Epi 297 Damian ‘Obi’ Todd

We talk about:

  • Doing a 24 hour marathon of BJJ
  • Dealing with injuries and making changes to his game
  • Raising money for suicide prevention
  • The process of rolling for 24 hours
  • His plans to raise money for the future
  • Tips for doing a 24 hour roll


Quote of the week: Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy” Leo Buscaglia

Article of the week: The 4 T’s of your favorite training partner


Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

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


How to put your rabbits in a pen

If you’ve stopped by the BJJBrick Facebook page you may know I like to post an inspirational quote a couple times a week. I usually leave a few lines sharing how the quote relates to jiu jitsu from my perspective. Recently I posted the following ancient proverb: “If you chase two rabbits you will catch neither”. I was busy so I didn’t elaborate. Immediately one of our listeners responded “I don’t think this relates to jiu jitsu at all”.

     I don’t think we had a difference of opinion, we were just looking the quote through different lenses. I was considering the technique of the month club students who are always chasing the latest technique that went viral on youtube and has no focus to their training. Our friend was considering grapplers who chase only one move at a time as opposed to creating options. He summed up his thoughts this way “the easiest way to catch a rabbit would be to put 3-4 in a small pen and then go for the easiest one”. When trying to escape one of those rabbits will be slower or make a mistake or freeze and bam there’s the one you catch.

     As it relates to jiu jitsu: what does it actually look like to put 3 or 4 rabbits in a small pen and see which ones easiest to catch? I could start a match on my feet with the idea that “I’m going to take him down and pass guard, or I’m going to pull and submit from closed guard, or I’m going to throw a flying arm bar up”. Those three options might represent “three rabbits”, but that’s not a very small pen. If I pull, secure closed guard, and then look at three options from that position, that’s better. But even from closed guard it’s a pretty big pen. But what if, from closed guard, I sit up and connect to my opponent with my left arm over his left shoulder isolating and dominating his left arm for a kimura set up? Now, I’ve got the kimura available as well as the sit-up/hip bump sweep and a left-handed guillotine. How he reacts will determine which one of those “rabbits” is easiest to catch.

     In conclusion: Thanks Chris. This is a great concept for all grapplers to spend some time thinking about. Having multiple attacks from a single position where you are not required to change a lot of things makes it easy to seamlessly transition from one of those attacks to another. Do this enough and you will eventually get a step ahead succeed with one of those attacks.

Train hard. Train smart. Get better. Happy hunting.


Epi 296 Bruce Lee’s Daughter Shannon Lee Talks About Warrior

Photo credit: HBO/ David Bloomer

We talk about:

  • The new tv show Warrior
  • The history of Bruce Lee writing the treatment for Warrior
  • The Chinatown Tong wars
  • The Bruce Lee Foundation
  • Teaching kids a growth mindset

Andrew Koji as “Ah Sahm” In Warrior


Quote of the week: This week we each pick a Bruce Lee quote

“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later teh man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.” Bruce Lee

“The Successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee

“The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.” Bruce Lee

Article of the week: Should A Blue Belt Be Teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Absolutely!


Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

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

Jiu-Jitsu Summer Camp In Wichita Kansas

We had a great time meeting and training with many listeners last year we are looking forward to doing it again. Special guests include Samir Chantre and Gina Franssen.

Check out our interview with Samir here

Check out Gina’s interview here

The Bjj Brick Camp is fast approaching. Sign up before it sells out

Our goal is for all the attendants to have a fun weekend of BJJ and experience growth in their game of jiu-jitsu.

Epi 295 2019 ADCC Competitor Amanda Leve

This week we have an interview with brown belt Amanda Leve. Amanda recently won the ADCC West Coast Trials for the +60kg division. This is a great opportunity to learn about Amanda before she competes in ADCC this year.

We talk about:

  • Opening her own BJJ school
  • Training gi and nogi
  • Having a basic game
  • Starting BJJ with a group of guys
  • Doing the ADCC trials
  • Her school Leve BJJ
  • Doing jiu-jitsu as a kid
  • Her Dad’s influence over her BJJ
  • Training with her brother
  • Doing MMA


Quote of the week: “The true art of memory is the art of attention” Samuel Johnson

Article of the week: Benefits of Recreational Sports on adults


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 294 Am I Getting Any Better?

This is a feeling we all have at some time in BJJ. We do our best to tackle this question and give you some advice to keep your growth at a level you are happy with.

We talk about:

  • Times we have not gotten better
  • What to do if you are not getting any better
  • Can you get worse while training BJJ?
  • Adjusting your game
  • Why it is difficult to judge your improvements
  • How to tell if you are getting better
  • Are you holding yourself back?
  • Why a plateau happens
  • How to find direction with your jiu-jitsu

Quote of the week: “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” Bruce Lee

Article of the week: How I Treat My Blue Belts


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 8th Edition of the AZBJJF’s Copa Bella All-Female Event

By Danny O’Donnell

The Arizona Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (AZBJJF) will host the 2019 Copa Bella all-female tournament at Phoenix College on Saturday, April 27th. The Copa Bella is one of the largest and longest running female only tournaments in the sport, with the first edition taking place back in the spring of 2012. The tournament has attracted some of the top female competitors including Mackenzie Dern, Tracey Goodell, Sophia Mcdermott, Sarah Black, and Tammy Griego, among others. More of the top female competitors are expected to register for the 2019 edition of the Copa Bella as the tournament is offering a $1,000 cash prize for the winner of the combined brown and black belt open weight division.

The evolution of Jiu Jitsu in the U.S. has been very evident over the past decade, with many of the major tournaments attracting thousands of competitors from all over the world. The female demographic has been one that has shown the most growth. Classes dedicated solely to women, full divisions at many belt and age levels, and cash prizes for open weight division champions are becoming more and more common, which has attracted more women to the sport. The inaugural 2012 Copa Bella tournament had 36 competitors while this year’s event is expected to have more than three times that amount.

If you want to be a part of this historic event, please keep the following dates in mind. Early bird (discounted) registration ends Friday, April 5 at 11:59 pm. Normal registration ends on Friday April 19th at 11:59 pm. The late registration deadline is Monday, April 22nd at 11:59pm. Get signed up today at https://azbjjf.smoothcomp.com/en/event/1526 and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

4 Tips for Your First BJJ Competition

If you are a BJJ enthusiast and you trained long enough then you probably thought about going to a competition to test your skills.

However, the competition and preparation can be scary for the first-timers. There are a number of things that can affect your overall experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition.

Your first match can be intimidating as the anxiety can overwhelm you and hinder the main reason you signed up for – to test your skills and most importantly to have fun.

But don’t worry, we got you. In this article, we are going to give you 4 great tips for your first competition.

Pick The Right Event

Back in the days when combat sports and particularly BJJ were not so popular, there were not a lot of events and competitions to choose from.

Fortunately, that is not the case in modern days and you have plenty of options to choose from.

When you prepare for your first competition, you should always choose the option you are most comfortable with. This is one of the most important factors to create a good overall experience.

Make sure to check the place, ruleset, and organization before signing up.

For a start, it’s better to choose a smaller local competition and build your way up to bigger ones. This will help you with the anxiety and will build your confidence.

The ruleset should be exactly like the ruleset you use in training. There are a lot of great tournaments with different types of rules but you can test them later.

The most important thing, for now, is to build your confidence and have fun.

Weight Class

One of the most frequent mistakes you can make is with the weight cut.

A lot of novice competitors cut a lot of weight to qualify for the lowest weight class possible. However, this is not always the best tactic.

Of course, you need to cut some weight but losing too much in a short time-frame can be a disaster for your energy and performance. Competing in a lighter weight class won’t help you if you are depleted and far away from your best shape.

Instead, you should try to cut the extra weight in the months before the competition and only cut a few pounds in the last moment.

You should feel strong and energized before entering the competition not drained and weak.

Game Plan

While it is important to be flexible during the match and change your strategy as you go, it is also very important to have a game plan first.

Where are you at your best? How are you feeling most comfortable and confident?

These are questions you need to think about and make a plan that is most beneficial for you.

Of course, things won’t always go according to your plan but it’s good to have a clear goal in mind.

Your game plan should be made around performing your best techniques and getting in positions where you can apply your best skills while hiding your weaknesses.

When you have a gameplan you will enter the mat with a goal of imposing your will and not just reacting to your opponent’s moves.

Know The Basics Of Every Position

An important thing to know before going in your first competition is the basics of every position.

Of course, you don’t need to be a master of it. But you should be aware of what you should do in every position.

For example, you should now at least one escape of the most popular positions like bottom mount, bottom side control, back control, while knowing how to attack from dominant positions.

If you are not familiar with some position – don’t panic. You will have some time to study it prior to the competition.

But it is important to identify what are your weaknesses and work on them.

By knowing the fundamentals of every position you will be able to avoid being hopeless in the middle of the match, not knowing what to do.


Competing for the first time can be stressful and scary. However, try to focus on the positive things, listen to the tips we gave you, have fun and enjoy the moment.

After all is done, you will be glad that you participated.

Remember, you are doing this for yourself and if you are not feeling ready – it’s okay, give yourself some more time because competing should be a good experience.

Have fun training and competing!

This article was written by our friend Asen from fighterculture.com

Epi 293 East Coast Trials Winner Alec Baulding

This week we have an interview with black belt Alec Baulding. Alec is the 88kg ADCC east coast trials winner. You will find Alec training at Valhalla Jiu Jitsu in Göteborg, Sweden.

We talk about:

  • Training in Sweden
  • The development of his game
  • His style of BJJ
  • Training for ADCC
  • Learning how to wrestle
  • His game for gi and no-gi
  • Off the mat training
  • The possibility of doing MMA
  • Learning striking
  • Helping the students he trains with


Quote of the week: “You can never plan the future by the past” Edmund Burke

Article of the week: Why didn’t you fix it? I didn’t know it was broken!


Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

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