Posts Tagged ‘self defense’

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Masterclass with Royler Gracie

August 17, 2012

So yesterday I was lucky enough to do a special 2 hour Masterclass on Gracie Jiu Jitsu Self Defense Techniques with Master Royler Gracie and the Gracie Humaita/Sydney coaches. Talk about a fantastic opportunity and a great learning experience! The thing you realise when learning from Royler is just how amazing  and technical he is as a coach and he doesn’t miss a thing. Personally I have had to use some of the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Self Defense techniques during security work over the last decade and they have served me well and saved my neck more than a few times! But even knowing the techniques and using them isn’t the same as doing them under the direct supervision of the Master! Royler made plenty of incremental adjustments to our techniques which dramatically improved the leverage and efficiency of the techniques. I learnt so much and am looking forward to passing on these new details and adjustments to my students

I must say I am excited for Royler Gracie’s seminar today at Gracie Humaita/Sydney HQ and look forward to learning more from the master as it is not often you get the opportunity to train with a legend! See you on the mat!


Good Luck with Your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom


Self Defense… The Foundation of Gracie Jiu Jitsu

August 28, 2011

In this day and age of modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition, Submission Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition, it is easy for people to forget why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was created. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was created as a means of survival and self-defense for a smaller, weaker individual to overcome an attack from a stronger and more aggressive attacker! Helio Gracie spent his life developing and refining the techniques of Jiu Jitsu that we now know today as Gracie Jiu Jitsu (or more commonly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).

Helio Gracie was the pioneer who applied the theory of leverage to the techniques of Jiu Jitsu and in the process began a revolution that allows men, women and children of all ages, shapes, size and athletic ability learn techniques to defend themselves with maximum efficiency and minimal effort. Gracie Jiu Jitsu was the catalyst for modern MMA competition and the UFC. And although MMA is soaring in popularity, it is important that we do not forget Helio’s original teachings and intention for Gracie Jiu Jitsu and that is Self Defense.

One of Helio’s many famous quotes regarding Gracie Jiu Jitsu is: “Always assume that your opponent is going to be bigger, stronger and faster than you; so that you learn to rely on technique, timing and leverage rather than brute strength”. Through the techniques of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, an individual is able to develop confidence, awareness and a sound technical arsenal to protect themselves should the need ever arise. Another great Helio Gracie quote is: “Jiu Jitsu is personal efficiency to protect the weaker, which anyone can do. It is the force of leverage against brute force”.

Just last Friday I began training a new student, Kimberley who had no prior Martial Arts experience, yet was keen to develop more confidence and learn how to protect herself. Kimberley took to Gracie Jiu Jitsu training like a fish to water and within the first 10 minutes was starting to develop some serious base! I at around 95kg was not able to push her or drag her around once she understood the basic principle of dropping her weight and establishing base even though I outweighed her by around 35kg!

Once Kimberley saw the results of good technique and the correct application of leverage we moved onto Bear Hug defenses both Front and Rear. Within minutes Kimberley was able to escape and throw me with remarkable ease and confidence! Again no small feat considering this was her first exposure to Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts in general. After being beaten up and thrown to the mat over 50 times we moved onto mount Escapes, specifically the “Upa”. Again we started slowly and gradually added progressive resistance as she her technique improved and she gained confidence with her “Upa”. To say I was impressed with how fast she learnt and understood the movements would be an understatement… Shocked actually! 🙂 Kimberley soaked up the techniques like a sponge and was showing some real promise, all while smiling and having fun… As a coach I felt both proud and inspired by her progress and her new-found confidence in Gracie Jiu Jitsu!

On a side note in case you missed it, there was a little secret to success mentioned in the previous chapter and that is the idea of having fun while you are training. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing you wont put in the necessary time required to learn the techniques and develop your reflexes. A teaching principle I try to apply to every class is that of “S.S.L.”. “S.S.L.” stands for Smiling, Sweating and Laughing. If you can have your students doing all three while working hard on developing your technique you have the recipe to develop lifelong Martial Artists and Jiu Jitsu practitioners. Remember Gracie Jiu Jitsu has so much more to offer than just physical self-defense techniques, it can literally change your life as it has mine but that is a topic of another post! For now always keep in mind that Self Defense is the foundation of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and should always remain so.

Good Luck With Your Training And Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom

“Helio Gracie demonstrating his method of self defense!”

October 4, 2010

Here is an old clip of Helio Gracie demonstrating his self-defense techniques. Some very rare footage! Rest in Peace Grandmaster Helio and thank you for the gift of Jiu jitsu!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

“More on what I have in mind question wise for Rickson Gracie”

August 28, 2010

Well I thought I’d take a few minutes to clarify what I have in mind question wise for Rickson when he comes out to Sydney in November. Please bear in mind that Rickson is considered to be “The Unquestioned Authority” on Jiu jitsu law and an example of the finest technique in the world!

So for me, I am not interested in the latest new sweep used in the Mundials, the 50 50 guard or the best strength and conditioning routine for BJJ students(although I believe they all have value!). I would like to learn more about the most basic of positions like:

– THE MOUNT – How does he like to control his opponent from there? Does he like to change frequently between the various mounted positions(hooks in, ankles crossed underneath/Sky diving position, S mount, regular knees pinched sitting up mount etc)? How does he connect with his opponent and lock down his opponents hips so they feel stuck under crushing weight unable to move? How does he maintain strong and stable base while setting up the basic cross choke? How does he isolate and control the opponent’s arms to set up the armbar? Tips on getting the opponent to turn over exposing his back. Setting up and mounting your opponent from various positions. Applying crushing weight and improving my base from there. And just general all round critiquing of my technique and movement from this position. How does he like to escape the mount? Tips on connecting with his opponent, disrupting his base, stifling his offense and setting up the escape. Rickson’s technical details on basics such as upa and hips escape from underneath the mount.

– THE BACK – What is Rickson’s preferred methods of taking the back? Details on setting up the mata leon while transitioning towards the back. Use of angles to block the opponent’s escapes. What is Rickson’s preferred method of controlling(over under, double unders etc) and finishing from the back? Does his controlling position from the back change much between gi and no gi? How does he like to create confusion in the opponents from here to set up the submission? What are his preferred methods of escaping the back from various positions? Does he teach going to his knees(turtle) to prevent the guard pass or does he feel it is too risky? Escaping and reversing from the turtle position. Replacing the guard(rolling, spinning, going to half guard, escaping and turning to seated etc).

– CORE SELF DEFENSE MOVEMENTS – What does he feel are the absolute must know basic self-defense positions(bear hug, headlock, collar grab, rear choke etc) for everyone? Tips on achieving greater leverage while escaping from all of these positions. Which movements does he feel are better suited towards security and law enforcement personnel? How he likes to close the distance against opponents in self-defense and mma situations(similarities and differences between the two)? When does he employ strikes to set up submissions or takedowns? Developing a strong base and disrupting the opponents base. What does he feel are the most important throws/takedowns to develop as a Jiu jitsu practitioner(hip throws, trips, seoinage, sacrifice throws etc)? 

These are just a few of the questions that I would like to hear the master’s thoughts on. There are plenty more, as a matter of fact I could spend a lifetime asking him questions and learning from him. I would also love to learn more about developing the finest technique applying his ideas on Invisible Jiu jitsu and becoming a better teacher! Anyway that’s all from me for now as I have to get ready for work! Have a great week-end and please feel free to share your thoughts!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

“Exponential Function” by special guest Geoff Thompson

June 27, 2010

Exponential Function People have been talking a lot lately about this being the age of information. We even have the information highway on the World Wide Web. The word information is used with some reverence, and rightly so, of course information is important, you might say that information is currency; certainly people do use it as a lucrative means of commerce. But I don’t think that we are residing any longer in the information age, not from my observation, in business and in the business of life. Undoubtedly there was an information age, but we are now through it, certainly we are on the exiting periphery, and entering into a new era, a fresh orbit, a brand new reality called the age of experience.

People have heard about experience, of course, they have read about experience definitely, and every day we all have experiences of one kind or another, but not often the magnificent experiences, the big experiences that we would really like to have – people (it has been noticed) are ready to expand, they are ready to break free from the mundane in order to encounter the extraordinary – they want to immerse themselves into great experiences, because they know that great knowledge without great action is impotent. What is the use of knowing stuff if you can’t apply it?

I know many people for instance that have a great academic knowledge of martial ways but they do not know how to apply it, if you want to see these people in herd go onto any of the MA forums and look out for the folk being negative and spiteful and tabloid. You cannot be a great martial artist, not even a good martial artist whilst indulging in this kind of white belt behaviour, the two are mutually exclusive.

Similarly most people understand palate, they know what food is good for them and what food is bad, and yet they still carry too much body weight and ingest substances that poison them. They have the knowledge but they do not have the power to apply the knowledge.

Why do we do what we do when we know what we know?

Because there is no power in knowing alone, we have to develop the will to put our knowing to work. Knowledge without experience is impotent.

We had the fist session of my masterclass (2010) last week and it was a great session. Not just because the students had invested in world class instruction, rather it was because they had travelled from far and wide – from as far as Poland – to have the experience, and in doing so they placed a greater demand on their will, and their will responded by growing stronger. Getting to the masterclass is challenging for people, time is against many of them, financially some of them are stretched and for many more it is geographically taxing. Most of them said that they experienced a lot of fear when making the commitment, in fact some of them said that it took more will power than they knew they had just to get to the centre, and on their journey down they had the urge to turn back and go home. They felt that the experience was beyond their capacity. We had one person that actually did go home. He paid his fees and was unable to make it to Coventry. But the rest of them, against all these worthy obstacles, made it. And even in that one session you could see people growing, because they had all loaded a demand on their will that placed them ever so slightly out of their depth. So the added demand triggered new growth.

Isn’t that inspiring? How fucking exciting is that? Their will expanded not despite the fear, it expanded not in spite of the geography, it ‘manned-up’ not regardless of the time and the cost implications, it expanded exponentially because of them. All of these elements placed a demand on their will that it had not experienced before, so it was forced to grow.

You will not grow courage without placing yourself before fear.

You will not grow physical strength without placing demand on your muscles.

You will not grow money without creating a fiscal demand.

This is one of the reasons I make my courses difficult for people to attend, I make it a course of high demand, because without it no growth will occur.

And the higher the demand, the greater the development.

People know this innately, that is why my courses fill quickly.

What people experience here is Exponential Function. Look it up in the Concise Oxford Dictionary. It is a mathematical exponent in which a function is increased (more and more rapidly) as a quantity raised to a power and this is determined by the variable on which the function depends.

In other words, if you increase the variable (the demand – on your courage, on your finances, on your physique) the quantity will respond.

In even simper terms; increase the weight on your barbell and your muscles will grow proportionately bigger and stronger. Keep the weight the same and no new growth will occur. Why would it? It is not necessary. Growth is determined by demand, so if you want growth that is more and more rapid then keep increasing the demand and watch how your ability will go through the ceiling.

Let me give you a good example.

I wanted to be a strong judo player. I intended to get my black belt in a system that I think is the best kept secret in the martial arts. I didn’t want to be an average player, that does not suit my mind set. I wanted to be really good. So I placed myself under the instruction of Neil Adams, one of the best judo players in history. He had a full time class that contained about twelve international players, most of them in the Olympic squad. I brought five judo suits and I joined his class. I trained two to three times a day in this magnificent art (with Neil, with his amazing students, privately with British champion Wayne Lakin, with my own students and on my own) and the demand I placed on myself forced rapid growth, fuck it demanded rapid growth. This was one of the hardest things I have ever undertaken but within an eighteen month period I could hold my own with internationals in the art of judo.

I am not saying that everyone should jump in the deep end like this, my method works for me, you can increase the demand one small disc at a time, as long as you increase it.

Exponential Function.

If you want better health, create the demand for better health.

If you want to run faster, run with faster runners, it will demand speed.

If you want more money, create the demand for more money and more money will grow.

If you want better martial arts skills, place yourself under amazing instruction; invest the time and the money and the effort (and the more you speculate the more you will accumulate) and you with grow exponentially.

When people tell me that they do not have the time, the money or the energy I know that they do not want it enough yet. Because when you want it enough you will slide more discs along the bar and force yourself to grow.

And I know this because I have made the same excuses myself before.

The universe does not deal in excuses. It deals in concrete laws. You want growth, place yourself in challenging experiences and you will be given growth. No questions asked. And do not bitch and moan when the demands are too expensive too heavy or too geographically challenging, put your bones into the arena – like the Mexican Shamans who collect their power from difficulty – and make growth your business.

But do not ask for growth without demand because the Big Man is not listening.

And neither am I.

Be well Geoff Thompson

NOTE FROM FELIPE: “Special thanks to Geoff Thompson for allowing me to reproduce this article from his website. Please check it out  at or . Thanks again Geoff, much appreciated and you have been a mentor/role model of mine for quite some time now!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

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