Posts Tagged ‘No Gi’

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



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

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

“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

“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

“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

Five Tips To Help You Adapt To No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training

July 31, 2011

The large majority of people who practise Brazilian Jiu Jitsu train predominantly in the Gi (also known as a Kimono) and can often find it a little difficult to transition smoothly into faster style of No Gi training. The Gi or Kimono for those of you new to the art is just the name of the uniform worn during regular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. In this article I hope to offer five tips to help your No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game firing on all cylinders!

 1. Learn Where to Grip and How to Handfight: What this means is that most grips taken in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training involve some type of Gi grip. Here is a brief and simple breakdown of where certain grips translate to:

 – Collar (Gi) = Cupping the Neck/ Chin or Posting on the Shoulder (No Gi)

– Elbow Seem (Gi) = Cupping the Elbow (No Gi)

– Cuff of Sleeve (Gi) = Gripping/Palming the Wrists (No Gi)

– Pinning/Posting on the Body (Gi) = Underhooks & Overhooks for Control (No Gi)

– Pants Grip at Knees (Gi) = Underhooking the Knees or Palming the Knees (No Gi)

– Pant Grip at Cuff (Gi) = Gripping/Palming the Ankles (No Gi)

Handfighting is the art of fighting and pummeling for the grips that are most favourable for you and disadvantageous for your opponent. Handfighting is the launching platform for your No Gi game, whoever is able to control the tie ups and get the better grips will usually be at a distinct advantage in the High Speed Game of No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

2.  Focus on Gross body Movements not Moves. When training No Gi, try to think more in terms of Gross Body Movements as opposed to smaller “More Technical” moves. I use the phrase “More Technical” moves loosely as often people think so much about perfect technique and getting everything right in a particular technique. Now while it is important to use technique in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, in the high speed pace of No Gi training it is often better to at least be moving in the general direction that you want to go even if all the “technical” pieces of the move aren’t yet in place. No Gi training revolves around movement and reaction, without the Gi it is harder to slow down and control an opponent so often you are forced to improvise with a slightly less technical “movement” instead of hitting the “move” perfectly!

3. Develop the Ability to Scramble. Being able to hustle and scramble when neither of you are in ideal position will allow you to dominate and control more opponents. For example don’t willingly go to your back. Fight, scramble, recover your balance and try and take the top position against very sweep or takedown that your opponent attempts. This will make him work harder, get tired quicker and will be demoralising for your opponent. Another example is every time your opponent attempts a submission that you are able to defend, you must immediately scramble and attack. Turn the tables and put pressure on your opponent and he will think twice about attacking again or taking risks.

4. Control The Pace (Attack). In No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu it is important to impose your will on your opponent. With the lack of a Gi, it is much harder for your opponent to slow you down, stifle your movements and shut out your game so always aim to attack as much as possible and keep the pressure on your opponent! When your opponent is focused on defending against your attack, it takes their mind off imposing their will and drawing you into their game.

 5. Become a Better Athlete! Now while it is true that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu revolves around the use of technique and leverage to survive against, control and submit bigger, stronger and more aggressive opponents, it can only benefit you to be in the best physical condition possible. Is it absolutely necessary, No. But is it extremely beneficial, HELL YES! The more flexible you are, the better your aerobic and anaerobic conditioning is, the stronger, faster and more explosive you are, the harder you are going to be to control, wear down and ultimately defeat! Do yourself a favour in more ways than one and get into the best physical shape you possibly can! Your health will improve, your risk of injury diminishes, you can spend more time training and less time off the mat recovering and that means more learning and faster progress!

Marcelo Garcia is a Master of the Five Tips mentioned in this article!

 Now finally for the controversial part… Train Gi as well as No Gi! Gi training will help your No Gi training as No Gi training will help your Gi training! The very best in the world train both so you should to and don’t get caught up in the petty arguments of which is better. Do whatever makes you happy, have fun, train consistently and you will get better!

Good Luck With Your training And Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“My First Blue Belt!”

November 17, 2010

Well its been a while… Between teaching, training, working and looking after my family I have been super busy and haven’t found the time to write! A lot has been happening with the gym and there are so many huge plans in the pipeline but for now I’d like to start by congratulating Marcus Flanagan on achieving his blue belt! He is the first student that I have promoted to blue belt and is very deserving as he has been giving people a hard time on the mats for years! 🙂 I am very proud to have awarded him his blue belt and look forward to seeing big things in the future from him as I do from everyone! Marcus has been training for several years now, and has competed in both gi and no gi tournaments, fought mma and has been training like a mad man over the last year so congratulations mate, well deserved!

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom’s first Blue Belt

Let’s do the Gracie Sydney(Humaita) Association proud and set the standard over the next year in the competition and MMA scene! Train hard and unlock your potential!

Good Luck with your training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

Clock Choke by Mario Sperry

July 14, 2010

I had th great pleasure of doing a private class(with gi) and a No Gi/MMA seminar with Ze Mario last week! Let me tell you, I believe Ze Mario is one of the greatest BJJ/MMA coaches of all time and as great as he was as a fighter, I believe he’s real gift is as a teacher! I will be posting more about the seminar soon but for now I hope you enjoy a clip from the master of the Relogio(clock choke) from one of his instructional dvds available from

Ze Mario and I


Oh and on a side note, Ze Mario’s partner in the video is one of Ze Mario’s top students Fabiano Capoani(who graded me to brown belt in May 2008). Please check back for a lot more from the Zen Machine over the next week! Until then…

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu jitsu Kingdom