Teaching Jiu jitsu… The dream Job… The dream Life!

Another great day at the office… By office I mean gym. About 6 months ago I decided to give up my old job in security and focus on teaching Jiu jitsu five to six days a week and this was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made! I mean really, how many people get to work in their dream job? I guess I am one of the lucky ones and am grateful that I am able to make a living teaching the wonderful art of Jiu jitsu!!! If you ever get the opportunity to do so, I highly recommend that you take it as may well be one of the greatest decisions you ever make. Dont get me wrong, it can be tough in the beginning while you are building your student base and teaching your students the fundamentals but if you are able to persevere, teach from your heart and have fun doing so, the reward is well worth the effort!

Teaching Jiu jitsu has been very fun and rewarding for me as well as a huge learning experience! I really enjoy the fact that I get to wake up everyday, head to the gym to teach and train, then come home tired, sore but happy with new ideas and problems/questions to think about and answer! For example today has been a great day in that I was able to teach two private classes this morning which both went great! I really enjoy seeing my students learn, grasp the concepts of Jiu jitsu and put new moves/refinements into their game! I know this sounds like a littleΒ bit of a sale’s pitch but private classes really do help students improve faster as you can pinpoint mistakes and weaknesses easier and work together to correct and or improve their games quicker! My private classes were followed by my regular lunchtime class where again, I take great satisfaction in seeing students learn and improve their Jiu jitsu skills. It’s always amazing to me just how quickly some people are able to pick up the techniques even with very limited training experience… I love it! πŸ™‚


Some of the guys and me (centre) after a class

Some of the guys and me (centre) after a class



Later on after class I was lucky to have two great friends and training partners Luke Picklum and Alex Chew come in for a closed door training session! Well let me be a little more accurate… Although Luke is a good friend and he considers me as a training partner for both Jiu jitsu and also, when he is preparing for his mma fights, I still learn a heck of a lot from him and consider him one of my main coaches. He’s a BTT and Gracie Jiu jitsu black belt as well as a pro mma fighter so I really do learn a lot from him technically, strategically and from his vast experience! He’s also nearly 20 kg lighter than me so he’s very fast and smooth to train with! I also had the pleasure of raining with another friend Alex who is an absolute monster on the mat! He’s a heavyweight who’s nationally ranked as a black belt in Judo as well as a brown belt in Jiu jitsu. He has a very tight, controlling and methodical game that is always tough to deal with, so that makes for a great contrast in training partners and a tough work out! Since Alex is preparing for the ADCC Gi qualifying tournament we just came in and banged out 6 minute rolls for over an hour going two on, one off for the entire time! A very solid session and I was able to put into practise a lot of the stuff that I have been working on very diligently for the past six months. I love days like this! I learnt a lot and could use a little extra work on my omoplata defense! πŸ™‚ An hour after training I felt so tired all I could think about was eating and sleeping! And although living this lifestyle allows me to do this, I choose not to because I have some kettlebell training to do tonight as well as some more Jiu jitsu study! I hope that one day some of you can enjoy the wonderful experience of teaching Jiu jitsu for a living! I look forward to tomorrow and “another day at the office”!

A tough day of training!

I dug up an old training photo to help you put some names to faces! The above photo was taken after a training session in January 2006 when Jon Olav Einemo was in Australia preparing for his mma fight in Pride 31, against Fabricio Werdum. Unfortunately he lost that fight by decision, but what a war it was! Also Jon Olav Einemo is another example of one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet! In the photo from left to right are: Alex Chew, Jon Olav Einemo(veteran mma/pride fighter, former adcc champion), Luke Picklum, Felipe Grez (me:-) )

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!


Jiu jitsu Kingdom


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18 Responses to “Teaching Jiu jitsu… The dream Job… The dream Life!”

  1. Jon Says:

    Nice work with the article there Felipe. Jiu Jitsu sounds like a real artform. Have you ever considered fighting in the cage?… would help with your exposure, and ca$h.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Hi Jon, thanks for sharing mate. Yes I must admit I have considered it several times, especially when helping training partners prepare for their fights. But I consider mma an art form itself and as such would require some extra time working on my striking, wrestling, as well as some serious strength & conditioning training and weight cutting!
      To be honest I think its only a matter of time before everything falls into place with my school and I am able to free up some extra time to train seriously for a fight! I would love to have 5 fights but I would never step in the cage unprepared or half assed…. I believe fighting mma requires a very serious commitment in order to step into the cage wih a calm and focused mind! As for cash, I really dont think there’s too much cash to be made in mma particularly on the lower level shows, I think I’d do it more for the personal challenge and to test my skills… Although I wont complain if I make some cash and get some exposure! πŸ™‚
      Kind Regards

  2. slideyfoot Says:

    I think most of us who train BJJ would like to teach some day: it would be amazing to do a job where you head into work everyday and don’t want to leave.

    However, I wonder if by the time I get to black belt (which I guess would be maybe another decade?), its going to be even harder to make a living as a BJJ teacher, if the rapid expansion of the past few years continues at a similar rate?

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Hello again slideyfoot, glad to see you’re still checking in mate! It really is a dream job and one that I would recommend anyone who is passionate about the art to aspire to.
      As for the rapid expansion of BJJ, I think this is a great thing! Look at other sports like boxing, football, weightlifting, etc and even though there are a lot of places where they are available there is always room to make some money teaching them. BJJ will become more mainstream and hopefully more credible in the public’s eyes as a positive vehicle for self defence, fitness and personal growth! And who knows maybe we can aspire to the success of BJJ in Abu Dhabi in the UAE where BJJ is now being taught in every school across the country!!! Very impressive!
      Kind Regards

  3. Derek Says:

    Hi guys,

    Here’s my completely honest (I swear) sales pitch for Felipe because the man more than deserves it. (this isnt just Felipe writing under a different name lol)

    2 months ago, by pure coincidence, I drove past this small dojo right around the corner from my girlfriend’s place (almost hidden away next to a pub) and saw a cardboard sign with the words “Jiu-Jitsu Kindgom” scrawled upon it, which made me laugh – I loved it.

    It looked so unpretentious and true. I thought any place (and anyone) who hangs a simple cardboard sign with the words written in texta must be truly passionate about the art – and nothing else. Which at the end of the day, is probably the key thing you want in any teacher.

    And i wasn’t disappointed, although the dojo was much smaller than the one i normally train at (which turned out to be brother schools!) Felipe more than makes up for it with his incredibly big heart.

    He is unpretentious, open, friendly and truly passionate about the art. 10 minutes on the mat with him and it’s hard not to have that passion rub off onto you as well.

    But most of all, the man has a gift for teaching, I’ve been doing BJJ for over 2.5 years now with a number of black belts and I have never met anyone who can pass on his knowledge so purely and technically than Felipe – which is why after only 2 lessons I decided to fork out my hard earned cash and start taking privates with him as well – I cannot highly recommend it enough.

    His wisdom on the mats is incredible. Like a friendly BJJ Yoda except that he’s 95kgs and not as good looking.


    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Thanks for your kind words Derek, they are greatly appreciated! I am so glad that you are enjoying your training and having fun doing so! πŸ™‚

      Derek is one of those student’s that is a coach’s dream. He’s already a blue belt with solid basics, always comes to training with a good attitude, listens attentively and asks questions, attempts to use everything he is shown immediately in his game and does his homework outside the gym (ie watches and learns from instructional dvds, books etc and analyses his mistakes or problem areas)! But above and beyond this he’s just an all round nice guy, my other student’s who have rolled with him really enjoy training with him and marvel at his skills especially as he’s the smallest guy in the gym! I believe he once told me he was around 57kg…

      One of the great things about the art of Jiu jitsu is the constant challenge to improve and get better technically both as a fighter and instructor, and coaching Derek has really helped me break down my technique, analyse strategy and come up with the most efficient game plan possible for facing bigger, stronger opponents. I myself am around 95kg but always like to watch and mimic the movements and games of the smaller, more technical fighters like Marcelo Garcia, Fernando “Terere” Augusto, Leo Viera, Andre Galvao and many others! And when coaching someone around 38kg(about 83.6lb) lighter, it is imperative to ensure that I work on HIS strengths and build his game around those, rather than just teaching him my game and what works best for me! And like I said earlier, I have learnt so much having Derek as a student and I have enjoyed consulting with other smaller experienced brown and black belts as well to make sure that I better understand some of the difficulties that he may face on the mat that I may not have.

      As for not being as good looking as Yoda, well what can I say? My ear’s a little rough and cauliflowered, I got a nice new scar from stitches just over my eye this week (I had stitches removed today), I’ve usually got a few bumps and bruises, aches and pains but other than that my wife tells me I’m beautiful so I’ll stick with her definition! πŸ™‚ I look forward to seeing you at training this week mate and hearing about how the stuff we’ve been working faired during your training. Take care and I’ll see you on thursday!
      Kind Regards

  4. Jon Says:

    Hey Felipe.
    Jon again (from School. Muirfield).
    As far as the cash goes I was thinking more of the roll on effect, exposure, credibility, ability to charge more etc… I’d love to see it anyway. Totally understand though with the focus and skill training, all that needs to be spot on.
    Noticed the guy in the pic there ‘Jon Olav Einemo’, stopped fighting in 2006, with an impressive record. Do you know why?
    Also what format do your classes take, and if one has a bad back, one would be likely to do serious damage doing bjj?

    ps. Super happy for you coaching your passion.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Hey Jon, long time no speak mate! I hope all is well with you. I didn’t realise that was you. πŸ™‚ Yeah I’m sure there definately could be a bit of a roll on effect with exposure, credibility etc but not just yet, hopefully some time next year. Either way I’ll keep you posted!
      Yeah Jon Olav’s a beast, would you believe he actually had trouble getting fights! And he has a son to take care of so he needed to make some more money! He was still pretty active in the ADCC scene. In 2007 he fought Roger Gracie in the superfight and lost a close decision to arguably the best submission grappler in the world right!
      As for training BJJ mate, I definately think that if you are smart with your training that it could actually help your back. A lot of the basic warm up exercises, when done correctly focus on strengthening and improving flexibility in the core. Of course you would want to ease into your training and not over exert yourself at first. Personally I dont let anyone roll for the first month or two until they have a good basic understanding of the positions and strategy. Let me know if you’re keen and I would be more than happy to help you.
      Kind Regards

  5. Jon Says:

    Cheers Felipe.
    Would love to learn at some point, as have been a fan of submission fighting and mma for many years, it’s such an interesting artform. I’ll definitely keep an eye on your blog here and if I’m keen to have a go I’ll let you know.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Awesome Jon, I hope you do mate. Jiu jitsu has been such a great learning experience and an essential part of my life! πŸ™‚ The rewards from this journey far out weigh anything you ever thought possible and you’ll meet some fantastic people along the way!
      Kind Regards

  6. Derek Says:

    Hey Felipe,

    had a blast last night, can’t wait to try out my newfound open guard knowledge.

    Jon, if you go back to this article and read this by chance and noticed the new comments (like i did just now) I have to say, BJJ has helped me with my back to no end.

    I use to have a bad back too, as soon as I started BJJ, the basic, fluid movements of the art helped me build functional strength.

    Within a few months I noticed my back was stronger and i wasn’t slouching as much. Unfortunately, this may be counter-acted these days by long hours behind an office desk. The only solution – DO MORE BJJ!

    I cannot recommend it enough. It never fails to surprise me, every now and then, how jiu-jitsu has amazing benefits outside of of your fighting ability.

    Good luck with your journey.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Always glad to hear hat youe enjoyed training mate! πŸ™‚ So did I!

      Thanks for sharing your own personal experience Derek, and Jon I hope you read this as I believe its so true. Often others can better explain how things have helped thm when they have had similar experiences. I know of quite a few people who have reaped tremendous unexpected physical benefits from practising the art!

      Have a great week mate and I’ll see you on the mat on wednesday night!
      Kind Regards

  7. snavaaccips Says:

    Hey there everyone i was just introduceing myself here im a first time visitor who hopes to become a daily reader!

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Nice to meet you, my name is Felipe as you probably have already guessed! πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy the blog!
      Kind Regards

  8. Boypeswoniese Says:

    Hey everyone just wanna say hello and introduce myself!

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      πŸ™‚ Cool but I didn’t see your name anywhwere? Nice to meet you anyway, I hope you enjoy reading the blog!
      Kind Regards

  9. cauliears Says:

    The life we live! Now your living it!

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      And what a great life it is! I wouldn’t ever go back to working any other job in this world if it meant that I couldn’t train and teach Jiu jitsu! I love it!!! Thanks for sharing your comment!
      Kind Regards

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