university bjj club

Having a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club at your university or place of employment can totally rock. Not only does it give you more practice time, but it allows you to meet people and share the awesomeness of the art. A little over two years ago one of my training partners and I started a BJJ club at our school – University of Wisconsin Oshkosh – and it has been extremely rewarding.  In the two years we have learned a lot of lessons and I wanted to share some great tips to anyone who wants to do something similar at their school!

Location

Finding a place to train sometimes isn’t as easy as it seems. In my experience snagging a wrestling oriented room is optimal, but when difficulties reserving the room come up, things can get dicey. Make sure to locate and reserve a room as your first priority. It actually took my partner and I over six months to tap into the wrestling room and in the meantime we had to use one inch thick Karate mats which wasn’t fun.

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Brazil 021 Picture

This summer I had the opportunity to train in Chicago, IL while interning at Pandora. I bounced around a few gyms until I found the best fit which became the Brazil 021 headquarters in the downtown area. I spent nearly 12 weeks training at this gym and it was an extremely positive and kick-ass experience! Below are some overall highlights of the gym to give you some insight into why you should train there if you are in town.

Family atmosphere

The gym that I consistently train at definitely has a strong family vibe, like most gyms, however, at Brazil 021 they put the family aspect first and foremost. For me, it was almost a bit sketchy how genuinely kind and friendly everyone was. Even on my first day I had people remembering my name and cheering me on during drills, it caught me off guard it was so polite. I was honestly in disbelief at the culture of Brazil 021 and thought it was fake, however, after 12 weeks it proved to be 110% authentic. People cared a lot at Brazil 021 and I found the gym to be a very positive place to go after a long day at work!

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I wanted to share this video I made with my instructors of this sick top turtle finish. This is a great finish for when you have one hook in but cannot get the other. Feel free to ask any questions below!

GreyGoose

Grey Goose: Gi Review

I’m not saying this gi will get you the ladies (or dream man) but this gi does work some magic. When I was asked to review this gi I was super excited because it’s not your average gi, it’s the, “Grey Goose.” I like to be different than the crowd and if doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu isn’t enough, having a different colored gi helps as well! Before going on if you are looking for a less subjective review check out Meerkatsu’s extremely intricate product review here otherwise below is my opinion about this quality product!

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Washing Machine BJJ

Properly taking care of your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi is essential to training. The gi is a big piece of the puzzle of BJJ and washing, shrinking, as well as caring for your gi is important. Let’s face it, if you don’t keep proper hygiene, you won’t be training very long. I have always been a little skeptical at people’s opinions and blog posts for these gi care topics so I wanted to create a solid step by step guide for each of these processes based off what I have had work for me, my dad, and other training partners.

When you first buy your gi

It’s pretty important to wash your gi before it’s first use (especially if it’s colored) to set the dye in the fabric. Here are the steps:

  1. Remove from packaging
  2. Punch into washer
  3. Add 1 cup of vinegar
  4. Wash with cold water
  5. Hang to dry

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There are a lot of interviews with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts on the web, however, there are very few of lower belt levels – especially when it comes to women. I feel like hearing what a black belt has to say sometimes isn’t as relatable as someone closer to my own belt level. That’s why I wanted to gain some insight into the advanced white belt world from Morgan Miller. She is a white belt that has recently been tearing up the female featherweight division. In fact, she just placed third in the Pan Ams last week!  I decided to reach out to her to see what advice she could give women at the white belt level in BJJ.

The interview is as follows:

Q: Why do you think women should do BJJ?

A: BJJ is a great sport for women. Its not only an awesome workout to help you get into amazing shape but a great form of self defense. I’ve also noticed it helps build confidence in women as they learn and develop skills that make them feel more safe and secure.

Q: What is your training schedule like?

A: I train BJJ every day, as well as an hour of cardio everyday (45 minutes on elliptical, 15 minutes on an exercise bike). I also do strength training 4 days a week.

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Q: What are your favorite techniques?

A: I really like scissor sweeps, arm bars and triangles.

Q: How do you prepare mentally for a tournament?

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Rolyer vs Eddie

As many of you know there will soon be a rematch between Eddie Bravo and Royler Gracie at Metamoris 3 on March 29, 2014. There is a ton of controversy that surrounds their first fight (watch it here) because Bravo wasn’t very well known and Gracie is of course from the famous family who originally founded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Also, that fight is what propelled Bravo’s popularity and his BJJ association 10th Planet. There are a lot of assumptions about who will win the fight, however, there are also a lot of facts about the two fighters you may or may not know. I wanted to give visibility to each fighter with as many transparent facts as possible so you can decide for yourself who could win this match!

Eddie Bravo

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TeacherJean-Jacques Machado

Rank: 3rd degree black belt

Years of experience: 20 years

Fighting Experience: 5 wins 2 losses ADCC Qualifiers and Tournament

Smokes Marijuana: Definitely

Signature Moves: Rubber Guard, Twister

Royler Gracie

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Teacher: Helio Gracie

Rank: 7th degree black belt

Years of experience: 20+ as black belt

Fighting Experience: 4 time World Champion, 3 time Pan American Champion, 3 time ADCC Champion, 5-5-1 Professional MMA record, silver medal in the Judo Brazilian Nationals

Smokes Marijuana: Doubt it

Signature Moves: All Original Techniques

Comparison

Looking at the facts shows why it was such a huge upset when Bravo tapped Gracie out. We can’t ignore Bravo due to his previous win, but when looking at the facts, he is definitely the under dog. Gracie has quite the track record and statistically has the highest probability of winning, however, there is always a chance of an outlier – wow that got nerdy quick. All in all, I think it will be a great fight and I think big events like this are great for the economy of the BJJ community. Personally, I want to go with Royler, but I think there is always a possibility of the underdog winning!

What is your prediction?