BJJ Tournament

Prove Your Doubters Wrong ( 1st BJJ Tournament )

Do You Remember your 1st BJJ Tournament or Competition

Do you remember getting ready for your 1st Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competition or tournament? Do you remember the nerves associated with preparing and getting ready to step out on the mat against a complete stranger ready to go 100%?

If you do, then you remember it’s scary!

I remember my 1st Wrestling match which was my 1st taste of competition anxiety and the self doubt associated with it. It was tough. I didn’t feel like I was getting ready for a sports competition. I felt like I was preparing for my end. I couldn’t even imagine life after the tournament. It just consumed my thoughts.


White Belt Getting Ready For His 1st BJJ Tournament

Our White Belt friend Alex, recently sent me a message asking about how to deal with the fact that he is nervous for his 1st BJJ tournament. But in addition to that, and making it worse, is the fact that his friends who do not train are incredibly negative and telling him he isn’t good enough. This si tough because they are his friends and so their opinions are very valuable to him and mean a lot. So this is hard for him to deal with.

Keep in mind it’s his friends who don’t train Brazilian Jiujitsu that are vocal about his abilities. Not his friends that do train. He says that his friends who do train are incredibly supportive. In fact, they say he’s going to do incredibly well.

What To Do With Doubters

In this video I talk about various situations I’ve experienced in my life where doubters were there, ready to cut me down. Experiences like losing weight, stepping into BJJ and MMA, getting into the gym business and even starting my YouTube channel.  I’ve have doubters in everything I’ve ever done in my life that was difficult but contained a worthy goal. And in many cases the doubters were the people that I truly care about the most. I share how I dealt with these issues and how I overcame them.

Hopefully this advice is useful to Alex for anyone who is struggling with doubters in extreme situations like a Brazilian Jiujitsu tournament or anything that’s challenging in their life.


P.S the passage I referenced in the video was. . .

“As you proceed through life,
following your own path,
birds will shit on you,
Don’t bother to brush it off.”

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bjj Street Fight Question

I Used BJJ in a Street Fight and BJJ Gauntlet


I’ve really enjoyed these random questions with Chewy. It’s a little more of a relaxed format than my normal long Chewy rambles.

In this video the 2 main questions are:

  1. Have I ever been in a Steet Fight? / Have I ever used my BJJ in a Street Fight?
  2. What’s my opinion on the Belt Gauntlet in BJJ?

I rambled on pretty long about these two questions, sharing various experiences I had. But I found them interesting.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in a Street Fight

I know that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu being used in street fight situations is always an interesting topic. This is particularly due to the origins of BJJ. It was promoted as a fighting system and means for self-defense. Which it is! But overtime there has been an increasing focus on sport and BJJ competitions because of the fun factor.

I’ver never really been a self defense minded person. Mainly, because I knew the power of taking a combat sport and using it in live situations. One of the biggest benefits combat sports can give you for a fight is the ability to deal with stress and the chaos of a fight.

In the video I share 2 ways I used BJJ and Combat Sports to win a fight and avoid a fight!


The BJJ Gauntlet

The Gauntlet in Brazilian Jiujitsu is a bit controversial. Some people claim it’s brutal, barbaric, awful, etc etc. I tried to touch on my idea about it and share the reasons why I like it and why I continue to do it. Both as a practice for my students and why I continue to do it as a person. I still walk the gauntlet myself!

If you have thoughts on the gauntlet, list them below and share your ideas.


I hope you guys enjoyed this sort of random question video. It’s a different format that the typical ones. But hopefully it’s entertaining.Everyone has seemed to like them!

Thanks for watching!


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Also, if you’re interested in getting a Grey Chewjitsu BJJ Gi when I have them made. Sign up to my email list. I’ll also give you a Free BJJ Ebook and Video.

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If you’d ever like to train with the team and I. Check out my gym Derby City MMA in Louisville,KY. 


Intensity Wave

Why It’s Good to Lose Intensity with Training

Recently I got asked a question about regaining the intensity of training following a big MMA match. Although the analogy that I use could be geared towards any martial art or any sport really. Because as I’ll talk about in a second, every high has it’s low and has to come down.


So our friend who asked the question, we’ll call Bob because he wishes to remain nameless.


Bob said, he had an MMA fight in his hometown in front of 1500 people. He won his fight in the 1st round by Guillotine Choke. It was great! He said he felt better than he ever has both mentally and physically.

Intensity is needed for the fight

The problem has come following the fight. He says after the fight he cannot recapture the intensity he had leading up to the fight.


I think we’ve all felt this way sometimes right? You were just killing it. You’re body felt great and then for some reason you lost that drive to train for some reason. Maybe you know why, and other times you don’t.


In Bob’s case, it’s clear why he lost his drive to get after his MMA training. He fought and rode this wave to a super high point. Rather, he is the wave and he build himself up to this big peak. If you guys have ever won an MMA fight. . . it’s an incredible high.


And a intense high like that can’t last forever. Eventually it has to come down.


Going back to the wave analogy. Think of a wave. It undulates. Up and mouth in a certain rhythm. It’s the duality of nature really. There’s an up and down, give and take, and ebb and flow.


And when a wave moves closer to the shore and builds up to a peak, and then what does it do? It CRASHES into the land! Just like Bob and his fight. He worked himself during his fight camp to a peak and then came CRASHING into his MMA fight. Winning in impressive fashion.


After the crash of the wave onto the shoreline. What happens with the wave? It begins to recede backwards. And then it will eventually build back up sending another wave crashing to the shore.


Don’t Fight The Downward Wave


Bob is experiencing the downward undulation following this crashing on the shore. And when you find yourself in this situation, you  have to go with it. If you fight against it, you’re only going to weaken you’re future potential. If you fight against this natural rhythm and continue the climb for more intensity. Eventually instead of riding a wave down, you will come crashing down via injury or just complete exhaustion and burnout. Instead of fighting to get back to this red hot intensity. Ride the wave down.


I know because I’ve been there before.


As a MMA fighter or BJJ competitor who is obsessed with getting better. This downtime can seem infuriating and counterproductive. But if used right it can be one of the best points for growth in your game.


During this period of downward undulation when you’re in a more relaxed stage. Use it as a time to bring in new weapons into your game. Use it as time to grow and evolve.


For me, whenever I didn’t have an MMA fight looming over me. Or even now. When I’m not actively preparing for a BJJ match our tournament. I use it as time to play around with different techniques and options. Expanding my available avenue of weapons. Consider it research and development.


Then once a battle is looming on the horizon and I have to ready myself for the conflict. I sharpen my blade and prepare. That’s fight camp, that’s tournament prep. It’s grueling and focused around the A game and improving your ability to execute the weapons you have in your arsenal. Not necessarily to bring new ones into the mix.

1st MMA fight win

Really Good MMA Fighters and BJJ Competitors Evolve


If you watch really good MMA fighters from fight to fight to fight or BJJ competitors from match to match. Watch how they evolve. They’re not the same forever. They continue to change and grow.


During this period of lower intensity. Work on evolving. Work on growing. When there is no fight fueled nervousness or anxiety associated with training where you’re questioning yourself, “am I doing enough?” Be a sponge and just soak it all up. Learn as much as you can.


This way each time your wave of intensity builds up. You’ll come crashing further and further down the shore. So that hopefully you can realize the true potential you have in you which will represent the high tide of your life.


But if someone fights against the natural current of their body for too long. The tide will recede further and further back till eventually theres just calm waters.


So if you’re in the same situation as “Bob” and you can’t get your intensity back up following a big win or competition.
  • Remember, this is normal, there is nothing wrong with you. Rather it’s the natural wave you’re a part of.
  • Instead of fighting the wave as it slides down. Go with it and use it to facilitate growth in your game by bringing new techniques and weapons into your game.


I also created a video on this subject!

I hope you enjoyed the esoteric wave rant. Hopefully it made sense!



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If you’d ever like to train with the team and I. Check out my gym Derby City MMA in Louisville,KY.

You’re Going To Lose In BJJ Tournaments, Lose The Fear

You’re Going To Lose In BJJ Tournaments, Lose The Fear

When it comes to BJJ competitions there are very few guarantees. There are a few though. One fact or guarantee is that you’re going to lose. Yes, you’re guaranteed to lose in BJJ tournaments at some point or another. It’s just how it is.

Just saying that stings the ego a little doesn’t it? But it’s the truth. Even the superheroes of BJJ have lost matches. They may have not lost many but they’ve still lost.

At the 2016 IBJJF Master Worlds. I scored a win against an opponent I had previously lost to. And I felt compelled to post not just my win, but also my loss against him.

While this goes against what my ego would like to do (it would be much easier to post just my win, and that be it). I think it’s important to highlight the fact that we all lose and when it comes to BJJ tournaments. Because if you lose it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean you suck at BJJ, it just means you lost. Also, it’s not always who’s better at Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Sometimes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions it’s about who plays the game the best.

Forget About Losing In BJJ Tournaments

So if you’re afraid of losing and that fear is keeping you from competing. Realize how silly that is. You’re being fearful of a forgone conclusion. You’re going to lose at some point. But there is also the chance that you can win and experience victory. But the only way you can do that is if you get out there and put yourself to the test.

No sense in fearing something that is bound to happen at some point or another right?

Instead, if you’re fearful of competing because of losing. Take all that energy and thought and put it towards how you can win.

So get out there and compete in BJJ if you want to. Don’t let fear stop you.


Intro / Outtro Music :

1st Match Music:


Am I Ready For My 1st BJJ Competition?

I was recently asked by John D, “When will I know I’m ready to compete in BJJ?”

This is such a common question I get from my newer students who haven’t competed in wrestling or other 1-on-1 sports.

The people that get into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that have competed in other 1-on-1 sports know that a part of it is simply doing it. You’re going to be nervous and second guess yourself and, honestly, you’re not going to know you’re ready. But you just do it anyways.

This is especially true for your first BJJ competition. You won’t know you’re ready for something you haven’t done yet. So it’s only natural that you’re going to second guess yourself and wonder when you’ll feel ready.

But again, you’re not going to know. There isn’t some magical feeling that comes over you to inform you of your preparedness. It’s not a video game where you advanced to the next level and then can move to the next stage.

So for your 1st BJJ tournament you’re not going to know you’re ready. You just have to get out there and do it.


BJJ Competition Game Plan If You’re An Over-thinker

If you’re one of those people who is a little more anxious or an over thinker. Like myself. Then something you can do is make a simple BJJ competition game plan outlining at least one move from every major position. Making sure you have at least 1 takedown, 1 guard pull, 1 escape from every position, a sweep series, submission series.

In essence you want to make sure you know exactly how you will approach the match from start to finish. This way you don’t have a moment of, “oh shit. . . what do I do now?”

Because trying to think about the techniques you’ll use during a match is the completely wrong time. When you try to think in that ultra stressed out mental state. Your mind is scrambled and it’s just not happened. You’re in a much better position if you have a game plan in place that takes some of the thinking out of it for you and allows you to adjust and react quickly.

And what’s strange is, by having a game plan in place for your BJJ competition. It takes out some of the nerves associated with the tournament. Having a game plan and KNOWING what you’re going to do does wonders for helping ease and relax you prior to the match.

So there are a couple of tips.

Hope the video was helpful!

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Simple Trick To Breaking Grips With Armbar From Mount

Simple Trick To Breaking Grips With Armbar From Mount

So, you’ve got an Armbar from mount but once you’re on the side trying to finish it you find that you’re unable to because of your opponent’s grip.

armbarWhether they grip their gi or just grabbing a bicep. You just can’t seem to get rid of armbar defense they’ve put up. Then eventually during the fight they manage to make their way out of the armbar and get free.

Victory was within sight, you had the submission. But as so often happens in BJJ. Your opponent countered and now you’re back at square 1.

Has this happened to you?

Sure it has. It’s happened to just about everyone. I know that for me. One of the reason I started using the grip adjustments I show in this video is because one of my training partner had iron grips. I could get the armbar. But for the life of me, if he secured his grips. I just couldn’t break them.

Over and over again this happened. I would sit to the side and start trying to tug away at the arm and he managed to find his way out of the armbar.

Eventually I had a light bulb moment. Instead of fighting his grips after I’ve already sat back for the armbar from mount. What about if I did something to fight the grip before I sat back.

Since then, this has been one of those little tricks that I keep up my sleeve if I’m dealing with someone who has crazy strong grips that I fight with.

If you’ve been in the frustrating situation of fighting grips after you sit back for an armbar from mount. Try these grip adjustments out.

I also show a simple setup for the armbar from mount that anyone can use.

Armbar From Mount Video

I hope they help!


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Drilling To Both Sides In BJJ (3 Benefits)

Drilling To Both Sides In BJJ (3 Benefits)

drilling Bjj at homeAre there advantages to drilling to both sides in BJJ? Should you drill to both sides in BJJ?

The question of drilling to both sides in BJJ comes up a lot, especially with those newer to BJJ.

Most of us, at least in the beginning, tend to focus on our dominant side. Which is whichever side feels most comfortable. Most of us favor the same side depending on our dominant hand and feet, but there are exceptions.

I know I asked this question in the beginning of my Brazilian Jiu jitsu training. My coach back then told me that I should drill to one side only so that I have 1 side at 100% instead of having two that are 50/50.


I Say Drill To Both Sides In BJJ

As I’ll share in the video, I do not agree with this idea of sticking to one side only and encourage everyone to drill to both sides in BJJ.

Here’s why.

Most people favor doing the same moves on the same sides.

For instance, people will typically do their sweeps and passes dominantly to one side. Just think of your own game. Think about the moves you use and drill and which sides you tend to stick with. More than likely you stick to one side for particular moves more than the other.

Because of this our games become very overdeveloped on one side and, in some cases (like the story in the video), underdeveloped on the other.


Benefits To Drilling To Both Sides In BJJ

  • Being able to attack to both sides allows you to take advantage of your opponent’s weaker side.
  • You will help your training partners round out their game. If they are forced to fight against both sides, it’s less likely that they will become too one sided.
  • You have to sort of teach yourself the technique. Because the weak side just doesn’t come naturally. It makes you break the move down more and put the pieces together. This furthers your understanding of the technique and makes it more effective on both sides.

If you’re questioning whether or not you should start drilling to both sides. Watch the video and get my take on it.

I hope the video helps!



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A Fix For Tight Back Muscles After BJJ Training

Fix Tight Back Muscles After BJJ Training


Tight back muscles is one of the problems I’ve experienced after BJJ training. I’ve had spasms which seize up my upper back muscles so much so, that I’m not able to even stand up straight.

Once this happens, the symptoms typically persist for about 1-3 days and eventually subside and I get back to normal. But while they are around, I’m in constant pain.

I’ve had this problem since I was a college kid who spent too much time ending his BJJ training by playing computer games. Sitting in a chair at a desk only furthers the rounded back posture that causes this tight back issue. It’s especially bad when you do this right after BJJ training.

In this video. I show how to use a lacrosse ball in order to loosen up some of those tight back muscles that get locked up after training Brazilian Jiu jitsu or working out. It’s a cheap way to massage those muscles and get them to relax.



I hope this video helps out. I know over the years. This has been helpful to me in relieving the pain in my back. Also, check out this video as well as I talk about stretching the pec muscles and strengthening the back. Strengthening the back and stretching the chronically tight pec muscles will ultimately help prevent this issue and help keep you in a better posture throughout the day.

Like the old saying goes, “a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” As I share in both of these videos. Take a preemptive approach to your body’s issues. Figure out what they are and stay on top of them all the time. Most of us have some dysfunction. Using these techniques as part of continual maintenance is incredibly important for your BJJ training.

If you have questions, let me know.


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Cardio Workout With Bad Knees For BJJ Competitions

Cardio Workout With Bad Knees For BJJ Competitions

My favorite piece of cardio equipment when I’m getting ready for BJJ competitions is the airdyne bike. If used properly, it can get you a great cardio workout for BJJ (or any sport) even if you have bad knees.

I bring up the bad knees part because I received a question recently about getting ready for a tournament. He said he knows he needs to do extra cardio to get ready, but things like running hurt his knees. He knows I’ve had a knee surgery before and wondered if I had any advice on how to get a good cardio workout for BJJ even with his bad knees.

With the rigors of competition style training it’s definitely important to be smart with your training outside of the gym, and to make sure that the workouts support your BJJ training, That’s one of the reasons I use it.

It’s also a great warm up if you have tight or fatigued legs. An easy pace for 10 minutes is a great way to loosen up before training. I do this before some of my morning training sessions to wake up my lower body. Especially if the day before was a tough one and my body feels a little stiff.

A Simple Cardio Workout Using The Airdyne

If you’re getting ready for a BJJ tournament here’s my advice. Find out the time limit on your match and then do intervals.

Do 20 secs on (at full pace) 10 seconds slow. Keep going for the full duration of your match time. Repeat for multiple “matches” if possible.

You can even slide this into a normal lifting workout as it’s short and won’t kill your gains and ruin your workout. After you’re done lifting. Jump on the bike for a short 10 minute sprint interval workout.

So I hope that helps if you’re looking for a good cardio workout for BJJ but you have bad knees.


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4 BJJ Leg Lock Drills (Continuous Movement For Both People )

4 BJJ Leg Lock Drills (Continuous Movement For Both People )

In this video I show 4 BJJ leg lock drills you can use to help build better movement in leg lock positions. The drills are continuous. Meaning they don’t stop. This is a great way to drill to develop faster movement and get a good work out at the same time.

If you’re like me. I get bored doing slow drilling. But having constant movement allows me to keep the movement going and keeps my attention. This type of BJJ drilling also gives me a solid workout.

During the filming of this video Rich and I did a total of about 12 drills lasting about an hour and a half. We were exhausted afterwards because there was never any stop to the movement. If you look closely during some of the drills, you’ll see little sweat marks. This is stuff we were actually drilling and something we get a good workout from. And we’re Brown and Black Belts.

In this series of BJJ leg lock drills the focus is on the straight ankle lock, outside heel hook and kneebar.

The movements are simple but transfer well over to other positions.

I hope you like the 4 bjj leg lock drills in this video. I’ll have more coming up in the future!

If you have any questions, let me know!



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