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WOD a Great Idea – C r o s s F i t f o r B J J


May-June 2017 Issue 54

Can’t Wait To Get His Hands On You!

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Finding Your Base – E v e To r r e s G r ac i e Meal Replacement Bar Buyers Guide • White Belt Mistakes To Avoid • Kombucha – T h e B l ac k B e lt o f T e as • On His Way To Gold – Isa q ue Ba h ie ns e 4/19/17 10:29 PM

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contents Life

I SS U E 54 M AY/J U N E 2 017 fuel

038 W h o Is Ryan Ford

006 I n F o c u s

022 Grub

068 T h e L if e

Catch Me If You Can

Eve Torres Gracie - Finding Your

Eating Before Bedtime?

008 E d i to r i a l


026 Supplements

It’s in the transition

088 E ven t Coverage

Kombucha - Black Belt of Teas

010 W e i g hi n g I n

BJJ Tour Florida 2017

New Gear and News

090 Buye rs Guide


018 p ro m ot i o n s

Meal Replacement Bars

Belts and Stripes


028 Wa r m u p 036 W hi t e B e lt Ch ron icles Mistakes White Belts Make Pt 1

040 D o ’ s a n d d on ’ts Being a Lifelong Practitioner

Focus On The Work - Not The Reward

050 cove r f e ature

Partner Warm-Up Drills

096 Mind Games

Travis Stevens - The Complete

100 Medic Elbow Injuries

Olympic Grip Game

108 Gains

074 T ech n ique

CrossFit for BJJ

Isaque Bahiense - From Takedown

106 success

to Finish

Jamie Wright

Meet The Experts M ac k e n z i e arrington

W il l safford

patrick flores

Ricardo Castaneda

Is an award winning

Certified Strength and

Is currently a jiu-jitsu

is a brown belt and

chef out of Boothbay,

Conditioning Coach

brown belt under Gracie

holds a master of arts in

Christophe r Ingstad PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, ATC, FAAOMPT

Maine. He is the author

who trains under Andre

Barra’s Rafael “Moskito”

Psychology. He is also

is a purple belt under

of GrapplerGourmet.

Galvao in San Diego,

Oliveira. He has a

the head instructor of

Rafael Dallinha. He is a

com, a comprehensive

CA. Will specializes

bachelors degree in

Gracie Barra Lakeway

Physical Therapist and

guide to cooking for the

in mobility training,

history and is currently

in Austin, Texas. Find

Certified Athletic Trainer at

jiu-jitsu lifestyle. On the

injury prevention, and

working on an MBA. His

him on social media @

Level4 Physical Therapy

mats he is a blue belt

kettlebell strength and

jiu-jitsu photography can

ricardopezaobjj and his

& Performance, Inc.

out of PSABJJ in Brooklyn,

conditioning. For more

be seen on Instagram

website at JiuJitology.

NY, and a personal chef

info, visit his website at

under the name

com for more.

off the mats. Follow


MacKenzie at facebook. com/grapplergourmet.

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ON THE COVER Look for us online: @jiujitsumag


The Life: E ve Torre s Gracie



Olypic Silver Medalist Travis

48 Stevens. It’s always about the grips. Photo: Patrick Flores

Motherhood, Life and Jiu-Jitsu

Isaque Bahiense

From Takedown to Finish


108 Contents 54.indd 2

gains: crossfit for BJJ

Can’t Wait To Get His Hands On You!

Hey, I Do Crossfit!

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IN Focus


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Let the boys be boys

With slams being legal under ADCC rules Sid Skrob knows what’s coming next from David Altomare. Sid would go on to win this match by decision.

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EDITORIAL STA FF EDITOR & PUBLISHER.............................................. Mike Velez ASSISTANT EDITOR............................................. Patrick Flores MANAGING EDITOR................................................Areum Kim


CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS................................... Will Sanford,


MacKenzie Arrington, Eran Galperin, Jeremy Reid,


Arlo Gagestein, Jim Lawson, Heather Raftery,

and unknown is where I find the most success on the attack. If I’m looking for a sweep I wait for

Ricardo Casteneda, Contributing copy editor - Amy

them to make a move. I don’t have the exact quote handy, but I’m sure Sun Tzu said something


about being vulnerable to attack when you’re crossing a river, or something like that. Regardless of the quote, I attack when my enemy’s horses are belly deep in the middle of the river. On the flip side when I get ready to transition from my safe place to an attack I always attempt to catch

ART & PHOTOGR A P H Y ART DIRECTOR................................................. Dave Palacios

my opponent by surprise. I’ll do this by faking an attack to draw their attention somewhere other

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS.............Jason Boulanger,

than where I’m really going. What has this strategy and tactical prowess gotten me so far? Not

John Cooper, Kenny Jewel, Patrick Flores,

a whole lot, I haven’t won any major championships or tapped out any big name people. But it’s

Mike Calimbas, Alberto Marchetti, Ric Ricard

this type of mental chess that gets me into class as often as I can, continually looking to play my game and expand my chessboard. Whatever motivates you to get to class and train often,


keep feeding that motivation. Maybe you will someday win a championship or tap out an idol

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR................................ Paula Fountain

of yours. If you do I hope we someday feature you here in these pages sharing your story and

ADVERTISING SALES........................Mike Velez, Jim Lawson

your motivation. How did this topic come up in the first place? I have no idea. I was originally

CIRCULATION MANAGER..................................Chris Reardon

looking for an analogy about a recent pivot we made to our new app, Jiu Jitsu Mag 360. If you haven’t downloaded it yet go do that now, it’s available in both the iTunes store and Google Play.

Address change & S UB S

Originally we were going to produce one issue of JJM360 every two months and have it alternate

Phone: 1.877.834.3552 ext. 221

with the print issues. That’s just way too long to wait. So, effective immediately, look for two mini


issues of Jiu Jitsu Mag 360 every month. Existing subscribers, you’ll continue to get access to JJM360 with your all access subscription.


Oh, and some of you have been asking how the discipline’s going from last month’s editorial.

Jiu-Jitsu Magazine

Well, it’s still going. Haven’t been living up to the complete Jocko standard, but I managed go get

PO Box 2405

in about two 4:30 AM mornings a week. Those other days I typically sleep in until 5:30 AM, so not

Chino Hills, CA 91709

too bad.

ph: 1.877.834.3552 ext. 221 fax: 909.591.1251

That’s all for now, enjoy this issue. As always be sure to let me know what you think, good or bad. Thanks for reading. Keep Rolling,

Mike Velez Publisher/Editor


Jiu-Jitsu Magazine (ISSN 2157-6173) is a publication of Recon Media Inc. Phone: 877.834.3552; Fax: 909.517.1601 email: Subscription rates are $29.99 for 6 issues (1 year), $39.99 per year Canada, and $59.99 per year for foreign airmail. All rights reserved, The entire contents are copyright 2017 Recon Media Inc, and may not be reproduced in any manner in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. The views and the opinions of the writers and advertisers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Recon Media Inc., the Publisher, or the editorial staff. The Publisher assumes no responsibilities for advertising claims, errors, and omissions. Some of the techniques described in this magazine can be dangerous. Always practice safe procedures and use common sense. Recon Media Inc., and the Publisher can not be held responsible from any injuries or damage caused by these techniques. Perform at your own risk. Jiu-Jitsu Magazine (ISSN2157-6173) is published bi-monthly by Recon Media Inc., 3857 Schaefer Avenue # D, Chino, CA 91710. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to iu-Jitsu Magazine, PO Box 2405, Chino hill, CA 91709

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JoĂŁo Gabriel Rocha Joao Gameness.indd 1 @GamenessFightCo @Gameness_Sports 11/15/16 9:40 PM

weighing in

USA! USA! USA! EACH YEAR IN APRIL, THE WORLD’S TOP JIUJITSU ATHLETES GATHER IN AHU DHABI FOR THE WORLD PRO JIU-JITSU CHAMPIONSHIP. WE’VE GOT JIM AND IVAN THERE RIGHT NOW TO COVER AN UPCOMING ISSUE OF JIU JITSU MAG 360. Winners from the UAEJJF NY International Pro and USA National Pro are there as part of the American team that will represent the United States in Abu Dhabi at the World Pro. In previous years, U.S. athletes who have qualified for the championship have not benefitted from the structure and organization that comes with a national team. This year for the first time ever, U.S. athletes will be representing their country as a unified national team at the World Championship as part of the United States Jiu-Jitsu Association’s national team (USJJA).

Besides thousands of competitors from around the world, this year there will be four countries represented by the best competitors of each belt ranking - Brazil, the UAE, Japan and the United States. Following the example set by national Olympic teams, USJJA is sending the official delegation over to Abu Dhabi decked out with some sick looking Team USA gear thanks to Storm Kimonos. All of the National Team athletes will receive a competitor’s kit that includes two exclusive U.S. National Team gis, a rashguard, training shorts, and other Team USA swag all thanks to Storm Kimonos. This should give you a little more motivation to try a little harder next year. Along with looking good, the USJJA also aims to nurture new talent by providing jiu-jitsu scholarships for children of low-income families, allowing them to experience the physical, mental, and social benefits of jiu-jitsu, while encouraging them to reach their full potential in life through active participation in the sport.

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Mackenzie Likes Zebra Just incase you were wondering, it turns out that jiu-jitsu’s favorite sweetheart likes rolling on Zebra Mats. Sponsorships like this one help athletes like Mackenzie devote the time necessary to not only become a two-time world champion in jiu-jitsu but to help her make the difficult transition to MMA. So if you’re one of the 363,000 following Mackenzie on Instagram @mackenziedern pay close attention to those mats, they’re probably Zebra.

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If you were a child of the late 80s, then you got the Volvo truck commercial with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Don’t let the 33% on Rotten Tomatoes fool you, Bloodsport is an all time classic of cinematic art! The film is “supposedly” based on Frank Dux’ (pronounced “Dukes”) exploits. Lots of questions surround the accuracy of these claims, however it did make for one badass movie with an illegal martial arts tournament Kumite going down in Hong Kong. Aside from a super climactic final scene, we can’t forget Bolo Yeung even bigger than he was in Enter the Dragon. If you want to bring back those memories or expose a new generation to the legend that is Frank Dux, you’ll definitely want to pick up one of these officially licensed Bloodsport rashguards from Fusion Fight Gear. This new rashguard will not only strike fear in your opponents but wick moisture away from your sweaty body, just like JCVD.

Water for Rolling We’re lucky. Not only do we get to train jiu-jitsu, but we also get to drink clean water. Unfortunately, that’s not true for many people around the world. Everyday, about 1,400 children die from diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. One charity that we’ve worked with directly in the past is doing something about that. It’s called “charity:water”. Their mission is to bring clean water projects to those in need around the world. Hypnotik is getting behind this cause in a big, big way. Their new Roll for Water Rashguard is not only top notch, made from 220GSM wicking material and featuring antimicrobial technology to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, but 100% of the proceeds from this rashguard will go towards getting clean water projects setup for those in need through charity:water. Once the projects are set up, we’ll be able to see photos and the GPS coordinates for these water projects and how they’re helping those in need. For more information on this specific fundraiser, go to https:// You can help out by picking up one of these limited edition rashguards at

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weighing in Bull Terrier Gets All Tribal

Bull Terrier’s big in Japan. In case you’re not familiar with the brand, take a look at their newest gi, the Tribal BJJ Gi. It features tailored fit, reinforced seams, contrast stitching, a one-piece cut with no back seam, 10oz rip stop pants, 420GSM cotton weave, and a unique tribal design on the shoulder and sleeve. The new gi is available in both black and white and in sizes A0 through A3 from Fighters Market.

Smell Good Not Bad

Science and jiu-jitsu just came together. That’s the promise from this new Scenturion non-toxic odor eliminator by FUJI Sports. Scenturion is an odor eliminating and sanitizing spray. It uses nanosilver and ionic shield technology to kill germs and repel new germs from taking hold in your gear. According to Fuji, it works on everything from gis to rashguards to mats gym bags, you get the idea. One application will last for weeks. It’s available in three sizes: 4oz., 16oz., and one gallon. The 4oz. bottle has a suggested retail price of $10.99. We just received samples and will be putting it to the test real soon. Until then, you can pick up a bottle at FUJI’s website.

Even More Tasty The last time we checked in with Kill Cliff there were only two flavors available, these days there are five new flavors available. In case you don’t know, Kill Cliff is a unique recovery drink designed to help your body and mind recover quickly after a rigorous training session on the mats, in the gym or doing anything that makes you sweat. Each flavor is low in calories and includes ingredients designed to reduce inflammation while providing electrolytes, vitamins and enzymes. Each is low in calories and does not include any sugar or artificial flavors or colors. Each is lightly carbonated and goes down smoothly. The new flavors include Blood Orange, Blackberry Lemonade, Lemon Lime, Pomegranate Punch and Raspberry Blueberry. Kill Cliff was created by a Navy SEAL and is an official partner of the Navy SEAL Foundation with a portion of precedes going to the foundation. You can find Kill Cliff around the country at Kroger, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods and other retailers. You can also order directly from them. Kill Cliff has always supported jiu-jitsu athletes because many of the folks there roll themselves. News54.indd 3

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weighing in ADCC WEST COAST TRIALS THE ADCC WEST COAST TRIALS TOOK PLACE RECENTLY IN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA. SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST WERE ON HAND TO DO BATTLE WITHOUT THE GI. Marcus Buchecha, Leandro Lo, Roberto Cyborg and Bruno Frazatto came out on top of their super matches. Here’s how each match played out.

Bruno Frazatto vs. Geo Martinez In a replay of their match at the 2015 ADCC in São Paulo, Frazatto and Martinez put on a great show for the crowd. Under the guidance of Rafael Mendes and Andre Galvão, the Brazilian worked a near perfect strategy to play on top and avoid Geo’s dangerous bottom game of multiple foot and leglocks. Only once was the 10th Planet competitor able to get Bruno in a tough spot with a beautiful kneebar, but the Brazilian resisted. After that, Frazatto kept his cool and was able to score a takedown and a guard pass to build a 5-0 lead and win in the end.

Roberto Cyborg vs. Vinny Magalhães The second super match of the program put two familiar rivals face-to-face. It started out a bit savage, with a couple of harder than usual slaps to the neck that almost ended up in an altercation. As tempers

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settled, Cyborg was able to put his pressure top game to work and eventually put the hooks in to score three points for a back take and secure the victory.

Leandro Lo vs. Gordon Ryan Shortly before the super matches kicked off, the announcement was made that Braulio Estima got injured during the warm up and could not compete due to a tear in his left hamstring. The replacement would be someone as exciting as Braulio- the one and only Gordon Ryan, who was at the venue mainly to coach his younger brother Nicky. As a last minute replacement, Ryan was more than game. Lo adapted his strategy to battle a new opponent. Leandro played it safe and avoided giving Ryan the chance to attack his legs. In the end, two takedowns were enough to build a 4-0 lead and win the match.

Marcus Buchecha vs. Rafael Lovato Jr.

The main event of the night was worth all the hype. Both Buchecha and Lovato went at it with everything they had. A good part of the match was played standing as no one wanted to give up a point and pull guard. Buchecha’s training with wrestling coach Jacob Harman paid off and he was able to score three takedowns to go ahead in the scoreboard 6-0. Lovato put up a hell of a fight, but in the end he was unable to change the result.

Before the super matches, hundreds of athletes from all over north and central Americas fought hard for one of the seven spots in the 2017 ADCC. Champions were:

Male 66kg – Ethan Crelinsten 77kg – Vagner Rocha 88kg – John Salter 99kg – Paul Ardila +99kg – Casey Hellenberg

Female 60kg – Elisabeth Clay +60kg – Tara White.

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weighing in Clean Living

Nobody we know likes to be dirty, at least not after a long training session. With that in mind two new hygiene products have hit the market geared towards grapplers and their needs. Let’s face it, there aren’t very many sports where you’re literally exchanging sweat with your opponent from the beginning to the end of the match. Add in the mats that have had a few dozen people apply their sweat and other fluids into the mix and it’s a messy situation.

Trap and Roll Soap Co. Trap and Roll is a veteran and grappler owned soap company specializing in small batch, detergentfree soaps made with various blends of essential oils and natural ingredients. Each blend is tested by grapplers on and off the mats. Each of their unique bars is 4 ounces of goodness and available for $6 a bar.

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The brand known for making some amazing hemp bags and gear is now in the body care business with their latest offering – Pure Castile Body Wash. Castile soap is an olive oil-based soap originated in the Castile region of Spain nearly 500 years ago. This body wash uses Castile soap, essential oils, hemp hydrosol and other spices for a unique smell and feel. An 8oz bottle will run you $10.

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High Tech and Laid Back VK Kimonos just upped their shorts game. The Grapple Tech 2.0 Performance Short pushes the limits on new features in a no-gi short. The new shorts are made of a 4-way stretch fabric that is super comfortable and allows for plenty of movement. The fabric features an anti-odor treatment that prevents the growth of odor causing microbes. A drawstring and Velcro closure system helps to keep the shorts where they belong. Flat-lock seams help to limit chafing along with an inside mouthpiece pocket. These new shorts are available in three styles; Tiger Camo, Poly Camo and Gray Skies. All three are available in limited quantities so don’t wait. Get in these soon before they’re all gone.

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Name: Ann Ching | Location: Tempe, AZ

A FEW WEEKS AGO, ANN CHING SUFFERED A SERIOUS ANKLE FRACTURE THAT RESULTED IN SURGERY. SHE WAS MIGHTILY DEPRESSED BECAUSE SHE HAD BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO A GM BEHRING SEMINAR THAT WEEKEND. To her surprise, her husband woke her up from a post-op nap with GM Behring in the bedroom! Her coach at Fluid Martial Arts (John T. Burns) and GM Behring awarded her the first stripe on her blue belt! What an awesome and caring team she has behind her! Ann, we wish you a speedy recovery!

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Shingu Fighters

Mellophones Ogura in Ohio and Jiu-Jitsu

Name: Various Location: Stockton, CA

Name: Marissa C. Andrade Location: Brea, CA

At Shingu Fighters in Stockton, CA, Professor Eric Shingu promoted several students.

After training for over four years in both kids and adult classes, Marissa received her Yellow belt from her instructor Dan Lukehart! Marissa also keeps busy playing the mellophone after school! Keep up all the hard work Marissa!

❖❖ From left to right; Dennis Shingu, Larry Ramirez, Eric Shingu, David Lohsen, Jahil Walker (not pictured)

New Blue Buckheads Name: Various Location: Atlanta, GA

Congrats to Hannah Narcross, Sam Ross (blue), Chris Telford, Mandy Sparks, and Grzegorz Zabinski (purple) on their recent belt promotions from Sam Joseph at Buckhead Jiu-Jitsu!

Name: Jason Willard Location: Ravenna, OH

After over 13 years in jiu-jitsu, Jason Willard was promoted to the rank of black belt by Eduardo “Dudu” Barros. Jason is also the head instructor at Ogura Martial Arts.

Winter in Victoria Name: Various Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

At the end of a BJJ Camp on Vancouver Island, Professor Jay Zeballos and Professor Boaz Brizman promoted 14 students to various ranks. Congrats to all the students promoted, showing everyone that hard work does pay off!

Also a big congrats to newest Buckhead blue belt Tom Wortman!

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9 New Reasons to Not Pick a Fight in Santa Cruz

Name: Frank Livorsi Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida

Last time we caught up with Frank in 2015, he had just gotten his brown belt. Well, apparently he’s been busy! Frank has since received his black belt, scored a sponsor with YoloBjj, and moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida. He’s even opened up his own academy called Off The Grid BJJ located near the ocean. Keep living the dream, Frank!

Name: Various Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Huge congrats to nine students that recently received the rank of black belt from Claudio Franca earlier this year. Claudio is a 6th degree black belt, owner of CFBJJ, and head of the national BJJ Tour. Black belts were awarded to Chris Balthasar, Joshua Baudour, Justin Bettencourt, Erick Fallon, Chris Lang, Eric Matlin, Jim Page, Danny Patalot, and Thomas Tupper.

Email your promotions to: Just put “Promotions” in the subject line.

❖❖ Photo: pictured left to right: Master Claudio Franca, newly appointed black belt Chris Lang, and Master Francisco Mansor.

EXPLORING INTO THE BLUE Name: Shaun Taylor Location: Rossland, BC After conducting a fantastic seminar, Marc Marins and Rossland BJJ head coach Greg Harrison presented the Academy’s first blue belt to Shaun Taylor. Way to go Shaun! And thank you Brent for the submission!

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MANY FITNESS GURUS HAVE SABOTAGED THE IDEA OF EATING AT NIGHT, INSTILLING FEAR OF WEIGHT GAIN AND A SLOW METABOLISM IF YOU DARE LET A SNACK GO NEAR YOUR MOUTH AFTER 7 PM. THESE GURUS GLEANED FROM PUBLISHED RESEARCH THAT PEOPLE WITH DISORDERED NIGHTTIME EATING (WAKE UP AND BINGE EAT/DRINK) AND NIGHT SHIFT WORKERS WOULD EXPERIENCE WEIGHT GAIN AND SLOWED METABOLISM WHEN THEY CHRONICALLY ATE FOOD AT NIGHT. Inevitably, they skewed the data and urged everyone to avoid nighttime eating and took it as far to say that you should never eat after dinner. However, what they left out was that these populations eat HUGE amounts of calories (upwards of 1,000) and very carbohydrate/fat-dense foods (with very minimal protein) – not exactly the typical practice of a healthy American.

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❖❖ Although eating late isn’t as bad as you might think, you still must make the right choices.

Furthermore, we know that many athletes, exercisers, and bodybuilders consume a proteindense snack, around 200 calories, before going to sleep. They do this to preserve muscle protein synthesis (which may lead to muscle mass increases) in order to recover overnight. The lack of eating during the ~8-hour window of sleep leads to a catabolic, or breakdown state, which added protein can limit. The good news is that with more recent research we are finding that nighttime eating isn’t as bad after

all! However, there is some merit behind the recommendations to evade nighttime eating with some important caveats. When we eat calories at night versus during the day, metabolism is different. For example, eating a meal during the day will elicit increases in metabolism compared to if you ate the same meal in the evening hours. In the evening hours, the metabolism also slows (think your body’s capacity to burn calories) and when this happens we burn calories at a slower rate. But why?

The stomach slows emptying at night Food is moved more slowly from our stomach to our intestines at night compared to the day time. When this happens, nutrient absorption and delivery to important cells (think muscle cells) also slows, which slows metabolism. Cells become increasingly resistant to the storage hormone insulin at night. Insulin promotes uptake of key nutrients like carbs into the muscle cells. When our muscle cells become resistant to insulin at night, less nutrients are shuttled in, which again slows metabolism.

The Benefits of Eating at Night Increases muscle mass and strength gains without affecting fat

Aids in muscle recovery overnight

Eating protein before bed versus nothing at all stimulates an increase in protein delivery to muscle which will help with recovery. Even better is that when you exercise at night, and you take protein (versus no exercise with protein), protein delivery to muscle is increased. So, jiu-jitsu at night primes the muscle!

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Combined with a long term resistance training program, consuming protein at night will help you increase muscle mass and strength more than consuming nothing at all. The good thing is that you won’t gain fat mass either!

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0 2 4

g r u b


e a t i n g

b e f o r e

b e d t i m e ?

Does not change fat release from fat cells or burning fat for energy at night

May increase metabolism the next morning

In active individuals, metabolism (calories that you burn sitting) increases the next day when you eat protein (whey or casein) and carbohydrates compared to eating nothing before bed.

Your body releases stored fat from fat cells and relies on fat as a fuel source at the same rate whether you eat something before bed or not. Casein protein decreases hunger and increases satiety the next morning and does not change hormones acutely or chronically. It’s the best choice for active populations.

WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT AT NIGHT? Stick with protein-rich choices before bed. To date, most metabolic nighttime eating research includes liquid beverages, like a protein shake. One study from Florida State University is assessing the effects of nighttime consumption of whole food (cottage cheese) versus a protein shake on nextmorning metabolism, but the results are still out.

treat at night. You may also see similar effects with whole foods that are high in casein like milk-based products (i.e. cottage cheese), but these effects have not yet been published.

If you are going with protein, choose casein. Casein is slowreleasing, meaning that after absorption, the proteins are released as a steady rate over a long period of time. Therefore, metabolism and muscle protein synthesis are optimized over the long period of sleep. Casein protein as a shake can be pretty thick, and thus sometimes feels and tastes like a milkshake, which is definitely a

Overall, nighttime eating is not something to be feared. However, you can refine this dietary practice to optimize metabolism by consuming ~200 calorie protein snacks, such as casein protein or cottage cheese before bed.

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IF YOU DON’T LIVE UNDER A ROCK, CHANCES ARE YOU’VE HEARD OF KOMBUCHA. (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE KNOWN TO HANG OUT IN JIU-JITSU GYMS.) Although the fermented tea has been around for thousands of years, it has recently made a splash in the health, fitness, and natural food industries. Kombucha dominates the North American functional beverage market. It has been reported that Americans spent almost $400 million on kombucha in 2014, and that amount is growing quickly. Fans of kombucha praise its alleged health and healing properties. But is kombucha really all that? Whether you’re new to the trend or a committed consumer, here is everything you need to know about kombucha and how it might impact your jiu-jitsu.

How It’s Made

Kombucha can be made at home, but even if you’re not a home-brewer, it is important to understand the relatively easy process. Kombucha is essentially sweetened black or green tea that has been fermented with a SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The SCOBY, sometimes referred to as the “mother” or “mushroom”, feeds off the sugar, caffeine, and acids in the tea. The process results in a bubbly, fermented drink packed with microorganisms. Plain kombucha usually has a slightly sour taste, but the flavor of kombucha can also be altered with juices and spices.

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Digestion Kombucha is great for your gut. Since good gut health is important in every aspect of your well-being, including your performance on the mat, this should be a key reason why you might want to give it a try. Because the fermented beverage is full of good bacteria, acids, and probiotics, kombucha has been proven to aid in digestion. The bacteria and probiotics in the drink also help to ward off harmful yeast, or candida. If your digestive system needs a healthy balance, kombucha might be the cure. As with any carbonated drink, however, kombucha can cause bloating in some people. Although it is healthy to drink everyday, to avoid bloating, don’t consume kombucha in excess.

Detoxification and Immunity The antioxidants in kombucha help to detoxify your liver. The probiotics and vitamins in kombucha can also give your immune system a healthy boost. Kombucha can be

used to flush your system of pollutants and bad bacteria. Although they haven’t been verified, some studies show that the acid in kombucha can actually help in cancer prevention, and that the properties of green tea may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Weight Loss Some consumers claim that kombucha helps with weight loss. Although this claim has not been proven, evidence does suggest that kombucha might increase the metabolic rate. More importantly, kombucha can help weight loss because its natural carbonation means that it is a great healthy alternative to sugary sodas or energy drinks. Kombucha also contains glucosamine, which is an amino sugar that is commonly used to improve joint function. Therefore kombucha might be beneficial to us grapplers who put pressure on our joints while training. Furthermore, kombucha also contains iron, which can increase energy levels, and increased energy is great for anyone - especially if you’re trying to lose weight or just want to keep training.

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Alcohol Because the fermentation process breaks down sugars into alcohols, kombucha does contain alcohol. In fact, in 2010, retail stores recalled kombucha due to elevated alcohol levels. Food inspectors found that some bottles had over 2.5% alcohol. Since then, kombucha brands have better regulated their products, and the alcohol content usually hovers around 0.5%. For some kombucha drinkers, this amount of alcohol is negligible; however, if you are especially sensitive to alcohol, kombucha might not be healthy for you. Additionally, some studies show that pregnant women should stay away from kombucha due to its alcohol content.

consume. As a result, the unflavored health drink usually has between two and six grams of sugar per eight ounces. However, this number can be drastically altered with flavored kombucha. If you’re diabetic or watching your sugar intake, stick to plain kombucha. Flavored kombucha with added juice packs a ton of hidden sugars. Always check the nutrition label to ensure you’re making the healthiest choice.   

Caffeine Black and green tea both contain caffeine, and although the SCOBY processes most of the caffeine during fermentation, the resulting kombucha still contains trace amounts. Although it differs by brand, kombucha usually contains about one third of the tea’s original caffeine content. The caffeine content of kombucha will not affect most people. However, if you’re avoiding caffeine (among other health and medical issues, caffeine has been linked to anxiety and insomnia), you might want to limit your kombucha intake, or choose a green tea kombucha. Green tea has significantly lower caffeine content than black tea.   

Sugar Plain kombucha usually has low levels of sugar. Even though the fermentation process requires sugar, the SCOBY eats most of it before the kombucha is ready for you to

Whether or not you’ve decided to adopt kombucha into your daily diet, the fermented drink is here to stay, especially around the jiujitsu scene. By 2020, the global market value of kombucha will have reached an estimated 1.8 billion USD. It is an acquired taste, but many people, myself included, really enjoy the flavor. If you want to add a functional drink to your supplementation regimen that’s inline with the jiu-jitsu lifestyle, then definitely give kombucha a try.

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warm Up



WE USUALLY THINK ABOUT WARMING UP ON OUR OWN BEFORE CLASS. EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN PRECLASS SEQUENCE THEY LIKE TO DO BEFORE THE SESSION STARTS. Partner warm-up drills, however, can be a fun way to get your muscles and joints ready to roll. Since jiu-jitsu is usually done with more than one person, you should have no problem finding a training buddy to do the following drills with. These drills are also great before an open mat session, drilling with a friend, or as a finishing workout after class.


Partner Sprawls to Circle This drill is a great way to warm up the hips and core and to get the blood circulating. Have one person get into Turtle position and the other on their feet in front of their partner. The person on their feet sprawls onto their partner’s upper back then circles around to the right. When they reach their partner’s back, they pop up, sprawl again, now on their partner’s lower back, and circles back to the top but to the left. Repeat this in each direction for reps.

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Partner Bent Over Gi Rows

When performed from a standing position, Partner Bent Over Gi Rows warm up much more than just the upper back. They exercise the grip, glutes, lower back, legs, arms, and core. Have one partner lie on the ground, face up, and the other standing over them around the midline. The standing partner hinges at the hip and bends their knees to lower to the bent over position. While maintaining a tight core, the standing partner pulls his partner from the floor to his chest for reps, gripping at the lapels.

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Partner Guard Sit Ups These are an old school warm up often done by boxers and wrestlers. One partner jumps guard, closing both legs around their partner’s hips. Then, while their standing partner maintains a strong base with bent knees, they extend back and pull themselves up using their core. When done for reps this will warm up the core and legs of both the working and standing partners.

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Partner Leap and Shoot

This drill can be done slowly as more of a flow drill or with speed to really challenge the heart and lungs. One partner stands in a crouched position with their legs wide apart. The other partner starts behind them and leaps over their back like you would in leap frog. Then they immediately turn and shoot under their partner’s legs. They pop up, turn, and repeat the sequence starting with the leap.

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The shoot is the part that gets those legs burning.

Start with slow Sprawl to Circles for 10 total reps each partner. Then immediately move to the Bent Over Gi Rows for 10 reps each. Follow that with 15 Partner Guard Sit Ups each and 5 slow Partner Leap and Shots. When you finish one round, add 5 reps to every drill, speed up the tempo, and complete two more rounds.

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white belt chronicles




THE BEAUTIFUL THING ABOUT STARTING ALMOST ANY WORTHWHILE ENDEAVOR IS THE COMPLETE LACK OF CERTAINTY WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING. IN JIU-JITSU, FROM THE SECOND WE FIRST WALK INTO AN ACADEMY FOR AN INTRODUCTORY CLASS, WE ARE FILLED WITH EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF DELVING INTO THE UNKNOWN. As we begin and proceed with our journey, a new level of obliviousness arises and a multitude of critical mistakes ensue. We all make mistakes. Mistakes are a significant part of the learning process. Sometimes, we can be wholly unaware that we are making these mistakes because as novices, they seem benign and almost natural. The idea is, however, in jiu-jitsu, just as in life, there are a lot of behaviors we must fix in order to navigate the course skillfully.

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Using too much strength and power

For every jiu-jitsu practitioner beginning their journey, the tendency is to use too much strength and power through almost every technique. This is counterintuitive to the essence of the Gentle Art that requires the use of leverage instead of strength and to conserve energy instead of wasting it. Beginners will power through almost everything because strength is something we innately use throughout our daily lives. In jiu-jitsu, however, in order to excel, you must unlearn this bad habit. Understanding jiu-jitsu is to understand fulcrums and apply minimal effort for maximum results. This is entirely opposed to powering through training. Strength is unsustainable. You will figure this one out quickly.


The best advice that one can give here is to learn how to relax. Jiu-jitsu is supposed to be fun and in order to have fun you will need to drop the ego. The ego will make you power through everything and muscle your way in and out of positions. Do not worry about winning or losing, and focus on using as little energy as possible. If you find yourself breathing too hard during a training session, use it as an indicator that you need to take a deep breath and train with less intensity. Once you learn how to use leverage, everything becomes much easier and your progress will skyrocket.

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Training too hard/ too much

When you start jiu-jitsu, you are going to be excited and enthusiastic about learning and training. A big mistake white belts make is training too much too soon. Just like any other physically or mentally rigorous activity, your body and mind will need time to adapt. Muscles will adapt quickly but your connective tissues are going to take much longer. Training too hard early on in your practice is going to lead to bigger problems such as physical injuries and burnout. It is important to be patient right from the beginning. Jiu-jitsu is a long-term practice. You have plenty of time, and you must train smart.


As a beginner, your body is going to need time to adapt. Let your body acclimate to the mental and physical stresses of the Gentle Art. As your body begins to develop the resilience, you will be able to undertake more of a training load. In the beginning, however, train light and train smart. Your future self will thank you. ❖❖ Don’t miss warm-ups! Not only is it disrespectful to your teammates and instructor, you’re setting yourself up for injury.

Not maintaining a consistent training plan An important lesson every jiu-jitsu practitioner should learn is that maintaining a consistent training plan will likely be the most important aspect for achieving your long-term goals in the art. It does not matter if you train every single day for two weeks if you have to miss the next two months because of injury. Exceptional progress in jiu-jitsu is slow and steady. Once you start training, identify a plan and stick to it. Be consistent and if life gets in the way, make up for missed classes but always stay consistent.


Jot down your weekly schedule. Shoot for an amount of training hours that are manageable. Your schedule will depend on what your goals are, so be mindful of how much time you truly have to give to jiu-jitsu practice. If you are a single parent with an 80-hour per week job, you may not want to shoot for two-a-days. If you think you can only make four hours per week, shoot for three. The fourth hour will be a bonus and leave you feeling better about yourself. Always undershoot and leave an extra day to make up for any missed training sessions.

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Taking too many “breaks” Keeping a consistent training schedule is crucial. Part of being consistent is avoiding time off. Most seasoned practitioners will tell you that the more time a person takes off the mats, the harder it is to get back. For many circumstances, like injuries, you may need to take time off. This is acceptable. For minor injuries or other mental

struggles like daily stress or a lack of motivation, however, it is important to keep showing up.


Whenever you feel like taking a break, dig deep as to why you need one. If you are injured you may need a break, but

injuries are not for getting lazy. Your goal as an injured athlete is to rehabilitate your injury. This is active recovery. If you are not injured and perhaps just mentally burned out, take a step back but do not step away. Revise your training schedule to be lighter than your current one. This will keep you consistent but also keep you on mats. Avoid breaks.

❖❖ That black belt will be impossible to obtain if you’re not on the mats.


I will offer a disclaimer that I am an advocate of cross training. I believe in the utility of cross-training in other disciplines such as judo, wrestling, and various strength and conditioning programs. Beginners, however, should be cautious of adding superfluous programs to their training regimen right off the bat. As a beginner, your focus should be on jiu-jitsu. This is, of course, if your goal is to get better at jiu-jitsu. While other programs certainly offer some benefit, they are not an optimal way to develop your jiu-jitsu skill set.


In order to get better at jiu-jitsu, you will need to train jiu-jitsu. If you truly want to spend your money on extracurricular activities, consider taking private lessons with your instructor. One to two private lessons per month may do more wonders for your jiu-jitsu than a CrossFit membership. There will be plenty of time later to add a strength and conditioning program to your weekly routine, but for now, the best way to get ahead is by spending any extra time on the mats.

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who is


IF YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS AND TRAIN JIU-JITSU, YOU’VE NO DOUBT HEARD OF THE GRAPPLING CENTRAL PODCAST. FOR THE PAST NINE MONTHS, THE PODCAST HAS RANKED NUMBER ONE IN THE JIU-JITSU SPACE ON ITUNES. The podcast is hosted by Ryan “Gringo” Ford and some of his guests have included Xande Ribeiro, Eddie Bravo, Roger Gracie, Royce Gracie, Fabio Gurgel, Royler Gracie, Fabio Santos, Rigan Machado, and many more legends of jiu-jitsu. Ryan has been training jiu-jitsu for almost a dozen years now, his wife, Karen, who is a graphic artist and illustrates the now iconic show portraits, is from Brazil, and in just a few weeks, the two will be moving down to Brazil to live and produce the podcast. Jiu-jitsu has definitely changed, if not, saved Ryan’s life, as you’ll soon see.

Illustration: Karen Silva Ford

So how did you get into jiu-jitsu? I first saw what jiu-jitsu was when I was about ten years old. I was doing Taekwondo. My dad and I used to rent the old UFC VHS tapes from a video rental store next to the Taekwondo studio. We’d wait for my mom to go to sleep so she wouldn’t know we were watching them. I was just fascinated by Royce Gracie and everything he did, but back then, this was the 90s in Georgia and there just wasn’t any jiu-jitsu around at that time. I always thought it was cool and I always knew what it was, but it wasn’t until I was 20 that I found a place that I would be able to train. I started training in 2005, and pretty much have been hooked ever since. I initially was interested in MMA, and then the more I started doing jiu-jitsu, the more I fell in love with it, and I pretty much just forgot everything else in the world of martial arts except for jiu-jitsu. Photo Credit: David Smith

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How did you get into starting a podcast? It started out of desperation and frustration. The reason I say that is before I met my wife, Karen, I was 25 just completely lacking direction. My whole life was sort of absorbed with doing jiu-jitsu and whatever jobs I was able to get to pay for my jiu-jitsu. I didn’t have any real future plans. In fact, my future plans ultimately were to get a black belt and open my own academy someday, but then I met Karen and that all kind of changed because she was here on a student visa and she ended up getting stuck in Brazil because they wouldn’t renew her student visa. Basically, I had to go down there to propose to her and I knew I was going to marry her anyway, but that required me to do a lot. I was teaching kids jiu-jitsu classes and working nightclub security, but I was nowhere near the income level that I needed to be at in order to sponsor someone to come back to the U.S. I had to quit those two jobs and quit jiu-jitsu for about two years in order to work these two warehouse jobs back-to-back. It was during that time that I started listening to podcasts and really got into them. Then, once we got her back, I was able to quit one of the warehouse jobs. The one that I kept, their night

shift ended up closing down and I was the night shift manager. So this left us in a position where she had just gotten back to the U.S. and now I’m unemployed; it was just a disaster. We struggled real bad for money the first year that she was here and I would just do whatever random jobs that I was able to get, and I finally got into fiber optic drafting, which is basically where I just draw lines on Google maps to show Comcast where to put internet fiber optic cables in the ground. During that time, I fell even more in love with podcasts, because it was a very boring

and tedious kind of job, and it’s nice to have stuff to listen to while you’re doing it. Then, that whole company, unfortunately, went under about another year after I started with them and they gave me a severance package and I was faced with two decisions. I could either go out and send out a hundred resumes again and try to find something else that I can latch onto, or I can build something myself and become my own boss and I knew that that was going to be a big undertaking, but I was very lucky that Karen believed in me and thought that I could do it. That’s how the podcast started.

From the very start you’ve had some of the absolute legends in the sport. How have you gotten access to some of the superstars of the sport that have been on the podcast? The state of mind that I was in then was desperation and anger, because I was angry that I couldn’t seem to get a stable financial life going in my new marriage, and that created desperation. Because of that, I think that when people are put up against the wall like that, it gives you a certain survival mode that you get into, and for me, that’s what I think it was. I thought to myself “I’m going to approach the people that I know through jiu-jitsu and try to convince them that even though I’ve got this small podcast, I would like them to do an interview with me.” Thankfully, I had introductions. I’ve been lucky to know people who know the right people to talk to about getting a person on. Photo Credit: Jonathan Mashburn

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Once we’d gotten up to a certain level, a lot of guests had now heard of us, which was very helpful, that yeah, at that initial time, I hit the ground running really, really, really hard. I went from working 40 hours a week to about 80. I mean, it’s pretty much I would wake up, and then immediately just start grinding away from morning until very late at night. Then as I’m lying in bed, I’m usually writing interviews. I’m trying to contact people that I know that might be able to help me get to specific guests. I’m thinking of ways to market the brand and different ideas for the show. It’s a gift and a curse. I’m very thankful for the success the show has had. We’ve been the number one ranked podcast on iTunes for jiu-jitsu for the last nine months or so. I’m thankful for that, but the price that it comes with is that I can’t really turn it off as far as always working on it and always thinking about it and always doing something regarding the podcast, whether I’m sitting outside, having dinner, or whether I’m in my actual studio here. It’s great though. I mean, it really beats the hell out of working on a warehouse or sitting behind a computer.

Who are some of your favorite guests so far? Oh man, I’ve had so many good ones. Some of my favorite guests have been Ricardo Liborio, Roger Gracie. The Dan Gable episode was definitely something that I was really proud of. There’s just been so many really, really, really great guests. I’ve become good friends with Kurt Osiander, which is a trip because I used to always watch his videos and enjoy his sense of humor. We really hit it off. In fact, he’s been on the show more times than anyone. I think he’s been on the show seven times now. It’s been amazing, the list of people I’ve gotten to talk to. I basically get to just sit and chat with my heroes all day which has been something really amazing.

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F o r d

Photo Credit: David Smith

What are some of the most interesting insights that you’ve gathered from hosting the show? One of the biggest things that I’ve learned from the show is what it takes mentally to be an elite jiu-jitsu competitor or an elite grappler. I’m a jiu-jitsu guy to the core, but with the podcast, I’ve really tried hard to make it all about grappling and not exclude any grappling styles. I’ve had a lot of guests from the world of wrestling and sambo and judo. I’ve even had Akebono, the sumo wrestler on the show. One thing that I’ve noticed across the board from all of them is that the guys who are at the very top of their sports seem to have this deep obsession for perfection. I first really noticed that when I talked to Roger Gracie. Roger would talk about how, basically, he can have a great tournament. He could run through the bracket, defeat everybody. Most people would just be on cloud nine after winning the World Championship

and feeling great, but if he went through a match and had a point scored on him and won, to be clear, won the gold medal, it would eat him up for months. It would eat it him up if he allowed someone to score a point on him on his path to the gold medal. That’s when I really realized having a deep, deep obsession for being absolutely razor-sharp perfect is something that’s a trend that I think exists in a lot of the highest of the high-level guys. That was a real eye-opener for me.

How about as far as stuff that you’ve used immediately, either mindset or diet, nutrition or training going into your own training? Rafael Lovato Jr. was talking to me about the importance of keeping a journal and taking notes and writing things down. That’s been something that I started practicing almost right after that interview. I wish I had done that from the beginning. I really think that it would’ve helped me move along at a much better rate. I think that my

own training would be more organized and efficient had I been taking all the notes, because something he said specifically was that a lot of people show up to class and they just go through the motions. They show up to class. They bow in. They warm up. They might review some moves. Then they do the technique of the day. Then they roll, and then that’s pretty much it. They just go home or they stay for open mat a little bit, and then go home, but nothing really that they learned or heard or saw in class has been documented. Unless you have a terabyte of memory in your brain where you just remember every little single thing that ever happens to you, you’re going to forget it. It’s going to just blend right in with the rest of your day. I never really thought of it that way. I used to see people take notes in class, but I understand the value of it now because of how Rafael Lovato explained that to me.

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and value to this amazing community of people, the people within jiu-jitsu.

Getting back to the podcast, what are some of the challenges related to producing the podcast? It’s definitely not easy running a podcast. It’s easy if you’re doing it in a very casual/ hobbyist style podcast, but if you’re doing it as a profession, it is way more work than one would initially imagine. That’s something that I’ve really been learning as I’m going along. I had to get really, really, really good at time management. I still struggle with it. I release two episodes a week, which means it’s a continuous gauntlet of booking interviews, writing interviews, interviewing people, editing, which is my least favorite part of the whole thing. The editing of the podcast is tiring. Then, of course, releasing it and marketing it, acquiring

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sponsors, and then doing all the marketing that I do for the sponsors to help them get exposures. It’s a lot of work. Thankfully I have Karen to do the artwork and help me on the marketing side of things. On average, if you want to make money doing it, you have to be prepared to put in, I mean, in my opinion,

at least 70 hours a week. It’s a lot of work, but I really, really love it, because for the first time in my life, I felt completely free. I feel like I’m able to 100% be absorbed into what I’m passionate about which is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling. Not only that, but I feel really, really thankful that I’m able to provide content

A lot of people say, “Jiu-jitsu saved my life.” It has saved my life literally in certain situations I’ve ended up in, but it’s also saved my life figuratively as that it’s changed the way that I am as a person. It’s made me much more humble and respectful and open, and that’s a direct correlation between me the art of jiu-jitsu and the people that I’ve trained with and learned jiu-jitsu from. I’m very, very thankful to be able to do what I do.

That’s an amazing story Ryan, thanks for sharing and contributing to the community like you do. Thank you Mike for allowing me to share my story with your readers and the support.

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TRAIN FOR LIFE Yuri Simoes 2014 Double Gold NoGi World Champion 2015 ADCC Champion @GamenessFightCo Yuri Gameness.indd 1

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the life





TO EXCEL IN JIU-JITSU IS NOT A SHORT-TERM ENDEAVOR. THE GENTLE ART REQUIRES MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE BEFORE THINGS START TO CLICK AND YOU FINALLY START TO UNDERSTAND JIU-JITSU IN ALL OF ITS GLORY. The adage that a jiu-jitsu practitioner only begins to learn after receiving their black belt is telling of the need for a long-term commitment and dedication to the craft. Unfortunately, for those of us hoping to endure a life-long jiu-jitsu practice, there are many obstacles that arise. Physical and mental challenges will consistently pose threats to our abilities to train. The ever-changing landscape of life also presents obstacles that force us to take time off or skip training in order to handle other priorities. In all cases, however, there are some important do’s and don’ts you must exercise in order to maximize the possibility of training jiu-jitsu for the rest of your days.

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Take care of your body

This might just be the number one thing on anyone’s list. Your body is your vehicle for jiu-jitsu practice. If your body does not function, you cannot train. There are ways to train around or through physical limitations and other disabilities, but ultimately, your body must be functional. Too often, jiu-jitsu practitioners make the mistake of not scheduling recovery into their training schedules and frequently omit preventative maintenance such as mobility work, stretching, and massage. Furthermore, a healthy diet and consistent sleep schedule are critical for increasing your longevity in the sport. Neglecting to take care of your body may not matter much in the short-term, as you push through minor ailments, but in the long-term you will be setting yourself up for failure.

Always be humble

Having an open mind and realizing that there will forever be an exponential amount of information you do not know is one of the first steps in the learning process. Having a closed mind narrows your worldview. In an infinite and complex practice such as jiu-jitsu, you must have an open mind to the limitless number of techniques and positional nuances you are oblivious to. An open mind is the product of humility. You will notice that every black belt you meet seems to be the most relaxed, open, and humble person in the room. They have mastered the art of humility. You should too.

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Be Consistent From a logistical standpoint, creating a consistent training schedule can be a major challenge. Motivation waxes and wanes and thus your mental capacities to get you on the mats will come and go. Furthermore, responsibilities such as family, school, and work all come into play. The more demanding of your time these responsibilities are, the less you will be able to train. This can be immensely frustrating. The trick is to establish a consistent training plan. Schedule times to train when there is the least amount of possible disruptions. Communicate these plans to loved ones, bosses, and friends. If you miss a class, always attempt to reschedule. Consistency is key for longterm success.

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Get Discouraged

Keep your emotions in check. Being discouraged is how most people tend to quit early. Jiu-jitsu is a life-long lesson in humility and you are forever going to have rough days. The trick is to always have a positive attitude regardless of how harsh the road becomes. Do not pay attention to the destination because in jiu-jitsu, there is never really an ending point. This is especially true for the life-long practitioner. Jiu-jitsu is a journey. Embrace the ride and have fun along the way. Don’t worry about where you are going because you will get there if you continue to put one foot in front of the next.

Training Aggressively

Training aggressively poses an enormous physical risk to you and your training partners. Remember, your body cannot be functional if you are injured. In order for your body to endure years of practice, you must learn how to be calm and relaxed during training. Training too aggressively increases your risk of injuries and can cause many more complications, such as mental health issues and burnout. Furthermore, research suggests that injuries and mood disturbances are linked, and even the most minor injuries can lead to chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and a loss of motivation. A large majority of jiu-jitsu practitioners quit because of injuries, even long after the injury is no longer medically relevant. Take care of yourself and your training partners.

Take extended time off Most people think that they need to “take a break” for whatever reason. Short of rehabilitating an injury, you should not be taking time off the mats. Taking any period of time off the mats turns into taking an extended period of time off the mats. Taking a break from training is the lazy decision when you are not feeling motivated or struggling with some minor aches and pains. If you expect to train jiu-jitsu for the duration of your life, you will need to cultivate resilience and resolve. If you need to take time off training for medical or personal reasons, then that is a choice you will make, but always be mindful of how hard it will be to come back. Take breaks as necessary, but do so at your own risk. The longer the break, the less likely you will continue the course.

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Officially Licensed BJJ Apparel

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TRAVIS STEVENS IS AN AMERICAN BORN GRAPPLER WHO’S BEEN INVOLVED IN MARTIAL ARTS SINCE HE WAS JUST A KID. TRAVIS’ MOM WANTED TO PUT HIM INTO AN AFTER SCHOOL SPORT. Originally he thought he had checked the box for football, but by some act of the universe, the box for judo was checked instead. By the time he realized the error it was too late. Fortunately for Travis, and the USA Olympics, Travis fell in love with judo. This past Olympics in Rio, Travis became the highest placing male American Olympian by winning a silver medal in impressive fashion. Aside from being a judo black belt, Travis is a jiu-jitsu grappler under Renzo Gracie and John Danaher. If you’d like to learn more about Travis and his Olympic experiences be sure to check out the interview we did with him in Issue 49. For this article we talked to Travis about something a bit more relevant to your jiu-jitsu than the Olympics – grips! Travis is quick to tell anyone that he doesn’t mix his disciplines, judo is for judo, and jiu-jitsu is for jiu-jitsu. However, there is one aspect that carries over nicely for both martial arts – grips. In this article Travis shares with us some simple and advanced gripping techniques from standing that you’ll be able to quickly work into your jiu-jitsu game. Along with these gripping tips and pointers he was gracious enough to show us some simple judo takedowns that you’ll be able to work into your next tournament with ease.

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IN JIU-JITSU WE’RE CONSTANTLY TALKING ABOUT GRIPS. GRIP THE SLEEVE, GRIP THE ANKLE, GRIP THE COLLAR AND SO ON. In so many ways, jiu-jitsu is about gripping to affect your opponent and dictate what you want to happen; it’s the most common connection between two competitors. After your first few months of jiu-jitsu, you probably know the common gi grips, four-fingers in, thumb in, sleeve hooks, pistol grips, and maybe a few others. As time progresses, you develop your own techniques and discover what works for you. Enter Travis Stevens, Judo Olympic Silver Medalist, jiu-jitsu black belt, and a guru when it comes to the grips. Travis is going to show us how he grips an opponent not only for judo but for jiu-jitsu. The grip techniques he’s going to show us will enlighten even the most grizzled veteran among us.


Starting from the standard competitive wrestlers stance that most jiu-jitsu matches begin with, Travis points out that one of the biggest mistakes he sees is competitors avoiding the first fight, which is the fight for the grips. The objective should be to control the ends of your opponent’s arms first. That way no matter the difference in height, you have control of your opponent. If you can touch the ends of their arms, they can touch yours. If your opponent has a reach advantage and you’re continually attempting to reach their collars first, you’ll probably lose that fight. Instead focus on controlling the hands first.

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That is the look of fear.

Once you have control of a hand, you have to “CONTROL” it. That means not allowing your opponent to settle into their grips, rotating their hand around to control your sleeve. Actively force their arm/ hand in a way that keeps them from being able to establish a grip of your sleeve.

After having control of that arm/ hand, look for the opportunity to shoot in for a single leg on the leg closest to you. Travis’ Rules for Getting the Takedown Rule 1 – Control the ends of their arms. Grab the hands, grab the sleeves, the wrists, whatever you can to control the ends of their arms. That’s better than reaching in and getting in a stalemate position.

Rule 2 – Once you have control, use your hands and elbows actively to keep your opponent from grabbing your gi or controlling the ends of your arms.

Rule 3 – Don’t hesitate. Once you see an opportunity to close the distance, get in for the takedown and take it.

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In jiu-jitsu matches, oftentimes we see both combatants putting a lot of effort into getting a hold of the collar they want. Travis wants you to avoid this fight, at least until you have the upper hand. To do this, it’s important to go for those hands. If you’re battling for the hands, there’s a good chance your opponent will pull their hands back to avoid you from getting control. With their hands pulled back, you might think this is a good time to shoot in for a takedown, but it’s really not. They’ll probably be in a position to put their hands on your shoulders and sprawl to avoid the takedown. However, it is a good opportunity to establish the collar grip you want.

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In this case, Travis goes for a same side collar grip. That is because Jim is giving him the opposite lead foot. Jim’s lead foot is left, whereas Travis is leading with his right. Travis is in position to reach the collar closest with his right arm. Once Travis gets the collar, he actively uses

his elbow and body positioning to keep Jim from getting a hold of the elbow and setting up his grips. During this movement Travis will spot an opportunity to move in for the takedown.

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THE CROSS COLLAR Grabbing the cross collar makes sense to Travis when he and his opponent are in the same stance, in this case both leading with their left foot. This means that Travis’ right hand is closest to Jim, and Jim’s closest collar is his left side. This means a cross collar grip would be best.

Travis reaches in for a cross collar grip and doesn’t just get the “grip” of the collar, but makes his presence known by pushing through to turn Jim’s body. This opens Jim up so that Travis can mount an attack with a single leg takedown or another attack.

The Rule Breaker Travis is big on starting out with fighting for hand control first. However, this is a common situation where this rule gets broken. In competition, many guard pullers will take a real low stance. Going to fight for hand control at this point would allow for a huge opportunity to be missed.

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In this situation, Travis feigns as if he’s going for the hands but he’s looking for an opportunity to come down hard with an open hand to the back of the lead shoulder to get a grip of the back of the gi. This forces his opponent to post their hand to the mat. This allows Travis to

avoid the guard pull while giving him opportunities to attack. If his opponent manages to stand back up, this grip of the back is a good offensive grip with lots of control.

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In jiu-jitsu, it’s commonly taught to not allow your opponent to establish grips. There are times when it is best to break the grips, and other times that grip can be used against your opponent. Here are some examples:


The common jiu-jitsu break of a cross collar is to bring both hands to the target grip and push the grip away while pulling back with your body. Travis doesn’t like this in jiu-jitsu since you’ll be pushing towards their strong pull, which can easily lead to them taking your back.

Instead, Travis reaches over that gripping arm for a cross collar grip. This is a rule of thumb if they cross grip then you cross grip. As soon as he has the grip, he uses his other hand to rip his collar away from his opponent’s grip while at the same time “stabbing” forward with his grip to bring his opponent down to the mat.

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Not a recreation - actual back take.

An alternate to the “rule of thumb” on cross grip is to grab the same side collar. This would give you a bit more force when executing since there would be less slack in the gi.

Over vs Under In jiu-jitsu, Travis wants to reach across for that grip going under his opponent’s arm. This allows for more leg attacks. In judo, however, he would go for a grip over his opponent’s arm.

Back Take from Cross Collar Grip An alternative to breaking the grip is to use the grip to go for a back take. In this scenario, Jim reaches for Travis’ cross collar. Travis takes his left hand, places it over Jim’s forearm, just above the elbow, to start the pull on the tricep at the same time twisting with his right shoulder forward. This puts pressure on the elbow and drags Jim into a position where his back is exposed to Travis.

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During our time with Travis, this was one of the many things he showed us that got us all excited to give it a try. This grip break works on any type of sleeve grip where your opponent has the cuff.

Step 1

Step 2

Jim grabs Travis by the sleeve with a four finger grip.

Travis circles his hand down and around so that he can get a C-grip on Jim’s hand. His thumb is on the meaty part of Jim’s hand below the thumb and four fingers on the outside.

Step 3 Travis bends Jim’s hand back at the wrist then swings his arm down and away with a grip of Jim’s hand while at the same time Travis is “rounding” his back.

Step 4 Travis rounds his back so that his gi sleeves are pulled back at the same time, shortening the sleeves and making it more difficult for Jim to maintain the grip. This technique works with a judo style grip of the sleeve from below, the only variation is the grip of Jim’s hand, thumb on the meaty part of the hand below the pinky finger.

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This is a simple foot sweep that works well when you and your opponent have an opposite sided stance. In this case, Travis is leading with his left foot while Jim is leading with his right. Step 1 Travis grabs the top of Jim’s sleeve and moves slightly to the outside.

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That foot angle is the difference between success and failure.

Step 2

Step 3

With a firm grip of the sleeve and downward pressure, Travis follows Jim towards Jim’s back until he gets to a point where he can get his right foot behind Jim’s forward foot.

Travis makes contact with the inside edge of his foot, toward the big toe, which is against Jim’s heel. Travis wants his foot to be perpendicular to Jim’s. During this time he continues to get heavy on that sleeve, pushing down as if he’s doing dip exercises so that Jim is forced to put all of his weight on that forward foot.

Step 4 Now, Travis bends his right knee to sort of hook Jim’s leg, and he “flicks” Jim’s away in the direction which Jim’s toes are pointed while at the same time continuing the downward pressure on the sleeve. Jim’s down on the mat, and Travis gets the takedown points and is ready to mount his attack.

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A more common situation is when you and your opponent are in the same stance. Both of you have your same foot forward. In this case, both Travis and Jim have their right feet forward.

Step 1

Step 2

Travis gets a judo style grip of Jim’s lead arm at the cuff.

As soon as Travis gets his grip, he pivots his left foot outward while at the same time rotating his hips and coming in with his right hand over the back of Jim’s neck.

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If you miss the takedown it’s called dancing.

Step 3 With control of the sleeve and back of the neck, Travis brings his right foot in behind Jim’s forward foot with his foot angled so that the bottom of his foot is making contact.

One common problem that causes people to miss this takedown is when they just try to kick at their opponent’s leg. This is too easy to defend by lifting their leg. Instead, you must get behind the foot so that you can sweep it in the direction of the toes.

Step 4 Like the previous sweep, Travis wants his foot to be perpendicular with Jim’s. In a single motion, Travis makes contact with Jim’s foot and “sweeps” it away in the direction of Jim’s toes. Maintaining a straight line of the sweep not a circle. At the same time, Travis is using his control of the head to push forward to Jim’s right side.

If your opponent’s toes are pointed inward, you’ll just need to go deeper with your leg so that you can get that perpendicular angle with their foot.

Step 5 Travis keeps control with the sleeve following Jim all the way to the mat, picks up the points, and is ready to attack.

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If you’ve ever stepped foot in a jiu-jitsu tournament before, then you’ve undoubtedly seen this scenario: two grapplers tied up, each holding onto a sleeve and a collar. The two of them circling, pushing, pulling, looking more like dance partners than combatants. I’ve seen, and been part of, almost entire matches eaten up thanks to the thought that those two points are going to decide the match. From this situation, Travis has a great throw that looks harder than it actually is.

Step 1

Step 2

From this position, the most important thing is to control your opponent’s head. Travis circles to his left then pulls Jim in to go from a grip of the collar to a grip over the back of the shoulder.

Jim’s natural reaction is to stand up. To break him down, Travis forces Jim’s elbow down and towards his own hip. At the same time, Travis is dropping his right elbow down towards his own hip. This allows Travis to break Jim’s posture.

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Step 3

Step 4

Now that Travis has head control and the proper position over Jim, from here Travis going to use a high elbow lift along with a back step with his right foot. Notice that Travis is not pulling Jim on top of himself, he’s pulling him upward.

Once Jim’s body is more upright, Travis turns his right foot counterclockwise with his big toe to the mat over the front of Jim’s foot and his leg is below Jim’s knee.

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Finish with a smile and you might get an extra point.

Step 5 Travis continues that backward sweeping motion with his leg while at the same time twisting his torso to the left, bringing Jim along for the ride and down to the mat.

So there you go, how a Judo Olympian approaches his grip game when it comes to jiu-jitsu.

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The life





MOTHER’S DAY HAS ALWAYS BEEN A DAY IN WHICH WE ACKNOWLEDGE AND CELEBRATE MOTHERHOOD. IT’S REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT EACH OF US HAS AT LEAST ONE STORY TO SHARE OF HOW OUR MOTHER MAY HAVE SHARED WORDS OR A PARTICULAR MOMENT WITH US THAT HAS SERVED NOT ONLY AS A LESSON TO US FOR THE MOMENT BUT STAYED WITH US AND SHAPED US INTO THE REPRESENTATION OF WHO WE ARE CURRENTLY. For instance, I’ll never forget the time when I got in trouble for skipping class in high school. When my mother found out about it, instead of me having to take the bus to school as I usually did, she took it upon herself to drive me to school herself (which was the complete opposite direction from her job). On the surface, I thought that this was some sort of act of pure kindness but instead turned into a lesson I never forgot. Not only did she merely drive me to school… She drove me onto school! Yes! Drove onto the school campus and had me get out directly in front of the door to my first period class. True story. That day I learned how much my mother cared about a good education and taking care of responsibilities. There apparently was/is no amount of embarrassment and humiliation (for both her and me) that would get in the way of that lesson. The point is that the task of motherhood can be a daunting one. One that offers no guarantees, plenty of challenges, and at the same time, the opportunity to find your base.

Enter - Eve Torres Gracie. There’s a very good chance that you may know Eve from her days as the WWE Divas Champion (which she still serves as an ambassador for the organization), but since those days, she has been travelling the globe, committed to spreading the power of jiu-jitsu as a premiere self-defense for women through the “Gracie Women Empowered” program. She is also the proud mother of her first child Raeven. She has learned that her life has changed in many ways. We had a chance to sit down with Eve and learn a little about her experiences growing up, her life before motherhood, discuss some of the changes being a mother has had on her life, and how she has implemented some of the things that she has learned from her mother and is now passing down to her son. But don’t think for one minute that she’s not getting some of that good ol’ mat time.

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On Growing Up You could say that a very significant part of Eve’s drive to succeed was a direct inheritance from her mother. Eve grew up as the daughter of three children (in which she was the middle child). She explains that her mother was one of ten children, and she watched her mother work extremely hard through law school to eventually become a lawyer. Eve was able to pick up on her mother’s ambition and drive as a direct example of what women are capable of because she was able to watch her own mother’s excellence and success in her career under those conditions yet still remain a stable, kind, and compassionate presence to her own family. So, what she

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ultimately learned is that you don’t have to compromise and choose one at the expense of the family or career.

On Risk Taking Eve’s mother always encouraged and allowed risk taking, which seems to contradict parental instinct to constantly protect your children to keep them safe. But she acknowledges pride in seeing one’s kids taking risks and analyzing the results and seeing them figure out things for themselves within the negative and positive results from those risks. It’s obvious to see the results with Eve in having that type of approach. Although it may be tough, this is something that she fully intends to implement with Raeven.

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On Discipline Another nugget of wisdom Eve intends to pass down from her mother’s teachings is the concept of natural consequences. She feels that if you allow children to make their own decisions, they will have natural consequences that they will learn from. But if you shelter children from those consequences, they will never have the opportunity to learn them. That said, Eve’s mother was never strict one way or another, and for whatever reason, anything beyond any common boundaries, all it took for Eve and her siblings to straighten up was a disappointing look and a few words for them to have that feeling of “we better straighten up”.

“... Jiu-jitsu was my tangible confidence in the ring...” On Meeting and Falling in Love With Jiu-Jitsu At around the time that Eve was introduced to the WWE, she also met Rener Gracie, from the legendary Gracie family, and in turn, met jiu-jitsu. The obvious thought was that she could now use her jiu-jitsu skills to directly enhance her WWE career. But for Eve, there was a deeper connection to jiu-jitsu, as she found more confidence that she could bring to the ring. Having a heightened

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awareness of body movement and control made her feel comfortable enough to tackle the more flashy and entertaining moves associated with pro wrestling. Eve also shares a funny story about meeting Rener and the dilemma he faced being so closely involved with someone in the “fake fighting world.” Coming from a family whose identity and fierce pride is well established in the “as real as it gets” mentality of fighting, WWE was a strict “no no” in the Gracie household. There were two main types of television that the kids were not encouraged to watch, the obvious rated-R movies and pro wrestling, with the latter being the antithesis of what the Gracie family was known for. Over time, Eve was able to convince Rener about the fundamental

differences between her WWE career and her jiu-jitsu life. She highlighted the notion that WWE was more about entertainment, soap opera storylines, and action theater, and less about actual fighting. Whereas with jiu-jitsu, and she was able to compartmentalize the two as totally separate entities. Looking back, she chuckles at how things eventually turned out, with Rener attending her shows with his very familiar brand of “Renergy” in support of his newly found favorite wrestler. So with this understanding, Eve had two new loves in her life, jiu-jitsu and Rener.

On Tradition Like any conventional marriage, there are usually family traditions that both parties bring to the table. For Eve, there is a happy medium to be struck between the more “traditional” role of a mother (stay at home mom) and the example of her own mother, who was a law school graduate whom eventually pursued her own career. Eve was already on a promising career path with the WWE, and in television and film, travelling around the world. So for her, becoming a mother was not an end to that path, but merely

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We hear that kid’s got a lot of Renergy!

“... It was intimidating knowing how much jiu-jitsu meant in their lives… Those traditions were more intimidating than jiu-jitsu itself… ” viewed as part of the journey. With the realization of motherhood, she’s had to shift her priorities and redefine what being successful and productive is such as being okay with days where not as many emails are getting answered or errands being run.

“... I am someone who honors traditions, but I also have my own identity…”

Today, she maintains a constant and active involvement in helping the family business of jiu-jitsu, still keeping a very active travel schedule, and is fulfilling her own entrepreneurial spirit along with her sister-in-law Sage Allard, in the creation of their own event planning company, InJOY.

On Training Anyone training in jiu-jitsu who has ever had an injury will tell you how hard it is to simply sit out, rest, and wait for that injury to heal. Well, the process of motherhood can be a complex challenge to any training schedule, let alone a jiu-jitsu based one. It can be a bit of a bummer watching your training partners progress and train as you watch from the sideline. Eve explains that she was able to train for a significant period during her pregnancy in a manner she felt was appropriate and safe. And she was able to stay connected to jiu-jitsu her entire pregnancy through teaching.

“... I have to do it on my time and it’s okay if my priorities have changed. That doesn’t mean that I stop training and give up...” On Time Management and Balance Motherhood not only changes your life, but can also wreak havoc on any idea of a well planned schedule and, as Eve

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“... I’m the best mother I can be when I’m fulfilled…” explains, is a “total game changer”. She goes on to explain that the approach to all of the change that a new child brings is very important. Motherhood can have a really incredible positive change, but it can also be an issue in which many women struggle with and is really not talked about much because of the social expectations of motherhood only being a pure joyful and euphoric role. So, it is because of that emotional conflict that some women may find it hard to honestly address their new role as a loving mother but at the same time cope with the fulfillment of professional aspirations. Eve has found that it’s okay to have those frustrations and ultimately it’s about coming to a point, especially as your child gets older, where you will find a balance and you identify what your fulfillment is. It may be buried in between the chaos.

This was a direct lesson she learned from her mother. Despite being so busy, Eve’s mother was always present whenever she was with her, and in turn, showed her how it can be done. Continuous is the cycle in which the child strives to make their mother proud. It’s safe to say that Eve and her siblings turned out just fine, and now Eve, in the role of mother, and Raeven are off to a pretty good start. Furthermore, knowing how cliché it may sound, Eve states that if you just do things and believe in yourself, amazing things can happen.

For Eve, she finds fulfillment and balance in continuing to teach women to become empowered, training whenever she can, having her own business, and when with Raeven, being completely present with him.

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PUTTING THE GRACE IN GRACIE The terms “soccer mom” and “den mother” have long worked their way into our lexicon and are generally defined as a woman who plays a supportive or protective role for a particular group of people. In the realm of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a very strong case can be made for Suzanne Gracie as being the standard for the title “jiu-jitsu mom”. You may not have heard of this particular Gracie in the past, but we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of her more outspoken offspring. Suzanne is the mother of Ryron, Rener, Ralek, Sage, and Reylan. Having the task of being the mother of five children is one thing, but when you’re one of the significant personalities introducing the United States and beyond to the art of jiu-jitsu and the creation of the UFC, things can be quite the adventure indeed. Suzanne can share many stories of the challenges that were presented to the family as they would eventually establish a modern day renaissance of the martial arts as we now know them. From the day-to-day stresses of seeing to it that all of the children maintained their healthy diet, to the administrative tasks of running the family business from their garage. Suzanne would dutifully man the phones, book appointments, and see to it that students always had

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clean gis to wear. She shares a story about those days in the “Gracie Garage”: “We lived in a two bedroom, 800 sq-ft home with one bathroom, and the garage was downstairs. The business was all word of mouth and $10 per class for a half hour private. Back then we provided the gi and the students changed in our bathroom and left the gi for us to wash afterwards. The gis were always in need of repair, and I mended and patched them on a weekly basis with my sewing machine. I also complained a lot about washing sweaty gis.” It was the support of faithful students, a brigadier general named Francis Zeiler and Richard Bresler that helped keep the lights and telephone on. Suzanne explains: “Francis was quite old - maybe 75 when I first met him. He loved jiu-jitsu and came 3-4 times a week from the Valley. When we didn’t have money to pay the rent, which was approximately $450 a month at that time, we looked to see when Francis was coming again and when he would be paying for the month. That would decide if we could pay the rent. Francis truly did pay our

rent for years. As for Richard, he was our first garage student on 3rd St. in Hermosa Beach. He believed in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu more than anyone else when nobody else would, and he lent us the money to open up our first academy”. It wasn’t easy dealing with multiple tasks while five children were running around, presumably competing for that mat time, because what little kid doesn’t like a room full (or garage full) of mats? Reflecting back at those chaotic days Suzanne likes to leave us with this: “The best thing about having so many [children], was that they now have each other. When I see all of them doing things together, I am fulfilled. When I see them all having kids now together, I am fulfilled. I am absolutely certain now that the best thing about having so many kids is that they now have each other and will never be alone in the world.” We can only assume your children thank you, but on behalf of the entire jiu-jitsu community, we’d also like to thank you for your role as a “jiu-jitsu mom” and helping to establish the art as we know it today.

4/19/17 3:02 PM


Now learn TRUJITSU concepts at these academies...

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2/16/17 7:30 AM





AT JUST 21 YEARS OLD, THE YOUNG PHENOM ISAQUE BAHIENSE IS ALREADY MAKING WAVES HIS FIRST YEAR IN THE BLACK BELT DIVISION. AFTER A REMARKABLE SHOWING IN THIS YEAR’S PAN AM CHAMPIONSHIP, DEFEATING JIU-JITSU LEGEND AND SUPER-COMPETITOR ROMULO BARRAL, ISAQUE HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD OF HIM. The young competitor from Rio De Janiero just earned his black belt last December but began his jiu-jitsu journey at 11 years old. Unable to afford the necessary training gear, his first instructor, Fábio Andrade, gifted him his first gi, and Isaque hasn’t stopped training since. A move to São Paulo at purple belt to train with the world-renowned Alliance team allowed him to develop his skills amongst some of the sport’s best competitors. Isaque has a strong passing game and favors the top position. He understands the value of a well rounded game, however, and believes he still needs to work on “everything” to be competitive at the elite level. In competition, Isaque will typically go for the takedown in order to attack from the top. With his aggressive passing pressure, he can then usually force his opponents to turtle which will allow him to attack and finish from the back. Today, he shows us a sequence of this strategy: takedown, pass, submission from the back. As a bonus, he shows a kneebar he likes to attack straight from in the Reverse De La Riva Guard. Take note as the young Alliance competitor is at the forefront of modern jiu-jitsu.

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Raw Data

Powered by Full Name: Isaque Bahiense Braz Nickname: n/a

Lineage 1: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Fábio Gurgel > Isaque Bahiense

Main Achievements: ❖❖ Copa Pódio Lightweight Champion (2017) ❖❖ IBJJF World Champion (2016 brown) ❖❖ IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2015 brown, 2013** purple) ❖❖ UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Champion (2016 brown) ❖❖ IBJJF European Open Champion (2016 brown) ❖❖ IBJJF Pan American Champion (2015** brown, 2014 purple) ❖❖ IBJJF South American Championship (2015 brown) ❖❖ CBJJ Brazilian Champion (2016 brown, 2015 purple) ❖❖ Real Deal Champion – Alliance HQ In-House Tournament (2016*) ❖❖ IBJJF São Paulo BJJ Pro Champion (2016 brown) ❖❖ CBJJ Juvenile Brazilian Champion (2012 blue) ❖❖ IBJJF Juvenile World Champion (2012** blue, 2013 blue) ❖❖ IBJJF Juvenile World No-Gi Champion (2012** blue) ❖❖ ADCC Brazilian Trials Runner-up (2015) ❖❖ IBJJF World Championship Runner-up (2016* brown) ❖❖ IBJJF Juvenile World Championship Runner-up (2011 blue) ❖❖ IBJJF Pan American Championship Runner-up (2017 black, 2016 brown, 2015 purple) ❖❖ CBJJ Juvenile Brazilian Championship Runner-up (2012/2011 blue) ❖❖ IBJJF World Championship 3rd Place (2015 purple, 2014** purple) ❖❖ IBJJF World No-Gi Championship 3rd Place (2014 purple) * Absolute ** Weight and absolute

FAVORITE POSITION/TECHNIQUE: Guard Passing WEIGHT DIVISION: Peso Médio (82,30 kg / 181.5 lbs) TEAM/ASSOCIATION: Alliance

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Isaque prefers to pass when he fights, so he’ll often fake pulling guard to end up with the takedown. His opponents are usually hard to take down with a traditional throw, so he’ll attempt the fake guard pull and go for the ankle pick to gain the top position.

Step 1 To accomplish the Fake Guard Pull to Ankle Pick, he makes grips at his opponent’s collar and elbow. He then raises the leg on the side that’s gripping the collar as if he were about to pull guard.

Step 2 Isaque then quickly drops his foot to the mat and steps his opposite leg forward to reach for his opponent’s ankle. This must happen very quickly, almost in one motion.

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Second oldest trick in the book.

Step 3 Once he grabs his opponent’s ankle, he pulls it between his legs while keeping a firm grip on the collar.

Step 4 To bring his opponent to the ground, he first steps his foot back on the same side that’s holding the ankle. Then he pulls his opponent’s leg toward him while pushing forward at the collar.

Step 5 He then secures the takedown by moving quickly into a passing position by stuffing his opponent’s leg between his legs, maintaining the collar grip while keeping his elbow in tight and staying low.

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Isaque uses this pass when his opponent is sitting up in guard and neither him nor his opponent have secured grips. Step 1 Staying low, Isaque moves in and makes a cross grip on his opponent’s right knee with his right hand.

Step 2 He then reaches over his opponent’s back with his left hand and makes a grip on the back of the gi.

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Step 3 Isaque then punches his opponent’s knee down to the mat and quickly circles around his legs to come to the side.

Step 4 To secure the pass, he places his head on his opponent’s chest and drives him down to the mat with his head and the grip on the back.


Step 5 Isaque finishes with a tight side control by driving his chest down into his opponent. He prevents any chance of guard recovery by punching down on the pant grip and stretching his opponent’s leg away from his body.

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When Isaque gets his opponent to Turtle position, often his opponent’s reaction is to make a frame with his arm on Isaque’s leg to prevent the back take. When this happens, it’s the perfect opportunity to set up the Crucifix and go for a submission. Step 1 Isaque has made it to Turtle control and his opponent is framing on Isaque’s leg with an extended arm. Isaque uses his free foot to secure a hook around his opponent’s extended arm.

Step 2 Once he has secured the arm, he reaches over his opponent’s opposite shoulder to make a figure four lock on his other arm. Isaque makes a grip on the wrist with his outside hand and reaches under his opponent’s armpit to grab his own wrist with his inside hand.

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Crucification is never fun.

Step 3 With both arms secured, Isaque then steps forward with his outside leg and falls to his back, pulling his opponent into the Crucifix position.

Step 4 To attack the armbar from the Crucifix, you must carefully switch your legs so your outside leg is hooking over the arm. Here, Isaque shows this leg switch and notice how he steps both feet to the ground. To get the tap, he simply extends his outside leg down to put pressure on the elbow.

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What makes the Crucifix position so dangerous is its difficulty to escape and the ability to attack both the arm and the neck at the same time. When attacking the arm, it’s common for your opponent to bridge their hips up to relieve pressure on their elbow. This is a great time to go for the choke. Step 1 Isaque lets go of his own wrist and reaches around his opponent’s neck. A collar grip is not necessary, and so he simply reaches for his opponent’s shoulder, making sure to get his forearm under the chin.

Step 2 It’s important to maintain the wrist control with one hand from the figure four lock to prevent your opponent from defending the choke. When he bridges up, Isaque squeezes his arm around the neck to get the tap.

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The following submission can be used at the higher levels to attack your opponent’s knee. Isaque prefers this kneebar variation because it’s more difficult to defend. Step 1

Starting from Reverse De La Riva, Isaque grabs under his opponent’s top leg, gripping just above the knee.


Step 2 He then uses his other hand on his opponent’s far shoulder to drive his back to the mat.

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This one is a thing of beauty when executed correctly.

Step 3 Forcing his opponent to the mat, Isaque turns in toward his opponent and steps his free leg up and over his body.

Step 4 Isaque then sits to the mat and pulls back on the leg he was underhooking to secure it for the submission. When going full speed, the step-over to sit-down is one fluid motion that happens quickly. To give yourself the best chances of finishing the kneebar, you must sit your hips as close as possible to where your opponent’s leg meets his hip.


Isaque keeps his inside foot hooking behind his opponent’s free knee. This prevents him from sitting up to defend the attack.

Step 5 To finish the kneebar, Isaque brings both hands to the back of his opponent’s heel and bridges up with his hips while pulling down on the leg with his arms.

These are all great techniques that anyone can put into their game. Like any new technique be sure to drill often in training before attempting in competition. Speaking of competition, be on the look out for Isaque on a podium near your! Special thanks to Grappler’s Studio and head coach Laericio Fernandes in Laguna Hills for the use of their facility in the production of this article.

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ONCE AGAIN THE BJJ TOUR MADE ITS WAY TO THE ORLANDO, FLORIDA AREA FOR WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE THE BIGGEST BJJ TOUR EVENT EVER! HUNDREDS OF COMPETITORS TURNED OUT TO MIX THINGS UP IN THE SUNSHINE STATE. This was the fourth year of the event and to celebrate local black belt pros made it out to battle for the big BJJ Tour checks. In the Kids division it was Gracie Barra taking first followed by ATTBAGA in second and Fabin Rosa BJJ in third. In the combined Juvenile/Adult/Masters team category the result wasn’t much different with Gracie Barra once again in first followed by Alliance Orlando and Fabin Rosa BJJ in third. Next up is Texas - don’t miss it!

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buyers guide


IF YOU ARE AN ATHLETE, EATING CAN BE A FULL-TIME JOB. THE MORE ACTIVE YOU ARE, THE MORE CALORIES YOU BURN, AND REPLACING THOSE CALORIES IS CRUCIAL TO MAINTAIN PERFORMANCE, OVERALL HEALTH, AND WELLBEING. In order to raise caloric intake, many people turn to meal replacement options for their convenience and portability. There are many meal replacement options out there and choosing the right one will be dependent on your personal and nutritional goals. Of the factors to consider, satiety, weight loss, energy, and muscle recovery are at the top of the list. You should consult a doctor or nutritionist to find out how to optimally supplement your diet, but if this is not feasible, you will have to identify what your general goals are.

Weight Loss and Satiety

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For most non-athletes, weight loss is one of the allures of choosing meal replacement bars. Meal replacement serves the purpose of providing the body with satiety via higher dietary fiber with fewer calories than a full meal. Foods with high dietary fiber are harder to digest and therefore make you feel more full than eating foods low in fiber. If your goal is to lose weight and feel satiated until your next meal, choose a bar comprised of whole fruits and grains and lower in calories.

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Post Workout Recovery If your goal is to recover between workouts, choose bars that are higher in protein. Adequate protein intake following a workout is beneficial for muscle recovery. You will also want to find a bar that has a good amount of complex carbohydrates and as little sugar as possible. The type of protein used in meal replacements varies substantially, but the gold standard for postworkout recovery is whey protein. Plant based alternatives include pea protein and brown rice protein, which are preferred by some for their environmental sustainability.

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Plenty of research suggests that the majority of people have some nutrient deficiency. If you want to supplement your diet to maintain optimal levels of micronutrients, you will want to find a meal replacement bar that is fortified with vitamins and minerals. Note that many meal replacement bar manufacturers chemically synthesize their micronutrients in a lab, so choosing a bar that is minimally processed and sourced from whole foods is healthier to ensure adequate nutritional content.

What to Avoid

Meal replacement bars are typically marketed as healthy alternatives to meals but this is rarely the case. There are many items on the ingredients list to avoid. The easiest test for choosing the right meal replacement bar is to look at the ingredients and see how many words you cannot pronounce. This may seem like a joke, but meal replacement companies frequently use chemicals and artificial ingredients to cut nutritional corners and deceive people with artificial tastes and textures.

Artificial Flavors

The definitions of artificial and natural flavors are confusing, but the gist is that a natural flavor is any chemical extract from some preexisting food material that is intended to add flavor instead of provide nutritional value. That being said, artificial and natural flavoring can be deceptive as companies will use chemical synthetics to trick people into believing that what they are eating is natural. For example, researchers have been able to extract vanilla flavor from cow feces, so consider this fact the next time you are eating something with “natural vanilla flavor”. Also, there are many long-term health risks associated with artificial flavoring including, but not limited to,

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cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mental illness. Be skeptical when a company uses “natural” to describe their product and avoid “artificial” flavoring at all costs.

Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Many meal replacement bars have added sweeteners. Bars with high sugar content can be a quick energy fix when you are about to crash, but added sweeteners should mostly be avoided. Artificial sweeteners are also used in place of sugar to offer foods that maintain sweetness with fewer calories. Research has

suggested that chemically synthesized sweeteners have been linked to health risks such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. If you must have something sweet, choose a bar that uses organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, or honey.

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are neither sugar nor alcohol. They are, however, derived from sugar and largely used as a thickener or sweetener in meal replacement bars. One reason they are commonly used is that their molecular components bind to water molecules and keep the bars from drying out. Since they are not entirely digestible, the consumption of excess sugar alcohols leads to gastrointestinal issues such as flatulence, bloating, and diarrhea.

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Hmm. Vegan “usual” means “not very tasty”.

Replacing Your Meals Healthily Due to the high amount of processing, artificial sweeteners, and flavoring prevalent in most meal replacement bars, it is important that you choose one made with whole foods and minimally processed. Once you get past the challenge of finding something nonartificial and low in sugar, you can focus on other nutritional aspects that suit your individual needs. In order to find a high quality meal replacement bar or supplement, look at the label specifically for badges such as “NSF”, “NonGMO Verified” and other information such as “No Sugar Added”. NSF is a large, third party organization that confirms products are exactly what they say they are and up to public health standards. These badges are helpful in

determining that quality of the product you are about to consume. I selected the bars in these pages for

review based on having no genetically modified organisms (NonGMO), made with whole food ingredients and minimal processing.

GoMacro Macrobar (Protein Paradise) 260 Calories (100 from fat)/Carbohydrates 30g/Fiber 1g/Sugar 10g/Protein 11g GoMacro is sustainably sourced with whole foods ingredients. The bar tastes similar to granola. It is marketed as a protein bar; however, there are only 11g per serving.

Healthy warrior Superfood Protein (Dark Chocolate, Coconut, Sea Salt) 200 calories (80 from fat)/25g Carbohydrates/5g Fiber/11g Sugars/10 g Protein This Healthy Warrior is made with plant proteins and superfoods such as chia, quinoa, and oats. This bar was also marketed as a protein bar but has only 10 grams.

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Genuine Health

Proteins+ (Cinnamon Pecan) 200 Calories (Fat Cal 70)/25g Carbohydrates/11g Fiber/12g Sugars/15g Protein The Proteins+ bar is pretty well rounded with lots of carbs, fiber and protein. The fermented Greek yogurt shell has a good taste and helps with digestion. I felt the most full after eating this one.

Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Performance Protein Bar (Chocolate Fudge) 280 Calories (Fat Cal 80)/34g Carbohydrates/10g Dietary Fiber/8g Sugar/20g Protein Garden of Life is the only bar of the group that advertised its NSF and Informed Choice standings for quality. These bars are marketed as protein bars, designed to aid in muscle recovery and fuel for exercise. The taste was sweet with a rich, chocolate flavor. It also had a nice, crispy texture.

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I’m hungry and full at the same time.

Rise Protein Bar (Chocolate Mint) 270 Calories (130 from fat)/24g Carbohydrates/4g Fiber/17g Sugars/15g Protein Rise is a small batch company meaning that they do not mass produce their product. These bars had a great taste, though the flavor was not robust. These were completely simple with few ingredients. I actually felt satiated and did not get hungry again for some time.

Final Notes

Eating clean and healthy meals should always be at the top of the dieting priority list, but life does get in the way and a quick fix is necessary sometimes. Meal replacements, therefore, should never be a permanent dietary solution unless prescribed by a doctor. After trying out these bars and taking their nutritional values into account, here are my thoughts:


The Rise and Genuine Health bars both left me feeling full and sustained for the next few hours of my day. Based on the amount of dietary fiber, however, the Garden of Life bar would be a solid choice for sustainability.

Muscle Recovery The Garden of Life would be my choice because of its higher protein and carbohydrate content. It had a sweeter taste but a low amount of sugars and a higher amount of dietary fibers than the other bars.


If my goal was supplemental, the Healthy Warrior promises the most nutrient dense meal replacement with its variety of superfoods. The supplemental component to choosing a bar here is widely subjective. A healthcare professional should be consulted to find out what nutrients you are deficient in so that you can make a more informed and objective choice.

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mind games




MOTIVATION IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCT THAT HAS BEEN RESEARCHED EXTENSIVELY OVER THE LAST CENTURY. WHEN YOU FIRST START YOUR JIU-JITSU JOURNEY, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE UNUSUALLY HIGH LEVELS OF MOTIVATION AND ENTHUSIASM. Over the course of time, however, you will inevitably notice that your levels of motivation perpetually fluctuate. This is because motivation is largely an emotional state. Motivation waxes and wanes and varies substantially based on your emotional reaction to each training session and the deviations in between. Since our desire to do or achieve is always in flux, relying on motivation is a fickle endeavor, especially if you are motivated by external rewards instead of internal fulfillment. Relying on internal gratification will be more fruitful in your endeavor to train jiu-jitsu long-term, but there are other strategies to keep you on the mats since motivation cannot be trusted.

What Is Motivation? Some of the first theories on motivation were conceived in the early 1900s. One of the most prominent theories of the time was Drive Theory, which suggested that living things were governed by a need to maintain homeostasis. In other words, when we are deprived of some physiological need, we seek to fix it in order to keep balanced. If we are hungry, for example, we are motivated eat. When we eat, we are no longer hungry. As time passed, psychological perspectives were given to the understanding of motivation to account for the myriad of factors that drive us to behave in certain ways

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or believe certain things. The forces that drive us to learn and practice jiu-jitsu are abundant and there are situations and challenges that will motivate just as equally as there are factors that can deter us from training.

to keep balanced. If we are hungry, for example, we are motivated eat. When we eat, we are no longer hungry. As time passed, psychological perspectives were given to the understanding of motivation to account for the myriad of factors that drive

us to behave in certain ways or believe certain things. The forces that drive us to learn and practice jiu-jitsu are abundant and there are situations and challenges that will motivate just as equally as there are factors that can deter us from training.

Motivation in Jiu-jitsu Some of the first theories on motivation were conceived in the early 1900s. One of the most prominent theories of the time was Drive Theory, which suggested that living things were governed by a need to maintain homeostasis. In other words, when we are deprived of some physiological need, we seek to fix it in order

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Your motivation in jiu-jitsu will be dependent on your goals. Your goals are the destination for the journey you are on. If your goal is to lose weight, your motivation to lose weight should modify your behavior accordingly. In theory, if your goal is to lose weight, you will be motivated to clean your

diet, exercise more, and even get better sleep. If you are not motivated, then you will not modify your behavior. This will create stress as your beliefs and your behaviors will be incongruent. This is a problem. If you rely on motivation, you will never reach the goals you set out to achieve.

Furthermore, if you are relying on motivation and your behaviors are a stark contrast to your goals or attitudes, you will be creating extra internal stress. Motivation can only be depended on if the work fulfills you. If your goal is to lose weight, cooking healthy meals as opposed to

weight loss itself will reward you. This internal satisfaction will give you a much higher chance of success because intrinsic motivation, motivation that comes from within, is much more adaptive to the completion of goal setting.

Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Motivation Intrinsic motivation is just one of the two types of motivation. Its opposite is called extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is dependent upon external factors to stay motivated. In other words, extrinsic motivation is akin to working at a job only because of a paycheck and not because the job fulfills you. Extrinsic motivation is undependable because you can never be assured of the reward. You are only assured of the work itself, so it is crucial that you are intrinsically motivated. In jiu-jitsu, there is no guarantee of reaching your goals; the training is our reward. We are supposed to be motivated by the learning we are doing and not by the false promise of excellence. This requires an outstanding degree of intrinsic motivation in order to keep us focused.

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Embrace the means and not the end

Research suggests that people who are intrinsically motivated show better focus, less stress, increased confidence, and much higher rates of satisfaction compared to people who are extrinsically motivated. Increasing intrinsic motivation is thus much more important for your longterm success in a discipline as challenging as jiu-jitsu.

Do not pay attention to the reward or the end goal. Sometimes, the more important incentive to pay attention to is the experience. Jiu-jitsu is not a means to an end but rather an end to a means. Learning and practicing jiu-jitsu is the goal. Every benefit that results from its practice is just an incentive. Focus and be fully committed to the process and do not worry about the end results.

Be aware of your motivation for training Are you training because you want to lose weight or are you training to learn something new, which will indirectly lead to weight-loss? Placing a higher value on the practice of jiu-jitsu itself over the promise of a reward will be important to increase intrinsic motivation.

Trust yourself to succeed Fear of failure is natural but can greatly hinder our motivation. If you have a fear of failure in jiu-jitsu, your desire to stay motivated will suffer because of the many lumps and beatings we take on a daily basis. This is especially true as a novice since you will fail much more than you succeed. The outcome of training is never a good metric for your progress and the emotions that arise from bad days can be debilitating. Fear of failure will create worry and tension about the loss of

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a reward and decrease your motivation. Trust that if you stay the course, everything else will fall into place.

Advice for Avoiding a Reliance on Motivation Motivation cannot be relied on to navigate the vastness and complexity of jiu-jitsu practice. Because motivation is fickle, there are other opportunities to maximize your likelihood of being a lifelong jiu-jitsu practitioner.

Create Systems Creating systems instead of relying on motivation is the best possible practice for training jiu-jitsu for a long time. Creating a behavioral system is essentially a modification of behavioral patterns and daily routines that are more conducive to jiu-jitsu practice. In other words, if you train in the early morning, you will consider going to bed earlier and not drinking the night before training. It will also include scheduling social events and other obstacles around training hours so that you can maintain a consistent training schedule. The idea here is that systems and routines do not allow for emotional whims to get in the way. Once a system is in place, the work will be done regardless of how you are feeling. Your

feelings are irrelevant if you want to achieve your goals.

Develop accountability One of the best ways to stay consistent over a long period of time is to develop a sense of accountability. You can choose to hold yourself accountable for training by accepting responsibility for showing up to class. If you are unable to hold yourself accountable, communicate to your training partners of your need for accountability from outside sources. Extrinsic accountability is not the most optimal way about sticking to training, but it will be much more reliable than waiting on motivation to strike. Your friends and social circle, if they are beneficial to your long-term growth, will keep you going and eliminate the cognitive stress and mental struggle of whether or not you should be training.

just show up Just show up. No simpler words exist in the realm of training jiu-jitsu, yet there are none more powerful. Motivation is going to come and go. Throughout your journey, you will have moments where you want to quit. You will have moments where you feel like a world champion. The journey is going to take you on some amazing rides that you will both love and hate; the rollercoaster is part of the process. Part of embracing the process is to keep on showing up. Do not listen to that internal dialogue in your head about whether or not you’re good enough. Do not pay any attention to your friends that think you are crazy for rolling around with other people in your own sweat. There are going to be a million and one reasons why we should and should not be motivated to train jiu-jitsu, but in the end, none of that matters. If you want to train jiu-jitsu for the rest of your life, the best advice I can ever give you is to just keep showing up.

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ELBOW INJURIES WORDS: CHRISTOPHER INGSTAD, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, ATC, FAAOMPT Physical Therapist and Certified Athletic Trainer Level4 Physical Therapy & Performance, Inc.


I HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH INTERNATIONAL BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU FEDERATION FOR THE LAST 14 YEARS COVERING TOURNAMENTS IN THE ENTIRE WESTERN REGION OF THE UNITED STATES. I HAVE BEEN PRIVILEGED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY, AND OVER THE YEARS, I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF INJURIES. My day is only busy when someone gets hurt or has been hurt and they are looking for information on how to manage their problem are. One of the most common areas that I get questions about is the elbow. It’s also the area of the body that is most frequently injured in competition (roughly 20% of the injuries we see). But the injuries are not always directly related to competition but also to training. This article will discuss elbow injuries, how to manage them, and how to prevent them.

Armbar An armbar, or armlock, is one of the most basic jiujitsu maneuvers, and usually one of the first submissions taught to you in class. It’s a submission attempt whereby the opponent wraps their legs around your armpit and neck from the front side while holding your arm between their legs in a hyperextended position. The lever arm is increased by grabbing the wrist and driving the hips up toward the ceiling. It can cause pain at any part of the elbow, but most commonly the pain is the medial (inside) part of the elbow.

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Gripping Activities With the nature of the sport, gripping is a necessity to performance. Many successful jiu-jitsu practitioners discuss the importance of grip strength. Having good strength here may prevent your opponent or training partner from getting away from you. Gripping requires strength in your forearm and wrist flexors (muscles of the inside of the elbow), but also requires your wrist extensors (muscles on the outside of the elbow). It is also a normal human activity in which we grasp, push, and pull with for everyday undertakings.

ANATOMY Bones radius

The bone of the elbow consist of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the radius and ulna (forearm bones). These three bones also make up three joints in the elbow. All of these bones are considered long bones which means they can be used to provide leverage in the case when you get caught in an armlock. The motion that happens among these bones can be significant enough to affect all the way down into your wrist.



Ligaments annular

UCL RCL Right Arm

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The ligaments hold the bones together along with the joint capsule. These two structures often blend together seamlessly. These structures are known as static restraints, meaning that they provide stability when no motion is happening. The ligaments of the elbow are primarily on the inside and outside of the elbow. On the outside, you have the radial collateral ligament (RCL) and the annular ligament. This annular ligament wraps around the radial head to allow you to turn your palm up and down like you are waving. The RCL provides stability to any forces that would push laterally (outwardly). The biggest ligament, and arguably the most important, is the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). This ligament connects the humerus and ulna together and is very broad and long when compared to the RCL. It prevents force moving medially. This is the area of the elbow that is particularly vulnerable to armlocks and even Americana armlocks.

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Muscles When armlocks occurs, it can also damage the muscular complex around the elbow. Flexion and extension (bending and extending) of the elbow after an armlock is often quite painful if damage happens but can also affect pronation and supination (turning palm down and palm up). When there is damage to the muscle or tendon complex, it can generate a muscle strain/pull or tendinopathy. These muscles create and can control motion at the elbow. These are known as dynamic restraints which means they provide stability when motion is occurring. When an armlock is applied, the muscle that are affected will likely be the biceps brachii, pronator teres, or other wrist flexors. This can also be dependent on the hand position and what is going on at the shoulder during the attack. For instance, if you are placed in a position where you shoulder is also extended behind you, a large amount of tension is placed through the long head of the biceps at the shoulder as it is being tensioned down at the elbow by the attack (shown right). Gripping activities or wrist extension will affect the extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis and extensor digitorum (wrist extensors). These are affected by overtraining or profound changes in your training schedule.

Mechanism of Injury There are two primary mechanisms for elbow injuries in jiu-jitsu: the armlock and tendinopathy injuries due to unaccustomed activities/overtraining. Besides direct trauma, the tendon injuries happen from multiple causes. In men, it is frequent to see tendon injuries at the lateral elbow which is commonly referred to as “tennis elbow.� This can be due to muscle tightness in the elbow, wrist or hand, a recent change in training schedule, work ergonomics, or typing on a computer. With the armlock, if your opponent is able to take the arm into the position of elbow extension and your thumb facing

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straight upward, then there is a risk of damage to the elbow joint capsule and elbow flexors (biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis). If your opponent moves your elbow into extension and then turns your palm upward, it makes it harder to finish the submission but does stress the medial (inside) part of the elbow. Then there is risk of damage at the UCL and pronator teres muscle. Lastly, if your opponent moves your elbow into extension and then turns your palm down, it also is harder to finish the submission and stresses the lateral (outside) part of the elbow. Then there is risk of damage at the RCL and lateral elbow muscles.

With such a submission, and the long lever force that is generated, there is an inherent potential for both fractures and dislocations. A dislocation can be more obvious because of the large deformity that usually exists, while a fracture can be less obvious. The only way you will know a fracture is to seek a physician consult for imaging study. The rule of thumb for fractures is when in doubt, go get it looked at. For both of these situations, medical intervention should be received for proper injury management to be certain there is no nerve damage or laxity (increased motion) into the elbow joint.

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Take 15% off your first box! Use Code: JJM15 at Checkout

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If the serious injuries, like dislocation and fracture, have been ruled out, then the injury can likely be managed conservatively. The worst thing you can do is ignore the injury. Most of these elbow injuries can be managed conservatively with four simple steps. It is best to implement these steps immediately and progressively, and if your problem exists without improvement beyond 7-10 days, then seek medical attention or your nearest physical therapy specialist for a thorough assessment.



Control the pain and inflammation – Training should be halted here, or significantly modified, until these are under control. This can be achieved simply by applying ice to the area. Inflammation control is important because it creates muscle inhibition (makes muscles harder to function appropriately). Although inflammation is a necessary role for the body to heal correctly, excessive amounts are thought to prolong the recovery time. So early intervention is the best intervention here!! With ice, you can apply it to the injured area for 15-20 minutes only. Any longer than that and you risk making the inflammation worst. (This is a shout out to everyone who keeps ice on for an hour. Don’t do it!) If the elbow injury is severe enough, using a sling or elbow strap may be necessary for a short time to remove additional stresses to the injured elbow to reduce the pain and inflammation.

Restore range of motion and increase muscle activation – Training should still be halted or modified here, but you should be attending class and work on the psychological part of your training. Mindfulness and meditation can be extremely beneficial here. It will also build team camaraderie. Range of motion can be achieved by simple range of motion movements by flexing and extending the elbow and also turning your palm up and down at the wrist repeatedly throughout the day. You do want to work within your comfort zone but know that bending and extending will be the most uncomfortable to start. So, go slow! If the movements produce big spikes in pain again, then you are likely going too far and need to back off. As your range of motion improves, then using a light hand weight or light resistance band to perform the same motions will work well. Proprioception, or joint position sense, is also imperative to retrain at this point. This can be achieved by assuming a push up position and

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holding for thirty seconds to one minute. You can take some of the load away by going onto your knees or doing this push up position on the wall. If it is painful, then it is likely too soon to do this. This needs to be done repeatedly throughout the day, working up to one to two minutes at a time. For those that have lateral elbow pain with gripping, stretching the wrist flexors and hand muscles are very important. The wrist flexors get tight from the activities we do daily plus grabbing in jiu-jitsu. Wrist flexor stretches can be done by simply grasping your fingers with your opposite hand and pulling back while your elbow is straight. Another stretch that works great for this is called a lumbrical stretch. First make a hook grip with your fingers, use your opposite hand to extend your fingers over your big knuckles. You should feel this stretching into the palm of your hand. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

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Time to crawl.


Increase your strength and endurance – Training can start


here but still be careful with who you train with and make them aware of your injury. The elbow muscles need to function appropriately to provide muscular stability and control to the injured elbow. If there is still inflammation, this can inhibit muscles from working, and then they must be retrained. Or they may not reactivate. Running can offer cardiovascular benefits, but muscular endurance of the elbow can be trained with loading activities (push-ups, hand walking, and

Increase your functional performance – At this point, you should be feeling great and have already been back to rolling and training. The light is at the end of the tunnel, but you are not quite there yet! This stage is the longest and the easiest for people to stop because they are feeling much better. You need to continue to address overall strength with complex movement activities like plyo push-ups, burpees, and plyo-ball exercises. You can progress from two arm activities to one handed loading activities, which will also challenge your core muscles. It is very important to continue working the proprioceptive of training with faster movements on your hands and dynamic stabilization activities. The more stable you are, the more efficient you will move.

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pull-ups to name a few). Strengthening of the elbow can be achieved by progressing the resistance bands and hand weights to improve elbow flexion and extension strength and endurance. Don’t forget about pronation and supination. This can also be achieved by doing more big movement activities like push up variations which require more force production. But remember, never sacrifice QUALITY of movement for quantity. We often will recommend repeated movements for time rather than a number of reps. This way the focus is on the quality. Start slow and controlled and progress to faster but

always use correct technique. For those that have lateral elbow pain with gripping, strengthening the wrist extensors with resistance bands and hand weights work well. Usually doing reps of 15-20 of #1-5 bands works well to address both strength and endurance of the lateral elbow muscles. You can also use a dowel with a weighted rope to address the strength in this area. And if you have one available, doing battle ropes up and down work great for the entire shoulder complex and wrist extensors with an overhand grip. Do this for 30 seconds to one minute and you will feel these muscles working.

A delay in treatment often leads to extended healing times and lost time with training and rolling. So get treatment right away to achieve the best outcome. If your injury does not progressively improve, you will need to seek intervention consult with a sports/ orthopedic physician and/or physical therapist to properly rehabilitate this injury. Improper management of your injury will increase your risk of future injury. So finding a specialist to tend to your injury is very important in the long run. The specialist will be able to work with you and guide you toward the best outcome to match your goals.

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Risk Reduction - Prevention We know that the number one predictor for injury in jiu-jitsu is a previous injury. As mentioned previously, the ligaments and capsule are static restraints and the muscles and tendons are dynamic restraints. When both function as required, good stability, motion, and strength at the joint can occur. However, if one or all of these structures are damaged in some way or do not function properly, then there is an increased risk to the joint and therefore for that athlete. Ligament laxity/ damage can lead to an impaired joint motion, whether if

it moves too much or not enough. This is where strength training and proprioceptive training are very important to continue. The same elements described in “Management” can be applied, particularly steps three and four. If you implement these into your training regimen, then you should see a significant reduction in your own risk of injury and less down time when you do get injured. Also, seeing a movement specialist to identify potential risk factors can be even more beneficial to look for these and then address them.


When it comes to jiu-jitsu, elbow injuries are the most commonly seen in competition. This information cannot necessarily be extrapolated to everyone who trains, but the rate is higher than everywhere else in the body. After an elbow injury, it’s possible to get back quickly by incorporating early intervention strategies for the injury, which often leads to better and faster outcomes. Strength training to regain muscle function and proprioceptive training to control the elbow are necessary for recovery. If not, you increase your risk of injury. When exercising, always stay in control. Start slow and progress to quicker movements. Remember that recovery is also an important part of functional performance so listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, then take a rest recovery day. And if your elbow injury is not progressing as it should, seek consult from your physical therapy specialist and/or physician to help get you on track and back to the mats as fast as possible. He/she will be able to give you quick recommendations and intervention after a thorough assessment to get you back quickly. Stay healthy… and see you on the mats!!!

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THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE JIU-JITSU AND CROSSFIT COMMUNITIES ARE UNMISTAKABLE. BOTH INVOLVE GROUPS WHO REGULARLY GET TOGETHER TO TRAIN THEIR BODIES AND MINDS TOWARD PROGRESS. Relationships are forged through blood, sweat, and tears, and like any worthwhile endeavor, the rewards are had in the journey, not the destination. Like jiu-jitsu, CrossFit has its own brands, slang, celebrities, and championship events. And often, the two worlds overlap. Strength and conditioning is a vital component to any serious jiu-jitsu player’s game, and CrossFit can provide the methods for improved physical performance on the mat. CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.” And although its methods have been controversial and highly scrutinized, the exercise regime

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has evolved throughout the years and is currently practiced by thousands of people worldwide. CrossFit has sparked a fitness revolution, moving people away from the antiqued machines and bodybuilding routines of the 80’s and 90’s and towards the “core movements of life” – weightlifting, running, rowing, and more. For the martial artist, CrossFit’s highly varied workouts can prepare you for the highly varied and highly intense nature of jiujitsu. At its roots, CrossFit combines heavy strength training with metabolic conditioning. This combination will produce strength, power, cardio capacity, endurance, coordination, and speed, amongst others qualities, that will result in a more well-rounded set of fitness abilities on the mat. Jiu-jitsu demands all of the above, yet there are some important considerations when adding CrossFit to an already demanding training schedule.

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Considerations for Adding CrossFit to Your Training Schedule: can get plenty of quality work from other alternatives.

Overtraining - CrossFit prides itself on being extremely intense, which is exactly why it’s important to limit your weekly workouts at the box. Jiu-jitsu, as we know, is very taxing on the body, so combining both without taking recovery into consideration is a recipe for overtraining. Limit CrossFit workouts to two a week and take a full day off for recovery.

Injury – It’s no secret that CrossFit has been criticized for causing injury. Most of these injuries arise when people go too heavy too fast or lack the requisite technique or mobility. Supplemental strength and conditioning work should never

cause you injury. Stay within your means, warm up properly, give attention to mobility work, and check your ego at the door before you lift.

Technique – Many CrossFit movements are highly

advanced, like the Olympic lifts, muscle-ups, and handstand push ups. Put the necessary time in to properly learn these techniques before adding load and speed. If something is too technical for your current level, scrap it. You

Specificity – CrossFit claims its specialty is not specializing. In other words, it aims to prepare you for the unknown and unknowable. However, in jiu-jitsu we can prepare ourselves for certain factors we will inevitably encounter on the mat. Although many CrossFit boxes do a good job at strength programming, don’t forget to include designated strength work in your workouts. CrossFit also fails to incorporate much multi-planar training – like side-to-side and rotational work. These are an absolute must for jiu-jitsu and should be trained regularly.

Programming CrossFit to Your Training Schedule: If you’re training jiu-jitsu three times a week, two added CrossFit sessions would be plenty of work for the week. Ideally, your CrossFit sessions would have a strength component and a conditioning component. Start one of your weekly sessions with a big lift like a squat or deadlift, then choose a metabolic piece like one of the benchmark workouts to finish your workout. The next session would be set up the same way, this time starting with a different big lift, like a bench press or overhead press, then wrapping up with a different metabolic finisher.

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For the big lift in the first part of your workout, four sets of five reps around 7585% of your one-rep max will do the trick. Take three to five minutes of rest between sets and use strict technique. The second part of your workout, the metabolic finisher, could be any of the benchmark workouts that don’t require a big strength demand. In other words, stay away from benchmark workouts that require you to lift heavy if you’ve already done that in the first part.

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The following WODs (Workout of the Day) are good supplements to jiu-jitsu training and will develop a well rounded mix of qualities. They also represent benchmark CrossFit workouts that will introduce you to the exercises and style of workout if you’re new.


400 meter run 1.5 pood Kettlebell swing x 21 Pull ups 12 reps Three rounds for time.


Thruster (95lbs) Pull Ups 21-15-9 reps for time. Fran is a short and intense WOD that will develop power, muscular endurance, and cardio conditioning. Add this one as a finisher after deadlifts or bench press. Try to get your time under 7 minutes.

This is another good finisher after a few sets of strength work. Helen is a mix of cardio conditioning, hip power, endurance, and upper body pulling strength endurance. Shoot for under 10 minutes.



1 Mile Run 100 Pull Ups 200 Push Ups 300 Squats 1 Mile Run

5 Pull Ups 10 Push Ups 15 Squats

Every minute on the minute (E.M.O.M.) for 30 minutes.

For time. Murph is a “Hero” workout that was named after Navy Lt. Michael Murphy who was killed while serving in Afghanistan. The movements are simple but the sheer volume is brutal. This WOD will severely test your strength endurance and mental toughness. Save this one for its own day with no added strength work and try to break the hour mark.


Bodyweight Bench Press (same amount on bar as you weigh) Pull Ups 5 rounds for max reps. Lynne is an example of a strength focused WOD that will develop your upper body pushing and pulling strength. This WOD is not for time, rather for reps, and can be used as the strength portion of your workout.

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E.M.O.M.s are staples in CrossFit workouts, which mean you perform an exercise (or three in this case) on the minute for a certain number of minutes. You have the remaining time in the minute after you complete all the reps to rest. E.M.O.M.s are great for burning fat and developing conditioning. Chelsea is a demanding 30-minute E.M.O.M that will challenge your strength endurance and cardio capacity. Do this one on its own and attempt to get all 150 pull ups, 300 push ups, and 450 air squats.

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12 Deadlift (155lbs) 9 Hang Power Clean (155lbs) 6 Push Jerk (155lbs) 5 rounds for time. Another “Hero” WOD named after USAF SSgt Timothy P. Davis, this one tests strength, power, and cardio capacity. The deadlifts may seem easy but after a few rounds the cleans and jerks will become very challenging. If you need to, scale down the weights to something more manageable, and don’t sacrifice technique for a faster time.

Some of the CrossFit workouts are so demanding that they need to be done on their own with no additional strength work. When this is the case, you can also set your programming to have one strength day and one metabolic conditioning day.

Example Day 1:

Strength: 4x5 Deadlift Metcon: Fran

Day 2: Strength: 4x5 Bench Press Metcon: Helen

Example Day 1:

Strength: 4x5 Front Squat 4x5 Bench Press

Day 2: Metcon: Murph or DT


It’s easy for us to make fun of CrossFit guy and his need to tell the world about his workout regimine but CrossFit might actually be a great way to supplement your jiu-jitsu training while building additional strength, endurance, and mobility. So don’t knock it until you try it.

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From Heavyweight to Featherweight


WE ALL SAY JIU-JITSU WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, AND IN MANY INSTANCES THAT’S VERY TRUE. MANY OF THE BENEFITS WE DISCOVER AFTER BEGINNING JIUJITSU ARE RELATIVELY HIDDEN TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD OR NOT IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZABLE. However, when a woman standing just five-feet, two-inches tall manages to lose 56 pounds, you can’t help but notice. Jamie Wright has completely changed her diet and overall lifestyle and is now more comfortable and confident in every facet of her life. Check out her story.

AGE:35 | HEIGHT: 5’2 STARTING WEIGHT: 180 | CURRENT WEIGHT: 124 HOMETOWN: Modesto, Ca HOME SCHOOL: Ares BJJ INSTRUCTOR: Samir Chantre and Osvaldo “Queixinho” Moizinho BELT RANK: Purple

How did you discover jiu-jitsu? I first discovered jiu-jitsu in 2002 at a local kickboxing academy. After a few months of training kickboxing, the instructors asked if I would be interested in trying their submission grappling class and I said yes. I really liked it and trained for about eight months but ended up leaving that gym. I finally ended up training in the gi a few years later after my boyfriend (now husband) had me come with him to a class, as he had already been training jiujitsu for a few years.

What motivates you to train? Simply to learn and get better little by little everytime I’m on the mats. I also set a goal to compete in my first tournament at purple belt featherweight (129lbs) at the beginning of this year, which I recently

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accomplished and came home with the gold medal.

What else do you do for physical fitness? I’ve been doing yoga pretty consistently for the last few years and always try to make it to at least one or two yoga classes a week. In July 2016 I started doing Crossfit, which I’ll do usually once a week.

How have you changed your diet? I stopped eating fast food, no soda or fried foods, stopped eating unnecessary high carb foods and cut out alcohol as much as possible. It was a slow process at first, but I kept going with eating healthier in mind and little by little I ended up cutting out a lot of unhealthy foods and started seeing solid results. I knew if I did anything too drastic I wouldn’t stick to it, so I didn’t stick to one type of a diet. I just tried to take a few ideas from here and there and make good decisions. It’s all about moderation.

What’s been the biggest challenge so far?

have no self control. I can’t have just one cookie. If I eat one then I’ll have to have another and another. So I learned that if I just didn’t eat one then I didn’t have the urge to eat more

What’s been the best benefit from the changes you’ve made? I feel a little more comfortable with myself all around. I feel physically fit and my healthy habits have helped my jiu-jitsu improve, which was one of my main goals when I decided to live a healthier lifestyle.

What advice would you give to someone else looking to make the same sort of change? I think if you’re reading this and feel you want a positive change for yourself, just get motivated and just start making better decisions today. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Read up on diet ideas, set some personal goals, and be around likeminded individuals that can be a part of your support system. There will be many challenges, but keep with it and you will see many benefits in the long run.

Cutting out the sweets. I could eat sweets all day long but I had to stop because I

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54 May/June 2017  

Olympian Travis Stevens goes over his grip techniques Eve Torres Gracie Future Star Isaque Bahiense goes from take down to finish Kombucha...

54 May/June 2017  

Olympian Travis Stevens goes over his grip techniques Eve Torres Gracie Future Star Isaque Bahiense goes from take down to finish Kombucha...