Archive for May, 2012

Be Inspired… Better yet, be Inspirational!

May 27, 2012

Why is it that so many people are quick to offer excuses for defeat and to criticise other successful individuals? Wouldn’t it serve you better to complement, respect and admire a job well done? Learn from the experience, understand the meaning of sacrifice and the time and dedication it takes to achieve a worthy goal. This where our attention should be focused! Be inspired… Better yet, be Inspirational!

If your goal is to reach and surpass your potential then you have no business making excuses, pointing the finger of blame, bad mouthing others or complaining. You have to take responsibility for your own actions and ignore the “Haters”. And believe me, as you start to achieve success there will always be people there that question you, take cheap shots at you and try to tear you down. You have to ignore them… It’s a case of “Mind over Matter”, if you don’t mind they don’t matter!

You have an opportunity to stand out, to do what you do so well that you inspire others! If you are not the best in your field don’t fret, you can still inspire others by choosing to be accountable and striving for excellence. Work harder, smarter and be more passionate. Do what others are unwilling to do, make sacrifices, choose to be extraordinary!

Remember that you always have a choice. Choose to inspire, choose to be different, choose to never speak ill of anyone and only speak of the good in others. Be a leader, teach through your actions not your words. Work hard, work smart and enjoy the journey towards mastery!

Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom


Open Door Policy

May 26, 2012

One of the things about Jiu Jitsu Kingdom that I take great pride in, is that we have a genuine “Open Door Policy”. Meaning that we welcome absolutely anyone to come and train at our gym regardless of martial arts style practised or team affiliation etc. As long as you come in with a good attitude and want to learn we will welcome you with open arms, teach you everything that we know and help you improve your Jiu Jitsu and Grappling!

One of the great things about this attitude is that we get a lot of people who train with other teams coming to our gym to take a class or two regularly and both parties learn from the experience. For example the visiting student gets to learn some of the ways we do things and my students get to train and roll with people of different backgrounds and styles thus broadening their experiences!

Just this week we had the pleasure of having another brown belt, Jeff visiting our gym from the United States for a few classes and rolling with my students, exchanging ideas and techniques. This exchange of information and knowledge is priceless as when we put our heads together and learn from each other, everyone benefits! One of the great things about Jeff’s visit is that he had a different style/feel to the way he rolled compared to say someone like me. My students spent some time rolling with him and came back with all sorts of questions and an appreciation for different ways of doing things which reinforces a point that I always tell my students. There is more than one way to be right in Jiu Jitsu and it is important to keep an open mind with regards to training and learning!

On a side note, I could tell Jeff was taught well and the product of good quality instruction and leadership. He was humble, open-minded and eager to learn which obviously reflects well on both him and his instructors! And as such he will always be welcome at our gym and I would definitely stop by his gym next time I am in the USA. It would be great to both to train and reconnect with other positive like-minded Jiu Jitsu enthusiasts! 🙂

Please take two things from this article, 1. Keep an open mind and be willing to learn from everyone and share what you have learned and know. And 2. remember that when you visit another gym that you not only reflect yourself but also your instructor so please be humble and polite and represent your instructor and team in the most positive light possible!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

Essential Reading for Jiu Jitsu

May 20, 2012

For this article I thought I would take a few minutes to recommend a few good books for Jiu Jitsu students to read. If you take the time to study these books I really feel that it will help you learn and grow as a Jiu Jitsu student and Martial Artist. The following books have all been selected for various reasons and have something to offer for everyone.

1. “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle

This is a fascinating book on the study of genius and talent in all areas of life. The application of this to your Jiu Jitsu training, competition career or development into a great martial artist will become immediately apparent! It is such a great book that I often buy it as a gift and always recommend it to everyone regardless of their skill set, knowledge or position in life. It will change your perception and understanding of what it takes to be great in your field and really can change your life!

2. “Advanced Jiu Jitsu” by Marcelo Garcia

Does anything really need to be said about this? Marcelo Garcia is one of the greatest Jiu Jitsu competitors of all time and this book offers you an insight into some of the techniques and strategies that make him stand a head and shoulders above the competition.Very detailed and insightful, you will learn a lot about what makes Marcelo tick why and how he does what he does. A great book that you simply must have in your Jiu Jitsu library!

3. “The Art Of Learning” by Josh Waitzkin

An entertaining read into the mind of a chess prodigy who went on to study Kung Fu and even become one of Marcelo Garcia’s first black belts! Although the book makes no mention of Jiu Jitsu it is a thoroughly enjoyable read and offers great insight into the ability to learn, question, solve problems and overcome obstacles.

4. “Submit Everyone” by Dave Camarillo

Finally a book on strategy and the application of tactics in Jiu Jitsu! “Submit Everyone” is a brilliant guide in hunting for the submission. Dave treats the mat as a battleground and teaches you how to wage war on your opponent and emerge the victor! The material taught in this book is not available anywhere else for Jiu Jitsu students. A sensational book, one of a kind and hopefully the first in a series to come!

So there you have it, four of my top recommendations as essential reading for all Jiu jitsu students and anyone interested in the grappling arts! I highly recommend you make these books a part of your own personal library, you will not regret it! 🙂


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom


May 19, 2012

One of the biggest secrets to getting good at Jiu Jitsu is perseverance! Showing up on time, all the time and ready to learn will allow you to progress in Jiu Jitsu much faster than the average student. There’s a lot to be said for being focused on your goals and determined to achieve them. Having a burning desire to achieve your goals no matter what setbacks may occur and or what obstacles you have to overcome is the mark of a true Martial Artist. Perseverance is the trait that separates the ordinary from the EXTRAordinary!

When you are tired and can think of a million reasons to skip class, but instead you push yourself  and make the effort to go to class, you will grow as a Martial Artist! The growth is in the discomfort, when you do what needs to be done even if you don’t feel like it you build your spirit. And a strong spirit is often what makes a student stand out from the rest of the group!

Perseverance is one of the most important qualities that you need to work on and develop if you wish to one day earn your black belt in Jiu Jitsu. If you train long enough you will encounter setbacks and be discouraged from time to time. You will most likely suffer your fair share of injuries even if they are relatively minor, your body will get banged up, you will be pushed to the point of exhaustion, your mind will tell you that you want to quit. Life may even have a way of throwing a curve ball at you that side tracks you from your immediate goals….

But it is the people who develop an Iron will and persevere against all odds that become great and stand out from the pack! Perseverance is a quality that you must spend a lifetime developing as it will help you in all aspects of life! It is often said that “How you do anything is how you do everything” and I believe that if you tackle your obstacles head on with a ton of perseverance then there is no stopping you! Remember a setback is only a setup for a comeback so do what needs to be done, push yourself and anything is possible!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

Gracie Jiu Jitsu

May 13, 2012

Gracie Jiu Jitsu… The name conjures up the image of a tall skinny Brazilian by the name of Royce Gracie. Royce Gracie stepped into the cage to prove the effectiveness of his family’s style in combat against various martial artists and brawlers who were much bigger and stronger than him in Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). Royce single-handedly turned the martial arts world as we knew it upside down on that night and again in subsequent UFC’s by the apparent ease of which he dispatched his opponents using the devastatingly effective techniques taught to him by his father Helio Gracie.

An old photo with one of my idols Royce Gracie

With the wide-spread popularity of MMA and the UFC it is important to remember the contribution made my this man and his family. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, BJJ or Jiu Jitsu as it is now commonly referred to was once a relatively obscure art form lacking the respect that it rightfully has earned. Helio Gracie was the genius and pioneer who adapted the techniques of Japanese Jiu Jitsu through the use of leverage into the art we now refer to as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Gracie Jiu Jitsu was the name their family used to differentiate their art from the traditional Jiu Jitsu of bygone eras. And as Gracie Jiu Jitsu made its way into the USA and around the world somewhere along the lines the name sort of morphed into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after various politics amongst some of the Gracie family.

However it is important to recognise and give credit to the Gracie family for opening our eyes to the true nature of combat and given us the gift of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. And when questioned in an interview about the name I remember Rickson Gracie saying “I am Rickson Gracie, I am from Brazil and I practice Jiu Jitsu”. Simple, direct and humble. A lot of people these days are critical of the Gracie family or say that Jiu Jitsu is not as effective in MMA as it once was however nothing is further from the truth. Modern day strikers and wrestlers wouldn’t be able to fight at the higher levels without a thorough knowledge of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and how to defend against its deadly submissions. Without Gracie Jiu Jitsu and the truth it has inspired in combat modern mma as we know it wouldn’t even exist!

Master Royler Gracie and I

So on behalf of myself, my students and Jiu Jitsu practitioners all around the world I say thank you to the Gracie family. You have my deepest respect and gratitude for this wonderful art and you have inspired and touched the lives of more people than you can possibly have imagined!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

Upcoming Jiu Jitsu Seminars in August!

May 12, 2012

Ok so August is a hot month for Jiu Jitsu seminars firstly we have multiple time World Jiu Jitsu and ADCC Champion Andre Galvao coming to Australia for a series of seminars! Andre has been on a tear in the competition scene and just keeps getting better. His book “Drill to Win” is essential reading for all Jiu Jitsu students and instructors alike and his DVD set are great too. I am really excited about this seminar and looking forward to learning from one of the best in the business and I hope Jiu Jitsu Kingdom will be there in force with a team of supporters!

Andre’s seminars will be held at VT-1 Gym in Chatswood and are on the 11th and 12th of August. Please let me know ASAP if you want to attend as no doubt this will sell out fast especially as it is Andre’s first time out here!

Secondly w have the legendary Royler Gracie coming to Australia! Royler Gracie is the son of the founder of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Helio Gracie and one of the most respected people in Jiu Jitsu. Royler will be holding a seminar at Gracie Alexandria on 18th August 2012 from 2pm-5pm. To all the guys and girls at Jiu Jitsu Kingdom, I highly recommend that you attend this seminar as it is not often you get to train with and learn from one of the greatest Jiu Jitsu and No Gi competitors/teachers of all time!

Royler Gracie

Although I don’t know what Royler will be teaching you can be sure that it will be the very finest in Gracie Jiu Jitsu technique regardless of whether it is for Self defence, Sports Competition or MMA and will be suitable for all levels of experience. Please let me know ASAP if you are interested in attending so I can reserve our spots as part of the Gracie Sydney team.  

Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“Thoughts On Competing Part 1/2”

May 6, 2012

Ok so I have two of my students competing today and I thought I’d take a moment to share some of my thoughts on Jiu Jitsu competition and its value. To begin with Jiu Jitsu Kingdom is not a competition school so to speak although we have produced several champions in the competitive arena in Gi, No Gi and MMA competition.

At Jiu Jitsu Kingdom our focus is on developing the individual into the very best person and Martial Artist he can become, using Jiu Jitsu as the vehicle of development! We practise Jiu Jitsu with the goal of using maximum efficiency and minimum effort to control and submit our opponents on the mat as originally taught by Helio Gracie.

The Jiu Jitsu we teach comes from the Gracie family and can be used to learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from violence and can even be used by women and children as an effective method of escaping and fighting off a much larger and stronger attacker. Jiu Jitsu has something to offer for everyone!

Jiu Jitsu techniques are a fundamental building block in the MMA arena. Through the use of leverage, technique, and strategy in Jiu Jitsu you can protect yourself and defeat a stronger more aggressive opponent in the cage/ring (MMA/Vale Tudo) just as easily or at the very least save you from receiving a beating and possibly being maimed/seriously injured.

Jiu Jitsu can also be used in competitive Gi and No Gi Jiu Jitsu matches as the use of leverage, technique and strategy can be applies equally even in these environments however our goal is always to submit our opponents not win by points or advantages. At Jiu Jitsu Kingdomwe teach our students to always “Hunt for the Submission” or at the very least to “Climb the Ladder” so that we are advancing our position and heading towards a position where we can create an indefensible situation and submit our opponents!

Granted this may not always be the best strategy in sports competition but our focus is always on the overall development of our Jiu Jitsu not the trophies and medal we earn if we win. Don’t get me wrong, winning is great but it is the lessons we learn from competition that is most valuable to us in the long run. What we learn about ourselves and our games is vastly more important than the end result of a win or a loss.

What were our mistakes?

How was our mindset? Were we nervous, excited, afraid etc?

Did our emotions cloud our judgement?

Could we have done something better to create a submission opportunity?

Should we have changed our strategy or tactics?

How did you deal with the pressure and could you have dealt with it better?

What would you do differently next time?

There is so much that can be learnt about yourself when you step on the mat to compete and while we all aspire to win, it is the lessons we learn and how we use them to grow as individuals and Martial Artists that matter most. Something I always remember 2004 Judo Olympian Rhadi Ferguson saying is “If you lose, don’t lose the lesson”! This is some of the best advice I can offer regarding competing.

If you gain experience, learn more about yourself and your game and what you need to work on then you could hardly say that you really lost! And if you won that’s great I am sure it will help build your confidence but still take the time to analyse what lessons you learned from the experience and how you can use this to become a better Martial Artist. Everyone who faces their fears and steps on the mat to compete or even just train Jiu Jitsu is a winner in the game of life.

In the part 2, I will talk about some of the major positives of Jiu Jitsu competition and how it can help fuel the innovation and growth of the art! Why I encourage people to compete at least once and how competition can expedite your learning curve!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

Congrats to Jiu Jitsu Kingdom’s newest Blue Belt!

May 5, 2012

A huge congratulations to Tim Nieuwenhuis, who was graded to blue belt yesterday at Jiu Jitsu Kingdom! It has been a long time coming mate, and I am proud to finally promote you. Keep up the great work and I am certain that you will continue to impress both on the mats and in competition! And I am looking forward to seeing many more Kimura’s from you!

To the rest of the team, keep training hard, supporting each other and sharpening your techniques! Iron sharpens iron and we all have to work together to help each other improve and take our games to the next level. Jiu Jitsu is a team sport and no one gets good without a great team behind them!

On a side note there is another one of you that I am looking to promote in the near future so keep training and let’s make this Jiu Jitsu Kingdom’s biggest and best year ever!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom