Jiu-Jitsu is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to a child.

Not only does the child learn valuable self-defense skills, respect, become more disciplined and develop a strong self of confidence, but it also helps kids in the school / social life as well.

Here are 3 ways Jiu-Jitsu can help your son or daughter not only improve themselves on the mats, but also how Jiu Jitsu can make them better students.

1.) Jiu Jitsu teaches students to learn.  Jiu Jitsu classes are like school lessons.  There are topics, concepts and techniques to learn those concepts.  No one gets the jiu jitsu move right away, nor do students understand the underlying concept right away.  Students need to continually practice to understand.  They need to fail multiple times, yet keep trying until they get it.  This is a sometimes challenging for new students.  But the process of Jiu Jitsu helps students make small incremental improvements that over time give them the confidence and ability to perform.

2.) Jiu Jitsu prevents bullying.  This is a big one, and so important for our children.  Jiu Jitsu classes are built around working and training with other students.  Students most work together to learn the moves.  There is no bullying in class, it’s not allowed.  In fact, the concept is that every student needs to help every other student get better.  This carries over into their normal lives.  For weaker students, having a safe environment allows them to learn jiu jitsu, make friends and be a part of something bigger.  For more aggressive students, this process allows them to see how helping others is important.

During their regular school, we notice that after Jiu Jitsu many students cite that if they were bullied, it stops happening.  It’s not because the child had to “fight” anyone.  It’s because they start develop a self of confidence that is perceived by other students.  We also see that students become protectors.  Because Jiu Jitsu teaches the students to help each other and work together, they are more likely to help the weaker and potential bullied students.

 3.) Respect, Respect, Respect.  Jiu Jitsu is a marital art… duh.  But in martial arts there is this deep sense of respect for fellow students and your instructors.  Maybe because Jiu Jitsu is physical, or maybe because they are learning serious self defense skills, or maybe it’s something that just can’t be described that gives students a strong respect for others.  You see it happen almost immediately with both young and adult students.

This sense of respect carries over at home and in their regular education.  As time goes on, the respect they have deepens and they become strongly respected themselves.

We maybe a bit biased 🙂 – but we know that Jiu-Jitsu is one of the absolute best things a parent could ever give to a child.  But let me warn you.  All of these benefits don’t happen over night.  We just can’t give your kid “respect” the first night, week or month.  It takes time.  Our suggestion is to start off with a week trial.

During this trial, what you are looking for is to see if your child “likes it”.  Are they having fun?  Are they engaged?  If so, give them 3-6 months, and see how they progress – we guarantee that you will be impressed with their progress.

Learn 3 Highly Effective Takedowns for BJJ

Takedowns for Jiu Jitsu are a vital skill that most BJJ players tend to ignore over learning glamorous guard sweeps and submissions.  But learning takedowns doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  Here are 3 of the best takedowns for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Students to use in training or in BJJ competition.

Uki Waza:

Uki Waza, or Floating Technique, is a sacrifice throw and one of the original 40 throws in Judo. This is a very effective technique because it is not size or strength dependent and if you mess it up you are usually right by your opponent’s leg to snatch up a single. Bernardo Faira shows this in the first clip. Most of the time you are able to finish the takedown as planned, but as Faira shows, you are able to go right into a single leg which is another very effective takedown.

When doing Uki Waza, you are disappearing underneath your opponent when they give you some forward pressure. This makes it a great choice for smaller grapplers or anyone who doesn’t want to expend too much energy going for a take down. And as they go over in the second clip, you can add a butterfly hook to help really get larger opponents over. There are numerous setups and slight variations to this throw making it personal favorite. I’m a big fan of options when choosing techniques.

(Faira Sacrifice Throw)

(Uki Waza with Butterfly Hook)

Single Leg Takedown:

The single leg takedown is a staple of wrestling and a great option for BJJ. BJJ players will often have their hips low and back making a traditional judo type throw difficult, but making snatching up that front leg much easier. The single leg is more strength dependent than some other takedowns, but with the right technique you are able to use considerable leverage making it possible to lift that leg on even larger opponents. As they show in the first clip the drive into your opponent is key to getting the weight off their leg making it easier to lift. If you just try to pick up a leg it’s going to be extremely difficult, but using that drive makes it possible on the majority of opponents regardless of their size. And like all my favorite techniques, there are a myriad of options of how to set it up and finish it. Everyone has their favorite setup and finish and almost every YouTube technique video has slight differences based on the instructor’s preference. All those options make your single leg very customizable to your preferences and body type once you learn the basic concepts of the technique.

(Stephan Kesting Single)

(Moreno Single Leg)

Kouchi Gari:

The Kouchi Gari, or Small Inner Reap, is exactly what the name says; a small reap on the foot coming from the inside. It is one of the original 40 Judo throws and is classified as a foot technique. Trips and foot sweeps in general are effective throws for Jiu-Jitsu because you don’t need to get under your opponent’s hips. The majority of BJJ players will have their hips low and back making many throws difficult, they also tend to move backwards on the feet shutting down many takedown options. In Judo and wrestling a person gets bumped for stalling if they move back too much, so that forward pressure is why you see more of those bigger high impact throws than in BJJ. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get our own throws or take downs. As you can see in the first clip, the arm drag is a fantastic entrance to the Kouchi Gari. I have been on the receiving end of that exact technique too many times and it’s tough to deal with. This is a great setup for smaller scrappier grapplers, but the Kouchi Gari isn’t only for fast athletic people. With the correct timing you are able to knock anyone off their feet with very little effort and a small amount of movement.

(Arm Drag Kouchi)


These are just three of the takedowns I find to be most effective for BJJ, but there are countless other options for you all. That is one of the great things about Jiu-Jitsu, it is completely customizable to you. Once you get the basic concepts of controlling the hips the options are endless as to the techniques you can make work for you. I don’t even really use the Kouchi Gari personally, but I have been put on my butt enough times to see the value of that technique. What works for some may not work for me, and what works for me may not work for you. And that is what I love about Jiu-Jitsu, it’s a personal journey. Learn as much as you can and keep what works for you. Be like water my friend. See you on the mats. Oss

At the Cage JSA, we offer a classes for takedowns and ground fighting.  We ensure our students are well rounded and have the ability to “fight” from anywhere.

Takedown skills and ground grappling skills are start with basic concepts.  We review these concepts during our intro free lessons.  To sign-up for your free 1 week trial, just hit the button below!

Bullying is one of the saddest, most challenging experiences and scarring for both the parents and children.

It’s hard to address the problem with schools or God forbid other parents, so what are you supposed to do for kids who are getting bullied in schools and outside?

Martial Arts is actually one of the greatest gifts you can provide to your child not only to prevent bullying, but also for life in general.

One of the best martial arts for this is Jiu Jitsu. Here a 3 ways Jiu-Jitsu can help you and your child end the cycle of bullying.

1.) Kids Learn To Be Strong Physically

Bullying starts because the bully sees an “easy target”. Some of the kids who are bullied are typically not athletes or the super-star athletes, or are the ones who have no interest in “ball sports”.

Jiu-Jitsu gives these children the physical skills to not only defend themselves WITHOUT hurting themselves or others AND the coordination, balance and flexibility of an athlete.

Their posture changes, they keep their chin up and they have the confidence to defend themselves if anyone tries to hurt them.

2.) Confidence.

Confidence is probably one of the most important “skills” that will stop bullying in it’s tracks. The problem is that confidence is earned. If your child is scared of getting hurt and has no tools to prevent that, he will never gain confidence and will continue to suffer the bully’s wrath.

Jiu-Jitsu is a unique martial art where the kids will “roll”. Rolling is basically grappling sparring. Kids will wrestle each other and learn what it feels like to go live.

This is SO SO SO SO important in Jiu-Jitsu. The kids are essentially taught how to fight in a safe, organized and healthy way. In classes, rolling is one of the most favorite activities because it’s instinctual, fun and allows them to test out the skills they are learning.

The hidden benefit is that the “fear” around fighting and getting hurt goes away. What is replaced is a sense of confidence and a “bored” attitude about fighting outside of the mats. It’s much more fun to roll with your friends at Jiu-Jitsu because they know what to do.

The bully doesn’t have Jiu-Jitsu, this actually makes him weaker, and if your son or daughter ever had to use Jiu-Jitsu to defend themselves, it would surprise them at how easy it was to stop the attack, control the situation, and make sure no one got hurt.

3.) Helping Others

Jiu-Jitsu can’t be learned alone. You need at least 2 others. A training partner and a coach. Because of this, sharing and helping each other learn is a vastly important.

Children need to work together to learn new techniques, concepts and play games.

This creates a sharing like atmosphere where all the kids and instructors are working together to help EVERYONE get better at Jiu-Jitsu.

If your son or daughter is getting bullied, Jiu-Jitsu is probably the best gift you could ever give them. Our instructors have deep experience with bullies and are here for one reason, to help your children and others to NOT become a victim.

There is a strange part of human behavior that most “normal folks” do not know about. Those of us who struggle together bond together. Not only do we bond, we bond on a deeply primal level. It is something with in us that we desire. When you look at our society, you see little of this extraordinary bond. I have been in the bowels of corporate America, and not once did I feel a close bond with my coworkers. Sure, they are great people, and we get along just fine. But as I passed from one corporate job to the next, I felt little connection with those I left behind.

If you have done even the smallest amount of martial arts training, be it Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or any grappling art that pushes you to your limits, you will have felt the primal bond that I am writing about. Grappling itself satisfies something primal within us, and as we struggle with our opponent’s we bond with them on a level so we that we call each other brother, family… TRIBE.

As a single male living alone, I spent a great deal of my mid to late 20’s feeling depressed and confused. It was not until I met a great friend and mentor who trained jiu jitsu that things started to change for me. I listened to this friend describe jiu jitsu. He spoke of it in a way that was like no other sports discussion or fitness routine. To him it was profound, life changing experience that he structured his entire being around. His elegant descriptions of grappling caught my attention as a curious individual. I knew nothing about jiu jitsu. I knew nothing about martial arts. I was hardly athletic. The hardest I ever pushed my body as an adult was an afternoon jog. My physical well being was something I gave little attention to, and as a consequence my mental well being suffered. I was lucky to have such a person come into my life and introduce me to the world of jiu jitsu, because I had no direction to go, and no concept of what it really meant to be part of a tribe.

You might be thinking to yourself, “This sounds awfully like joining a cult.” It is hard to talk about jiu jitsu in this context with out those cultish undertones. In some ways jiu jitsu is very cultish. You will begin to resonate with people who only understand what it means to struggle in a live roll. You will look at others who do not train a bit differently, and you will inherit the principals of what it means to be a martial artists into your daily life. What makes jiu jitsu distinct from a cult is that you can leave at any time at your own will.

Something I did after training for two years, and deeply regretted. I stopped training jiu jitsu, started neglecting my body, and suffered mentally and emotionally as a result. It was like finding the one thing that gave my life fulfillment and then abandoning it with lame excuses. I felt like a fool to leave behind such an important part of my being. I missed being surrounded by people who encouraged me to be my very best, and push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. I missed being physically and mentally tested and, in letting this part of my life go, I grew weak and depressed.

There where circumstances in my life that pulled me back into the jiu jitsu community that I abandoned. I am very thankful for that, as I was on a path of self destruction and despair. It took me awhile to correct course, and I would not have been able to do this without the love and support of my training partners, who I share a deep familial bond with. I exist as a living example of a soul who was lost and found a path through life (and adulthood) by way of jiu jitsu and the community of people I train with. To be a member of a train of people who are all out to learn and grow inspires me daily to try and be at my best. And when I fall off, I have people in my life who hold me accountable and help me correct course. Let’s face it. This just isn’t something you find in your daily 9 to 5 job – the people we spend most of our waking hours with.

We are social animals that thrive in feeling connected to our tribe. I will be the first to tell you that as an introverted being I value spending time alone. But even with these tendencies I have a great appreciation for the men and women I struggle on the mats with, and as a result of this struggle, I have grown into a person I am truly proud to be.

Martial arts will change your life for the better. Your journey through jiu jitsu will not be solo. You will meet some of the most diverse and interesting people on the mats. We all come from different backgrounds and have stories and experiences to share. But when it comes time to bow in, we become equals as students in our progress towards mastering the most difficult quest we have ever taken on.

I encourage you to dive into the world of martial arts and live a life of passion.

There are many reasons why parents choose Jiu Jitsu for their children. Kids can learn great problem solving skills while becoming more disciplined individuals. Here are the top 5 reasons your kids should be learning Jiu Jitsu.

#1. Self Defense

The #1 reason parents choose Jiu Jitsu is because it’s real self defense. Bullying is becoming a real problem in all schools. Giving your child the confidence to stand up for themselves is the #1 bully deterrent. Training Jiu Jitsu also helps to give your child the reflexes needed to anticipate and avoid potential dangers.

#2. Discipline

The world we live in is full of stimulus. Kids are losing their ability to focus in school, and ADHD has become a common problem for many, and classrooms are being disrupted by undisciplined students. Jiu Jitsu is fun to learn, and challenging! Learning the technique requires attention and focus, and so their instructors will require it from the entire class. This teaches your child how to be respectful and behave.

#3. Great Exercise

Training Jiu Jitsu is not only about self defense, it’s great exercise too! Let your kids get their energy out in a fun and safe environment. Jiu Jitsu is an excellent cardiovascular workout for your children and they will LOVE doing it. It will get help your child lose weight, grain strength, as well as giving them more energy and stamina.

#4. The “Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle”

Eating healthy foods, sleeping correctly, and getting exercise are all a part of what we call the “Jiu Jitsu lifestyle.” The lessons learned in class go beyond just the mats. Your kids will learn the value of eating healthy foods, getting a good night’s rest, coordination and great body awareness!

#5. Lifelong Friends

Your children will make new friends; drill techniques together, play games together, and even do live rolling together. This bond will give them lifelong friends, as they grow up together sharing these experiences. It is a great way to learn communication skills with kids of all other ages.

Start your kids down the incredible journey of Jiu-Jitsu with a 1-week free trial and intro lessons.

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.


3 Tips For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu White Belts

Until you get acclimated on the mats, the first few months of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a complete beginner can be a little overwhelming. A good analogy is the first time you learned to ride a bike. There were so many things to focus on: balance, controlling the handle bars, watching out for objects or people, and breaking. It is exhilarating but overwhelming trying to pay attention to everything that is going on, and can be easy to get caught up in your own thoughts and emotions.

Growing your BJJ knowledge is a lot more than performing specific steps in order for a technique to be effective. There are concepts you will learn to understand that are the basic underpinnings of BJJ fundamentals. The patterns will be your primary focus in the beginning until they become automatic, and you start to flow as you grapple. Things that you used to have to think about consciously, where to put your knee, when you bridge, keeping your arms tucked in, will happen without thought, and you will begin to accelerate at more advanced movements and techniques.

For an experience BJJ practitioner, the feelings of what it was once like to be a complete novice are long gone, and hard to remember. Developing muscle memory from repeating techniques over and over is part of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey. But at the very beginning of your BJJ journey, there are some very basic concepts that you can focus on to help you as you struggle through those first few rolls, where you might feel completely and helplessly stuck underneath a bigger guy, or as you are getting tapped repeatedly. Furthermore, if you are an upper belt and teaching lower belts, let this serve as a great refresher on what it is like to be a beginner as you provide coaching tips and thoughts on how to improve. With all that said, let us take a look at 3 very simple tips for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu white belts.

Tip 1: Focus On Your Breathing

One of the very first things you will be forced to learn as a white belt is that jiu jitsu is cardio intensive. Not only that, but as you are being pinned to the mat with what feels like an ungodly amount of weight, it will be very difficult to breathe. The intensity of a realistic fight will put your body into fight or flight mode, and you will feel an unexplainable amount of chaos and lack of control as the adrenaline dump takes over. This is a natural response, and a good place for a complete beginner to start. Over time you will learn how to perform in these conditions as you become more use to being outside your comfort zone. So at the very least, when you have no idea what you are doing yet, focus on your breathing. It will help get you through a roll, especially the very uncomfortable parts. And it will help you control the amount of energy you are expending, keeping you able to defend for longer.

Even the great, most experience, and most revered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners will spend their entire careers training their breathing. Take for instance, one of the all time greatest families to shape the foundations of modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: The Gracie Family.

If you do not know who the Gracie family is yet, do not worry. Their legacy is synonymous with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One of their best kept secrets to Jiu Jitsu is their breathing method. But what are the secrets of the Gracie family breathing? Rickson Gracie, as well as all members of the Gracie family uses a method of breathing known as percussive breathing. So how does this technique work?  In short, percussive breathing involves normal inhalation (breathe in), followed by several short and sharp exhalations (think of pronouncing “shh, shh, shh, shh, shh”). This is known as rhythmic diaphragmatic contractions.

Check out the video below to see an example of Rickson Gracie’s percussive breathing as he goes through one of his daily work outs.

How To Perform Percussive Breathing:

Inhale: Take a deep breathing in, using according breathing (lateral chest breathing). Think of it as an accordion: when inhaling the accordion will expand laterally. The accordion squeezes back together on the exhale.

Exhale: This is where the percussion breathing method comes in. Exhale for 5 beats: literally saying “shh, shh, shh, shh, shh.” This will stretch your abdominal muscles as you force the air out in percussive blows.

As a beginner you might be asking yourself, do I really need to practice a breathing technique like this? Well, it will make a drastic improvement to your performance when you roll. But the primary take away from this tip should be: stay conscious of your breathing. Focus when you are out of breath. Be aware of when you are hyperventilating. As you grow as a student you will find that it becomes much easier to stay cool, calm, and relaxed, as your breathing becomes more regular.

Tip 2: Loosen Up!

Stiff muscles and limbs make a person easier to control. By tensing up your muscles you are limiting your ability for your joints and limbs to move. This will create space that you opponent can exploit and attack, or even use your own stiff body as leverage against you. Interestingly enough, some of this stiffness comes from poor breathing, so the two go hand in hand.

So, what is a good counter to stiffness? If you are not very athletic, the chances are you will come into BJJ with stiffness and possibly even poor flexibility. Some basic stretches during warm up can be a life saver. Show up before class, jog a big, get the blood flowing, and stretch out. A lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioners incorporate yoga into their training regimen, even if it is just a little bit of stretching and some basic poses. Another often overlooked practice is to stretch after you roll! Most of us either want to hang out and talk after class, or we have to run to our next commitment. But you should really dedicate at least 5 to 10 minutes after class stretching out those muscles. This will also help a lot with soreness the next day.

Jiu jitsu itself is a great practice for increasing your flexibility and mobility. But if you would like to incorporate some yoga into your training regimen then check out the video below. 20 minutes of yoga a day will do your body wonders.

Tip 3: Try It! Even If You Fail!

Probably the most common mistake a beginner makes is getting stuck in a completely defensive position and never attacking, or even trying for something. And while it is important to learn to defend submissions, sweep, etc., it is equally important to learn to develop an ability to offensively “attack” during training or competition, even if it does not work and you end up getting tapped.

It goes without saying that this common problem generally comes from beginner grapplers who are afraid to make a mistake. But does that really matter? Not at all. Watch black belts roll, and you will see many taps, and resets, without even a thought. It is the ego that keeps you from trying something, having to accept the high probability that you will take a risk and fail.

Need some basic moves? In this video third generation Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor Rener Gracie teaches a few of the basics of his family’s Martial Art. Check it out!

There is no magical key to learning effective jiu jitsu. It is a life time pursuit, taking years, if not decades to master. But if you are new to grappling these 3 tips are guaranteed to help you out. So the next time you are on the mats, or even during a live roll, remember these three things: breathing, flexibility, and d not be afraid to try and fail!

Ready to give Jiu Jitsu a shot?  Check out our 1 week free intro lessons for new jiu jitsu students.  Discover this amazing martial art and see if it’s right for you.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and all grappling martial arts in general, tap into something primal in each and every one of us.

You will see it with kids sometimes, especially young boys who like to wrestle around with other friends as they playfully test each other’s abilities. Sometimes they display natural instinctive grappling with out ever having been taught. They also learn to respect one another. You should not just sucker punch your face in the friend, because he will do it to you, and it hurts! And even better, it connects them to each, in a deep bond, appreciating a genuine “training partner” to grow up with.

So why do we lose touch with this as we grow older?

Obviously, we are conditioned to settle our differences using words and compassion in this society rather than resorting to violence. Nobody wants to experience violence, but in having no outlet for natural aggression we repress something deep inside us that wants to test our primal bodies against other apes. It sounds so barbaric, I get it. We left the jungle hundreds of years ago and established economies and a society based on shedding those “animalistic desires.” But some of those “desires” are actually “needs.”

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and grappling in general, is a fun and responsible way to satisfy those needs by training the meat body in the art of self defense.

There are so many intangible qualities to training a grappling based martial art such as BJJ, or wrestling, to a person who has no experience with it. Of course, the UFC has exposed a lot of people to a variety of martial arts, but it takes more than watching it on TV to understand what it is all about. Really the only way to experience the benefits of grappling martial arts is to get on the mats and trying it out. Some of the benefits will be immediately recognizable. It is a great work out, probably one of the hardest you have ever experienced. It will humble you and show you just how vulnerable you are when defending yourself, even against a person with only a little experience. And it will make you feel like a million bucks! Some of the qualities that you will truly to grow to appreciate over time are part of the life long journey. You will bond with the people you roll with on a level so deep they will become your tribe, and your family. You will find the stressors of every day life so easy to deal with. And you will become a life long learner, a student to not only jiu jitsu, but everything life has to offer.

I get goose bumps just thinking about it. Through some of the greatest ups and downs in my life jiu jitsu has been the one discovery that as a hobby grew into a lifestyle. It has helped me mature as a person by teaching me responsibility, respect, and confidence. It has forced me to push myself beyond what I thought I was physically and mentally capable of. I have met my closes friends on the mat, and I have learned that my body is capable of doing great things and being tested.

Jiu Jitsu is by far the hardest things I have ever done. Nothing compares. There have been so many nights I have just wanted to quit, but it never ceases to draw me back in as I continue to be captivated by its beauty and power. If you have been seeking a revolutionary experience and looking at jiu jitsu online, then maybe it is time to stop looking and dive in. There is a life time of greatness ahead of you; all it takes is one little act of courage to step on the mats and get outside your comfort zone.

Looking to get started in Jiu Jitsu?  The Cage JSA offers intro lessons for beginners who are looking to get started the right way.  During these intro lessons you will work privately / semi-privately with one or multiple instructors.  Our mission to give you the most welcoming experience to the amazing martial art of Jiu Jitsu.

I remember many years ago when I was looking for a solid martial arts school. I knew I wanted grappling and was fairly certain I wanted jiu-jitsu. This was around 1997-1998 when the UFC had some popularity and some people were starting to say they offered “jiu-jitsu”. I went and searched for many schools and even spent some time at other jiu-jitsu schools before finally finding Kobukai Ju-Jitsu and then Best Way jiu-Jitsu years later.

For me, there were key elements that aided my in my decision to train at these schools….

  1. Did the school offer what I was looking for?
    I was looking for a solid COMBAT martial art that not only had ground grappling, but incorporated throws and takedowns as well. Being an ex-wrestler I recognized the importance of throws and takedowns in a real fight, as well as a sporting event. Kobukai Ju-Jitsu incorporated throws, takedowns, ground grappling, as well as weapon’s defense. It was a complete package.
  2. Was the teacher competent?
    I had been to many other jiu-jitsu and grappling schools, and had been around martial arts long enough beforehand to know when a teacher is not as “knowledgeable” as he thinks he is – so when I started training with Sensei St. Hilaire and Luigi Mondelli, I was instantly impressed with their depth of knowledge and understanding. The biggest thing you want from your teacher is honestly. Your teachers should be able to answer and provide you with answers to 90-95% of your questions and be able to solve your martial arts problems. For the questions they don’t know, they should be able to provide you a path to the answer, or find the answer for you. The teacher should not give you some BS answer that will just get you hurt and/or disillusioned into thinking you are learning good technique.
  3. How does the teacher interact with his students?
    Jiu-Jitsu is in the details and in the basics. In order to be proficient at jiu-jitsu, you need to have solid basics and you need to understand the details of the techniques. So when you watch or participate in a class, does your teacher provide the details? If he focusing on basic techniques (for new students) or is he giving you some elaborate technique that he can’t even pull off? Students need to start from the bottom up. One of the most frustrating things for a new student is being presented with techniques and information that doesn’t even make sense. In Kobukai, we follow a chart system that allows you to progressively build upon a core set of base techniques that allow you to progress and grow into more advanced ones.
  4. What are the students like?
    Students are a direct reflection of their teacher. Observe the students – how are their attitudes, how is their technique, how do they treat other students? I remember when I first watched a Kobukai Ju-Jitsu class, I saw Sempai Kenny and Sempai Steve training as white belts (now two of my closest training partners) and was amazed at their technique and attitudes. I had spent 2-3 years in other grappling martial arts beforehand, and my depth of knowledge was no where near close to theirs.
  5. Respect, Respect, Respect.
    Martial arts training is essentially fight training. You are working with a partner to increase your ability to fight. An intricate part of jiu-jitsu is what we call “rolling” or grappling sparring. This allows us to test and enhance the skills we’ve been learning. When you are learning with your partner or sparring with your partner, you need to respect each other and remember that this is a training environment. I’ve seen too many schools and heard too many stories of students going into other schools and getting pummeled and “beaten up” by fellow students and the teacher. What is accomplished by this…? How are you benefiting the new student? How is this benefiting your reputation?
    In our school respect for each other as well as “no egos” are vitally important. Disrespect, cocky attitudes, and trying to deliberately hurt your training partner is not accepted.
  6. Can I train here?
    You will be spending a lot of time in your training with the teacher and the students. They can and eventually may become some of your closest friends. Some of the best friends I have are the ones I train with and my teacher(s). If you get along with these people and “had a good time” during your lesson. Then it is probably a good place for you

Lastly, there are many factors that go into finding a good jiu-jitsu school or martial arts school in general. I hope that you will eventually stop down into our school and check us out. I personally strive to create an environment that fosters learning and provides my students with the knowledge to fight as well as the discipline and respect to grow in martial arts.