Posts Tagged ‘gym’

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


Awesome Seminar with Michelle Nicolini!

September 9, 2012

Last Sunday we had the great pleasure of attending a 3 hour Jiu Jitsu seminar with Checkmat Superstar Michelle Nicolini and despite the fact that it was Father’s day we still got a decent turn out! For those of you that missed out…. Well you really have no idea how good the seminar was or on how lucky we were to have Michelle Nicolini out here teaching! Michelle Nicolini dazzled and inspired us all with her technical skill!

Michelle Nicolini took us through a brief but fun sport specific warm up and then wasted no time in getting straight into the techniques. This was a content rich seminar starting with Checkmat style guard passing drills, before moving onto her trademark guard game of sweeps, submissions and back attacks and finished up with some slick leg locks and attacks!

Michelle Nicolini Jiu Jitsu Seminar (Sydney 2012)

Michelle Nicolini’s ability to seamlessly transition between attacks and positions impressed everyone. We are very grateful to have learned some of the techniques that she has used to win 6 World Championships and has made her known as the greatest female Jiu Jitsu competitor of all time!

Thank you Michelle Nicolini, we have a lot to work on for the next several months and we look forward to your return! Again a special thanks from the Jiu Jitsu Kingdom team for sharing your knowledge with us over the last couple of weeks as well. We have all benefited tremendously from the experience and our games will only continue to improve as we begin to drill and implement what you have taught us!

Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

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

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

“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

“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

“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