BjjBrick Podcast- BJJ, Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, martial arts, no-gi and good times!

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radioBJJMythBusters

This week Gary and Byron will be discussing several myths about BJJ.  Do you agree with our discussion of these myths?  We have personal experiences with most of these myths and we share them.

Myth 1 Upper belts don't get tapped out by lower belts

Myth 2 You can earn your belt in a certain amount of time

Myth 3 Size and strength are not very important

Myth 4 Black belts know all the answers

Myth 5 Watching the pros is a great way to get better

Myth 6 More training is always better for you

Myth 7 Because you train BJJ you will be ready for a street fight

Myth 8 If someone is better than you at BJJ they will always be better than you at BJJ

Myth 9 Your excuse for not doing BJJ is valid

Myth 10 A black belt is the best teacher

Myth 11 Going home beat up everyday is okay

Myth 12 Bonus Myth- BJJ works on zombies

Quote of the week: "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly" Gilbert K. Chesterton-  In this quote Gary shares an example about his poor golfing skills.  If you want to be good at BJJ you need to accept the fact that you will be doing it badly for a while and improvement will come with practice.

Article of the week:"The Quick and Easy Way to Dye Your BJJ Gi" by Tons of cool pictures about how to dye your gi.  Check out the stitching!

Want a better Guillotine Choke? Check out this seminar by our friend Roy Marsh!

GD 4 disc bjj






Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

Direct download: Epi206320Busting20BJJ20Myths.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 12:20pm CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

John KavanaghJohn Kavanagh received his BJJ black belt in March 2007 from Matt Thornton.  He now runs the Straight Blast Gym(SBG) in Ireland. SBG Ireland is home to fighters Gunnar Nelson, Conor McGregor, Aisling Daly, and many more.

Highlights from the interview:

"I think when people are enjoying themselves, they are going to stick with something longer rather than just embracing the grind."

"I understand what people mean when they say someone is talented, but it is a lazy word.  It is kind of like describing a chemical reaction as being magic."

"If I see someone who is not enjoying it (training) I don't want them part of the team, because it can be detrimental to the mindset of everybody else. So I will advise them to take some time off and do a different sport or activity for awhile and try to come back with a fresh mindset."

Do your MMA athletes train in a gi?  " Yes, they do..... physically the main benefit is that it tightens up the escape game, you can't escape an armbar by just by ripping your arm out... On the flip side training nogi tightens up your attacking side of the game."

"Training with a gi also is a huge benefit to keeping your mind awake and alert."

"You are all going to finish fighting (MMA) at some stage, why not have earned your black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu during that period.  Maybe you could open your own school. You want to be 50 or 60 (years old) and still on the mat, you are not going to be doing MMA at that stage but you and me could be two old farts in the corner of the room rolling around in a gi"

About taking some time off- "I would go as far as to say that I have never seen somebody come back that was not actually better than when they went away..... A guy takes 4-6 weeks off because of an injury or something and he always comes back better.....I have a theory. Time away from physically doing it (training) allows techniques to sink a little bit deeper in.  When you are training all the time whatever you have done latest is in your head, but when you take a couple of weeks off, what you have been doing over the last couple of months can sink in deeper into your consciousness... going between time on and time off the mat is very important... people come back sharper"

About new students- "I found the most efficient way of weeding out the weak, I made strong people stronger.... That's the exact opposite of what I am supposed to have been doing as a martial arts coach.... I was bullied as a kid, I went to martial arts to help protect myself.  The approach I was taking was not going to be of much use to somebody that was not already athletic. We changed around everything that we are doing"

"I really think sport should be a positive experience. Even if you lose it should be positive because of when you went through in order to be able to compete."

In this episode we talk about:

  • The SBG upcoming fights in the UFC
  • Why he does not like the idea of a training camp
  • The two things you need to get good at MMA (enjoy it, and patience)
  • How he changes a class to keep it fun
  • His views of calling fighters talented
  • The mindset of training
  • Training MMA and still using the gi
  • Taking time off from training
  • His program for dealing with new students
  • His four tier program for beginners
  • Teaching new people how to train safely
  • Advice for a new student
  • His goal he has for his new students
  • He wants BJJ to be a lifestyle for you
  • How amateur MMA in Ireland has several steps, and why it is a good system
  • Advice for MMA athletes
  • Why you shouldn't focus on what your opponent does

Quote of the week: "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Henry Ford

Article of the week: Background checks required by IBJJF

Want a better Guillotine Choke? Check out this seminar by our friend Roy Marsh!

GD 4 disc bjj






Thanks for listening, we will catch you next week!


Direct download: Epi206220John20Kavanagh.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Yanal Shahzadeh

Yanal Shahzadeh

Yanal Shahzadeh is a brown belt from Jordan under 4th degree black belt Samy Aljamal.  Yanal is one of the top competitors in his region, and he is always looking for a good match.  He competes at 94 kg, and open weight.

This interview we talk about:

  • Getting over an injury to his elbow
  • How Jiu-Jitsu has changed in Jordan over the years
  • Winning 4 gold medals at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Cup
  • His favorite technique the arm crank
  • His submission only super fight in February
  • He tells a story of a time his competition asked him to not submit him
  • He describes the brown belt like a white belt for the legs, because leg locks are now allowed
  • He explains some of his most favorite training methods
  • How he likes to coach during a match
  • What it was like for him to travel by himself and compete without a coach
  • Why he feels like he discovered Jiu-Jitsu as a blue belt
  • Why he recommends a top control drill for new students
  • How the scissor sweep can help you understand other parts of Jiu-Jitsu

You can find Yanal here on his Facebook page

The website for his BJJ school

Check out this article about Yanal Shazadeh to find out more about him

Quote of the week:  “If you are looking for a big opportunity accept a big challenge” This weeks quote was presented by Gustavo Dantas

Article of the week: “3 Things You Will Learn About Yourself Through Jiu Jitsu” From

This episode was sponsored by:

Want a better Guillotine Choke? Check out this seminar by our friend Roy Marsh!

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Listeners doing good work!!

Listeners doing good work!!

Direct download: Epi206120Yanal20Shahzadeh.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 12:06pm CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

The Bjj Mental Coach Gustavo Dantas

Have you ever failed to deliver your best when it counts?  This week our friend and BJJ black belt Gustavo Dantas will help you do your best on and off the mat.  Gustavo has been training BJJ for 25 years, he is a 4th degree black belt.  He has a passion for teaching BJJ and helping coach people to reach their goals.  His coaching website is

In this interview we talk about:

  • Doing BJJ as a kid in Rio
  • Listening to audio books
  • Why he recommends the book Psycho-Cybernetics
  • The BJJ Mental Coach blog
  • How he was able to overcome a bad start to competing
  • Overcoming mental blocks in competing
  • Moving to the United States from Brazil
  • Dealing with competition anxiety
  • A recent interview he did with Budo Videos
  • Dealing with a high pressure situation
  • How he runs competition students different from the students that don't compete
  • Learning from failure
  • The three types of training partners that you need to be training with
  • How BJJ can benefit someone off the mat
  • Fixing mistakes after a tournament
  • Living up to your full potential
  • Dealing with fear
  • Focusing on only the things that you can control
  • His four Dvd set Inner Discovery for outer success

Contact Info for Gustavo Dantas- Email: info@thebjjmentalcoach.comHis Facebook PageThe Bjj Mental Coach website

Gustavo's Sponsors ShoyorollAggro Brand

Quote of the week:  "Everybody want to be a champion but not many are willing to do what it takes to become one" Presented by Joe Solecki

Article of the week:"5 Tips for BJJ Over 35"

Want a better Guillotine Choke? Check out this seminar by our friend Roy Marsh!

This episode also has the first of our series of "The Most Interesting Grappler"

Direct download: Epi206020Gustavo20Dantas.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 12:41pm CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Joe Solecki on the right
Joe Solecki works to pass a tricky guard

Joe Solecki has been training BJJ since he was six years old.  His is now 21 years old and a very active light weight brown belt.  He spent the first 12 years of his BJJ learning from John Hassett in NJ.  He now lives in Myrtle Beach, SC and trains with Frankie Patches of Serra BJJ.

In our interview with Joe Solecki we talk about:

  • Starting BJJ so young
  • Building a strong defense
  • How his game has changed over time
  • What tv show got him interested in martial arts
  • Balancing going to school full time and training BJJ
  • Training at a cross-fit gym
  • Staying motivated to train and study
  • His goal of going to ADCC
  • How he is able to have fun and take competition seriously
  • His favorite method of training
  • Watching instructional videos vs competition footage
  • What he expects the ADCC trials to be like
  • Moving across the country and finding a new place to train
  • How he warms up before a match
  • Advice for someone doing their first tournament
  • Why he values safety, fun, and learning in a tournament
  • What it was like being a 16 year old blue belt
  • Advice for kids doing BJJ
  • Tips for developing your own game plan
  • Goals for a first year student
  • His off the mat training
  • How he likes to teach a kids class

Links to keep up with Joe Solecki, Facebook, TwitterYoutubeInstagram

Quote of the week: "Frustration is a useless emotion" presented by Amanda Loewen

Article of the week: How to Improve Your Guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Want a better Guillotine Choke? Check out this seminar by our friend Roy Marsh! This week we get a tip to help one of teh biggest mistakes with a guillotine

Direct download: Epi205920Joe20Solecki.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Amanda Loewen bjj Amanda Loewen has been training BJJ and competing for about five years, and she has recently received her black belt from Matt Thornton.  You will find her training at SBGi in Portland.

We talk about:

  • Her start to BJJ
  • Getting her black belt in five years
  • Some troubles finding competition
  • Her hobbies off the mat
  • Why she prefers a "basic style"
  • Her six day a week training schedule
  • Training off the mat
  • Staying motivated
  • Her goals of competing with the black belts
  • She is going to the European Championships in Jan 2015
  • Posture, pressure and possibilities
  • Keeping things very simple when teaching BJJ
  • The basic class format she likes
  • How she handles the stresses of competition
  • Her experience at her first tournament
  • A mental trick she uses to avoid sweeps
  • Tips for making your own game plan
  • Why she rolls with a poker face
  • Goals for a first year BJJ student
  • Why it is important to focus on defense first then learn offense

*note Amanda Loewen was recently married and her new name is Amanda Diggins

Keep up with Amanda on her Facebook Page.

Amanda is sponsored by Fenom Kimonos

Quote of the week: "With great power comes great responsibility" Presented by Comprido

Article of the week: "Advice for Begginners Competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu"

Want a better Guillotine Choke? Check out this seminar by our friend Roy Marsh! This week Roy Marsh talks about attaining the guillotine position.

Direct download: Epi205820Amanda20Loewen.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 2:28pm CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Felipe Costa, Rodrigo Comprido and Caio Terra at BJJ Camp
Felipe Costa, Rodrigo Comprido and Caio Terra at BJJ Camp

Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros is a legend in the sport of BJJ.  The first year he was a black belt he was able to win the absolute division. He not only won it, but he was the first person to win by submission in absolute black belt history.  He also won it with the fastest submission in black belt history.  Comprido currently has a gym called Comprido BJJ in Bloomingdale IL.

In this interview we talk about:

  • How he got the name Comprido
  • Yuri Simoes in Metamoris
  • Sustainable Jiu-jitsu
  • Competition advice
  • Adjusting jiu-jitsu to your body and age
  • Bjj Camp
  • Training with Felipe Costa
  • His goals for the future
  • Competing very well as a new black belt
  • Advice on training safe
  • What it was like at his first tournament
  • Dealing with and using your adrenaline
  • What he was like as a blue belt
  • Advice for a first year student
  • The possibility of doing another Metamoris

Keep up with Comprido

Comprido's Sponsors


Quote of the week: "Strength and solidarity" Shama Ko From Girls in Gis

Article of the week: "Injuries: The Jiu-Jitsu Plague"


Find out how to get a free BjjBrick Gi patch. Thanks for the support Gbasi!
Find out how to get a free BjjBrick Gi patch. Thanks for the support Gbasi!
Direct download: Epi205720BJJ20Legend20Comprido.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

Shama Ko is the program director of an organization called Girls in Gis (GIG).  GIG supports a growing and supportive community of women in BJJ.  Chapters of GIG are springing up all over the Midwest. Shama has been training BJJ for 13 years.  GIG had about 30 events this year.Shama Ko girls in gis

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

We talk about:

  • The main goal of GIG
  • The Community of women in BJJ
  • The large growth of GIG
  • How she got her start in BJJ
  • Girls doing BJJ for the first time
  • Tips to get your friends to try BJJ
  • How BJJ helps to change lives
  • What to expect at a GIG event
  • Why a women introductory BJJ class is so important
  • Advice for guys to be a good training partner
  • Why it is important to be patient in your BJJ journey

Contact Shama Ko: Girls in Gis Facebook PageWebsite, Email

Quote of the week: "Risk more than others think is safe, care more than others is wise." Presented by AJ Agazarm

Article of the week: "How to Survive a Training Layoff"


At the end of the podcast find out how you can get a free Gi patch. sorry US only
Direct download: Epi205620Shama20Ko20girls20in20gis.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

 Gold lightweight and absolute title for the 2014 NoGi European Championship
Gold lightweight and absolute title for the 2014 NoGi European Championship

AJ Agazarm is a former DI wrestler and a very active light weight black belt. He is known for his aggressive style and never quit attitude. He received his black belt a couple of years ago from Eduardo de Lima.  This is a fun interview and AJ shares tons of great advice for any grappler.

We talk about:

  • AJ's love for extreme sports
  • AJ's passion for travel
  • Why he likes to enter the absolute division
  • As a black belt he has had over 75 matches in less than 2 years
  • The fine line between being reckless and tenacious
  • His training as he travels
  • His competition goals that he has met and not met yet
  • What he does before he compete
  • How he views a competitive BJJ match
  • How BJJ has changed him off the mat
  • The cultural differences between BJJ and wrestling
  • How he practices mental toughness
  • How he keeps his emotions out of his match
  • How he gets out of tight submissions
  • Advice for a student competing for the first time
  • Enjoying the entire process of the tournament not just the match
  • Why he loved being a blue belt
  • How to find your game plan
  • Why it is important to take notes in class
  • Advice for competing in the absolute division

Check out AJ's Sponsors

Connect with AJ

Quote of the week: "Nothing takes the place of hard training on the mats" Budo Jake

Article of the week: 5 Important Things Your Instructors Want You to Stop Doing


At the end of the podcast find out how you can get a free Gi patch. sorry US only
At the end of the podcast find out how you can get a free Gi patch. sorry US only
Direct download: Epi205520AJ20Agazarm.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:34am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Budo Jake and Rickson Gracie
Budo Jake and Rickson Gracie

Budo Jake (Jake McKee) is a BJJ Black belt and co-founder of He host 2 shows Rolled Up and This Week in BJJ.  Both are very informative and a lot of fun to watch.

We talk about:

  • The meaning of Budo
  • Doing BJJ when you travel
  • Why he trains such a variety of techniques
  • The Budo videos business
  • Watching Youtube vs an instructional Dvd
  • Training BJJ at work and team building
  • How BJJ has helped him learn about himself
  • The start of the show Rolled Up
  • What it is like to get beat up on the show
  • Doing live events and how you can learn about BJJ by watching them
  • Tips on getting a sponsor if you are a BJJ athlete
  • Advice for a first time BJJ competitor
  • Dealing with the pressure of competing
  • His preferred methods of training and why he likes to work on things that he is not good at
  • Jake as a Blue Belt
  • How he gets ready for a tournament
  • Goals for your first year of training
  • How he defines fundamental moves

Want more Budo Jake action?

Keep up with Budo Jake:

Quote of the week: "When you first assemble a group, it's not a team right off the bat. It's only a collection of individuals." Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K)

Article of the week: Why Do So Many People Quit Jiu-Jitsu At Blue Belt?


Fan Art Chokes and Jokes made by Jeff Smith
Fan Art Chokes and Jokes made by Jeff Smith
At the end of the podcast find out how you can get a free Gi patch. sorry US only
At the end of the podcast find out how you can get a free Gi patch. sorry US only
Direct download: Epi205420Budo20Jake.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am CDT