Epi 279 Interview With Clark Gracie

This week we have an interview with black belt and competitor Clark Gracie. This interview covers everything from growing up a Gracie, to running a jiu-jitsu school. Clark is also generous with tips and advice.

We talk about:

  • Growing up a Gracie and doing jiu-jitsu
  • Kids doing BJJ
  • Running a jiu-jitsu school and traveling
  • Kicksite software used to keep organized and help run a martial arts business
  • Advice he has for competitors
  • His expectations for his students
  • What he looks for in a blue belt

Links:

Quote of the week: “Jiu-Jitsu is a filter of life itself. Jiu-Jitsu does not weed out people who are weak or lack coordination, or natural talent. Jiu-jitsu weeds out those who lack core principles of success. In jiu-jitsu, those that practice become stronger. Paul Kindzia in the book Master Jiu-Jitsu Master Life

Article of the week: Strong As A Mother: Why It’s So Important For Mothers To Train In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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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 278 Master Jiu-Jitsu Master Life with Paul Kindzia

This week we have an interview with author Paul Kindzia. During the interview we cover many on and off the mat lessons Jiu-Jitsu brings to us. Paul also talks about his book Master Jiu-Jitsu Master Life.

We talk about:

  • What got him interested in martial arts as a kid
  • Finding BJJ as an adult
  • Situations in his life that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle
  • Becoming an endurance athlete
  • Dealing with medical issues (brain tumor)
  • How science will change Jiu-Jitsu
  • The growth of BJJ
  • Getting better at BJJ quicker
  • Knowing your “Why” for BJJ

Links:

Quote of the week: “The key is not the will to win….. everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important” Bobby Knight

Article of the week: The best defense is….

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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 277 Defense and Offense

This episode we answer listener questions about offense and defense.

We talk about:

  • Changing the way we roll based on the belt rank we are rolling with
  • Changing the way we roll based on the person we are rolling with
  • What makes a good defense
  • What makes a good offense
  • Building confidence
  • Using stratagem in your offense and defense
  • Defending positions vs submissions

Quote of the week: “Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” Tom Lehrer famous pianist

Article of the week: How to get better at BJJ: 12 Steps

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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 276 Jason Elliott and Tracking Your Training

This week we have an interview with Jason Elliott from the Marune app. Marune is a great way to track your training in BJJ. We cover many training topics including improving your top game and measuring your training.

We talk about:

  • Developing the app for BJJ players
  • His training and progress with five years of BJJ
  • Tips for a head and arm choke
  • Tips for keeping mount
  • Changing your goals
  • The future of the Marune app

Links:

  • Check out the Marune app to track your BJJ and no-gi training

Quote of the week: “Every action we take, everything we do, is either a victory or defeat in the struggle to become what we want to be.” Ninon de L’Enclos

Article of the week: Differences between Japanese (traditional) Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ

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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 best defense is….

A GOOD OFFENSE…….

The best defense is a good offense. This is an old adage in sports and is true much of the time on the mats. Let’s look at a few examples of when this is definitely true and at least one time when this might not be the best philosophy.

This is true when you are in a dominant position. In fact you might say, launching a good offense in this scenario can keep you from having to play defense at all. Once you’ve secured a dominant position you need to be active, either looking to advance position or secure a submission. If you are idle it will give your opponent a chance to formulate a game plan, get their frames and grips set up, and execute an escape. On the other hand if you are relentlessly attacking they will be unable to do anything more than defend against your offense.

This is also a good plan in scrambles. While it’s true that coming out of a scramble in the most dominant position possible should be your first goal, an offensive grappler who is always looking to win by submission will find many opportunities in the chaos of scrambles. If you are looking, you can find an arm extended or a neck exposed. If you are always looking for the win by submission you will sometimes see an opportunity to start setting up a choke as you are passing guard or taking your opponents back. You will be finishing the submission before they have a chance to even start setting up their escape or defense.

The best defense is a good offense is often not true when you are in an inferior position. There are always exceptions and some people have a degree of success hitting submissions from unconventional positions. But generally speaking when you are in a position such as bottom mount, bottom side control, or your opponent has your back; your priorities should be defending and escaping. Trying anything other than fundamentally sound escapes from these positions often lead to easy counters from your opponent. Maybe the most classic example is trying to choke your opponent from within his closed guard which almost always leads to being armbarred.

In conclusion: it is almost always the best strategy on the mats to be active and relentlessly attacking. But be aware, sometimes you must defend and advance before launching your offense.

Joe

Epi 275 Black Belt Gina Franssen

This week we have an interview with BJJ Black Belt Gina Franssen. You can find Gina running her own BJJ school X2 Fitness in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

We talk about:

  • Her reason for starting BJJ after an assault
  • Running her own school
  • The original goal of a blue belt
  • Her thoughts on women’s self defense classes
  • Changing the reasons you train BJJ
  • You tap to the technique not the person
  • The culture of the gym
  • Dealing with frustrations on the mat

Links:

Quote of the week: “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” Johnny Cash

Article of the week: 5 Ways Jiu Jitsu Will Help Your Child In School

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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 274 Black Belt Karen Antunes

This week we have an interview with BJJ black belt Karen Antunes. This interview covers a wide range of topics from competing at the black belt level to maintaining a busy off the mat life.

We talk about:

  • Her training background
  • Competing after having a baby
  • Her desire to be a competitor
  • How her brother helped introduce her to Jiu-Jitsu
  • Training less than you did a few years ago
  • What makes a good training partner
  • Training Gi vs no-gi
  • Off the mat training
  • Changes in the women’s division over the years
  • Her role as a coach

Links:

Quote of the week: “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” Mario Andretti

Article of the week: Welcome to Jiu-Jitsu 🙂

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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 273 Kimberly Kaye From Jiu-Jitsu Times

This episode we have an interview with Kimberly Kaye. Kimberly currently a blue belt and an author for Jiu-Jitsu Times. She also has a rare disease called CIPO. You will find her training at NOLA MMA in Louisiana.

We talk about:

  • Dealing with health issues including CIPO
  • How the Jiu-Jitsu community has supported her
  • Fitness tips
  • Advice for women starting BJJ
  • The importance of communicating with your training partners
  • Her advice on nutrition
  • Being an author for Jiu-Jitsu Times
  • Some of her past articles
  • Interviewing Evan Robinson
  • Starting from your knees
  • Fighting for points or submissions

Links:

Tip of the episode: Have a good way to explain your “why” about BJJ

Question of the episode: How can I get better sleep after an evening of training?

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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 272 Grow Your Local Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is growing all over the world for many reasons. We want to make sure the Jiu-Jitsu at your school and local community is growing to the best of its ability. This episode is aimed toward the students who can help grow BJJ. This is not an episode of business ideas for gym owners, although they should share this with their students, and glean ideas from it.

We talk about:

  • The benefits of having a school
  • Helping introduce the school to new people
  • Asking questions to new students
  • Tips for remembering new names
  • Getting your friends to try BJJ
  • Talking to people about Jiu-Jitsu
  • How you describe BJJ
  • Helping your team out on social media
  • The Fuji Tournament in Wichita
  • Working with other BJJ schools
  • Supporting local seminars at different schools
  • How a BJJ school can do community events

Links:

  • Marune App for BJJ, social connections, and tracking your training

Quote of the week: “Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.” Carl Gustav Jung

Article of the week: Never Again “Just a Girl” (Why I train Jiu Jitsu)

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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

Welcome to Jiu-Jitsu :)

Awkward is never how I like to feel.  I can remember 15 years ago when I interviewed for my first position with my current employer.  I was feeling confident when I pulled up to the building.  As I entered the building, I was not prepared for the feeling of awkwardness.  I did not know where the receptionist desk was located, and no one would make eye contact with me.  Finally, after what felt like an eternity (mostly likely was 5 seconds) a smiling face greeted me and asked if I was here for the interview.  She walked me to the elevator and even pulled some lint off my suit coat.  She was a big reason I got hired a few days later.  She made me feel comfortable and confident going into my interview.  If she was not working that day, I may have never received the job offer.  I would have gone into my interview feeling awkward and it would have showed during my interview.

This reminds me of what I have seen in Jiu Jitsu.  A prospective student enters a school and would like some information about the classes.  I have seen instances where no one will even acknowledge the prospective student.  This person will feel unwelcome, will not join the school and may never join the Jiu Jitsu revolution.  I have talked to people about this situation and the one thing I hear is the owner or instructor did not do a good job of welcoming the new student.

I would pose the question is it only the instructor or owners job to welcome new students and grow your gym?  I do not think so.  I feel that students of the gym should also be taking a proactive approach to welcome everyone into the gym.  Jiu Jitsu is a team sport and to grow our gym requires a team effort.  Notice how I said “our” gym.  When we join a Jiu Jitsu gym, we should be joining a team, a family, a collective group of individuals that all are striving for the same ends results.  We want to learn and get better at Jiu Jitsu. By having a growing and progressive gym, we will have more opportunities to learn in terms of number of classes and training partners.

So next time you see a new student walk into the gym, why not be the first person to extend a handshake, offer a smile and say welcome to the gym, my name is Gary, what is yours?

Gary