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

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Join Gary and Byron on the BjjBrick Podcast
Join Gary and Byron on the BjjBrick Podcast

This week we talk about making changes to your BJJ and developing a game plan.  We break it down into 3 main steps: 1) Define the objectives 2) Get help 3) Do the work.  You are the only person how is ultimately in charge of your BJJ development take responsibility and make it happen.  To help you obtain your goal we strongly recommend that your write it down.

1) Define the objective- Make a realistic objective that is attainable but not too easy.  Your objective can be a new move or you can try to change your style.  You might decide to make one of your best moves (a brick) even better, or you could make a week area of your game stronger.  Your objective could also be to drop a few pounds or become more flexible. It is up to you what you want to work on, make sure it is something that will pay off in the long run. Try to avoid picking a fad.

2) Get help- Tell your coach what you are working on, that way you two are on the same page. Get a small group of training partners together that will be able to help you. Find someone who is good at the area you are working on. Find a book that covers what you are working on, or watch YouTube videos(if you have not seen this YouTube thing, it's pretty sweet).

3) Do the work- No one can do the work for you, and no one knows if you are working as hard as you can. The bottom line is you gotta work hard to make changes happen.  At first making changes will be difficult, it will feel like you took a step backwards.

Toward the end of the show Byron explains how he is doing this 3 step process.  He will be working on his back defense. He then goes through the 3 step process with his objective.

Quote of the week:“Do you listen, or do you just wait to talk?” Pulp Fiction

Article of the week: "Beware The Belt Chaser"

Sponsor: check out the High Capacity Duffle Bag

Direct download: Epi203920Developing20a20BJJ20game20plan.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

This week we talk to Nick Albin otherwise known as “Chewy”. He teaches and trains BJJ full time and is the head instructor at Derby City Mixed Martial Arts in Louisville, KY. Chewy is a Black Belt under Renato Tavares. He also has a website with lots of great information about BJJ here 

We talk about

  • How your teammates help you shape your game
  • Training with Renato Tavares
  • The idea that you always need to be learning in BJJ
  • Adding new techniques to your game
  • Chewy's style of BJJ, he moves a lot and pushes the pace
  • How his wrestling effects his BJJ
  • Competing as a wrestler and advantages for BJJ
  • His BJJ Blog
  • How he got the name Chewy
  • An article he wrote about chasing the next belt rank
  • Managing expectations at each belt level
  • How shorter time limits could effect grappling matches
  • Using competition video for training
  • Training with injuries
  • Advice for people competing for the first time
  • What he was like as a blue belt
  • Developing your own game plan for BJJ

Quote of the week: "Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain." William Faulkner

Article of the week: 10 Reasons you’re still a white belt


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Direct download: Epi_38_Nick_Albin_He_May_Not_Be_A_Jedi_But_He_is_Chewy.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

Carlos Machado is a Red Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He has been teaching BJJ in the United States for over 20 years.  He moved to Texas in 1995, and he is now running 6 BJJ schools. He is the oldest of the five legendary Machado brothers.Carlos Machado BJJ

We talk about

  • A little bit of history about early BJJ in the United States
  • His style of rolling
  • Why he rolls for 20 or 30 min at a time
  • How his Jiu-Jitsu is getting better as he gets older
  • Using proper breathing techniques
  • Benefits of proper breathing
  • Why he feels that he could beat the younger version of himself
  • Examples of different breathing techniques (chew chew chew, 1,2,1,2)
  • What his brothers are up to
  • How he tries to make the techniques he already knows better
  • Some tips on escaping the mount and how he has changed his escape over the years
  • How he teaches complex moves by breaking them down
  • Advice for blue belts
  • Advice for competing in your first tournament

Vegas July 4 weekend 2014 Martial Arts SuperShow
Carlos is teaching an arm triangle July 1, 9:00 am
Carlos and John are also going to be at a booth for Q&A!! Swing by and check it out my friends!

Summer camp in Dallas Tx, starting July 7th for 4 days, and a second week starting on July 14th also for 4 days.

Thanks to our friend Jake Burroughs from The Ground Never Misses for setting up this interview with Carlos Machado.

Quote of the week: “The measure may be thought bold, but I am of the opinion the boldest are the safest” Haratio Nelson.  This Quote was presented by Nick Albin (Chewy) check out a full explanation about this quote from Chewy here.

Article of the week: "BJJ for Beginners: A simple plan for weight loss" From

Carlos Machado's website is
Like the Carlos Machado facebook page here

Check out our sponsor enter to win a Moko Rashguard or a Robo Rashguard

Enter to win one of these great Fuji Sports rash guards.
Enter to win one of these great Fuji Sports rash guards.
Direct download: Epi_37_Great_advice_from_Carlos_Machado.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

This week we have more stories from our listeners.  These are stories about getting injured and overcoming the injury. This episode is packed full of great advice for anyone who has been injured, or if you have a teammate that has been injured. It is important to know what to expect and the advice will help get you back on the mat my friends. Tommy- Our friend Tommy shares his story of his battle with testicular cancer.  He was diagnosed in 2010 with cancer after he found a lump on his testicle (Symptoms and Signs of Testicular cancer). He had surgery and then went through chemotherapy. The chemo was more difficult than the surgery. We talk about getting back on the mats and getting life back to normal.

Adam Sachnoff (Big Red)-

Check out some of Adam's accomplishments here.  Adam tore his ACL about five years ago doing judo and did not get it fixed  He did physical therapy and continued training and competing without an ACL.  He re-injured his knee while training for ADCC years later. After his ACL surgery he had very bad nerve pain in his foot. He gives a strong warning about the misuse of prescription pain killers. Adam has his own school, if you are in San Mateo be sure to check it out.

Jon Haskew- He is only 32 years old and has had 9 surgeries. The surgeries include 2 ACL and a MCL. He also has a bulging L5 disk, and 2 major staph infections. His knee injuries have contributed to his bulging disk. Jon got a staph infection with each ACL surgery. The infection was bad enough for the doctor to put in a picc line in his arm. Jon is now a big advocate of using Defense Soap to prevent getting staph infections. Check out Jon's gym here.

Michael Crampon-
Michael suffered a broken rib while drilling take-downs. His training partner landed with his elbow directly on his rib.  He was off the mat for about 2 months to heal. He did lung exercises on an hourly basis to keep his lungs healthy. Since his injury he has had no lasting effect of the broken rib.  We also talk about some of the mechanics involved in his injury that involve grapples falling to the mat.

He tore his pectoral muscle trying to escape a kimura. Mike shares some of the test that his doctor had him do that help diagnose the problem. The doctor explained his options and Mike decided to get surgery to help get his body back to full health. For a while the only workout that he could do was the stationary bike. He was off the mat for about two months. Now he is back and trying to take it easy. He is selective with his training partners and wears a bright color sleeve on his bad arm so his training partners are aware of his injured arm.

Wil Horneff- 
Wil had a herniated disc and 5 bulging disks. This happened by lifting too much weight and being too tried during his kettlebell exercises. He decided to use a recovery tool called Antalgic machineA year after using this machine he competed in the nogi brown belt pan am and won. After his initial recovery he worked hard to strengthen his core mostly doing planks. Besides being a serious BJJ athleate Wil was in the movie SandlotCheck out his gym here!

Quote of the week: “What to do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” Dean Smith Article of the week: "4 Keys to Better BJJ" from by: Willie Laney is giving a listener a free rash guard.  There are two rash guard to choose from. The Robo and the Moko.

Direct download: Epi_36_Listener_Stories_Injuries_Part_2.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

This week we have stories from our listeners.  These are stories about getting injured and overcoming the injury. This episode is packed full of great advice for anyone who has been injured, or if you have a teammate that has been injured. It is important to know what to expect and the advice will help get you back on the mat my friends.

Devin Pirata-(14m20s)


Devin was in his junior year of high school wrestling when he sustained what he thought was a shoulder injury. The injury came back in to play years later when he was a blue belt at a hard training camp.  He experienced intense pain in his right arm and shoulder.  Devin soon lost a lot of muscle mass due to atrophy. He found that he had a complete herniation of c5 and c6 and was told by his doctor that he would never train BJJ again.  After neck surgery he was able start training in three months and has since regained the muscle he had lost from the atrophy.  Devin occasionally has a stiff neck, but he has no major lasting effects.  Devin also gives some great advice for anyone who is going through a similar situation.


Michael Green- (34m40s) Michael suffered a torn labrum from a keylock submission while drilling.  This is a very rare situation in BJJ that someone gets injured during the drilling portion of the class.  About a month later Michael went to his doctor, he was told that he would need surgery to get better.  Michael credits his full recovery to taking his time in getting back on the mat and doing the proper rehab.

Mike- (45m19s)

Given enough time most of us doing BJJ will get ringworm. Normally it is no big deal and can be treated with an over the counter ointment like Lamisil.  Mike got ringworm on his scalp. He was given a topical treatment which actually made things worse.  It drove it deeper into his skin.  It then appeared to go away and come back even stronger, with a resistance to the medicine.  He was eventually able to get rid of it with tea tree oil.  Mike also talks about how this gave him a condition where he was very sensitive to ringworm and would get it even if he was not on the mat.

Jim- (59m50s) Jim's back was injured as a young man. About 25 years later his doctor told him that he had a major problem with his back from his old injury and it required surgery.  He found the best surgeon he could to do his spinal fusion.  Jim gives us a valuable warning about researching surgery online and the people who tell horror stories. BJJ has actually helped him get back into shape and strengthen his back.  Jim recommends being in the best shape that you can be in and finding the best surgeon for the job. We then talk about breaking the addiction to the prescription pain killers.

Arielle- (1h23m55s) Arielle shares a recovery story of when she injured her knee.  She had a full thickness tear in her ACL, MCL and a partial tear of her meniscus.  Her teammates did the drawer test to her leg and they knew that she had torn her ACL.  She was on crutches for two months and slowly got back on the mat after about 5 months. Arielle did yoga to help get her knee back to health.  After almost a full year she feels that her knee is 85-90% back to normal.  Arielle also gives some really good advice about overcoming the mental side of the injury.  Check out Arielle's gym here.

Dusty Grant- (1h42m26s)Our friend Dusty tore his ACL and medial meniscus during his first BJJ competition.  The drive home was over 2 hours and his knee got very sore sitting in the car.  Dusty got some bad advice from his first doctor and then he went to a specialist and his injury was confirmed.  Dusty was off the mat for a little over a year. Today his knee usually feels great, but it is a little stiff sometimes.  He credits his recovery to doing the rehab that was prescribed.  Dusty is in a great 5-piece metal/hard-rock band called Empire Falling.  He also let us play the song "Guilty" for the closing music.  Check out Empire Falling here!! is giving a listener a free rash guard.  There are two rash guard to choose from. The Robo and the Moko.

Quote of the week: "There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs."

Article of the week: "Separation Anxiety: How To Instantly Improve Your Guard Game" by Stephen Whittier on 

Direct download: Epi_35_Listener_Stories_Injuries_Part_1.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:30am CDT

This week we take a break from having a guest on the show and Gary and Byron talk about making changes to your BJJ game.

In this episode we talk about:

  • When to make changes to your game
  • Why we prefer certain types of styles
  • Why making changes creates a lot of growth
  • Why it is difficult to make major changes to your game
  • Changing your habits of your rolling style
  • Making changes to get over a plateau
  • Making changes can be a lot of fun
  • When not to make changes
  • Making changes during a match
    Enter to win one of these great Fuji Sports rash guards.
    Enter to win one of these great Fuji Sports rash guards.

We are giving away a Fuji Sports rash guard (Moko or Robo).  We are doing a contest over the next four episodes. We will pick one of the four episodes at random and then choose a random winner from that episodes pool of people.  You will have 24 hours to respond, then I will try someone else. Ways to enter the contest:

  • Leave a comment on this episodes page.
  • Facebook- Go to our Facebook page and comment, like, or share this episode or the picture later in the week of the rash guard.
  • Double your chances on Facebook by changing your profile picture to the rash guard picture.
  • Twitter- Re-tweet this episode.

The quote of the week: "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great." Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own

Article of the week: 3-star Army general earns his black belt

Direct download: Epi_34_Making_changes_to_your_BJJ_game.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunes, and Stitcher radio

Ostap Manastryski is a brown belt under Elliott Bayev, he trains and teaches at OpenMat Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Toronto Canada.  Ostap breaks down BJJ videos on his YouTube channel, this is a great resource for anyone wanting to better understand BJJ.

We talk about

  • Ostap's YouTube Channel
  • Some of his notable tournament victories
  • Traveling and training BJJ for an extended amount of time
  • Teaching BJJ full time
  • Common mistakes in lower level BJJ
  • How he breaks down tournament footage
  • Advice for students that are going to do their first tournament
  • His first tournament experience
  • Competing a lot in a short amount of time
  • Preparing mentally for a tournament
  • The book With Winning in Mind, and how it has helped him
  • Coaching at a tournament and how to not be a "remote control coach"
  • Tips for coaching
  • Different Mantras that he uses during a match
  • Advice for blue belts overcoming difficulties
  • Researching different BJJ schools
  • Having the proper motivation for training
  • What a full day of training is like for Ostap
  • Training yoga to help deal with injuries
  • His long term goals
  • The new double guard pull rule
  • How to get Ostap to break down your videos

Quote of the week: "Don't be a Jack of all trades be a master of one"  This quote was presented by Jonathan Thomas.  This saying is a big pet peeve of his and he explains why.  Check out Jonathan's interview here.

Ostap's YouTube Channel
OpenMat Mixed Martial Arts Academy
Book With Winning In Mind
Ostap's Facebook page
More info about Ostap
Ostap's Email

Article of the week- "3 Ways to Deal With Injuries in BJJ"

Check out these videos

BJJ Video Anaylsis - Otavio Sousa omoplata attack vs Lucas Lepri
Ostap Analysis - Ostap vs Joao Miyao, Worlds 2012

Direct download: Epi_33_Breaking_things_down_with_Ostap_Manastyrski.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 11:51am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunes, and Stitcher radio

This week we are joined by Jonathan Thomas.  Jonathan was recently awarded his black belt from Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti. You will find Jonathan training, teaching, and positional sparring at The Alliance headquarters in Atlanta.

This interview we talk about:

  • Jonathan's goal in his first tournament
  • Why developing a good guard is so important for beginners
  • Jonathan's basic definition of recomposing
  • Why recomposing is so important to BJJ
  • What attracted him to Jiu-Jitsu
  • How Jiu-Jitsu is like a large series of mini games
  • How he was able to train less than most of his competition and still win
  • Having a logical process to how you train
  • Why mindless drilling does not do much for your development
  • How Jonathan likes to positional spar and break down positions
  • The current rules and how they could change
  • Why passing the guard can be more difficult than using a specific guard
  • How the sport would change if the guard puller got a -1 point
  • His goals in competing
  • His mindset during competition
  • Doing Tabata for cardio training
  • Managing stress levels to clam down and not get tired
  • Developing long term development by focusing on positions
    2011 Mundials Jonathan Thomas
    2011 Mundials Jonathan Thomas

Quote of the week- "Fail, fail again, fail better" Samuel Beckett.  This quote was presented by New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code Daniel Coyle.  Check out our interview with Daniel Coyle here Save 10% off your purchase at with the coupon code “BJJBrick”


Article of the week- "5 Things to Focus on When Teaching BJJ to Children" from


Jonathan's facebook page

Find more info about Jonathan Thomas here

Direct download: Epi_32_Interview_with_Alliance_black_belt_Jonathan_Macarrao_Thomas.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 1:41pm CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Daniel Coyle is a New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code and The Little Book of Talent.  He is one of the leading authorities on developing talent.  He may not be a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but his ideas about how to practice can help you understand how you learn.  The methods he has found could help catapult your game to the next level and beyond.

We start off with these basic definitions:

Talent Hotbed- A place that has an unusual amount of extraordinary performers.  These places can be studied and we can learn about their different training techniques.

Muscle Memory- This is a not a real thing, all your muscle is controlled from your brain.  Muscle has no memory.

Myelin- When you build new skills they are insulated by a myelin sheath.  This sheath gets thicker as you practice and push yourself.  The thicker it becomes the faster and easier your connections become.

Deep Practice- This is the sweet spot when you are putting a lot of myelin between your connections.  People who continually put their selves in a deep practice learn quickly.  An example of this would be sparring with someone who is a little better than you.

We talk about:

  • The class structure of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • The difficulty of learning in a group setting
  • The learning environment that is created by leaving your ego at the door
  • Having the high intensity of a BJJ workout with a safe environment is a great place to grow
  • The best way to give feedback is to ask questions
  • Why it is important to design a training environment that forces people to ask questions
  • The large benefits to all of the students of having colored belts help teach techniques
  • Why you should be careful about the 10,000 hours rule
  • Quality of training is far more important than quantity
  • Why in some of the talent hotbeds they don’t spend all day practicing
  • The Bruce Lee quote “I fear not the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times.”
  • How YouTube has effected learning BJJ for good and bad
  • The better you get the more important the fundamentals become
  • Building fundamentals is like building a tree in your brain.  Make the trunk of the tree strong, so you can add things on to the tree.  With a strong trunk you can add things quickly and easily.
  • The survival zone, and why no learning happens in this zone
  • Some advice for a student who is competing for the first time
  • What is going on the mind of a top competitor?  Turns out that it is not much
  • The science of group success is a project he is currently working on keep your eyes open for this my friends

Quote of the week- “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle.  This quote was presented by Ryan Hall.  If you missed Ryan’s interview with us it can be found here. Episode 30.  In an amazing coincidence this quote is in the first few pages of Daniel Coyle’s book The Little Book of Talent.

Article of the week- “Starting BJJ: What to Expect on your First Class”.  From If you are looking for a great first gi you cannot go wrong with the AllAround Gi.  It is a high quality gi and has a very good price.  Save 10% off your purchase at with the coupon code “BJJBrick”


Daniel Coyle’s website

The Talent Code

The Little Book of Talent

Direct download: Epi_31_Daniel_Coyle_of_The_Talent_Code.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 1:44pm CDT

In Episode 30 of the BjjBrick podcast we talk with Ryan Hall.  Ryan is widely considered one of the best lightweight submission grapplers in the world.  Ryan owns 50/50 Jiu-Jitsu in Falls Church, Virginia.  He is a Black Belt under Felipe Costa and a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter representing Tristar Gym.  Check out a more detailed bio of Ryan Hall here.

In this interview we talk about:

  • Ryan coined the term “50/50” for the widely used position
  • His new gym that he opened and why he moved
  • How his style of Jiu-jitsu will translate to MMA
  • His goals for his MMA career
  • Some of his negative experiences with competing in Jiu-Jitsu
  • Getting back into competitive Jiu-Jitsu
  • The different focuses and challenges of training MMA and BJJ at the same time
  • Making the transition from submission grappling to MMA
  • His next MMA fight on May 31st
  • Using actual MMA fights for live training and ring experience
  • Some common mistakes that BJJ athletes make when doing MMA
  • Performing to the best of your ability and nothing less, and being happy with that
  • Ryan shares some of his thoughts on Metamoris 3 Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie
  • His instructional DVDs- The Triangle, Passing the Guard, Arm Triangles, Back Attacks, Inverted Guard, The 50/50, and Deep Half.
  • What he is focusing on to get a competitive edge in MMA
  • Ryan shares the experience of his first grappling competition
  • Advice for the first time competitor
  • Why Ryan was attracted to the martial arts
  • Ryan’s self-defense story that took place Jersey Shore with Seph Smith, Dave Jacobs, and Jen Flannery
  • Using Jiu-jitsu in a street fight, and common misconceptions
  • “Regular people fight as well as they play hockey” a quote from Ryan Hall.  Fighting is a skill, if you don’t know how to do it you will not do it well.
  • Ryan gives advice for new blue belts that may be struggling
  • What could be next for his DVD’s

Quote of the week: This quote was presented and broken down by Stephen Whittier, “Just when you think you have all the answers, I will change all the questions”. I was unable to find who said this originally.  If you missed it be sure to check out our full interview with Stephen Whittier here.

ADCC 2009
Ryan Hall ADCC 2009

Sponsor- Check out the light weight gi.  It is great for competition weigh-ins and staying cool in the summer heat.  Save 10% off your purchase at with this coupon code “BJJBrick”.


Article of the week: “Losing is Good for You”

Ryans DVDs

Watch Ryan’s next fight here gofightlive

Watch Ryan’s restaurant fight here

Ryan’s website

Direct download: Epi_30_Ryan_Hall_Interview_BJJ_MMA_and_Self-defense.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT