USA Judo Silver Medal Winner Travis Stevens Reads His Oath

This is an oath that Travis Stevens reads to himself for motivation and focus. This was recorded in may 2016 a few months before he took the silver medal for the USA 81kg Judo in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Full interviews with Travis Stevens

Epi 136 Travis Stevens Part 1

Epi 137 Travis Stevens Part 2

” A choke in the hand is worth two in a book”

This is an adaptation of an old saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. In modern day thought, this means that it is better to have a sure thing than to risk the sure thing for more.

A choke in the hand is worth 2 in a Book

A choke in the hand is worth 2 in a Book

A choke that you know well and can perform at a higher level compared to your other techniques is worth two (well way more than two) in a book. In this day of BJJ and the internet, one of the biggest mistakes is for students to perpetually switch from learning different techniques and never mastering any of them. This style of learning is a mistake, and a common one.


Now for the original meaning of the phrase. This phrase comes from medieval falconry. The bird in your hand is your trained falcon, this falcon hunts other birds for you. The skills and tools you posses are worth way more than the rewards of a days work. Your skills, on the mat, at work, with people… falconry 🙂 are important to your successes. Spend time collecting powerful skills, not an overflow of knowledge you can’t use.

What are your thoughts? Modern meaning or original? BJJ related or off the mat?


The Shrimp Crawl

It was not designed to be a odd way to quickly scoot across the mat during Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class.  It was designed to help you move your hips.  Keep shrimping my friends, it is not a race.

The Shrimp Crawl

The Shrimp Crawl

Many BJJ students race across the mat at full speed.  Focus on curling your body and getting a lot of hip movement.  “There are many different kinds of shrimp” Bubba from Forrest Gump once said. Try these different shrimps: using one leg, both legs and shrimping with the opposite leg.  Feel the difference from shrimping with a flat foot and shrimping with your toes.  Try moving your feet close to your butt and then try shrimping with your feet at a distance.  All of these shrimps will produce a different result.  From white belt to black belt, everyone uses the shrimp to escape side control and mount.

BJJ Fact


You will get tapped out by a lower belt, it is just a matter of time.

The best way to prevent this is to:

*Avoid lower belts that are getting better or giving you a tough roll

*Avoid rolling when you are very tired

*Avoid putting yourself in bad situations

If you avoid these things, you will be less likely to get caught
by a lower ranked belt.
But if you avoid these things, your development will suffer,
and your team will suffer.

The truth is, that it is no big deal to get caught by a lower belt.  Keep it fun, and keep rolling.