The Fastest Way to BJJ Black Belt

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Belts
From white belt all the way up to black in order.

Every student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has the desire to get a black belt.  The truth is the highest drop out rate is from blue to purple.  I can attest to that.  I’m struggling right now toward my purple belt.  The longer you take the harder it is to achieve it.  So many things can get in the way.  Of the black belts I know 6 years was the fastest and 12 years the longest.  BJJ is truly a life long pursuit of skill, excellence, and enjoyment of the sport.  But why does it take so long?  Roger Gracie’s first black belt Nicolas Gregoriades claims his book The Black Belt Blue Print will help you maximize you BJJ training and get it in 4 years.  That sounded a bit fantastical to me but with Roger Gracie, Roy Dean, Braulio Estima, and Eddie Bravo endorsing the book its really hard to dismiss it as a day dream.  This last year saw my return to BJJ.  I am in a stall right now.  The book is less than a hours private lesson.  I have got to make it over the hump and to my next level of achievement.  I will get the book and give it a try.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Save Me A Choke, I Missed You BJJ!

On April 5th, 2011 I posted “Training at Home When You Have No Other Choice”.  I had to announce I was taking a leave from BJJ.  My family needed me and money was a issue.  But times have changed and my wife has given me the green light.  I’m going back!  Yahoooooooo!  Save me a choke or arm-bar, guys!  I will be back in class the first Tuesday in March!  I just finished talking with Mark and setting things up.

I have to admit I am excited and worried.  After no hard training after so long I think I’m going to get my wish of when it comes to chokes and arm-bars.  I have really missed my BJJ family.  Its going to be a great reunion.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Where is Jiu-Jitsu Octopus Baby?!

Kung Fu Dragon Baby

How can you not love this!  They did an awesome job with this short video.  But what I want to know is where is Jiu-Jitsu Octopus Baby?  The octopus is my schools mascot and I think it accurately describes BJJ.  When you were a white belt and rolled with your first colored belt did you not feel like you were fighting an octopus?  We have all seen the Gracie videos of when they first started out and the BJJ vs. Kung Fu.  I want to see some Jiu-Jitsu Octopus Baby or at the least MMA Tiger Baby taking out the some hideous stuffed oversized toy.  But then again there is not a move in BJJ to rip a heart out.  We might have to settle for a Flying Triangle.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Rigan Machado Utah Aug 2012 BJJ Seminar for Gi Players

I just heard that Rigan Machado is coming to Utah again.  I missed him last time.  You can find the details by clicking here: Rigan Machado Draper, UT Aug. 4th 2012 Seminar.  I hope to make it this time.

I’ve heard nothing but good about Rigan Machado. In my post, “Finding a First Sports Hero in BJJ”, I talked about what others had to say about him and how I was impressed him.  He in my opinion is one of the few that has not let fame go to his head.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Saulo Ribeiro

I got a e-mail today from inviting me to RIO Camp!  What was my first response.  Where do I sign up!!!  Then reality hit me when I read “For 15 lucky people” . . . ahhhhhhhh man!  My balloon was deflated and I realized it was more then that sentence.  First of all I don’t have a visa.  Why would I?  I have never had a reason to leave the states until now.  Second, I would have to stay for more then a month before I could settle down and concentrate.  You know what I mean.  The white beaches, the tropical atmosphere, the sites to see and things to do.  Third, what would I tell the family?  “Dear, ahhhh I want to leave for say . . . 10+ days and go do BJJ in Rio.  Do you think you and the kids will mind staying here in Utah while I go have the time of my life?”  Nope, I could not sell that in a million years.  So Saulo, with great sadness I must decline and admit I can not be one of those lucky 15.  I’ll just keep dreaming and hoping.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

What Is Your Biggest Complaint About BJJ Tournaments?

As you might have seen in my post, Tournament Software for Jiu-Jitsu, I am working on a BJJ Tournament application.  I am a one-man-show and I still have my day job.  That means I am stuck with “Cheap, Fast, or Good  pick 2”.  I can’t be fast.  I do not have the finances to hire additional developers. I have to settle with cheap and good.  That means its not moving forward at record speeds.  But it is moving forward.

What I want to hear from you is, what is your biggest complaint about BJJ Tournaments?  Its no good to write something that doesn’t meet the need of the consumer.  So here is your chance to gripe, complain, cry, shout.  Just get it all out about your crappy experience at a BJJ Tournament and how you would have liked it to go.

No, I don’t want to hear about how, if only, you had remembered that simple escape you would not have got choked and had to tap out.  I need to know about the administration of the tournament and what went wrong or even right.  Share your experience with me and I promise to use it to make a better BJJ Tournament through my software.

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

We Don’t Break Bricks in BJJ


The other night I was watching a documentary on China.  In due course they got to Kung Fu as expected.  You can’t have a documentary about China without including something of their martial arts.  They talked about its spiritual aspects and its history.  They showed the monks doing some kata.  It was all so beautiful, flowing, and acrobatic.  During the demonstration I just kept thinking, “that is wonderful ballet and I don’t see how it would help against someone that knows BJJ that got in close and did a takedown”.  We all saw it in the Gracie In Action 2 DVD when Royce Gracie took out a non-MMA Kung Fu expert. Towards the end they had a monk channel chi and break a brick.  That was kind of the final straw for me.  I realized they were trying to show how tough they were but I kept thinking why?  Bricks don’t fight back.  We don’t break bricks in BJJ because its useless in practical situations.  I’d rather practice breaking arms.  Notice in the background of the picture the women’s face.  I’ve seen that same face but it was usually in the audience of a MMA fight where some one wouldn’t tap.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

JiuJitsuMap Works the Escape on JiuJitsu Mom!

I posted last year “Hockey Mom vs Jiu-Jitsu Mom”.  Well yesterday my comments were validated when I got these two comments on the post:

“Anyone trying to make or sell Jiu Jitsu Mom shirts are infringing on a registered trademark Serial number: 77-173996 Filed 5-7-2007” – Kelly Boccadoro


“I have all Jiu Jitsu Mom T shirts for sale….call XXX-XXX-5218!!!!!”- Kelly Boccadoro

Talk about going for the takedown and submission at the get go.  Jiu-Jitsu moms take no prisoners.  Needless to say her selling technique didn’t win me over either.  I reviewed my post saw a comment about a t-shirt being made.  I’m sure our Jiu-Jitsu Mom has her trade mark as does Soccer Mom, Hockey Mom, and Badminton Mom.  But I’m not making shirts and I’m definitely not making any with her logo.  But like I said in my post Jiu-Jitsu Moms can be shoot-and-ask-questions-later.

I used Goggle to find out more about her.  Here is and Kelly Boccadoro on Facebook.  I found her in the comments.

After looking at on Trademark Infringement I’ve come to the conclusion that using her logo to sell shirts would be an infringement but creating your own shirt with the words “jiu-jitsu mom” on it wouldn’t hold up in court any more then McDonald’s saying they have trade marked “hamburger”.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Scissor Sweep and Arm Bar from Guard

Arm Bar from Guard
Scissor Sweep from Guard

Wednesday night was great.  Rich Cesena went over the standard Arm Bar from Guard as shown in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique by Renzo and Royler Gracie.  It is also found on the Pedro Sauer Blue Belt Test.  I’ve never really been that good at the Arm Bar from Guard but tonight I picked up some very helpful pointer.  One of those being how to really clamp down the second leg on the neck.  When done right I was already in pain and at the edge of hyper extending my elbow without my tormentor lifting his hips or pulling on the arm.

The Scissor Sweep is also in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique and on the Pedro Sauer Blue Belt Test.  I do fair on it.  Once again I picked up some good pointers.  What really surprised me was how close Rich did it.  I’m used to moving my hips out further.  Rich has his left knee and foot right on Blake’s.  Another point I’m weak on is remember to pull  my opponent down.  In the end its all about moving the guys weight off his legs so you can sweep them.  If your scissor isn’t so great it doesn’t matter as much I think if he doesn’t have any weight on his legs.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu