BjjBrick Q&A 1 Unpassable Open Guard

Today I answer a question about developing an unpassable open guard. What are your thoughts on this topic?

Q: What are your tips for developing an unpassable
open guard, beyond the typical “mat hours”
response? What can I conscientiously do, drill,
practice etc. to better use those mat hours?
My guard retention is slowly but surely improving,
though I know I am lacking a lot of intentioned

Epi 128 Innovative Teaching With Bruce Hoyer

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and RSS link for Andriod

Bruce Hoyer has a unique way of running a BJJ class using Evernote.  He shares his innovative method and much more during this interview. Bruce is a black belt under Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros.

Bruce Hoyer BJJ

We talk about:

  • The benefits of coaching
  • Some of his competition history
  • Individualized lesson plans
  • What he does when a guest comes in to train
  • Advantages to the student and teacher with this class format
  • He gives an example of the first few classes
  • How he does belt test and stripes
  • How he has made changes to this program
  • Getting people to show up for their first day of BJJ
  • Why he does not coach during rolling
  • Being a self reliant learner


Quote of the week:”Today is tomorrow’s yesterday so make it count” Presented by  Shawn Williams

Article of the week: “We Don’t Have Time For Jiu Jitsu” Big Jiu-Jitsu


We start a new segment this week Learning Basic Portuguese with Claudio Pt 1. We learn a couple of simple greetings. Here is a link for find the 9 parts on youtube.

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

Basic Portuguese For Traveling To Brazil

If you are traveling to Brazil these key words and phrases should help you during your travels.

Pt 1 Greeting

Pt 2 Good bye

Pt 3 Please and thank you

Pt 4 Your welcome

Pt 5 yes no good bad

Pt 6 Do you speak English?

Pt 7 Ambulance, Police, Doctor, Taxi, Hotel, Restaurant, and Restroom

Pt 8 Sorry and Counting to Ten

Pt 9 Time and Days of the Week

Epi 127 Listener Favorite John Will Returns For Interview #2

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and RSS link for AndriodJohn Will BJJ

John Will is a listener favorite, and we are thrilled to have him back on the show. John is one of the famous “Dirty Dozen” meaning that he is one of the first 12 non-Brazilians to reach the rank of black belt in BJJ. John was at the an early adopter to BJJ and he brought it home to Australia.

We talk about:

  • His start with BJJ
  • Promoting around 90 black belts
  • What he looks for in a black belt
  • What it takes to be a good coach
  • Using imagery while teaching
  • Modeling after world champions
  • Writing on his blog
  • How positions and techniques change over time
  • Providing students what they want vs. what they need
  • Comparing BJJ to a tree
  • Developing a culture of helping everyone on the mat
  • A game called sharks and tuna that his kids play
  • Other games that are played in the kids class
  • Off the mat goals he has for his students
  • John’s thoughts on setting and reaching goals
  • Escaping side control ideas
  • How learning escapes can build confidence
  • Different types of drilling
  • He explains the Red Cat Head logo
  • Being open to reinventing who you are
  • Stories from his backpacking adventures
  • Being dehydrated while backpacking


Quote of the week: “When you lose, say little. When you win, say less.” Matt Hughes

Article of the week:Jimmy Starts Jiu-Jitsu, A Before And After Story


Gary is working on his BJJ pop up book called “Go Gary Go, See Gary Roll, See Gary Tap”

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

Epi 126 Black Belt Shawn Williams Interview

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and RSS link for Andriod

Shawn Willimas is the 5th American to reach the rank of black belt in BJJ. He has been training jiu-jitsu for 20 years. We cover a huge range of interesting topics in this episode.shawn Williams

We talk about:

  • His start with BJJ
  • Being a commentator for live BJJ events
  • The importance of enjoying BJJ
  • Wrestling in BJJ
  • Tips for learning wrestling
  • Why some high level competitors do not tap
  • Rousimar Palhares injuring people
  • His thoughts of Garry Tonon (a friend of Shawn’s) vs Rousimar Palhares
  • Injuries that he has experienced
  • How to coach a match, and why to give technical instruction
  • Coaching during Ronda Rousey vs Holly Holm fight
  • Staying consistent with your BJJ


Quote of the week: “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” Miles Kington

Article of the week: What Motivates Me For 6am BJJ Class by Erik BeyerYour-First-Year-Of-BJJ-artwork-1199

Gary also talks about the book he is working on called “Cafeteria Food Fights- Picking The Right Kind of Fruit For The Fruit Salad” If you don’t know who Gallagher is you are missing out my friend, check him in action here.

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

Epi 125 Becoming The Black Belt: Roy Dean

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and RSS link for Andriod

This week we bring you Roy Dean. Roy is a great example of a martial artist he is a 3rd degree black belt in BJJ, and he also has several other black belts. Roy has recently completed his book Becoming the Black Belt: One Man’s Path in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Roy Dean BJJWe talk about:

  • His start in BJJ
  • First experiences with no-gi
  • How he has used his skills in audio and video to promote BJJ
  • He shares the story of getting his blue belt that is in his book
  • Why he did not use stripes at his school other than white belt
  • How he developed a smooth style of BJJ
  • How the training environment has changed in BJJ
  • Learning BJJ online vs on the mat
  • His travel plans and becoming a student again
  • Advice for running a school
  • First tournament advice
  • The good and bad of competing
  • Advice for the new black belt
  • More info about his book Becoming The Black Belt


Quote of the week: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” Mark Twain

Article of the week: “Getting Stuck In The Middle With BJJYour-First-Year-Of-BJJ-artwork-1199

Gary’s book he is working on “Email Scams and Slams, how to do a digital armbar”

Catch us next week for otherer episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

One of the First Things I Learned in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

It was 2002 and I had started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with John Castillo. John was a purple belt and he opened up a school in the back of a used golf supply shop. One of the first things that John taught me was not a submission or a sweep, it was not even a position. John showed me how to break-fall.

Early BJJ Lesson“You are going get knocked down and thrown as you learn Jiu-Jitsu; you need to learn how to fall safely.” John explained as he taught me how to break-fall.

At the time, I was 22 years old and learning how to fall was not exciting. I wanted to learn how to choke and armbar people who were bigger and stronger than myself. But thankfully I was not running the class, because learning how to fall is important if you want to keep getting up.

Over the course of my Jiu-Jitsu career, I have fallen many times. This early lesson has payed off by keeping me on the mat.