Posts Tagged ‘grappling’

Eddie Bravo Seminar in Sydney

September 29, 2012

On Sunday 16th September, Fari Salievski  and KMA Champion Martial Arts in Liverpool hosted Eddie Bravo for a seminar while he was in Sydney, Australia.  And what a great seminar it was!!! The controversial No Gi Jiu Jitsu exponent taught a great seminar revolving around the half guard using the lockdown.

Eddie Bravo and Felipe Grez

Eddie’s teaching style was amazing! His system was taught in a very methodical and structured pattern that was easy to follow and surprisingly easy to get everyone going through the motions by the numbers! The focus of the seminar was Eddie’s Half Guard system using the infamous “Lockdown”.


Eddie Bravo took the time to answer all my questions! 🙂


The format of the seminar was interesting with Eddie teaching a  Sweep called the “Half and Half” from the “Dogfight” position after starting in a “Perfect Double Underhooks Lockdown” Half Guard position. From here he moved onto dealing with what he called “Shity Double Underhooks” which was any variation that was less than perfect and how to pummel and hand fight back into “Perfect Double Underhooks” position. From here we worked backwards to learn how to get into Half Guard against someone who knows what you are doing and doesn’t want to play in your half guard. The entry technique was called the “Black Mamba” and not only was it effective as an entry point, Eddie thoroughly dealt with the most common problems and attacks that you will encounter when using the technique. Eddie finally closed with the “Electric Chair” Submission and Sweep as a complement to the “Half and Half” sweep and when your opponent is really fighting to avoid the “Dogfight”.

Eddie Bravo Seminar 2012 (Sydney, Australia)

All in all a really great seminar, Eddie Bravo is a gifted teacher and I really liked the way the whole seminar was kind of taught in a reverse engineered pattern! Eddie Bravo definitely made a believer out of me with his Half Guard system, I cant wait to add them into my repertoire and our curriculum I look forward to his return!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom


“Never Contest Strength!”

July 7, 2012

One of the things that you learn in Jiu Jitsu is that there is always someone bigger, stronger and more athletic than you… If you are strong and athletic then you often get away with combining your athleticism with technique to be successful very early in your Jiu Jitsu journey. However the beauty of Jiu Jitsu lies in the use of technique and leverage over strength and power.

Therefore it comes as no surprise to find that often the smaller and weaker individuals and women  really start to focus on learning and mastering technique early in their Jiu Jitsu journeys. And although they may not fare so well at the beginning sooner or later a few years have gone by and they are terrors on the mats rapidly climbing the belt ranks! One of the reasons the learn so fast is that they “Never Contest Strength”, not necessarily by choice but because they aren’t physically able to do so and are forced to find another way to survive and go around their partners’ power.

I think  it was Roy Dean who I first heard use the phrase “The Curse of Strength”! What he meant by that is because stronger people are able to get away with executing their techniques half correct and their attributes doing the rest for them it often happens that their technique doesn’t develop nearly as fast as those who never contest strength. Now the funny thing is that in the beginning the stronger individuals will be way more successful when rolling than the smaller weaker individuals particularly when training No Gi. But in the long run if they don’t learn to shelf their attributes and master technique and leverage, the smaller and weaker individuals will continue to sharpen their techniques and eventually run rings around them!

So the lesson for the day is “Never Contest Strength” or never use strength in place of correct technique. Learn to shelf your attributes and strive to understand and master the technical aspects of Jiu Jitsu. If you can do this you, not only will you get better faster, but you will be more fun and safer to train with for everyone!


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

“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

“Q & A with Robert Follis”

May 22, 2010

Team Quest Head Coach Robert Follis took some time out of his busy schedule to do a quick interview for the blog. I hope you enjoy it and learn as much as I have from his vast experience and knowledge. It is my great pleasure to share the following interview with you.

JJK: What advice would you offer to a Jiu jitsu student who was interested in fighting mma?

ROBERT: The main thing is that you need to be well-rounded. No one art is enough although it is nice to have a specialty in your game.

JJK: What are some of the common mistakes that Jiu jitsu fighters make in mma and how can they correct them?

ROBERT: You have to understand how important it is to be on top in a fight. If you are on the bottom most judges will have you losing even if you are attacking. Being on top is king!

JJK: With regards to your own Jiu jitsu training, do you train with the gi, no gi or both and why?

ROBERT: I think no gi is the most important aspect of fighting because there is no gis in fighting to speak of anymore. I have recently started adding more gi work and I think it adds to your game but it is not a necessity like no gi is for fighting mma.

JJK: If someone walked into your gym wanting to learn self-defense what would you recommend and how would you train them? Is there much difference between this self-defense and mma fight training?

ROBERT: Self defense is totally different to me. When you can bite, eye gouge, head butt the game completely changes. Not to mention weapons and multiple people. That being said it’s pretty hard to practise biting, eye gouging and groin shots live. Training in mma disciplines like BJJ, kickboxing and wrestling are things you can do against live opponents and in addition to getting you in shape will give you a huge advantage in a self-defense situation.

JJK: When training in Jiu jitsu, do you feel it is important to train with certain principles/concepts in mind and if so what are some of these principles/concepts?

ROBERT: You have to spar. Without resistance you never really know if you know something. You also need drilling and ive and take sparring where the goal is not to win but to work lots of different skills in, especially ones you are working on into the go.

JJK: Can you explain the concept of building your energy and building an “Aggressive Defense”?

ROBERT: Great question! Assuming you are doing your physical conditioning and diet are right the key is to learning to control your emotional state. Fighters and competitors who go far are good at controlling their emotional state and also know how to get into their peak emotional state to compete. I call it attacking defense. It is a mindset more than anything. It is the idea that even while I am defending I am looking to break you mentally and always looking for a way to attack you.

Myself with Robert Follis after a great seminar!


JJK: What advice would you offer someone new to coaching mma?

ROBERT: During fights less talking is more. Really study your craft. Get to know your athletes and what their needs are. They are probably different than you.

JJK: What do you feel are the absolute basic,  most essential tools/skills necessary to compete in mma?

ROBERT: Good basics in striking, wrestling and grappling. Getting in great shape, and learning about diet, and cutting weight. Working on controlling your emotional state.

JJK: How important is the mental aspect of fighting and how can an athlete develop their mental skills and fighting spirit?

ROBERT: Wow! Thats a long one. If you aren’t on mentally the physical wont matter. Controlling your focus and emotions are more important than the physical things because if you can’t control them the physical might never get to go. So much to go into on that. Maybe we could do a follow-up just on that later?

JJK: In your own personal training, what are you spending most of your time working on these days?

ROBERT: Judo, clinch fighting, knee riding the head, and reverse triangle and guard stuff.

JJK: Finally where do you see the future of mma heading? And what do you feel will be the next evolution in the sport?

ROBERT: I think the level of athletes is going to keep getting better and better. There will be trends here and there but really it will always be about the big three: wrestling, striking and submissions.

JJK: Thanks for your time and sharing your knowledge with our readers. Any parting words? 

ROBERT: Find a way to have fun and you will train more. This sport like many other things is really a game of attrition. Staying healthy and staying motivated to keep training are essential. If you give up you lose. Hope to see you guys soon.

Thanks again to Robert for a very insightful Q & A. If you ever get a chance to do a seminar with him or are anywhere near his gym in Portland, Oregon(USA), you really should take the time to train with Robert. I am sure it will be a big eye opener and huge learning experience for you!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

P.S. I’ll leave you with a quote that Robert sent me, I hope you like it!

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… We must do that which we think we cannot”. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Time for some updates!

November 20, 2009

Hi people, how are you today? Sorry I have been a little slow with the blog over the last two weeks, I have been extremely busy teaching and trying to build the school! But let me just say I have some exciting things in store for you!!! Starting with:

-A special interview with BJJ/Grappling/MMA Super Coach Lloyd Irvin!

-Feature Technique of the Month! And the first one is just awesome, with credit going to Royler Gracie for teaching it to us during his recent Australian seminar tour!

-Special guest “Cross Training for Self Defense’ article!

-An interview with BJJ Super Star Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles!

-Special guest “Strength & Conditioning Advice for Grapplers” article

-And far too much more to list right now so stay tuned!

Like I said, there’s so many new and exciting ideas in the pipeline and I can’t wait to share them with you! the Jiu jitsu Kingdom Blog is going to get even bigger and better as we head towards 2010! So join us for the ride, help spread the word and lets take our Jiu jitsu to a whole other level!!!!

Good luck with your training and Happy Rolling!


Jiu jitsu Kingdom