Archive for April, 2012

“It Doesn’t Matter If I Win or Lose! Really?” SPECIAL GUEST AUTHOR: JUSTIN GARCIA

April 29, 2012

Ya know, in all my years of competition, whether it be wrestling, football, basketball, or yes, even Jiu Jitsu, the only thing that was always on my mind was that there was no way anyone could say I didn’t give 100%. Yeah, I know, corny as hell, but it couldn’t possibly be truer.

Maybe I was raised this way, maybe I was blessed with great mentors when it came to competition, or maybe it just made sense to me. Either way, Justin Garcia has never been accused of quitting. I’ve never even thought of giving anything but 100% because, if you think about it, the ONLY thing you can control is your effort! Now, don’t get me wrong, there were days when things just didn’t go the way it was planned. There were days when I was flat out disgusted with the way I performed, but that’s just a competitor trying to be competitive. Nothing more!

One of the things that I’ve deduced over my years of competing and coaching is that the only reason one refuses to compete is the worst three letter word in the English language: EGO. Yep. That’s it. And I absolutely believe in this 100%! See, in a world where status is where it’s at, and being the best is everybody’s dream, we sometimes lose sight of reality. There’s always going to be someone better than us. Always. But, to keep things positive, there’s always going to be something we can do to make ourselves better. Maybe it’s staying those last ten minutes to get a round or two more of rolling. Maybe it’s getting your butt off the couch and forcing yourself to class. Maybe it’s putting the cake down! (I’m guilty myself!) But the point is, there is only so much we can control, and so many times in competition it’s the things we have NO control over that decide the outcome!

Now some would say, “So what you’re saying is that we can’t control who wins and loses?” Absolutely not! What I’m trying to convey is that the beauty of competition is its ability to test you against yourself! “How hard did I try? How much effort did I give?” Those are the things that should decide victory and failure.

One of my favorite things in my dealings with the kids is advising them what to do in the case of “Bullying”. I’m sure we’ve always heard, maybe even said, that the best way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him, win or lose. Either way, we say, the bully will know he can’t pick on you without being stood up to. Well, my friends, you are the kid, and EGO is bullying the hell out of you!


Justin Garcia (AKA Master Chim)

Owner/Head Instructor of the Jungle Gym


NOTE: Special thanks to Mr Justin Garcia for allowing me to reproduce this article of his. Master Chim is a great Jiu Jitsu coach, competitor and mentor! Please be sure to check out his pages, I can’t recommend him highly enough!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom


“Clear Your Head”

April 28, 2012

In Jiu Jitsu you are put under tremendous physical and mental pressure every time you step on the mat to train and sometimes a student will go through a period where they are feeling a little lost or down with their apparent(at least in their eyes) lack of progress.

One of the simplest things you can do to overcome this is to take 2-5 minutes of quiet time to clear your head, focus your mind and get you in a good head space or the zone so to speak before training. When your mind is clear and you are in a good head space it is much easier to focus and absorb the lesson.

So how do you clear your head you ask? Simple, start by taking just a  few minutes (2-5mins) to sit or stand quietly, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.  Don’t try to control it as much as you just let your breath flow naturally in and out, relaxed and tranquil.. Breathe like this for a minute or two and really focus your attention on your breathing. Next take a minute or two to think about someone you really respect and admire in Jiu Jitsu. Think about why they inspire you and how you can strive to emulate them. Use their influence to ratchet up your motivation and inspire you to learn and get better! Finally take a minute to think about a basic principle that you wish to keep in mind during class that day such as “Base”, “Posture” or “Not Contesting Strength” etc. Imagine your self in class applying this principle and succeeding, moving better than you have ever moved before. Smile and enjoy the moment!

Now walk into class, leave your ego at the door and focus on learning while keeping in mind the principle you wish to work on for the day. If you find yourself getting frustrated at all, take a moment to close your eyes and remember the little meditation from earlier and use it to reframe and get your head back in the game! Try it and let me know how it works for you.


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“Watch and Study Film on Jiu Jitsu Part 1/2”

April 22, 2012

One of the simplest yet often commonly ignored ways to accelerate your progress in Jiu Jitsu is to “Watch and Study Film”. Now notice it said to watch AND STUDY film not just watch the latest match at the Mundials or ADCC once and expect to replicate what the top guys are doing… Although even if you just watch the matches once you would most likely be light years ahead of those that don’t supplement their training with watching film! But to really get the most out of it you need to “Watch and Study Film” with study being the key word! All the top athletes and coaches in most sports around the world do this, why should Jiu Jitsu be any different? Make sure you choose high level matches preferably involving the top athletes in the sport. Stay away from instructional dvds/videos for now as they will not help you nearly as much as watching the best guys/girls play their A game in high level competition… The secrets of Jiu Jitsu are hidden in plain sight for everyone to see, you just need to be paying attention!

How do you study film you ask? Simple. And there are lots of different ways to go about this but I like to start small by choosing one match to break down and analyse. To keep it simple try to take around 30mins out of your day at least 2-3 times a week to begin with. You can build up and watch more later if you like but for now just start with 30mins of Film study 2-3 times a week.

Choose one match with your favourite BJJ competitors such as Rodolfo Vieira, Andre Galvao, Rafael Mendes, Marcelo Garcia, Xande Ribeiro etc. It can be a high action, fast paced entertaining match or  a slow low scoring grinding type match. Either one is fine as long as you are watching the very best athletes in the world, you are guaranteed to learn a lot from the matches. Now sit down somewhere quietly where you wont be distracted, CONCENTRATE and watch the fight in its entirety first. Write down a few brief notes about what you observed.

After you have watched the match once, watch it again this time paying attention to when and how each athlete scores on the other, as well as what the other athlete does to recover while going into damage control. You will learn just as much by watching what the top athletes do after being scored upon as they will be doing their very best to minimise the damage ie recover guard while being swept, re sweep while being swept to even the score, stand up and disengage off a sweep to negate the score and only lose an advantage etc. And these are just some examples of what happens after a sweep! 🙂 Again write down some notes on a new page with a few key points that you learnt or may want to try/work on in your own training.

I want you to then watch the match a third time and try to understand how the athletes set up their attacks, what lead to their technique being successful, did their opponent make a mistake, were they tricked into making a mistake or were they forced to make a mistake? You may need to rewind certain parts of the match the third time round and to really see what is going on particularly if they athletes are playing positions that you are not overly familiar with. Try to see how the athletes were attempting to defend the attacks and why they failed? Did the attack catch them off guard and totally by surprise, were they a little too late in their defense, did they choose the wrong defense relative to their opponent’s attack and the timing of their defense, what could they have done to avoid being scored on? Now you may not be able to answer all these questions and that is totally fine, the most important thing is that you are stimulating your Jiu Jitsu brain and increasing your awareness and understanding of the art! Concentrate, pay close attention and write down some notes about your observations (on another separate page), make a note of any techniques/positions that you wish to try or drill next time you train. Think about what you saw and why the athletes did what they did in those positions under intense competitive pressure!

Afterwards take a look through your notes, see how your notes from each viewing compare. Now this may sound obvious but the more times you watch the match closely the more you will learn and understand what is happening! You will see more with each concentrated viewing, your awareness will expand and your Jiu Jitsu brain will grow and become more knowledgeable! If you are really disciplined try studying the same match all week or month. If you study a high level match closely for a week or even a month your Jiu Jitsu brain or IQ will go through the roof! And you will probably start to find yourself becoming more creative and smooth on the mat as this type of study will often open many doors in your mind to some of the possibilities in Jiu Jitsu. Stay tuned for Part2 of “Watch and Study Film” in the coming weeks but for now try this and let me know how much it improves your game!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“Jiu Jitsu Hygiene”

April 21, 2012

Jiu Jitsu is an art requiring you and your training partners to get up close and personal with each other every training session! Now due to such close body contact there should be a few ground rules in regards hygiene before you or your training partners ever step on the mat!

  1. Please ensure that you are clean and smell pleasant. It is extremely uncomfortable and gross to train with someone who reeks of bodily odours or hasn’t appeared to have showered in days. Aside from this it is unhygienic and you could contaminate and spread skin infections etc!
  2. Please ensure that your Gi (Kimono) or training gear is washed and if necessary disinfected before each session! As previously mentioned dirty training gear is disgusting and unpleasant for your training partners and you should refuse to train with anyone who does not wash their training gear after every class! Dirty training gear is a breeding ground for disease and infection and can be potentially dangerous to you and your training partners due to the risk of MSRA or Staph infections etc. So again please wash your Gi (Kimono), Belt, T-shirts/Rashies, shorts and protective equipment. And if you have training gear such as MMA gloves that can’t be washed then at least make sure to disinfect and properly air out your equipment so it does not stink or become dirty and disgusting.
  3. Please insure that your finger and toe nails are always clipped short. This is also important to help prevent scratches and cuts during training which could also become infected.
  4. If you have long hair please tie it up so that your training partners don get it in their faces and it is not pulled/ripped out and spread all over the mat etc. One of my female students Kelly informed me that she read somewhere on a women’s BJJ blog that tying your hair into one or two braids is most effective for women and it seems to have been working for her in class! Come to think of it when watching high level females compete in BJJ, Grappling and MMA this does appear to be the norm so I thought I would pass that bit of information on!
  5. Try and insure that you don’t have bad breath! Again it can just be really uncomfortable and embarrassing for you or your training partners to have to put up with!
  6. If at all possible train in a rash vest or even better a long sleeve rash vest! Rash vests wick away sweat from the surface and help prevent the spread of infection and obviously a long sleeve rashie offers you even more protection than a short sleeve one. Once a t-shirt becomes totally soaked it looses its value for preventing the transfer of skin diseases/infections.
  7. If you have any signs of a rash or skin irritation, please get it checked out immediately and don’t train until you have Doctor’s clearance to do so. Aside from it being quite disgusting again the risk of infection is very high especially due to the close body contact. Even after getting clearance make sure it is adequately taped up/covered/protected so it still does not make any direct contact with your training partners!
  8. Finally make sure you are wearing deodorant and cologne or at the very least smell pleasant! This last point should be self-explanatory!

So there we have it a basic overview of what is expected of you as student when you turn up to class to train! If you abide by these rules, turn up with a good attitude and are eager to learn you should be welcome anywhere you go!

Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“Celebrate the Submission”

April 17, 2012

The thing about training Jiu Jitsu is that you will get submitted over and over again in your quest to master the art! And a lot of people react to being submitted in various different ways from disappointment and frustration to anger. The thing is everyone taps on the mat! And if you are not tapping regularly either you are not training with good enough people or you are not experimenting and learning as much as you could.

At Jiu Jitsu Kingdom, whenever I see a student get frustrated, annoyed or upset about being submitted the first thing I tell them is that “on these mats, everyone taps”! Also that however many time they tap in training that they have tapped that time 1000! One of the interesting things I remember reading in Andre Galvao’s brilliant “Drill To Win” book was how “Terere” encouraged his students to celebrate the submission. What he meant was that when you tapped, firstly smile and acknowledge the other person’s technical proficiency and thank them for helping you learn more about Jiu Jitsu! No wonder “Terere” was such a Phenom and awesome coach with such brilliant attitude towards training and learning! Another thing they did at their academy was to exchange belts and train in various coloured belts just to help avoid the stigma of tapping to a lower belt which believe it or not actually happens a lot in all the top gyms around the world!

Again this is another area where people tend to judge too quickly when a higher belt taps to a lower belt. In Brazil for example this is common and not taken so seriously, perhaps they were working on a weaker area of their game or just got made a mistake and got caught. There may be a little laugh and joke about it but no one takes it too seriously and the higher belt is generally recognized as the more experienced player and there is no shame in it at all!

Anyway the take home lesson is next time you tap in training; smile, recognize and appreciate your opponent’s great technique, thank them for the lesson and learn from the experience. This will help increase your learning speed and longevity in the wonderful art of Jiu Jitsu!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“Lessons From Lower Belts!”

April 15, 2012

A lot of people who have trained in Jiu Jitsu for any length of time (myself included occasionally) often get disheartened when they aren’t able to train with higher belt ranks as much as they would like to! Particularly as you advance in the art, the challenge of testing your skills against the higher belts and learning from them becomes more and more appealing. And for those of you that don’t have that opportunity or rarely get that opportunity it is easy to become frustrated and feel like you are not learning while just rolling with people of the same or lower rank…

But let me tell you this is a MISTAKE! In fact it is often the case that some of your biggest breakthroughs will come while training with less experienced training partners as you are able to relax and apply your techniques more easily! The trick is one to maximising your training and learning experience has a lot to do with your attitude. Firstly you have to be open-minded and truly believe that you can and WILL learn training with anyone! Even if it is just how to set up a certain attack, countering a particular technique/movement or improving your timing!

One of the things that you learn while training Jiu Jitsu is that it is extremely important to train with as wide a variety of training partners as possible because we all move and respond differently and we all bring different gifts and tricks to the mat!

Sometimes a raw beginner will be more difficult for you to catch or roll smoothly with than a seasoned blue or purple belt because they are so unorthodox that you can’t predict and anticipate their movements as effectively. This can pose an interesting challenge and often frustrates a lot of people. And the best way to combat this is to train and roll with as many different bodies as you can. All shapes, sizes and strengths… Now that doesn’t mean you can be reckless or not choose your training partners wisely, but it means sometimes it is great to pair up with different people even if it is just to drill technique.


Some of the greatest Jiu Jitsu practitioners of all time such as Rickson Gracie, Marcelo Garcia or Roger Gracie advocate training with their students and never really seek out advanced training partners to prepare for their fights! And if training with lower level opponents is good enough for them to sharpen their skills and learn, then you better believe that it is good enough for us!!!

On a personal level I know I have learnt a tremendous amount while rolling with my students at Jiu Jitsu Kingdom and much to their surprise they have taught me as much if not more about Jiu Jitsu than I have ever taught them! Not that they believe me when I tell them that!  I truly believe that to get good at Jiu Jitsu you need to train with people who are better than you to work your defenses just as much as you need to work with lower level opponents to sharpen your attacks and movement skills! So next time you are partnered with a lower belt make a conscious effort to learn something from the roll, strive to always improve some technique/movement and thank them for helping you develop your game!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“What are the Basics of Jiu Jitsu? Part 2/3”

April 8, 2012

In Part 2 we will talk about the basic principles to keep in mind while training Jiu Jitsu. Now bear in mind that if you are able to learn these principles and always keep them at the forefront of your mind you will definitely accelerate the speed at which you learn and understand Jiu Jitsu. Principles There are a lot of key principles to keep in mind while training Jiu Jitsu and a basic awareness and understanding of some of these principles can really help accelerate your learning curve and deepen your understanding of the art. I would like to begin with a few of the most fundamental principles that apply to Jiu Jitsu. The first is the topic of “Base”. It is common in Jiu Jitsu circles to hear instructors talking about checking/watching your “Base” but what is “Base”? “Base” is the ability to control your centre of gravity and manipulate your weight so as to produce the best possible balance and “Leverage” for the position that you are in. Good “Base” makes you hard to off-balance whether on your feet or on the ground. Standing in good “Base” can prevent you from being pushed over, pulled into a car or thrown to the floor. Good “Base” can also be displayed on the ground by how well you are able to use your weight and adjust your sense of static and dynamic balance making you feel much heavier than you are by also optimizing your “Leverage”. Therefore great “Base” is developed by a combination of things such as being aware of where your weight is centred and how shifting your centre of gravity can make you feel heavier and harder to move! Static and dynamic balance as well as correct application of leverage will give you optimal “Base” regardless if you are on your feet or on the ground. If you are able to place your centre of gravity in a position where your opponent has poor “Leverage” to move you then you probably have good “Base”. But remember Jiu Jitsu is about movement so you need to constantly ask yourself how is my “base” in this position is and make adjustments on the fly so that you always feel heavy and are hard for your opponent to manipulate!

The next principle that goes hand in hand with good “Base” is “Posture”. “Posture” is Jiu Jitsu is defined as being in good position and knowing how your body is placed relative to your opponent. If I am out of “Posture” I may be more susceptible to attack. For example when doing a mental check of your “Posture” some of the things to look for are:

-Where are my arms/hands or legs/feet? Are they in danger of being attacked?

-Is my neck exposed for a submission?

-How is the alignment of my body? Am I off-balance or is my “Posture” broken leaving me susceptible to attack?

-Where are my hips relative to my opponent’s?

-Does my opponent have any control over me or my “Posture” etc?

Another key principle to keep in mind is “How to protect yourself from harm”. Now this may seem self-explanatory but in Jiu Jitsu you will often put your body in compromising positions and an awareness of how your body moves will help you protect it. If you think you are going to get injured, TAP or YELL out to “STOP”. Always put your health and safety first, Jiu Jitsu is like a marathon not a sprint. If you put in the time, do the work and you will get good! As mentioned earlier learning how to “Roll” and “Break fall” will both help protect your body as will learning to tap early. Now what I mean by that is don’t hold to the last dying moment and only tap when something hurts! If you are caught in a submission tap, celebrate your opponent’s technical prowess and learn from the mistake. Simple things such as being aware of how and where you place your hands may help prevent you from straining your fingers/wrists… Learning to go with a movement instead of fighting it can lessen the impact and reduce the risk of injury. Learning “How to protect yourself from harm” is an extremely important yet often overlooked principle and a lot of it boils down to common sense and awareness of your own body. Try to train with people who want to lean and are not reckless on the mat while rolling. Always look to find good training partners to work with that you trust and can experiment with in a safe environment. And above all use your head. For example if you are a brain surgeon and need your hands for your profession it is probably a wise idea to steer clear of training with an explosive, athletic up and coming MMA fighter. The risk of injury may just be too great and therefore you would be wise to avoid training with them.

The final principle to keep in mind (for now) is thought to have come from Jigoro Kano and Kodokan Judo and that is of “Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort”. In Jiu Jitsu this is usually referred to as “Leverage” and is what makes Gracie Jiu Jitsu so vastly different and more effective than traditional Japanese Jujutsu! Grand Master Helio Gracie (R.I.P.) is said to have dramatically have improved the use of “Leverage” in Jiu Jitsu due to his small physical stature and not having the athleticism to perform all the techniques the way they were traditionally taught! “Leverage” is Jiu Jitsu is defined as gaining mechanical advantage by being in position to use a lever so that you are able to do more with less! One of the secrets to understanding and mastering “Leverage” is to never contest power with your opponent, instead find a way to harness their energy and add yours to it so that you are able to apply a technique in a way that combines both of your strength therefore making it difficult for your opponent to defend. When training Jiu Jitsu always strive to use good technique maximising your “Leverage” from all positions. A simple way of doing this is to imagine that your opponent is much bigger, stronger and more explosive than you and that you must rely on your technical prowess to overcome their superior physical attributes! Even when training with smaller or weaker opponents make a conscious effort not to overpower them instead try to use perfect technique against them as this will help both of you learn better anyway!

Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“What are the Basics of Jiu Jitsu? Part 1/3”

April 7, 2012

A lot of people in Jiu Jitsu say that the secret to getting good fast is to stick to the basics and dedicate most of your time practising these movements. Now what is often not talked about is what actually constitutes as the basics in Jiu Jitsu? What movements, principles and techniques should a student be focusing on to maximise their training time and efficiency?

I am sure there are a lot of different ideas as to what the basics are, however I will endeavour to give you a brief run down on what I feel all students should really spend a lot of time focusing on. In Part 1 of this series we will begin with essential Movement skills. 


As far as essential movements go I think hands down, the number one movement that ALL students of Jiu Jitsu need to develop is great Hip Movement/mobility. The best way to develop this hip mobility is through mastery of the basic “Hips Escape” sometimes also referred to as “Snake Move” or “Shrimping”. The “Hips Escape” is the foundation of almost all movement from the Guard and it is also the foundation of developing solid escapes from underneath bad positions such as the Mount, Side Control, The Back, Knee Ride etc. The “Hips Escape” basically teaches you how to move your body through lateral, horizontal and even sometimes a vertical plane. The “Hips Escape” is an essential core movement that connects you with the ground and teaches you how to move using your legs. Extending off the “Hips Escape” is the ability to turn to your knees or come to your stomach. This is usually taught as an extension of the “Hips Escape” and often a last ditch effort in preventing your Guard from being Passed.

Another fundamental movement that needs to be developed is the “Technical Stand Up” or “Gracie Get Up” as it is sometimes referred too. “Technical Stand Up” is the method taught on how to safely and effectively stand up from a downed position with good balance, posture and the ability to defend yourself should the need arise. “Technical Stand Up” is also key component in developing the ability to complete various Sweeps and Reversals in Jiu Jitsu. Understanding and mastering “Technical Stand Up” teaches the student many of the basic principles of Jiu Jitsu such as “Base”, “Posture” and “Balance” as well as “How to Protect Yourself from Harm”( all of which will be covered in the Part 2 of this article) as well as developing coordination, “Connection” and “Mat Sense”. In a sense “Technical Stand Up” is really just another extension of the “Hips Escape” movement mentioned earlier!

The next important series of movements that need to be practised and mastered is that of “Rolls” and “Break falls”. Now developing the ability to “Break fall” may be self explanatory especially due to the nature of Jiu Jitsu being a grappling based art which relies on us either taking our opponent to the ground or us being taken down or thrown and developing the ability to recover and fight back from an inferior position without suffering too much damage in the process! Learning how to “Break fall” is the art of controlling your landing and dispersing the impact upon contact with the ground as well as protecting vital areas such as your head and neck! It is important to learn how to “Break fall” so we are able to protect ourselves should we trip or be thrown to the floor. In addition to this learning how to “Break fall” serves another purpose and that is allowing us to safely train and develop our throwing techniques without risk of seriously injuring ourselves or our training partners thus developing our skills for a potential real life self defence situation or sports competition. The other skill required to develop is the ability to “Roll” and again disperse the impact of a throw or sweep. Learning to do basic “Rolls” teaches us a kin-aesthetic awareness of our own body and how to control it! Developing the ability to “Roll” safely will protect us from injury and goes hand in hand with developing the ability to “Break fall”. If you are unable to control your own body you will have trouble learning to control another person’s movement. Some of the key safety measures used in both “Rolls” and “Break falls” are tucking your chin/head to prevent injury by hitting the ground during the “Break fall” or “Roll”. Another attribute developed is the ability to relax and go with the energy of the movement and absorb and disperse the force of the impact. And finally developing the ability to “Roll” teaches us how to protect ourselves in another way and that is to “Roll” out of potential submissions to escape and recover position!

OK that just about covers the first part to this series on “What are the Basics of Jiu Jitsu”, stay tuned for the following parts in the next day or 2 and have a safe and Happy Easter!

Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“How to be a Great Training Partner”

April 1, 2012

Anyone who is really serious and wants to become good at Jiu Jitsu needs to find great training partners to help them achieve their goals. Now being a great training partner isn’t about being a champion at the sport or a high level athlete… A lot of the best training partners are people who are passionate about the art and just love Jiu Jitsu (like we do at Jiu Jitsu Kingdom). I can’t stress enough just how important it is for everyone to do their absolute best to become a great training partner! One of the fastest ways to get really good quick is to become a great training partner regardless of your belt level or training experience. If you are able to do this, quite often you will find that higher belt levels and more experienced people will seek you out to train and practise with which will obviously benefit you both tremendously!

For me I think the key to being a great training partner is to do your absolute best to help your partner learn and understand the techniques that you are practising. It does you or your training partner no good to resist and to try to stop their movement when they are first learning a technique and going through the basic motions. When first learning a technique it is important to try and get a kinesthetic feel for the way your body is supposed to move and how to correctly execute the technique!

After you have a basic understanding of the technique then by all means start to SLOWY offer and increase the resistance as your partner is executing the technique so they get a feel for what it is like to do the technique against a resisting opponent. Offer feedback, if you notice any distinct variation from the unresisted technique inform them of it. If you felt that they could tweak certain parts of the technique consult with the instructor and ask whether they agree with either you or your training partner? It may just be that you or both of you just need to develop a deeper understanding of the technique. As your partner is able to continue to effectively execute the technique against resistance, slowly increase the resistance and make it more challenging for them to complete the movement so they understand on a deeper level how the technique works and what are the keys to successfully executing it, that way they will be able to use it more effectively while rolling! Ideally you want to develop your technique to a level where you can execute it against an opponent resisting 100% granted that may just be in rolling against similar level and higher level training partners and not just in isolated drilling!

Blitz Magazine (March Issue 2012)

Aside from that there are lots of other things that you can do to be a great training partner. You can come in early or stay back late and offer to drill techniques with people. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in a class to get the reps in of a technique learnt or one that needs sharpening and the higher level guys are always looking for training partners who are willing to do more and practise with them. This type of additional training benefits both of you!

Part of being a great training partner is learning how to train. And a big part of that is developing your concentration, learning to how relax during rolling, when and where to increase/decrease intensity, understanding the timing of techniques and developing your weaknesses just as much as sharpening your strengths. To do this you must be willing to open up your game in the gym, put yourself in bad positions, figure out how to defend and escape using the minimum amount of strength and power. Try to develop other areas of your game that aren’t necessarily you’re “A Game”. Figure out how and why your opponents are countering your techniques and what you can to do counter their counters! There are times when you want to roll hard and that is fine but for the most part try and remember that when you are in the gym that you are there to learn and you don’t learn much when you treat every roll as if it were the finals of the Mundials or ADCC! Develop the ability to flow with your techniques, let your opponent escape your positions and submissions sometimes so that you can see how they move and develop more attacks in your arsenal to combat these escapes and movements! And if you really feel like rolling hard please make sure to choose training partners who are happy to accommodate you and don’t just try to decimate whoever you are partnered up with just because you can!

Here is another tip that won’t necessarily be popular to read but is imperative none the less and that is BE CLEAN! Jiu Jitsu is a contact art that requires you to get up close and personal with your training partners. And NOONE like training with people who have poor personal hygiene! Make sure you are clean when you attend class, wash your training gear daily, ensure that your finger and toe nails are clipped short before every practise. Tie your hair up if you need to, use deodorant or at least ensure you don’t smell unpleasant!

Liam Resnekov, Gazzy Parman, Felipe Grez & Luke Picklum at Jiu Jitsu Kngdom!

One final tip that will help you become a great training partner is to become a “Student of the Game” (this will be the topic of a future post as well). Develop an unquenchable thirst for knowledge! Pay attention, take notes, study and practise what you learn in class. Watch the classic matches as well as the top competitors of today train and compete. Read books/magazines on Jiu Jitsu, study instructional DVDs, watch YouTube clips and learn as much as you can. Attend seminars, take a private class every now and then when you can afford it! Strive to learn as much about the art as you possibly can and you will get good fast. This is something I definitely encourage all my students to do at Jiu Jitsu Kingdom!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

The Jiu Jitsu Kingdom Blog is back baby!

April 1, 2012

So today is the 1st of April 2012, commonly known as April Fool’s day but this message ain’t no joke! 🙂 Starting today the Jiu Jitsu Kingdom blog is back by popular demand and will be updated at least twice a week from now on in! We are moving up in the world and on to bigger and better things!

We have been super busy as of late but from now on in, “No Excuses”! I will do the very best that I can to bring you loads of useful training information for Jiu Jitsu, MMA, Self Defense, Competition, Health & Fitness! And just like before, from time to time we will be bringing in special guests to help you get the most out of your training and learning experience! so if there is anything in particular you would like to read or learn about please feel free to contact me at and  I will  see what I can do to help you! Otherwise feel free to stop by the gym which is located at: Level 1, 4-6 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia. And please do me a favour, check back frequently and help spread the word!

Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!


Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom