Epi 265 Alliance Founder Romero Jacare Cavalcanti

This week we have Romero Jacare Cavalcanti. Jacare is well known in the Jiu-Jitsu community for being the founder of the Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Team. Alliance is thought of as being the most successful BJJ team. He is also one of only six people to be promoted to black belt by Rolls Gracie.

We talk about:

  • Becoming a black belt in 1982
  • Starting the team Alliance Jiu-Jitsu
  • Some of the reasons why Alliance has been so succesful
  • Only a small amount of students compete
  • Information about the Alliance affiliation
  • Running different classes for different students
  • Why it is important to have a beginner class
  • What the students do in the advance class
  • Keys to doing BJJ for a long time
  • Promoting over 200 black belts
  • His plans for moving to California
  • Growing Alliance Jiu-Jitsu affiliation
  • Advice for the hobbyist grappler

Links: Alliance Team

Quote of the week: “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” Thomas Jefferson

Article of the week: Value this time on the mats kids

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and Google Play Music for Andriod

Epi 264 Top MMA Grappling Coach Neil Melanson

This week we have an interview with Neil Melanson. Neal is one of the top MMA coaches in the world working with fighters such as Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, and Randy Couture. He has made a recent move back to Las Vegas and has plans on opening a gym with Ricky Lundell. This interview is packed full of great advice for competitive grapplers, pro MMA athletes and everyday hobby martial artist.

We talk about:

  • Being back in Las Vegas
  • What you don’t train someone to do can be important
  • Strategies in MMA grappling
  • Leg locks in MMA
  • Room for growth in the leg lock game
  • How your body type can dictate your style of grappling
  • The growth of the no-gi game
  • Learning to fight off of the fence
  • The idea of mastery for grappling
  • His next instructionals
  • Opening up a gym with Ricky Lundell in Las Vegas
  • The need to always be growing

Links:

Quote of the week: “I remember once, actually the first race I ran, I fell.” Usain Bolt

Article of the week: Is It Ok For Beginners To Start Training No-Gi Only?

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and Google Play Music for Andriod

Epi 263 BjjBrick Extra Tim Credeur

This episode we have Tim Credeur. Tim is an American Mixed Martial Artist, UFC veteran, and 3rd Degree Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. He also has the distinction of being the first BJJ Black Belt in Louisiana.

We talk about:

  • Growing up with martial arts in his life
  • His first thoughts while seeing early UFCs
  • His first MMA fight
  • Why it is important to be consistant
  • Starting BJJ
  • What methods of starting jiu-jitsu works best for the long term
  • Advice for doing a tournament
  • Training tips for developing your game
  • How to normalize competitive environments

Links:

Gladiators Academy

Tim Credeur on Instagram

Books Tim Recommens

Tip: Roll one extra round if you have time

Question: What do you eat before you train?

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and Google Play Music for Andriod

The Brotherhood Extends Beyond the Mats

Much is made of the comradery between teammates and the relationships developed on the mats. Have you ever wondered why relationships run deep and the level of trust between training partners is so high?

I would suggest that there are two main reasons:

1) As it relates to jiu jitsu, the truth is always revealed on the mats. If you talk a big game and exaggerate your skill level, you will be exposed as a fraud very quickly. Being completely honest and transparent in one aspect of your life leads to being honest and transparent in other areas so teammates get to know the real you fairly quickly.

2) You are literally putting your physical well-being in the hands of your teammates and they are doing the same with you. When you’ve trusted someone not to break your arm when they’ve had the chance it’s pretty easy to trust them with less crucial things.

I recently was able to benefit from this brotherhood when I needed the old siding on my house removed and replaced with new. One of my training partners Javier San Miguel runs a roofing/home repair company, San Miguel Roofing. San Miguel Roofing is located in Clute Texas which is due south of Houston. I just got done doing some interior work and had a horrible experience with the contractor so for the exterior work I was definitely looking for someone I could trust. My wife cautioned me about hiring a friend out of concern that if things went sideways the friendship would be ruined. I told her I felt I knew Javier pretty well and had good reason to trust him (see paragraph A)

We couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Either Javier, or his father Jose who helps manage the business, was at the job site every day to ensure the work was being done correctly and getting completed on time. I would summarize the outcome this way: Quality work done by professional craftsmen.

Not only has this relationship benefited me, but it has benefited Javier as well in that it was additional work for his business. If you have a teammate who owns, operates, or manages a local business consider giving them your business before you hire someone else. Jiu Jitsu is a community both on and off the mats, and as such, when we have the opportunity to support and/or help one another we should do so.

If you are a BJJ Brick listener and happen to be in the Houston or Brazoria County area and know someone who may be looking for home roofing or home remodel services Javier can be contacted here — San Miguel Roofing or Facebook – San Miguel Roofing

Train hard. Train smart. Get better.

Joe

Epi 262 Jay Hieron Talks MMA, Jiu-Jitsu and Stunt Work

This Week we have an interview with Jay Hieron. Jay is a former World Champion Welterweight Professional Mixed Martial Artist. Jay also stars alongside Denzel Washington in The Equalizer 2

We talk about:

  • Starting MMA
  • His first thoughts about BJJ
  • His level of training today
  • Transitioning into stunt work and acting
  • How martial arts has helped him outside of the cage
  • Training for stunt work
  • Being lit of fire
  • Doing stunt driving
  • The importance of a good reputation
  • Having a martial arts mind frame
  • Learning film fighting
  • The importance of enjoying what you do

Links:

Quote of the week: “Reject any doctrine – religious, atheist, political, cultural, etc. – that is teaching you not to befriend the people you happen to meet”.

Article of the week: Dating And Training: How To Make It Work

The phrases “subtle good looks” was used to describe Gary. I have always liked this phrase because it sounds like a complement at first.

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and Google Play Music for Andriod

Value this time on the mats kids

The following is a monologue by Billy Crystal from the movie City Slickers and was sent to me from my friend and 60+ year old grappler Andy Dicky. In the movie Mitch (played by Billy Crystal), Phil, and Ed are all experiencing their own mid-life crises and take a two-week vacation at a dude ranch to figure things out. The scene that this monologue is from features Mitch speaking to his son’s middle school class on career day prior to leaving for the dude ranch.

Value this time in your life kids… Because this is the time in your life when you still have choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you’re a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, “what happened to my twenties?”. Your forties, you grow a little pot belly, you grow another chin… the music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery…you’ll call it a procedure, but it’s a surgery. Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still too loud, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t hear it anyway. Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, and breakfast the night before. You spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering “how come the kids don’t call?”. By your eighties, you’ve had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand, but you call mamma. Any questions?

What’s the point of sharing this with you? Is it to make sure we understand that this is as good as it’s going to get? To warn you that from here on your life will get progressively worse with the passage of time? Not at all. But things will definitely be different, and not all those differences will be “good”. Our knees, our backs, our shoulders, our central nervous systems and reflexes, etc. are examples of things that deteriorate with age. This means our experiences on the mats at 45 will not be the same as they were in our 30’s…in our 50’s our experiences on the mats won’t be the same as they were at 45. Our experiences won’t be the same over the years, but they can still be great.

Don’t waste time looking back with regret because you did not start sooner or did not pursue jiu jitsu with the passion that you now wish you would have. Don’t waste time looking down the road and worrying about your physical attributes fading and your body breaking down and the things that you may no longer be able to do. Instead, live in the moment. Enjoy your time on the mats today. Make the most out of each class, each round that you roll, each tournament you enter, each seminar you attend, etc. This moment is the only one that is guaranteed. Value this time on the mats.

Train hard. Train smart. Get better.

Joe

Here is the clip!

Epi 261 BJJ White Belts :)

This week we are giving advice to white belts. It is a great conversation to help anyone enjoy the white belt journey.

We talk about:

  • Getting a white belt can be difficult
  • Gaining confidence with BJJ
  • Focusing on fundamentals
  • Going to open mat at a different school
  • The desire to get your blue belt
  • Staying healthy
  • Training as an older white belt
  • Embracing the challenge of BJJ
  • The best thing about jiu-jitsu
  • Mistakes in learning BJJ
  • Having the right attitude

Quote of the week: “Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to maintain balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

Article of the week: Never Miss an Opportunity to Learn

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and Google Play Music for Andriod

Epi 260 The Rooster Weight Kimura Machine Marcelo Cohen

This week we have an interview with Bjj Black Belt Marcelo Cohen.

We talk about:

  • The history of The Armory and the changes it has made
  • Running a BJJ gym
  • Teaching BJJ and MMA in the same gym
  • Learning from a loss with Ciao Terra
  • Building confidence with a kids program
  • How jiu-jitsu can become toxic
  • Training gi and no-gi
  • Tips for dealing with bigger people on the mat

Links:

Quote of the week: “Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” Russell Baker “Ah, BJJ, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” BjjBrick

Article of the week: NO, YOU DIDN’T START JIU JITSU TOO LATE

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and Google Play Music for Andriod

Never Miss an Opportunity to Learn

You can learn something from everyone. That’s a common sentiment on the mats. In theory, it’s great. In practice….sometimes not so much. Even the mellowest colored belt can sometimes struggle when the 4-stripe white belt starts handing out advice or the more advanced student takes them to school on the mats. Let’s look at two distinctly different ways we can learn from our training partners — tactile feedback and verbal feedback or advice.

If you want to be able to learn from anyone via tactile feedback i.e. through rolling, you need to roll with everyone and you will want to experience all aspects of their jiu jitsu including their A-game. If every time you roll with better students you do everything you can to avoid being drawn into their best positions you will miss the opportunity to study up close and personal what it is that makes that particular position part of their A-game. If every time you roll with less experienced training partners you simply crush them you will also miss what they have to offer. In an ideal world you will spend some time being the hammer and some time being the nail. When you are the hammer, you are letting your training partner feel and learn from your A game. When you are the nail, you are learning from theirs.

If you want to learn something from everyone via verbal feedback or advice you must be humble and approachable. If every time someone gives you feedback you allow your ego to interfere and become dismissive or confrontational people will not be likely to continue to try and help you. Sometimes it is helpful to encourage others to give you feedback. This can be asking directly or you can be a little more subtle like just comment on something you were trying to do during the roll i.e. “I was having a heck of a time passing your guard” or “that was a great triangle”. Feedback is often revealed in casual conversations if you’re looking for it.

There are many ways of learning jiu jitsu: In class instruction, seminars, video study, drilling with your favorite training partners, as well as tactile and verbal feedback from your classmates and training partners. Take advantage of them all.

Train hard, train smart, get better.

Joe Thomas

Epi 259 Life on and off the mat with John Will

This week on the podcast we have listener favorite John Will. John shares his many years of experience and talks about many topics from class structure to embracing the difficulty of BJJ.

We talk about:

  • Appreciating the little things on the mat
  • Designing the class structure
  • Different things for a class to focus on
  • The importance of defense in BJJ
  • Making a safety net for your BJJ
  • The culture of BJJ compared to MMA
  • Being a good teammate
  • What holds back schools from growing
  • Getting your family on the mat
  • Leveraging things you learn on the mat to help you off the mat
  • A learning technique called fast forwarding
  • Different teaching styles
  • Backpacking

Links:

Quote of the week: “It never gets easier, you just get better”

Article of the week: 12 Tips to Better Hygiene when Training BJJ

We also have a new Mat Tales #26 Neck Mole

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and Google Play Music for Andriod