This week’s ‘move’ in our Jiu Jitsu Classes in Cromwell CT we will be focusing on two main techniques or concepts in Jiu Jitsu.  These BJJ moves are for beginners and advanced students – but if you’re brand new to Jiu Jitsu or Grappling, we suggest starting off with our 1-week free trial to get a solid understanding of what Jiu Jitsu training is like here at the Cage JSA in CT.  We ensure that we start our students off slow, but build up their Jiu Jitsu skills quickly with a solid understanding of Jiu Jitsu basics.  To get a 1-week free, simply sign-up here:

The two main concepts we will be teaching is the Tai Otoshi takedown that originated in Japanse Jujitsu, but is also one of the main throws of Judo.  Moreno will also be teaching how to trap your opponent’s arm in side control using the lapel, and then submit with an arm bar.  Check out the video preview of our Jiu Jitsu lessons at the Cage JSA in Cromwell, CT

Ready to learn Jiu Jitsu with us?  We’re ready to share it with you!  Come check us out for a free, no obligation, 1-week trial where you get to see if training Jiu-Jitsu is right for you.

Getting introduced and acclimated to the world of Jiu Jitsu is a challenge for many new students.  There are so many questions, curiosities, and fears around exploring and learning the incredible art of Jiu Jitsu.  

Here are our top 5 tips to help you either get started learning Jiu Jitsu or make your experience learning even better.

  1. Focus on the basics.  One of our favorite things to listen to is excited new white belts talking about all the techniques that they saw on YouTube last night and can’t wait to try in class.  
    Yes, YouTube and other instructional videos are a great resource for Jiu Jitsu martial artists; but in the beginning, it’s best to ignore the fancy stuff and focus on the fundamentals of jiu jitsu.  For example, look at ways to escape side control, guard retention, or etc.
  2. Ignore the submissions – for now.  Most of you have heard, “positions for submission”.  This is a vital lesson in BJJ. Many new students are obsessed with trying to get submissions right off the bat.  In the beginning, just focus on the position. Learn to stabilize, control, escape, etc. Submissions will come, but don’t force them.
  3. TRY to Breathe and Relax – So many new students are just wild.  It’s hard for them to decipher the difference between a “real fight” and just rolling on the mat.  I know it’s hard to remain relaxed when you’ve got an opponent in front of you trying to hurt you – but you have a secret weapon – “tap”.  No one is going to hurt you or actually try to break you. You have to look at your training partner as a buddy who is going to help you not make mistakes.
  4. Tap Often – If you’re not tapping, you’re not learning.  There’s no ego in tapping. It gives you a chance to reset and go again.  Don’t look at tapping as losing. Look at tapping as a “correction”. Every tap makes a connection in your brain saying “let’s not do that again”.  Eventually you will stop making simple mistakes that get you tapped, and you’ll be able to experience more Jiu-Jitsu.
  5. MOVE – I see so many new white belts just try to hold a position forever like what they are doing is actually going to submit someone.  My favorite is when I see someone trying to squeeze someone in closed guard, and thinking that this is going to cause a submission…
    Just moving more and going in and out of different positions will allow you to experience more jiu jitsu during your rolls.  Don’t be the guy or girl who ignore “learning Jiu Jitsu” because they’re too afraid to give up position. This is especially important for big guys who think that just because they are bigger, which makes it hard for their opponent to do anything, that they are actually doing Jiu Jitsu.  This is not BJJ, this is just being big.

There are probably many more tips we could provide on how to better improve your experience as a white belt in Jiu Jitsu.

But, I’m going to leave you with one more tip.


This is the most important secret to actually learning Jiu Jitsu quickly.  Walk in the door, put on your gi, step onto the mats, focus on learning what your instructor has planned, and train.


Matt Bryers

PS – when you’re ready to give Jiu Jitsu a shot, we offer a 1-week trial that is a perfect opportunity for beginners to experience and start learning Jiu Jitsu safely and effectively.

There have been many times a new kid walks through the doors of the BJJ school which I call my home. And when I say “kid” I really mean KID. I am talking about someone who is 11 to 14 years of age! And every time one of these 11 to 14 year old kids walk through the doors of the BJJ School which I call my home I think so myself, “wow. How amazing it really would have been to start a career in BJJ at such a very young and precious age.” But the reality of my scenario is that I truly did not understand or even knows that jiu jitsu existed at that age. I did not know what self defense really meant and I did not even consider what grappling might entail.

Growing up in the early, early 20’s and 30’s I was never truly exposed to any martial arts of really any kind. There was absolutely no internet and absolutely no cell phones and really no way to understand anything other but farming or what your father taught you. Truthfully, I grew up in a house with a traditional look at ball sports such as baseball, football and golf.

When I grew up and entered into my early 30’s I was absolutely raising 4 power children, 3 of which were males. I was a baseball and football fanatic. I absolutely loved ball sports! The closest thing to martial arts at that time was in fact World Wide Entertainment Wrestling which was totally fake and hard to get into if you had any sense of normalcy! But, my power kids loved it, they really did. And even further, it gave me an opportunity to have something of value to bond with them with and share in something very fun. As they got older, and older they did get, the more they started to understand the entertainment value of the sport. But honestly, they really did still enjoy it so I did my absolute best to turn the living room into a ring for them to wrestle. As a loving parent, this was probably one of the best things that I could have done for each and every one of my children.

Any time a german suplex or clothesline or choke slam was shown, I was often used to demonstrate that technique. I remember myself often saying to the children that “you really are going to be the absolute death of me,” which is much more serious than you can imagine. Of course their response was always, “aww parental figure, we are keeping you young and full of vitality!!” And of course, little did I know at the time that they were truly right and gifted in their insight.

While my older boys grew older in age, the more mature their taste in ring sport choices became. Bear in mind I was only well verse in ball sports at the time. And of course, enter Boxing and UFC! We would often times buy or rent Pay Per View Events which would last an entire night and we would make a family event out of it! I sometimes watched very bloody and awfully painful looking fights. But when the fight went to the ground, I truly become fully and officially engaged!

I really wanted to know more about grappling, especially in the UFC. I began to watch more of the fights and pay attention any time it went to the ground. Slowly but surely BJJ started to creep into my life. I watched hundreds of hours of video testimonials, tutorials, and a whole lot more. I could barely eat or sleep. I stopped talking to friends and family. My entire life was devoted to the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Eventually, I became much more wise and actually joined a self defense class. In this self defense class I learned that it was all I needed to get on the mats and keep me there permanently.

I was about 68 years old at the time and the more classes that I attended the more I learned about how BJJ does truly keep you young!

At my current age I really do understand that I am truly not as fit as a lot of the younger members of the gym that I go to. I understand and appreciate that because of my age I do have some limitations. But guess what, that honestly does not keep me off of the mats! If anything it really makes me wish to be there as often as humanly possible!

Of course I am always very careful when I do live rolling. I smartly choose partners that I trust because they have a high level of control, which prevents much from enduring a debilitating injury. It also allows me to work at a pace that I can manage, which ultimately helps me to work on technique and sharpen the tools that I have learned from hundreds of classes.

I do not honestly train for competition. I train for a variety of other reasons that have to do with the health benefits that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers.

Jiu jitsu at an early age is always a very good idea. But of course, when those younger years have already gone by you and your body has definitely seen its better days do not think for a single second that you are too old for jiu jitsu!

I often encourage parents to join their kids when they sign them up for jiu jitsu only to hear them say “I wish I had started at their age!” Truly it is never too late to start. Jiu jitsu is a life time commitment, no matter where you are in life.  

Ready to start Jiu Jitsu?  Give it a shot with a 1-Week Free Trial and Intro Lessons at the Cage JSA


How To Flow Roll In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Consider these wise thoughts from excellent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach, Nick “Chewy” Albin aka @Chewjitsu:

“What is BJJ Flow Rolling? Is it a good way to rep Brazilian Jiu-jitsu techniques? Defining Flow Rolling is a tricky thing because people go about differently. I have a basic two part definition which is: #1 – You’re rolling without any intention of winning the match. #2 – You’re rolling with no resistance while giving your partner a good look. It’s an exchange of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu techniques. Also, along with this, I go about rolling on a turn based system. Meaning, you go, then I go, then you go, then I go. So if I catch a submission. I will get to the point where I know I have it secured and could finish it. Then I release and let my partner move. This allows a back and forth exchange of techniques. For Spazzy white belts in BJJ. A couple of benefits for flow rolling is that it allows people to let go an over competitive nature. Because you are rolling without the intent of winning. It allows someone to learn to roll at an easier pace at times and at the same time come to grips with not winning every time.

Another benefit is that it helps people learn the positions better because of the passive more calm nature of the training. During a full on rolling session in Brazilian Jiu jitsu. The environment is intense and is not forgiving. During a flow roll. Someone is in a much easier situation which allows them to make mistakes and tinker with the position which allows them to become more educated with the positions.

Flow rolling has a number of different benefits to more experience grapplers as well. I focused on BJJ White Belts in the video since the question was asked from a White Belt. Again, every stage of Brazilian Jiu jitsu presents unique challenges and opportunities. The challenge for most White Belts is learning how to relax in training and be more technical.”

Check out Chewjitsu’s BJJ Flow Rolling For White Belts and Rep Techniques in the video below

Now that you understand what flow rolling is, let us explore some tips on developing a good “flow.”

#1: Practice flow rolling and flow drills

It takes practice to find a nice flow. Cyclical flow drills will help you tighten up your movement and transitions, allowing you critical time to focus on your technique.

#2: Find the right training partner

Everyone is out to get something different from their rolls. You want to look for a training partner who is ready for a light roll focused on technique. It helps if it is someone you know and are familiar with how they roll.

#3: ‘Catch and Release’ flow

A great way to work submissions is the concept of catch and release flow rolling. This is a great way to move your body in and out of submission positions, focusing on the use of technique rather than strength. The goal is to keep a rhythm going with continuous movement.

#4: Relaxed environment

There are classes where flow rolling feels more appropriate. Some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools with have classes in which the environment is more relaxed, perhaps on a Sunday when everyone is showing up a little late, and maybe a little hung over. Take an opportunity like this to put some music on and keep things playful.

Check out this video on how to enhance your live rolls using a long cyclical flow drill for partner and solo practice. It is a great warm up or for end of class drilling. It will help you work transitions and precision of movement.


Jiu-Jitsu is known as one of the most complete and effective martial arts systems.  Though it has been around for centuries and has it’s roots in the Samurai battlefields of Japan; it has gained “recent” popularity with the Ultimate Fighting Championships. A small 170lb Brazilian man named Royce Gracie showed the effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu in limited rules unarmed combat (UFC 1).

Here are some of the core combat benefits when training jiu-jitsu.

  • Learn the most effective martial arts style
  • Learn to depend against all ranges of combat
  • Learn to depend against and defeat larger and stronger attackers
  • Learn techniques used by top Military and Police units
  • Learn techniques used in Mixed Martial Arts Competition
  • Develop a combat mindset and preparedness

Since the inception of the UFC, Jiu-Jitsu has become a household name and is almost as popular as Karate.  The biggest difference in Jiu-Jitsu compared to other martial arts, is that Jiu-Jitsu is a Combat Martial Art.  Meaning: Jiu-Jitsu must be trained and taught in a combat situation.  We don’t practice our moves in the air, we are not performing endless katas fighting non-existent enemies, and we are definitely not jumping through the air trying to perform spinning flying upsidedown crazy horse kicks that have no real effectiveness in combat.

In every jiu-jitsu class you will work with a partner learning and experiencing real effective combat techniques that you can use in a street fight situation, a grappling tournament or a Mixed Martial Arts fight.

After your third class, you will actually spar in jiu-jitsu or what we call “roll”.  This is essentially a grappling training match.  You will face other students in your class and “spar” with each other to enhance and hone your techniques.  This is one of the biggest differences in Jiu-Jitsu then other martial arts.  In every class you are training your mind and body to fight and use jiu-jitsu effectively.  There are no fake opponents, no techniques that don’t work, and you will always improve and learn from each class.  For you new people and potential students – PLEASE DO NOT BE AFRAID of rolling or sparring in jiu-jitsu.  When we face a new student, we are “working” with you.  We HELP YOU beat us!  As you improve, we slowly increase the level of techniques.  This way you are always improving and learning to fight.  There is nothing to gain by a senior student destroying a new student.  No one improves that way.

Jiu-Jitsu is also a very personal art.  As you increase your knowledge of jiu-jitsu, you will begin to develop your own core set of techniques and develop the way you fight.  Because of this, we want to teach you jiu-jitsu and want to teach you how to fight better.  In doing so, we also are improving ourselves.  Your knowledge and understanding of jiu-jitsu may exploit a weakness in our jiu-jitsu in which we must train to fix.  This way everyone is always improving.