BjjBrick Podcast- BJJ, 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!

Displaying Set Webbanner_HighRes copy.jpg


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

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Last week at Fox Fitness Byron was given a Black belt from Andre “Tim” Monteiro and John CastilloGary interviews Byron about his journey from white belt to black.

Gary ask Byron about:

  • The journey at each belt color
  • Him off the mat
  • A description of his game and what he likes to do
  • Advice for your first BJJ tournament
  • How to make your first BJJ Brick
  • A good goal for a 1st year student
  • Did he ever think about quitting
  • Using BJJ as a firefighter
Byron and Gary as white belts, at Eric Williams seminars.
Byron and Gary as white belts, at Eric Williams seminars.
Gary and Byron with their new blue belts.
Gary and Byron with their new blue belts.
Byron new purple belt with Roberto Tozi, John Castillo, and Marcio Laselva
Byron new purple belt with Roberto Tozi, John Castillo, and Marcio Laselva
Byron as a new brown belt,  with John Castillo and Renato Tavares
Byron as a new brown belt, with John Castillo and Renato Tavares
Jake Fox, Andre "Tim" Monteiro​, Byron Jabara, John Castillo, and Jake Smith
Jake Fox, Andre "Tim" Monteiro​, Byron Jabara, John Castillo, and Jake Smith at Fox Fitness
Byron Jabara and Gary Hull
Byron Jabara and Gary Hull

Quote of the week: "High expectations are the key to everything" Sam Walton

Article of the week: "3 Ways to Become Happier with Your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training"

Direct download: Epi205320Gary20interviews20Byron.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Rafael Ellwanger is from Rio De Janeiro, he has been a BJJ black belt since April 10, 2006.  He opened his won gym called Gracie United, in Hammond Louisiana.  Gracie United has 15 schools in or near the Louisiana area.

Rafael Ellwanger
Rafael Ellwanger

We talk about:

  • Rafael's early BJJ, and an accident off the mat that broke both his legs
  • Why it can be difficult to start BJJ
  • How safe BJJ can be compared to training other sports
  • The rules of IBJJF
  • His thoughts on the double guard pull and the 50/50
  • Some of the current rules of BJJ
  • His early training in Brazil
  • His family not wanting him to do BJJ for a living
  • Some of the rewards off the mat of BJJ
  • The social benefits of BJJ
  • Teaching BJJ full time
  • Training with lower belts
  • Some older BJJ matches

Contact Rafael Ellwanger on his website or on his facebook page.

Check out the new Bernardo Faria DVD

The BjjBrick Podcast has been going for 1 Year with this episode!!  We have managed to pull off an episode every week.  We (try to quickly) go down the episode list for anyone who has missed something that you might want to go back and check.

Quote of the week:"Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler" Albert Einstein- Presented by Matt Thorton

Article of the week: Breaking Down the Notebook by White Belt Survival Strategy 


Direct download: Epi205220Rafael20Ellwanger20Gracie20United.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Matt ThorntonMatt Thornton is the founder of Straight Blast Gym.  He was introduced to BJJ in 1991.  In 2001 Chris Hauete awarded Matt his black belt.  He can be found running his own Academy in Portland, Oregon, when his is not traveling.

This episode we talk about:

  • His personal training history
  • We go deep into what are the fundamentals of BJJ
  • Why he recommends not teaching your style, just teaching fundamentals
  • How to find your own game after you get the fundamentals
  • The process of becoming a black belt in BJJ
  • Why many people make the "all you can eat buffet" mistake when studding martial arts
  • Conor McGregor's striking style and movement
  • Fundamentals are not style specific
  • The principal of Aliveness
  • The iMethod (introduction, isolation, integration)
  • Why it is important to make BJJ simple
  • The SBG kids program Growing Gorillas
  • Some advantages for kids to do BJJ vs other sports
  • Advice for students competing for the first time
  • Staying calm during competition
  • His early BJJ techniques
  • Why learning to relax is a key to beginner BJJ
  • Conor McGregor getting his brown belt
  • Having passion for the martial arts

Contact Matt Thornton by Email here or visit the website

Quote of the week: “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” Abraham Lincoln

Article of the week: "How To Be A Douche In Jiu-Jitsu" by


We end the podcast with Ultimate dancing with Byron's Mom talking about Randy Couture on dancing with the stars.


Details at the end of the show about how to win a free patch! United States only
Gi patch in action
Details of how you can get a free gi patch at the end of the podcast. sorry US only
Details of how you can get a free gi patch at the end of the podcast. sorry US only
Direct download: Epi205120Matt20Thornton.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Matheus Diniz is a rising star in the world of BJJ. He is a Brown Belt training at Marcelo Garcia's academy.  On Saturday 9-27-2014 he won the Pans nogi, Brown belt in the heavyweight division.

Matheus Diniz
Matheus Diniz


In this interview we talk about

  • What it is like to train at Marcelo Garcia's acdemy
  • Winning the Pans on 9-27-2014
  • Why it is important for him to have exciting fights
  • His training schedule
  • What makes MGinaction such a great environment
  • Advice for a first time competitor
  • What he was like as a blue belt
  • What happened in his first 2 BJJ matches
  • What he does before a match
  • Advice for developing a game plan
  • What it means to "start the match" and "always move forward"
  • Advice for people during their first year of BJJ

Matheus Diniz is sponsored by

Matheus Diniz Facebook page

Quote of the week: "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will be among the stars" Bernardo Faria

Article of the week: "When Hugs Get Dangerous: Guys Rolling w/ Women" by Jesse J. Saxon


Details of how you can get a free gi patch at the end of the podcast. sorry US only
Details of how you can get a free gi patch at the end of the podcast. sorry US only
Direct download: Epi205020Matheus20Diniz.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radiobernardo faria bjjBernardo Faria is one of the top BJJ black belt competitors on the mat today.  He credits a lot of his success not to being talented but to training very hard everyday.  He is currently training and teaching at Marcelo Garcia's AcademyLook for him this October competing in Worlds No-Gi, IBJJF PRO and NY PRO.

Bernardo talks about:

  • His early training and school
  • Teaching and training hard for competition
  • Training with Marcelo Garcia
  • Why he is able to put all his effort and determination in a match
  • Why he likes his half guard so much
  • His deep half guard dvd that will be released soon
  • His short term and long term goals
  • Focusing on doing your best and not focusing on winning
  • How he gets ready before a match
  • His omoplata and why he goes 100% for the submission and not the sweep
  • His very first BJJ match
  • Advice for someone doing their 1st tournament
  • What he was like as a blue belt (his longest belt)
  • Why it is important to develop you own game
  • Why you should set your own goals
  • Traits he likes to see in his students
  • His matches with Rodolfo Vieira

Contact info Bernardo Faria on facebook page here

More info on Bernardo's Deep Half Guard DVD!!

Quote of the week: "train hard fight easy" this quote was presented by Yuri Simoes

Article of the week: "8 Tips For Teaching Kids Martial Arts"

Details at the end of the show about how to win a free patch! United States only
Details at the end of the show about how to win a free patch! United States only. Matt Lowe sporting the patch at the IBJJF Dallas Open 2014


Direct download: Epi204920Bernardo20Faria.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:30am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio Yuri Simões is one of the top competitors at the heavyweight division in BJJ.  He is competing for the Caio Terra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association.  He has been doing BJJ for 13 years, compeating for most of it.Yuri SimoesIn this interview Yuri Simões talks about:

  • His main goal of becoming a black belt world champion
  • Starting Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 7
  • Overcoming his rough start at competition as a kid
  • His training habits
  • Competing with an injury
  • His last competition at worlds
  • His two wins over Rafael Lovato Jr
  • A Metamoris Match between Simões and Lovato Jr
  • His dreams to compete in ADCC and Abu Dhabi Pro
  • The possibilities of doing MMA in the future
  • How he will change his focus when transitioning to MMA
  • His first year in the black belt division facing many guys he looked up to
  • He has learned more about Jiu-jitsu since he has got his black belt than before the black belt
  • Why he is always learning and expanding his Jiu-jitsu

Contact Yuri Simões

Quote of the week: "ABC always be choking" Brian Marvin

Article of the week:  "7 people you meet training bjj"

Direct download: Epi204820Yuri20Simoes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radioBrian Marvin BJJ 2Brian Marvin is a 1st Degree Black Belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr.  This interview is packed full of great advice for the new grappler and the experienced competitor alike.  Professor Brian Marvin has recently opened a Gracie Barra School in Sugar Land Tx. This interview we talk about:

  • His early days of training (BJJ and MMA)
  • His smashing and attacking style
  • ABC (Always Be Choking)
  • How he developed his style of BJJ
  • Teaching the BJJ kids program
  • His new academy in Sugar Land Tx, a suburb of Huston
  • His goal to be a BJJ World Champion
  • Why he learned so much when he started teaching BJJ
  • Why you should be keeping a note book
  • Why he will mentally review his game plan before a competition
  • How to get better when you are only training with lower ranked students
  • How he has been doing the same basic techniques since he was a white and blue belt
  • A common mistake made by new students
  • How to improve your specific game
  • Why new students should set small goals for BJJ
  • Tips for doing the omoplata

Brian Marvin BJJQuote of the week: In boxing, I had a lot of fear. Fear was good. But, for the first time, in the bout with Muhammad Ali, I didn't have any fear. I thought, 'This is easy. This is what I've been waiting for'. No fear at all. No nervousness. And I lost.

Article of the week: Train or contact Brian Marvin

At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a free BjjBrick Podcast gi patch. Sorry USA only
At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a free BjjBrick Podcast gi patch. Sorry USA only
Direct download: Epi204720ABC20of20BJJ20with20Brian20Marvin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

This week we have our first repeat guest Roy Marsh from Sandhills Jiu-JitsuRoy is a Black Belt under Royce Gracie. He has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2001.  In this episode we talk about learning other martial arts and training Jiu-Jitsu.  He gives lots of great advice and he may just change the way you thing about the martial arts.


Some of the martial arts we talk about in this episode

  • Hapkido
  • Judo
  • Muay Thai
  • Taekwondo
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Karate
  • Kung Fu
  • Fencing
  • MMA
  • and more

Quote of the week: "Iron sharpens iron. So that one man sharpens another. I think that it is very true. If you are not in a training environment where you are getting smacked in the head, you are getting tapped out, you are getting challenged on a daily basis, then you are not getting any better. You’re not improving. Your workout partners are a very important piece of your progression as an athlete and the character that you are building as a person as well. Those are key components and finding that right place is a piece of it.”
Randy Couture “Wrestling For Fighting”

Article of the week: How to Accelerate Your Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ) Game By  From

Lots of great BJJ and MMA information at  Email Roy at

Epi 17 Interview with BJJ Black Belt Roy Marsh

Epi 16 Brian Freeman- Training BJJ with a T4 Spinal Cord Injury

At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a free BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.
At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a free BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.
Direct download: Epi204620Roy20Marsh20Other20Martial20Arts.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:56am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

BjjBrick-Podcast art small

BjjBrick (metaphor) it’s important to have a few key techniques that you can perform at a high level. You need to have a well-rounded game, but having some great techniques will help you excel at BJJ.  To your opponents it will feel like they got hit with a brick.  It takes a lot of blood and sweat to make a BjjBrick, but if you are making the correct bricks the effort will be well worth it.

Big strong tree-

The Bjj Tree, Click to enlarge, feel free to share!
The Bjj Tree, Click to enlarge, feel free to share!


  •                 Trunk- Fundamentals, Posture, and Game plan
  •                 Big branches- Positions, some branches will be stronger than others
  •                 Smaller branches- Techniques, from the positions
  •                 Leaves- Owning the techniques
  •                 Big roots- The pioneers of BJJ, and/or your instructor’s instructor
  •                 Medium sized roots- Your instructors and training partners
  •                 Small roots- Other methods of training and learning
  •                 Pile of leaves and branches on the ground- We all discard some techniques and positions when we are searching for what works best for us, this is normal.  You should avoid having a giant pile of leaves and branches under your tree.  Focusing on key things will help keep you from having this problem.

How important is it to have really good fundamentals? Having poor fundamentals is like a tree trying to grow branches without having a strong trunk.  Strong fundamentals are the foundation of your game, like a strong trunk supports a large tree.

The Building Burns-

The building burns.  Important concept for someone learning BJJ and making the transition to MMA.
The building burns. Important concept for someone learning BJJ and making the transition to MMA.

This analogy helps someone who has been training BJJ and now they are going to be doing MMA.

Quote of the week: "I fear no the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." Bruce Lee

Article of the week:"10 Reasons Why I Practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" By Peggy Nolan


At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.
At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.
Direct download: Epi204520Three20Analogies20to20Better20understanding20BJJ.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Ways to help develop a culture of learning at your BJJ school

  • Recognize improvement and accomplishments
  • Keep trying new things (everyone, the teacher and student)
  • Have a system of teaching and order to the class
  • Don’t teach, help students learn
  • Experience vs being taught- we learn more from experience (people learn more in the field than at school)
  • Enjoyment- improves performance, and learning
  • Promoting positive peer relationships
  • Get on the mat with your students- you might feel things that you cannot see
  • Have students figure out answers to their own questions (with your help) positional spar. Give them to tools to learn on their own.
  • Trial and error
  • Answer and encourage “Why” questions. “why do you grab his leg like that?”
  • Mistakes and Failure are ok, this is how people learn

Making leaders at your BJJ School

Funny but, not a way to be a leader
Funny but, not a way to be a leader
  • How can everyone have a leadership role?
  • Answer your student’s questions- This will encourage other students to help lower belts. Be an example of a good student/instructor
  • Help build people’s confidence with real and honest feedback
  • Positive attitude- Toward the training, and about the people
  • Be Passionate (don’t just show up and go through the motions)
  • Care about your training partners, (Learn names of new people, Get to know their life off the mat)
  • Have students show techniques they are performing well
  • The Meme about the birds crapping on each other Sucks!
  • It’s about PEOPLE!- Dr Carol A. Johnson example “I know that I am no more well educated, no smarter, no richer, no braver than any of you. You have everything you need. Everything you need to go and to serve and to help those who are poor, ill, injured, hurting, forgotten. You just need to do it. And you will find that the rewards that you receive are far greater than the things you sacrifice to do so. You are already so blessed, and you can be further blessed. I have been around the block a few times and I think I know what really matters in this world."   1. Relationships, not things.   2. What we do for others, not for ourselves.   3. What we do for eternity, for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”-Carol A. Johnson, MD 2012 Kansas Humanitarian Award recipient

Quote of the week: "If you are tired, don't show me" Ken Primola

Article of the week: "It Takes A Very Steady Hand, Or Foot" Dirty White Belt

At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.
At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.
Direct download: Epi204420Learning20and20Leadership.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

This week we have an interview with BJJ black belt Ken Primola.  With 15 years of BJJ experience find out why Ken Primola crosses the line.  Ken Primola bjj

We talk about:

  • How BJJ builds friendships
  • What Ken does off the mat
  • His daily routine
  • How BJJ and wrestling has effected Ken off the mat
  • Ken describes his BJJ game and how he rolls
  • Ken shares some great concepts about how to learn anything
  • The ILoveBJJ facebook page
  • Some of the biggest lessons he has realized as a black belt he learned them first as a white belt (rolling smooth, calm, safe, and smart)
  • A huge key to getting better at competing
  • Some mental tips to competition
  • Pushing yourself to train harder
  • Some must hear advice to anyone competing for the first time
  • The importance of being an athlete.
  • What Ken was like as a Blue belt
  • Check out some of Ken's Ebooks here
  • The process of learning both on and off the mat
  • The process of developing a game plan
  • What Ken looks for in an ideal student
  • The benefits of planning out your practice
  • Advice for first year BJJ students
    Ken has been working hard
    Ken has been working hard

Contact Ken Primola at

Quote of the week: “It Ain’t How Hard You Hit…It’s How Hard You Can Get Hit and Keep Moving Forward” Rocky. Presented by Samir Chantre.

Article of the week: "Slow Your Roll, Avoid This Detrimental Training Mistake" From Bjj Hacker

At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can get a BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.
Direct download: Epi204320Ken20Primola20Crosses20the20Line.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

This week we bring you top black belt competitor Samir ChantreSamir is a No-gi Worlds, Gracie Worlds and 6X American Nationals champion.  Listen to find out what technique he has been doing since he was a blue belt and now he does it as a high level black belt.  Samir is training and teaching full time with the Caio Terra Association. He has been training BJJ for 17 years (since he was 8 years old).  This interview is packed full of great tips and advice to help you in your BJJ journey.  Samir is also doing a BJJ Vacation Camp from August 29th to September 1st, full details in the interview.Samir Chantre jiujitsu

We talk about:

  • Doing BJJ full time
  • Old style of BJJ and the new style of BJJ
  • Doing some of the same techniques since blue belt
  • The first BJJ Vacation Camp, August 29th to September 1st 2014, in San Diego.
  • What you can expect to do at the BJJ Vacation Camp
  • His busy tournament schedule
  • What he does before and after every match
  • Why BJJ can be so frustrating your first year
  • How BJJ has helped him with his scoliosis
  • The development of the Berimbolo
  • Advice for a first year BJJ student
  • He competed every weekend as a blue belt
  • Dealing with and overcoming losses as a blue belt
  • Tips to figure out your own game plan
  • Why focus and commitment is so important for students

Check out the Bjj Vacation Camp Facebook page

Email him at SamirChantrebjj@gmail.combjj vacation camp

Quote of the week: We have 2 quotes from Felipe Costa "Don't let what you want now, take away what you want in the future". "Don't let the fear of loosing take away your desire to win".

Article of the week: The Triangle from

At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can win a BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.
At the end of the podcast we give details of how you can win a BjjBrick Podcast gi patch.

Check out our sponsor

Direct download: Epi204220Samir20Chantre.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Felipe Costa

Felipe Costa

This week we bring you an interview with Black belt world champion Felipe Costa.  Not every world champion is relatable to the common grappler. Felipe shares his story, and I can guarantee that you will find many themes and feelings that you can relate to. With students being able to relate to him this has giving him a powerful teaching tool.

We talk about:

  • He has been training since he was 12 years old
  • He never won a major tournament until he became a black belt
  • It took him 10 years to get to his black belt
  • Being a black belt means much more than rolling like a black belt
  • His favorite techniques and positions
  • His early competition career
  • Overcoming being nervous and self doubt
  • Beating a competitor that is better than you
  • BJJ camp 2014 Sept 5- Sept 15. in Cancun
  • His current neck injury that has kept him off the mat for over 2 months
  • He describes the level of pain he has with his injury


    Felipe Costa giving Ryan Hall his black belt

    Felipe Costa giving Ryan Hall his black belt

  • Goals for a bjj student for their 1st year
  • History of some of the rules in the IBJJF
  • His current goals
  • Advice for a BJJ students first tournament
  • What he was like as a blue belt
  • How the internet has changed BJJ training
  • Learning basic techniques vs the fancy techniques
  • Advice for making your own strategy
  • What he does before he competes

Connect with Felipe Costa:

Quote of the week: The Man in The Arena by Theodore Roosevelt “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Thank you Wil Horneff, from Training Grounds Jiu-Jitsu & MMA for presenting the quote.

Article of the week: Have You Ever Seen Someone Humiliated Like This in Jiu Jitsu… By Coach John Connors.  Check out John Connors interview here

Check out our sponsor 

Direct download: Epi204120Felipe20Costa.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Wil Horneff bjjThis week we talk to Wil Horneff. This interview is packed full of great training advice and you can tell Wil has a passion for training and helping his students. Wil is a Black belt under Ralph Gracie, he owns a school in Westwood NJ called Training Grounds Jiu-Jitsu & MMA. At Training Grounds they teach BJJ, MMA, kickboxing, and have a kids program.

We talk about:

  • How some movies eventually got Wil into BJJ
  • What it is like running his school
  • Books he recommends: Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports, and The Inner Game of Tennis
  • Why he focuses on adding pressure to his game
  • Training with some high level BJJ athletes
  • The current rules for IBJJF and why they are set up the way they are
  • BJJ and self-defense
  • Some of the ways BJJ needs to be changed to help in a street fight
  • How training in the Gi can help for self defense
  • He gives advice for 1st year students
  • The importance of drilling until you can't do the move wrong
  • S-Training and how it helps develop skill
  • Wil's current goals
  • Why creating space is bad for BJJ
  • Why you need to not drill moves in isolation
  • Getting more confidence and being calm during competition
  • Advice for your first time compeating
  • What Wil was like as a blue belt
  • Advice for developing your own game plan
  • Developing a culture of learning and leadership in his gym
  • Some traits that Wil looks for in a good student
  • We talk about some of Wil's history in acting
  • He played the bully in the movie "The Sandlot"
  • He gives behind the scenes stories of "The Sandlot", "Born to Be Wild", and "The Shining"

Wil Horneff Contact info- Westwood NJ Training Grounds Jiu-Jitsu & MMAHis email

Wil Horneff teaching kids class
Wil Horneff teaching kids class

Quote of the week: "Don't forget that i cannon see myself - that my role is limited to being the one who looks in the mirror." Jacques Rigaut

Article of the week:"To Wash or NOT to Wash Your Belt?" From: The Jiu Jitsu Transformation

Check out our sponsor

Direct download: Epi204020Interview20With20BJJ20Black20Belt20Wil20Horneff.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:30am CDT

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


Check out our sponsor

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

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Stephen Whittier is a black belt under Roberto Maia.  He has an academy in Wareham Massachusetts Called SBG East Coast.  Stephen has become a huge resource for the over 40 grappler.  He has lots of great advice not just for the over 40 grappler, but anyone who steps on the mat.

In this interview with Stephen Whittier we talk about:

  • Why having a specific style can hold you back
  • Why the fundamentals are so important in Jiu-Jitsu
  • Getting on the mat as a 40 plus grappler
  • Dealing with instructors that may not know how to coach the older grappler
  • The differences between teaching and coachingStephen Whittier
  • The Aliveness component of jiu-jitsu
  • Starting BJJ as someone in their 50s or 60s
  • The social differences between the younger BJJ students and the older students
  • Finding the right gym for you
  • Why people quit jiu-jitsu after training the first time
  • Why people are drawn to try jiu-jitsu
  • Competing for the first time
  • Why stripping your attributes (speed, strength, flexibility….) out of your training can help you get better in the long run
  • How BJJ has changed over the years
  • How fundamentals are different than basics
  • Focusing on these three things- Posture, Pressure, and Possibilities
  • Tips for getting over common frustrations
  • We wrap up by talking about some of his products that he has to help the over 40 grappler


Quote of the week “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”  Mark Twain


Article of the week- “3 Simple Things Great Teachers do” by Daniel Coyle

Free email series:

40 Plus Membership Site and Online Academy:

Stephen’s Youtube page

40 Plus BJJ Facebook page

Stephen’s email

Direct download: Epi_29_Stephen_Whittier_of_40_Plus_BJJ.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

This week we talk to Dwane Clifford about training BJJ and how supplements can be a tool to help you reach your goals.

Dwane is a friend that we met on the mats. He has a passion for supplements and helping people reach their goals. Dwane has a philosophy of discovering the customers goals and then helping them find the right supplement or training to help.

We talk about:

Supplements that help with flexibility
Supplements that aid with stamina
Why Jiu-Jitsu players should steer clear of products with a lot of caffeine
Taking care of your joints
How supplements can help lubricate your joints
What fish oil does and does not do for you
Some tips for cutting weight, and how using supplements is really a last resort
Tips on cutting weight without using supplements
Gaining size and strength
How to tell if you are in a bad supplement store
Common myths in the supplement industry
Some of the bad things that happens in the supplement industry
Advice if you are new to taking supplements
Our Sponsor- Coupon code “BJJBrick” for 10% off your order. Check out the Fuji All Around BJJ Gi. Gary and Byron both have this gi. It is affordable, comfortable, it is great for training and competing. This gi will last you for many years. Great value with this gi, and save 10% today!!

Quote of the week: Allen Hopkins (last weeks interview) gives us his favorite quote. He got this from Master Pedro Sauer. Allen asked him “what is the most important thing in Jiu-Jitsu?” Master Pedro Sauer responded with “to always be a gentleman”. At first this quote did not mean much to Allen, as he learned more about Jiu-Jitsu and life he realized this was truly a great quote and a great way to live your life.
Article of the week- “Surviving (Socially) the Beginner Phase of BJJ” by Valerie Worthington
The Supplement U facebook page
Call Dwane at (785)833-2188 Mention this podcast to Dwane and he will give you a discount and free shipping.

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Direct download: Epi_28_Supplements_with_Dwane_Clifford_from_Supplement_U.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

Allen Hopkins is a 3rd degree black belt under Master Pedro Sauer. His school is in Hattiesburg Mississippi. He attended his first seminar July 13, 1991 it was thought by Grand Master Rorion Gracie. After that seminar Allen Hopkins was hooked on Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.


We talk about:
Training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu before the first UFC
His training in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu
Attending early Gracie Jiu-Jitsu seminars
How Gracie Jiu-Jitsu got it's start in the United States
The Growth of Jiu-Jitsu
What is was like to attend the first UFC
Some differences between Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
His match back in the day with Eddie Bravo

Sponsor: Coupon code “BJJBrick” for 10% off!

Quote of the week: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything if it were a nail.” Abraham Maslow


Article of the week: “Safe Training Rules for Women” Fifty/50 BJJ Cailn
Allen Hopkins website

Team Hopkins Association

Pedro Sauer's website

Direct download: Epi_27_An_Interview_With_Allen_Hopkins.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesand Stitcher radio

In this weeks episode we talk to Tom Machowicz (Mac) from Fuji Sports. We cover everything from getting your first gi to helping a seasoned veteran figure out what gi is best for competition.

This Gi Guide covers:
Why do you need a gi?
Advantages to training in a gi
How judo gis are different from BJJ gis
Basic types of gis
Tips for getting a gi for kids, women and men
How the location the gi is made can effect the quality
Different types of weaves
How to get a gi that fits you
The advantages of Rip-stop
Different types of collars
How to take care of your gi
Shrinking your gi to get the best fit
Common mistakes with gi care
How to get your gi dry quickly
Putting a patch on a gi
Custom gis for your team
What makes a competition gi?

Quote of the week: We got this quote from an email from our friend Santiago. “My teacher is my opponent, my ego is my enemy” Renzo Gracie

Article of the week
30 Signs You're A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Addict-

Our Sponsor- use coupon code "BJJBrick" for a 10% discount!

The Neppon Edition Gi 
Fuji All Around BJJ Gi (both Byron and Gary have this gi)
Size chart
Call our friend Tom at (212)769-1823 if you have any Gi related questions

Direct download: Epi_26_Gi_Guide.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

This week we have an interview with Amber Oxford. Amber is a Blue belt that trains at Wichita Jiu-Jitsu Club. Amber is holding a free event called Girls in Gis on April 12 at the Wichita Jiu-Jitsu Club. When she is not on the mats Amber is a full time nurse and she recently bought a salon it is called Tranquility Salon. Amber also finds time in her busy schedule to compete on a regular basis.
Girls in gis started as an open mat for women, it has gotten much bigger. Girls in Gis is a nonprofit organization that helps promote BJJ to women.

Amber talks about:
Getting more women on your BJJ team
The Girls in Gis organization
Her experiences competing
The benefits of women doing BJJ
How to get a Girls in Gis event to your area
And much more

Support us by checking out our sponsor Coupon code "BJJBrick" for 10% off your purchase. Check out the women's Gi selection!

Quote of the week: This quote was brought to us by Coach John Connors “Commitment requires an endless series of small painful actions” Phil Stutz

Article of the week: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – A Female Perspective
Girls in Gis
Amber's Salon Tranquility Salon
Wichita Jiu-Jitsu Club
Ambers event on April 12th

Direct download: Epi_25_Girls_in_Gis_with_Amber_Oxford.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 1:31pm CDT

This week we talk about the four basic types of matches you could find yourself in BJJ. We gave each match a symbol, to make it simple.

1) The straight line or arrow (------, ------>). This is a one-sided match that progresses smoothly. This match goes from start to finish with one of the competitors dominating the other. A tip for a tournament is to watch the rest of your bracket as they compete. You might see someones game plan and be able to avoid the dominant parts of their game.

2) The Figure 8. This is a chaotic match. This type of match is typically at the lower levels, because the higher level competitors are more controlling and better at using any dominant position. If you find yourself in a match like this, you can win this match, but you are going to need to fight for it. Try to use the transition to your advantage. Decide your strong part of your game and find a way to get your opponent to that place. If you find yourself behind in a match, you might look for ways to make it more like a figure 8 match.

3) The Circle O. This match is like a loop (like the movie ground hog day). The competitors find themselves doing the same things over and over again. If you are winning keep this going. If you are on the wrong end of this match find ways to break the loop, you need to change some things that your doing.

4) The Dot . This match is when nothing is happening. Be ready for your competitor to try to score at the end of the match. Try to find a way to get the match going.

We also give some training tips, because you will encounter these types of matches in training.

Quote of the week- This quote was brought to us by Coach John Connors from Episode 23 “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Albert Einstein

Article of the week: I'm not ready for a BJJ competition, From

Direct download: Epi_24_Basic_types_of_BJJ_matches.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

This week on the podcast we bring you an interview with coach John Connors. John is the author of the e Book Quick Start Guide to Complete Jiu Jitsu Competition Readiness”. This is a great guide for someone who is an experienced grappler or just starting out.

At the age of 35 John found himself in the business world and lacking the fun and excitement of a sport. John started BJJ with Roberto Maia, and the fun and excitement was put back into his fitness. John eventually got his black belt in 2006 from Roberto Maia. John is now 51 years old and is very active on the mat and he also has a passion for coaching.john connors bjj

John Connors talks with us about:
Meeting goals off the mat
Coaching BJJ and MMA
Grappling for older people and not getting hurt
Making a game plan for competition
Developing key moves
Positional sparing
Limiting your training to get better faster
Making the most of your training time
Coaching during a match
Setting different goals for your competition
Sparing like it is an actual match with a referee and a coach
Dealing with an adrenaline rush
Getting better at winning scrambles
The advantages to getting a fast start to a match
Advice for the non competitor
Setting new challenges outside of your comfort zone
How competition can help you get better at BJJ
Advice for someone's first day at BJJ


Quote of the week: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden

Article of the week: 3 Steps for Returning to BJJ After Injury –

Get John's Ebook for competition for free here
Rickson Gracie Documentary Choke
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers (this is a link to the entire book as a pdf!!)
Email John Connors at
John's Facebook page
John's Twitter @Connorsmma

Direct download: epi23_bjjbrick.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 8:56pm CDT

This episode we are covering some of the basics. We are going to break down some of the main positions in BJJ and give you some guidance for each one.  

We give tips and general strategies for:
Side Control
Quote of the week: “When you loose say little, when you win say less.” Matt Hughes

Article of the week: “11 Things Your Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Won't Tell You”.

Direct download: Epi_22_The_basic_positions_and_what_to_do.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunes, and Stitcher radio

We both spent a significant amount of time working on escapes. We have had a big increase in confidence with our grappling by getting better at our escapes. It is good to know that you will be able to escape a position.

Escapes fall into two categories: Escaping submissions, and escaping positions.

You need to be proficient at escaping from both sides (left and right), you do not get to choose what side is attacked.
Put yourself in bad positions, the more you train at them the better you will get at escaping.
Escape fast, if you get out of a position fast enough your opponent will not score points.
Know the areas that you are weak in and work on them.
Roll with people that can push you.
Try working on two escapes at the same time.
Ask questions, your teammates will be happy to help.

We also give some tips for escaping these common submissions:
Triangle choke
Chokes in general

Quote of the week: “What you everyday matters more than what you do once in a while”. Gretchen Robbin

Article of the week: – Why and how to keep a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu notebook

our email is

Direct download: Epi_21_The_importance_of_escapes_and_how_to_get_better_at_them.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

It is important to take a step back and look at your grappling game.  Are you in a mode where you are trying to accomplish a goal?  Or are you just trying to get better at BJJ in a particular area?  


Some examples of the goals mode that we talk about:

You have a tournament coming up that you want to do well in.

Achieve the next belt in BJJ.

To drop some weight.

Your goals should be:



Have a time frame

Results focused



Some examples of some areas that you might consider for growth:

Get a better defense.

Get a better offense.

Experiment with a new technique of strategy.


Ways to help develop your growth

Go in to a deep study of the area you are growing.

Use rolling as an opportunity to try your new stuff.

Ask upper belts for help.

Make sure you are growing in the correct ways, get some guidance from your coach.

You may need to try your new techniques on lower level oponents.





Quote of the week: “you can never defend someone else belt, that is their job.”  Sean Roberts If you catch a higher belt in a submission you should go for it, and there should be not revenge.


Article of the week: “How to be a BJJ Soccer Mom”  This article was sent in by our friend Mat, thanks buddy!  This is a great article that gives you some advice on how to support your team at a tournament.

Direct download: Epi_20_Goals_Vs_Growth.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

This episode is in iTunes, and stitcher radio

This week we have another preview of Metamoris 3. We talk to Sean Roberts, he has a match with Zak Maxwell (last weeks interview).

Sean Roberts is a Black belt under Ralph Gracie, he is currently training with Checkmat.

We talk to Sean about:
-What he does to relax
-What got him started in BJJ
-His thoughts on Royler Gracie Vs. Eddie Bravo
-The way he approaches the rules of Metamoris
-How the Brown belt Kumite helped prepare him for Metamoris
-His thoughts on how Zak Maxwell will approach the match
-He shares a couple of personality traits that have helped him get better at BJJ
-What he does before an important match, and how it has changed over time
-What he was like as a blue belt and purple belt
-Tips of competing for the first time, and building your confidence before a competition
-His cross country BJJ tour he recently took, and his plans to do another one
Quote of the week: “Every kick in the ass is a step forward” Unknown. If you get kicked in the ass and you don't take a step forward, you fall down.

Article of the week: The art of losing 1- By Roy Marsh

Gi Soap
Newaza Apparel
Sean Roberts Facebook page

Episodes Mentioned:
Epi 17 Roy Marsh
Epi 18 Zak Maxwell

Direct download: Epi_19_Sean_Roberts_Metamoris_3.mp3
Category:bjj -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

Today we bring you the first episode of our Metamoris 3 preview.  We have an interview with Zak Maxwell, he will be competing in Metamoris 3 against Sean Roberts.  Zak is a black belt he is currently training at Gracie San Diego.  

Some of Zak Maxwell's accomplishments:

Pan American Champion as Purple and Brown belts.

World Champion as a Brown belt.

Pan American Absolute as a Brown belt.

3X ADCC pro trials as a Black belt.

Metamoris 3 will be the first time Zak has been in a submission only match.  We talk to him about his match with Sean Roberts.  Zak also tells us what it was like for him to start training as a kid.  Zak also offers some of his competition tips.


Zak Maxwell's Gi sponsor is HyperFly.  Swing by their website and if you get a Gi tell them thanks for supporting Zak!



Quote of the week- “Look at what you have, not what you want.” Roy Marsh



Article of the week- 10 Tips to help the Non-Competitors Stay Motivated. From

Zak Maxwell's Facebook page

Gracie San Diego


Our Roy Marsh interview


Next week we have an interview with Zak Maxwell's opponent Sean Roberts.

Direct download: Epi_18_Zak_Maxwell_Metamoris_3_preview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

This week we bring you a very educational interview with Roy Marsh.  Both Gary and Byron got a lot of knowledge out of talking with Roy, we hope you do too.

Roy Marash is a Black Belt under Royce Gracie. He has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2001. Roy's game is always changing but he prefers a top game with a lot of top pressure. His go to guard is the butterfly guard. He trans a lot with the military.
Roy talks about:
Self defense- he gives some ways he adapts training for his BJJ students to deal with real world situations.
Training for a tournament- He give some great advice on developing a strong tournament game.
Breaking everything in BJJ down- Roy breaks BJJ down into four factors the two big factors are distance and angle, the two smaller factors are timing and pace.
Staying positive after a tournament- If you have something bad to say about your tournament, you should also say something good about the tournament.
Roy's House Theory- He wants to fight you in areas that he is good at, this is his house. Have places in each position that you are very good at.
Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone- He is a firm believer in this, find what works for you and find ways to work around your own limitations.
The BJJ community- We have such a great community and friends in this sport.
Roy will be putting out a DVD this year on back control. Look for this DVD and we hope to have him back on the show to talk about back control.
Quote of the week- "I can be paralyzed and miserable or paralyzed and happy, I choose to be happy." Brian Freeman. You can catch a entire interview with Brian in episode 16 of the BjjBrick Podcast.

Article of the week- Roger Gracie- Understanding the phenomeom.

Team rok
Roy Marsh's website

Next week we start our Metamoris 3 preview!

Direct download: Epi_17_BJJ_black_belt_Roy_Marsh_interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

This week we are very lucky to have a interview with the very inspirational Brian Freeman.
Brian is a disabled vet with a T4 spinal cord injury with Brown-Sequard syndrome. He is brian freeman bjjfrom Rockingham, North Carolina. Brian enjoys training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, his 8 year old daughter convenced him to get on the mat. He started by taking private lessons first then transitiond into the regular BJJ class.
Brian shares with us how BJJ has changed his life. BJJ has caused Brian to be more active then he was and also helped him with his lack of appatite. Jiu-jitsu has also given him more confidence.
we also talk about Brian's:
-First UFC experence
-Favorite techniques
-Unique challanges
-Rwards that BJJ gives
We thought it would be ineresting to talk to Brian's coach BJJ Black Belt Roy Marsh (Team R.O.C.). Roy is co-owner of the Martial Arts Academy of Southern pines and he is the head instrctor of the BJJ program. Roy was kind enough to talk to us about training with Brian. Roy is a firm beliver that BJJ is for everyone. When Brian showed interest in learing BJJ Roy was happy to help.

Quote of the week "Pratice does not make perfect, prartice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect" Daniel Coyle. This quote make not make since at first but we break it down. As you pratice it actually makes small changes in your brain that makes things easier for you to perform.

Article of the week: "Getting Tough"

Daniel Coyle's website
Brian on twitter @wheelchairjitsu

Direct download: Epi_16_Brian_Freeman_BJJ_with_a_T4_spinal_cord_injury.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

This week we talk to Shawn about the business side of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  We get some great advice from Shawn about how to start your own gym or help make it more profitable.  We also get some advice for professional athletes, and how they can save some money.  He give some advice on where to go to get help making a business plan for the new gym owner.
Shawn also gives tips about using social media to promote your business.
Quote of the week: "If you work hard and smart, you will be successful in life" Renato Tavares
Links this website is for Kansas but there are economic development sights like this for every state.  this website can help you get your business off and running, for free.
If you need to contact Shawn email him here
Direct download: Epi_15_Business_side_of_BJJ.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

This week we bring you an interview with BJJ 5th degree black belt, Renato Tavares.  Renato has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 1974, thats 40 years!!
Renato talks to us about:
-Importance of having strong fundamentals
-Comparing BJJ to life- He breaks down the different belt colors to different stages in life
-A story about when he moved gyms and ended up loosing $40,000 and training in his garage.  Now today he has his successful gym with many students and 17 schools in his association.
-Advice on competing for the first time.  He recommends doing a few smaller tournaments before doing larger ones.  Renato actually does some "in school" tournaments to give his students practice at competing.
-The belt promotion requirements that have been set by the IBJJF.  This has become a big topic in BJJ, Renato helps clear up some confusion about the belt system.
-Setting goals, he gives several tips on how to set goals and meet them.
-He takes us through his warm up routine.
-He shares some of his most happy moments in his BJJ life.
Quote of the week:  This week we have a one word mantra "Go".  We talk to Jason Bircher from KCBJJ, and he explains how this simple mantra has helped him with his training.  Jason is a black belt under Renato Tavares, and we are fortunate to match him up with our interview with Master Tavares.
Article of the week- "One of the biggest mistakes you can make in BJJ training"  This mistake is something that both Gary and Byron have done and if you are able to avoid it, it will save you time and energy.  We recommend that you swing by this website and read the article.
Renato's sponsors Ground control and Ground fighter
Direct download: Epi_14_Renato_Tavares_40_years_of_BJJ.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

In this weeks podcast Gary sits down for an interview with Dallas Niles.  we are found in, iTunes, and Stitcher radio, and our website

Dallas Niles is a 29 year old purple belt.  He recently did a seminar at Wichita Jiu-Jitsu Club.  Gary took the opportunity to get a great interview.
Has been training BJJ for about 6 years under Rafael Lovato Jr.  Dallas closed out the 2012 pan ams with Jarrod Dopp.  He has placed at the Europeans, no-gi worlds, and won american nationals.
Dallas will be competing in the Europeans at the end of January.  After that he will be competing in a long string of tournaments for the next 6 months.
Dallas shares with us lots of information about; training, motivation, goals, competing, coaching, dealing with losses, competing with wrestlers, go vs no-gi training, his favorite submission,hobbies out side of BJJ, and much more.
Contact info: Of Dallas Niles
Quote of the week – “If you think, you’re late. If you’re late, you muscle. If you muscle, you get tired.  If you’re tired, you die.  When you die is when you tap.” Saulo Ribeiro
Article of the week- (actually a website)- Mike Calimbas is the worlds number one photographer of BJJ.  Byron and Gary have both liked his Facebook page and we recommend that you do to.  If you miss a tournament Mike will provide your news feed with stunning pictures of all the action.  Visit or his facebook page
Next week we have an outstanding interview with BJJ black beltRenato Tavares!
Direct download: Epi_13_Gary_and_Dallas_Niles.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

Today we are going to be talking about the different types of white belts in BJJ.  You might be a white belt or you might be coaching one, this episode should be a benefit to anyone who trains Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Types of White belts
Totally new:  You may appear to be a blank slate, but you are going to bring something different to the table.  Good for you for getting in there and trying it out.  In the long run this grappler should be a smooth rolling partner.
Coaching tip- Make it fun.
Wrestler:  We welcome this talented grappler to the BJJ mat.  Your years of hard work on the mat will pay off.  Find ways to adapt your game to dealing with the different positions and submissions.  Your mat strength and ability to scramble well are priceless.  We recommend Justin Rader's new DVD for any wrestler looking to transition into BJJ (we put a link at the Bottom of the page).  We talk about the big cultural difference between BJJ and wrestling.  Wrestlers get a big advantage in getting to compete a lot in a short amount of time.  This helps get rid of the nerves that may hit many people who do BJJ.
Coaching tip- Help them transition there skills to fit BJJ, and make sure they learn both sides of the game not just the top position.
Experenced with other martial arts:  No matter what art you have dedicated yourself to learning there will be benefits from what you know.  Judo is a great martial art back ground for BJJ.  The striking arts are a lot different but you learn a lot of discipline and the ability to deal with pain and discomfort.  Do remember, that you are doing a new martial art and you need to leave your colored belt at home.  You will be starting as a white belt, if you walk in wearing a colored belt some students will probably go a little too hard on you thinking that you are ready for it.
Coaching tip- Help them stay positive, and acknowledge their accomplishments in the other arts.
Strong:  Congratulations you have put the time in the gym and became very strong.  At first your strength will seem like it is failing you, as smaller players teach you that strength is not everything.  In the short term learn the techniques.  In the long run your strength will be there for you and make your moves even better.
Coaching tip- Pair them up with people who will roll safely.  Try to get them to focus on the technique.
Skinny: This person will often have a difficult road as a white belt, but if they hang in there they can become a technical beast.  Most schools have a lot of smaller people, they will be happy to share there skills with you.
Coaching tip- Acknowledge that it is a difficult road but it will soon get better.  Protect them from catching too many hard rolls.  These grapplers will make a coach proud.
Overweight: If loosing some weight is a goal BJJ can help.  Try to find ways to enjoy exercise and if you have fun with BJJ you are on the road to success.  Don't push your self too hard, keep it fun.  During openmat you can take a round or two off to take a break.  Your weight can be an advantage, try to avoid using your weight in ways that if you lost your weight your BJJ would suffer (no big guy moves).  If you are not on the mat yet, just give it a try.
Coaching tip- Push them but not too hard, and stay positive about progress.
Old:  You are older and wiser (hopefully).  Listen to your body.  Don't ignore your ongoing pains.  BJJ can be hard on your body so go at your own speed.  Roll with people who are not likely to injure you, it is okay to avoid some people.  Try to give your body time to heal in between days you train.  Even though you may lack with experience on the mat you might find yourself in a leadership role with the team.
Coaching tip- Understand that they may not be able to train as much as the younger grapplers.  Find out what there goals are and help them reach those goals.
Young:  First off we must say that you are NOT invincible.  If you have the opportunity to wrestle in school we both (Gary and Byron) recommend it, even if it means you take some time off of BJJ.  We list many advantages to doing some wrestling, even if you are not great at it.
Coaching tip- It might be hard to let one of your students leave for wrestling season but they will grow a lot in that time.  Just be sure you call them and make sure they get back in the gym after the season, they might bring a friend or two back with them.  Make sure the young grappler understands that it is okay if they don't win as long as they learn from it.
Athletic:  If you are good at other sports try to find some unique aspects that you bring to the table.  Athletic people just seem to pick up things quicker, focus on a few moves and get really good at them.
Coaching tip- Find ways that they like to get coached.  They are use to getting coached and should take it better than most.
Competitor:  Remember that you are a white belt, competing against other white belts.  This is just the first step in your competition journey, good or bad learn from it and look to move up in the ranks.  Develop a game plan with your coach and try to force your game on your opponent.  Stick to the game plan.
Coaching tip- Help them avoid burnout, expectantly after a loss.
Busy: You have a job, a spouse, a family, or what ever is taking your time.  We recommend that you try to find time to grapple at least once a week. 
Coaching tip- Having a wide range of times people can train will open up opportunity for busy people to roll.
Bonus (you):  Everyone is different, I am guessing that you can relate to more than one of these categories.  Find what works for you.  People grow at different rates, you might get promoted quickly or slowly.  Just keep training.
Quote of the week: "Don't listen to what people say, watch what they do" Unknown.  Watch someone teach a technique, but then also watch them do it as they roll.  There might be some small details they forgot to tell you.
Article of the week: - Five Things I Learned About Life From Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Swing by and check out the article it is an interesting read.  If you would like to send us an article email it to
Justin Rader's Hybrid success formula:  We have both trained with Justin and are very excited to get into this DVD, and learn from this world class grappler and coach.
Direct download: Epi_12_different_types_of_white_belts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am CDT