Professor Braga in action

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Achieving your Goals and Inspiring!

We are having a strong start @GBKNOX, our goal is to motivate you also inspire you to become a better person, Using BJJ as a platform for self improvement! Check this awesome video!

Brazilian Jiu jitsu most effiencient hand combat

Here are reasons of why you need learn Brazilian jiu jitsu, most efficient martial arts, proven.

Call us if you are interested in a 30 DAYS FREE of Brazilian Jiu jitsu beginners class. CALL NOW 865-690-0088

Check this video out, this is an awesome take from a Navy seal, the highly elite and very few there trained and experienced and most effective and deadly hand to hand combat known to men.

3 Benefits to Training BJJ – Outside of the Dojo

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Benefits to Training BJJ - Outside of the Dojo

We are all aware of the positive physical health benefits that come from training bjj. TV host, chef and author Anthony Bourdain (now a 4 stripe white belt in bjj) revealed in an interview that he had lost 30 lbs. in the first 9 months of his training.

In addition to fat loss are the development of strength, flexibility, core stability and cardiovascular health. Rain or shine, you can go to the academy and get a sweat going and work every muscle group in your body.

Like yoga, jiu-jitsu movements require you to utilize the full range of motion in all of your joints, on both sides of your body. As people age, the mobility of their joints is one of the first things they lose. Bjj is a key to staying young!

Less obvious are the benefits that you enjoy outside of the academy.

Here are 3 ways that the bjj lifestyle benefits you outside of the academy.

1) Problem Solving

Speaker Tai Lopez uses the words “mental 6 pack” to describe the idea of developing your mind to the same degree of sharpness as your abdominal definition.

Look at any roll in bjj class as a series of problems that you must solve. You can not spend time fretting that your guard has been passed, you must forget it and move onto the problem at hand…not getting submitted and escaping!

You develop the “mental muscle” to solve problems without getting mentally stuck on the fact that something bad has happened. Your mind develops the habit of looking for the next step, a solution-oriented mind.

This mindset is important to dealing with life’s problems off of the mat. More than one student has said that after having a 200-pound purple belt mounted on them in class, that the rest of their day is very easy by comparison.

2) Development of perseverance

Discipline and consistency. I owe these two factors all have attained in my life. Things have never happened overnight. Results have appeared as a consequence of decades long toil. It is necessary to persist.” Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

Obtaining a blue belt or a purple belt is not an overnight occurrence. From the start of your journey in bjj there will be many ups and downs. Periods of frustration and slow progress, and alternately days of tournament gold medals and effortless flow in your jiu-jitsu.

You realize that your achievements have come as an accumulation of small efforts – class by class – over a longer, sustained period of time. You must weather the storms and continue with your greater purpose in mind.

What do you do the Monday after winning the gold medal in your division in the weekend tournament? You show up to class. What do you do the Monday after a challenging week on the mats where nothing seemed to go right? You show up to class.

If this philosophy is successful in your practice of jiu-jitsu, how else might you apply it?

If you are attending school to further your education, starting a new job at the bottom of the career ladder or embarking on any new endeavor, you may take the habit of perseverance developed in bjj and apply it to those other areas of your life.

3) Positive Habits

One of my former students revealed to me privately that they had problems with alcohol. The habit of going out for drinks on the weekend had slowly increased until alcohol had started to adversely affect the other parts of their personal life and impact their health.

I encouraged him to make a commitment to show up at the gym 3 x a week for bjj. If he knew that he was responsible to show up for morning class, then he would have a powerful incentive to not have that first drink the night before.

If you are going to demand more from your body on the mat, then you need to fuel it with some of the foods that your body needs. Instead of the deep fried foods devoured after the bar, you are making a better food choice that day before class.

For the most part you will meet people in bjj class who are more oriented towards health and fitness in their lives. There is less peer pressure to hang out in bars and smoke and drink than to get out for a hike or other physical activity.

When your weekly environment and habits change, the number of positive things you do in a week compounds into a far healthier overall lifestyle. This is what we call the jiu-jitsu lifestyle!

NY OPEN results

We hope everyone is having great day, We would like to congratulate our teammate Johnathan Miller on his amazing performance at NY Open, this past weekend!


Brazilian jiu jitsu lifestyle

We hope everything is doing a great, Jiu jitsu is not only martial arts is life style come learn and enjoy the benefits of Brazilian jiu jitsu.

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Reasons to be part of our family

We hope everyone is having a great day, We want to invite to come join an awesome self defense program while you are getting in shape and having fun come learn from World champion and train with world champions, We have several black belts instructors , Greg thompson one of our instructors, check this out , don't miss this chance 30 DAYS FREE NOW!

MMAwin came to our school

We are proud to have MMAWin came to our Martial arts school, Check this cool video about our school Learn a little bit about our awesome school, IF you want to check us out come by 30 days FREE!

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Throw back Thursday

We hope everyone is having a great day ! TBT Absolute match it was really interesting match of series but really cool match against Mike Folwer. Amazing match. Check this out.

Happy new Years!

Professor Braga wishes everyone a great start of year, lets start this strong training hard and achieving our goals

Happy 4th July

We celebrated our 4th july in the best fashion with a great training sessions!!

We had an amazing training session today @gbknox everyone working hard on 4th July! We hope everyone is having a blessed day, Erik shared his thoughts about GBKNOX check it out.

10 important reminders of important bjj etiquette.

April 9, 2015

10 important reminders of important bjj etiquette.

Every sport or subculture has its specific set of rules and etiquette. When you are first introduced to the sport and art of brazilian jiu-jitsu, people will explain to you as you go.
Not knowing some of these rules of conduct will identify you as a noob and even worse, annoy your training partners.

Here are 10 important reminders of important bjj etiquette:

Read also: 3 Tips For Your First Year of Training

1. Don’t walk on the mats in your street shoes. You transfer who-knows-what substances from the ground to the training area. This is important to prevent skin infections!

2. Cut your fingernails and toenails at the start of every week of training. I have seen people with toenails so long they could swoop down and snatch their dinner out of a lake! Don't scratch your training partners while trying to get a grip on their kimono.

3. Show up with a clean smelling kimono. Trying to drill techniques with a partner with a funky gi is really nasty. You probably need more than one kimono if you are training more than once per week. You need to allow it to dry properly in between training sessions.

4. Don't be the guy who purposely shows up late to miss warm-ups and spends an extra-long time tying his belt or taping his fingers to avoid the drills. It sets a poor example for the other students.


5. Show that you understand the technique being taught in the class before asking all of the what if he does this? questions. It is good to be curious about the counters and recounters, but let's get the original technique correct first!

6. If you have the flu or a cold please stay off the mats, especially if there is a competition coming up. You run the risk of getting all of your teammates sick before an important event.

7. Don't talk in the background when the instructor is teaching a technique. This is not the time for that hilarious one liner that just popped into your head. This is time to pay attention and allow everyone to focus on what the instructor is teaching.

8. Neither be a super stiff or a wet noodle when your partner is drilling the technique. You can drill with resistance after you have learned the basics of the move. How is it helpful if you are resisting your partner the first time they are attempting a move? Or just as bad, just flopping over limp when they try a sweep?


9. A big one many students have said to me: Don't go into the bathroom barefoot and then track who knows what bacteria back onto the training surface.

10. Cellphones in the training area are not appreciated. The class time is an oasis way from the rest of your worldly cares. Carrying on a full volume conversation or loud ringtones breaks the atmosphere of the academy and is disrespectful to the other students.

Read also: 4 Things To Avoid in BJJ

Roll out the bed onto the mats

Gracie Barra Knoxville just released a new video highlighting their 6am class program. They have an awesome class running for those who enjoy an early morning workout, and choose the remainder of their day to spend quality time with their families, work, and other activities. Gracie barra Knoxville’s head instructor, Samuel Braga, is a multiple time world champion, that currently teaches the 6 am morning classes, This is a great opportunity to learn the art of jiu jitsu from a world champion. Gracie Barra Knoxville wants everyones to enjoy the benefits of Jiu jitsu, tailored for everyone budget and schedule, offering no contracts and giving you the freedom to choose the best option for you.

Developing Your A Game Tips on Finding Your Strongest Positions

Developing Your -A- Game - Tips on Finding Your Strongest Positions

It doesn't take long into your study of bjj before you start to experience success with some positions or submissions. It seems that whenever you roll, you find yourself in side control or spider guard and your kimura or triangle choke is right there for you.


Especially for competitors, it's important for them to develop and refine their strongest go-to moves for when the tension is high and the medal is at stake. Most likely your A Game will reveal itself to you early in your training. Quite simply, you will experience your earliest successes with certain moves and naturally gravitate towards them.

It is not unusual to see experienced blue belts with a purple or brown belt level of knowledge and sharpness in their best position!

Interestingly, world champions like Romulo Barral reported that the positions that they are best known for now at black belt were positions that were also their strengths at blue belt. Their preference and A Game revealed themselves very early on in their training.

Here are 3 tips on developing your own A Game:

1) Anatomy is destiny
16293195873_2c4b35bd9d_kTo a large degree, your physical attributes will determine your strongest positions. Most triangle specialists have lanky builds with long legs. Same with Darce choke specialists. If you have the legs of a Hobbit, triangle greatness is probably not in your future.

But your butterfly guard and guillotines might be very dangerous!

Look at top competitors who share the same physical type as you and observe what positions they excel at.
Some practitioners actually select a role model whose game they wish to emulate and pattern their game after that black belt.

Read also: Top Game or Bottom Game?

2) Sets and Reps
In his excellent auto biography Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger writes about the key to success in all of his accomplishments whether it was building a Mr. Olympia physique, acting in movies or delivering a Governor's speech in front of thousands, the key was repetition and practice.

16911956872_0fb11070d7_zThe same is true for developing your A Game positions. If you ask any of these World Champions about their deadly spider guard or half guard sweeps they will tell stories of countless hours in the academy, drilling and experimenting with the positions.

When it comes to acquiring a high degree of skill in any endeavor, there is no substitute for mat time. You have to accrue the reps. I recall at a seminar one black belt challenging two students to complete 500 repetitions of triangles in a month of training.

One of the students asked Is the triangle tighter if I put my leg this way or that way?

The instructor responded by saying Perform 500 triangles and YOU tell ME!:
His point was clear: you will learn things by repping that you can not learn any other way.

Read also:Advanced Methods: Limit Your Training

3) Get Obsessed For a Time Period
I am a strong advocate of advanced students starting to direct their own training. Learn all of the techniques that your professor shows in regular classes. But you also must look to direct your own learning in the positions that fit your own game.

16912210521_1e00d9c03c_kConcentrate your training efforts (especially drilling and technical idea exchange with training partners) on a certain position for at least a month.

Study the DVDs, the YouTube videos, ask your professor and the advanced belts in your academy for their tips. Immerse yourself in that position for at least a month and you will dig deep into the secrets of any submission that you want in your A Game.

Read also: 6 Steps to Fix a Hole in Your Game

It doesn't take long into your study of bjj before you start to experience success with some positions or submissions. It seems that whenever you roll, you find yourself in side control or spider guard and your kimura or triangle choke is right there for you.


Especially for competitors, it's important for them to develop and refine their strongest go-to moves for when the tension is high and the medal is at stake. Most likely your A Game will reveal itself to you early in your training. Quite simply, you will experience your earliest successes with certain moves and naturally gravitate towards them.

It is not unusual to see experienced blue belts with a purple or brown belt level of knowledge and sharpness in their best position!

Interestingly, world champions like Romulo Barral reported that the positions that they are best known for now at black belt were positions that were also their strengths at blue belt. Their preference and A Game revealed themselves very early on in their training.

Here are 3 tips on developing your own A Game

1) Anatomy is destiny
16293195873_2c4b35bd9d_kTo a large degree, your physical attributes will determine your strongest positions. Most triangle specialists have lanky builds with long legs. Same with Darce choke specialists. If you have the legs of a Hobbit, triangle greatness is probably not in your future.

But your butterfly guard and guillotines might be very dangerous!

Look at top competitors who share the same physical type as you and observe what positions they excel at.
Some practitioners actually select a role model whose game they wish to emulate and pattern their game after that black belt.

Read also: Top Game or Bottom Game?

2) Sets and Reps
In his excellent auto biography Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger writes about the key to success in all of his accomplishments whether it was building a Mr. Olympia physique, acting in movies or delivering a Governor's speech in front of thousands, the key was repetition and practice.

16911956872_0fb11070d7_zThe same is true for developing your A Game positions. If you ask any of these World Champions about their deadly spider guard or half guard sweeps they will tell stories of countless hours in the academy, drilling and experimenting with the positions.

When it comes to acquiring a high degree of skill in any endeavor, there is no substitute for mat time. You have to accrue the reps. I recall at a seminar one black belt challenging two students to complete 500 repetitions of triangles in a month of training.

One of the students asked Is the triangle tighter if I put my leg this way or that way?

The instructor responded by saying Perform 500 triangles and YOU tell ME!
His point was clear: you will learn things by repping that you can not learn any other way.

Read also:Advanced Methods: Limit Your Training

3) Get Obsessed For a Time Period
I am a strong advocate of advanced students starting to direct their own training. Learn all of the techniques that your professor shows in regular classes. But you also must look to direct your own learning in the positions that fit your own game.

16912210521_1e00d9c03c_kConcentrate your training efforts (especially drilling and technical idea exchange with training partners) on a certain position for at least a month.

Study the DVDs, the YouTube videos, ask your professor and the advanced belts in your academy for their tips. Immerse yourself in that position for at least a month and you will dig deep into the secrets of any submission that you want in your A Game.

Read also: 6 Steps to Fix a Hole in Your Game

Reasons that anyone can still catch up with BJJ

I was having coffee with a buddy of mine that I have been trying to get into BJJ for quite a long time now. It seems that he needs BJJ. I also think that he is a perfect candidate to be a buddy in my own journey of BJJ awesomeness. Aside from his well-built physique, he is also one of those guys that enjoys active activities. But here’s the catch – he thinks that he is too old for BJJ. Yes. He would drop the bomb on me and say, “My friend, I am just too old for BJJ.”


My friend in his 50’s would gladly just dismiss the idea. He knows I am advocate of BJJ. Getting a negative response would mean a look of dismay and disbelief on my part and a rather stark comment on why he should give Jiu-Jitsu a try. I was starting to think he really is too old for the art, or he is just playing lazy. I refuse to accept the latter.

Will age matter in BJJ?

That night, it got me thinking. Did he just have a self-defeating attitude about martial arts, or was he just being practical about the art of BJJ and how he feels that he will not get far with all the belt ranking system mumbo-jumbo and what-not?

1521755_10153725473995710_1367124108_nWill age matter in BJJ? I would have to say yes and no. I am being realistic so to speak. It will depend on how far you want to take the sport. Should you want to take it to the competitive level, then I would say starting on your 50’s may be a bit too late. Let’s be realistic in this sense. It depends on how far and how serious you want BJJ to be. Either go amateur or pro. Or be a fan, or be someone who dabbles on it. I believe that every budding athlete will have their own set of motivating factors. These motivating factors eventually push anyone into the direction that they need to be. Or at least feel.

BJJ discriminates against no one. This is what I would believe, having interviewed a countless number of people who got involved in Jiu-Jitsu later in their lives. I have seen people in their 40’s still in their white belts. I have seen disabled, the old, the handicapped etc.

Your Motivation

1606854_10153725475220710_57346532_nI always say that my motivation is my north star. A guide of sorts. It is your bearing. What motivates you to act is the core reason for anyone who would want to get into BJJ. What is your “why” in BJJ in the first place? Why pursue? Why continue? Why spend hours sweating it out instead of just lifting weights in the gym? What is your motivation to begin with?

In conclusion, as an ambassador of the art of Jiu-jitsu, I refuse to give up on my friend. I believe that he has the right reason to not get into it, but also, I think that he can also find the reasons to get involved. After all, Jiu-Jitsu recognizes no age.

Nilo Valle Chinilla

The importance of training instructors

With jiu-jitsu being spread around the world, the mats have gained ground and the gentle art, even more fans. Thousands of students, championships and new graduations are held constantly. How gratifying is to see all this happening! But have you ever asked yourself: is the path being correctly drawn?


The uncontrolled expansion of bjj (in general) raised many questions about the technical quality of instructors and teachers around the world. After all, the belt itself does not represent the quality of what is being transmitted. Often, the individual may know a lot about the technique, but when it comes to teaching, he/she is a total disaster. The details are not well shown, the gentleness of the gentle art is forgotten and then we see the improper use of strength.

DSC_5882Fact is that regardless of being a simple student or an athlete (they are all equal, but with different goals), having good results in championships or not, they are reflections of what is being taught. This does not refer only to subjective terms, but mainly to the technique. Regardless of aggressive or calm style or the way the movements are executed, you can always notice if strength is being used or not. Error or hit? Is the student the guilty one? In fact, what a teacher often lacks is the preparation and knowledge about jiu-jitsu for beginners.

At Gracie Barra, we have a preparatory course for instructors of our units, the ICP. Apart from our standard, we are not aware of other course with this same purpose in other teams. The difference is in the willingness to learn and, in particular, in the way we teach what was learned.

Off the Gym: Competition Blues

How much pride do you have in your game? How much trust have you put into your training for you to make it to the big leagues? Are you ready to compete?


These are all valid questions. Believe you me. It’s normal to be feeling butterflies running amuck in your stomach. You are going against a fellow human being while clueless of his capabilities in the art of Jiu-Jitsu. And in foresight, there is this thing called fear of losing.

This article is not to scare you at all. But to actually encourage you to get out of the gym and compete like crazy.

Here are some of the best reasons why competing in BJJ is a good idea.

8635228155_63ba6036d0_zBJJ is relatively a safe environment

We all have the founders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to thank for making BJJ what is today: a wholesome sport for everyone to enjoy. The good thing about BJJ as an art per se is that there are already standards for each tournament, sanctioned by IBJJF or otherwise. There are smaller leagues that also adapt the international rules of refereeing, point system, and what-have-you.

Test your mettle

The logical step to every practice is application. Culmination events are as important as the training itself. Professional athletes see tournaments as a way to calibrate themselves. While training environments can give you the feedback you need, in a tournament where everyone’s desire is to be on top, you might be able to learn a thing or two about your game, or what you lack from it.

It can be a full time career

8636333714_60b0af7f1a_bLiving off of sponsorship can be a double-edged sword. But going out there and doing the stuff you love the most can be one of the most rewarding things you can ever do in your career. Due to the fact that the world of social media has made it a lot easier to get sponsors, competing and being known can be as lucrative and also rewarding as the amount of skills and training you put in to the sport!

BJJ teaches perseverance

Perseverance is always one of the traits that is strongly attributed to successful individuals. In hindsight, learning perseverance is more than just knowing to persevere. Jiu-Jitsu teaches you exactly that.

You need to lose

8636334512_590158b99e_zCounter intuitive? Not really. Losing has its benefits. Although, in Gracie Barra we are taught that there is no such thing as losing, but the reality is more athletes have bounced back even stronger after losing a match. Losing athletes are known to be more reflective and pursue a higher level of skill whenever they lose. Winning is good. Losing can be even better.

Healthier Eating Special Diet Required

One of the most popular questions that budding bjj artists ask is if there is a special diet that will work best for athletes. And if there are, then what are they?


There is a common misconception about diets. Others see diets as a way to lose weight. While the rest of the world sees the practice as a way to shed pounds, top athletes know that keeping a healthy, balanced diet works for their bodies like a charm. And that makes a world of difference in the world of active, competitive sports.

Here are some top athletic nutrition facts:

Carbs aren’t as bad as they seem to be. It’s an athlete’s main source of energy. Sugar that becomes glucose that becomes glycogen for the muscles. How do you balance this out? Bread, cereals, pasta, and fruits will do wonders for muscle storage. Less carbs would provide a lower amount of potential for muscle work.

apple-16890_1280The caveat: heavy training requires carbohydrates.

If you are not a fan of the word diet, may we suggest you shift your entire meal planning to the Gracie Diet. The world famous Gracie Diet consists of having the right combination of foods. Master Carlos Gracie believes that certain food contents counter other foods, making the body less effective in digesting them and under-utilizing food and nutritional benefits. You may read about it here at You may also check our archives for recipes true to the Gracie diet.

Eating Tips

Eating breakfast works best. Think about this, while you sleep, your body uses up energy (keeping the body warm, maintaining blood flow, heart rate, recuperation of muscles etc.). For budding bjj athletes, skipping breakfast should be a big no! It’s your body’s time to replenish nutrients lost while you sleep!

eat-547511_640Combining fruits during meals makes your diet balanced. Remember that big old chart back in grade school with food groups in it? Yes. The food pyramid. Try to recall where fruits lie in the list.

Whole foods are unprocessed! These fruits have yet to undergo chemical preserving. If you can get anything fresh in your diet, you are on your way to good health!

Eating healthy and staying healthy is a choice! If you are serious about making it big in the world of BJJ, I’d suggest you keep it balanced and healthy! Best of luck, young grasshopper.

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: What are the biggest incentives for a warrior?

February 19, 2015

There is no secret; the path to the victory consists of lots of training, focus and dedication. This all would not exist without motivation, and this is the driving force of an athlete. Although it's a door that opens from the inside out, the external stimuli are critical to keep the warrior's spirit alive. But what are those incentives? Where do they originate from?


Those who fight, know that there's nothing better than feeling the heart beating stronger during a training session. The body seems stronger and although tired, you can go on and complete your goal. We breathe and live the gentle art. Thus, we from GB Brazil listed three types of incentives that make a difference for our warriors.

1- Listen to the instructor’s voice: There may be the whole world screaming in the stands, but that voice coming from your corner, low or loud, will stand out, echoing through your ears. Knowing that the guy who accompanied you your whole life is there, just next to you, will motivate you even more to achieve a positive result.

Ana Laura, after some years out of the mats returned and became the 2014 world champion.2- Having people cheering for you: When the gym guys get together and scream your name, jump up in their chairs, hit the walls That typical euphoria scene in championships. Sometimes it may seem that they extrapolate a bit, but let's speak the truth it is way good to have these guys on your side, isn't it?

3- Family Support: Parents serve as true superheroes in each of our lives. Some energetic reprimands, demands, but there nothing that makes you happier than seeing them excited for your victory.

Either one of these incentives or all of them, having an extra hand coming from outside the mat is very good, right? OSS!

What changed from the old school era to today's jiu-jitsu?

Those who lived the old days of Brazilian jiu-jitsu know that much has changed. We are not referring only to the changes of the sport's image among the society, but also to the techniques.


The effective basics or more complex positions? There is no better place than bleachers of major gentle art events to discuss this issue. Roger Gracie's Choke or the famous berimbolo? This second name is the most talked about and applied in combat by the newer athletes nowadays.

gancnhinhodomalAlthough many people are not aware, this position was already known (but not so much seen in championships) by the old school guys. But at that time, people preferred the old and good jiu-jitsu. Currently, the kids especially those blue belts, who have been standing out in the competitive scenario loves a berimbolo and are becoming experts on this position. Besides this knot technique against the opponent, another position that is becoming popular is the fifty fifty or 50/50.

Rules, punishments, advantages, everything happens when the fight ends up in the fifty. When talking about it, it's not possible to not divide opinions, there are so many For the old guys used to the past combats, it turns the fight uglier; for younger athletes, this is an element of fight strategy.

When it comes to rules and cloth techniques, berimbolo, fifty, a well known closed guard arm lock or a well fit choke starting from the mount, we can only have one certainty about all of that: the jiu-jitsu is a sport that continues to evolve, it is always in transmutation and many other changes are coming. We, lovers of the sport, have to adapt to them or follow what we believe to be the best for us.


What is Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone?

Another year is over and with it many achievements, training and realizations. Our GB family, as usual, remained within what we aim for our team: a constantly evolution to take Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone.


Spreading the gentle art and its lifestyle around the world are like the pillars of feeling that drives us. It is not only about wearing the kimono, tying the belt and completing another training session. Being Gracie Barra is first of all love for the sport that makes us brothers. But how to describe and share something that only those who are GBs know what it is? Why fighting for a mutual goal?

Few could express in words, in so admirable a way, what we feel when defending the red shield and the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone project like Arthur de Freitas, instructor from GB Aclimação, São Paulo, Brazil. An inspirational text and a picture that went viral among the GB family in Internet social media, the photo used in the post was taken in 2001, in the first school founded by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. back in 1986 in the neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro.

Picture taken in 2001 in the world's first GB school

Picture taken in 2001 in the world's first GB school

Being of great significance for the GB family, this image click made history. After all, there we have the mentor of our mission Master Carlos Gracie Jr teachers and athletes who have made of the gentle art their lives and were essential to the steps taken to get here. With simple words and the subjective value of this image, Arthur said what we often cannot express.

Here's Arthur's text:

Every time I look this picture I see who I represent here in the city of São Paulo, and the weight of the responsibility of the most complete Jiu-Jitsu teaching and the Red Shield. I see that we are succeeding generations from the biggest and best team and the most traditional family in the world. I represent the best martial art and self-defense system in one to one fighting which ever existed. And then I cannot help but thank all those involved in this process. Everything that I studied, trained, good and bad moments lived within the sport and those who made my character and my technique. All of that brought me to here. This Red Shield is a very big source of pride.

Medals oxidize. Character, tradition and legacy, do not.

While you guysa are wondering how many medals we won, we ask ourselves how many cities we achieved. While you guys invent blows that do not do a thing in a real situation and serve very few practitioners, we teach boys to turn into men.

When you guys ask yourselves what is the next movement, someone will be living an inclusive and complete Jiu-Jitsu: falls, self-defense, bjj competition, EVERYTHING. This can only be recognized when you guys understand that medals do oxidize. Character, tradition and legacy, do not.

Some might say that those are only words. There will also be those who by reading this beautiful text, even not being one of us, may be touched. Anyway, there will always be a bit of everything and everyone. Consequently, we are that. We cause impact, we reach not only the body, but especially the heart and for this reason we carry the red shield. We use the red color of blood that runs through our veins and that truly represents love. In 2015 we will continue to win and grow towards completing the JIU-JITSU FOR EVERYONE project, fulfilling the dream of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. shared by all of us about having a GB school in every city in the world. OSS!

New Years Week Schedule

jiu jitsu knoxville

Learning the BJJ the Hard Way

November 11, 2014

Scenario at Point

Being an spectator at BJJ matches can be frustrating at times, right? You say these things: “I can’t believe he didn’t get to pass that guard!” and the usual, “he could have ‘done this’ and ‘that’ and could have won.”


While you cheer on and scream at your team mate (a little informal pushing and a tad bit of coaching couldn’t hurt, right?), something hits you in the back of your head out of nowhere. You realize that being an spectator is a whole different experience than being in an actual match. Things ARE always easier said than done. BJJ IS always easier said than done. And as the person you were rooting for loses the match, he has learned BJJ the hard way. The virtue behind losing is he will learn from it. He will not forget the lesson taught to him by that opponent that got the better of him. This person has just learned BJJ the hard way.

He learned well.

Learning BJJ the easy way

unnamed-6There are programs, courses, and other learning materials that we can study to learn BJJ. These are tried and tested methods for us to fully understand BJJ! There is the white belt course where you get to learn the basics of the guard and the pass and subs and what-not. There are videos on YouTube explaining how to execute moves properly… Google it, and you shall find.

Learning BJJ has become easy. However, rising above the common stock of mediocrity is difficult, and the ease of being a part of the herd is tempting. As humans, our tendency is to prefer comfort over the less attractive alternative which is difficulty and extra work. All the while, the belief that a ready-made system will eventually improve our game always is somewhat appealing. Really appealing.

The formulated approach is always good. However, not everything is written down in every Jiu-Jitsu book out there. The X-factor cannot always be written simply because it is difficult to jot down. Also because the “aha!” moment is fleeting!

To learn BJJ the easy way is to follow what everyone else is doing. Does it make us grow? Yes. It does. It is learning, nevertheless. There is premium and importance in LEARNING and we put a lot into it, actually. Does it make us rise above, and stand out from the rest? Well, not really.

Do I need to learn things the hard way?

10639401726_c4925bda19_bLet us clear the air for a bit. There is a stigma about learning things the “hard way.” Whenever we think of the “hard way,” our minds kick these words in: hardship, failure, regret, too much effort, etc.

For a while, let us suspend those beliefs, shall we?

There is a need for everyone to learn the hard way. Although we may not have the consciousness to realize it, whenever we commit mistakes, execute the wrong submission, or lose a match, we learn a lesson the unconventional way. We learn the intrinsic, primal way of growth which is learning through actual experience. And this is regardless of whether it was bad one to boot. Whether it is a negative experience, or a good one, we learn from it.

Learn things the hard way and come out the stronger

There is no such thing as losing. Whether you lose a match, get submitted, choked or pass out, miss out on taking an opponent’s back, you learn from it. As the going gets tough, only the tough get going. The tough one learns. The tough one succeeds. The tough one learns the hard way, and lives to tell the tale.

“Learning things the hard way is beneficial. Iron hardens through tempering and repeated pressure.”

Remember the guy that lost the match? While we only saw holes in his game, and missed opportunities to get the better out of his opponent, he learned something else… he learned BJJ the hard way. He learned lessons that will make him better next time. The lessons stuck, etched in his mind. The experience taught him well. He understood things the hard way and incorporated the real value of competing. He has lived through it. He is enthusiastic about the loss. He has become twice the better competitor!

BJJ for Everyone!

5 Unwritten Rules of Bjj Etiquette

Many bjj training academies may have a list of rules of the academy posted on the wall for the safety of the students and the harmonious atmosphere of the academy. Just as each subculture has its own set of rules given the unique nature of its activity and goals, brazilian jiu-jitsu has its own rules of the mat. Author Dale Carnegie said that courtesy was the lubrication for a civilized society.


Here are a few guidelines that you may not see printed on the wall of the academy, but are nevertheless appreciated by the instructor and the other students.

1) Filming the instructor without consent
15150122100_c8253bab10_zA world champion conducted a seminar at our Gracie Barra academy a few years ago. Since I was the web master for our school web site, I approached the visiting instructor before the seminar and asked permission to do some video clips and / or photographs during the seminar for use on the school's web site. The instructor responded firmly that he did not permit filming at his seminars. Some photos were ok but no video allowed.
Minutes into the seminar, a student whips out his iPhone and starts filming video. The host instructor, embarrassed, had to stop the instruction and tell the oblivious student that filming was not permitted.
Some instructors are fine with it, some are not. You have to ask the individual instructor before the class. Don't just start recording.

2) Coaching from side
I was teaching at a new academy several years ago and all of the new students were complete beginners. A new blue belt from another academy would come and take some the classes. During the rolling time the excited blue belt observing the rolls would shout a running commentary of vague and confusing advice to the new students rolling.
I could see the confusion and frustration on the faces of the new students. They wanted to respect the blue belt, they wanted to learn more, but the confusing advice like No!! Don't do that!! would freeze them in bewilderment during the roll.I approached the blue belt and acknowledged that he wanted to help, but that the advice was only further confusing the students and to leave the coaching to the head instructor.

Later, the new students expressed how they were relieved not to be under a barrage of advice while rolling.

bbelts3) Spazzing and then tapping to exhaustion
This is a common scenario with newer students when rolling with a higher belt. They use an enormous amount of strength and try to use explosiveness aka known as spazzing instead of technique to overcome the opponent.
Trying to fight using that amount of energy expenditure rapidly exhausts the fighter. The higher belt weathers the storm and then sweeps the newer student to the bottom.

Upon being swept, the newer belt taps out from fatigue before the end of the round and before the higher belt gets to work the top position that they earned.
A black belt well expressed the opinion that if you want to tap out due to fatigue, get to a neutral position or top position first. Don't go wild on top and then take the easy way out once you end up on your back.

4) Grabbing fingers
In addition to being illegal in the sporting rules, it is just a cheap tactic to use in rolling at your academy.
Instead of looking for a technical solution to counter the opponent's collar choke, in panic the student grabs the fingers of the opponent and like a drowning man desperate to avoid going under, tries to peel the grip from their collar by any means possible!

Safety-FirstI explain that for most of the students in the academy, bjj is a hobby and a fitness activity that is only part of their lives. They must return to their full time careers after class. If you break their fingers by pulling on them, then the student can not go to work and earn their living. Imagine a doctor or a dentist with a broken finger from an illegal technique in class?

Safety first and ensure that both you and your partner can return to train another day.

5) Be aware of your surroundings
How many times have we witnessed spirited rolls between students where the trajectory of the fight takes them from one end of the mat to the other, crashing into other students and coming to an abrupt halt at the wall?!

At times there seems to be some mysterious, magnetic force that attracts pairs of people training to crash into each other, no matter how large the mat space! If you are rolling and feel your leg kicking against something foreign and covered in kimono fabric, you have probably banged into another pair on the mat. Stop and readjust!
The etiquette at my Gracie Barra academy is that lower belts give way to the higher belts on the mat during rolls. In addition, you have a responsibility to your fellow students to maintain an awareness of where you are and not injure them.

I have seen students sweep and take down another student right into a wall. The student being thrown is relying on the thrower to throw them safely. If you are initiating a throw or sweep of your opponent, it is your responsibility that they land safely. This trust between training partners is sacred.

If you have a helpful unwritten rule of the BJJ academy, please share in the comments below.

Credits: Mark Mullen

Just Do it!

The Power of Doing

So Nike has had the tagline for the past 3 decades. It has proven to be very effective. Those 3 powerful words sum up one of the best pieces of advice that anyone can ever get from anyone… much more than billboards have ever given to anyone who has experienced training rut. Your BJJ is not going to happen unless YOU make it happen. Your life is not going to improve until you have come to terms with your improvement… and do it! Achieving by doing.


The power of doing. The power to act on what we feel. Often, this question comes in: am I ready to act? has a good insight on acting: just do it. What I’ve learned is that no one is ever ready for anything. You may give days, weeks, or months putting off and planning what you intend on doing with your Jiu-Jitsu. Have you been putting off joining that prestigious competition? Here’s some advice: Just do it! Are you afraid of losing in front of a crowd? Just go for it. Again, we have a saying in Gracie Barra: there is no such thing as losing only learning! Possess the power of acting on your goals. Have the fiery passion to upgrade beyond your current standards. Act! And the rest will just follow!

Tips on Doing It

monday-quotes-just-do-it-quotes121Sacrifice one thing for the other

It’s quid pro quo for yourself. It’s trading a least productive behavior to another one. The principle of alchemy is no different than the principle we have in life… for one thing to transform to another, there has to be equal exchange of matter. But the good thing about Jiu-Jitsu is that those who have given up things succeeded! You can dtoo!

Establish Habits

Before establishing habits, behaviors have to lead to it. Our behaviors determine the course of our actions. It is never too late. Some say, “I am too old for this stuff, “ or “I have tried before but failed!”

The reason most people fail is because they fail to establish the habits needed to succeed. Not only in BJJ, but this includes work, life, relationships, etc. Establish a habit of waking up early for BJJ, or finishing work early so you can get off work on time. Establish the habit of creating a meaningful, upbeat, energetic training session. You’d be glad you did!

Reward and Punishment

This is related to establishing habits. Let’s say that on a typical week where you only attended one session of serious grappling compared to three or more. So do we feel good about ourselves that we do? Of course we shouldn't. However, without the idea of the presence of repercussions, we become absolutely complacent with “it’s ok. I’ll try harder next week.

l72690-nike-just-do-it-logo-32521There is a notion of reward and punishment: we shouldn't be hard on ourselves. But look at a broader perspective. NO one is going to improve us unless we are the ones who take out the whip and punish ourselves. But don’t get me wrong. It’s NOT PHYSICAL punishment. Punish yourself by giving up one pleasurable thing that you enjoy doing (not BJJ, I hope). As a writer and future BJJ legend (LOL!), I punish myself if I don't write anything. I will have to give up going on the internet and social media! Sad as it is, but I have to. But when I do BJJ, I REWARD myself with an hour-long massage session. Pretty nifty right?

Men in the world have long given so much credit on the power of doing. Without doing, there won’t be results. It’s as simple as that.

Your next stripe and belt level is waiting for you! Go out and do it! Just do it. You’ll be glad you did!

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone… and the doer!

4 Ways to be a Good Partner in Bjj Class

October 31, 2014

The majority of the time in any bjj class, you will be working together with a training partner. During the technique portion of the class you will drill the techniques demonstrated by the instructor and work through the details with your partner. A great training partner is worth their weight in Worlds medals, and a poor partner can make your training session a frustrating waste of time for both.

Here are 4 tips for being a great training partner.

1) Don't be a flopper
In watching some beginners in the fundamentals class, the person on the bottom in the guard was having difficulty placing a butterfly hook to perform a butterfly sweep.
The partner, on top position, had gone limp and was laying face down, prone on the floor. As limp and lifeless as a mannequin.

_MG_1311I could see the problem.

I asked the top person if they would actually fight like that? Would you simply go completely limp and collapse your structure and lay face down in a real match?

Then why would you do that when trying to simulate a match situation? Remember that one must mimic the weight distribution, limb positions and posture that a real live opponent would be doing.

2) Resistance is a hindrance
This is the extreme opposite of the flopper. This partner is as stiff and rigid as though they had premature rigor mortis!

More than once while demonstrating a technique to the class, I have had the demonstration student tense up and start fighting the move even as I set the initial grips.
I have to pause and tell them Hey, relax your limbs I am just trying to show the move!

_MG_1229When you are learning a complex technique for the first time, you need some compliance from your partner. The countering and what if he does this” should wait until you have acquired some competence with the first technique.

It is rare to get the technique perfectly on your first few tries. A stiff unyielding partner interferes with your early, imperfect movements as you struggle to find the correct angles.

The partner who is countering and resisting as you try to learn has to relax and allow the partner to perform some repetitions before introducing the factor of resistance.

3) Stay on topic
Your instructor is showing you a specific position because they consider it important for your development and appropriate to your experience level.

But the partner, bored with the basic technique, does a few half-hearted reps of that day's technique and then wants to show you a really cool move that he saw on Youtube. The technique forgotten, he proceeds to stumble through a poorly understood and horribly complicated lapel sweep that might work on an opponent who had consumed extra drowsy-strength cough medicine.

_MG_1290Even the most basic techniques have many levels of detail that the black belt knows, which magnify their effectiveness. Let's say that a sweep has 12 fine details required for the optimal level of leverage and mechanics.

Even though you have seen the sweep before, you may only know 6 of those details! As you progress through the bjj belt system you will enjoy continuous rediscovery of old techniques that you had dismissed as old and don't work anymore. With a new additional, crucial detail, that old technique suddenly starts working for you.

Try to stay on track in the lesson that day.

4) Leave the problems off of the mat
For many of us, our time at jiu-jitsu class is a respite from the rest of our worldly responsibilities. A time when we get to do what we WANT to do, not what we HAVE to do.

When you bow and step onto the mat, that is your time to clear your mind and focus on training bjj.

One of my favorite quotes is by boxer Sugar Ray Leonard When I train, I am free.

_MG_1298Then your stressed out partner catches your ear and launches into a rant about his horrible micro-managing boss and how the entire company would go bankrupt if not for how important I am down at the widget factory. Why just today the idiot boss said.
Whoa! There goes your carefully cultivated mental state, and you are involuntarily drawn into their workplace drama.

My advice is to stop them and diplomatically say, Hey friend, we are here to enjoy jiu-jitsu. Why don't we talk about these problems after the class?;

Try not to bring your problems onto the mat and crate a negative atmosphere for your training partners.

What are your suggestions for how to be a great training partner?

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJ

Motivational Tools Every Athlete Should Have

October 28, 2014

Motivation here. Motivation there! Everywhere, you see motivational quotes, posters, quips and what-have-yous. There is only so much that motivational material can do to our lives unless we really take action. Motivation and inspiration only comprise 2% of success. The rest is up to you. And improving your BJJ game is and will always be a challenge. As with like any upstart company, getting the ball rolling and gaining momentum is always a hardest part.


Wait! Here is the follow up question: where will the remaining 98% come from? The answer is through action. Action is putting our thoughts, ideas, energy, and (of course) motivation into action. The biggest challenge today is there is not much premium being put into action. Or more so, tracking our progress. But to call ourselves into action, we will need to know where we at and where we should be!

Your Progress Chart

Writing things down and keeping a record is a good way to track your progress. However, flipping through a notebook (or even picking it up) can be a bore. So dear readers, I would suggest a pin-up chart instead. Creating a chart to fill out with your training progress is useful for those who prefer seeing constant reminders of their progress. Here is a sample that I have been using in my training. you can also use this in line with Gracie Barra’s Weekly Training Plan!

The Challenge: keeping track and sticking with your progress plan.

Week # Sessions Attended Weight Loss / Gained Spar Sessions done (in minutes) Subs and Guard Current Belt Rank
40 4 2 lbs 20 RNC Yellow
41 4 None 40 RNC Same

I suggest you put this anywhere in your room that is easily seen. The purpose is to track your progress. Always keep a marker handy, though.

A contact list of BJJ enthusiasts / Pros / Trainer / Coaches / Black Belts

Expanding your network of BJJ contacts is useful. The perks? Aside from meeting possible long-term friends, having a training buddy while going on an out-of-town trip. It’s actually easy to make BJJ friends. Just log into Facebook and you will see tons of BJJ groups (even outside of Gracie Barra). It’s easy to initiate contact. But connecting is the real challenge.

The challenge: trying to connect and staying connected. A list of people whom you can ask advice on techniques can be quite helpful. Connecting with people is an art. It’s like BJJ. More on this one in future articles.

The Tournament Schedule Calendar

amizade_1Pretty useful. However, there are things to remember about tournaments: they require a substantial amount of training, and can put a dent in your savings. The solution is planning ahead. That is, simply setting out a marker date for the tournament, then training within the prescribed weeks from it, the plan to make weight (if planning to compete in a lower weight class). Mark the date of the tournament. A suggestion is to pay the entry as soon as possible. It will keep you from procrastinating in your training (because you already have made payments), and often, some tournaments offer discounts for paying early.

The BJJ training partner

A training partner can be a tool for motivation (or demotivation). With this being said, choosing the right training partner is a good way to progress in the game. Ideally he/she should be someone of the same weight class, (or higher) and of the same level. It can be a quid pro quo relationship where you also remind your training buddy of training, and he/she does the same for you! =)

The Training App / Books

Let’s go mobile. Gracie Barra’s mobile training app made it to the top 10 most popular athletic apps in iTunes. Here’s the reason: it’s just so good. The production value of the videos in the app is just astonishing. Shot in full HD, the professors share insights and techniques! Don’t miss it out!

While you are at it, go and grab some BJJ books out there. Get some reading time going. You’ll be glad you did.

DSC_1138The Trophy / Medal Case

No. We are not going hedonistic by adding the pleasure of seeing medals and accolades. However, seeing your achievements is something that you can use to keep or boost your motivation. If it’s empty, then it’s about time to put something in it. There are lots of medals to go around, but it takes a lot to go and get one.

You are the cornerstone of your motivation. You make things happen. You are the one who puts on the martial garb and strives for excellence. You are your own motivation!

BJJ for Everyone!

Why Comparing Your Growth to Others Can Harm You

October 20, 2014

“Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides…”

So you have been doing BJJ for a couple of years now. And it seems that your contemporaries have managed a little bit more mileage that you have. It’s true. While searching on facebook, or the latest BJJ news websites, you come across some of your former colleagues owning the field. You see these guys with whom you used to roll before they started enjoying the seemingly elaborate spotlight of BJJ. You see them rubbing elbows with the greats. And some may even be starting to make a name for themselves.


And as you continue your facebook stalking, while downing that last bag of Lay’s, you feel that you have not made any real progress. That is, if you are starting to validate your feelings properly.

So what am I pointing out? Well, whenever we know people who have set out to go where we also intend on reaching, and has done an better job of reaching their goal compared to us, we “may” (not to generalize or alienate my readership) feel the need to compare ourselves to them. But panic not. It is only human to feel the inadequacy. It is human nature to want what we cannot have, but even more human to covet what others have.

Envy is a negative feeling that one may harbor towards someone who is successful.

Tips on Getting the Right Perspective

effort-rockDo not compare your “insides” or another’s “outside”

You simply cannot play a comparison game between two individuals in the art of BJJ. Simply put, everyone is unique. You cannot say that you have achieved less because others are getting the accolades. You do not know how much work they’ve put in to reach that top.

Assess your effort

Have you been training lately? How much effort have you put in to learning? Have you tried joining tournaments? Do you reflect about your game vs. letting things “roll” (Jiu-Jitsu pun intended)? How much effort have you exerted into becoming better? Do you do read up on BJJ articles? Do you watch videos? DO YOU LISTEN to your instructor and avoid spacing out?

These are but questions that you need to answer.

Appreciate WHO you are

cat-sees-lion-mirrorCount your blessings. Count your achievements. Signing up for a physically strenuous program is awesome enough. Appreciate the effort that you have already put in to the training. You are unique. You may not know this, but others are also looking at your achievements.

Appreciate OTHERS

If you are not the type who appreciates the achievements of others, you need to start becoming one. Appreciation is a positive emotion that can easily rid you of the envy that you might be feeling. Appreciate what they have achieved. After all, they did put in a lot of effort in reaching for their goals. Inspire yourself. And using that inspiration, get off that couch and train!


Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Good Carbohydrates

October 16, 2014

The so-dreaded carbohydrate consumption became a legend, and now we all know about the importance of having a balanced diet based on carbohydrates, proteins and good fats. Carbohydrates are our energy source, the essential fuel for our body to function well and to help us to perform our day-to-day routine.


Cutting 100% carbohydrates off your diet can be detrimental not only for your health but also for your well-being. The consumption of this kind of food in the right amount and with the right choices can bring many benefits to you. So, look for a professional to provide the correct guidance according to your needs.

The carbohydrates you should avoid are known as simple carbohydrates. What makes these the bad ones is the speed at which they are digested by the body. This type of carbohydrate is digested quickly, and this leads to a not so good effect on our blood insulin levels. Examples of simple carbohydrates are: soda, sweets, white bread, white rice, and basically any sugary or highly processed foods.

The opposite is known as complex carbohydrates (slow digestion) and they are the type of carbohydrates that should comprise most, if not 100% of our daily carbohydrate consumption. Some of these carbohydrates sources are:

Brown rice

Oats tipos-carboidratos-complexos

Cereal Bars

Fiber cookies

Whole cereals

Unpeeled fruit

Beans, lentils and chick peas

Sweet Potato

Wholemeal pasta


Wholemeal/brown bread


How to Be an Effective Coach

This is for the coaches that we have in Gracie Barra. So far, you have done a great job in promoting and spreading the love for the art. Our art. And you have done a monumental job in making sure that our students be who they want to be and bring them where they want to go. Continuous improvement is always the key to our success. And with that, here is an article where we can learn how to constantly improve our game. Our game (for now) is to make sure that our students get the best possible training.


Proper Profiling

13129704143_64d8270537_bThere are are a number of different personalities in BJJ. There is the silent, the brash, the receptive, the logical, the eager, and the passive. Knowing them is the key to learning. For example, if you are dealing with those who seem to be passive, you need to know what they really want to get out of the training. Yes. There are those who sign up and may exhibit behaviors of not being that interested. Their interest could be somewhere between just staying fit or just plain enjoying the idea of being around people.


There is always gold in feedback. And some might take your feedback with a grain of salt, but typically in this business, people won’t. The rationale is almost everyone wants to be the best. The receptiveness of BJJ players (from I’ve noticed in Gracie Barra) is really astounding. Make sure that feedback is useful by making sure that they understand it. Communication also holds the key in giving feedback. Speak softly, keep it light, and don’t forget touching on the human side of things.

Role Modeling

Become a role model to your students. It is critical that we show them how it’s done. And this is not just how it is, but the right way to do it. You cannot teach people by telling them, you can teach them by showing to them the right way to do it. It’s a concept that many educational systems have proven to be successful with. But, knowing Gracie Barra, we are on the right track!

10631099925_b463100003_zUnderstand Their Training Needs

Training needs are not only limited to the techniques and moves, and counters, and positions. It also includes needs outside of training, like making sure the facilities are clean, well-maintained, and are in top shape! Keeping the training environment at its best condition is a key to becoming an effective coach!


Motivation can be external and internal. Needless to say, knowing the right amount of motivation can help you become good in coaching students. You see, motivation pushes people into action. The breeding of ideas that there is an awesome future ahead of them such as becoming healthy is the key! =) Motivate them by letting them know that they can, versus what they cannot do. Push them and challenge them to their limit! Give motivational talks about how you were able to become a coach in GB. You can do it!

Jiu-Jitsu for everyone!

To GI Or Not To GI That is the question (apologies to Shakespeare)

One of the most popular and controversial debates in the world of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is to train in the gi or without the gi?

Since the earliest days of Royce Gracie winning the early UFC's wearing a kimono, the art and sport of bjj has basically diverged into 3 different training philosophies: MMA, sports bjj with the kimono, and no-gi or submission grappling without the kimono. For the purposes of this discussion we will restrict our debate to gi vs. no-gi.


In the oldest, most established academies of bjj training, in the kimono is the way most classes are taught. In two training trips to Brazil, at world famous academies, I had not seen a single no-gi class on the schedule, despite the several professional MMA fighters on the mat.

In contrast, Eddie Bravo, jiu-jitsu innovator, famously teaches only no-gi and dismisses the kimono as being not essential and even counter-productive to developing the grips required to control an opponent without a collar and sleeves. It is generally acknowledged by both camps that it is easier for kimono trainers to transition to no-gi than the opposite.

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 9.34.21 AMNo-gi competition has expanded greatly and coupled with those practitioners who are MMA oriented, the growth of no-gi appears to be increasing world wide with tournaments only in rashguards, shorts and spats. Proponents of no-gi say that training with the gi is only useful for sports bjj, and that it makes no sense if you are going to compete without the kimono, to put on a gi!

There is a principle of training known as specificity of training”: SAID is a training principle that explains that a certain exercise or type of training produces adaptations specific to the activity performed and only in the muscles (and energy systems) that are stressed by the activity. It stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

To go one step further, according to the SAID Principle, the body adapts in a specific fashion to the specific demands that are placed on it. For example, if one does figure skating a lot, one will adapt to the specific skill and strength demands of figure skating (he or she will develop lower body hypertrophy, strength, explosiveness, agility, etc.). In short, to develop a better golf swing, one should train the golf swing; to develop endurance for a marathon, one must train by running long distances.

It seems perfectly logical to train as specifically as possible (ie. no kimono) to prepare oneself for no-gi competition.

Yet very curiously, the champions atop the podium at the most prestigious no-gi championships (ex. ADCC) tend to be competitors who train mostly in the kimono!
How can this be??

10I have spoken to multiple ADCC champions about this debate and their opinions have a common theme.
I paraphrase: They believe that training jiu-jitsu in the kimono sharpens the technique to a degree difficult to attain without the gi. Due to the opponents tighter, greater grips and ability to control the gi, the escapes and controls must be more technical. And thus the kimono trainer theoretically develops their higher level of technique.
These champions admit that in the weeks prior to a no-gi competition they will take off the kimono to adjust their grips and some of their no-gi specific strategies. But they felt that their jiu-jitsu came mostly from gi training.

Both of the largest influences on my own jiu-jitsu training are absolutely adamant that training in the kimono is essential to develop the highest level of technique.

I would like to throw in my own 2 cents on the subject.
One of my favourite bjj quotes is by Ryan Hall who said on his Grapplearts podcast that: Jiu-jitsu is not a move, it is HOW TO MOVE.

If I may expand on Hall's philosophy, he is saying that jiu-jitsu is not the specific techniques we use.
Instead it is the less tangible sense of balance, base, timing, weight distribution, feel of the opponent's movements, fluidity and speed of ones own movements, use of action reaction, anticipation and so on.

8If it is more difficult to escape when wearing a gi, the rationale is that the gi trainer will develop sharper escapes than one who might rely more on slippery scrambling and athletic explosiveness without the kimono.
If there are many more submissions to defend in the kimono, perhaps the gi-trainer will develop better posture and keener awareness of threats; making them more difficult to submit.

In the same way that the jab of Manny Pacquaio is certainly fast and crisp, but not much greater than other pros, it is the other qualities, timing, speed, footwork, reactions that make him elite. It isn't the specific punch (or the size of the gloves!), it is those other less obvious technical boxing qualities that create the fighter.
If training in the kimono manages to develop these more general qualities to a sharper degree than training without a kimono, this might partly explain why training in the kimono is considered by many jiu-jitsu masters to be the way to the highest level of technical proficiency.

What do you think? Gi or no-gi?

TIPS on becoming consistent

October 10, 2014

Jiu-Jitsu is an art that is best done with consistency. Consistency breeds learning, growth, reputation and all that other good stuff! If you are stopping short of success, then, in BJJ you need consistency.

Let us understand what is the power of consistency and how it can help us become better in the art of BJJ


1. Consistency creates accountability

We are all accountable for our growth. If, let's say, we come short of reaching our goals, consistency plays a big factor in that. We are accountable for how far we can grow in BJJ. If we get promoted to new ranks, or stay stay stale in our training, consistency will play a huge role in it!

Every BJJ artist out there should be consistent. This is where accountability towards one's growth and goal-reaching happens.

10401964_837963492904206_195652239491866217_nSo what is your accountability? Are you accountable for your own results? In BJJ, in life etc.?

2. Consistency Builds Reputation

When you are building your career in BJJ, you are to be consistent. Imagine being that guy who only comes in to the gym at random times in a month, vs. that awesome dude who consistently trains. When you train in BJJ you interact with people, you build your reputation with the people that you train with!

3. Consistency is your road map to becoming the best there is

Practice makes perfect, and practice is synonymous with consistency. You have to practice your BJJ like how you practice walking and breathing. Consistently and almost automatic! It's a road map. All BJJ greats have at one point decided to be consistent with the art!

TIPS On becoming consistent

1. Remove all distractions

14696006666_e8deb45252_kDistractions is a part of life. Managing distractions is not easy, but it can be done. The way to do this is to simply just decide to remove all other distractions that aren't making you become better in the art!

2. Create an environment where consistency can be conducive!

3. Have a plan for achieving consistency. This is can be as little as taking the time to commit to training, to joining every tournament close to your area.

But, What If He/She Does This?”: Why This is a Good Question in BJJ

October 7, 2014

If you were to ask many bjj professors what are their pet peeves in teaching a bjj class, the answer will soon come up:

I show the student a technique and immediately they ask But what if my opponent does this?!?

I can relate to the instructor's frustration. Especially if the student in question doesn't have much experience with the first technique, and likely does not have a solid understanding of the initial move that is being covered that day. But I am going to break with orthodoxy and say that I LIKE IT when a student asks the dreaded, But what if my opponent does this?!? question.

SlowRoll1It demonstrates that the student's mind is in the class. That they are actively thinking about the technique, processing and absorbing the information, and how it will actually go against a fully resisting opponent. Some students approach learning in a more passive manner. They attend the class, dutifully drill that day's position, and then go home satisfied with the training that day.

But what about the students who have an insatiable appetite for jiu-jitsu? The ones who go home after class and try to sleep while replaying their rolls in class in their minds!? It is seldom that the awesome technique you learned in class is going to go flawlessly upon contact with an uncooperative opponent. They will certainly try to counter your technique and often will be successful in their defence. This leads to the dreaded question.

I have 3 points for you to consider about the dreaded question:

1) Before asking about your opponent's counter, make sure you have a solid understanding of the mechanics of the initial and primary techniques. Don't be in a hurry to ask about the counter before you can demonstrate the first technique competently.
One thing at a time, and let's get the first one right before we jump to the next. Perhaps a better way to ask the question is I understand the first technique. When I try it, my opponent does this. What am I missing from the initial technique?

2) Understand that every technique has a counter. Just because there are well known counters to the basic techniques, does not invalidate the technique. After all, if there was a submission in bjj with no counter, we would only need to show that single move!
Ask yourself why higher belts can submit you with seemingly basic techniques even though you know the counter? What do they know that you do not? What are they doing differently?

14696006666_e8deb45252_k3) Many students will be discouraged from asking perfectly legitimate questions out of fear of violating this unwritten rule in bjj. The best learning environments are not static, where students passively memorize by rote, where no critical thinking is allowed. The students must be encouraged to examine the techniques from all directions and construct and deconstruct the mechanics; understand the give and take in a contest between two opponents.

If jiu-jitsu may be described as a chess match, then the intelligent student understands the interplay and reactions of the opponent to their own moves. Asking But what if my opponent does this?!? reveals that the student recognizes the dynamic, unpredictable nature of rolling and is looking to deepen their understanding of the flow of the fight.

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: The teaching that turns each day into the best one we’ve ever experienced

The Great Master Carlos Gracie, father of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu, didn't leave us only a legacy of great fighters and lovers of the gentle art. Nowadays, Carlos dream of showing BJJ to the world and how it can change a man regarding his character and his role on the planet, continues taking place day after day.


Many people look into jiu-jitsu for several reasons. The most common thoughts are: losing weight and learning self-defense. Of course, the reasons that lead an individual to seek the jiu-jitsu are numerous.

Speak to everyone about health, happiness and prosperity” Great Master Carlos Gracie

Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Sr. and Carlson Gracie

Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Sr. and Carlson Gracie

When you wear the kimono for the very first time, from that moment on, you start a new stage in your life. The training, the classes, and the teammates gain a unique value in your life. Sometimes, tiredness from the daily work and the hectic routine do leave you upset with your inner self, but the moment you get to your jiu-jitsu class, everything changes.

Just as you get onto the mat, the receptivity of friends and the atmosphere that surrounds all of that already makes you feel better. This change of energy, while the tiredness still screams inside you, makes you think, I could have gone home, I’d be watching TV, eating and sleeping. But not coming here to see these guys, the stress wouldn't have gone away and would have made my day just like any other.

This feeling does have an explanation and you can find it in the second teaching of Great Master Carlos Gracie: Speak to everyone about health, happiness and prosperity. The clan left by Carlos transmitted from generation to generation the energy, thoughts and sport, i.e., the lifestyle that the Great Master developed to make from simple jiu-jitsu lovers, great human beings.

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Banana Protein Muffin

September 24, 2014

We know and understand that maintaining a healthy lifestyle often can be somewhat boring when it comes to food. Chicken with sweet potato, protein shake, brown bread with cottage cheese and so on But with this trend of healthy lifestyle around the world, we can find many good recipes and then vary the menu.


We already know about many benefits that bananas can offer to our health. As such, recipes with this fruit are never too much. Today we will make a delicious and nutritious Banana Protein Muffin. Paper and pen in hand, let's get started!


bananas_21/2 cup of Oatmeal

1/2 ripe banana

4 egg whites

1 scoop of Vanilla Protein

2 Tbsp of sweetener

1/8 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of baking soda

1/8 tsp of baking powder

15g of ground nuts


Muffin-Protéico-de-Banana-e-Quinoa-31Preheat the oven between 200˚C and 250˚C (390 and 480F)

Mix the dry ingredients: oats, protein, sweetener, salt, baking soda and yeast.

Wet ingredients: Mash the banana with a fork and add the vanilla and egg whites.

In a bowl, mix the dry and wet ingredients with the nuts, until they are WELL blended.

Spread the dough in an aluminum baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Note: You can go poking with a toothpick until it comes out clean and dry, without pulling the dough (there's a banana inside, but you won't want to wait until it dries, otherwise the muffin itself will be totally burnt).

This article has only an informative purpose and is not intended to replace professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend that you visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

3 Ways Training Bjj Makes You Happier

September 17, 2014

The physical fitness benefits to the jiu-jitsu lifestyle include weight loss, increased flexibility, strength and endurance.
Less obvious but very important are the mental benefits. This writer is not a psychologist, but it is easy to observe the many ways that regular practitioners of bjj are happier.


1) Stress Relief

relax-2It is no secret that regular physical exercise is prescribed to alleviate the daily stresses of life that we are all subject to.
Instead of drinks after work, eating junk food (ways many people attempt to relax and change their mental state) going top the academy and getting a sweat going, burning away both stress and calories,.

I typically work for a few hours each morning before heading to the academy for the noon class. Often times I will be frustrated with some work problem or client interaction and head out the door tense muttering something like I'd like to tell that person a thing or two!

However, following a roll with friends and a period of time on the mat free from workaday cares, all of those huge problems miraculously have shrunk to a manageable size.

The client no longer seems so unreasonable and I am relaxed and able to return to work feeling clear headed and better equipped to handle my work.

2) Surrounded by Positive People

10380773_10152394181825873_118286673054790619_nWe tend to be shaped by our associations with the people we spend the most time around. Jim Rohn famously said that we are an aggregate of the 5 people that we spend the most time with in our lives.

Following the jiu-jitsu lifestyle we find ourselves in the company of training partners several times a week who are committed to a being healthy, self improvement and a more moderate approach to those lifestyle factors (ex. alcohol, fast foods etc.) that plague the health of so many average people.

Socializing around bjj friends, you are more likely to eat healthier, drink less alcohol, meet for more active activities like walking / hiking outdoors than hanging around a bar for happy hour.

In general, people following the jiu-jitsu lifestyle on and off the mat are more focused on positive self improvement and less likely to have a negative, give up easily mentality.
The cumulative effect of hanging around positive people will influence your own positive habits.

3) Self Esteem

Self esteem is an over used buzz word in the popular media. For our purposes let's define it simply as how you see yourself in a positive or negative light.

Increased ability to defend yourself can lead to more confidence in dealing with people. But there is a more subtle aspect to a positive self image.

10604423_10204886931563222_392004570018239690_oWhen you regularly attend class, keep to a healthy diet and avoid the unhealthy habits, you know that you are doing the work and keeping your agreements with yourself.

I had an old friend who was a horrible procrastinator. They would promise so many things and then fail to follow through with the actions required. One could observe how conflicted they were that they KNEW what they were supposed to be doing and yet had to acknowledge the truth that they were NOT doing what they said.
One could feel their stress and inner conflict about being undisciplined and self blame. This often leads to even more bad habits and further procrastination to escape the stress. It was a vicious cycle.

In contrast, regular attendance at the bjj academy builds your self discipline and you demonstrate to yourself that you are in control of your self and your life.
When you look in the mirror you may say to yourself I am really doing it. I am the kind of person who keeps my promises to myself and others.

That is a great way to face the world and life's challenges!

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt from GB Calgary, Canada
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

BJJ Training Tools?

September 9, 2014

Really? Training tools? As I can hear the silent screams of those who are reading this. And yes. There are training tools, items and what-have-yous that will bring a big advantage to your game. These are for the advanced students who seem to have nothing on their minds but BJJ. If you are that person, you may want to save up for these items. They can be very pricey, but at least you'll get to OWN one and OWN somebody with the added benefits of these training must-haves.


Training Masks?

1498010_664544920262818_790504610_oYes. The ever-scary training mask. These little puppies can go for around $50 to $100. You get to wear these during your cardio sessions. The advantage? It simulates high altitude training for added space for gas in your tank. UFC fighters use these for intense training. As I have tried using one of these, I can tell you it also adds a bit more psychological training into your session. Imagine being smothered while wearing one of these. Mental toughness training, hello!

Tip: some models come with a dial down number. Make sure to monitor your breathing. Don't go Spartan on these yet if you feel your cardio can't handle it.

Get a Dumbbell

These things are priceless. Unlike machines in gyms, these items are very versatile when it comes to BJJ training. Increasing upper body strength is critical. Work your way to BJJ training by adding these as your secret weapon. Will bigger muscles make you move slower? Not really. Some may be worried that adding mass will make movement a bit slower, well, someone has to sacrifice one for the other. But worry not, dumbbells actually have been proven to add more strength and flexibility in training. Try it out!

Suspension Trainers?

401345_10150686612668868_693484798_nSince the dawn of time, man has tried to fathom how to look good without doing so much on his end. In comes suspension training and the use of one's natural weight as resistance. Yes. The ever popular TRX. (Note, there are knock-offs around that can seriously put a damper on your physical well-being. Get the genuine ones!)

Suspension training is good because it uses the your body's natural weight. Typically, the average BJJ guy's strength is directly proportionate to the amount of weight + fat + and muscle mass. Now, taking into consideration these factors, suspension training tools can really help. Suspension training tools are lightweight, durable and can last for a long time. Good investment, if you ask anyone!

A Heavy Sparring Partner

Yes. It's the ideal partner. A person heavier than you are can be a good tool in improving your game. It is counter intituitive for most fighters, but in reality, taking on Goliath and winning can be good boost for your skill and experience. There is nothing more daunting than taking down a bigger guy (well, we all do know how to do this, right?) A human being is not a tool, but you get the point. The best training tool is a live person. Nothing can replace the instinct and the feel of a human flesh going against flesh!

Steel Sharpens Steel Why Your Training Partners Are So Important

September 8, 2014

One of my favorite quotes in combat sports is the below by UFC legend Randy Couture:

“ One of the quotes that I use a lot besides you're only as good as the guys you sweat and bleed with is that iron sharpens iron.So that one man sharpens another. I think that it is very true. If you are not in a training environment where you are getting smacked in the head, you are getting tapped out, you are getting challenged on a daily basis, then you are not getting any better. You're not improving. Your workout partners are a very important piece of your progression as an athlete and the character that you are building as a person as well. Those are key components and finding that right place is a piece of it. Randy Couture Wrestling For Fighting


One of the most popular topics discussed at any competition is the strength of certain teams in bjj. Serious competitors will move across the country to an academy with a strong competition team knowing that is what it will take for them to achieve their athletic potential.
Those who have the goal of winning a top championship have to decide sometimes between being the big fish on their home academy or moving to a shark tank where the waters are deeper. We see guys who can tap out everyone in their home academy purposely seek out even higher level practitioners in hopes that they will find harder training and be dominated! All for the ultimate goal of learning and raising their own level.

longquan_sword_making_techniqueefbbb19441cc840ad07fWhile the coaching at these top academies is top notch, it is the quality and quantity of your training partners that is the primary reason. More than the number of techniques one has memorized, your ability to identify and react almost instantly to your opponent is key. And this comes from training daily with partners who are sharp and fast themselves and force you to adapt and keep pace.
When all of your training partners are well conditioned and technical, if you are immersed in that environment you will have no other choice but raise your own level to keep pace with theirs!
One of the best athletes that I ever shared a mat with said to me one time ..the reason that team does so well is that they have a room full of monsters and there are no easy days at that academy. Everyone is forced to become better or they don't last.

Even for the non competitors, your training partners are no less important. These are the guys who you share your bjj journey with day in and day out year after year at the academy. They are the ones that you measure your growing abilities by and your friendly rivalries motivate you to get to the academy even when you feel a little lazy.
You place your trust and safety in their hands (and vice versa) each time you roll. You push each other to test your skills but know that a tap will allow you to restart and try again.
I remind some of the students at my Gracie Barra Academy that it is important that they show up for classes as a competition approaches even if they are not competing. The competitors are depending on their teammates to help them prepare. The non competitors in turn will be inspired and carried upwards along with the competitors in their preparations and raise their own conditioning and technique.

It is a source of pride for the entire academy when the team does well at a competition. Even the non competitors who helped the gold medal winners train in the their preparations can feel that they contributed in a small but significant way to the overall team victory.

IronSharpeningIron_865833410Part of our love of jiu-jitsu comes form the fact that as human beings, we want to be part of something greater than ourselves. And by being a good teammate, you become a valuable part of something larger than your own personal goals.

I once had a much smaller training partner who had a guard that was impossible for me to pass. He had developed his spider guard hooks combined with an attacking closed guard and each time you started to peel off his grips he would pull you back into closed guard and start attacking your arms.

I was frustrated after failing once again to pass his guard and he gave me a brief tutorial on what he was trying to do and how I might counter some of his grips. I appreciated his openness and expressed surprise that he was willing to reveal his secrets that would help me to pass his guard.

He said simply This is how we learn. If you get better at passing my guard, then my guard has to get better to stop you. And now everyone gets better and the entire level of the club is raised.

Top 4 Things In Your First Year of Training

September 3, 2014

The majority of the students in any bjj academy will be the white belts. This article is especially for you guys! Many feel a sense of being overwhelmed when starting Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Innumerable techniques each with many details to learn. Vulnerable in every position where do you start?

Where does one best concentrate their efforts?

1) The Flesh out your Positional Skeleton
Before sparring in bjj is productive, the student must have some idea of the positional hierarchy of bjj and hopefully a strategy to deal with each position that you find yourself in.

14767892348_458db280da_zThe Positional Hierarchy:
Rear mount
Knee on Belly
Side control
Half Mount
Guard TopGuard Bottom
Turtle Top / Turtle Bottom
Half Guard Bottom
Side control Bottom
Knee on Belly Bottom
Mount Bottom
Rear mount Bottom

If we look at this list as a skeleton of your bjj game, the instructor must help you flesh out the skeleton by providing you with:
inferior positions: escapes and safe arm positions
inferior positions: basic knowledge of how to defend the most common submissions
superior positions: how to maintain control the opponent and prevent their common escapes
superior positions: a high percentage and fundamental submission for your attacks
You need something in each position before sparring is really productive.

Captura-de-tela-2014-08-08-às-19.28.282) Mat Fitness
Students may posses a high level of general physical fitness when they start training jiu-jitsu, but little can prepare you for the sports specific fitness that one needs for bjj.
Movements like shrimping / hip escapes, bridges, planking and pushing at odd angles are not intuitive for most beginners. Normal weight training routines centered around bodybuilding exercises do not prepare the body for these movements.

Most warmups contain some of these bjj specific drills that will start to train those patterns into the muscles. I am a strong advocate of arriving a few minutes early to class to perform a few of those important movements on your own.
Mat fitness also refers more generally to such other things as grip strength, isometric holds and the stability and strength required for bracing the core of your torso.
Anyone who has ever been forced off the mat to heal an injury despite doing all they can in the weight room to maintain their conditioning is reminded upon their return how much of conditioning for bjj is very sports specific.
There is no other way to obtain true mat fitness than getting on the mat!

14992124566_0b6aa6aec6_z3) Survival on the Bottom
When students first begin sparring they discover that old adage No plan of action survives first contact with the enemy is all too true!
If you are rolling with higher belts you will very likely end up on the bottom and defending an onslaught of submissions.
You simply need the tools to survive and look to escape. If you lack the proper posture on bottom and safe defensive arm positions, the top opponent will always be able to control you and you will quickly become exhausted from defending.
I saw one new student who did not yet know where to safely position his arms when on the bottom of side control. His arms were constantly vulnerable to attacks from the top and in addition to being stuck on bottom he was getting submitted!
A little specific coaching on how to create a defensive posture on the bottom with framing his arms and now he was able to start escaping and getting to the top.

bjj top position4)Posture on the Top
Being on the top is all about base, posture and pressure. Base and posture the first priority though! If you have a poor base, you will constantly be getting swept and fighting from the bottom.
Posture in the guard, keeping your arms in a safe position and having a low, solid base are the starting points for any passes that you want to work.

Recently, I observed a lesser experienced student trying to pass the closed guard. They were trying to hand fight and consistently were having their head pulled down breaking the posture and fending off a succession of triangles and armlocks before eventually losing balance and being swept to their back.
Before the next class, I took the student aside and showed where to place the hands correctly and safely from armlock attacks. Reminded to keep the hips low and the base wide. The difference in their ability to maintain balance and keep the top position was immediately noticeable in their very next roll.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of things the first year student needs to learn. Your instructor will help you learn the fundamentals.
This list will help you allocate your efforts to address the most common challenges of the first year of training.

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: And if you fail, try again

September 2nd, 2014

Whatever the reason that motivates you to keep training, competing, or even teaching, all of us have faced or will face some kind of frustration. Of course, when you follow the right way, the probability of this happening is reduced, but will never be zero.


But after all, how come the frustration in an environment that we like so much to be in? The point is that, in order to really feel good when you wear the kimono, it is necessary to be all right with everything that surrounds you. Family, financial and/or personal issues If your energy on some of these points is not from normal to excellent, anything else seems to not be good either.

tichaRisking everything to build a training academy, resigning anything to follow another dream that came up inside you In short: Try. Trying and failing is possible. However, some people do not know how to deal with this kind of frustration and end up falling into dismay, wavering and weakness.

Like everything in life, trying does not mean trying only once. To conquer something it's necessary to keep trying. Always.

Persistence is the quality of those who got there. If you are experiencing a problem and is feeling discouraged, remember:

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan

BJJ Quotes: 10 more pieces of BJJ wisdom to inspire and instruct

September 1st, 2014

The first Blog post on BJJ quotes was very popular, so here are 10 more pieces of BJJ wisdom to inspire and instruct.

1) Discipline and consistency. I owe these two factors all have attained in my life.
Things have never happened overnight. Results have appeared as a consequence of decades long toil. It is necessary to persist.
Carlos Gracie Jr.

master_carlos2) There are no shortcuts in Jiu-Jitsu, on the mats, the truth is always exposed

3) “Even when you spar during training, you should minimize your natural talents.
By limiting yourself, you may find yourself in much worse situation, but you are forced to think your way out, using techniques you would not have otherwise used.
When you start doing this, you begin to understand what is really wrong in a certain situation and you begin to understand what actually needs to be done in a technical way in order to improve the situation.
You then begin to develop a real, deep progress, understanding the mechanics of any situation.”
Rickson Gracie

4) I always want to be in the top position. Always. My entire game is built around sweeping my opponent and getting on top where I can use agility, positioning, and gravity to overwhelm my opponent's defences
Marcelo Garcia

5) something she mentions that she learned from Marcelo. I don't think this is giving away some big secret, I'm sure others have thought of it before. But she says, one thing she learned from Marcelo is that while some people think you should train techniques on both sides this is actually limiting your training time and development.

Since you are training both sides you're cutting down the effectiveness of one side by 50%. So if you train certain techniques to only one side, your using your training time more efficiently and increasing the potential effectiveness of the technique.

Secondly, if you train a certain moves) to one side, you can then train specific moves to the other side, moves that naturally feed into the other move based on your opponents reactions/defence/counter.
Stephan Kesting of Grapplearts

mullen_article12.1_August2014the-book-of-five-rings6) Athletes are not permitted certain luxuries like drinking, partying, and eating whatever they want.
Rafa Mendes

7) I can now attest that the experience of grappling with an expert is akin to falling into deep water without knowing how to swim.
You will make a furious effort to stay afloat—and you will fail.
Once you learn how to swim, however, it becomes difficult to see what the problem is— why can’t a drowning man just relax and tread water?
The same inscrutable difference between lethal ignorance and lifesaving knowledge can be found on the mat: To train in BJJ is to continually drown—or, rather, to be drowned, in sudden and ingenious ways—and to be taught, again and again, how to swim.
Sam Harris

8) “Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.”
Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

9) “The deepest benefits of Jiu Jitsu come off the mat. It encourages a world-view based upon the idea of rational problem solving.
Jiu Jitsu is all about solving problems that are rapidly changing under stress, and that gives you an ability to identify the crux of the problem in front of you,
even in a stressful situation and adapt your body and tactics to overcome that problem and to continue overcoming it as the problem itself changes.
It encourages you to use a very rational trial and error method, basically the same method that science uses to overcome these problems.
So it gives you this sort of problem solving mind set, which I think applies throughout life itself.”
John Danaher

10) “I’ ve always been a fan of the basics. After you have a good solid foundation of Jiu-Jitsu, the rest comes by instinct. You create, invent. The rest is easy. The difficult part is the beginning.”
Carlos Gracie Jr.

What BJJ quote inspires you?

5 Unconventional Guards that People Love or Hate!

August 29, 2014

Jiu-Jitsu practitioners are always adding new techniques to their arsenal. Sometimes they even create their own techniques. The guard is arguably the most important part of BJJ. Closed, and open guards for example are fundamental in Jiu-Jitsu. The evolution of Jiu-Jitsu in recent years however has created guards not traditionally used before. Competition may be the cause of several new guards to be show up. Never the less, BJJ practitioners continue to develop new guard techniques.


The following are examples of guards that you may not be familiar with. They also get criticized for a variety of reasons but I believe a good technique is one that works. Everyone is different. What may work for one person doesn’t work for another. As a purple belt, I personally don’t focus too much on learning how to attack from these guards. I do however like to get a general idea of the mechanics. Feeling helpless is one of the most frightening and humbling experiences when training Jiu-Jitsu. This helps me know what to watch out for and defend when necessary.

50/50 Guard

This guard is wildly criticized in competition for its tendencies to stall a fight. Though many practitioners have been able to use this guard effectively to submit and sweep this guard has built up this reputation within BJJ competition.

Here, Professor Falavio Almeida demonstrates some attacks from the 50/50 position.

Tornado Guard

I first noticed the tornado guard a couple years ago after its movements reminded me of break dancing. It requires a good amount of flexibility, which can prevent some practitioners from using the technique. The mechanics are interesting but I personally don’t use it in fear of being smashed by bigger opponents. If this guard interests you, take a look at the inverted guard too.

In this video Roberto ‘Cyborg” Abreu demonstrates some tornado guard techniques.

Worm Guard

BJJ competitor Keenan Cornelius developed the worm guard as an evolution off the lapel guard. He’s been able to use it effectively in competition. The move involves feeding a loosened lapel around an opponent’s leg.

Take a look at Keenan using the worm guard in this fascinating breakdown video.

Rubber Guard

The rubber guard is primarily a no-gi technique that was popularized by 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu founder Eddie Bravo. It does require flexibility on the part of the user. By breaking down an opponent and controlling them in “mission control”, the rubber guard user can effectively transition into several different submissions.

In this video, Eddie Bravo demonstrates some of the basic rubber guard techniques.

Donkey Guard

I believe Jeff Glover is one of, if not the most entertaining competitor in Jiu-Jitsu today. He loves to trigger emotion in the crowed and is a true showman. It’s a fundamental rule to never turn your back on your opponent but Glover challenges that idea with the use of the donkey guard. If you haven’t done so already, check out his match with Baret Yoshida at Metamoris 4. It sums up Glovers entertaining personality and unconventional style of Jiu-Jitsu.

Jeff Glover demonstrates the donkey guard.

As a student of BJJ, do you use any of these guards?

4 Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu for Students

August 28, 2014

This is one of the most dreaded times of the year for many students. Summer break is over which means students will be heading back to school. For most students, this means dealing with homework, midterms, sleepless nights, and trying to find a date to the dance. Not to mention trying to figure out what they want to do in life. Finding time and motivation to train Jiu-Jitsu can be difficult. Here are some benefits to doing Jiu-Jitsu as a student.


14992124566_0b6aa6aec6_z1. Breaking Barriers

School kids tend to form groups depending on interest. This is especially true in high school. For the most part, interaction at lunch, or after school stays within the group. Jiu-Jitsu attracts many different types of students. It can be a great way to bridge the gap between different groups in school. This can help create a better experience in school for many students.

Side note: Don’t be afraid to suggest to other students to give Jiu-Jitsu a try. Most Jiu-Jitsu Academies offer a free intro class. Many people start BJJ through a friend’s recommendation. You just never know who will catch the bug.

2. Cross-training

Students may also participate in sports such as football, or basketball. Cross training in BJJ can be beneficial during the regular or off-season. Jiu-Jitsu can help athletes achieve greater strength. By utilizing muscles in a different way, athletes can develop additional strength. Jiu-Jitsu utilizes a person’s flexibility. Increased flexibility is advantageous in many other sports. Athletes wishing to supplement there sports with Jiu-Jitsu would notice increased flexibility.

14779665319_ea92525823_z3. Fighting the Freshman Fifteen

The freshman fifteen is a term used to describe the weight freshmen gain in their first year of college. The weight gain could be due to a variety of reasons. Increased stress, input of junk food, and a typical college lifestyle can be causes. Regardless, going to Jiu-Jitsu on a regular basis can be a great way to stay in shape and avoid the dreaded freshman fifteen.

4. Getting a Clear Head

Whether you’re a part time or full time student, school can be overwhelming. The stress of a final exam, turning in a 20-page term paper, or worrying about passing a class can get to you. Jiu-Jitsu is great to relieve the temporary worries students may have. You tend to forget the stress of a term paper when you have someone trying to choke you! Studying is great, but too much can burn you out too. Manage your mental health, just as much as you’re physical if not more.

Do I Still Need To Build Muscles?

Ok. So there are a lot of heated debates about building muscle mass vs. building muscle by only relying on BJJ. Interestingly enough, there are also those who say that too much muscle makes you slow. Others say less muscle and just bjj know-how can do the trick.


BJJ Requires Strength

Yes. You heard it loud and clear. I can already hear the murmurs in the background. Wrestlers have a good base. Pretty easy to beat in grappling matches up until they learn how to defend and submit (cue thriller music). Then they become good. Wrestlers undergo rigorous strength and conditioning training. While the sport may seem to focus on keeping a good base, a bit of throws while they are at it, and they are establishing a good base for a sport such as BJJ.

On the BJJ MatsSubmission Requires Strength

Although leveraging the weak points in joints or choking your opponents may seem easy, high-level competitors will not easily be submitted. Those who have been in the game for quite some time are more difficult to submit. Don't expect to submit a black belt with a gazillion stripes just by having the right amount of muscle to do so. It is an exercise in futility. These guys understand and are used to the strain, pain, and constant pressure.

Push and Pull

These are all constant movements in BJJ. Well, constant directions in physics as well. Pushing and pulling your opponents, pushing them off, away, and pulling them close etc. These actions really require strength and lots of it. Not to mention stamina (which we will cover in future articles).

Tips for Strength Conditioning

We don't want to sound long winded here. There are however debates (again) on how to develop strength. Different schools of thought, trainers, gyms, and programs all may say different things. But there are foolproof techniques to build strength.

Here is an interesting set for strength and conditioning. Credits to

Super Set #1

Cable Punches – In the cable crossover machine, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and take one step forward to get into your boxing stance. Grasp a handle in each hand and alternate between jab and cross.
Barbell Lunge – With a barbell on your shoulders, take a large step forward. Lower your back knee towards the floor, keeping the shin of the front leg perpendicular to the floor until that thigh is parallel to the floor. Come back up and step back to the starting position; alternate legs.

Super Set #2

Kneeling Cable Hooks – Kneel on the floor and pull the cable under and across your body, keeping your arm at a 90 degree angle to simulate hooks in ground and pound.
Smith Machine Hip Bumps – Place a bench under the Smith Machine and lay on it with your hips under the bar. Thrust your hip upwards.

mullen_articleAugkettlebells2014Super Set #3

Dumbbell Bench Press – Using both hands, balance a dumbbell over your chest and push upwards while lying on a bench.
Ab Roll Out – Kneel on the floor, bracing your weight with your toes. With both hands on the ab wheel, roll forward in a controlled motion and then roll back.

Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Entered the comfort zone? Escape from it right now!

Jiu-jitsu is a sport in which every day we can learn a little more. A person, regardless of their level of refinement in his moves, the endless energy or the better physical conditioning, will never know all the techniques if there are in fact all of them. He or she will not learn everything, and not due to being unable or having any difficulty. The point is that jiu-jitsu is an art in constant evolution, where older guys learn with the newest and vice versa.


From self-defense trainings to the ones focused on competitions, being an activity done by a single student or a top athlete from your school, we all have to learn how to define training priorities. But why are we talking about priorities in training?

Prioritizing what you like most does not always mean the best choice for you. Many times, that guy who chooses to train his favorite move (and only that one) ends up in what we call the comfort zone;. To make it easier to understand, imagine that you are an expert when it comes to performing the armlock. Every time you train with someone, you pull him or her and go for the arm. You do this with everyone, but it has reached a stage where all your opponents already know what you will do and they begin to surprise you in competitions or trainings. You then keep insisting on that strategy and get more and more frustrated. Well, if this is happening to you is because you are in the comfort zone where comfort means nothing good at all.

Getting out of our own comfort zone is what we always need to do, because when this happens we mature, we become stronger and we are always ready for war. (Eliedson McKinley)

lifebeginssmallFrom that point arises the need to set priorities to your classes and techniques learned. Training the unknown, learning new positions, risking and putting in practice that new knowledge just acquired during the practice… It's all part of the priorities of a complete jiu-jitsu student and practitioner, i.e., a versatile one. Being versatile does not mean that you have to put aside that favorite blow, but that you will add other options to it - the ones that will help you to be more complete and effective on the mat.

When you leave the comfort zone, you can better recognize your flaws and how to work on and correct them. Besides evolving as a gentle art practitioner, another lesson is learned and taken for life. As our Master of the Masters would say: For every single achievement, you'll have to forgo a comfort zone. Will only walk on the water that one who tried giving up the comforts of the boat.

Tournament Mistakes That You Can Avoid

A tournament is a culminating activity where BJJ artists get to test their strengths against other competitors. The excitement built up can be unnerving. After all, there is no way of knowing what your opponent can bring onto the table (or the mat). You can succeed in any tournament. But do ask yourself - have you done your homework before signing up for tournaments?


There are tournament mistakes that newbies commit. Often perceived as minor mistakes, they will take a toll (and a huge one) on your performance. But, the writers of Gracie Barra wouldn't want you to fail. We want you to succeed. And thus, here we are enumerating tournament mistakes that can be avoided.

Not Warming Up

IMG_7385Revving your car's engine after a cold start up is a bad thing. The rule is the same for BJJ artists such as yourself. Imagine the amount of strain that you are going to put on your muscles. When muscles aren't warm enough, they won't perform well. Not to mention the huge risk of getting injured. So please do take around 10-15 to warm up. You will be glad you did.

Not taking breaks in between matches

Whoa! this is a big one! You are so psyched that you won your first match. And the elated feeling makes you restless. Bad idea. When the adrenaline dump sets in while your body is not recovering in between matches, your body will take up cortisol (the stress hormone). This makes you a bit anxious. Take the time to calm down in between matches. Again, you would be glad you did.

Being Late

Oh my. Seriously. Among mistakes of newbies in tournaments, this has got to be the easiest one to avoid. It's a big day for you! Why be late? Imagine rushing into the venue all sweaty, and still without your gi on (running is a good warm-up, anyway), or worse, defaulting a match!

1900176_10203365674412744_989482508_nNot Making Weight

This is a tricky bit. When you do not make weight, some leagues will not even let you compete. Even boxers who do not make weight get penalized or will be asked to wear bigger gloves! Other leagues will allow you to move weight classes at the last minute. Good luck with that one.

Making too Many Changes in your Game Plan

Win by points or by submission? So you have decided to win by points, then all of a sudden, you felt this burning desire to submit someone. The question is: did you drill enough on your submission for you to be confident that you can submit someone? If the answer is no, stick to what you know. If the window of opportunity to submit someone opens, by all means do so and vice versa.

You are new, but your path to BJJ success lies in doing these things right. Competitions provide the best learning experience for you! Priceless lessons for each BJJ follower out there. Learn to do things right the first time, and you can never go wrong!

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!

Lessons From a 400 Year Old Samurai Swordsmen Miyamoto Musashi A Book of Five Rings

August 7, 2014

What the Samurai did with their swords, we do with our hands Helio Gracie

A Book of Five Rings written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645 is a popular book today, not only among martial artists but among business leaders looking for strategic advantages on the corporate battlefield.

mullen_article12.1_August2014the-book-of-five-ringsThe book provide an insight to the Bushido Code the philosophy and values of those warriors of feudal Japan but also the tactics that proved successful in life or death sword fights.
Modern day students read in hope that those samurai can provide readers clues to their own development as jiu-jitsu practitioners and martial artists.

Consider the following; my favourite quote from A Book of Five Rings

The mountain-sea spirit If the enemy thinks of the mountains, attack like the sea; and if he thinks of the sea, attack like the mountains. You must research this deeply.

How does this centuries old advice relate to the jiu-jitsu practitioner in the era of smart phones bjj apps and Youtube bjj techniques? Is it even relevant anymore?

Some of the fundamental principles of combat have changed little since the days of sword battles between feudal warlords.

Let us look at a few examples of how to use the Mountain / Sea principle in our jiu-jitsu:
If you are aware that your opponent wants to steer the fight towards a certain position (that is likely their strongest position) then utilize an opposite strategy that forces the opponent to use a position that they are far weaker at.

If you are having a roll with an opponent who is known for their dangerous closed guard you can use a strategy to not allow the opponent to bring the match into their area of strength. You employ a strategy of passing from distance with a standing bull fighter guard pass or you could even choose to jump to guard and forcing them to play top!

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 8.42.16 PMYour opponent has a speed advantage over you and is using a lot of movement from position to position. By using your grips and being tighter with your controls, you can slow the match down and nullify the speed advantage of the opponent.

Conversely, if the opponent is stronger and prefers a slower, more static match, by creating scrambles and making the opponent adjust at a faster pace than they are mentally ready for, you may confuse them and get ahead on the positions.

Listen to MMA commentators that identify the strengths of each fighter and observe as the grappler (the mountains) repeatedly takes down his striker (the sea) and never allows him the chance to use his strongest kicks and punches.
Alternatively the striker uses foot work and defensive wrestling (the sea) to force the grappler to use his less potent striking (the mountains)

Employing strategy and tactics to overcome a skilled opponent is higher expression of the art of jiu-jitsu.

What Is Your Battle?

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle”. What is Yours?

Any time a new student comes through the doors at Gracie Barra I always take a moment to introduce myself, find out their name and ask a few questions about their background, how they found out about the academy. To me, the most interesting question however is always What made you decide to take up Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

We live in a period unprecedented in human history where we are exposed to limitless amounts of entertainment media and demands for our attention and that is in addition to the demands of making a living, family and life in general. The question becomes a compelling one: Why would someone tie on a white belt and step on the mat ,overcoming their apprehension of the unknown and the daunting task of learning the most complex martial art in existence?
Having taught classes for many years and met thousands of new faces, I continue to be amazed at the new and different responses that I receive.

FD3U3982Firstly, allow me to point out that it is the minority of the students in any academy who consider BJJ competition as their primary reason for training in jiu-jitsu.
I recall seeing a figure that 15-20% in most bjj academies will be interested in the sport competition aspect.

The top competitors receive a disproportionate amount of the attention in bjj publications. And perhaps deservedly so!

We are all inspired by the almost superhuman physical conditioning that they achieve. We all learn from their innovations in techniques which they test under the harsh lights of the competitive stage. The constant push for newer strategies continues to push the evolution of the art. The drama of a championship bout and the electricity of witnessing a competitor overcome great odds to be crowned a Worlds Champion can stay in our collective minds for years and become the stuff of BJJ legend.

But, in your own academy are stories nearly as inspiring by the people rolling and sweating beside you on the mat everyday.
BJJ legend Renzo Gracie Tweeted a quote that I found originated by J.M. Barrie.

“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle”.

This is a perspective reflected in the Gracie Barra philosophy of Jiu-jitsu for everyone.

I have encountered people on the mat who:

- revealed that they were struggling with the breakup of a marriage and needed a place to clear their minds in the midst of turmoil

- were recovering from a serious accident and looking for a means of physical therapy to rebuild their fitness and strength for life
- someone whose family member was diagnosed with terminal cancer and finding that jiu-jitsu helped them clear their mind and cope with their emotional pain and sense of helplessness
- painfully shy young people looking for a way to build confidence and be able to face the world with their heads held high
- were recovering from a battle with substance abuse, looking for a way to add stability to their lives and replace a self destructive habit with a healthy one
- overcoming a battle with obesity and using the jiu-jitsu lifestyle to create a new way for them to get healthy and enjoy life
- women seeking a way to regain confidence and a feeling of personal safety after being involved in an abusive relationship or experiencing a scary brush with street violence

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 10.37.54 PM

For that hour period on the mat you can put aside your worldly problems, free your mind and find some relief from heavy thoughts while working on making your body and mind strong to withstand the stresses of life.

One can only wonder at the personal stories of that quiet person beside you on the mat at your academy.
What is your story?

Credits: Mark Mullen
GB Black belt from GB Calgary, Canada
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Gracie Barra Oceania Training Day, Amazing Black Belt Video!

Check out this amazing video from the Gracie Barra Oceania Training Day in May 2014. Featuring Gracie Barra black belts from Australia and New Zealand.

The Gracie Barra Oceania training day was carried out at Gracie Barra Oceania HQ in Sydneys Northern Beaches. The day was a huge success with over 130 people attending form the Oceania region. Â The little champs and juniors had an energetic and fun filled session in the morning. Lunch broke up the proceedings, and a womans only class followed in the afternoon. Â Straight after this the mats were packed for the inspiring black belt promotions and speeches of Nick Boca who now trains at Gracie Barra Caringbah, and Stefano Benvenuto From Gracie Barra Sydney.

The final session of the day came to a close with a black belt only session of 21 black belts exchanging positions and submissions! Having the range of styles and skills from the one team training together is just one of the reasons Gracie Barra is leading the way, in the region and across the globe!


Got Jiu What is the Jiu in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

While teaching the standup throws portion of a class at Gracie Barra I was trying to communicate to the class ( largely made up of white belts ) the idea of using your opponent's momentum to set up the opponent for the throw. I paused and asked the class Does anybody here know what the jiu in jiu-jitsu stands for? Several sets of shoulders shrugged and blank stares were the response. I saw that I needed to explain further.

mullen_article5.1_July2014First of all, let's break up the two words: jiu means gentleness or giving way the meaning of jitsu is art, practice. The part we are interested in is the concept of ju / jiu. The founder of judo, Dr. Jigoro Kano wrote in his book Kodokan Judo (and I can not improve upon his definition) so let us listen to Kano as he explains:

Jujutsu may be translated as the gentle art, judo as the Way of gentleness, with the implication of first giving way to ultimately gain victory.

To understand what is meant by gentleness or giving way, let us say a man is standing before me whose strength is ten, and that my own strength is but seven. If he pushes me as hard as he can, I am sure to be pushed back or knocked down, even if I resist with all my might. This is opposing strength with strength. But if instead of opposing him I give way to the extent he has pushed, withdrawing my body and maintaining my balance, my opponent will lose his balance. Weakened by his awkward position, he will be unable to use all his strength. It will have fallen to three. Because I retain my balance, my strength remains at seven. Now I am stronger than my opponent and can defeat him by using only half my strength, keeping the other half available for some other purpose. Even if you are stronger than your opponent, it is better first to give way. By doing so you conserve energy while exhausting your opponent.

This is but one example of how you can defeat an opponent by giving way.
It was because so many techniques made use of this principle that the art was named jujutsu.

In an interview, world class competitor Ryan Hall said Jiu-jitsu is not a collection of techniques or moves. It is HOW TO MOVE. What Ryan was communicating was the underlying use of the principle of ;giving way that makes bjj so effective as a fighting sport and art. We tend to focus on specific techniques or positions as the most important part of bjj training and they ARE important but in focusing too closely upon finding the perfect move for a situation we may overlook the idea that it is HOW it is applied that is the secret of jiu-jitsu.

mullen_article5_July2014Let's look at an example I observed in a tournament recently: I saw a pair of highly skilled and conditioned bluebelts start a match. One of the competitors pulled guard and the top competitor attempted to pass to the left with a knee cut guard pass. The competitor on the bottom defended well and the two became locked in a struggle to see who could overcome the other's leverages and grips. The entire duration of the match elapsed without either having attempted any other technique!

Now, on the surface they were using bjj techniques. However, there was little evidence of using the principle of jiu-jitsu. Instead of trying to find an easier way around, the top competitor tried to force his pressure in the same direction and directly opposed the force of the bottom.

Jigoro Kano, observing the match, may have coached the guard passer to first try his pass to the left and cause his opponent to direct all of his defense (grips, angles, posture) in that specific direction. Once the bottom competitor had fully committed his mental intention and physical defense the passer may have suddenly switched to the opposite direction and run around unopposed to his opponent's back.

Simply by being flexible tactically and changing direction to the opponent's weak side the opponent's defense may be overcome with far less need of muscular strength and speed.

The last story I'd like to share was something one of my old bjj instructors said in class. We watched a titanic struggle where one student had unsuccessfully tried to attack the other with a kimura for several minutes in the match. Unable to break the opponent's defensive grip, he returned to the instructor and asked what else could he have done to get the kimura? Was there a grip break he needed? Did he need to spend more time on weights and get stronger? The instructor slowly shook his head You can not keep trying to walk through a wall! He mimicked banging his head against an immovable wall, You have to look for another way,..look for a window on the other side! The frustrated student, realizing the point, understood his mistake. The kimura works, but he was not using the principle of jiu-jitsu to make the kimura effective.

The next time you are stuck in a position, instead of trying to walk through that wall, utilize the concept of jiu-jitsu and look for an easier route. Jigoro Kano would nod in approval!

Credits: Mark Mullen
GB Black belt from Gracie Barra Calgary, Canada
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

Pitfalls to fully learning BJJ

July 10, 2014

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory Ralph Waldo Emerson


There is so much about Jiu-Jitsu that it may take a lifetime to learn, hear, and understand most of the important facets that leads any student to fully succeed. However, success in BJJ does not happen overnight. Most will wish that it did, but it won't. Not ever.

14379755797_2c416bc5a7_kMost newbies can succeed in BJJ. But there are some who may leave their learning to theories and that's about it. Theories do not make a fighter. Training does.

To our dear readers: here is one of the pitfalls of learning jiu-jitsu too much theory pitfall.

Imagine a student who is into BJJ. A student who has seen all of the videos on YouTube. This student made it a habit to wake up in the morning and check all of the videos that he can find. He even goes as far as subscribing to different gurus on the internet to be a part of their mailing list. He knows a lot about Jiu-Jitsu. And yet he has never come close to attending classes for weeks!

This student signed up for a competition and lost. He feels that he does not deserve the loss because he has studied BJJ. He eventually quits.

Theories do not make the fighter. It's the practice of being a fighter that makes him. To feed one's mind in BJJ is a good thing. A smart fighter is a good fighter. The fighter who knows a lot is a fighter who has the advantage over his opponent. However, a fighter who limits himself to text book knowledge will be a fighter that is good only for the books or in debates. The lack of action in training cannot make a fighter. It's that's simple.

IProfessor Ze Radiolan Gracie Barra, the professors that we look up to and idolize have paid their dues in both in action and in knowledge.

To do a thing is to apply what we know. Know then apply.

Put on your Gi and read the books. Ask for knowledge that can help you become one of the best there is. An ounce of action, or even less, trumps out tons of knowledge that you may have stored in your head.

Your success in BJJ awaits you. Improving your BJJ skills is a drill, a session, a tournament away! It's close. All you need to do is to just get on it and do it.



This article was inspired by one of the dear Professors that I have worked with in BJJ. Hours of conversation with him regarding holes in my personal game has gained me insight to what I feel is what I lack. I am the student who has known so much about BJJ and plateaued into it. Thank you, Professor JP.

Credits: Nilo Valle Chinilla


Taking Care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: The jiu-jitsu as a character builder.

Those who have never been in contact with the gentle art cannot imagine how this sport can transform in all respects an individual. Initially, the learned techniques, some less pounds and the first degrees achieved are the stimuli that lead someone to continue. After some time, he/she adds a differentiated value to those moments before the so-anticipated training of the day.


You start waking up every day already thinking about that training moment. When this starts to happen, you can be sure that this is the love for the art gaining some space in your life. Thereafter, the ramifications that the jiu-jitsu lifestyle offers to you will be expansion of your character. But how is this possible? People from outside and who have never worn a kimono do not understand. But we can explain to them and to you who may have not gotten one of our principles.

For those who do not deeply get the power of this sport, jiu-jitsu will simply work as any other physical exercise. But after all, what is doing jiu-jitsu? Those who limit themselves to the physical and educational part of the sport are wrong. Doing jiu-jitsu is not only about the self defense techniques and the belts that identify those more or less skilled and experienced in the dojo.

The cooperation between the mind and the art may convert frail men into super beings

- Grandmaster Carlos Gracie

Jiu-jitsu is a daily practice that will always add something to the character formation of the individual. Sometimes, when we know a little more than the fellow who just started training the day before or have some difficulties to learn, we are tested. Not by the knowledge. Involuntarily, in some cases, people tend to see themselves as superior to others. Managing the ego is not such a simple task. Learning that regardless work, group, sex or age we are all equal on the mat, is a slow and gradual process.

aperto-300x300In the gentle art we learn every day to grow as human beings and as athletes. Having the humbleness to improve with the beginner student and absorb the experience transmitted by the older ones is a sign that you are evolving in a field where many people may have not even learned the basic ABCs. Achieving success on and off the mats is not about being recognized for your force or technical excellence. Achieving your objectives is also learning habits that will make you be remembered for your attitudes towards other people.

This kind of learning does not come from a lesson plan specifically designed for that. Helping people to improve their spirit is something shared since the very beginning of the BJJ. The Great Master Carlos Gracie, before going down in history as the father of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, gave us one of the most beautiful teachings: The cooperation between the mind and the art may convert frail men into super beings

With these words we learn and teach far beyond the technique. Doing jiu-jitsu is much more than simply training or sweating a little. Doing jiu-jitsu is to evolve in a sphere where many people pass their whole lives without ever graduating.


BJJ Lifestyle: Spar and Learn



Sparring is going against a teammate in a fight, where enough rules are set to avoid injuries. Often sparring is a good way to gauge someone's skills, especially in BJJ.

Now the big question is, should you spar? Or better yet, are you ready to spar?

"JiuJitsu Gracie Barra Professor Marcos Perez shows armbar"I can still remember the first time I was asked to spar. I sparred with this blue belt guy. In sparring, no one gets to lose (well, getting choked or being submitted counts as losing.) The idea of the spar is quite simple: knowing your skills so when you hit the competition arena, you know where you stand, and know how well you can do.

Anyhow, I sparred with the guy, and sad to say, I was submitted 8 times within 5 minutes. After all, his belt level is higher than mine - but it was a tough lesson to learn: there is no BJJ miracle. You have to work hard to get the skills to become really good at it. I thought that I was going to get a submission, but it was far from happening back in the day.

However, sulking as anyone should be after being submitted that much in less than 5 minutes, I began to focus on what I needed. I began working on a gameplan: not getting submitted.

In the following weeks of sparring, I was able to ward off attacks and subs, but I knew that it would not get me anywhere if I did. However, being able to learn how to defend myself is the key to learning the very basics of the guard and the counters.

With sparring, I started becoming very good at my skills. I started to learn how submissions really work. And it's all because of sparring.

Gracie Barra Seattle Martial Arts JiuJitsuI've seen students who refuses to spar, or at least are too shy to. But the lessons to be learned from sparring are really great. Remember this: BJJ is a skill-based art. It's something that you need to be able to do and not just know how to do. It's training your body. It's feeding your mind to develop muscle memory.

Make it a point to spar at least once a week. Think of it as a culmination of an entire week's worth of training. Apply what you have learned. Get used to it and be good at it!

Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu: The power of coconut oil.

After some time available in the market, the coconut oil is gathering more and more fans, due to its numerous health benefits. Earlier, this oil would be only found in some specialized natural products stores. Nowadays, it can be easily bought in any market, becoming a daily product for anyone who is looking for a healthier life-style.

But why should we talk about that oil in our website? Because it is something beneficial. And when we hear about something beneficial to our health, we look for it, study it, and share what we find. Below you will learn a bit more about coconut oil and its benefits to our health. After all, eating well is health. Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu.


What is coconut oil?

Coconut oil is a kind of oil extracted from the coconut, being basically the pulp of this fruit, which is processed and refined. It is not such a big mystery, right? But what about its benefits? Well there are many of them.

Coconut Oil Benefits

1586240-300x2251 – ANTIOXIDANT Action – It helps to reduce the production of free radicals. This is especially due to the direct action of Vitamin E, present in this oil, making it beneficial reducing this stress on the body.

2 – CHOLESTEROL – It helps to reduce the bad CHOLESTEROL – LDL, promoting the increase of the good CHOLESTEROL – HDL levels, contributing, this way, to prevent cerebral and cardiovascular diseases.

3 – It helps to LOSE WEIGHT – Being an easy-absorption food, and a source of MEDIUM CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES (MCT), it is rapidly converted in energy instead of being converted to fat in the body. It is considered a thermogenic food. Besides this, it stimulates the thyroid, increasing the basal metabolism.

4 – It improves the IMMUNE system – acting to prevent and combat WORMS, BACTERIA AND FUNGUS, since it has a high concentration of Lauric Acid, which enhances nutrient absorption, increasing the body's defenses.

produto_614_1291298696.43-230x3005 –It regulates the INTESTINAL FUNCTIONS – working in both in diarrhea and constipation prevention. It helps to eliminate pathogenic bacteria (the harmful ones), protecting and helping the development of the friendly flora.

6 – It improves the THYROID functions – mobilizing the bad CHOLESTEROL – LDL, through an enzymatic process, and produces anti-aging hormones and prevents some diseases related to that.

7 – COSMETIC Action – It can be applied every day on the skin, or even on the hair as a natural conditioner. Besides hydrating the skin and not having free radicals, it prevents wrinkles. It inhibits the skin bacteria proliferation, including those responsible for acne, being used for massages and skin treatments.

8 – DERMATOLOGIC action – Besides the bactericidal effect on the skin, it may be used as a cicatrizing agent on wounds and insect bites, to relieve burns and, more than that, in herpes and candidiasis treatment.

9 – DIABETES – It helps to keep the insulin levels stable in the blood, providing a higher satiation feeling. Being easily absorbed, it does not stimulate the insulin release, contributing to reduce the carbohydrates and sugar compulsion.

10 Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia - It acts to neutralize a number of infectious agents responsible for these diseases. It improves the immune system, accelerates the metabolism, recover full energy, and eliminates STRESS.

WARNING: This is a high caloric food and must be consumed moderately.

oleo-de-coco-300x187Recommended amount of coconut oil:

The ideal is to have 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. More than that would exceed the daily recommended ingestion of saturated fat.

How to use the coconut oil?

The coconut oil can be used to season hot plates, adding a smooth flavor and aroma to meals like rice and fish. The extra virgin coconut oil can be used as a salad seasoning.

This oil can also be used when preparing cakes and pies.

It can be mixed in yogurts, juices or smoothies. Adding it to your beverages will give them a zest of coconut.

This article has only an informative purpose and is not intended to replace professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

Source (in Portuguese): Minha vida e Mundo dos Óleos

You Meet Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

June 18, 2014

Anyone who has trained in martial arts long enough will be exposed to a wide range of people and personalities. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is no exception and can arguably have the greatest diversity. As one of the fastest growing forms of self-defense, it attracts people from all walks of life. The following types are commonly found in every Jiu-Jitsu academy.


#1 The MMA Junkie: The popularity of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can largely be attributed to the rise in Mixed Martial Arts. Since BJJ is vital to the success of a mixed martial artist, it has highlighted the art for the mainstream. Many MMA fans flock to Jiu-Jitsu academies hoping to learn armbars, triangles, and omoplatas. The UFC’s Joe Rogan does a fantastic job of breaking down techniques for viewers but nothing compares to the actual experience.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 3.52.50 PM#2 The Weekend Warrior: Doctors, lawyers, teachers, parents, and even the occasional movie star can be found rolling at academies across the world. These individuals have professional careers and generally work full time. They somehow find time in their busy schedule to train. Don’t let someone’s mild mannered background fool you. Clark Kent is Superman after all.

#3 The Competitor: Competition is an aspect of Jiu-Jitsu many embrace. These students train in order to compete at the highest level of the sport. Often they supplement training with additional strength and conditioning. They push themselves for the rush of competition and the chance to stand on the podium when it’s over.

#4 The Future Instructor: The head instructor can’t be there to watch every moment. Often times, they recruit the help of other students. A fair amount of instruction may actually come from one or two experienced students who have been in your shoes. Remember, a black belt is just a white belt that never quit.

1459149_10202674414131669_886765546_n#5 The One Addicted to BJJ: This may be a phase every Jiu-Jitsu student goes through at one point. These students fall head over heels for the sport and take in the lifestyle. You or someone you know may fall into this category! This person…

- Subscribes to more Jiu-Jitsu channels on YouTube than they can watch
- Attempts new techniques on friends and loved ones
- Has a pet named Kimura, Ezekiel, etc.
- Finds themselves hip escaping while sleeping
- Spends more money on coconut water and acai than gasoline

#6 The Comedian: These are the people that make the time off the mats just as enjoyable. They like to chat, and crack jokes (sometimes even while rolling.) They have an upbeat positive attitude and are a joy to be around. They always have the best stories and remind us how much of a bonding experience Jiu-Jitsu can be.

#7 The One Nobody Expects: Every now and then someone walks into a Jiu-Jitsu academy that you really wouldn’t expect to see there. From beauty queens, to senior citizens, Jiu-Jitsu demonstrates people breaking away from social stereotypes. They prove to everyone Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu really is for everyone.

Credits: Patrick J. Flores
Gracie Barra Chino

7 Habit of Highly Effective Jiu-Jitsu

I am a big fan of Steven Covey. He has shaped the world of personal development for decades. His book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has swept the world of leadership and personal development.


Jiu-Jitsu is no different. We do Jiu-Jitsu for a myriad of reasons. We do BJJ because we are bored, wanting to lose weight, connect with people and what-have-you. But all of us who have seen what BJJ can do have seen what it can really do to us, to improve and go beyond ourselves. This is Gracie Barra's take on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective BJJ.

Habit #1: Proactivity

Jiu Jitsu LifestyleTake Proactivity to the next level. Learning BJJ doesn't just happen overnight. It actually happens with conscious thought of learning it. People who need to learn BJJ do not just watch BJJ and let everything unfold. Learning how to become proactive means asking questions about your own growth. What set of skills you will need to become effective in it. To be proactive about a lot BJJ is using words such as: I can, and I will. Taking charge of your learning by going out there.

Proactive BJJ artists do not blame external factors for their development. They do not blame how strong the opponent is, but rather they look deep inside them and see which part they can work on. Focus on what you can control instead what you cannot change.

Habit #2: Train with an End in Mind

"Athletes from Gracie Barra Prepare for No Gi Jiu-Jitsu Worlds"Good BJJ players will always have an end in mind. There is a difference between training with or without direction. The best BJJ players, who are able to reach the highest rank, train with an end in mind: to become the best that there is, and all they can be. This habit is based on visualization. Visualize how you would want to be seen in the next couple of years. Which rank will make you happy?

Create a mission statement for yourself. It will dictate how you will train. Train for a reason and an end cause!

Habit #3: Prioritizing

What is your priority? I want you to assess what are your priorities and where BJJ is found among them. Find the thing that has the most value in your training. Everything in the Gracie Barra curriculum serves a purpose, but there are drills and goals within the goal that will create the most impact. Find it! Prioritize!

Habit #4: Think Win Win in Competitions

Jiu Jitsu positionThis refers to your attitude towards competition. It's not about being nice in competitions, but more like looking at competition as already a win. Come on! Signing up for that competition is already a win. You were able to go beyond your comfort zone and sign yourself up to perform in front of a crowd. Stepping into the competition mats is always unnerving. There is no excuse for it. You are going to give it all 100%. The moment you decide to give your 100% in competitions is already a win! You are a winner in every competition, there is no such thing as losing, only learning.

Habit #5: Seek first to learn the art, then to share the art

A highly effect BJJ artist seeks to learn the art. He is not selfish about it. He shares what he has. If he shared it with someone who became better than he is, that is not at a loss. He gained something. Be effective in learning the art, the lifestyle, the philosophy. Be loud about it. Have the burning desire to affect everyone within your families and friends with how BJJ improved your understanding of a good lifestyle. How you have become healthy. How you learned friendly competitiveness.

Habit #6: Network Effectively

Grow within the school by becoming a person who connects effectively with other students and members of your school. Network outside of the school to learn more about BJJ. Engage them in a friendly chat over social media. Share what you know. To improve, one must know how, and be willing to help others to improve! Network in BJJ, and BJJ will network to you as well.

Habit #7: Sharpen Your BJJ Skills

Jiu-Jitsu KnowledgeThere are a couple of facets in sharpening your BJJ skills. Actually, its sharpening you. Take note of the different aspects of BJJ: there is competition, there is your own spiritual growth and the way of the martial artist, there is the physical growth where your body starts to be healthy, the intellectual where you learn all of the skills required to rank up! Keep on improving your BJJ! The rest will follow.

The Tougher Body

June 16, 2014

There are hundreds of diets out there. There are diet regimens that require you to crash your weight. Others simply change the entire diet their bodies diet.


So far, only a few diets work. But dieting is not all about losing weight and trimming down. It's about getting the nutrients that your body needs to function all through out.

BJJ teaches us discipline through learning and hard work. We are not only working on our skills but also on our bodies. Our goal is to make it tougher, more resilient. My take on BJJ and dieting is this, the goal is to become 10 feet tall and bulletproof. I got this adage from one of the professors in Gracie Barra. At first I didn't understand the importance of being disciplined and BJJ. It all says that we need to become so strong that no can break us. If the mind is strong, the body should be able to withstand the beating and the stress of training. This is where dieting comes in.

Assess your diet

DietDo you wake up at night hankering for the last slice of pizza in the fridge? Do you indulge in too much carbs because it makes you feel comforted? Do you still eat meats with the fat? Do you still abuse your body with vices etc.? To start off, assess what you put in your body. What nutrients are you taking in.n? Is it enough, or too much? Are you taking in too much unhealthy fat?

Find alternatives

Once you have figured out what's not good, look for alternatives. The goal is not to take away, but to switch. Switching to other types of foods can be tough. The trick is decide and ease in. Here is what I do: whenever I feel like putting something quite unhealthy in my body, I would imagine how it would affect my body, the length of time it will take for me to get rid of it, and the long term effects. P.S. I have stopped eating pork for over a month now. I have known that it's unhealthy, but I have found alternatives to pork veggie meats!

Go green.

opening-green-foods-ssGreen is good. Loading up on greens not only provides you with high amounts of calcium, greens also help reduce bad cholesterol. Leafy greens that contain beta-carotene, such as collard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard contribute to the growth and repair of the body's tissues. Beta-carotene may also protect your skin against sun damage. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, and food sources of beta-carotene are the best way to get your vitamin A fix, since extremely high doses of vitamin A in supplements can be toxic and lead to bone, liver, and neural disorders as well as birth defects. Food sources of beta-carotene are entirely safe, though, since the body regulates how much beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A.

Get Active

Outside of jiu-jitsu, try to stay active. Bike, run, swim, jog, box, grapple (yeah, I love BJJ,) row, jump rope, etc. Maintaining an active lifestyle can be a tough one. Like anything in BJJ, practice makes perfect. The only way that you can live an active life is to start living one. Get off that couch, shut down the computer. Grab that gi that has been in the closet for god knows how long. Make life worth living by enjoying every moment of it as an active individual.

GRACIE DIET: Green Warrior Protein Shake


Learn how to prepare a delicious, healthy and easy to make green protein shake. This energetic drink can be consumed in the morning as a quick breakfast smoothie or like a post workout recovery meal.

This super food drink main ingredient is the Spinach. The green leaf is low in calories yet extremely nutritious – High in vitamins A, B6, C, K and E, folate, fiber, manganese, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, copper, and antioxidants; good source of thiamine, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. The flax seed, which is also considered by many as a super food, will increment your shake with even more fiber and antioxidants.

Avocado is a fruit that is rich in healthy fats, vitamins A, E, C and B, copper and protein. Consuming this fruit supports the production of collagen. Collagen is vital for skin, bone, and muscle rejuvenation.

Oats has complex carbohydrates and you can use it to thicken your protein smoothie. Along with carbohydrates, protein provides energy for the body which helps keep us from becoming fatigued. When we eat foods that contain protein, the body breaks it down into amino acids. These amino acids are necessary for building muscle and blood.

Do you want to make your smoothie taste sweeter and, at the same time, incorporate more minerals? Substitute plain water for coconut water. Coconut water is a natural “sports drink” which contains potassium and minerals like sodium chloride that acts as electrolytes. Synthetic electrolytes contains added sugar and artificial flavors, but coconut water has its own natural sugar and flavor without any fat. Enjoy it!



1 cup of loose organic spinach leaves and stems

1/2 avocado

1/4 cup of oats

1/2 scoop of protein or vegan protein powder

1 tbsp. flax seed

6 ice cubes

1/2 coconut water



SUPERFOODS by Tonia Reinhard

100 Foods to Stay Young by Charlotte Watts

GRACIE DIET created by Carlos Gracie

Guiltless Desserts

June 10, 2014


One of the greatest GB representatives in the world, Professor Bruno Fernandes is one of those guys who is an example to everyone. One who everyone wants to listen to and follow. With a Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle, this 3rd degree Black Belt is always looking for a healthy and balanced diet.

Bruno-F-Fernandes-fullportraitBruno Fernandes, Chief Instructor from Gracie Barra Montreal, is the regional collaborator from GB in East Canada; PhD, Assistant Professor in one of the most respected medicine schools in Canada (McGill University), speaks four languages and, after all, makes time to travel around the word to surf and participate in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments.

As an athlete, he has already won 4 world championships, 1 Pan-American, 1 Brazilian tournament, among others. With a hectic, but very well done routine, Bruno does know that eating well means health; eating well is Jiu-Jitsu. Today we will share one of Bruno's recommended desserts, which is really mouth-watering. And the best part? You can eat it without feeling any guilt.

Coconut Flan

Guiltless dessert. 100% vegan, no gluten or dairy.

The coconut milk is a very important source of good fat which, besides providing energy to athletes, helps in weight loss.

The Agar-Agar is a good alternative (made of algae) to the regular gelatin.

Look for a Coconut Milk without artificial preservatives, stabilizers or thickeners.

The syrup uses sugar. Thus, for those who are looking for a light version, exclude the syrup and make only the flan, explained Professor Fernandes.

1. Syrup:

5 Tbsp of Brown Sugar

4 Tbsp of Water

1/2 tsp of Natural Vanilla Extract/Essence

A pinch of salt

Cook all the ingredients on medium heat until they melt. When it is ready, pour the syrup in the pudding pan, covering all its internal surfaces, including the borders. Put aside 1 tbsp of syrup for using later in the flan.


unnamed-79320ml of coconut milk

160ml of water

3/4 tsp of Agar-Agar Powder

2 Tbsp of grated coconut (optional)

1 Tbsp of the syrup (previously reserved)

1 tsp of Natural Vanilla Extract/Essence

Some lemon juice drops

Cook everything under medium heat until it starts to boil. Pour it on the pudding pan previously coated with the syrup. Take to the fridge for at least 2 hours, until it gets firmer.

3. When it is time to serve, flip to pan on an appropriated plate.

Instead of using a big plate, try to use individual ones, for a more elegant presentation. ;)

Did you like it? Like Professor Fernandes page in Facebook ( and get lots of other cool info.

To know more about Professor Bruno's job in Montreal, access

This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

Coming back from injuries

June 10, 2014

The more you advance in the sport, the more you can possibly become prone to injuries. It is one of the realities of the art. Any contact sport runs the risk of causing injuries. It's perfectly fine. Although the contradiction of fine as normal to BJJ can be quite ambiguous to some.


Top level martial artists deal with injuries. And they deal with their injuries the same way they deal with their own disciplines. They deal with it like a warrior.

Here are some tips on dealing with sports related injuries:

Take some time off

Yes. There is much time needed away from the sport. Its obvious. As much as you would want to get back in the game, you shouldn't. The mind is willing but the body is not. Take time off to draw up a game plan.

Get professional help

1098347_10201861283643915_1110609969_nHome grown remedies can work, but getting professional help can do more. The professional has spent years rehabilitating athletes, providing therapeutic healing. Your best bet to get back as soon as you can is through a doctor.

Slowly get back in the game

Don't push it too much. Yes you are recovering. We know that you want to go all out, shine bright, with guns a-blazing, but doing it that way will do more damage.

Have a recovery plan

Convalescing needs a plan. Your body has its own as well. But making a schedule for therapy sessions and what-not can do you more good. Have a plan on who to contact for your therapy, how long it would take, and how much it would cost.

Give more time to high-risk injuries

1656258_10152225954046913_1244224296_nHigh risk injuries such as neck injuries, leg injuries, and shoulder injuries will require more time to heal. Follow the doctor's advice. If the doctor says you cannot train yet, take his word.

Stay healthy.

You will gain weight. Yes. But make sure it's healthy weight. Make sure that you are still watching what you eat. Being injured doesn't give you a reason to go all out binging on those evil cookies! Try to keep the same diet as while you are training.

The Jiu-Jitsu journey :From the white belt to the black belt, students share their stories on what got them started, and why they keep going.

“Jiu-jitsu for Everyone. We see this around in many memes and in photos, we hear it sometimes from our coaches and teammates, but what does this mean? I interviewed several practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, from the white belt to the black belt, the occasional trainer to the championship competitor, to gain some insight as to how and why they train.



Rachel Pak, a Gracie Barra student in Edmonds, WA, started training upon a friend's recommendation. I had no idea what Jiujitsu was, said Rachel. I thought it was like Taekwondo.

At the time, Rachel was working at an area in Seattle known for its high crime activity. Her main motivation for training is to learn self-defense. However, after about six months of training, she has also found a sense of belonging: I really love the community in it. Its what really brings me back. It's also really fun to learn and is a great way to exercise. When I'm on the streets, I feel like it's something I can actually use to protect myself.Click to check full story

GB Tradition in Tournaments

Last weekend was not just any other one in the Jiu-Jitsu world. Closing the month of May (29, 30, 31) and getting started with the second semester (June 1st), we had the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (IBJJF) which took place in Long Beach, CA. This most desired dream for any athlete, regardless the level, weight, age or gender, was marked, once again, by the massive presence of the Red Shield GB defenders.


Our first victory happened even before our athletes entered the mats. On Wednesday the 28th, a day before the biggest BJJ event had begun, we won the Trophy as the champion team in IBJJF ranking, including an homage paid to our athletes Romulo Barral and Otavio Sousa in the Hall of Fame. Our master founder of this huge family called Gracie Barra Carlos Gracie Jr., received this conquest, which reflects quite well the efforts of the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyon mission.

This trophy is not an isolated result built of accumulated points someone looking from outside may not understand what has been created to reach this. We are the biggest jiu-jitsu school in the world. We enroll in big or small tournaments always to win. Even though our focus is not, primarily, the competitions, we always end up being in the podiums. But why do we win if this is not our main objective?

We believe this prize means more than just being the number one. This reinforces that Master Carlos Gracie Jr.s vision of teaching Jiu-Jitsu to everyone by establishing GB schools in every city around the world is the path to the growth and prosperity of GB and its people, including the students, instructors, school owners and, of course, athletes.

Braulio Estima and Romulo Barral closed the Middleweight category. A brothers' noble attitude.

Braulio Estima and Romulo Barral closed the Middleweight category. A brothers noble attitude.

We became the best ones in the past, when competing was the first goal of GB. The explanation for the continuous success of a champion team is in the improvement of the level of jiu-jitsu taught in our branches and in the possibility that everyone and anyone can learn this art and choose to compete for the Gracie Barra name. We have grown to be all over the world.

We spread this sport and now we are reaping what we sowed with all our efforts. We work as a synergy. There are athletes among the family men, women and children who train with us. On these people, there is the reflection of the nature of the GB system, which works for both those who want to compete and those who do not.

Now, multiply all these factors by more than 400 GB schools around the world. This is the explanation for getting the prize as the best team in the IBJJF ranking. To the critics and anyone that cannot understand our vision of taking the Jiu-Jitsu to everyone this is our answer.

Ana Laura, after some years out of the mats returned and became the 2014 world champion.

Ana Laura, after some years out of the mats returned and became the 2014 world champion.

Now, talking about the victories inside the dojo, we also did such a great job. From the four categories we competed in male and female adult, young and beginners we took 3 trophies. They were the 1st place in the young modality, 3rd place in male adult and 2nd place in beginners. It is also worthy of remark that this event brought the return of our champion Ana Laura Cordeiro. After some years out of the mats due to a serious injury to her spine, this black belt fighter came back and got the 1st place in the Medium Heavyweight category. And we could not forget about Fabiana Borges, who got the bronze medal in the Lightweight category. Also, Felipe Pena Preguiça beat André Galvão and become the Heavyweight champion. Braulio Estima and Romulo Barral closed the Medium Heavyweight category, while Otavio Sousa got the silver medal in the Middleweight.

A very positive result, which attests, once again, the Gracie Barra legacy renovation. This also makes clear our presence among the world's best teams and confirms the tradition of our GB family in tournaments.

We congratulate all our warriors who went there to represent our shield. Regardless of the victories or losses, we are proud of you guys! Congrats, fighters!

The 'GB red sea' and the 2014 World Championship trophies.

The GB red sea and the 2014 World Championship trophies.


Let Jiu-Jitsu Change Your Life

Jiu-Jitsu practitioners all around the world can tell you many different stories on how their lives crossed paths with the gentle art. Some got into it to lose weight, some got into it because of the MMA hype, some needed something to relieve their stress, some were looking for a way to defend themselves, some got into it because of their friends and family.

FD3U3826Inside a mat, there are all kinds of life stories. But let’s face it; in the beginning life on the mats is tough. You don’t get much of what’s going on, you use too much strength so you’re always gassing out, you get crushed by heavier sparring partners all the time and all of those things we’ve all been through. But suddenly, something hits you and you know your life will never be the same again.

It’s amazing to see how Jiu-Jitsu becomes a big part of every practitioner’s life as they grow more into it. You’ll see people that didn’t even care about nutrition eating healthier foods and doing all they can to get and stay in a better shape. You’ll see people becoming more confident, more patient and relaxed and feeling better about themselves and about everyone around them. Some will even end up make a living out of it. And it only gets better, I’ve seen plenty of busy businessmen squeezing their tight schedules to get a training session in and compete on weekends.

FD3U3925Point is: No matter what you do, Jiu-Jitsu is going to become a huge part of you and it will affect every aspect of your life in a positive way. It just changes you, it changes everything around you, you’ll starting seeing life through a much enlightened and powerful lens. You’ll get out of everyday pressure situations easier, you’ll be able to think and act more clearly, and you’ll feel more energized, healthy and motivated. It is truly magical.

So here is an invitation for all of you to go and get a little Jiu-Jitsu time. Even it it’s once or twice a week, it doesn’t matter. Let Jiu-Jitsu in and let it change your life too!

Swept Off Your Feet: Transitioning from Striking to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Fighting is communication through the act of combat. There are as many different types of martial arts as there are languages in the world. Learning a new martial art is a lot like learning to speak a new language. Accommodating to a new martial art style like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be difficult and frustrating. Here are a couple helpful tips to help those transitioning into Jiu-Jitsu from a standup art.

1385909_10153397073185710_1899022271_n-21st: Learn to walk before you fly…

The fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu are the most important techniques you will ever learn on the mat. Understanding the fundamental concepts of Jiu-Jitsu is essential before moving on to complex moves. With that said, a new students should stay clear of YouTube when possible. Though a great resource to showcase the abundance of techniques, many new students can get drowned in advanced moves and never properly learn basics. Any Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teacher will tell you that fundamentals are key.

2nd: Empty your cup…

The first step of construction is demolition. Go into each class with an open mind. Striking styles are very different from grappling arts. Some techniques in Jiu-Jitsu will seem odd first. Be open-minded to learning and don’t let old habits follow you onto the mat. Many martial arts styles have been relatively unchanged for thousands of years but Jiu-Jitsu is still constantly evolving with new techniques.

23696_10150111373090710_4052824_n-620x4123rd: Enjoy the ride…

A white belt taught the basics of grappling could tap a world champion striker. It can be disheartening for experienced martial artists to experience the climb from the bottom again. Perseverance through this step is necessary for personal growth and development of a good martial artist. If life were about getting to the destination, we would all want to die as soon as possible.

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: A sound mind in a sound body.

A sound mind in a sound body.



Body, mind and spirit. These are the 3 main pillars that are part of the life style of the gentle art practitioners. We do know that our body won't work well and correctly during the trainings if the mind and the spirit are not on the same page.

Thus, we do have to look for foods that can bring benefits to both our physical and mental health. The learning is endless and day by day, new research and studies come up, bringing new discoveries. The universe conspires in our favor and the (right) foods, with each passing day, will show their efficacy and multiple benefits to our health.

Some foods can really assist in preventing many diseases, like psychic illnesses (Alzheimer, Schizophrenia, Parkinson and depression). A healthy and balanced diet can improve the memory and concentration, especially in older ages.

A sound mind in a sound body, right? So it is time to discover (or rediscover) powerful foods for our mental health.

Oat - Source of B-Complex, it helps to regulate the information transmission between the neurons;

Honey-PotChia, linseed, fish oil - They are high in omega-3, which participates in the neurons building and protection.

Turmeric - It has an antioxidant action, helping to prevent degenerative nerve diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson;

Soy lecithin - It is a source of choline and also contributes to the neuron formation. Besides, it brings phospholipids. The phosphorus is an important mineral to the memory and its intake during the pregnancy and nursing also helps significantly in the baby's cerebral development.

Grape, cranberry, mulberry and açaí juices - These fruits are source of anthocyanin, an antioxidant phytochemical, which combats the free radicals, responsible for damaging the cells.

Honey - It stimulates the serotonin production, a neurotransmitter responsible for generating the well-being and pleasure feelings.

Pumpkin Seeds - Tryptophan source, a precursor amino acid of serotonin, the hormone linked to the well-being feelings. It helps to combat the depression symptoms.

409Whole/Brown breads, wheat and rice - High in carbohydrates, which helps in the tryptophan absorption and stimulates the serotonin production. It also helps to combat the depression symptoms.

Spinach and broccoli - They are rich in magnesium, phosphate and Vitamins A, C and B-Complex. Both spinach and broccoli help to prevent the depression. They contain potassium and folic acid, important to the cells well function.

Brazil Nut, Nuts and Almonds - They are high in selenium, a powerful antioxidant which helps to improve the depression scenarios.

This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

Note: Illustrative photos.

Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle: Women and BJJ


Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone. And women have long time been equals of men, or even better. The good thing about BJJ is that it recognizes no gender or disability. As long as you can roll, it's going to be all good. We have seen female fighters take the stage and perform quite well as men. BJJ is for everyone.

This article is for women only. Well, not really.

13503607323_e6b4de90a9_bGracie Barra and the Women's Program

Some selected BJJ schools offer the Women's program. It's a 30 day bootcamp with the goal to get those who signed up to join. We received great reviews with the Women's program. We've witnessed dramatic results with women losing weight as well, being less stressed!

Competing for Women

For those looking for ways to test their grit against other women on the mats, BJJ has a division for women. In the CompNet alone, wew have female athletes signing numbering to almost half of the males. Women should compete. And women should compete all the time.

BJJ is a Good Skills With MMA

555447_475595379171743_363321304_nIt's NOT the latest freakshow out there. Some may argue that women in MMA is distasteful. We disagree. MMA is for everyone and so is BJJ. Successful female MMA fighters arm themselves with BJJ. Who shouldn't , right? Fight may end up in the ground. you might as well to learn a few tricks if you are dreaming of becoming the next top female MMA fighter. In today's MMA scene, you cannot afford to not know a thing or two about BJJ!

BJJ gives a good confidence boost

Do you need that extra confidence boost? BJJ might help! Imagine training with other women in the team. Being able to do what they can do. Imagine training with men, and being able to achieve what they have. Being in the same rank with your peers. Being able to teach, or better, being able to own a school. BJJ in Gracie Barra offers these possibilities. It goes beyond just learning BJJ.

In halls of Gracie Barra, we promote confidence and the lifestyle. Not just for men, but also for women. Women who have can do attitudes are welcome in BJJ. Women who are looking for ways to boost their confidence, blow-off some steam after a hard days work, make new connections and friends, BJJ is the place for you!

We would like to ask you to share to everyone you know this article. Like and share our facebook page! ;)

Jiu Jitsu TN, Kids and BJJ

We have heard stories of kids that were bullied in the past. And we have seen success with Gracie Barra's Anti Bullying Program with hundreds of kids bully-proof. This is what Gracie Barra aims for; a bully free world.

Statistics show that 78% of bullied kids show a 17 point decline in their grades. Almost half of these bullied kids become troubled adolescents upon reaching 16. The statistics alone shows that bullying has a direct effect towards growth and personal development.

10167977_655455474503405_8018616769599994647_nCan Jiu-Jitsu save the kids from getting bullied?

The answer can be quite difficult to uphold. As of now, there are no studies yet proving that the art of BJJ fixes it. However, let me give you a glimpse of what happens if they get into the anti-bullying program. For one thing, they become confident. Having kids learn the art of BJJ will give them that added boost. When we teach kids to learn something new and become good at it, self-esteem goes up, self-belief reinforcement is improved. Martial arts does that.

Kids Need Role Models

Have you ever had someone you look up to? Someone that you have always wanted to become like? In BJJ (and in any martial arts) there are a lot of role models. And these role models are one of the best role models pose as mentors and guides for the students.

13426440895_109df58be5_bKids Need Physical Activities

Kids nowadays are becoming less physically active. With technology becoming more accessible, the idea of a kid going out to play under the sun seemed like an unattractive idea. But helping kids become more physical is beneficial for them. They become more resistant to diseases, they are become well-rounded individuals. Kids who grow up knowing martial arts become well-rounded individuals,

Competition brings out the best in us and especially on kids

Martial arts is a competitive sport. Inside the mats, kids learn how to become competitive. In a positive sense, when kids learn to compete, we are instilling them lessons such as hardwork, diligence, respect, modesty in winning and grace in defeat.

14199145453_30bfb0892b_bWe are note telling you to get your kids to BJJ, But probably somehow, when you find yourself reading up to the end of this article, you are thinking about getting signed up. If you enjoy the thrill and the challenges of BJJ, then I bet that your kids will do too. =)

Jiu-Jitsu for everyone!

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Thermogenic Foods

May 13, 2014

The new fever in the gyms (since a few years ago) is the thermogenic supplements. Those ones that promise to dry your fat, improve the muscles definition and keep the lean body mass. As it were a magic pill. But we all know that all of this sounds too good to be true.


First of all, the above mentioned benefits will only take effect if you have a balanced diet and do exercises on a regular basis. So, the power of these pills is no much more than providing you with that little push to speed up the process and results. But is it really worth it?

The answer is NOT! Why? Besides spending lots of money with those (after all, you are buying magic pills the industrial thermogenics may bring many problems to your body such as: tachycardia, insomnia, abrupt mood changes, dehydration, arrhythmia, aggressiveness, headaches, lack of concentration, nauseas and agitation. Many of these products contain forbidden and highly noxious compounds, like hormones to control the thyroid.

Well, it seems to be clear how serious this is, right? The best way is always to keep distance from these products and choose for natural and healthy options. And yes, it is possible to find thermogenic foods, which can provide the same benefits that the supplements promise. We cannot play with our health.

Today at Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu’, we will better explain what are these thermogenic foods and list them for you. Keep in mind that the willpower and disposition to train must come from inside, from yourself.

greenteaThe definition is as simple as that: Naturally thermogenic foods are those which increase your body's temperature and inhibit the appetite. This effect converts fat in energy. So, these foods intake makes your body to spend more energy in order to digest themselves, speeding up your metabolism and consuming the fat to supply this increased metabolic need.

The thermogenesis influence the production and release of those hormones which eliminate the fat by using it as an energy source. Again, the practical effect of the thermogenics is to keep the metabolism in an accelerated pace, increasing the caloric consumption. They are effective when combined with a regular aerobic/cardio exercises practice.

There are no miracle or secrets to stay in shape. You must follow a balanced diet and do exercises. The thermogenics will only be a complement. And being natural and healthy, why not? Keep reading to learn more about 7 thermogenic foods and their benefits.

redchilliRed Chili: This specific kind of pepper is high in Capsaicin, a substance which stimulates the body to break down the fat molecules located in the adipose tissue. It may increase the metabolic activity in up to 20%, when 3g per day is consumed. This pepper may be added to salads or as a spice in main dishes.

Green Tea (Camellia sinensis): Like the chili, this tea increases the body's use of the fat as an energy source through a metabolic stimulation. 5 cups of tea on a daily basis during 3 months is recommended. But take care: People who suffer from insomnia should not drink this tea in the evening or afternoon.

Coffee: It contains caffeine, stimulant and naturally thermogenic. It helps you to be always alert. But do not drink it too much, otherwise you may suffer with stomachaches, insomnia and anxiety. The ideal is to have no more than 3 cups per day.

cinnamonspoon-a9200891a016192b3ad67e9198cf63717c0d8bce-s3-c85Cinnamon: It increases the basal metabolism and is high in mineral calcium, important substance to lose weight. When it is sprinkled over fruits (about 1 teaspoon), it does help you to lose weight. Besides, makes your meal delicious!

Ginger: This root may increase your caloric expenditure in more than 10%. Ginger may be consumed in many ways: raw, in marinates with beef, chicken or fishes, and it also goes very well with tomato sauces, vegetable soups and even in tea, when combined with some herbs. The recommended amount is about two small slices.

Cocoa: It has stimulant and antioxidant properties, due to its loads of caffeine and polyphenol. These two substances when combined are beneficial to the heart, blood circulation and are also anti-allergic, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.

Hibiscus Tea: This tea, like the other thermogenic ones, increases the corporal temperature during its digestion, speeding up the metabolism. For a positive effect, a litter per day is recommended. For a litter of water, use a tablespoon of this flower.

Did you like it? Not it is time to choose your favorite food, search for a professional guidance and add them to your diet.

This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

Note: Illustrative photos.

Sources (in Portuguese): Minha Vida e Corpo a Corpo Website

Achieving goals by The perseverance and persistence for the success


Jiu-Jitsu is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. This fight, which was formerly associated to the pitboys(nickname for tough and bad guys in Brazil in some past decades) now is a martial art comprising the most different kinds of groups and people. Jiu-Jitsu's past could eliminate the expectation from the practitioners themselves about taking that as a profession and actually making a living out of it.

Great Master Carlos Gracie at the very first years of Jiu-Jitsu in Rio de Janeiro.

Master Carlos Gracie at the very first years of Jiu-Jitsu in Rio de Janeiro.

Living teaching classes? Wearing a kimono and teaching the techniques and philosophy of the gentle art seemed to be something impossible. How would someone get interested in that? And the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's father, Great Master Carlos Gracie, would also ask himself about that. But in the 50's it was even more complicated. A sportsman was not taken that seriously, and showing to someone who was not involved with the fight world that learning a fight could change their lives sounded like craziness.

Well, but the JJ father did believe that his art could and should be spread. It has been numerous open fights, challenges taken and won.

In 2014 the continuity of the Great Master's life project reflected on his son, Carlos Gracie Jr., the founder of our team and family Gracie Barra. Nowadays, that dream of taking THE JIU-JITSU TO EVERYONE is seen as a mission. Every day, we take a step forward when a teacher make it real his/her dream of making a living teaching Jiu-Jitsu.

Believe you too and join us, at the world's best Jiu-Jitsu school.


Your Belt Promotion in jiujitsu


There has to be a silver lining at the end of the rainbow. BJJ goes through different levels for you to, well, level up. Ranks dictate your level in BJJ. It's that simple. But belt rank is not everything. You may have seen lower ranked BJJ players besting higher ranked martial artists. It's quite a show. But we won't talk about that today.

There is pride in getting that belt promotion. There is pride being officially getting to the next level. If you are a budding white belt and is thinking of taking this game to the next level, this is for you.

my-first-stripe-1-2What to expect

The next level will mean you will have to face tougher BJJ artists in competitions. Expect that your professors will expect more from you. After all, you have just graduated from lower rank. Expect that you will need to become better. In any competitive sport, one must first learn how to conquer oneself.

Prepare for the test

Yes. There are tests. Professors will test you! Yes. They do this to know if you are ready to take the next step in BJJ. As professors and instructors, it is their responsibility in making sure that you get promoted when the timing and the skills are in their right places. The test is quite simple: position knowledge, submission, drills et al. It's more like a regular training session really.

Enjoy the ride

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 10.57.40 AMWe always stress the importance of having fun. I tell you this: being a white belt is one of the most memorable experiences that you will ever have in the sport. So dont take away the fun out of it.

Spread the world

Let your family and friends know about your promotion. It would really be awesome to have people that you care about see you get promoted.

Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: Fit Couple

May 8, 2014


With the day-by-day busy routine and living in a very cold place, sometimes it may be hard to keep eating healthily. It may seem that your body is asking for more and more food. Then we exceed with the food without even noticing that. But, as we know, the Jiu-Jitsu always takes us to a healthier life-style.

Before and After - Picture taken in January/2014

Before and After Picture taken in January/2014

And this is what happened to the couple Fabio Costa 3rd degree black belt and Márcia Carvalho 4th degree purple belt from Gracie Barra Georgia, US. For a long time, Fábio tried many diet plans, without great results. Meanwhile, Márcia was trying to lose some weight in order to get into the mats with a better disposition and so honorably defend the red shield.

The couple then understood that it was time to search for a professional guidance and, through a referral from the Almeida's (instructor Flávio and coach Vivi) they got to the nutritionist Fernanda Mello.

Fernanda Mello gained our trust with her wide knowledge and the way she could explain everything to us. We have 2 children and it is very important for us having a health life, so we can see our little beauties growing up and, of course, being an active part of EVERYTHING. Márcia Carvalho

And since the whole family trains, they got to combine the business and the pleasure. The results are being incredible. Fábio already lost 100lbs and Marcinha 30lbs.

But the best result was the change in our lives. Our family is now more gathered than ever. Facing all of that together made us stronger. Having the opportunity to train and do physical activities together is priceless. Coach Marcinha

Couple's recent picture  Fábio (- 100lbs) and Marcinha (- 30lbs).

Couple's recent picture
Fábio (- 100lbs) and Marcinha (- 30lbs).

Keeping yourself motivated with a diet plan is not that easy. Besides, it takes a lot of discipline and willpower. And our couple has been showing lots of these qualities in the social medias. Knowing that I'm not only eating better but also teaching my daughters a healthier life-style is really rewarding. Márcia

Not to mention the delicious dishes you can have, still being very healthy. With this new life-style, Marcinha became a great chef when it comes to reinvent old recipes to new and healthier versions. And of course we asked her for one of these recipes.

One of our weekly meals at home is kibbeh. But we replaced the wheat with quinoa. I find almost all my recipes in Instagram and when I look for something that really interests me but it takes any ingredient that would not fit in my diet plan, I replace it.

Once again, the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle defeated every barrier and took an actual improvement to the life of its practitioners.

Recipe: Baked Kibbeh Fit

You can prepare that in a baking pan or with the traditional kibbeh format (oblong, more accepted by children).


- 1/3 cup of raw quinoa

- 1 cup of water

- 400g ground meat (lean)

- 1/2 medium onion

- mint

- Salt and black pepper


Blend the onion and mint until get a smooth paste. I use a good amount of mint to give a special taste.

Meanwhile, I cook the quinoa in 1 cup of water (actually, I always keep cooked quinoa in the freezer, so that I only need to take it off and thaw overnight. I prefer to use it cold).

Stir in the quinoa, the onion paste and the ground meat in a bowl. I've already used beef, chicken, turkey and even buffalo meat.

Mix the ingredients and add spices to taste.

Spread the mixture in a baking pan and mar draw it with a knife, to give a good looking.

The kibbeh cooks really fast, so use the highest rack in your over. You can use the broil or grill function to brown it at the end. It will release a bit of water due to the quinoa and some other ingredients. I use to discard this water in the half of the cooking time.

It must be done in about 20 minutes.

I combine the kibbeh with a very healthy eggplant paste (known as baba ganoush) and with tabbouleh. It's perfect! :)

This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

Taking care of your mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Strong mind, victory assured.

May 5, 2014


An athlete knows that, besides your body, you must have your mind in peace, calm and without internal conflicts in order to be 100% focused on your competition. Muscles are like propellers to our physical strength, but being strong without being trained is useless. Likewise, competing when you are not in peace with yourself and with your own conscious never brings the best results.

charly_3-224x300The name of our section Taking Care of your mind is Jiu-Jitsu literally refers to the famous phrase: Sit mens sana in corpora sano (or A sound mind is a sound body). The great athletes learn everyday how to deal with their psychological conflicts. Fighters are just like any other person who also have to face some combats outside the mats.

Sometimes, when we have such problems, it seems the world is conspiring against ourselves, isn't it? A flu or cold comes up, you get hurt, everything happens at that point. And this is when you get to be very, but very strong to not let be discouraged.

315 days before a competition, Lúcio Fernandes (the Charley Brown), 2nd degree black belt and responsible for GB Paraíba school in Brazil, had to face all of these problem and something more. Actually, 2kg more to get rid of. The problem was that, in that point, the scale won the battle and made Lúcio to compete in a category above that one he was used to. In that higher category, fighting in the heavyweight I learned some lessons that I will always take with me, for the life, said Lúcio. But before we know more about what Lucio did learn in that opportunity, let's remind some characteristics that comprise the routine of those athletes who are also school leaders.

Teaching classes, administrating the school, holding meeting with instructors, being always aware about championships, training, working out Wow! Well, this is not an easy routine at all. Besides all that, they have other concerns outside the mats. So, this is exactly like Charly Brown's routine seems, as himself said: I have such a hectic everyday pace, among classes and trainings. I do not like to work out and neither have time for that. But I got to review this point. Besides, I was not very well with my mind. Even so, I got to the final of the championship. I got the second place in the heavyweight category.

charly_2-300x238After reflecting about his previous fights and taking his mind back to the right place, this black belt guy from GB Paraíba, went to the Absolute Division. The open weight category where anyone can fight against anyone, where the sky is the limit. I enrolled myself in the absolute division with another vision. I realized that my strategy against the heavyweight competitors was wrong.stated Charly Brown. He got into the mats once again. At this time, his problems was left behind and the mistakes were fixed. And the result of such change? South-Brazilian 2014 Champion in the Absolute Division.

Among all the experiences a black belt may acquire, Lucio certainly learned another one, as himself said: Jiu-Jitsu is very important to my life. All the lessons I learned with the gentle art were always taught during the competitions. Even after a long time competing, I still learn new things every time. At the beginning, I would ask myself what would be the secret. I tried everything. Working out, exaggerated training and functional CrossFit. But now I know that the most important is training your mind. After all, when I have my mind calm, I can achieve a great performance in my trainings and in the high-level competitions.

charly_sul-300x300This episode in Charly's life is a great example to everyone. As everything in our lives, we must keep the focus and put aside any factor that could deviate ourselves from our right way. If you still did not get the idea, let's see what he absorbed from that competition: When I get inside the mat it is like if a start button had been pressed. I put myself away from anything outside there. Never forget to train your mind. Leave it even stronger than your muscles. Oss! Said this guy from Paraíba, Brazil.

That's an advice from someone who knows what he says. If you are facing anything somehow similar, calm down and reorganize your thoughts. We have an everyday fight inside and outside the mats. Learning from those life fights is part of our trainings.

Look out in the videos below one of Lúcio's fights during the South-Brazilian competition.


The favorite Pre-Workout snack

May 3, 2014


carlinhosMany of you probably know the life story about our champion and great example Samuel Nascimento, known as Samuka. For those who still do not know, when Samuel was about 2,5 years old, the common childhood curiosity made him take his hands to a bread machine owned by his family. What should be a little joke became a serious accident, leaving Samuel without both hands. To read the whole story

As we know, this 3rd degree black belt from GB Florianópolis never gave up his dreams and, with lots of willpower and determination, he adapted himself to the gentle art and is making history in every championship he attends. “Most of the time, the problem is on the people head”.

Samuka brings a conviction within himself: If I want, I can. If I can, I do. And he actually does! Now being 41 years old, the black belt already holds numerous important titles, like these latest ones: South-Brazilian 2014 CBJJ in Master 3 Black Belt modality (featherweight) and Compnet Champion in Senior Black Belt modality (featherweight).

As a devoted athlete, our champion does know that: eating well is health, eating well is Jiu-Jitsu. Today we will present Samukas favorite pre-training meal:

samuka3Pre-training Açaí Bowl


- 1 Açaí + Guaraná mixed pulp

- 1 white banana

- 1 tablespoon (full) of peanut butter

- granola to taste


Firstly, combine the banana, açaí pulp (well cracked/ground) and the peanut butter in the blender. Blend all ingredients until obtaining a smooth cream. Transfer to a bowl and serve with granola.

“Have a nice snack and a nice train. Oss” Samuka GB Florianópolis 3rd degree Black Belt.

This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

Note: Illustrative photos

BJJ Lifestyles

Your BJJ lifestyle

A lot of people would ask: what's the right lifestyle for anyone who aspires to take their game to the next level. While there are different paths that you can choose to take in your journey towards that black belt, there are, however, things that you can do make it worthwhile.

Let's talk about a good lifestyle.

1532160_10153737355490710_1494497259_nYour lifestyle dictates who you are. Simply put your associations, your network, the amount of time you train translates to how your results would be. To become top notch in your game, you have to have a routine. Routines are powerful. It creates behaviors, and habits. Simply put training and grinding it out in the gym should be a habit. There is just no other way to put it. You need to put in more hours in training. It is very easy to put off training for a day, and come back the next scheduled session. It's easy to get that stripe and just coast. Wanting to have a strong lifestyle; choosing to make it a part of your routine is a decision that most aspiring black belts fail to make. The decision IS YOURS to make anyway.

Competing and Tournaments

tichaSigning for competitions should be a part of your lifestyle. For newcomers, it can be nerve-racking stepping on the mats and being cheered on by a big crowd. Your ally would be preparedness. The amount of time you take give into preparing for matches will give you the edge. In competing (and not just in BJJ) preparation makes a lot of difference. Hours of training will come down to a couple of minutes in the mat. Is it worth it? Yes. I've been to competitions throughout my own journey. My first one was bad. I wasn't ready. Although I may have been thinking that I was. My preparation was only for a couple of days. Bad idea, right? Well, back then it was more exciting with the idea of competing.

Your lifestyle in BJJ, in Gracie Barra is your choice to make. These are just two of the lifestyles that you can put in to your journey. The path to becoming a BJJ legend is a long and arduous one. Make it easy with these simple add-ons.

jiujitsu for everyone!

Jiu Jitsu and Differences

On March 22nd, date of our CompNet São Paulo 2014, another chapter was written in Gracie Barra's history. A championship with members from the same family which resulted in, besides air tickets to the IBJJF World Championship (International Brazilian Jiu-Jistu Federation), some examples of overcoming, enthusiasm and determination.


Those characteristics distinguish those who actually dream of something and go for that from those who only has an illusion. Although the Jiu-Jitsu is a sport without a specific modality to physically disabled people, those guys get into the mats to show that everyone is capable.

998309_624195164302625_1650535667_nIt was never and never will be an excuse to those people the fact that they have some kind of physical disability. In the same way, they wear the kimono, train, compete and carry in their eyes lots of shine and determination.

This is the feeling that moves Osmar Junior, a green belt from GB Rubiataba. His participation at CompNet aroused in every attendee feelings like admiration and inspiration. Osmar had a congenital disorder during his gestation. Because of that, he was born with an atrophied arm.

Some people, when were watching this warrior's first fight, questioned themselves about his kimono grip capability. After all, it is needed to do that in order to dominate the opponent or perform any move. However, as we all know, Jiu-Jitsu can be seen as an adaptation sport. Throughout the creation of the gentle art, the Great Master Carlos Gracie adapted and developed what has been learned from Conde Koma. Thanks to that, the weak guys can beat the strong ones, and disabled athletes nowadays also can overcome their limitations and win.

Osmar did not win the CompNet SP, but took the silver medal. He lost the final by points, but was a real champion after all. His willingness to overcome his own obstacles makes him dream of the world championship. Even being so young, this green belt's thought is To show that everyone is capable. It's only a matter of training hard. Because one day, I'll get there. said Osmar.

Think about it.


Having the right role model

April 25, 2014

I want you to make a mental inventory of the people that you look up to. They can be anyone. They can be friends, family, from your past, to your present. Now take a mental note of the amount of influence these people had on you. They can be former teachers, gym coaches, artists, notable men of history.


We all need role models to motivate and inspire us. We choose role models through relation. When we can relate to them, we make them role models.

We cannot stress how important it is to have role models. In Jiu-Jitsu, I have learned that having role models help me succeed in the sport. I have to gain my black belt. Not anywhere near. But having a role model to guide me through my journey in the art has done me good.

Here are some things that I love about Role models

13129589755_a8248b3f8d_oRole Models Provide Motivation

Motivation is powerful. Motivation makes us get out of bed in the morning. Motivation is the core reason why everyone does something. Motivation will move us.

Role Models Need Not Be Someone We Know Personal

We have role models that we may not know. It's great. They can be someone that we have been following through social media. Someone who actually provides us value.

Role Models Helps Us to Believe

Our belief in the art translates to the results that we see ourselves achieving. Role models provides the much needed belief that anyone who is willing to put in the work required to achieve results can make it happen.

Role Models Provide Direction

13129704603_088ec45ef3_oLet's talk about our lives inside the walls of Gracie Barra. Do you see your professor as a role model? If so, how much direction does he / she provide. I bet they give you the best direction to succeed and grow in the sport. On top of that, role models also are good at keeping you on track!

Role Models Are Easier to Track and to Follow

With the help of Social Media, BJJ role models are easier to track and to follow. Social media has made is easier to connect with them. You may check out BJJ legends in Facebook. Simply just type in their names.

My Challenge to You

I have done this in the past, and I would like to share to you this wonderful exercise. GO to your role model whoever he is and let him know how much you appreciate him as a role model. Tell your role model your story. If he's in social media, send him a tweet. It doesn't matter if he will not respond, what is importance is we show appreciation to our role models.

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!

Eating powerful Food

Eating well and healthily is something essential to anyone who follows the Jiu-Jitsu life style. It is from the food that we get the necessary energy for training, working, doing our home daily tasks and even for having fun. The healthier the better. The healthier you are, the most happy and in good mood you will be.


Thus, it's always great to learn new tips about food and eating habits. When I learn more, I eat better. The more I learn, the more I want to learn and know. Why is this food something good? Why is this one bad? What's the function of this food in my organism? In my body? For my health?

Today in Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu we will introduce you 11 powerful foods for our health.

1. Pineapple: It's rich in bromelain, an enzyme which can break down the proteins and help with the digestion.

2. Avocado: It helps to reduce the LDL cholesterol levels (the bad cholesterol). When it is consumed in the night, it increases the amount of HGH (Growth Hormone) in the body, which works replacing the fat mass by the lean mass.

Avocado3. Brown/Whole grain rice: It is rich in fibers, making the intestine work better and helping to eliminate toxins.

4. Dandelion (tea herb): It helps the liver to eliminate exceeding fat and toxins.

5. Ginger: Stimulate the digestion, relieves the constipation and it is a great thermogenic, i.e., it speeds up the metabolism.

6. Linseed: It has high quantity of omega-3 and soluble fibers, which eliminate the bad cholesterol and helps the intestine to better work.

7. Watermelon: It has diuretic properties and, being sweet, also helps to relieve the necessity/compulsion for sugar and candies.

8. Pear: It is rich in pectin, a soluble fiber which prevents the body from absorbing carbohydrates and fat.

images9. Psyllium (soluble fiber which may be found in some natural product stores): After being dissolved in water, it becomes gelatinous and works like a sponge, helping the intestine to get rid of toxins. It also reduces the hungry.

10. Parsley: It has diuretic properties and is rich in magnesium, iron and vitamin C, all elements that help to eliminate the free radicals.

11. Celery: Besides also being a diuretic vegetable, it has a strong digestive property, helping to break down the fat molecules and preventing the gases formation.

This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

Note: Illustrative photos.

Sources (in Portuguese): Boa Forma Magazine (April Release)

Getting ready for competitions


Competitions You May Want to To Join This 2014

Throughout the best remaining part of the year, there are matches that are happening all over the country. Although, joining each and everyone would be awesome, but if you're really serious about BJJ, it would be great to watch out for each major competition around.

Here are few things that you need to remember when you are going to compete out of state:

Competing can be costly

unnamed2This is definite (and an obvious one). On top of the registration cost (which usually ranging from $90 to $150, you will need to save up on food and lodging. One of the best ways to save up is coming to the tournament as a group and share hotel rooms. Staying at local motels is not a bad idea either. Make sure, though, that you the hotel/motel is close to the competition place.

It is best to arrive 1-2 days earlyCheck this full story

Yoga improving your Jiu Jitsu?

Learning from your mistakes


Life in sports is generally composed by lots of training, tiredness, pain, victories and, among all of that, the dreadful losses. Actually, the athletes should not be that afraid of them. After all, everyone who is on a competition, whether or not he/she is the favorite in their category or the most prepared one, is subject to win or lose. Great athletes, when mentioning some losses along their careers, always tell that those were the moments when they most learned.

But why would they say that? It's because the psychology factor in each athlete must also be trained. However, it's rare when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu to find fighters who have a regular support from a sport psychologist. A good physical health may not mean a good mental one. And it is within this decompensation between body and mind that we see potential great athletes in Jiu-Jitsu and in many other sports to give up even before actually getting started with their journey.

998309_624195164302625_1650535667_nA good example of people who may give up after being defeated only once is the resigned ones. Those are the typical guys who may be constantly wining and then get over-relaxed on their trainings, lose their humbleness and imagine themselves as invincible. By being this way, they may fall in their own and ridiculous ego. When they are put outside their comfort zone by a loss, they convert that in the worst thing in the Earth.

Life is a learning process. If you lost today, go back to your trainings tomorrow and try to review your errors. Reflect about the result. Analyze your own conduct as a sportsman and think about what you had been doing and if that would actually correspond to the highest position in the podium. How not to be trapped in the mind issues? It's simple. As Master Carlos Gracie taught us: Every adversary you do not know must be faced as the worst and most difficult. Always work hard, regardless victories or losses. And when you win, train even harder. If the victory did not come at that time, learn how to pan for gold from the loss wrecks.


Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone expansion.

April 18, 2014

When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu related projects, I always followed Master Carlinhos's advices. He is a person that makes your dream, and shows you that there is a way to actually achieve that” Professor Marcelo Rezende 2nd degree Black Belt.


Teacher Marcelo Rezende was a 12 years-old guy in his first contact with Jiu-Jitsu. At the beginning, it was only a 3-month period of training in a condo located in Barra, a neighborhood in Rio. After 3 months, my instructor, Pitoco, left the gym at Barramares condo where I lived and used to train to go teach somewhere else. After that, I left the trainings for about 2 years. Marcelo recalls.Check the full story

An Awesome Promotional


Oh wow. Never have I seen one of the best promotional video of a Gracie Barra school. Professor Carlos Lemos heads this school. High production value and kick ass musical score. Keep it up Downer's Grove

Like and share this video!

Carlos Lemos Junior, known in the fighting world as “Escorrega” is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Master Carlos Gracie Junior. Lemos is a 2x World Jiu Jitsu Champion who was one of the Gracie Barras “missionaries” in Europe at the turn of the century, where he opened several of the team’s franchises. Escorrega has also ventured successfully into MMA where he had an auspicious start with two wins in 2011.


Jiu-Jitsu for everyone!

Eating well Choosing the right protein bar.

The proteins are the main organic compound in our muscles. They are essential to many organism structures such as the hair, bones, skin, nails and cells. They participate in enzymes, antibodies and hormones construction. Besides, they provide our body with energy and help to regulate the metabolic processes. Is anyone still in doubts about how important the proteins are? For those who are looking for lean body mass gains and improvements in the training performances, the right consumptioa of this nutrient is a must.


We can find many kinds of proteins available for selling, in different size, flavor and form. But are they all actually healthy? Being very welcomed for those with a busy routine, the protein bars are delicious. But are all of them healthy? No. So, today in Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu, we will teach you how to choose the right bar. After all, eating well is health. Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu!

1- Read the pack. When you are buying a protein bar, pay special attention to the nutritional info shown in its pack. Some brands may bring additives and sugar in excess. Vegans should also be aware of the protein source.

2- Nutritional information. Also, read all the other nutritional info provided. Compare the available options e decide for the best choice to you. Different bars may have different protein sources, carbohydrates, fat and other nutrients. The amounts also vary.

3- Protein amount: Pay attention! Depending on its size, a bar may provide up to 30g in proteins. More than that is useless. The organism will not be able to efficiently absorb a higher amount, and the leftover may end up in your waist.

barra-de-proteina4- Carbohydrate amount. There is no free carbohydrate bars. This is not exactly bad, as long as they bring a moderate amount (up to 15g in a 30g bar). It will be used to replace energy and will help the body to absorb the necessary amino acids, necessary for the muscle recovery. Always prefer those bars whose the carbohydrate comes from whole grains or dried fruits. Stay alert: Is sugar the first ingredient listed? Then, it means the sugar is the main carbohydrate source. Choose for another bar and/or use this brand less frequently.

5- Fat amount: The fat amount must also be moderated. In addition, it should be mostly composed by mono and poli-unsaturated types. Those are typically present in nuts and peanut butter. Keep an eye: Avoid any bars with trans-fat.

Fibers Quantity: They fill your stomach and help you to control the blood sugar levels. Besides, fibers also stimulate the intestine good functions. Be aware: It's recommended that your bar offers at least 1g of fibers.

7- Vitamins and minerals. There's such a long list of antioxidant substances. But be careful about sodium. In excess, it will bloat your body. Be aware: If the bar has way much sodium, refuse it! Otherwise, you can exceed the daily limit of 2400 milligrams.

barra-de-proteinas-peligrosas-1024x5128- Training length x Quantity. Your training lasts like 1 hour? So, your bar must have about 150 or 200 calories. If you have one with a higher caloric amount, divide it, eat the first half and keep the other one aside for your next snack

9- Protein types. Usually, the cheaper bars are made from soy proteins. The soy protein is not bad, but its composition and the way it is digested are very different from the whey protein. Besides, the soy is a bit allergenic.

This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

Does sizes make any difference?

Let's say that your won the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu genetic lottery; where you were born with a good frame, height way above the average grappler. For those born blessed with this physique, one may think, oh goodie. He'll be an instant star in BJJ. Or probably the lesser gifted players should cower and run for the hills.


Well, I stand around 58. And for Asian standard, that's above average height. However, there are ups and downs to being taller than the common stock: smaller, more experienced BJJ players can still best me. Yes. Size does matter. But there times where technique and experience can put the leverage on the stronger and the bigger.

Well, that's the good news.

Stepping out on the mats in BJJSmaller guys squirm quicker. Personally, I have difficulty holding them in one place. Well, smaller guys are a lot quicker. Knowing the risk of grappling against a heavier opponent, smaller guys employ techniques such as foot lucks and trips. They avoid getting mounted especially the side mount. Smaller, though, can scoot out of a bad position. Which makes bigger dudes cringe in annoyance. :)

In my experience, smaller guys have the advantage of taking the back quicker than his bigger counter part. Although holding a bigger guy down can pose a problem. As I've noticed in most sparring sessions, smaller guys focus on transitions, passes, and more on subs.

The end is neigh for gargantuan guys like me against smaller guys. Well, for guys who may have the size advantage but has yet to figure out a way to go against guys that are a lot smaller, here are some pointers.

At the beginning of each sparring session, try to have a lower stance. Sprawling will be simpler. Focus on gaining an early sweep for a mount. Any mount will do. As long as you do it right, it shouldn't be a problem. Mounts and knee-on-belly are rare instances. Almost certainly setting the smaller guy up for failure. Therefore, as bigger guys, anticipate the game of the smaller man with more submissions, sweeps, and points on advantage and position.

I hope this helps.

How Much Does Greatness Cost

Everything that is worth doing requires sacrifice. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for one, requires a lot of sacrifice. Anyone wanting to be separated from the common stock would have to give something up.

To sacrifice for greatness is to pay its cost. Have you ever wondered how much will it cost you to be great at something. Jiu-Jitsu has a price to pay. All great BJJ legends understand this concept. So how much are you willing to pay to become of the Jiu-Jitsu greats? Find out in the video.

Are you ready? It's $86,400. Curious? Watch the video to find out


Eating Well The Superfood Goji Berry


The superfoods are, more than ever, present in the lives of those who value a healthy life-style. Being healthy is already like a routine. And the more, the better. In Jiu-Jitsu, we frequently use the expression maximum efficiency, minimum effort and we do believe that the same is right when it comes to superfoods. But, what do we mean by that?Check this full story

Check this cool video about this new comers

There is not a secret, You just need just to train hard

Dont mistake dreams for desires.

April 5, 2014

What you desire is exactly like what you dream of? Dreaming and desiring are totally different things. At first, you may think that their differences are insignificant. But they are not.


The 21st century young guys are used only to desire things. In the fighting world, what better defines an ‘only desire’ example is that student who speaks to the world about his winning desires, but do quite little for that. He/she ends up training only for desire, not for a dream. And dreams without hard work only generate frustrated people. Dreaming and desiring are, more than ever, very different points.

Desires will not support the life's obstacles. Dreams are life projects, they survive the chaos (Augusto Cury)

anaetinocoSo, what really differ those two words? You! Not only the young guys are victims of their tons of desires, but all those people who desire a lot and dream a little. The willingness is, usually, something momentary. You want that, but do not know until what point you are going to and what you will do to achieve that. When you define an objective for your future and fight for that every day, you become a dreamer.

Dreams will make you go ahead, despite the obstacles, through your long journey up to your conquest. It is not about idealizing something, but adding value to what you want so much for your life. Everywhere, regardless where you are, there will be thousands of people who consider themselves as dreamers. They will tell you about how much they want something, but won't tell what they actually do for achieving that. Usually, they will complain about tiredness and pain, and will give up in the middle of their path. And when they stop, they also stop dreaming and that fake-dream reveals itself as a momentary desire.

If you dream of something, stop and think about what you have been doing for that. This kind of reflection will help you to review some points and make you stronger to deal with the obstacles ahead.

Gracie Diet, Veggie Pasta

Healthy Veggie Pasta | Photo by Carol Gracie

Healthy Veggie Pasta | Recipe by Carol Gracie

Learn how to make a nutritious Quinoa Fusilli Pasta with Mix Veggies and a homemade Sweet Tomato Sauce.

This is a very fulfilling meal, perfect for lunch or dinner. It is still low calorie and low fat in case you are worried about not gaining a few extra pounds and in keeping your heart healthy. It contains all natural ingredients, including the sauce. And because it is homemade does not carry any preservatives. Everything is fresh!Check the full story.

Amateur and the Pro



Have you been into BJJ for a long time? If so, have you ever wondered why you haven't moved up the ranks, or at least have won gold in any tourney? Are you tired of training; feeling a bit unsuccessful in BJJ. Well, you have stumbled upon an article that can save you. So READ on.

There is a difference between an amateur and a pro. In any field, regardless if its in business, or employment, the difference between the amateur and the pro draws the line on becoming successful. And I say this with so much conviction. Decide to at least act like a pro. I am pretty sure that you will notice the difference in your game.

jjfeveryDifference #1: the Goals

Pros have a specific goal in mind. They just do not want to be awarded the black belt, they expect to be a black belt and set goals and plan on how to get it. If they say that they give themselves 7 years to get the black belt, all of their actions and support their goals.

Difference #2: Routine

Pros have routines. Think of a change of routine as a tweak to your already existing one. If your routine is to wake up late in the day and not do cardio, how about sleeping early to wake up early and do a few laps around the block.

Difference #2: Complaining

Yes. Pros complain less. Jiu-Jitsu can be stressful at times, and can frustrate anyone. Advance training can lead to sore muscles. But complaining about it will not help. There is a psychological issue about complaining: it reinforces the negative. Whenever we complain, we beat ourselves down further. and It's not healthy.

delDifference #3; Diet

We have read about it, and seen the results. The question is: why aren't you still doing it. Pros have a healthy diet plan. It's a fact. When we eat healthy, we function healthy. When we function healthy, we perform at our best. What we put inside our bodies is what we become. Food directly affects our system. Try to research on the best kinds of foods that is good for you.

Difference #4: Pros prepare

A big competition is on the way. The big day is coming. Pros prepare. They devise a game plan. Pros focus on being on the top of their game. They work on their cardio, submission, etc. They prepare because they want to win. Every pro athlete does this. They spend extra hours in the gym. They are hard on themselves. Pros believe that hard work pays off. They work now to be able to play later.

Jiu-Jitsu Myths

April 1, 2014

Everybody may be thinking about these myths, or at least may have these these ideas in mind. For those who may believe in these myths, could led to the failure of their BJJ careers. Myths are myths. They may hold an ounce of truth in them, but more often than not, they do more harm than good.


Although myths can be fun to talk about, most of those tend to bend the truth.

MYTH #1: BJJ is the end all, be all of martial arts
FACT: BJJ is not the end all, be all, it's just better.

This will definitely spark some debate which can lead to well more debate. A lot will question the practicality or how BJJ is applied. But my counter argument is always this: it depends.

Seriously. It depends on where you are going to apply the gentle art. MMA? Sure go for it. Street fight? Well, yes and no. There is a way for you to use BJJ in street fights. it will take some slight modification for it to be street fight worthy.

MYTH #2: Size and strength will not matter
FACT: Yes it will.

imagesOver the course of my career in BJJ, I have come across this mindset. More often it has made most promising BJJ artist fail. Does strength matter? Yes! Does size matter? Yes! Will a 10 year old win against a 30 year old? Of course not. Because these attributes count. If it didn't, then we wouldn't have divisions in BJJ tourneys.

strength advantage has always been the bread and butter of champions. What will you do with all these techniques if your can't crank the neck hard enough to submit someone? Will here is teh good news: you can build strength thru training. If you have been neglecting this one, there is still time to catch up.

MYTH #3: It takes less than 5 years to become a black belt
FACT: Takes 7-8 years

We are not discouraging anyone to grind so hard to become a black belt the soonest possible time. It does happen, but it doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen.

My advise, go out there and enjoy the journey. If you are cruising too fast to your destination, will you get to enjoy the scenery? I bet not. You will be so distracted about keeping your eye on the road. It wouldn't hurt to simply coast from time to time. BJJ is a journey. It's a lifestyle.

anaetinocoMYTH #4: It's ok not to attend training, there is always YouTube.
FACT: Err.. no.

Come on. You're supposed to enjoy training. Training is fun. You get to meet a lot of people in training. you might miss out on the awesome opportunity on meeting that potential, life-long training partner. Think about the enjoyment. Certainly you cannot get that over the YouTube. Yes. It's a great way to learn a few techniques and check out what made who-submit-who, but real training on the mat is always the key.

Professor and his role as mentor

With a day-by-day relationship, some people end up having a different meaning in our lives. As incredible as it may seem, some students who just started their Jiu-Jitsu classes will describe their professor as a special person in their lives.


It is not only about how good it is to take classes with that person who became your reference. It's also about the fellowship that will rule the gentle art mats. And then, even the purpose that leads the student to the school will be changed by that. Of course, the main thing continues to be the training itself, but sometimes, there is a psychologic reason that takes that individual to the classes.

COMPANHEIRISMOA simple chat with the professor, not related to techniques or fight, can change lot of things. There will be some moments when you feel you should give up everything, and you even do not know the real reason to feel that way. When you are discredited with yourself and upset, the trainings do not seem to work that well to you. Something is happening. The truth is that most of our thoughts are comprised by the encounter of our stimulus, which provide us with the necessary energy to go ahead. And that's when the professor and his/her value beyond the gentle art will appear. All the experience gained through the life and the Jiu-Jitsu challenges makes the teacher a kind of psychologist

Some will even joke: I gotta stand you not only wearing a kimono but also without it now. But that quick review and thoughts pre-training can positively influence the student inside and outside the mat. Athlete, instructors or amateurs regardless their position inside the dojo, they are all common people who have to face personal problems like anyone else.

But how will you know that something is wrong with your student? The first signals will appear through the behavior. The easy-going guy seems now sad, or that quiet student is excessively excited. Even during a combat training you can notice those changes in situations that the student would resist until the end, subtly he is now giving up too fast.

samukaAnd it is when the teacher friend's shoulder must act. A nice talk, an advice, and many times even a hug. The results will be noticed within some days. That smile will come back and replace the sad face.

One thing is for sure: Being a teacher is far beyond being that person who is there only to teach. A professor must know his/her students and figure out when something is wrong with them. The professor must know how to talk and to be a real friend.

Eating well pre-competition meal by Max Carvalho

March 20, 2014


1st degree black-belt by Zé Radiola and born in Recife, PE, Brazil, Max Carvalho is standing out in the European Jiu-Jitsu scenario. He currently lives in Hungary, where he owns a Gracie Barra school branch. However, day by day, he has been spreading the Jiu-Jitsu vision all around the world. Now he also owns school branches in Croatia, Austria, Russia, Ukraine and Serbia.Check the full story544154_526753394080889_1932219519_n

BJJ is Efficacy?

March 14, 2014

While I wish not to delve into the controversy that BJJ has lost its efficacy in MMA, let us, for awhile, lower our eyebrows, and allow our blood pressure to go down.


Feeling better?

images-30Here's where my blood pressure went up:

I was in the office doing my typical clerical boring 8-5 job, when someone approached me and said, hey you do BJJ right? It's not as effective as wrestling. Nobody should doing BJJ anymore since it's an antiquated art.

I was like, Ok. Go on.

He argued, BJJ was effective back then. But now everyone knows how to counter it. All you need is good wrestling.

That got me thinking. Was he right? Did he have a claim valid enough for me believe him?

But let us first check on the statistics. Submissions in MMA has gone down dramatically over the past few years. One in every 4 fights end in submissions. But for the benefit of those who may want to contradict the numbers, here are the numbers for UFC in 2012:

There are 95 decisions (47.5%), 58 KO's (29%). 46 Submissions (23%), 1 Diqualification (0.5%).

It was a sign of relief when I had all the numbers crunched. It is not true that BJJ has lost its magic in the cage. The difference of 12 submissions than of a KO victory is a small variance.

Yes. It is small. 12 is just 2 fights over in an MMA event fight card. If one UFC fight card is packed with submission artists, I bet the numbers will inch closer to KO's stats.

What is surprising is that almost the same statistical difference can be seen in Bellator. Not just in the UFC. Bellator in 2013 has 38.7% KOs vs. 27.9% in subs. Again, it's somwhere between a 12 pt difference.

bjj-mma-brazilian-jiu-jitsu-jujutsu-fightWhat does it say? I believe that the dude who approached me is misguided or may have been misled by the fact that everyone in MMA should be able to submit.

There are factors in submitting guys in MMA. For one thing, it IS MMA. It's a lot tougher to submit guys when you are thinking about flying knees, showtime kicks, the foot-on-the-face-kick, the spinning elbow, and those evil leg kicks. Most guys avoid being taken down, nobody would want to be in the deep waters with someone who knows how to choke the life out of you. Therefore, there are more MMA fighters who takes the time in studying submission defence and escapes.

The more fighters incorporating BJJ into their game, the more ways fighters can come up with ways to avoid getting submitted. Tapping is always optional, though.

Knocking someone out gets more credit? Why? Because a knock out is shown on more replays in MMA events. The big screen allows fighters to bask in the glory of their handy work.

BJJ has yet to lose its magic in the cage. And so what if it does? Will it make the gentle art less attractive? I guess it won't. Regardless is everyone stops using BJJ in the ring, I still would not quit training. The benefits are just far too great to let go. The lifestyle and the teachings alone is worth every drop of sweat that comes out of my pores.

And one last thing: Putting on a Gi is just cool.

Jiu-Jitsu for everyone!

Professor Braga interview

Professor Braga recently gave an interview to Gracie Barra website sharing his thoughts about Jiu jitsu and his life style

Click here

Courage means working hard

March 10, 2014

What does courage mean? Push through fails, get up when life knocks you down and dust yourself up when others continue to roll on the ground? The dictionary gives us one definition: confidence or spiritual strength to overcome difficult situations, perseverance to face moral dilemmas.


A difficult situation in jiu jitsu arises every time we step on the mats for an upcoming competition. Courage to fight in a category that has the most tough and fit guys is something our athletes require. Yes, it all comes down to courage.

jeff_2When a heavy category fighter faces one from a lighter category we often think it’s crazy. In fact, in some cases it can seem as a poorly-thought decision. In the case of Jefferson Moura (36), a black belt 4th degree, responsible for the GB Rio Matriz, many considered his decision as pure madness.

Courage comes from the way you perceive the challenge
Jefferson Moura

Jefferson has truly faced real challenges in his life path. This outstanding warrior and regional leader of Rio de Janeiro, is a two-time world champion, 7-times Brazilian champion and that’s not even counting his many state titles. What makes him so extraordinary is his perseverance. Reaching such a level of excellence would make many believe they can give up competing altogether, but for him this only marks the beginning of his journey. The many achievements only developed his qualities as a teacher turning him into an example for more than 200 students and countless fans all over the world.

What else could Jefferson Moura take on as a challenge? In all honesty-nothing. But the warrior spirit of the black band couldn’t be silences. Which is why during the preparation of the students for the 2014 European ( IBJJF ), Jefferson decided to compete.

jeffAt 36 years with 20 of them passed in training, the family man and teacher wouldn’t stop at nothing to increase his pace of training and enroll in the championship. As he likes to say: Courage comes from the way you perceive challenge.

Surrounded by students and parents Jefferson put on a white kimono the color of calm and tranquility.

He took part in two fights, one ending in victory and one in defeat. The European title did not come, but the example of his courage to enter one of the most competitive categories in the world of the gentle art heavy weight, only increased the admiration of everyone around him.

Strong Back rather than a lighter load

March 6, 2014

Don't ask for a light load, but rather ask for a strong back.

This quote struck me a bit while I was swimming through the vast oceans of the internet. I've realized that the journey to BJJ is not a easy one. For those who have quit early or chose to not to pursue further because they are looking for something easy. Again, all good things (and the rewarding ones is not easy. It's just reality.


In my very first tourney, I actually focused on one thing: praying. I prayed that I will have a less experienced opponent who would gladly give his back for me to get the easy choke. I wished for a skinny opponent who is absolutely hapless in the gentle art. Yes. I prayed for the wrong thing.

GB chicago open Well, God never answered my prayer. Instead he gave me an experienced guy. The dude literally threw me around like a rag doll. A word of advice: hip throws aren't fun. For a moment there, I thought that luck wasn't on my side at all, or being seeded to an opponent whose skills far exceeded mine as unfair.

For that reason: I remembered that results, victories, and improvement are not about the factors that you cannot control. Yes. You can get lucky to go against someone inexperienced. But come on, where is the fun in that?

BJJ is not all about the number of wins that you can rack up in a single tourney. Competition is fun. But competition is the time where you can gauge how much you have improved, or how much you have learned.

Don't ask for a light load, but rather for a stronger back

GB Master's DivisionThis became my mantra. And then, I believe that I have improved. I made every competition about my improvement and not about getting being better than the experienced or the weak, or beating those who cannot tell the difference from an armbar attempt to a triangle. Train hard so that you can best better opponents. Believe you me, in the end, you will feel better.

Key for the success being your own leader

There are always people who excel in their skills everywhere you look. They are born leaders and in time they grow into their role of being one.

The leaders of a company all share a common goal to reach the highest level of their professional environment. But what about those who are not there yet? Does that mean they will never achieve the highest level?

Jiu-Jitsu GracieThere are two types of people–the conformists and the doers. The conformists always make due with the current situation, sticking it out time and again completely satisfied with the fact that they’re not going anywhere in life. A doer is a guy who is constantly seeking the best and of working towards it.

In some cases there are people who were born with the leadership gene, but in reality this is not true. The first fundamental step to achieving anything in life on and off the mat is initiative. When you decide to go a little further with the aim of adding to the staff of the company where you work, you make a conscious decision of moving forward. Even if it seems small, this sets off in motion a complex mechanism of self-growth and development.

iniOnce you’ve established yourself as a leader, new responsibilities arise and with them so do new challenges. Being a leader is about individual actions, but team efforts. This forms the synergy required for the collective growth. This evolution of the thought will reveal new horizons.

Believe in yourself and advance! Define your objectives and set targets as obstacles tend to be overcome in pursuit of your dreams.


It's worth it! 15 Tips For Getting a Black Belt

We know that the journey is not an easy one and the road is long; it will be difficult and daunting. Countless times you’re going to think about giving up, but don’t. Believe me, there is no way to describe the feeling of receiving the Black Belt. It is unique and exclusively yours. The GB family will be there to cheer for you. It’s worth it, believe me!

1 Jiu Jitsu is a beautiful art and everyone is capable of learning it and enjoy its many benefits. Jiu Jitsu is for everyone, including you !

2 If you give 100 % of yourself, the result will be obvious. The black belt is a white belt that didn’t give up.

3 Your goal is to become a black belt, this is a vision you must carry within you every day. It is something you should visualize every time you step on the mat.

4 Do not be afraid to fail. You cannot be paralyzed by fear or failure. If you think so you'll never struggle to overcome your shortcomings. To fight and continue fighting you must believe in yourself and your vision. And by doing this you will know its the right thing to do. The black belt will come, so do not be afraid to fail.

black-015 You will never fail if you work hard enough, if you are persistent and do not give up. We always have something good to take everything that happens to us. If you want to be a black belt, there is absolutely no shortcuts, only hard work. There are a lot of things you can accomplish if you strive.

6 Improves your quality of life, self-esteem, discipline and health. From white to black belt you constantly evolve in every field of life.

7 Do not look for excuses, look for solutions. You have to bring the best in you. It's your time, it's your choice.

8 When you start seeing your achievements: You will smile, cheer up, have the strength to continue and see through things to the end. Every change is a unique and unforgettable experience you carry for the rest of your life even after earning the black belt.

9 Battling to win the black belt is an opportunity for personal growth, development and overcoming, learning things.

10 There is no loss in Jiu Jitsu. You either win or learn.

11 The more you train, the better you will get and therefore realize your true potential in life more fully.

Black Belt12 Leadership, confidence, focus, achievement of goals and challenges. Success on the mat equals success in life.

13 The process of training in Jiu-Jitsu is a consequence of the application of these principles and it is natural that the student begins to draw parallels between the challenges faced on the mats and the challenges faced in life.

14 The more you train  the more you will arm yourself with knowledge and skills to face, as a black belt, all your battles in life.

15 When the journey is more important than the destination, you become a GB black belt .

Price for greatness isnt cheap

Today, I was listening to one of the contemporary motivational speakers. His name is J. Wilkins. He said that for us to be great, we have to pay the price. And that greatness never goes on SALE! We have to pay the full price. Let's look at the professors at Gracie Barra; and see if they also paid the price to be where they are. The answer is yes. Sacrifices, aching muscles, hours on the mat, rivalries, etc.


J. Wilkins pointed out that the best things in this world are never cheap. Everything comes with a price. Some good things go on sale, where the price goes cheap. He pointed this out:

During the Black Friday sale, most items go on sale. Where stores push products to be on sale. But notice great brands such as Louis Vuitton, Armani, Gucci, and Chanel. For consumers to get hold of these great brands, they need to pay full price. There is no question about it.

While the world of Jiu-Jitsu are strides differ from consumer products, understand that the greatness of being a black belt, an achiever, to be someone who lives to define his moment, for someone who pushes for the top, a price has to be paid. And it will never come cheap. The price will never go down.

bull2Greatness does'nt come at a 2 for the price of 1 sale. Nor a shortcut to being a black belt will never ever be found. Either take the rough road to it, or do not take it at all.

As Jiu-Jitsu artists who are reading this, Gracie Barra wishes that everybody pays the full price into becoming a great Jiu-Jitsu artist. It is because you are destined for greatness. You are destined to succeed. Happy Monday everyone!

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone! 

Gracie Family tribute

Check this amazing video about the gracie family, how everything started it.

GB News: Rituals before the fight Everyone has one

The open championships season is upon us and a common sight amongst all the competitors are the many ways they battle anxiety and prepare for stepping on the mats.


These small giveaways have always appeared interesting to the crowd and the competitors. There are those who kneel and pray prior to a fight, others slap themselves to raise the adrenalin, there are even cries and moments spent in isolation, but the most common sight is of the MP3 player.
Music is known to have a soothing effect, regardless of its genre. It’s common for athletes to immerse in the calming rhythm of rock, blues, pop and classical melody in an effort to mentally prepare for a fight.

1376417_586973288015070_1733432320_nAnother striking resemblance is the color of the kimono most commonly used by athletes. There is a reason that the classic white is the one we spot most often is because this color is considered by many to attract good energy, balance and inner peace. Darker colors, such as blue (allowed in official IBJJ competitions) are considered to be ‘battle colors’. Blue, on the other hand, is also believed to be the color of confidence.

Athletes should always keep in mind that what really makes a difference in the fight is how much time they spent in training, healthy eating and preparation. These are the keys to a clean victory. Still, there’s no harm in putting to use all those comforting rituals that get us into a top shape before a fight, right?


Getting stronger with Gracie diet


Our eating well today is extra special as it’s put together with the collaboration of Carol Gracie, the daughter of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. As you all know, Carol keeps a healthy lifestyle that combines physical, mental and spiritual well-being through the practice of Jiu-Jitsu, outdoor exercises with a healthy and balanced diet. In other words, Caroline has a lot to teach us

GB News: Victories of the week for Gracie Barra

♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫

Over the last weekend (16 and 17), the mats at the on-going competitions were more busy than ever. The Pan American for Kids, the Selective Abu Dhabi and Open summer took place and despite the vast difference, all of the participants were a community. We are proud to announce a brilliant performance from Gracie Barra.


pan_kids-300x200On Sunday, our little champions of the future demonstrated their skills. 97 soldiers proudly carried the red shield. Although small in size, their efforts yielded big results: 241 points earned second place for the Gracie Barra team.

Speaking of big stars at GB, André Campos, Rodrigo Fajardo, Victor Estima and Gilmar Oliveira qualified in the World Pro tryouts held in Gramado RS and cemented their position at the big day in Abu Dhabi.

In Rio de Janeiro, the Open Summer 2014 event was held by the Federation of Jiu-Jitsu in Rio de Janeiro (FJJRIO) at the Yacht Club. The competition took place during the state championships season. As usual, Gracie Barra’s participation resulted in the gain of many victories and medals in various weight divisions.

pimpolho_abu_dhabi-300x300The championship lasted two whole days. The first was reserved for the demonstrations of the juvenile category, blue belts: Arian de Melo (17) , Henrique Salgado (16) and John Peter Soeiro (17) earned the highest place. In the master blue belt standouts were Rodrigo Ferrari and Fernando Carmo , both earning first place and a brown belt, Adjal Manoel earned the silver medal. After 10 years without competing, he served as an example of resilience and inspiration to all.

Teachers also took part in the competition. Among them, Diego Almeida Tutuba black belt, responsible for the GB Reserva after winning 2 fights (one by submission and one by points) won the bronze medal same as Adriano Cleto, brown belt and instructor at GB Flamengo. Among the most experienced, the 3rd degree black belt, Joelson Venancio Joe instructor at GB Rio Matriz, between which classes and training prepared for the competition , earning 2nd place.

Jefferson Moura receiving the trophy from Master Robson Gracie

IMG_1521-e1392666924159-200x300Thanks to dedication and efforts of our warriors the result of the competition was 3rd place for our team with a total of 129 points. This being the first event of the year the athletes who won 1st and 2nd placed in the rankings last year were awarded with diplomas and trophies by FJJRIO.

Moreover, Jefferson Moura, general coordinator of GB in Rio received from the hands of Master Robson Gracie President of FJJRIO, the trophy for 3rd place for overall result for the team in 2013.
I would like to congratulate all who represented our red shield. The trophy for the third place is a good achievement, although it could have been better. Every day we are better than before, moving closer and closer to our goal to be first. Soon we will have a good position. We are going to the next competition more prepared said Jefferson Moura.

Check out photos from the event this past weekend:

♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫

victor_estima-620x620IMG_1718-620x413 IMG_1547-620x413 diogo_estadual-620x620 Andre_abu_dhabi

Jiu-Jitsu techniques against an attacker should not be taken seriously in this video

But you can laugh at it anyway. While taking the “rules” of training and applying them to the street, Jean Machado (son of John Machado) produces a scenario that we hope no one finds themselves in.

Note: This is in no way an instructional video. Sarcasm aside, you should definitely never approach a mugger in this way.

Jiu Jitsu for Everyone philosophy is contagious

February 10, 2014

Think only about the best, work only for the best, and always expect the best” Grand Master Carlos Gracie

Have you ever stopped to think that the GB philosophy ‘Jiu-Jitsu for everyone’ extends far beyond the mat? Many of us are already aware of the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle, which combines training, a healthy diet, strong bonds with family and friends, self-discipline and a never-ending journey to become a better person.

GBGroup_2OK, so we’ve all been there. You’re struggling, unsure what direction to head in, what course of action to undertake. But have you ever stopped to think that our philosophy is going far beyond just changing the lives of those who practice Jiu-Jitsu and can help people of any age, gender and social background?

Yes, thats right. Today Gracie Barra is a worldwide community of over 400 schools spread around the globe. It has been making a difference in the lives of countless people regardless if they practice jiu-jitsu or not. Do you know the reason behind our success?

Being committed to the philosophy we’re trying to popularize, all of GB’s practitioners and representatives become great examples to their immediate family, friends and co-workers and we all know that change starts with ourselves! Through the power of the personal example, we gradually lay the foundation for a larger scale of followers who are willing to embrace our philosophy and adopt it as their own.
Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu for Kids
As people around us start to watch out what they eat, take care of their physical and mental health, become less stressed and start enjoying life more, many will eventually become actively involved in the practice of the gentle art too. And those who have never stepped on the mat? People, practicing the sport are also following the ‘jiu-jitsu for everyone’ philosophy. These are people who have adapted to our philosophy for a better lifestyle, better community, BETTER WORLD .

Become part of the GB philosophy and Master Carlos Gracie jr’s vision. Always strive for a better world and make a difference in people’s lives.

GB Jiu-Jitsu is for EVERYONE, even those who are not actively involved.

Training with a instructor is really important

Supplemental Learning in Jiu-Jitsu

Ok. I have heard a lot of people telling me that they learned Jiu-Jitsu just by watching videos. OR worse, learning MMA just by watching the UFC. Although I agree that media is a great tool for learning, but still nothing beats getting all sweaty and toughing it out with your professors. This is just me. But I acknowledge the advantage of media being integrated in training. Back in the early 90's when I first saw the Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu training video, I have grown to appreciate video training materials.

Berimbolo time!

Check this cool video about the berimbolo

Gracie Barra Knoxville does an amazing job at Naga Atlanta

Gracie Barra Knoxville went to Atlanta represeting the Jiu jitsu in knoxville and bringing home 5 Golds and 2 bronzes with only 4 competitors!

Good job everyone that competed

Super Foods The countless benefits of Chia

Eat well , live well


A healthy diet and fitness regime has always been crucial part of the routine of athletes and physically active people. Nowadays campaigns for healthier lifestyle are becoming increasingly popular. The truth is: Eating well and being healthy has never been trendier. The benefit of this is that with increased awareness, more and more information becomes available through research , media, artists and professionals.

Professor Braga Fan Page

samuel braga jiu jitsu

Check professor Braga fan page, He will be posting fights, techniques, and training tips there

The Man Who Wins is the Man Who Thinks He Can

I recently stumbled upon an article about marketing. It seems that one of the biggest facets about the business is motivation and the mind. And I can't help but think that there is a huge similarity with Jiu-Jitsu, and goes to show that most people who succeed in the field of marketing, for both online and offline, have to have the mindset of a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Whichever, and whoever exists first does not matter.

Gracie Barra is primarily, and as I would like to call, came from a thought. A primordial thought by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Now, I want you to do something first. STOP reading this article, and look at the Gracie Barra logo.logo

Eating properly will help your jiu jitsu

January 15, 2014

The rush of everyday life forces people to resort to fast and easy food preparation. Most often, concerned only with the time we spend in preparing the meal we leave out its true value: how nutritional it is. It seems hard to keep all of this in mind, especially after a long day of work and training. But what if eating something healthy means it’s also easy to make?


Check our full story.

Woman getting in shape and confident with jiu jitsu

January 13, 2014

Some videos you just have to share.

That's the case of the one you're about to watch.

It comes from Mark Ward, a student of GMA academy Ocean County JJ, under Ricardo Almeida's black belt Tom De Blass.

Just watch it and show it to your friends.

Eating well is Jiu Jitsu: your food, your victories


When we talk about the preparation of elite athletes, the first thought that comes to mind is: TRAINING, lots of training! What follows is remembering that physical preparation in general is also important. For many fighters all it takes is maintaining a healthy, balanced diet to stay at their top form. However believing that training and exercise burn out everything you eat – no matter how unhealthy – is a big mistake. The human body is a complex machine and certain foods work like fuel just as others jam it. A consistent power supply of poor quality, always leads to a malfunction.

Eating like a champion full story

Jiu Jitsu Changed My Life:Bryan Parke History

We had to post this story. It's about changing lives through Jiu-Jitsu is what realy counts!!! We have other stories but we will post one at a time.

I was running some errands on a July morning in 2013 when I looked to my left on saw the, “triangle G” above a sign in a tiny shopping center on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. I recognized it as the Gracie symbol! I did a u turn and walked inside the academy doors and a change in my life happened.


Click here for full story

Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu: Overate during the holiday season Detox in a day

With the holiday season upon us everybody risks eating more than it’s healthy or advisable. Even dedicated athletes are drawn in the festive mood and can be tempted to have a bite or two more than they should. It’s not hurting anyone, is it? After all, it’s a well-deserved treat after all the workouts, championships, stress and training


Check full story

New Year New Attitude

2013 was a good year for Gracie Barra. We've seen monumental movements with the number of followers, believers, and practitioners. We saw a huge rise in the potential of each schools. And we believe that that more is about to happen for 2014.

birthday cake

An important core in the art of BJJ is our attitude. But before we delve into that, let's take a few minutes to asses how much we did in 2013.

Yes. It's the past. But for us to get results, we must first look at how much of 2013 was spent in personal development.

How much time did you spend in the gym?

How many times were you able to push yourself beyond your limit?

Did you join any tournaments in 2013?

How's your health? DId it improve?


These are but simple questions that I'd like for you to answer. Briefly looking back at 2013 would be great. But notice the word that i used. It's briefly.

Jiu-Jitsu is all about moving forward. It's all about our growth. It's all about moving forward. If you have answered in the negative about your 2013 Jiu-Jitsu experience, how about we move forward for 2014 then? Sounds great?

Here are some tips

1. Get yourself off the couch and train- imagine spending hours on end on your free time while your gi gathers dust (or mold) getting off that chair will do wonders

2. Have a vision in mind - your vision has to be in line with your virtues and beliefs. If your vision is not strong enough, you may want to revisit your belief system and see whether it's for y our personal growth.

04333. Interact with your coaches more - learning from your coaches is something that everyone should be doing. It's not enough to sit around and look at them doing the drills or teaching you that awesome new choke. Look closer, analyse and try it for yourself.

4. Join more tournaments - yes. A few bucks for fun will not hurt you. Imagine this, i can bet $100 that you have spent more money on things that you never really needed. So do you need tournaments? Yes! it's all part of your growth process. Jiu-jitsu is an art of practice. Practice is and become good at it.

2014 holds the biggest surprises in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. Be there to see it happen!

New years with Gracie Barra

Happy New Years from Gracie Barra Knoxville

Recaping 2013 year

Do you know the meaning of the popular OSS?

In the world of martial arts, particularly in jiu jitsu, you will hear the word OSS used often. Upon ending a class the Master will honor the Grand Master Carlos Gracie; when trying to motivate the students the same word will be used. You will even hear it when training buddies address each other upon stepping onto the matt.

oss-300x300Despite the fact that it is used daily many people still don’t know the true meaning behind the word. Although unfamiliar to many OSS has been part of the gentle art for many years. Created at the Naval Academy the universal Japanese expressions Ossu Oss (in Japanese) is the abbreviation for Onegai Shimassu, which stands for a request or the act of asking for something.

Out of everyday Japanese use OSS has passed into in the jiu-jitsu vocabulary, albeit with another meaning. In the holy temple of the gentle art it is pronounced, not only with the mouth, but with the heart. This sound in its enunciation demonstrates respect, commitment and trust .

Now that you understand the meaning you can step onto the matts and confidently say : OSS!

New Years schedule!

Check our new Years Schedule! We will be open everyday!

gbknox schedule

Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu Jiu-Jitsu x Obesity 2nd Round

With the great number of responses our last Eating Well is Jiu Jitsu,generated the GB team decided to continue the fight against obesity in today’s edition. People suffering from this disease know just how difficult the battle to stay in shape is, considering all the temptations we are surrounded with (fried and fat foods, sweets, confectionary, chips, etc.).

Check this full story


The Brown Belt Patience

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. Napoleon Hill

There is no short-cut for success. We are not to take elevators to it. We need to take the stairs. You, the brown belt did not take any short-cuts. You weathered and fought through aching muscles, hundreds of hours drilling, trips to the school, tournaments and what-have-yous. Each step that you took from the very first time you put on the garb a couple of years ago has come to this. You will now be known as the brown belt.

Check this full story

Great seminar for a great cause at GBKNOX.

We had amazing seminar at GBKNOX this wekeend, Professor Braga taught a seminar in exchange for toys

gracie barra knoxville

Seasons of Jiu-Jitsu: A Way of Looking Back

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

2013 is drawing to a close. Where 12 months of Jiu-Jitsu, lifestyle, leadership, training, and sacrifices are behind us. We have been great instruments in the promotion of Jiu-Jitsu. From the vantage point of Master Carlos Gracie Jr., we have moved mountains and made differences in the lives of those who were with us in our journey.

1410683_671788272855063_327655720_oThe year 2013 is a milestone for the family. Countless tournaments won, schools opened, donation drives, seminars, facebook fans reaching 100k! And the achievement keeps on rolling. An immovable force towards making Jiu-Jitsu for everyone a reality.

For us, the best way to appreciate what we have done is through reflecting. Regardless of belt, or rank, reflection and introspection works. This is because we are capable of learning.

For 2013, here are some questions that we suggest we should start asking ourselves:

How much good have I done for the team?

This is a tough question to answer. As a member of the worlds premier Jiu-Jitsu organization, go back to how you much good you have shown. Goodness and appreciation are both powerful emotions. Good emotions, good vibes will equate to a better YOU.

How many lives have I touched?

This question is linked to how we want to be remembered. As Jiu-jitsu artists, how many lives were we able to influence through the art. Gracie Barra (as I have observed) has been a unique school. The passion alone is contagious. Where it is not all about the number of students that a school signs up. Its not about the numbers, its about the effect that each coach makes in each of their lives.

ossHow much did I grow as a person?

Growth can be surmised into how balanced you are. Have you been eating better lately? Are you more relaxed? Is your temper now in check? Are you now a far cry from how you were before you started in Jiu-Jitsu? Or for the sake of this article, from 2013.

Celebrate this growth by letting your professors and coaches know how you've changed as a person. And yes. You have become better.

What were the positive changes in my lifestyle this year?

Jiu-Jitsu being more than a sport, is a lifestyle. For us to become different, we need to live different. What we input into our system will change the way we feel, see, and act. Has Jiu-Jitsu changed your lifestyle recently?

What are my plans for 2014?

Although it would be fun to just go with the flow of things, it is also best that to set goals as early as now. Things that we could consider are: the number of tournaments you've joined, how active were you in training, or the the number of techniques that you will need to learn, or the belt promotion that you would like to receive.

The Purple Belt Hard Work

When my body ‘shouts’ STOP, my mind ‘screams’ NEVER .

By now, you have reached the level where your training has paid off. You may have already lost count of the number of opponents you have submitted through brilliant chokes, arm locks, leg locks (if you were counting). By this time, your body has changed. You feel better. You are faster. Reflexes are top notch. You are now at this level where your mind is all about Jiu-Jitsu. You notice that your relationships with other people have improved. Your body has changed the way you think. This is all because of the hard work that you have put in the mat.

Check the full story

GB Blog: The Power of Conscious Training

December 5, 2013

We all train, drill and grapple. Some have it easy; being able to get it as soon as the jiu-jitsu instructor shows you the move. And have you ever wondered why there are some students who quickly is able to execute with mastery.


Gracie Barra Knoxville toy drive seminar

gbknox seminar

GB Interview: Magid Hage Gorilla Hands

December 3, 2013

There are monikers that stick to every athlete. As the name also implies greatness. The alter ego is the name. And the name is the alter ego.



Check the full story

Paul Walker pass away in a car accident

Paul Walker and Franjinha

Sad and unexpected news for the BJJ and acting community this Saturday.

Actor and BJJ brown belt Paul Walker passed away after a car accident in Santa Clarita, California.

The star of the series Fast and Furious was said to be returning from a charity event when the car he was riding as a passenger hit a tree and caught on fire.

Walker trained with Paragon BJJ leader and GMA member Ricardo Franjinha Miller.

Franjinha was helping Walker to prepare for a upcoming action movie entitled Brick Mansions

Franjinha posted on Facebook his reaction to the unexpected sad news: No words can describe my feeling right now, just RIP Bro. Your kindness and friendship will be missed. I just can't believed it. But, I want to thank you for the great times and memories that we shared together. I will Never forget It. Go in peace my friend.

The Gracie Barra Knoxville team joins in the thoughts and prayers to Walker's family and friends in this terrible moment.

Here’s a video of Walker sparring with Franjinha.

Happy thanks giving from Gracie Barra Knoxville

gbknox thanksgiving

GB Interview: Romulo Barral -The Long Jiu-Jitsu Journey

A Champion is someone who gets up even when he can’t.


We all have our journeys in BJJ ahead of us. The good thing about Jiu-Jitsu is that it has its own level of certainties and uncertainties: certain that we are going to be the best if we keep on moving, uncertain of the awesome surprises that it has for us.

An inspiring interview with one of living legends of the sport, Romulo Barral has represented the sport with passion. He has shown many what life can offer if followed with the right kind of beliefs. Life will also be surprising him with his toughest challenge yet, fatherhood!
Romulo Barral interview check it out

GBKNOX Thanks Giving schedule!

Check our schedule for this week! We will have amazing training all week! Dont miss it!

jiu jitsu knoxville thanks giving

GB Kids Fight Hard and Bring Home the Title

November 21, 2013

Spectacular achievement for the Gracie Barra Kids Team

Guide a kid through the right path and follow the kids path every once in a while


The GB Kids fought hard at the 2013 Fall Classic Jiu-Jitsu Tournament. The Gracie Barra instructors took 42 well trained kids, from different GB Schools in southern California, to compete and represent the GB Flag. It was a great learning experience to all and our kids took home the 1st place team title!

Athletics within Gracie Barra builds community and pride through the engagement of students, staff, parents, and friends, and creates a portal through which everyone can enjoy the GB experience. Successful athletic performance generates a unique excitement across the Gracie Barra Schools and community, help strengthen bonds among the various arms of our organization, build students loyalty in a healthy manner, and give Gracie Barra members yet another reason to be proud to represent the legacy of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and defend the red shield.

The next stop for the Gracie Barra Kids Team will be the SJJIF Worlds Jiu-jitsu Tournament. The tournament will be held at the Walter Pyramid Cal State in Long Beach the address is 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840. More info about the tournament can be found here.

samuel braga bjj

We need GB instructors and parents to help the GB Team

21 Days to Better Jiu-Jitsu: Let's Get the Positives Out!

Every day is a second chance

Imagine a 10 storey building standing on stilts and wood. Now visualize a hurricane hitting the 10 storey house. Logic and simple concepts in physics would predict that the house can easily topple off and fall on the ground. It is more like a very strong body not being able to withstand trials. Where belief and positivity generally keeps our bodies sturdy to weather any storm. Jiu-Jitsu requires positive energy. There are ways to become positive in the things that we do.

2013 ADCC: watch an amazing highlights video

Courage: The White Belt

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. Michael Jordan


So everybody has to start somewhere right? In Jiu-Jitsu, in school, in everything. There is a point where it all begins. And In Jiu-Jitsu, it all begins with the white belt. The color of this belt symbolizes the color white. Tabula rasa or the empty slate. To be a white belt is to understand how it is to be open to the possibilities of change.

The white belt also signifies rebirth. When we get into jiu-jitsu, we are born again. We become a new person. We rid of habits that has made us unmotivated and unsuccessful. As a white belt, we are just starting to accept a new phase in our lives. Where the physical meets the mental and the spiritual Check the full story

Full story

Two Great Examples of Why More Kids Should Get Into Jiu-Jitsu

November 14, 2013


Royce vs. Jimmerson, in 1993

The UFC is celebrating its 20-year anniversary in 2013 and today is the day to blow the candles.

On November 12, 1993, in Denver, Colorado, ten men entered a new format of battle cage.

A fenced octagon was the stage for eight fights that evening (counting the alternate) in a bracket that led to a $50,000 prize (more or less the amount paid as bonuses for fighters on UFC events today).

Eating Well is Jiu Jitsu: The Superfoods. Otavio Sousa Presents Peruvian Maca

November 13, 2013


What are Superfoods ?

Superfoods (super foods) are foods with high concentration of energy that provide huge amounts of natural , balanced and easily-absorbed nutrients. These gifts of nature , 100 % natural substances have an extraordinary ability to transform our health as they go far beyond providing simple nutrition like other foods. These superfoods play an important role in preventing many diseases and are invaluable as part of a healthy lifestyle . Some known examples are: Goji Berries , Wheat Grass ( wheatgrass ) , Chlorella , Spirulina , Raw Cacao Nibs , Maca , Lucuma , etc. .

Become part of our family 5 GOOD Reasons to Join Jiu Jitsu

1. GB Jiu-Jitsu is a truly exciting way to get fit

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is often likened to a game of human chess. If you don’t like to work out at a gym because you get bored, you’re not alone. Many of our students were tired of going to the gym, and they couldn’t find new songs or audio books to entertain them on the treadmill. They found BJJ to be the perfect workout because it requires a high level of concentration proportional to the amount of calories burned and pounds lost. What’s more, you’ll still learn to defend yourself. It’s a win-win situation.

jiu jitsu knoxville tn

Learn from the best, World champion!

Gracie Barra Knoxville has a great opportunity for you, sign up your kids now!Train with a world champion and win a brand new uniform! Don't miss this chance check the website for further information!

Eating Well is Jiu Jitsu: Energy Breakfast with Diogo Almeida Tutuba

November 6, 2013

Why is it that people still do not know how to eat well ? Let thy food be your medicine. Quality Snack.

These are just some of the phrases that can be found on Diogo Almeida Tutuba’’s Instagram –a GB Professor and black-belt athlete . And of course , all these phrases are accompanied with a photo of mouthwatering, natural and healthy foods because Tutuba knows that: Eating Well is Health , Eating Well is Jiu Jitsu .

FYI, Professor Diogo Tutuba also has another account on Instagram called Generation Green ( @geracaoverde ) where his girlfriend posts about health , nutrition , sports and wellness. At the end of the description of the profile you can read their message for their followers: Join us . We are going strong

The Gracie Barra knoxville classes are aligned with the Gracie Barra Program Structure developed by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. to meet specific learning needs from people with different ages, gender and levels. Our clean, friendly, and progress oriented environment allows students to have a challenging, inspirational, warm learning and training experience that always makes them feel like coming back.
Gracie Barra is for anyone who values discipline, wellness, martial arts, respect, and is looking for a well-balanced life-style. Whether you are a person with no training background who wants to lose weight or learn self-defense, a busy professional looking for a stress relief, a parent searching for an activity to compliment your child’s education, or an experienced martial artist aiming to further the development of your fighting skills; we have a spot for you on our mats!
Sign up now and you too can learn the Gracie Barra curriculum. Feel free to train at any of the hundreds of Gracie Barra Academies worldwide; contact us, to schedule your free intro class and start learning the most popular martial arts in the United States.



It Happened at GB: Professor “Gigantinho” in Panama

Good experience is the teacher of all things.



“Hello Team,

I would like to share with you the amazing experience I had in Panama last July with Professor Paulo Castro, Professor Marcos Perez and the Budovideos crew, Jake and Dave.

I was very happy and proud with what i saw over there, our Professors working very hard to keep our Master legacy alive.

Panama has a great Jiu-jitsu level nothing behind USA or Brazil, the schools structure is great and the classes are very well taught.

Enzo, naga. pescaria, 1213 369

The more I travel to teach seminars the more happy I am because I see our team get stronger everywhere, when I travel to teach a seminar it is not only to teach Jiu-jitsu but also Jiu-jitsu for kids where I have great experience and consultation on the business side too. I do my best to help them with anything i can. My goal is to always make them have more success at their own school.

Check Here Budo Videos Interview:

"Jiu-jitsu for everyone”


Professor Bruno Amorim taught an amazing workshop at GBNOX!

jiu jitsu knoxville workshop Professor Bruno taught an amazing workshop yesterday followed by great training session, It was an hour and half seminar, We were glad to see everyone working hard and improving, special thanks to everyone that came to support our workshop!


21 Days to Better Jiu-Jitsu: Talking About Drills

Practice does not make perfect, it makes “better.”

We cannot stress how important drilling is. But the practice is nought without being mindful about the drill. Drilling on the mats, (and the often times) mind numbing and repetitive nature of drilling can bore most beginner and intermediate learners.

If education is the mother of education, drilling is your road to master. Practice does not make perfect, it makes “better.”Check this full story


21 Days to Better Jiu-Jitsu Habits – Let’s Talk about Cardio

If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it. Ronnie Lott

Working on your cardio is the key to last longer in a sparring match (or a war in a competition). We all know how daunting it is to roll for 5 minutes, but imagine those who gets into championship matches, and invitational matches such as the Copa Podio in Brazil, or the Metamoris Pro.Check this full story


The pursuit of happiness lies in finding a purpose in life that is larger than you as an individual. Caroline Gracie


Winner in You

jiu jitsu knoxville winner


Taking Care of Your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort



Gracie Barra Knoxville just released a new promo video! Check it out! What do you think about it?


21 Days to Better Jiu-Jitsu Habits Day 5


Let’s Talk Food

Our bodies are like engines. Its performance not only relies in its design and structure, but also in the fuel that it uses. High performance cars rely on nothing but the best type of fuel. There is no exemption to it. The best fuel will equal high performance. It’s that simple.

With this analogy, I want you to look at the way that you are eating now.

List the foods that you typically eat. Remember, for this to work, you have to be very honest. The road to creating great eating habits starts when we begin to admit that we have habits that we need to change.

You need to specifically jot down the names of the foods you eat, how much of these do you consume in one sitting, on a day, and on a weekly basis.

Review the foods on the list. Review it well. It would help if you’ll log in online and check the nutrients. We are not going on a diet. We are simply tweaking what you put in your body. Research says 80% of the food being sold is unhealthy food. Our cravings for grease-fried, salty, and chemically-enhanced is just astounding.

Breaking the food habit is a tough habit to break. Even I have failed numerously in doing a check-in on what I have been eating.

Here’s what I did.

After listing the foods down on a piece of paper, I started to think on what it does to my body. So I went online and checked out some medical cases for stroke, diabetes, cancer, heart failures, etc.

From what I reckoned, I found out that I may feel healthy now, but I really am not. The unhealthy foods that we eat can take its toll on my body years from now. The tough choice to change my eating habits had to happen.

Find an Alternative

The easiest way to change a bad eating habit is through alternative choices. There are a lot of alternatives. Soda with fresh juice (or better yet, water), swap sweets with fruits, swap donuts with peanut butter and jelly. The choice is virtually endless.

Reduce Intake

Food is addictive. Breaking eating habits is tough. You may need to wean off of it. Try to alter your eating habits as slow as possible. This will help you adapt to what you want to eat.

Better Choices

Master Carlos Gracie has perfected one of the best ways to balance your body’s needs for nutrition through the Gracie Diet.

Stayed tuned for awesome recipes from our writers!

Eating well is a habit



Let's Talk About Competing


Competing is a healthy way to test what you have learned in the mats. In competing, there is growth. Everyone should compete. Testing your mettle in the mats is one of the full proof ways to get better in Jiu-Jitsu, more so, develop better habits about the art.

Throughout Gracie Barra's calendar year, there is always a chance for everyone to compete. Ultimately, it all boils down to how much competing can a student do, and how willing they are to test their skills.


Competing is Healthy

The feeling of being able to represent your own school is an awesome one. The excitement to walk on the mats made sole for competitors


Competing is the best way to learn

Learning is nought if not put to the test. Sparring is a good way to check what you have learned, but a better way is through actual competition.

Compete to reflect

Whether winning or losing, in competing there is always an avenue for anyone to look back and check on their game. Think about it. Without reflection there is no learning. In winning competitions, you reflect on the win. To be on the losing end, there is also much for introspection.

Compete to evolve

Everyone who competes evolves. A competitor undergo changes. And the changes are usually for the better. Weeks of training for a competition is more intense. Thus the experience of competing requires more time in training. The latter requiring discipline and perseverance.


Taking care of your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu: Moving Forward and Realizing Your Dreams through the Strength of Will

“All it takes to fulfill a dream is to believe in it.”

There are moments in our lives when it seems that everything is going downhill. The feeling of having fought for a long time without advancing is discouraging. At these times giving up might seem tempting, but it is important to focus on the journey rather than the outcome and have perseverance. In the case of the black belt, Hugo Britto, Professor of GB Melbourn , obtaining the title of world champion in 2003 was the ultimate proof that the strength of will can fulfill dreams.

taking care

In 2003 , the world championship of the Confederation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ( IBJJF ) took place in the cradle of the gentle art , the city of Rio de Janeiro . Fighters from all corners of the world had one common goal: to come to Rio and bag the title of world champion . Hugo had the same aim , only that the odds seemed to be against him . After becoming champion of the Brazilian championship for amateurs in 2001 and 2002 , Hugo Britto was in a great pace professionally . His close friends Braulio Estima, Luciano Ayres and Leandro Rameh all students of the Ze Radiola , had achieved victories in the world and Pan American competitions that same year . This was the dream of the GB professor , but the financial support of his parents was insufficient for the realization of his goals.Check this full story


Gracie Barra Dominates the 2013 Master and Seniors Worlds


A Reason to Celebrate a Very Early Christmas

With so much grit and drive to stay dominant in the sport, Gracie Barra, once again, dominated the mats in the recently held 2013 Master and Seniors Worlds. The family of the the red proved that training, dedication, and learning goes a long way.

In the 17 years of the tournament, countless warriors from different schools, from all over the world have competed in the much anticipated event. As the moniker implies, this was open to competitors 30 years old and up. The tradition in living the life solely for Jiu-Jitsu.

It was another awesome event. As it has been more than 4 years since Gracie Barra took the podium as the overall team getting the number spot in the tournament

The final results are as follows


2013-10-08 14_27_56-static.ibjjfdb.com_Campeonato_000211_en-US_Results.pdf - Opera

Created with flickr slideshow.


Congratulations to the champions! Continue to keep the legacy alive!


It's quite fun to do the impossible

This is an amazing video about dad carries his son through an iroman, There are not limits.

 Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu Banana Orange and Pineapple Smoothie

October 4, 2013


Ever since You are what you eat became a popular phrase studies have been demonstrating on a daily basis the importance of proper nutrition and healthy dieting for the physical and mental well-being of a person as well as the influence these have on our performance.

What we eat can have a significant effect on our lives. Food is basic means for survival we obtain the energy needed to carry out all physical and mental activities of our day-to-day tasks.Full story


It Happened at GB: Spending Quality Time Together Training BJJ

October 3, 2013

It Happened at GB

Cherish your connections- your relationships with friends and family

With today’s busy schedules, spending quality time together as a family has become more and more of a challenge. Spending quality time means doing an activity that is both meaningful to the parent and the child. What better way to spend time together as a family then training Jiu-jitsu?

Jiu-Jitsu is a great way to develop positive self-esteem, confidence, an excellent way to stay in shape and meet new friends. An activity such as Jiu-Jitsu training is a great way to strengthen the bond of any member of a family to one another. Growing together, believing in the same philosophy of health, goodwill, passion, perseverance. That is what Gracie Barra is all about!

Gracie Barra Cool Springs in Tennessee is one example of a family sharing and strengthening their bond through Jiu-Jitsu. Jeff Jones and his son Parker have takenjeffparker up Jiu-Jitsu training at Gracie Barra Cool Springs, TN. Jeff talks about what he likes about Jiu-Jitsu and about how it's a great way to get in shape, a good way to lose weight, gain self-confidence, and it's something you can do with the family.

Jeff's 5 year old son has been training for the past couple of months at GB Cool Springs as well. For children, jiu-jitsu provides an environment that allows them to experience and understand core values like focus, discipline, persistence, cooperation and respect.

Gracie Barra has classes for all ages and skill levels with an emphasis on team and family. All of our members become a part of the Gracie Barra family and are treated with respect regardless of belt rank or experience level.

It's GB's mission to train body, mind and spirit through the highest level of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instruction as a vehicle for individual development and the strengthening of the family spirit, going beyond the ‘winning-losing’ or ‘contest’ philosophy.

Watch the video below as Jeff talks about the benefits Jiu-Jitsu offers for him and his son.


Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu Protein Banana Pancake


The father of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Grand Master Carlos Gracie knows: A healthy diet is essential for all individuals especially those who engage regularly in physical activities. Eating well is healthy, eating well is Jiu Jitsu.

To improve physical and mental performance while training, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential. For those who do not know the legend and brother of Grand Master Carlos Gracie, Grand Master Helio Gracie was a poor boy who was weak and frequently sick, so he was prohibited from doing any physical activity. It was one day, when to the surprise of everyone, he stepped on the mats and never left them.

Grand Master Carlos Gracie welcomed his younger brother on the mats under the condition that Helio followed a strict diet developed by his brother the famous Gracie Diet as it is known today.

We are not here to try and convince you to go on any diet, but to simply offer healthy recipes and nutritional tips that may help you eat in a healthy, balanced and different manner. You will find that it is possible to eat well in a way that is both natural and delicious. And to break all stereotypes we will show that it is possible to be efficient and prepare your meals quickly and easily.

The recipe today is for a Protein Banana Pancake. Quick, practical and healthy. The ideal breakfast meal, afternoon and post workout snack.

Protein Banana Pancake comerbeméjj1-300x249


one Banana

two Eggs

30 Grams of Whey Protein Chocolate (can substitute with Vanilla)

1 Teaspoon of Cocoa Powder. (When you want to enhance the taste of Chocolate)


Mash the banana with a fork.

In a bowl mix the banana, eggs, whey protein and cocoa.

If you prefer you can beat all ingredients with a blender.

Bake in a pan on low heat.

Serves two portions.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

198 Calories

25 grams protein

15 grams of Carbohydrates

5 grams of fat

(These values may vary slightly according to the brand of the products used)

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional guidance. The use of vitamins and dietary supplements can benefit a person, but we recommend consulting a nutritionist, doctor or other specialist for evaluation and monitoring prior to using any health enhancement products.


Understand Competing

taking care of your mind


Competition, Fun and the Gracie Barra Family!

Competitions brings out the best in everyone the same way that it has brought out the best from history's champions. In sports, and in life, competition is healthy. As it brings out the best in everyone else! Gracie Barra CompNent is just around the corner. And regularly held CompNet Competitions will surely be better than the previous one.

As Gracie Barra puts more support, structure and improvement to each CompNet event, the more each student and Jiu-Jitsu disciple will benefit from it.


GB chicago open Understanding Competition

While most will ask, why do I need to compete Or why there is a need for individuals to test their skills in front of a crowd which can create in two possibilities: winning and losing. Others will simply ponder why they even need to test their Jiu-Jitsu. Or why there is a need to prove that you can be better than everyone else.

Being better than your opponent is not what competing is all about. While rivalries are created in the spirit of the sport, and fan-dom sources out debates that creates the who-is-better-argument, competition, as I believe will always be a test. A test that defines if one can defeat their greatest opponent; the self.

The self the oneself theme and the I is your greatest opponent as it will always be, by default, better than you are. Yourself, if not tested in competition remains static.


Competition Feeds Our Desires

The desire to win is a strong one. Nobody enjoys losing, but in Gracie Barra, losing is as fine as winning. There is always a take away from losing in a competition. In Gracie Barra, we all learn. Nobody goes home sore from a loss. Everybody wins in a competition. By way of getting something out of it. Nobody goes home empty handed.


0433Competing Pushes You

We live in a world where choices has virtually made the cessation of the little push possible. We do not push ourselves far enough. We end up being mediocre. A little drawback depresses us. Jiu-Jitsu changes that by ways unimaginable. A push, and a little prod is always seen in training sessions. You are pushed to become the better you because you are training the body. The body can also change the mind. When you push the body, the mind gets a bit of exercise too!


Competing is Fun!

Nothing is better than the excitement towards the competition. Nothing beats waking up 5 hours before the event and preparing. The moment of psyching yourself up, putting on your psyched mix and waiting for your turn. Nothing is better than putting on your gi, feeling that mat under your feet. Nothing beats bowing to your opponent, shaking his hands and pulling that very first take down!


For those thinking of competing, there is no harm in doing so. Gracie Barra puts up these events for the most important members of our family. You! See you in the CompNet!


Gracie Barra Knoxville has visitors all over the world come to train with Professor Braga a world champion, these are reasons for to be part of this big team Gracie Barra Knoxville


It Happened at GB: The Support and Togetherness of GB Aracaju

“If you spread love, it will produce millions of smiles, solidarity and friendship.

Gracie Barra is always thrilled to receive news of noble causes and togetherness like this story. It’s very gratifying to know that the vision of Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone is becoming more and more represented by GB schools, leaders, and students.

This story happened in Gracie Barra Aracaju in Sergipe, Brazil. It is an example of friendship, consideration, fellowship and team spirit. Gabriel is a 3 year old with leukemia, and during this difficult time, the proper treatment and emotional support has meant a lot. When the GB team heard the news, they didn’t waste any time. All the members of the school decided to shave their head in support of little Gabriel.


Professor Paul Aquino, a member of the GB Aracaju family, is going to tell us the details.

We can say that Gabriel lives and breathes Jiu-Jitsu, his parents Sammyr Xavier and Prantik Pacheco are gentle art practitioners. The father is a black belt, the mother and sister purple and yellow belts. Since Gabriel was first born he was already frequenting the mats. Everyone loves to see little Gabriel train in his gi with the other kids. Unfortunately, we were caught with some bad news a few weeks ago, when we heard that he was sick and would have to leave the mats and the academy for some time. Sadness took over the academy, but with the sadness came the support and motivation from friends and family of the students.

GB Aracaju

Unfortunately, the chemotherapy treatment has its side effects and one of them is hair loss, which is the trademark of Gabriel with the long blond locks of hair. So his parents decided not to let him see the hair loss and decided to cut them before this happened, but then came the problem. We all shaved our heads to encourage him to want to leave his head shaved. The coolest part of the story was that this initiative was not only jiu-jitsu members, much of the academy joined this idea, and people who don’t train shaved their heads as well to show him that they were all cutting their hair.”

This attitude shows that they fought like a family regardless of the situation. That’s the real Gracie Barra family.


5 Tips to Get Your Mind Right for BJJ

bjj mindset

The Jiu-Jitsu Mindset

Let's talk about something that somehow represents the physical strain of training. As we may have known, the mind plays a huge role in the development of our skills as fighters. There has to be harmony to both mind and body for us to succeed in BJJ.

Mindsets are beliefs—beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Think about your intelligence, your talents, your personality. Are these qualities simply fixed traits, carved in stone and that’s that? Or are they things you can cultivate throughout your life?

People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are just given. They have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that. If they have a lot, they’re all set, but if they don’t So people in this mindset worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others (from

The above definition speaks a lot. However, this can be related to BJJ, our mindsets can eventually, not just change our lives, but also our game.

Mindset #1: The winner's mindset
Regardless of your age, race, occupation, and educational attainment you are a winner. Your worst opponent is yourself. Having a self-defeating mindset will carry on in the mat.

Mindset #2: Set your mind to achieve greatness
Most people do not attempt, or try to achieve anything significant. It's a sad fact that most live life not knowing that they are capable of achieving. Set your mind tojiu-jitsu mindset achieve something significant everyday. Now, practice keeping the mindset, then go to bigger things. Achieving results inside and outside the mat is possible. You can achieve that belt if you want to. All you need to do is to want it.

Mindset #3: You are a hard-worker
One of the toughest mindsets to make; to be a hard-worker. Working hard on the mats, thinking that you are working hard is one thing. But working really hard is another. Working on the mats hard enough to get results takes the mindset of a hard-worker.

Mindset #4: The competitor's mindset
The competitor's mindset is not all about winning. It's about learning. When stepping on the mat, expect to learn. Winning and glory will eventually come after you've learned more than you'll ever need. BJJ is no different. Never rush to winning if you have yet to learn something.

Mindset #5: Accept great challenges
The most prolific days of your life won’t likely be easy. It’s not in the serenity of your comfort zone or the inactivity of a lazy day that drives greatness. Great demands drive the growth of great virtues. Contending with great challenges forms the foundation of greatness. (from

Keep working hard to get your mind and body right and you will be better equipped to accomplish all of your goals in BJJ and in life.


Check our schedule for Labor Weekend, We hope everyone have a great weekend, Looking forward to see everyone, Monday

graciebarra knoxville


Rickson Gracie training without using hands

The brazilian jiu jitsu legend Rickson Gracie, proves so many times high level of bjj, trying to challenge himself in different situations, this video show one of them


Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu – The favorite Pre-Workout snack of Hugo Britto


When we talk about Hugo Britto we talk of excellence. The proof of this is that within only a mere two years of with Gracie Barra Parnamirim, the native Brazilian has claimed several victories as well as opened a new GB school a modern, spacious and dedicated to the ‘Jiu-Jitsu for everyone’ motto. Apart from being a teacher, Hugo is also an athlete who collects regional and world Jiu-Jitsu titles. To keep up with the exhausting routine Hugo knows Eating Well is Health, Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu.
Here you can read about the favorite Pre Workout snack of one of the biggest beasts of Gracie Barra.

9013_10151516910994323_1451556604_n-620x410My first advice is to look for a nutritionist .In my case it was a sports nutrition who was able to point me to a diet suitable for my objectives. A favorite snack of mine is Sweet Potato with grilled chicken breast. A dish that is quick and easy to prepare.


200gr of sweet potatoes
100ge of lean chicken meat


Grill the chicken with half a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil.

Make cuts into the sweet potatoes with a knife so that they cook faster. Set aside for 7-10 minutes.

Peel the potatoes when ready, mix together with the chicken and enjoy your meal.

You can substitute the chicken with turkey breast.


Hugo goes on to add: For a good performance in your workout you require foods, which are rich in calories (good calories and nutrients) that can be quickly processed. You should eat at least 1 hour before your workout.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional guidance. The use of vitamins and dietary supplements can benefit a person, but we recommend consulting a nutritionist, doctor or other specialist for evaluation and monitoring prior to using any health enhancement products.


Helio Gracie 100th birthday

Grand Master Helio Gracie was born October 1, 1913, and this October he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.


GB Wear Releases New Gis with Awesome Features

Grab Your New Gi's Today

More than just a garb worn over the flesh, the Kimono has been an iconic symbol of discipline belonging to any martial art.

First originated in Judo; the type is heavier and more rigid. Compared to its lighter sibling the karate gi. Ultimately, Gis are derivatives from traditional Japanese clothing which was the Kimono. From then on, variations sprouted that adapt to different martial arts. However, characteristics remains such as providing mobility and protection.

Lets Learn the Basics

There are 3 parts to your Jiu-Jitsu gi. And no, your rash guards aren't a part of it. :)

A gi comprises of the Uwagi, or the heavy jacket, then there the light weight pants or the Shitabaki, and of course, your belt the Obi. The nature of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu demands for tougher, stronger and more rigid construct. And yes, Gis do rip. So choosing the right make and the right quality is as important as the training itself.

In Choosing Your Gi

There are training gis and there are competition gi's. So what's the difference? Competition gi's are a tad higher in quality. There are 3 characteristics that you will need to consider: weight, thickness, durability. Remember, it's a balancing act, it will also depend on how you play your game, but personally, heavier gi&'s make it more difficult for your opponent to grab hold to, although not the wisest thing to wear during summer training.

The New Gracie Barra Gi Line Up

Gracie Barra is proud to introduce the newest line of Gracie Barra Wear kimono's to the public. Designed by Storm Kimonos, the new gis that recently hit the stock rooms of GB Wear sound nothing short but great. Tailored to absolutely fit the most serious of competitors, the new gi sports an anti-shrinkage technology (pre shrunk so it will resist further shrinkage), and anti microbial treatment to reduce odor, and transmission of fungal infection.

Here are some of the awesome new features of the Gis:

  • New Fabric (pre shrunk both colors, lighter and more resistant)
  • Improved cut/fit
  • Embroidered patch designs
  • Hybrid ripstop pants on pro light, comp, and pink styles
  • New NO MORE BULLYING logo on future champs gis
  • Gis were tested and approved by GBs top athletes and professors!


The Behind the Scenes of the Gracie Barra Campaign at the Chicago Open

Gracie Barra Chicago Open

GB Working Together As a Team

An old problem still haunts the competitors in Jiu-Jitsu: the lack of sponsorship. Without sponsorship, almost all athletes and their trainers are taking money out of pocket to cover the expenses with event registration, airfare, lodging and meals. Within this scenario there is a question in the air: Can a jiu-jitsu team compete in all major IBJJF (International Federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) calendar events?

The Gracie Barra team lead by Carlos Gracie Jr., is proving it is possible. With sacrifice, planning, communication and hard work. Team GB has won 24 national and international titles in 2013.

Below are the main points worked by the competition team of Gracie Barra to bring them to 2nd place overall in the Chicago Open, held this past weekend in the United States:

Sacrifice: Without sponsorship and cash prizes at the event, almost all athletes and their instructors took money out of pocket to cover the expenses with event registration, airfare, lodging and meals. Instructors like Professor Mike Buckels who arrived from Saint Louis and Don Fox from Bloomington as well as athletes Flavio Almeida and Phillipe Della Monica who came from California to defend the red shield in Chicago.

Planning: The GB Association (entity responsible for providing support schools in the USA GB) organized a series of meetings and training sessions in Chicago. The goal was to educate and reward instructors and athletes who were in Chicago sacrificing for the Gracie Barra Team and those going to compete in the Chicago Open.

Communication: Excellent communication is essential to the success of the team. GB Association started to advance talks with leading trainers and athletes interested in supporting the team in Chicago. The flow of communication was defined: GB Association talked with the instructors and they talked to each of its athletes.

Hard Work: The refined Jiu-Jitsu taught by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is the foundation. From this foundation there is sweat and discipline necessary to reach victory. We are unique, we are a team of athletes and trainers determined to give 100% in everything we do!

Finding the highest place on the podium is within Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s vision of Jiu Jitsu for Everyone. Congratulations to everyone who contributed in any way to winning second place at the Chicago Open! We’re still in the month of August and Gracie Barra has won titles in Lisbon, Houston, New York, California, Rio de Janeiro, Florianópolis and the list of cities where we fight this year continues.

Gracie Barra Chicago Open


Gracie Barra Knoxville went to Chicago to conquer several gold medals once again, our team being working really hard and results came along with a hard work. Professor Braga is really happy with team performance beyond our team demonstrates key points to be successful on and off the mats.

"Wonder how many teams took 5 competitors from one BJJ school not a group of schools to the IBJJF Chicago Open and came back with 6 Gold medals? Gracie Barra Knoxville, Tennessee did! All coached by 6 time World Champion Samuel Braga."


Lean, Mean, Teen-Machine: Gracie Barra Pasadena's Kaori Hernandez


Gracie Barra's Teen Wonder: Kaori Hernandez

In the past, we've featured some awesome pre-adolescent wonders in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. But they were boys. This time, we got a girl in the house. Meet Kaori Hernandez of Gracie Barra Pasadena.

She started training in Gracie Barra Pasadena when she was 11 years old. 3 years into the training, she's a heavily decorated champion.

I started at Gracie Barra when I was 11. Professor Orlando Sanchez invited me and brother to try it out she says.

Loving her new found sport, she says I love that jiu-jitsu is a very unique sport that helps everyone, whether you’re big or small, it helps you defend yourself from the most vulnerable positions, especially since Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a sport that uses a lot of leverage. I just love that it helped me build patience and it helped me built discipline that I never believed I would gain from Jiu-jitsu.


GB Midwest Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone Week!

An Exciting Week of BJJ Awaits in the Midwest

Gracie Barra will have an intense and exciting week in the Midwest. The final preparation for our team to compete at the International Summer Chicago Open will go side by side with projects and meetings done to strengthen our network of schools even more in the area.

We had a chance to speak briefly with Prof. Flavio Almeida, Executive Director of GB Association USA about the activities in the Mid-West. Prof. Almeida is working closely with Profs. Carlos Lemos Jr., Marcos Barros, and Mike Buckels, our Regional Directors, on the growth and development of GB in the area. What is the schedule for the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone Week in the Midwest?

FA: There is a lot going on in the Mid-West for Gracie Barra. It is such an amazing year of growth and consolidation of Master Carlos; vision in Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota and other states in the region. There are at least 3 new school opening this year and the leadership of Profs Carlos, Marcos and Mike has been a tremendous tool to implement the programs and develop the network that needs to be in place to implement the Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone Project in the Mid-West.

With that said, the activities of the week of August 12th to August 18th are just the culmination of all the work our leaders are doing in the area for many years now. But to answer your question, here is the schedule we built so far. There maybe some minor changes but the core activities are there:


Ronda Rousey (pictured) is in talks to be in Fast Furious 7. (Photo by Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ronda Rousey continues to test the waters of Hollywood.

According to a report on Wednesday from Variety, Rousey is in talks to be part of the cast for Universal Pictures Fast Furious 7.

The film is scheduled to start shooting this fall, and Rousey, according to the report, would need 45 days before her Dec. 28 fight against Miesha Tate to train for the UFC 168 co-main event. No details were given in regards to when shooting for the film will conclude.

If Rousey is cast for Fast Furious 7,; it would be the second major film she is involved in, the first being Expendables 3. As reported, Rousey will be part of the Sylvester Stallone movie, and filming for her role will take place in Bulgaria. Rousey will have a training camp set up on location to stay in shape while filming.



♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu ♫

In times of trouble, or when we have a challenge ahead, we know the importance of family and friends. In the sporting arena is no different. Whenever an athlete enters the arena of competition, the positive energy of the crowd is contagious and makes your performance grow.

To prove that our motto is true and show that we really are organized as a team and we fight like family, Gracie Barra calls all who carry the red shield GB on their chest to unite in one crowd, supporting our competitors with a unique energy coming from different neighborhoods, cities, states and even countries.

Therefore, in the next competition look at the gym with the red shirts or Gracie Barra flag and join this family, your family, and this increasingly strong support, which is only going to keep growing. The harmony between the schools will help Gracie Barra become even greater.

♫ Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu… Uh é Gracie Barra Aha Uhu…! ♫


Jiu-Jitsu for everyone! Gracie Barra's South American ambassador Juan Pablo Garcia contributed the photo. It showcases the men and women of Gracie Barra Chile.

2013-08-06 17_53_16-Photo of the week GB South America!! - - Gracie Barra M

First Gracie Barra Chile, founded early this year and growing fast. Prof. Juan Pablo Garcia “Regional Director”, Coach Jaime Carvajal and Coach Fernando Quijada “Chief Instructors”






Draculino:Gracie Barra is Still Number

Here is an amazing Documentary with Professor Draculino


ViniciusDraculino Magalhaes is a 4th degree Gracie Barra black belt. Part of the GB team since the 1980s, he shared a mat with many of the most famous names in jiu-jitsu, including the Gracies, the Machados and more.
With Gracie Barra academies of his own in the USA, Europe and Brazil, Draculino explains how the organisation was the perfect environment for him and his peers to grow, and why the team was (and still is, in his opinion) number one.

He also explains how jiu-jitsu isn't just a sport or form of self-defence, but has the potential to truly change lives.

Filmed entirely at the Gracie Barra academy in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro.


This is rare footage two legends of the sport, Rickson Gracie and Rolls Gracie. They were training under Helio Gracie supervision. Every single Gracie consider Rolls as the most technical member of the family.

Roger Gracie remembered this week in an interview talking about Rolls Gracie.


GB Wins 2 More Titles ; GB is the Team with the Most Titles in 2013

This was another great weekend for Gracie Barra at the podium.  Under Master Carlos Gracie Jr, GB won two more major titles and both were significant victories in Rio de Janeiro.

. International Masters Seniors Jiu-Jitsu Championship ; Gracie Barra 1st Place
. Rio Open Championship; Gracie Barra 2nd Place

GB Team

Part of the Gracie Barra team celebrating titles won this weekend in Rio de Janeiro.

We want to congratulate all of our warriors, who won and who lost. It was a great effort. We once again yielded great results in a great and positive competition. This is a sign that our schools across the country have done an excellent job and the answer comes in moments like this. Strength, Focus, Faith and Union are the words that really describe what our team is like together in the four day championship. CONGRATULATIONS GRACIE BARRA FAMILY, another mission accomplished! Osss - Professor Jefferson Moura

I feel great joy and great satisfaction to see these results! It's great to see the effort of all teachers and know that we all wear the same shirt and we share a common goal! Here's my thanks to all competitors, teachers and family who helped GRACIE BARRA win these titles!- Professor Zé Radiola

The next appointment for our competition team, which continues to establish itself as the Jiu-Jitsu team with the most titles won in 2013, is the Toronto International Open Championship. The competition will be held in the city of Toronto in Canada on August 3rd.

Gracie Barra Competition Team

GB Athlete defending the red shield and celebrating the victory with their teammates.


Photo of the Week!


Photo of the Week! Week #2!

Great Kids Photos by Dionathan Santos

We all love photos. It doesn't just paint a thousand techniques, it also expresses how the next generation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artists and followers. This week we feature the work of professional photographer Dionathan Santos of Gracie Barra Indaiatuba under Professor Carlos Liberi.

IMG_9127 (1)

To Whom We Pass the Torch To

GB Indaiatuba

My First Crawl





Tips to Prepare for the BJJ Big Leagues

otavio sousa

So Are You Ready for the Big Leagues?

So let's say that you have done your fair share of amateur Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, and you've choked a few guys, submitted larger dudes in the absolute division, and more so, have been making a name for yourself in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And here you are, itching for that first time to be in the big leagues; imagine the light, the photographers, the mats. Welcome to be big league, grasshopper.

Here are some things that you will need to know before getting there. Full story


A Few Words on Self-Defense

BJJ Self-Defense

Understanding When to Use BJJ to Defend Yourself

The main reason many of us started training BJJ, the main reason most people start training in any martial art, is for self-defense. When it comes to personal defense, nothing rises to the occasion like the gentle art because of the infinite variety of takedowns, chokes, and joint locks that can be used to defend your life, not to mention the lives of your friends and loved ones. And while we are taught to avoid fighting, to use our BJJ in only the direst of circumstances, the reality is that fights do happen and, sometimes, they happen to us. If there is a problem in any of this it is that while we BJJ practitioners understand how to defend ourselves, many of us have a very limited understanding of when it is actually LEGAL to do so.

Here’s a little test.

Situation 1.) You are in a public place and someone says something rude to you. You respond in kind and they challenge you to step outside to settle it. You agree Gracie Barra Self Defense and when you get there they attack you. You use something you learned in BJJ class to stop their attack. Is that self-defense? It seems pretty easy but the answer may be surprising. If you live in the state of Texas, where I happen to be writing from, then the answer to both questions is no. According to Texas state law, this was mutual combat where both of you have committed assault. The other guy invited you to step outside for a fight and you agreed. Technically, you consented to an aggressive encounter and cannot plead self-defense, even though they threw the first punch.

Situation 2.) Suppose you are in the same place and the same rude person, after having words, walks up to you and slaps you in the face. Afterward they laugh and start to turn away. You become angered and hit them with a vicious takedown or submission. Is that self-defense? This one is a little tricky, but still the answer is no. Here’s why: In the eyes of the law your attacker did assault you, but immediately broke off his attack and attempted to leave just before you retaliated, which resulted in you also assaulting them.

Now you are under arrest and on your way to jail. Got a little more than we bargained for, didn't we? Remember, fighting is chaotic in nature, it escalates quickly and in no time we can find ourselves in a dangerous position where we are subject to injury, disability, death, or criminal charges. Assault is one of these, and it can range in severity from a Misdemeanor with a fine to a Felony and jail time. The prosecution will be serious about these charges as well, especially if someone was injured. This is a situation that many of us simply aren't prepared for: to be charged with a violent crime simply for doing what you've trained for years to do. Hardly sounds fair right? You have to consider this; that martial arts came into existence during times of war and extreme lawlessness. Fortunately for us, in this country, those days are long gone and we attempt to govern ourselves with laws. These laws are enforced by properly educated and trained individuals, the police, and unless you are wearing a badge you are not one of them. Law enforcement does not have the legal right to harm anyone without justification and neither do you. More food for thought, what we as martial artists and BJJ practitioners play at, what we do as a recreation, is essentially a sportive version of person-on-person violence. Think about it, a rear naked choke is a sweet submission on the mat but on the street it’s a heinous crime with serious consequences. And that’s how the law may view it, which is why it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the legal side of self-defense: what legally justifies use of force and when it is prudent to do so.

Learning the Legal Ins and Outs

Laws regarding use of force vary from state to state and even city to city. Some states have a duty to retreat clause, which means that you have to make every attempt to flee from an attacker before it is justified to use force. Here in Texas we do not have a duty to retreat, we are legally allowed to use force if we have a reasonable fear of being endangered. Even then, use of force is dictated by very narrow circumstances. We can’t just cut loose and turn the place into the OK Corral. The key word here is reasonable, the meaning of which is not legally defined. What is reasonable varies from situation to situation and, if you are charged with assault, will ultimately be decided by the courts. This is why you need to learn the legal ins and outs, before the fact, by consulting an attorney who specializes in self-defense laws. Consultation fees are usually inexpensive considering the value of the information you receive, and some attorney will consult with you for free. Also consultations can be done almost anywhere, from the attorney’s office to online to over the phone. An attorney is a professional and they will be able to clearly explain the laws of your respective city and state. They will inform you of your rights and they can also advise you on how to behave before, during, and after a violent encounter; i.e. what to say or do without incriminating yourself. Also, should you ever get arrested for use of force, it’s a good thing to have that attorney’s card in your wallet so you can call them right away.

mind body spiritRemember, one of the main goals in BJJ is the cultivation of the mind, body, and spirit. Should you ever find yourself in a position where you are potentially facing serious criminal charges and you have to justify your use of force, your mind will be the most effective weapon in that battle. You wouldn't compete in a tournament without adequate preparation, would you? This is the same thing. In the arena of law, knowledge is preparation, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Evolution of the “Gentle Art,” History as Teacher and Guide

legacy wall

Learn From Our Past to Educate the Future

We all know, or should know, the history of Brazilian jiu jitsu. The pictures on the walls of every Gracie Barra school tell the story from the early twentieth century to today. First in line, Mitsuyo Maeda, the Japanese judōka (judo expert) of unparalleled skill who brought our art to Brazil. Next, Carlos Gracie Sr., Maeda’s first student and creator of Brazilian jiu jitsu. Third, Hélio Gracie, Carlos’ brother and the first Gracie fighter. Fourth, Rolls Gracie, a true jiu jitsu innovator and champion of Brazilian jiu jitsu philosophy. And finally, Carlos Gracie, Jr., the founder of Gracie Barra, and the touchstone of the Gracie family.Check this full story


GB Competitors Set to Continue Winning Ways at the Rio Open

GB Rio Open

The GB Team Led by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Will Represent the Red Shield at the Rio Open

The GB Team led by Master Carlos Gracie Jr.will represent the red shield at the next competition. The next competition will be at the Rio Open 2013 Team Gracie Barra Rio OpenChampionship, which takes place July 25th-28th in Rio de Janeiro.

“The best part of victory is the process. Training is the best and also the worst. Many times the body can become tired, and the pain that comes with it can tempt someone to stop. There are workouts that each of these warriors reach that exceed their limits. But during this process is where everyone gives their best, not by an individualistic spirit, but by the collective, by a team who truly become champions during their climb to the top. This is the greatest of victories, this team spirit is what unites us and makes us stronger in the face of setbacks. Bring on the Rio Open, because our warriors are ready for war. OSS!” –Gracie Barra Headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

We are proud of the results of our warriors who defended the red shield and brought home first place at the European No- Gi, and the Rome, Lisbon, and Southern Brazilian Open. The Gracie Barra Family recognizes the value of each team member. Win or lose, we are proud of you.

To enroll in the Rio Open click here


Photo of the Week Entry


Thank you for your submissions.

There is a connection between Jiu-Jitsu and photography; to master the both, it takes practice, time, and a lot of persistence. Gracie Barra would like to acknowledge those who has sent in their photos. Are we working on a prize? Hopefully in the future. =)

For now, we would like to let everyone know that we appreciate the submissions. It is but much gladness that we honor this weeks photos submissions.

Here are the ones that we think are noteworthy for the website


Picks of the Week


From Hoong Giang of lo Fitness & Martial Arts.


This is from y name is Reginaldo Almeida, 1st Degree Black Belt, and head instructor of Gracie Barra Cool Springs, in TN.

Its a picture of two of my white belts doing specific training, and both of them are over 40 years old, and also both are non-Americans which is the great point supporting our Jiu jitsu for everyone! I love this photo Prof Reginaldo Almeida




Once in a Lifetime

From Cody Comah Burleson, Little champs coach Gracie Barra Glendale, 4-stripe blue belt under Professor Robert Hil

Photo taken June 22 2012. With the academy canon rebel t3

I have been a graffiti artist for 20 years, in this picture, I am throwing long beach police officer and little champs coach Gabriel Ruiz

Keep sending in your photos! The Gracie Barra team appreciates the effort that you put into making Master Carlos Gracie Jr. vision a reality. Jiu-Jitsu for everyone!

To send in your entries, email your photos to with the subject line Photo of the Week Entry. Don't forget to tell a story about the photo and a bit about you.



Congratulations to all Gracie Barra Knoxville competitors this saturday at State Championship in Alcoa, everyone had an amazing performance displaying a high level of Jiu JItsu, Gracie Barra Knoxville team was reinforced by our affiliated schools under Professor Braga, our team was stronger than ever winning team trophy, We won every open class in every belt. Good job everyone!

gracie barra knoxville team


Gracie Barra Knoxville will be all week normal hours except Thursday. Thursday will be open for only morning class

gbknox schedule


Gracie Barra Hungary to Host this Year's European Summer Camp

GB Hungary Camp

Advanced Belt Summer Camp in Hungary

As what was promised by Professor Max Carvalho, Gracie Barra Summer Camp for advanced learners will be commence in Hungary. Will it be worth it? Read all about last year's article here.

Professor Max Carvalho
Anyway, as you all may have learned by now, Prof. Max is the new regional director for Hungary. He has taken Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to a whole new level by promoting the sport to the greater part of Europe. His school is dubbed as being one of the most successful ones in the campaign of bringing Jiu Jitsu to every city in the world.

Prof Max's Jiu Jitsu pedigree includes wins all over open tournaments in Europe from 2008 to 2011. He is also one of the students of the great Ze Radiola. Need we say more? The 5-day summer camp commences on the 1st to the 5th of August in Lake Balaton. A picturesque landscape coupled with a rich European Culture to boot. According to Prof. Max there are a lot of choices when it comes to the 5-day accommodation.

Read surveying and Enjoying Lake Balaton Here

More or +36 30 2369169

Interview with the host to be posted soon. Stay tuned!


Gracie Barra Knoxville had an amazing performance at Worlds Championship! Check our HL!


Joining the ranks of many Jiu-Jitsu professors with famous students is Paragon BJJ founder Ricardo, Franjinha, Miller.

Franjinha is currently on location in Montreal, Canada working with actor Paul Walker (Fast and the Furious movie series) as the fight scene coordinator in his upcoming movie Brick Mansions.

Paul has been a Jiu-Jitsu student for four years and will now have the opportunity to display his skills on the big screen as an undercover cop who tries to take down a ruthless crime lord.

With Franjinha’s guidance Paul's goal is to help display the beautiful martial art of Jiu-Jitsu around the world. Paul says, “ I hope this is just the beginning. I plan to add BJJ in my future movies and help to put the name of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu out there. BJJ has helped me so much lately and I really fell in love with it, mainly through seeing Franjinha's own passion for it. His passion for Jiu-Jitsu is so contagious that if you learn from him you pretty much fall in love with it.”

Brick Mansions is scheduled for release in 2014.

See Paul Walker training below:


UFC Fan Thwarts Car Jacking w/ Guillotine

Stockton resident keeps it super real!

Abel Simmons of Stockton, California, was arriving at his home after watching UFC 160 with his family when a man suddenly tried to car jack him. Without any formal martial arts experience, Abel locked up an armbar, rear naked choke, and then sealed the deal with a guillotine choke! You have to watch it to believe it.

New Video: UFC Fan Thwarts Car Jacking w/ Guillotine




Happy Father's Day to All Gracie Barra Fathers!


This is a story shared by one of our Gracie Barra Facebook fans!

Jiu Jitsu will teach anyone about life. Lifestyle, thriving in harsh conditions, perseverance, discipline. Pretty much everything that will help us in life. Jiu Jitsu is life. Here's a story about a boy who found Jiu Jitsu and how it thought him how to be a father.Check Full story


Special Offers


Our martial arts summer camps are open to everyone. No prior martial arts experience required.

All of our martial arts summer camp instructors are full-time martial arts instructors with years of experience teaching children. There’s no one more qualified to give your child the best summer vacation of their life!

Class taught during our Kids Martial Arts Summer Camps offer instruction in the following topics:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Self Defense
Bullying Prevention
Basic Portuguese Lessons

If you have a child within the age of 5-14, then we urge you to get him involved in our Kids Martial Arts Summer Camps. Your child will gain confidence, respect for others and learn life skill that will help shape him or her into a stronger adult.

Contact your local school to get the exact time and dates.

*School participation may vary.


Ladies! Start The Summer Off Right At Barra Fit Boot Camp!

Summer is here and Barra Fit Boot Camp is calling your name! Are you tired of taking your kids to camp and you never get to do one? Well that time is over and Barra Fit Boot Camp is catered to you! Kick off this summer feeling healthy and fit! It’s not too late!


Weight Loss
Calorie Burn
Learn Self Defense Techniques
60 Minute Work Out Feeling Great!
Personal Goals Assesment
Weight Loss Management
Health Tips



Local Iraq Vet Skateboarding 900-miles for charity

Gracie Academy Purple Belt Seeks to Inspire and Empower Vets

Andrew Goldsmith (Gracie Academy Purple Belt) and Bob Harington served together during two combat tours in Iraq. They survived roadside bombs, rocket attacks, and unending heat and boredom, and now they hope to conquer a 900-mile skateboard trek along the entire coast of California for a great cause!

On June 1st, Andrew and Bob will leave Brookings, Oregon and head south along the California coast to begin the Veteran Skate Trek -- a 900-mile, long distance skateboarding journey -- to raise charitable donations for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). They will be traveling an average of 35 miles a day, for almost 40 days in order to complete their 900-mile journey. Along the way they will be documenting the Veteran Skate Trek through social media and spreading their message, "The Mission Isn't Over" to empower veterans and encourage community involvement in veteran-related issues.

The IAVA is the nation's first and largest non-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to bettering the lives of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. The IAVA has over 250,000 member veterans and offers a range of programs in the areas of health, education, employment, and community.

Veteran Skate Trek is receiving donations for the IAVA through their page at:

They will also be holding an online auction with gear, clothing, and artwork donated from generous sponsors and local artists from June 1-9. 100% of the proceeds will go to the IAVA. For more information you can visit their Facebook page by clicking here.


BJJ Can Benefit People From All Walks of Life

It's hard to believe that a martial art with origins in bare knuckle brawls on the beaches of Rio De Janeiro and no holds barred vale tudo matches is today practiced by people from all walks of life. Young and old, women and children today enjoy an art that cut it's teeth with no rules fights with masters from other fighting styles. Brazilian jiu jitsu revolutionized the way people would forever think about fighting, and as time passed the practitioners of this style would soon realize that this art was not only effective on the streets or in the cage but had the potential to benefit people from all walks of life.Full story


Things got off to a rough start with three less than exciting matches, but things turned around after the intermission when the announcement of Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie main event of Metamoris III got the energy going again. The main event really seemed to salvage the event as the negativity from the first three matches overshadowed some good, if a little a little slow, matches in the second half of the evening.Full story


GBKNOX had a great time at Romulo Schools (Gracie Barra Northridge) preparing for the worlds, Professor Samuel Braga good friends with Romulo did his last week preparation at GB Northridge had an amazing training session, getting together with his friends from GB BH(Draculino HQ), Check this cool HL


Congratulations to the 2013 Worlds Participants

June 5, 2013



Great Job GB Family Representing the Red Shield

Hard work and determination will always pay off. The fruits of weeks in the competition camp; sweating and drilling it out with legends such as Master Carlos Gracie Jr., Professors Ze Radiola, Vinícius Draculino, Marcio Feitsosa and the likes paid off.

Photo Credit: Mike Calimbas Photography

As the 2013 Worlds came to a close, we are proud to acknowledge the winnings of our warriors over the weekend. The Gracie Barra family is proud of you, and we recognize the success of each of our participants. Win or lose, we are proud of you.

Rest if you must, but never quit, as the wisdom goes.

We would like to acknowledge the achievements of our 2013 Worlds Medalists Romulo Barral, Octavio Sousa, the Estima Brothers and many others.

To those who fought well into the event, we have Roberto Alencar, Orlando Sanchez, Samuel Braga, Rodrigo Freitas, Fabiana Borges, Tammy Griego and Luzia Fernandes.

For the complete results and photos of the Worlds, you may click on the links. You may also read more about the worlds from's Luca Atalla.


The Many Faces of Jiu-Jitsu

Faces of BJJ

BJJ Can Benefit People From All Walks of Life

It's hard to believe that a martial art with origins in bare knuckle brawls on the beaches of Rio De Janeiro and no holds barred vale tudo matches is today practiced by people from all walks of life. Young and old, women and children today enjoy an art that cut it's teeth with no rules fights with masters from other fighting styles. Brazilian jiu jitsu revolutionized the way people would forever think about fighting, and as time passed the practitioners of this style would soon realize that this art was not only effective on the streets or in the cage but had the potential to benefit people from all walks of life.


gracie barra metamoris

Metamoris is back!

This time will be more exciting matches than before, Don't miss the chance to check this out , High level jiujitsu with no points, submission only


Getting Your Kids into Jiu-Jitsu Can Benefit Them Long Term

Parents will always have a genuine concern about the welfare of their kids. Nobody can blame can really blame them. The primal urge to defend and protect an offspring is hard-wired into every parents’ cognitive centers. However, there is more to Jiu-Jitsu than what is portrayed MMA and how media showcases the art. Here are some things that may convince parents into getting their kids into Jiu-Jitsu.Check the full story


Achieving your personal best Through Jiu-Jitsu Competiton

As more And more of our students get interested in participating in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, our schools and team of instructors is creating a structure and special training sessions to support their preparations.

Professor Flávio Almeida has been working with our instructor and some of our athletes to define the best times for classes, establish a consistent training regimen and, most important, develop a set of guidelines to guide our work and efforts in martial arts tournaments.

“I like to begin anything with the end in mind. When I start something, a dedicate my self entirely and I can only do that if I know I am heading in a direction that is not only good for me but for the team. It took us a few weeks of work, brainstorming and talking to many team members to come up with the following:

GB JiuJitsu Team Purpose Statement:

To achieve our personal best in Brazilian JiuJitsu, training for and participating in tournaments as a means to excel our skills, athleticism, and fighting spirit.

CompTeam 10 Guiding Principles:
We focus on preparation and effort rather then results;
We focus on achieving our personal best instead of being better then others;
We support each other and grow as a team;
We learn from our mistakes;
We train hard but most important we train smart;
We support our schools by giving back to other students teaching them all we learn;
We display great sportsmanship and respect towards our adversaries and referees;
We represent the Gracie Barra Legacy;
We maintain a healthy balance in our life between family, career, school, and competition.
We have fun!

We will soon announce all Competition classes and training regimen for our JiuJitsu athletes.


Alicia Sixtos of Gracie Barra Stars in East Los High

Jiu-Jitsu is universally appealing. Aside from the great workout on the mats, the lifestyle that it promotes (as well as the discipline and the philosophy) has been proven to change lives.

>MV5BMTUzNDQ5ODA4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzU0NzIzMQ@@._V1._SY314_CR5,0,214,314_Alicia Sixtos (her screen name) is a Hollywood actress training in Gracie Barra Santa Barbara. Her new found love for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu makes grind it out on the mats 2-3 times a week. Check the full story


Check this amazing interview about GBKNOX, visitors talking highly about our instructor professor Braga.


What is Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The benefits of Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are far reaching and will touch every aspect of your life. At Gracie Barra, our students become leaders. Gracie Barra nurtures your independent thinking, supports your fighting spirit, and helps you achieve your personal BJJ goals.

Through GB BJJ, you will begin to understand yourself, on and off the mats, in ways you never imagined. You will test your limits and become the best you can be. GB respects that each student has their own goals and we support you in reaching them. The more you train, the better you will become and the more completely you will reach your true potential in life.

GB BJJ is for anyone who wants to learn how to defend him or herself in combat. What most people don’t know, is that GB BJJ will also allow you to apply those same principles to fighting the daily battles of life, like weight loss, stress, relationship issues, and self-confidence. You will learn how to think through problems more constructively than before, on and off the mats.

At GB, you are a part of an extended family. You will join a team that will support you in your quest for self-improvement. Training the techniques and participating in live training sessions, with your partners and coaches, will give you an arsenal of weapons at your disposal whenever you should need them. The more you train, the more you will arm yourself with knowledge and skills to fight all your battles in life like a black belt.

We at GB believe that if everyone trained GB BJJ, the world would be a better place…

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


A Seminar for a Cause

Gracie Barra believes in paying it forward. Helping cancer patients all through out the united states isSeminar for Tapout So what does Gracie Barra have to do with this? On June the 6th, as Master Carlos holds a seminar and a belting ceremony, the proceeds will all go to The money will eventually be used to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society


Gracie Instructor Attacked in Road Rage Incident

May 16, 2013

Gracie Combatives Standing Armlock to Knee on Stomach Control!

Fran Zuccala, the head instructor at theGracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center in Wolverhampton, UK was attacked in a road rage incident. In this impromptu Gracie Breakdown video, he explains how Gracie Combatives and some basic Master Cycle techniques helped him neutralize the attacker while minimizing injury to everyone involved. Very cool!

New Video: Gracie Instructor Attacked in Road Rage Incident


Spreading Jiu-Jitsu to the World: Tips to Take Great Jiu-Jitsu Photos

Getting into Sports Photography is Great!

Sports photography is one of the most exciting types of photography. It’s action packed, emotional, and eye-catching. Jiu-Jitsu is no different from this as well. Being in Gracie Barra, you will have near-limitless number subjects during training sessions and even in competitions.Check this out, Spreading Jiu Jitsu.


We had an amazing performance on our last tournament, check our amazing HL

Good job everyone!


Why Getting Kids Into Jiu-Jitsu is a Great Idea

Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu for Kids=

Jiu-Jitsu Helps Kids Achieve their Goals and Develop Great Habits


Jiu-Jitsu Safety Is 99% , The Remaining 1% Is All About the School

Safety is what we initially require when we are putting our kids into something relatively new to us (and especially to them). Getting them to train Jiu-Jitsu is perfectly safe. There are hundreds of schools out there with qualified instructors that will supervise your kids while in their classes. There is practically a 0% incident rate when kids get into Jiu-Jitsu. For one thing, good Jiu-Jitsu schools carry an honest, well thought out system that is designed to instruct kids and pair kids to practice with other kids.Check the full story.


Tips on How to Be a Great Ambassador for Gracie Barra & Jiu-Jitsu

Have you ever experienced the following scenario?Check the full story


Gracie Barra Grabs 2nd Place in the 2013 Dallas Open

Prestige and rank comes second to the family of Gracie Barra. While the family did come a bit short in winning the coveted Dallas Open, our warrior brothers (and sisters) has again taken a spot in the podium to take home the 2nd place for the tourney.

On the other hand, in the masters and seniors division, Gracie Barra trampled over the competition in domineering fashion. Fabio Villela getting the better of Alex Nascimento in the master black belt open class. Erik Wanderley got the senior 1 absolute division title.

Gracie Barra congratulates all competitors. See you in the Worlds on May 29!



Learning a Few Tricks Along the Way

I’ve noticed a growing trend in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; more and more people, specifically men aged 35 and up, are starting to train in the arte suave. As a member of the Masters and Seniors division, I can say that I’m glad to see a rise in the number of training partners the same age as myself. And though we come from all walks of life and our reasons for training may differ, we do have one thing in common: on the mats they have to learn to deal with the strength and vigor of younger guys. I started training at age 28 and, while that’s not exactly old age, I was older than all of the other students by at least 8 years, and a few of them more than 10. As the resident ‘old guy’ I felt a lot of pressure to hold my own with the younger guys.Check this full story


Olympic Wrestling

Video to Save Olympic Wrestling

Here is a thrilling video on the campaign to keep Wrestling as an Olympic sport.

Last February, the International Olympic Commite (IOC) decided not to include wrestling as one of the 25 modalities guaranteed to make the 2020 Games.

Since then, the wrestling community has gathered in a campaign to revoque the IOC’s decision.

The video is yet another action in that direction.

The IOC will gather next May 29 to 31, in St. Petesburg, Russia, when wrestling will have its last chance to make the list.


You may already be familiar with Renzo Gracie, one of the world’s premier Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructors. There was that one time he taught us how to choke someone out (using our Art Director as the victim), and the other time where he recounted his famous attempted mugging. In this FRANK Talk we sit down with Gracie, who comes from a celebrated line of mixed martial arts practitioners, as he tells us his story and reveals the secret to not having a single gray hair on his 45-year-old head.


The Empowerment Impact of an Assault Survivor

Powerful letter submitted by a dedicated Women Empowered student

The following letter and beautiful poem were submitted by a dedicated Gracie University Women Empowered student named Christina.

Dear Mr. Gracie,

I am writing to say thank you to both you and Ms. Eve Torres.

I truly hope all women in your Women Empowered course will enjoy the pink belt key chain as much as I do. I truly believe that these belt key chains can be, not only a small reminder of how far we've come on this Gracie Jiu Jitsu journey, but also a great inspirational tool to keep us motivated.

Secondly, I would like to thank you, Ms. Torres for being such an inspirational role model for myself ( as well as women everywhere ) during my Gracie Jiu Jitsu journey. As a survivor of domestic violence, I know first hand how the women's empowered program can not only save a women's life but also how it can restore confidence and self esteem. I truly believe that every woman ( and teenage girl ), can benefit from your Women Empowered course. It is my hope that every woman, who has enjoyed your course, will share their knowledge of their friends so women everywhere can learn. For if we cannot put an end to violence against women, we certainly can increase a women's chance of surviving a violent attack by becoming empowered with your program.

As a small token of my thanks to you both, I would like to share this poem I wrote...

To read Christina's beautiful poem, "An Empowering Journey,"


Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in Gracie Barra HQ!


Master Carlos Gracie to Visit Gracie Barra Headquarters in the United States!

Master Carlos will be joining his Gracie Barra family in the United for the next two months. His confirmed flight to the United States on the 2nd of May will mark the start of his 2-month long stay at the Gracie Barra headquarters. He will then be staying in California supervising the Competition Training Camp.

lCompetition legends such as Ze Radiola, Marcio Feitosa, Vinicius Magalhaes has been known to lead these intense training camps in preparation for the big leagues. Famous for its intense training drills and up to date Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instruction, the competition training camp has produced a consistent stream of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gold medalists from all over the United States.


According to sources, Master Carlos will then also be teaching and instructing during his stay in the Gracie Barra Headquarters. He is also going to attend the Gracie Barra leaders’ Annual Brunch on June 3.

His itinerary after his stay in the Gracie Barra headquarters is a conference for Gracie Barra instructors to be held in Florianópolis Santa Catarina, Brazil. Florianópolis is known to be one of the hottest tourist destinations in South America.

A well-traveled ambassador of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Master Carlos continuously promotes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as more than a sport, but a lifestyle.


There are not many people who willingly allow Renzo Gracie, Jiu-Jitsu and MMA legend, to put his hands on them. This guy in the video below, however, wanted to feel the wrath of the Mata Leao choke first hand by someone who has roots in its origin.

Watch this brave man act as a dummy for Renzo Gracie’s lesson on the rear naked choke. As he goes to sleep, note Renzo’s walk-through as he describes what happens after holding the choke long enough, without even seeing the guy’s face. But we can see his face and it’s pretty entertaining, don’t you think?

As Renzo says, “Kids, don’t do that at home, eh?”


Samuel Braga - the creator of the Berimbolo is here to teach you the famous sweep and its many variations! On This app professor Braga share all his secrets and variations from the berimbolo.

samuel braga berimbolo


Big shout out to Evan Shoman ( for this amazing Gracie Family painting. And to think there are another 50+ Gracies that didn't fit on the canvas!

Gracie Family

Also check this amazing documentary.


Lessons from a 9 year old



9 Year Old Donates Birthday Presents to Charity

Gracie Barra San student, Bobby, chose to turn his special day into a special day for many other boys and girls who may be less fortunate than others.

Bobby, pictured on the bottom right, only had one wish for his birthday: all presents be directed towards boys and girls in a charity of his choosing.

What an incredible display of kindness and generosity!

Happy birthday Bobby from all your friends at Gracie Barra


Professor Braga was in Colorado Spring this weekend for an amazing seminar, Everyone was pleased and excited about it!

Professor Bryan was thrilled with Professor Braga seminar

Thank you so much for your amazing seminar yesterday at Gracie Barra Colorado Springs! We were all very honored to have you visit our Academy and share your expertise. My students were thrilled and I personally LOVED the last two moves! It means a lot to us that a jiu-jitsu professional of your caliber invested your time into a young and growing academy such as ours. Thank you so much Professor Braga for your support! Please visit us again!

gracie Barra Knoxville seminar


gracie barra knoxville braulio

Gracie Barra’s Prof. Braulio Estima in Metamoris Pro II

Fight fans! This is it. What we have all been waiting for. Metamoris Pro II is within reach. Just 7 weeks from now. And what’s good about it? EVERYTHING. Metamoris Pro’s initial success back in October of 2011 sent shock waves all over the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Fans clamored for more of Metamoris to happen. It didn’t take the organizers long to realize this. Metamoris Pro II will now happen on the 9th of June in Los Angeles California. For those who missed out Metamoris I, check out the YouTube feeds here.

This year’s Metamoris Pro’s fight card just got interesting. On top of the main event featuring Kron Gracie rolling it out with Shinya Aoki, the fans who clamored to see a good fight will get what they wanted: Braulio Estima in the fight card. 3x Jiu-Jitsu world champion, 2x ADCC Absolute title holder. Head of Gracie Barra Birmingham in London, and known of his excellent submission and grinding disposition on the mats, Braulio will go against Rodolfo Vieira. Both are equally dangerous in their submission game. What’s so special about it? Simply put, metamoris pro is 20 minutes of no-points, just-submission Jiu-Jitsu invitation. It showcases the who’s-who in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

Stay tuned for Braulio Estima’s interview to be posted within the week!


Wake up every morning with a single purpose put your energy and effort through your day like it was your last day. Sky wont be your limit.


This past weekend our kids had a great time doing the egg hunt, Everyone had a blast and the parents!

Check this cool video about our late Easter Egg Hunt


Professor Braga have been innovating with his game in BJJ, Great example is the berimbolo, Check this amazing HL video. Professor is daily showing his students high level techniques taking their game to the next level.


Gracie Barra family cover all over the world, sharing the same goals and values. Keeping the legacy alive from Master Carlos and Helio Gracie.

This amazing short documentary entails, amazing benefits from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Check this out


Check this amazing video about professor Samuel Braga.


BJJ Women

Everyone Can Get into Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone. There are no exemptions to this rule. Everyone can practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

Women will no longer go down in history as the stiletto-sporting gender in corporate wear. Nowadays, beneath the lipstick and the make up lies the alter ego of a kimono clad warrior that are equally able to take on the world.

Here are some great reasons (and also tips!) for women who are thinking about getting into the gentle art.Full Story.


BJJ Submission

Submission to the Process of Learning Jiu-Jitsu

“But, when will I get good?” How often have I asked that over the last two years of training at Gracie Barra? When will I be good enough? When will I reach a level of competence? Why do I feel like people think I’m horrible? Why am I horrible? When will I be able to submit someone with no problem?


To submit someone on the mat is the highest form of victory in Jiu-Jitsu, right? There are no points to be counted, no referees to decide a winner, and no disputed outcome. For many training at Gracie Barra, across the world, the goal is to become so good that submissions come easily.


Effort and Winning: the Wisdom of Coach John Wooden

The Importance of Giving Your Best


Marks and notes fill the pages of Professor Almeida’s book as he shared John Wooden’s wisdom to the Competition Team.

Today, browsing through the pages of my Gracie Barra colleague’s facebook (in search of inspiration), I stumbled upon Professor Flavio Almeida‘s post. Shot with his instagram from his iphone, a passage taken from a book written by world-reknowned basketball coach of UCLA, Coach John Wooden (October 1910 – June 2010). I was completely oblivious about the existence of the “Wizard of Westwood” so to speak. But I am glad that I was able to read through him, and eventually read more about him.

In John Wooden’s 12 year role as a basketball coach, he was able to bring the team to 10 championships which also includes a 7-straight championship title seasonFull story


Understanding Losing and How it Helps You Grow

Growing in Losing

In Jiu-Jitsu Whenever You Lose You Learn

The path to jiu-jitsu greatness is not a paved road. It is filled with potholes of lament, moments of utter frustration, and relentless attacks of doubt. But one aspect of this journey that can land a huge blow is losing. To become a loser, to lose, to not win, to be last.Full Story


GB Anti-Bullying Classes

Teach Your Kids How to Effectively Defend Themselves

Great News! Gracie Barra is offering, during the entire month of April, a FREE Self Defense program that will help kids, ages 6 +, to properly prevent, respond and deal with bullying.

This is a great opportunity for your kids to experience Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and address their most common concerns in regards to this important subject with our experienced team of instructors.

All participants who complete the course will receive a diploma at the closing ceremony. Spread the word to your friends and family. It’s time for Gracie Barra to take action and teach your kids how to effectively defend themselves against Bullying!


Actress Teri Reeves on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Staying Healthy and Acting

Yes. The title says it all. Ms. Teri Reeves plays Dr. Hallie Thomas for NBC’s Chicago Fire which airs every Wednesday at 10p. Aside from acting, she happens to be a two-stripe blue belt at Gracie Barra Encino under Professor Juan Pablo Garcia.

Born in Castro Valley, in northern California, Ms. Reeves packs a good list of shows in her resume in her acting career. Following stints from popular soaps such as Days of Our Lives, Battleground, and now Chicago Fire.Check the full story


Professor Braga went to the PAN AMS to coach his students and friends, Check this amazing HL.


Professor Braga went to california this week to coach his students and friends, while his staying there took chance to visit and train at  his friend School, Romulo Barral . Check this amazing and motivational video .


Control Your BJJ Fears Through Knowledge & Instruction

March 18, 2013

How to Handle Your Thoughts While on the Mats

Fear is natural. It is perfectly fine to be afraid of it. In the mats, there is a lot to be afraid of; getting injured, humiliation, self-doubt, and the fear of being left-behind with your skills. This s common, I tell you. I have seen students who seem to be devastated because they weren’t able to catch up. But I tell you this, the journey to jiu-jitsu is a long one. A belt is just something to hold your gi, the real lesson is the lifestyle. We all got into jiu-jitsu because we want to live better lives, right? Health and friendship, and a sound mind and body is what is important.

Control your fears through knowledge. Understand pain and injuries. Immerse yourself, brother. Learn the techniques. I tell you, it will be painful, but trust your instructors with the techniques. Learn to live through it. I tell you, it will be very rewarding. Read full story.


Professor Braga multiple time world champion just released a new training video, Check this awesome video about Professor Training, slick techniques and amazing techniques used by Professor on this video are taught at GBKNOX daily. If you want to learn the latest techniques available do not miss the chance, try for a FREE WEEK.


Great Kids' Class at Gracie Barra Encino

Meet the Next Generation of BJJ Kids

Everyone needs someone to pass the torch along to and who else fits the bill than the young ones. Gracie Barra is committed to bringing the best out of the new generation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters Gracie Barra has a strong kids program is sure fire way to get the next generation of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners keeping the fire burning.

Nikita Inger and Nicholas Ryan “Spiderman” Giarusso are both your average kids who enjoy sports, and both are members of the Gracie Barra Family with the ability to grind it on the mats. These boys have excelled in their age division.Check full story.


Welcomes Jon “Bones” Jones

World class Jiu-Jitsu school Gracie Barra has snagged one of the biggest names in MMA. Jon Jones, current UFC light heavyweight champion has just signed up with Gracie Barra New Mexico. Listing him as one of the A-list team members of the Gracie Barra family. Jon Jones will be joining the No Gi class after his match with Chael Sonnen, which is true to the tradition of having the coaches face one another in every season conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter. Check full story


What’s the difference between Instinct and Awareness? Carlos Gracie Jr. Explains

Both Instinct & Awareness in BJJ Will Help You Grow as a Fighter

Jiu-Jitsu is for every person of every age and weight who dreams learning how to defend him or herself without getting hurt or hurting anyone.

Its practice involves two aspects: instinct and awareness. Both are important for the advance of the fighter who debates these points in his/her mind. Read full story


Why Does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Work?

March 4, 2013

GB Legends

The Founders of BJJ Focused on Developing Effective Techniques

The goal here is to provide an explanation to the question: “Why does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu work”? My answer to this question is: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu works because it is an exercise in somatic empiricism. While the last two words of the previous sentence might cause some readers to conclude that I’m intentionally trying to confuse them. I think that the usage of the phrase “somatic empiricism” is the most succinct way of conveying my explanation. According to Webster’s dictionary somatic refers to that which “pertains to the body”, while empiricism refers to “the doctrine that all knowledge is derived from experience.” So what I am basically saying is that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu works because it is the result of experiences relating to the body. This is a major departure from the practice of other martial arts that tend to be of a highly theoretical nature. The founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focused their efforts on developing techniques that really worked and they tinkered with those techniques in order to increase the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.Check the full story


Professor Braga training video.

Professor Braga multiple time world champion just released a new training video, Check this awesome video about Professor Training, slick techniques and amazing techniques used by Professor on this video are taught at GBKNOX daily. If you want to learn the latest techniques available do not miss the chance, try for a FREE WEEK.


Amazing Video about our classes! 

GBKNOX Kids !! New Video.


Competition Tips

Get Yourself Prepared for Competition by Following these Steps

Congratulations! You have successfully taken your game to the next level by deciding to compete. Yes, it’s a big thing. It deserves acknowledgement. Before others become proud of you, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

It’s all great that we are getting ourselves involved in competition, however, I would like to say that competition is a lot similar to life: no one is ever completely prepared for it. Nobody knows if you are going to be submitted, or if you’ll be the one who’s going to do the submission. You will not be able to tell what will happen on the mats, but the best way is choosing how to react to it: either be reactive or proactive. The choice is yours.Read full story


Jiu Jitsu will boost your productivity at work


One of my colleagues used to head to the men’s room and brush his teeth every time he felt a surge of writer’s block. He swears it did the trick. Another exits the building and walks around the block to clear his head. I like to take advantage of the mid-day yoga sessions that Forbes offers in the gym on the ninth floor. When I return to my desk, my body is relaxed, my mind is clear, and I attack my work with new energy.

A growing body of research suggests that the longer you keep your rear end in your chair and your eyes glued to your screen, the less productive you may be. Getting up from your desk and moving not only heightens your powers of concentration, it enhances your health.

story in Sunday’s New York Times quoted two sources who have studied productivity. John P. Trougakos, an assistant management professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Rotman School of Management describes how concentrating on one task is like using one muscle for an extended period. The mind needs a break, to rest and recover before it can exert again. Among other things, Trougakos recommends that workers take serious lunch breaks, to recharge with food and a change of scene. Check the full story


Olympic Committee Recommends Dropping Wrestling, Does this help BJJ & GB Athletes?

February 14, 2013


Gracie Barra Tournament

Is BJJ Next in Line as an Olympic Sport?

Wrestling may be holding onto its last breath as the popular sport grapples on. The blog-o-sphere is being inundated with posts and comments about the recent recommendation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to have wrestling removed from the list of games to be showcased in the 2020 Olympics.

The recommendation is said not to be final, as IOC spokes person stated, “this is not the end of the process, this is purely a recommendation,” told reporters following an executive board IOC meeting. Full Story.



The Family that Trains Together Stay Together

This is a story about two people who first went out on a date in a Gracie Barra school located in Georgia. They met, fell in love, and got married. To date, both of them still train together. They both believe that a family that trains together, stays together. Meet Joan and Scott. Full story


gbknoxville atlanta

On Saturday, February 9th, a team of 5 students traveled to Atlanta, GA, to compete at NAGA! It was a great learning opportunity for everyone. As a whole, they won 6 gold medals and 1 silver medal! We definitely have all-stars at Gracie Barra Knoxville. Trey Powell, who is only 10 years old, took home gold medals in both Gi and no Gi competitions for his weight class! Congratulations Trey! 19-year-old Joe Watson, a blue belt, took home a gold medal in the adult division. Other students who competed were Jesse "Squirrel" Calbaugh, J.R. Moles, and Esteban Rodarte. We are so proud of our hardworking students, and we look forward to many more competitions with our team!


Learn the Berimbolo from the creator, Samuel Brag! Coming soon on DVD, On Demand and in the app store! Here's a preview!


graciebarra knoxville spiderman

Jiu-Jitsu for kids has to be fun and creative, with classes that harmoniously convey the lessons and use up the little ones’ energy.

And it all starts at warmup, the step in training that melds gymnastics with improved motor coordination.

All so your child to keep the gentle-art flame alight and quickly become a tiny superhero who fears not any of the bully they may encounter at school.

How about transforming your little ones into followers of Spiderman?

Learn this warmup taught at Beda BJJ academy and share what you thought.


The Family That Trains Together, Stays Together


GB Family

Meet the Andertons of Gracie Barra Pasadena

From a distance, the Andertons is a typical family of 5, Mrs. Phi-Phi Anderton playing the role of the mom, her husband Bryan, daughters Gillian, Garyn, and son Ronan. What makes this family unique from the rest of the locals of Pasadena is that they all train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Orlando Sanchez. Full story..


Brazilian Jiu jitsu is not only a martial arts , Brazilian jiu jitsu is life style, also amazing thing about jiu jitsu is that makes each individual( practitioner ) improve and enhance their lives with diets and workouts to get to the next level.

Check out this amazing workout exercise to not only improve your cardiovascular conditioning but also hand eye coordination .


We are resuming to our regular schedule today at Gracie Barra Knoxville , We are looking forward to see everyone on the mats !


We are not having classes tonight due to snow, We hope everyone to be safe and drive safe. Stay in .


gracie barra knox tijuca

A Tribute to the Monsters of the 1st Jiu-Jitsu Worlds, of 1996

At the time the first ever Jiu-Jitsu World Championship came around, in Rio de Janeiro in February 1996, GRACIEMAG was still a newspaper, the UFC was into its ninth installment, and you most likely were a white belt. And all of us were 17 years younger.

However, the big black belt stars were all there. Beasts like Fabio Gurgel, Murilo Bustamante, Amaury Bitetti, Saulo Ribeiro, Royler Gracie, Roberto Roleta, Wallid Ismail, Ricardo Libório, Roberto Gordo, Mario Sperry and other was all blazing the trail the sport would take.

Relive the experience through the following video of some of the techniques used at the 1996 Worlds, and comment: do you miss anything about those days?


Gracie Family came to states late 70's paving the BJJ road, The famous gracie challenges would be placed at Gracie Academy attracting people from all different back grounds, Gracie Challenge would consist One on one matches, grappling or MMA until submission or forfeit. Gracie Family faced numerous challenge matches proving efficiency of BJJ . This video shows efficiency of BJJ from young Gracie.


The Top 5 Benefits of Embarking on the Jiu-Jitsu Journey As we get ready to kick off the new year, we thought it would be a great idea to reflect on the top five benefits of jiu-jitsu so we can start 2013 with full motivation to keep it playful and make the most of our jiu-jitsu journey’s. If you already train jiu-jitsu, then you could probably produce your own “top five” list of benefits, since the gentle art affects everyone differently. But, if you haven’t embarked on the jiu-jitsu journey yet, then it may be helpful to know what you’re missing out on. Full Story