Survive, Defend, Attack

This post is going to be about a new paradigm idea I’ve been thinking about related to bottom position. I’ve been toying with the idea that all bottom positions are guards. That the distinction between guard and other bottom positions isn’t really necessary. Maybe mount bottom is just a really bad guard position? Anyway, I […]

Of Black Belts and Humility

If you have been paying any attention to BJJ news recently you will likely know that Enson Inoue came back from a long hiatus from Jiu Jitsu and demoted himself to purple belt in the process. Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Demotes Himself To Purple Belt This set off a firestorm of opinions in both directions. Some […]

Confessions of a hobbyist black belt

It’s interesting that much of what we see and hear from Jiu Jitsu black belts comes from well known guys and world champions. We form much of our understanding of what it means to be a black belt from these guys. It’s certainly a worthwhile goal to aspire to the achievements of the greats. There […]

The One Secret Trick to Getting Good at BJJ

                                                                          go to class regularly. listen to your instructor.                     […]

Evaluate a gym in 5 minutes or less.

This post came about because of a series of discussions I had with people at the gym. I’ve been thinking about diversity on the mat ever since a big stink was made about Keith Owen and his comments about women not being able to make it in his classes. Georgette Oden did a nice job […]

How to be a great mediocre BJJ student

My personal aim is to be a great mediocre BJJ student. While some will tell you that we all should strive to be world champions I think that’s misguided thinking for many of us. I’ve had the pleasure the last few weeks to watch one of our purple belts prepare for the Mundials. He’s a […]

Simple things you can do to improve your Jiu Jitsu game

Here’s a list of things I’ve learned from experience make a huge difference in getting good at BJJ. In no particular order- Slow down! I tend to try and roll at 70% or less most of the time. If you roll any harder than that you are most likely using strength, speed, and athleticism to […]


70%…. That’s my number. I don’t ever like to roll more than 70% effort. If I can’t beat you with that kind of effort than I’d rather not. It’s not worth it to me. Sounds strange? Maybe it is. There is a reason for it though. I think it’s a good threshold number for me. […]

The Fallacy of Technique

The Plan Back when I was a blue belt I developed a great idea of how to get good at BJJ. I decided that the way to get good was to collect techniques. I’d collect a set of high percentage techniques from each position and I’d add a technique or two at a time until […]

The Gift of Age

43 is not old. Not in most everyday situations I find myself in. I can walk, talk, think, and move around this world every bit as good as I did in my 20’s. In some areas of my life though 43 is old. In the realm of athletics I can’t think of many sports where […]

Aliveness as a Spiritual Journey

Here’s a really cool quote found on Facebook by Matthew Weber I think the psychological architecture to have, enjoy, draw strength from, and feel profound in having religious/spiritual experiences is something that’s hard wired within us for evolutionary reasons. Thus transformation rather than loss, in india.One possible solution (my personal favorite) would be to use […]

Don’t Let the Tap Get in the Way

I got a chance to roll last night with a really good purple belt. It was a very pleasurable experience. Sometimes when you are rolling with someone it’s an uncomfortable fight. Sometimes it’s just plain fun. To those who don’t train it would seem counter intuitive to think that you could be engaged in a […]

How Do You Measure Progress?

I’ve been thinking about this a bit. The answer of course is ” It depends?” BJJ has a built in process of belt progression to help but largely the process of gauging process is a deeply personal one. I firmly think that establishing your own personal way of measuring your progress in BJJ is essential […]

How to Roll

I’ve been thinking a bit about the idea of how to roll with different size and skill levels and still make each roll productive. I’m lucky at my gym to have a huge variety of guys to roll with. I get to roll with brand new beginners, huge athletic guys, advanced BJJ players, and everything […]

Bullshit Meter

I always tell students that anywhere from 5 to 95 % of what I say and teach in class is bullshit. It’s their job to sort that out for themselves. I say that in jest but it does have a ring of truth to it. I don’t want anyone to buy my truth as theirs […]

How to Be a Dick

Well, this was one of the most popular posts on the old blog so I thought I’d bring it over to the new. Enjoy! Here’s my list of some of the ways to be a real Dick when grappling. Make every roll feel like the finals at Mundial. ALWAYS bring your A game. Unless you […]

Aliveness as a Coaching Concept

I was participating in an online forum discussion on drilling recently and one of the posters commented that SBG tended to “overthink” drilling. I admit that when you look at all the material we have around drills it can look intimidating. If you look at the I Method, The 3 P model, the fundamental 5’s, callout drills, pocket […]

Basic vs Advanced Technique

Thanks to SBGi Ireland coach John Kavanagh for the blog post idea. He says, and I agree, that basic vs advanced is probably not a great way to describe techniques in BJJ. That maybe high percentage vs low percentage works much better. It may seem like just a matter of semantics but it sets up a value […]