Epi 80 Interview With Coach Jay Bell

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Jay Bell in the center

Jay Bell in the center

This week we have an interview packed full of great information from Coach Jay Bell. Jay went from white belt to brown belt under Royce Gracie, He later received his black belt from Marco Delima.  Jay is currently training under Rob Kahn & Marcio Stambowsky.  Jay is the owner and head BJJ instructor at Gracie Farmington Valley located in CT.

We talk about:

  • His start in BJJ
  • How he has grown his women’s class
  • How he likes to run his kids class
  • Kids self defense (talk, tell, and tackle)
  • Opening a BJJ gym and making it profitable
  • The growth of BJJ
  • Why it is important to not quit the first 6 months
  • How his game has changed since getting his black belt
  • Breaking down complex ideas into simple explanations
  • His youtube channel
  • Advice for a first BJJ tournament
  • Advice for big students
  • What he was like as a blue belt
  • How to develop a game plan
  • Goals for first year students

Jay’s Links: Email: jay@graciefv.com, Youtube, facebook 

Quote of the week: Presented by Jared Dopp “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” Miyamoto Musashi

Article of the week: 6 Great Ways to Get Information About BJJ by Mark Mullen

Choke Cancer out fund raiser for Amber

Your First Year Of BJJ artwork

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

19 general rules to go by for training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

19 general rules to go by for training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

1)      Be clean– Your gi and anything else you wear should be clean and dry.  You need to have showered recently, and maintain clean hair.  You don’t need to smell great but make sure you don’t stink.  Keep in mind that you will be in close personal contact with other people.

2)      No shoes on the mat– Your school puts a lot of effort in keeping the mats clean.  The bottoms of your shoes are not clean, and any little rocks stuck in your shoes can easily poke holes in the mat.  If you can wear wrestling shoes at your school, only wear them on the mat.  Wrestling shoes worn on the street are no longer wrestling shoes.

3)      Have the right equipment– If you are the only student without a gi you should get one.  It makes a difference to the people you roll with, and it will help you learn moves that you could not learn otherwise.  At most schools it is ok to be gi shopping for a few weeks, but after that you should have one.  If you do not have a gi be courteous and don’t try to do a bunch of gi chokes to your training partner.  Don’t be surprised if they use their gi to choke or control you, after all, you are the one missing the equipment.  If you don’t have a gi, see the 1st time gi buying guide to help you.

4)      Be careful with your training partners– BJJ can be very dangerous.  You need to show your training partners respect and lookout for their safety.  If you are close to tapping someone out slow down, give them time to tap.  Focus on controlling them as the submission is happening and slowly applying pressure, it is their responsibility to tap but you need to give them time.  Be aware of your surroundings, don’t roll into other grapplers, and don’t roll off the mat.  In the event you accidently knee or elbow your training partner quickly apologize and slow down a little bit.

5)      Keep nails short– You don’t want to accidently scratch someone.  If you have a hard time remembering to cut your nails keep a pair of clippers in your gym bag.

6)      Keep your feet clean– Most people bring sandals or flip-flops to the gym.  Don’t walk barefoot anywhere that would get your feet dirty (restroom, outside).  This is just common sense when it comes to keeping the mat clean.

7)      Watch your language– It may be a fight gym with a bunch of tuff guys, but if there are kids around show them and the parents respect and keep the language clean.  

8)      Don’t change in mixed company– Don’t forget you are in public, keep your clothes on unless in a designated area.

9)      Pay attention during the techniques– It is rude to ignore or talk as your instructor is teaching and hope that they will teach the move again.  This is not grade school; if you annoy these people they will be choking you in a little while.  Do not ask the instructor a bunch of “what if” questions, or talk about how the technique is easily defeated. 

10)   Do the technique– After the technique has been shown, DO IT! And don’t stop until the instructor says you are done.  Don’t do the move 3 times and think you have it down, or start looking for flaws in the move.  Moves take a long time to understand, if you only do one move a night you will still learn lots of BJJ. 

11)   Be a positive representative– Don’t put on your school’s shirt and go around being a jerk.  If someone asks you about it, invite them in to see what it is about.  Don’t tell them how much of a stud you are; don’t tell them you will choke them easily.   If they do come to your school, thank them for coming and treat them as if they are your guest.  If they decide to roll, make sure they roll with people who are not going to give them a bad experience.  Be nice to new students, greet them and make an effort to help them feel comfortable.

12)   Don’t leave a mess– Pick up after yourself.  If this is too difficult for you, give the school your mom’s phone number so they can have her come in for you.

13)   Stay home if you are sick– Having someone that is sick on the mats is a great way for a lot of people to get sick.  Your friends will be missing school, work and time on the mat.  Taking a little time off will not hurt you, and your teammates will appreciate you keeping your germs to yourself.

14)   Help your training partners (if you are qualified)- If someone keeps making a mistake tell them.  Don’t keep taking advantage of it and tap them out with the same move over and over.  If you don’t know a good counter, find someone that does, maybe you both will learn something.  The better your training partners get at defending the better you will get at attacking.

15)   Cell phones– If you have a major event that is going to happen tell your instructor you might be getting a call.  Most things can wait; if you really need to be connected then sneak a peek during a water break.

16)   Work hard– You don’t need to be the greatest athlete on the mat, your team will respect you for working hard.  Don’t complain, if you are too tired that’s ok but push yourself. You know your limits.

17)   Be on time– Get to class on time, if it is unavoidable ask your instructor if you can come in a little late.  Do not continually show up just in time to roll, that is like telling your instructor that the techniques they are showing are not worth your time.  Don’t make your instructor stay late, be ready to leave before your instructor is ready to lock up.

18)   Don’t brag about tapping people out– Class is not a competition, and often not even a fair fight. Picture you have been rolling 30 minutes, and a fresh guy comes in and taps you out. He jumps up and celebrates, “yes!” People often roll hard against the advanced students, and take it easy on the newer ones. Don’t make a big deal of tapping someone out who once appeared to be invincible. If you really brag, you will probably pay for it next time you roll with that person.

19)   Be positive– A trick to doing BJJ for a long time is having fun, so enjoy your time on the mat.  Don’t get mad when you get tapped out or seek revenge, just smile and keep on training.  Speak highly of those who deserve it and encourage those who need a little support.


Epi 79- One of USA’s Top Brown Belts Jared “Megalo” Dopp

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Jared Dopp

Jared Dopp

Jared “Megalo” Dopp is a Brown belt under Rafael Lovato Jr.  He is a Blue, Purple, and Brown Belt No-Gi World Champion. Blue, Purple, and Brown Belt Pan Champion. Blue Belt Gi World Champion, and two time Purple Belt World Gi Silver medalist.  In 2013 as a Purple belt he took 4th place at ADCC.

We talk about:

  • His accomplishments with only 4 years of serious training
  • His push the pace style
  • How he is able to force his opponents to make mistakes
  • How he views Gi and No-gi differently
  • Ways to get around an opponent that is stalling
  • Passing the guard to the right side
  • He is in school for chemical engineering
  • Balancing school and BJJ
  • His training schedule
  • Off the mat training including rugby
  • His research in growing nano tubes
  • His thoughts on competing in 2015 ADCC
  • His hopes of doing submission only matchs
  • Strategy for a submission only match
  • Advice for a student doing a first tournament
  • His advice for cutting weight to compete

Links for Jared: Do or Die, True Nutrition, Jared’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Other links:

Quote of the week: “It never gets easy, but always gets better” presented by Vic Torres

Article of the week: The 5 Ways Resilient People Get Over Failure”

Your First Year Of BJJ artworkCheck out the audio book here!

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

Your First Year Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Audio Book

Your First Year Of BJJ artwork


Welcome to the amazing experience that is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Byron helps to get you through your first and often most difficult year of training. His goal is to help you simplify and find joy in BJJ. Many people start BJJ only to quit after their first few months. This book will help you start off right and avoid common mistakes, reducing the odds of quitting and help you adapt quickly to this new lifestyle. Download it here Price $11.99

Epi 78 Learn How BJJ Purple Belt Vic Torres Uses BJJ and His Diet to Control His MS Symptoms

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This episode we talk with Vic Torres of “Torres MMA and Fitness at The Jungle” in Wantagh, New York.  He is a purple belt under Matt Serra.  Vic uses Jiu-Jitsu and his diet to help control his symptoms from Multiple sclerosis (MS).  He was diagnosed with MS in 2010.Vic Torres

We talk about:

  • How he discovered that he had MS
  • What his symptoms are like
  • How BJJ helps reduce his symptoms
  • Doing MMA before he was diagnosed and after
  • Advice for new students
  • Training with someone that is not as good as you, about the same as you, and better than you
  • Training with lower belts

Quote of the week: “Fighting is the best thing a man can do for his sole” Renzo Gracie

Article of the week: “Review- Banana” http://grapplergourmet.com/


Help Amber Oxford Choke Cancer Out!!

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Epi 77 Jiu-Jitology with Ricardo Castaneda Part 2

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Ricardo CastanedaThis is the second half of our interview with Ricardo Castaneda. Ricardo is a purple belt that runs the website Jiu-Jitology.com.  He has a unique perspective about BJJ and training that we are sure you will find interesting and beneficial.  You can find Ricardo training at Gracie Barra South Austin.

We talk about:

  • Training while not completely fatigued
  • Taking time off after an injury
  • Why he does not train on Wednesdays
  • Basic meditation methods
  • Meditation on the mats
  • Why he does not drink water between changing rolling partners
  • Advice for a first time competitor
  • Why he likes to compete
  • A goal for a 1st year student- just keep showing up
  • Why it is important to be receptive to coaching
  • Teaching concepts over specific techniques

Ricardo’s Links:

Quote of the week:”Following the path of least resistance makes rivers and men crooked.” Ralph Parlette

Article of the week:This week we have a listener question instead of an article. The question is about coaching from the sidelines. Check out the interview with Ostap for more on Remote Control Coaching.

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast