity to do something in physics similar to Bruce Lee’s 1 Inch Power Punch.  When you add many forces into a technique you only need a little from each to make the power add up.  As you can see from the pictures we worked on taking the back and on breaking a grip to finish an arm bar.  I am sure I am forgetting something else.  Feel free to comment and remind me.

Most of all I enjoyed seeing my Jiu-Jitsu family and renewing old bonds.  It really made me feel what I had missed in the last 9 or so months.  I will make a special effort to get back at it guys.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Jake Johnston Seminar at West Side BJJ Feb 25th


Jake Johnston will be at West Side Jiu-Jitsu Academy, (2238 Washington Blvd, Ogden UT, (801) 920-6500) Saturday February 25th from 10:00am to 1:00pm.  The seminar fee is $55, payable at the door.

“Jake Johnston is the only certified Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in the Southern Utah area.  He started his training in Provo, Utah in the summer of 1993 under world-renowned Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor Pedro Sauer.  He was promoted to blue belt in 8 months, and began helping teach Pedro’s kids and adult classes.

His dedication to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu continued as his desire to learn turned into a deep passion.  In 1996 Jake began commuting to Southern Utah and started teaching private lessons and group classes, becoming the first person to teach Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in St. George.  He received his purple belt in 1999, his brown belt in 2004, and was awarded the prestigious black belt in August of 2006.  Jake has been learning and teaching Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for 18 years.  He is one of the few people to be a direct student of Professor Sauer, earning all of the belts beginning with white all the way to black under his instruction.  This makes Jake officially certified in the exclusive teachings of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.  Jake has dedicated the majority of his life to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.” – Seminar Promotion e-mail.

Life is Jiu-Jitsu and Jiu-Jitsu is Life

My Eulogy for my friend Chris Anderson

Chris I had good times going over BJJ techniques with you on Magic Monday.  Your inviting smile always cheered me.  You showed me concern, friendship, compassion, acceptance, and brotherhood.  I knew you would win every time we rolled but I also knew it would be great fun and looked forward to it.  You were another of my Jiu-Jitsu family that make the dojo home.  I told all of my BJJ family that day in class after Miles’s death that I would be there if anyone needed a shoulder to cry on or cheering up.  How I wish you had taken me up on it instead of choosing to take your life.  I will miss you greatly.  I’ll miss your fuzzy head after one of your buzz hair cuts and your funny little goatee.  I’ll miss chatting with you after class and the distinct sound of your voice.  I hurt, Chris.  I hurt.

Its good bye for now and rest.  I will see you again and maybe then you can help me understand.  I won’t forget you Chris.

Rest in peace, Chris.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu On the Brain by Mark Johnson

I opened my e-mail and there was my instructor, Mark Johnson of West Side Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!  Holy Cow!  I’ve been away from BJJ for a while but I didn’t think it was long enough for him to write a book!  I of course will be getting the book and writing a review.  Mark has been a great mentor to me and I enjoy our friendship.  I can’t wait to read his perspective along with other stories I’m sure he has included.  Now Mark you need to publish the kids Jiu-Jitsu book you were working on.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Ralphie Uses the Mount to Beat the Tar out of Scut Farkus


I’ve never been one to start putting up the Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving but this year we wanted to feel more festive.  We looked in our collection of decorations.  There was nothing for Thanksgiving.  We had a few pictures the kids had done at school but it was not enough.  So this year we broke with tradition and put the Christmas stuff up early.  We followed it up with watching The Christmas Story. Once again I keep seeing BJJ every where I go.  After all these years I did not notice until today that Ralphie put Scut Farkus in the mount before beating the tar out of him.  Scut of course did no know any escapes and just got wailed on.  It just goes to show you how a solid principle like gaining and maintaining mount is universal in its application.  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may not be the original author of the mount but its where I learned it.  It is also where I learned to make very good use of it in self defense just like Ralphie.  Keep swinging Ralphie!

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu.

Advanced Brazilian Jiujitsu Techniques by Marcelo Garcia

My copy of Advanced Brazilian Jiujitsu Techniques is in the mail!  Years ago I bought, The X-Guard: For Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, No Gi Grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts, it was the first book I had by Marcelo.  I found the full color pictures and step by step examples very helpful, not to mention the X-Guard itself!  I am hoping this new book will be just as good or better.  I will be sure to do a review when it arrives.  He could not have timed it better.  It is like getting a early Christmas present.  Smile

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

MMA Fighter Uses BJJ Rear Naked Choke to Stop Robbery

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in action on the street

Brent Alvarez is a MMA fighter with a (2-2-0) record according to  But I think he had his best fight yet when he bagged a bad guy.  I always like to see BJJ in action.  This isn’t the first video I’ve seen of the Rear Naked Choke in action on the street.  I don’t think it will be the last.  Those of you who watch the MMA fights or practice Jiu-Jitsu know what he could have done to the guy once he had control.  He showed in my opinion what discipline BJJ teaches by not hurting the robber.  He also reiterated what I and other have said that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a gentle art.  He didn’t have to throw any punches or kicks.  He got to back control and neutralized any threat the thief could be to others or himself.  Well done, Brent!  Thank you for showing the world the power and effectiveness of BJJ while taking another criminal off the street.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Is a Submission Master Really Worth the Price?

“Do you really like your Submission Master Grappling Dummy?” is the first question I get followed by “Is it really worth the price?”.  To which I always answer “YES!”.  I know its expensive but so is that latest gadget or fashionable thing you want.  It all comes down to where you spend your time and money.  I am getting zero time at the gym or BJJ class because the economy has me hard up (See How has the Economy Affected your Jiu-Jitsu).  My Submission Master is paid for.  I can roll with him anytime.  He never complains and I never feel guilty about taking my time figuring out a choke on him.  Yes, he isn’t a 100% swap for a real training partner but he does an excellent job helping me practice my chokes, sweeps, and escapes for the most part.  He has real body mass (70 lbs.) and volume.  He holds a basic in guard posture.  Although resetting him each time can be a little tiring I get a work out while practicing.  If I don’t want to reset then its up to me to come up with combos that do it for me.  I have a good time tapping out my Submission Master.  I’m glad I bought him.

The makers of Submission Master did not pay me or give me anything to say this.  I don’t even know who they are.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

How has the Economy Affected Your Jiu-Jitsu?


As you already know I have had to take a break from BJJ for financial reasons (See my post: “Training at Home When You Have No Other Choice”).  Its more important to pay the bills and support my family then tap people out with Triangles.

The price of everything seems to be going up these days.  I thought I read something on The FightWorks PodCast about the average cost of classes being $100.  Where I practice is below that.  As I remember the survey done on FightWorksPodCast was some time ago.  I could not find it on their site.  I wonder what the average is now with the economy in a wreck?  For me my classes were part of my “discretionary spending” fund.  That has now dried up with adding a mini-van to the family and soaring food costs.  What “cut backs” have you had to make?  Has the cost of your classes gone up?  Maybe you can still afford classes but nothing else.  I mean no new gi or rash guard.  What you have will just have to do.  Maybe it means no seminars or tournaments.  Let me know, I’m curious to hear what others are going through in this economy with their Jiu-Jitsu training.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu