Archive for June, 2012

Infinite Learning!

June 30, 2012

So I have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for almost 13 years now and the one thing that amazes me is the infinite amount of knowledge that is out there to acquire in Jiu Jitsu. Just this week alone I have learnt so much about attacking the back and understanding transitions from there between positional changes and submission attacks and all because I have done a dozen rounds of positional rolling from there with a training partner! It truly astounds me just how deeply some people understand the basics… I can only imagine the skill level, depth of understanding and timing that someone like Rickson, Royler or Roger Gracie have in these and all positions in Jiu Jitsu. It is truly remarkable!

Another basic concept that I utilise and teach my students about is mirroring and shutting down an opponent’s offense and techniques. Well this has certainly sunk into my sub-conscience through some “Deep Cell” learning this week as well and I am surprised at just how little I now realise I understood about it previously! While training with a training partner coming back from injury, he was remarkably successful in shutting down a lot of my offense through the use of mirroring and resetting his base, grips and position. I got to truly feel and experience some high level Jiu Jitsu tactics and have them explained to me in simple terms afterwards!

Now I have always been one to say “there are No Secrets” but you know what I am starting to seriously question that! I am not saying there is a mystical technique that makes you unstoppable or submits everyone but I do believe there are levels of understanding in Jiu Jitsu that separate even good black belts from great black belts and Masters. Sadly I believe that very few people actually put in the time to learn and understand techniques on such a level and that s why they sometimes encounter problems applying what they know against athletic opponents… Although their techniques may be correct, their angles are wrong so they don’t move as efficiently or effectively as they possibly could and as such have trouble applying them against a resisting opponent. So next time you see someone roll their eyes when told they are practising Hips Escapes, Armbars from Guard or Escaping Side Control, smile, keep an open mind and reap the rewards of really learning and understanding how and why the techniques work!


Good Luck with your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom


Lifelong Friends and Influences

June 24, 2012

One of the things about Jiu Jitsu that a lot of people don’t realise is that you will meet many people on the mat who will become lifelong friends and have a positive influence on your life for many years to come! Jiu Jitsu training is tough and when you go through the hardships of training with someone you form a strong bond based on trust and respect, both of which are great starting points for strong friendships!

Over the years I have met many great individuals through Jiu Jitsu. Some of them I am in contact with regularly others not so much but their influence on me and friendship will always be there. These days 95% of my circle of friends have something to do with Jiu Jitsu whether they train, used to train or I met them through Jiu Jitsu.

I am lucky enough to have one of my original coaches Luke Picklum as a training partner whom I still learn a great deal from and am always happy to bounce ideas off. Another original coach Adam Kayoom (based in Thailand) just beat Gregor Gracie last night at ONE Fighting Championship in Malaysia last night and his influence on me is still evident through my hunger for knowledge and a deeper understanding of Jiu Jitsu techniques and positions. Chris De Weaver was the Head coach of the three when I first started and has influenced me in my attitude and approach to the importance of developing  Self Defense, Vale Tudo(MMA) and Sports techniques equally and not overlooking the arts humble fighting origins.

My coach Bruno Panno has influenced and helped support me in teaching and sharing the art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu as well as guiding me in my training and always making sure I attempt to master the basics of Jiu Jitsu. Coach Marcos Nevel has also influenced my Jiu Jitsu with his smooth and fluid style, and taught me the finer point about one of my favourite sweeps in Jiu Jitsu.

Mario Sperry and Marcelo Garcia are both huge inspirations to me as competitors, coaches and all round great individuals. Only in Jiu Jitsu is one able to have such easy access to learn from and be directly influenced by the legends of their sports! We are so lucky….

I have many friends who have come up the ranks together, travelled internationally on training trips, done seminars with, took private classes from and taught whom I share many priceless memories with. Jiu Jitsu has become a huge part of my life far beyond the ability to protect myself and my family. It has given me the greatest gifts of all which are true friendships and the ability to share this great art with others and hopefully make a positive impact on their lives too!

I guess what I am trying to say here is that if you are thinking about learning Jiu Jitsu for any reason at all, then there is no time like the start. You will push yourself, sweat and work hard in training but the rewards in life far exceed anything you can ever imagine possible! Jiu Jitsu will change your life and make you a better person so if you are ready to start your journey we would love to have you come by our gym Jiu Jitsu Kingdom to begin your journey!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

More Essential Reading For Jiu Jitsu

June 17, 2012

Around a month ago I wrote about four books that I think are essential reading for Jiu Jitsu and received a lot of positive feedback from it. So I thought I would take a few minutes to compile another list of great books for Jiu Jitsu students,competitors and teachers world-wide. These four books are also brilliant and I can’t recommend them highly enough!

1. “Gracie Jiu Jitsu:  The Master Text” by Grandmaster Helio Gracie.

A beautiful book illustrating the classical techniques of Gracie Jiu Jitsu demonstrated by the Grandmaster himself . “The Master Text” covers all the self-defense techniques against various street attacks as well as his techniques of surviving and winning a fight using Gracie Jiu Jitsu. There is some great reading in the book as well as a discussion on the Gracie diet. This is essential reading for everyone who trains Jiu Jitsu and makes for a great gift for any student of the art!

2. “The Four Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss

A fascinating and inspirational read on lifestyle design. This book inspired me to quit my high paying fulltime job and start teaching Jiu Jitsu as a profession and I have never looked back. One of the best books I have ever read and very thought-provoking. No matter what you are looking for I believe you will find something of great use to you in this book!

3. “Jiu Jitsu University” by Saulo Ribeiro

“Jiu Jitsu University” is widely considered the bible of Jiu Jitsu and for good reason. Saulo explains in great detail his thoughts and philosophies of the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu including his feelings on what is required for the progression through each belt level. “Jiu Jitsu University ” is another essential book for every Jiu Jitsu student’s library, it will definitely improve your understanding of the art as Saulo is a gifted and natural-born teacher of the art.

4. “The Four Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss

Ok so two books in my recommended reading list by the same author, is he really that good? In a word, “Yes”! In “The Four Hour Body”, Tim goes into painstaking detail to explore how the human body works and how to get more from your own body! This is basically like a hacker’s guide to human performance and Tim has spared no expense in seeking out the leading experts in various fields to learn from and experiment with their thoughts and practises. Another brilliant and thought-provoking book!

So if you like reading, learning and want to take your Jiu Jitsu and life to a whole other level I highly recommend you buy these books and study them as they have the potential to change your life! On a side note if you would like read more articles by me I have started posting some here:—Leadership-and-Traditional-Values&id=7111267 . Please take a look and let me know what you think!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

BJJ Concepts: Becoming a Guard Passing Finisher – Jason Scully

June 9, 2012

Here is an awesome video by Jason Scully on developing your ability to complete the Guard Pass! I am a big fan of Jason Scully’s videos and even subscribe to his Grapplers Guide website! At the very least you would do well to subscribe to his youtube channel!

I hope you enjoyed the video and learnt a lot! Stay tuned for more posts on the blog within the next couple of days!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

Defending Against the Guillotine

June 6, 2012

Just recently there has been a terrible tragedy where a Professional MMA fighter has had his neck broken and been paralyzed while taking his opponent down in training who had locked up a Guillotine choke on him! Now there are a lot of thing s that may have gone wrong such as poor technique, too much ego, being to reckless or even just really bad luck. However I believe there are steps that should be put in place to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring! See the link below for more details.

Fellow Gracie Sydney Association coach and Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belt Liam Resnekov has filmed a great video on neck safety and possible injury prevention when defending against the guillotine with a wrestling style take down. Please take a few minutes to watch the video below!

Now personally I advocate the traditional Gracie Jiu Jitsu defense of controlling the choking arm, hugging your other arm over the back and taking your opponent down straight into side control with no real stress or pressure on your neck but in Jiu Jitsu there are lots of ways to be right and Liam offers a great video here that is definitely worth sharing! I hope this helps you!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

Andre Galvao and the 2012 Mundials

June 3, 2012

There is a lot of responsibility associated with being an Instructor of the Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is no different. Sadly this is sometimes missed in a lot of Jiu Jitsu schools BUT it shouldn’t be. Teaching is a great responsibility because there is so much more to being a good teacher than just showing techniques and explaining their details. Being a good teacher involves passion for the art, leading by example and really caring about your students development as martial artists and good human beings. Sometimes our passion blinds us but it is important to take responsibility for your actions, set the record straight and lead by example.

An example of this occurred at the 2012 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships this weekend in which one of the legends of the sport was ejected from the arena and disqualified from competing! Multiple time World Jiu Jitsu Champion and one of the favourites to win both his weight and the absolute division, Andre Galvao was asked to leave the arena after jumping the barrier to dispute a very poor and inconsistent referee’s decision. The controversial decision cost his student a gold medal in the World Championships in the purple belt feather weight division. Andre was contesting the referee’s horrible calls and became quite heated while arguing on behalf of his student being ripped off. Andre was understandably upset and angered by the poor decision and earlier poor decisions in which one of his purple belts lost via kneebar in a division in which kneebars are ILLEGAL! Apparently this was the last straw for Andre who got angry and argued with the referee questioning his competence and understanding of the rules! Andre is clearly a passionate guy about both Jiu Jitsu and his students. Unfortunately his passion and emotions just clouded his decision-making ability and thus the fiasco.

Now while it is admirable for a coach to care about his students and stick up for them during such injustices. The fact of the matter is that it was wrong for Andre to act the way he did and jump the barrier to argue with the referee. Was he right in his argument? Probably. Did his criticisms have merit? I’d say so. But as an ambassador for the sport and a leader of his Jiu Jitsu team Atos, Andre acted uncharacteristically bad and unsportsmanlike as a coach and he let his emotions get the better of him which caused a scene. As such the officials saw fit to have him removed from the arena and sadly disqualified from competing in both his weight and the absolute division on the weekend!

Andre has gone on record to apologise for his actions and in a truly humble manner accept full responsibility for his actions and the subsequent consequences. As a man and a leader, that is the Andre Galvao that Jiu Jitsu fans around the world have grown to love watching compete and as a team leader, he did the right thing in accepting responsibility and apologising.

Sadly the decision to disqualify him thus denying him and the fans a chance to see one-off our favourite athletes compete stands. A decision which I also feel is incorrect. Jiu Jitsu is run by the same people hosting the competition and profiting from it without paying their athletes! The lack of a formal ability to protest a poor decision and no independent governing regulatory body leaves both Andre and the fans at the mercy of the organisers/officials. And they unsurprisingly support their own without taking into account the poor performance of their referee. I believe it would have been fair to have ejected him from coaching for the day and even banned him from coaching for the duration of the competition. But disqualifying him and not allowing him to compete is incorrect and unfair as it would not apply equally to everyone, especially if someone was only coaching and not competing. This would mean that people are not punished equally for the same offense and that is unjust. Clearly the IBJJF need to step up and take some responsibility for the actions of their referees and set an example by at least reviewing the situation and looking to improve the way they are handled and also the training and consistency of calls made by referees in the future.

Andre Galvao has stepped up, now it is your turn IBJJF. If you really want to grow the sport and provide a great competition circuit for athletes to compete fairly it is important that you learn from these mistakes and take steps to prevent them in the future. If the IBJJF don’t learn from this they run the risk of having athletes boycott the event and only attend paid competition like the ADCC Pro and other paid competitions that are starting to spring up.

If you want to inspire greatness you must lead by example, earn respect rather than demand it and step up and admit when you have made a mistake. These are traits that have always been encouraged by the Gracie family and we must make sure we as Jiu Jitsu practitioners uphold the Gracie legacy!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“Watch and Study Film on Jiu Jitsu Part 2″

June 2, 2012

A little while ago I wrote an article titled “Watch and Study Film on Jiu Jitsu”, that dealt with how to study matches between Elite Jiu Jitsu fighters and how to apply what you have learned in your own training. In today’s article “Watch and Study Film on Jiu Jitsu Part 2” I am going to address the idea of watching instructional dvds and videos online. Now before I start I must say that as great as studying and learning from good instructional dvds/videos is, it is absolutely no substitute for learning in person from a good coach! Your film study should be like the icing on the cake and complement your hard training in the gym and not the actual cake mix!

So now that we have that out-of-the-way I’d like to start by saying I just watched a really great webinar (Online seminar) today in which UFC fighter Alan “The Talent” Belcher taught how to defend against various leg locks and leg attacks. And I learnt a great deal from this webinar that I will be implementing directly into my game! In my experience some of the very best instructional dvds and videos are generally more concepts based than technique based. While there is obviously some techniques taught on the video it is the concepts and about the how, when and why that separate a great video from a mediocre on.

A great instructional video should provoke thought in the viewer and make you think about the way you do your techniques, why you do them that way, understand the timing (when) and also give you a mental framework of reference regarding the technique and situations that lead to the technique. As a matter of fact most of my favourite instructional videos on MGinAction are the Discussion videos from after class when students ask Marcelo questions and he takes a few minutes to help them with their problems. I have learnt so much from these. Speaking of good instructors if you are not yet a member of Marcelo Garcia’s MGinAction online instructional website you really should join as he is a great coach and pioneering online Jiu Jitsu Instruction! Use “Jiu Jitsu Kingdom” as a code to receive a free week on MGinAction and if you join please be sure to mention “Jiu Jitsu Kingdom” as the person who recommended you! 🙂 Marcelo has been delving more and more into the conceptual side of teaching explaining the timing understanding of why his movements tend to be so effective and how to be a better Jiu Jitsu fighter. I can’t recommend MGinAction highly enough!

So with regards to studying instructional film my recommendations are similar, choose one or two concepts/techniques that you want to work on and watch the corresponding videos several times taking a few key notes on the most important concepts. Take your notes to the gym with you next time you train and try to apply these concepts or new techniques in your game. Take notes of how you went and what needs work and go back and re watch the instructional videos a few more times paying particular attention to the areas that gave you problems and see if you can find out where you went wrong and how to improve next time you train. Spend at least a week (preferably a month)on these two concepts/techniques and watch your game improve!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom