Micro Jiu Jitsu

I am not the originator of the phrase or concept of “micro jiu jitsu”, but as I’ve come to understand it, I am a huge proponent. What is micro jiu jitsu as I understand it? In every technique, move, or sequence thereof, there are always one or two small details that everything else hinges upon. Get these details correct and your technique will be unstoppable. Neglect these details and you will either fail all together or be forced to muscle the technique to complete it.

An example of an individual detail that will make or break your chances of succeeding might be the initial cross collar grip when setting up the cross collar choke from closed guard or the scissor sweep. Once you reach for that collar a good opponent will work to break the grip and/or prevent you from improving it. So, developing a method for getting that initial grip deep is crucial. If you use your left hand to pull the collar while sliding your right hand in for the grip, the coordination between your two hands and getting the timing right needs to be refined to the point where it becomes automatic. Once you have the grip, understanding the nuances of the grip (do you curl the wrist? Flare the wrist? Do you grab just the collar or do you grab a handful of extra materiel? etc.), is equally important. Something as simple as this single grip can be explored and improved upon for many years.

A few other examples: If you like the kimura and hip bump sweep then the initial move to dominate and secure your opponent’s arm might be that key detail that everything else hinges on. If you like the armbar from closed guard or the flower sweep (pendulum sweep) then getting your opponent’s elbow across the center line while controlling the arm and moving your hips to create the right angle might be the key detail. I don’t presume to be enough of an expert to identify definitively what the key detail is for every move/technique, but I am sure that each athlete (perhaps with help from a coach or teammate) can identify key details to master based on their favorite go-to moves.

Not only can you improve the rate at which you succeed when executing individual techniques by mastering micro jiu jitsu it can also be the foundation to building your own grappling “system”. I often see people who prefer the cross-collar choke from the guard, knee on belly to kimura from side control, and the armbar from mount. If you like the cross-collar choke from guard, why not also make that your go to move from mount and maybe consider knee on belly to baseball bat choke (similar to a cross collar choke) from side control. You can also use the cross-collar grip from standing for throws or takedowns. That way, you get a little better at one thing (getting that grip and getting it right), and your game gets better from almost every position.

This, to me, is the essence of training “smart”. There’s no way one person can master every technique there is in jiu jitsu…. why not work on the ones that have some basic fundamentals in common and master those fundamentals?

Train hard. Train Smart. Get better.

Joe Thomas

More articles by Joe Thomas here

Epi 194 Steve Maxwell Talks About Fitness, BJJ at 64, Diet, and More

This week we bring you an interview with one of the top fitness coaches in the world and Durty Dozen BJJ Black Belt Steve Maxwell.

We talk about:

  • His start to fitness
  • How Olympic lifts slowed his athletic process
  • Finding success with wrestling
  • Doing BJJ at 64 years old
  • Using less than 60% of your strength while training
  • How to tell if you are using too much strength while rolling
  • The difference between Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ
  • Body weight exercises vs weights
  • The concept of time under load while working out
  • Avoiding injuries on the mat
  • Traveling and doing BJJ
  • Early training with Royce Gracie
  • Helping your training partners become better teammates
  • Not depending too much on grips
  • The health effects of competitive Jiu-Jitsu
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Some tips he uses to get the most out of his food
  • Exercising while fasting
  • Not eating breakfast
  • The fitness test of a 24 hour fast


Quote of the week: “The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.” James Cash Penney

Article of the week: The five commandments of the under hook half guard

Jaramie Parrish talks with us about a We Defy Foundation Roll-a-thon at Fox Fitness

Gary’s audio book is called “The Alligator tooth”












The Movie Water Boy was referenced and Gary wanted this link.

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

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

BJJ Seminars…. get the most out of them

Attending seminars is a great way to get instruction on specific aspects of the game from athletes and experts who have mastered (or in some cases revolutionized) that specific aspect. It’s also a great opportunity to meet some of the best athletes in our sport, and meet other athletes that are passionate about jiu-jitsu. However, with prices ranging between $40 and $100, you can be left wondering if it’s worth the expense. Here are a few ideas that may help you feel like you’re getting your monies worth.

Do some homework and prep. If you’ve read any of my other musing on jiu-jitsu you’ll know that preparation is a common theme. You will usually have an idea of what’s being covered in the seminar before you go. Get familiar with the basics beforehand. Example: Are you going to a seminar that’s been advertised as featuring submissions set up from spider guard? Make sure you are proficient with the various grips and foot placements utilized from that position. Get comfortable transiting between the various options for grips and foot placement. This will make it much easier to focus on the finer details of the submissions being taught. You can also find out easily what kind of culture follows a particular instructor — which may influence your decision to attend or not attend a particular seminar.

Have reasonable expectations. If your instructor (who I’m sure is a qualified and proficient instructor) cannot revolutionize your game in a two-hour class 2-3 times a week, don’t expect that a slightly better jiu jitsu instructor can do it in a three-hour seminar. If you are attending the seminar to get one on one instruction and coaching from one of the giants of our art…. keep in mind that 100 other people are doing the same. If you can get a few personal tips and maybe a picture with the instructor….be happy with that.

Take notes. 10 minutes after the seminar you will probably not have enough time or be in the right frame of mind to make detailed notes and two days later you will probably have forgotten many details. I would suggest taking notes in two parts. Scribble down as much as you can as the seminar progresses, or as soon as it’s over. Within the next day or two, take those scribbled down notes and re-write them with as many details as you can recall. Another way to capture your immediate thoughts would be to use your voice recorder on your phone and just talk through the seminar on your way home.

Shoot some video if it’s OK with the person running the seminar. Make sure and ask before you shoot video or take pictures. Many jiu jitsu practitioners make their living selling instructional content and don’t want to take the risk of uncontrolled material turning up on the internet. While it’s unlikely that most instructors will let you simple record the entire seminar, some instructors will be open to letting you record portions. Often there’s an “open mat” portion of the seminar and if nothing else you can have someone record you drilling the technique that was taught.

Review and rep the material as soon as possible after the seminar. There are many ways to do this. If you have mat space at home—invite a friend over the next day to share with them what you learned. No mat space at home? Try to get to class early within the next few days and show a friend before class. Even better: if you’re qualified and your instructor is OK with it, ask if you can show the class what you learned. Teaching others is the one of the best ways to really internalize knowledge gained. In conclusion: How much you benefit from attending a seminar, just like any other training opportunity, will depend largely on what you put into it. If I had to condense my thoughts down to as few words as possible to express my ideas about getting the most out of a training opportunity (a seminar, private lesson, camp, etc.), I would say preparation, executions, and follow through.

Train hard. Train smart. Get better.

Joe Thomas

Find more articles by Joe Thomas here

The Guillotine Code By Roy Marsh Review

Find out if this instructional video can help you sharpen you Guillotine. This is a instructional video taught by Royce Gracie black belt Roy Marsh.
The Guillotine choke is a powerful and effective tool for BJJ, no-gi, and MMA. Have you cracked the Guillotine Code?
Link to the video https://graciemuenster.com/store/

Epi 193 How to Evaluate Your BJJ Game for Better Results

Take a proactive step and evaluate your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game. This can pay off huge in performance and enjoyment. Many people stress working hard and smart. Evaluating your game is a smart move toward future success. After all working really hard on all the wrong things is not an effective use of your blood, sweat, and tears.

We talk about:

  • The difference in being evaluated by your coach and yourself
  • Why evaluate your game
  • Finding your strengths
  • Finding your weaknesses
  • Are your favorite moves actually good for your game?
  • Setting the right goals
  • The dangers of comparing yourself to your teammates
  • A good way to compare yourself to your teammates
  • Evaluate why are you getting injured
  • Is your game deep and narrow or wide and shallow
  • The value of elevating your game

Quote of the week: “Just for today” series of quotes













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 192 Roli Delgado Talks BJJ, MMA, Business, Coaching, and More

This week we bring back a listener favorite Roli Delgado. Roli has been a BJJ black belt for ten years. He runs a very successful school in Little Rock, and he is well known for his ability to perform and teach leg locks. Roli trains with GFteam and his coach is Denilson Pimenta.

We talk about:

  • His off the mat life and changes toward jiu-jitsu
  • Changes in his coaching jiu-jitsu
  • The difference between coaching and teaching
  • Coaching a student that is having a difficult time finishing a match
  • The mental side of competing
  • His martial arts background
  • How he learned to work off the fence at TUF
  • Training with Billy Robinson
  • How Billy Robinson would answer questions differently than you would expect
  • Catch wrestling as a sport and it’s uses for MMA
  • How dangerous heel hooks actually are
  • The rule sets he likes
  • He explains the funnel concept for BJJ
  • Developing athleticism and doing BJJ
  • Dealing with a hand injury
  • He gives us a cheat sheet for running a BJJ gym
  • Interesting thoughts on handling complements


Quote of the week: “Our Greatest Glory Is Not in Never Falling, But in Rising Every Time We Fall” Mr. Anonymous

Article of the week: Three Types Of Students Instructors Can’t Stand by Mark Mullen

Korbett’s Kids Epi 4 Dealing with challenging students












Gary talks about his new website BJJhammer.com and we start a odd word association game.

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 191 Nic Gregoriades From Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood

This week we have an interview with Roger Gracie black belt Nic Gregoriades. Nic shares some of his amazing BJJ journey with us this week.

We talk about:

  • Getting his black belt from Roger Gracie in 4 years
  • His plans to move to the United States
  • How teaching has affected his own growth
  • His training before he became a black belt
  • How your BJJ changes as you age
  • Starting a Jiu-Jitsu Sisterhood
  • Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood
  • What Brotherhood means to Nic
  • Why it is important to eat good quality foods
  • The Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood logo
  • BJJ for Yoga


Quote of the week: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant” Robert Louis Stevenson

Article of the week:We are joined this week for by the Author Miles Brown from Forge Fitness Studio in Wichita. Do ice baths work for recovery?

Mat Tales 19: Legend Down Under

The Bring Your Dad to BJJ seminar is June 17 at fox fitness.


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 190 Learn Why Elizabeth Clay Has Had Such A Fast Start To Grappling

Elizabeth Clay is in the record books as the youngest person to qualify for ADCC. She trains in Anchorage Alaska at Legacy Jiu-Jitsu. She has been training since the age of twelve. We are excited to watch her compete in the 2017 ADCC.

We talk about:

  • Starting BJJ at twelve
  • The game she like to use for competitions
  • How her game changes based on the rules
  • Training for worlds and ADCC
  • Training 7 days a week and 2-4 times a day
  • Swimming and hills for cardio
  • Graduating school early
  • Her team is basically all male
  • Listening to music before competing
  • Competing in the adults division to get good matches


Quote of the week: “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip Toe if you must, but take a step.” Naeem Callaway

Article of the week: Why I Do Jiu-Jitsu by Joe Thomas

The Referee Corner Part 5 Hand Signals Check out the Grappling Referee here

June 17th is “Bring Your Dad to Jiu-Jitsu Day”

Gary’s audio book is called “tippy toe to a double leg”


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 189 Using Your Gifts to Get Better at BJJ

It is important to look at yourself and reflect about what attributes you have that can help you get better at BJJ. We look at Physical, Mental, and Situational advantages (Gifts) you have and how to get the most out of them.

Gary as a big good looking gift. This image is a prank that Gary was unaware of.

Some of the physical gifts we talk about:

  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Your height

Some of the mental gifts we talk about:

  • Patience as a student and instructor
  • Having a memory for technique
  • Being a people person
  • having a competitive spirit

Some of the situational gifts we talk about:

  • Having a great BJJ gym near you
  • Having a stable family life
  • Having a supportive spouse or partner
  • Being healthy
  • Being part of a great team
  • Having a great coach
  • Being financially stable

Pranks pulled on Gary this week: The golden girls song around 57min when he is talking about how great a training partner Byron is. Gary was unaware of the gift image with Gary’s face.

Quote of the week: “Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…. It turns out that choices lead to habits. Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts. You’re not born this way, you get this way.” Seth Godin

Article of the week: Visiting another school…. Getting the most out of a drop in

We welcome new patreon supporters Mindy and Alexander

Mat Tales 18 Hitting the Road for BJJ


Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

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