Rickson Gracie, The Living Legend

He sure is a legend… obviously we all dream to be like him?

WAIT… BJJ is about our own journey…

Well at least his accomplishments can be inspirational to us… Below is a little homage to his awesomeness with a few videos to commemorate his greatness and history in helping mold what modern BJJ is today…


Choke, A Rickson Gracie Documentary

Rickson Gracie VS Koichiro Kimura Vale Tudo Japan 04 20 1995

Rickson Gracie, Vale Tudo Japan Open 1994

Rickson Gracie VS Yuki Nakai Vale Tudo Japan 04 20 1995 FINALE

Rickson Gracie VS Yoshihisa Yamamoto 04-20-1995 ROUND 3

Rickson Gracie VS Takada 1997

Rickson Gracie VS David Levicki

Rickson Gracie vs Masakatsu Funaki 2000

Joe Rogan, Eddie Bravo Talk Rickson Gracie, and Kron Gracie at ADCC 2013

Joe Rogan Experience #524 – Rickson Gracie & Eddie Bravo

Eddie Bravo explains the Rubber Guard to Rickson Gracie

Tuesday 8 pm BJJ

Got to LEMMA at roughly 7pm tonight, met up with Morgan… drilled out some arm bars from closed guard, discussed variations of the Ezekiel choke by closing the fist by placing pressure more with the chest to the back to complete the triangle to complete the structure and complete the choke with pressure to Carotid arteries in the neck

Me, Morgan Frazer, John Ganth, Gary Maki, Jared Maki were on site for 8pm BJJ…

Warm-up Consisted of the Following Drills:

1. Arm bars from closed guard, 10 reps alternating sides

2. Hip bump sweep from closed guard, 10 reps alternating sides

3. Omaplata’s with over hook, from closed guard, 10 reps alternating sides

4. Scissor sweeps, with cross lapel from closed guard, 10 reps alternating sides

5. Triangles from closed guard, 10 reps alternating sides

6. Spinning arm bar from far side under hook, starting in side control when your partner turns into you. 10 reps alternating sides

Gary and Jared , I’ve attached a cool viddy found on Youtube below for further reference… enjoy!!


7. Arm bar starting mount, with cross collar lapel grip, waiting for opponent to defend, moving to S/technical mount, switch the arms, bring the leg over, and grip the leg while applying pressure to the elbow. 10 reps alternating sides

Gary and Jared I’ve attached a cool viddy by Jiu-Jitsu Magazine with Roger Gracie demonstrating below for further reference.



Got John Ganth to show us a few wrist lock again… love it.

 1. S-arm wrist lock from cross lapel grip. I believe below I found a cool viddy with something similar to what was showed tonight… Thanks John.


I feel like it’s just the tip of the iceberg with us and wrist lock application, below is a cool clip from BJJ Hacks about Fredson Paixao with the most nastiest submission in BJJ. I’ve only heard horror stories of this guy entering tournaments, applying these locks to people… guys not tapping in time and breaking their wrist. With only guys withdrawing from the tournaments when they see his name on the sign up sheet lol… enjoy!!


Below is Fredson Paixao vs Ricardo De La Riva @ Mundials 2002 a clip i found on You tube enjoy!!



1. John Ganth, hard flow round, 1 x 5 min round

2. Morgan Frazer, hard flow round, 1 x 5 min round

3. Jared Maki, hard round flow round, 1 x 5 min round

4.Gary Maki, hard round, a lot of grip fighting, 1 x 5 min round.

5. Morgan Frazer, hard flow round, 1 x 5 min round

sore meme

BJJ is all about balance and life… Maybe we’ll see you out for tomorrow’s BJJ class or even Friday Open Mat… keep the wife at home happy… more BJJ!


12 pm Family Day Open Mat at LEMMA

Wonderful thing is that BJJ is all about family… thought it would be nice to bring the wife and baba out to LEMMA to hang out where I spend a good portion of my life training. Maybe one day I will convince her to start BJJ. Made sure to brew a largr pot of coffee this morning, only -16 out this morning while walking my dog Chucky Lee Norris… had a couple glasses from my favorite 12 year old aged bottle of scotch last night… delightfully hell to get up this morning with the baba fussing all night. I’m soooo thankful for a great wife.

Yay, day off… some guys posted on our LEMMA Facebook group to have an open mat at noon… finally had an opportunity to bring by the baby and the wife for a bit, may get his first shark tank in “not”. I was a little disappointed with the turnout at noon, though. The guys that requested it didn’t even show up. Ah well, ups and downs… all is good though we had a few people turn out… when your at home watching TV or recovering from your late night out… or tell me you have a life out of BJJ, 1.5 hours of training won’t ruin it… truth. Hard to commit I guess… and hey I understand. I have a wife, baby, and full time job as well, sometimes going on 2 hours sleep because of #babyproblems… whats your excuse? Iron sharpens iron, when your at home we all lose on a training partner OTM. BJJ is nothing without training partners. Just my opinion and end rant…


Oh well, it was good enough to get a sweat on… a little pissed at my my performance… in BJJ we tweak our joints all the time, even unknowingly. I must have tweaked my right elbow yesterday or something… rolling with a furious white belt I guess. Gotta roll differently with them… expect the unexpected, I guess defense mode for their 175 percent outputs and scrambles. Had to wear a elbow tensor bandage after warming up with Jesse, still not sure how I hurt it… weird, just push forward they say.


Nice though, learned a new entry and foot placement for a standing double under pass from one of our lovely Nogi 10PJJ enthusiast Jsse Veltri, as well as an introduction to the truck. Jesse Veltri has been training with us for a few years now, primarily focussed in Nogi. He just recently competed at Gracie Nationals as a blue belt Nogi competitor under 10PJJ, got a submission in his first match at roughly 15 mins, but got knockout in his second match. 10PJJ works lol… it freaking works in Nogi competitions as well as has MMA applications especially due to not relying on the GI as primary focus is GI grips. Cool thing about techniques in BJJ is that as a whole it is part of grappling… there is soooo much evolving and changing in this sport and industry. Techniques are evolving, changing, improving, getting more efficient, and relying less on theory, with more on applied application. If you want to beat it… you have to learn it that’s just it, any great master will tell you that. BJJ with a GI and BJJ without a GI are two different beasts. These two styles have different applied applications with completely different grips and friction that could prevent a technique to be used in one but rather in the other. Not going to lie, I’m a GI guy that trains Nogi only in the summer, which worked out to about 2 time a week… if provided another class, maybe once a week… I would attend and it’s the truth.


The great thing about today though, was that I brought my 2 month old finally out to our gym… cutie… can’t wait till I get an opportunity to teach him what I know about basic self defense and BJJ. He is a definite black belt in being a natural cutie.

Warm Up:

1. With Jesse Veltri, the standing double under pass entries to back take, 20 mins


1. Steven Maley, hard flow round, 1 x 10 min round
2. Travis Duncan, hard round, 1 x 10 min round
3. Jesse Veltri, hard round with defense, 1 x 10 min round

Maybe we’ll see you out for tomorrow’s 8pm BJJ class!!


10 am Sunday BJJ After V-day…

-40 c out this morning, the day after Valentine’s Day… Fan-freaking-tastic. Had me mah morning java… walked ma dog, fast it was… no snooping around. Sooo cold out ;p;  Got to the Gym at 9am.

9am training consisted of tabata styled movements with the grappling dummy. 60 secs per movement, with 5, different exercises as hard and as fast as possible. 5 sets total 60 sec breaks between sets.

5 Sets of:
1. 60 sec, knee belly switches
2. 60 sec, side control switches
3. 60 sec, mount to s-mount, alternating sides
4. 60 sec, standing up side control switches
5. 60 sec, side control, push-ups to knee belly, alternating knees

Below is a cool 10 min video clip of me working on the grappling dummy this morning at 9am in slow motion for my 1st set lol… enjoy hahaha.


Turned out to be a very very small group today just me and Furious Scotty Hall… lucky him, he gets private… says him lol.

20 min Warm-up:
1. Jogged around the mat the insides to outside switches for a few laps
2. Lunges, 1 lap
3. Forward shoulder rolls, alternating shoulders, 2 x across mat
4. Reverse shoulder rolls, alternating shoulders, 2 x across mat
5. Side shoulder rolls, 1 x across mat left side & 1 x across mat right side
6. Forward butt scoots, 2 x across mat
7. Reverse butt scoots, 2 x across mat
8. Backwards shrimping, 2 x across mat
9. Forward shrimping, 2 x across mat
10. Backwards break fall to technical stand, 2 x across mat
11. Forward break falls to technical stand, 2 x across mat
12. Inside Z walks, 1 x across mat forward, 1 x across mat backwards
13. Outside Z walks, 1 x across mat forward, 1 x across mat backwards
14. Tri-angles, 1 x across mat

I asked Scott what he wanted to work on and he asked me for a few closed guard submissions and how to prevent guys from breaking out of his closed guard. We went through the arm bar and kimura from closed guard. We discussed key points of control to maintain your closed guard with elbow flaring, sleeve/cross-standard thumb in and pistol grips, cross lapel grip control, and using your legs by pulling your knees to your chest to take your opponent off balance. We discussed how he needs to continually keep his opponents posture broken and off balance with all of these various points of control to keep them in his closed guard. I then showed my variation of a closed guard kimura and what I call the lazy man arm bar

Scott, below are a few cool clips I found on maintaining the closed guard by Stephan Kesting.




1. Reviewed closed guard kimura attack, with a monkey and keeping the guard closed.

 Scott, below is a cool clip I found on the kimura by Stephan Kesting.


  1. Reviewed lazy arm bar, with a foot on the hip and bringing up the knee on the other side.

 Scott, below is a cool clip I found on the this armbar by Stephan Kesting.


Positional Resistance Drilling:

  1. Maintaining the closed guard, 60 sec intervals, 5 reps
  2. Closed guard kimura attack, 20 reps, each side
  3. Lazy arm bar, 20 reps, each side

Rolling: (5 x 5 mins Rounds)

  1. With the Furious Scotty Hall

Below is my 2nd set with a 2.5 min sped up video clip of me drilling with the grappling dummy at 9 am this morning hahaha enjoy.

Hope to everyone out for Open Mat at 12pm tomorrow on Family day!!


What BJJ Coaches Won’t Tell You!!!


Wow thought this article was super fantastic and really hit home… I attached a link below.


The writer of this article asked 11 different BJJ instructors from different clubs and different skill levels to state things that they normally wouldn’t tell their students. At my personal level, I consider myself a coach… been coaching on and off taking over classes here and there until our two main BJJ coaches left us to pursue aspirations in southern Ontario… the mecca of BJJ in Ontario, Toronto. I believe, I officially took over running these classes late last year pretty much after John Veale finished his last exam… i think or was it the year before… grrr not sure lack of sleep from baby waking up is blinding me lol… we helped loaded his cube truck and that was it. Full-time coaching the BJJ classes on Sundays and Tuesdays, I was a little bit perturbed, now I wasn’t allowed to be only focused on myself all the time, training always consumed me, especially competition. I was addicted to competition, especially after my first one, now I was limited to minus, yes two nights a week. Pros and cons… pros and cons… another part of my journey I guessed and trail blazed through… To fully understand technique you must know how to teach them accordingly… still frustrating though not being able to drill… yes I love drilling. Worst is when the classes are odds and with time management of having the classes run on time I had to remove myself from the mix at times, irrational it was. I used to train five to six days a week at its peak, addiction? Yes. Full-time job and wife. Coached two of those days a week so it went down to four or five depending on if the numbers were even including myself. No dice with drilling, so I started coming earlier to get the weights and some lifting in to keep up with the missed training. Baby popped out on Dec 23rd 2014… yes a baby, love the dude seriously… I love him… but now I’m down to four days a week “sarcasm?”. Two of them? Coaching is BS I’ll tell you BS… naw… its all good. Life I’ll tell you, similar to BJJ ups and downs, unforgettably moments and surprises . Mind you with the baby and minimal sleep, it has opened up other doors an opportunity to share what I’ve learned with all my years in BJJ, even though I consider myself a fetus compared to others in this Martial Art. It’s integrally why I started blogging, extra down time with a baby… hopefully someone else sees my BJJ journey, can sympathize, can relate. We humans need support systems. Support and welcoming of new practitioners into BJJ. It’s how we maintain positive growth in our BJJ communities. This article really hit home and is hilarious at the same time… Again I’m only a purple belt, not a black belt… yes #purplebeltproblems we have them too lol… I’ve added my two cents, or some may say half a cent of comments only, as additional feedback. lmao.


“We know it feels weird.  We know the positions are odd and that sometimes you feel a choke isn’t in correctly, but when we tell you to trust the technique instead of your feelings, listen to us.”

Personally, a lot of techniques I have learned, I’ve used OTM through trial and error… to me a technique I’ve learned and will teach may not 100 percent work for everyone based on personal attributes… based on your body type, your opponents body type, the functionality of the technique taught might not be necessarily for you. That’s why we drill and roll to work the functionality of the technique so you understand how the technique will be useful for you in multiple specific scenario’s.


“When you first walk into a club looking to take BJJ, we’ll normally ask if you have any experience…what we’re really looking for is if you have any grappling experience.  Karate, Tae-kwon-do, Jeet-kune-do…we don’t really care, and we really don’t want to sit and listen about your karate tournaments, just get on the mat and let’s start.”

I get this all the time… it is what it is… You’re a 2 degree black belt in Karate, fantastic… TKD awesome… just a head’s up I’ve explained,  there is no striking, slamming, eye gouging, wearing jocks or cups, biting, heel hooks, neck cranks or fish hooking in BJJ… oh you have to wear a white belt in our class… and please sign a waiver… after warm up’s, we drill, work on some technique, some positional stuff and then some live rolling. Welcome to BJJ. Most of the time their gassed from the warm ups… only 10 mins long damn… i remember the days of 30 mins or an hour as run by John Veale, miss the old days, god bless what he did for us with BJJ in Thunder Bay, all the meat heads hate warm ups. BJJ philosophy, burn your self out with warm ups-drilling-positional sparring and you will find time to only use technique while rolling from being sooo burnt out. Most of the time they don’t come back… however the guys that maintain course and continue coming to classes are the keepers as training partners. The best is when your rolling with them… and they are like I just want to punch you in the head, while in your closed guard… or gas tap when your on top of them… hahahahah


“We don’t like teaching arm bars over and over, and especially don’t like teaching side control hundreds upon thousands of times.  But like anything you want to be good at, it’s necessary, so please don’t complain that you aren’t learning anything.  We know its repetitive and kind of boring, but we also know that it needs to be perfect.  Plus, we are working on ours at the same time, not just teaching it”

Yes it is boring… but its the shit that works and we hit it during tournaments… just saying tried and tested… this shit works. Drill drill drill. Boring, but it works. Like Bruce Lee once stated… fear the man that has practiced one kick 1000 times, not the man that has practiced 1000 different kick’s? You get this with the enthusiastic white belts that have been training for a couple months and ask you about how to do a reverse de la riva sweep to a berimbolo back take, after doing research on YouTube cute… or from watching the BJJ pros executing it in competitions. Heck the white belt can’t even execute an arm bar from closed guard while positional drilling with their partners… I know your trying to be in the in and cool but its not… Just be fantastic and do the boring stuff please…


“We paid ours, and you’re going to as well.  We fought tournaments, we roll every class, and we did thousands of positional drills.  All this came with multiple injuries, hundreds of hours as the “choking dummy” and gallons of sweat, blood and mat-burn ointment. So no, we aren’t ‘good’, we are the product of thousands of ass-kicking’s, and you will be too”

I may be only purple belt, not a pro nor a black belt… but I have spent a few countless hours OTM, especially at our gym… believe me it didn’t take a year to get my blue belt. I was a white belt for 4 years. When we first started there was only a few of us training in a GI… yes a few… grown quite a bit since leaving where the old club use to be…


“BJJ is about finesse, combinations and going with the flow.  We understand that up until a certain level your body isn’t trained to relax when it’s in a physical battle.  But we also know when you can relax and just don’t want to, and that causes injuries.  So when you decide to can-opener me and cause me injury, you’ll get a little friendly guidance on the rules of rolling and injuries.  Do it again and we decide to hold onto submissions a little longer and a little harder until you get the point”

OOOp’s… I’m guilty… my style is like a mouse or possum as others have explained. I’m small… and not strong comparatively to others, I rely on strategy and wait to counter off mistakes… so when your crushing my neck with a rape choke in my guard, digging your elbows into my thighs, or rubbing your forearm with a GI I might add into my eyes and decide to gas tap, especially for the newer big boys that come by and try out BJJ… I rely on technique and finesse. Getting pretty darn good at it and I can be fast at times, especially when you make a mistake… learn what is illegal, what is legal, rolling etiquette, and not how to be dirty with your training partner… Using your weight to control is cool, using your weight to crush someones throat can bite you in the ass… its your job OTM to be concerned of your fellow training partners… with out them you would be training by yourself and watching Youtube videos… choose.


“I absolutely love questions and I ask a ton of questions.  If you ask questions, I know that you’re paying attention.  I also know that you want to know why something works and why it doesn’t.  If you ask questions you’re automatically one of my favorites.”

This really hits home… I ask every time after I show a technique… ask me please… anything, even though its stupid. Not when or after, when no one is looking or worst off on how to do something else…


“Unless they’re the gym owner, head instructor or Master, your instructor probably gets very little compensation if any.  We train because we love to train.  We have regular day jobs, families and every day problems like everyone else.  So using your jitz buddies to gripe about life is a great release and great place to get your stresses out for the day so you can go home in a good mood to your family.  But when it’s closing time, don’t forget that we have families we want to see too.”

Yep I don’t get paid… and nope I’m not part owner of this club “TRUTH”… was hoping one day, but you never know.   I do this because it’s my part in helping with the growth of BJJ in our community. I do this to pass on what I’ve learned to others, not much, but something. I do this because I feel like its part of my learning curve to become a black belt, heck I kinda like it at times… especially when I can get a chance to get reps in during the warm up and drilling… You must learn the art, every aspect of it, from competitions, fundamental techniques, defending, even applicable self defence and to be able to teach ever aspect of it… said, something in my head that i thought I made it up… lol


“We can’t stand when we are going over a technique we’ve gone over hundreds of times (see #9), and while we are teaching, people are talking or working on a move that is completely different.  Don’t forget that every class has new people and it’s distracting and disrespectful to them while they’re trying to learn…after all, they’re paying a lot of money to learn what’s going on.  Not to mention it makes the gym look amateur.”

Yes, this just distracts others… work on the technique or help others on this technique if you are an expert…


“We’ve all had that ‘Aha!’moment, where a technique clicks and you finally got a hold of it.  We are absolutely happy and proud that you’ve got it…but unless you’re given permission by the instructor to teach, don’t teach.  The understanding is that we are only permitted to teach techniques that we have a firm grasp on.  For example, we can teach a kimura for short people, tall people, muscular and scrawny.  We can show you the leg position for each body type to make the technique more effective and different positions from where it can be applied.  If someone says it’s not working for them, we can see what’s wrong and fix it….can you?”

Yeah this is just distracting… your two cents is great, when you’re asked… I’m not perfect… may get things misinterpreted, or different words may come out of my mouth during a lesson… everyone makes mistakes, even your coaches. Believe me you will have to teach a class one day…


“Cockiness and arrogance destroys gyms…it takes away our ‘family’ environment, and it’s a sure fire way to get everyone gunning for you.  If we find out you’re using what you learn to bully kids at school, we’ll throw you into the shark tank – I remember a single mom bringing her disruptive teen into our gym.  He called her a ‘bitch’, punked kids at school, kicked people randomly on a whim and referred to himself as ‘God’.  His mom gave the head instructor $50 and told us to show him how badass he isn’t.  He returned her money and made him roll…and he realized really fast that he’s not Bruce Lee.”

Haven’t come across this yet… I believe that the majority of guys and girls that I have coached are well behaved OTM that is… but hey great idea per-say if this ever happened.


“No, I don’t know everything for every situation, that’s why your instructors have instructors.  The more experienced your teacher, the more situations they’ve been in, and the more they’ll know.  I know enough to teach, and in doing so, will discover little things that I didn’t know before.  After class, I’ll ask my teachers what to do in that situation and practice it to no end just so I have that knowledge.”

I’m a firm believer, as do others, that a good teacher or in my case coach, is always learning, evolving, and growing too. Similar to learning about BJJ… the art is continually evolving. Heck we are human and again we make mistakes. Teacher or coaches are not God… we don’t know everything… and if you do… different story, maybe you should teach. Student as part of their learning need to be researchers and learn on their own unless they are getting privates on the side… different story again. We can always lead a horse to water… but if the river is dry will that horse one day help his leader in finding another river, lake, or water source? huh?? Here’s a small clip of us doing a small warm up… in the summer… twas great… twas great…

Where’s my Albino Rhino?

Powder Puff Daddy??

Till next time…
Hopefully tomorrow… maybe Saturday 2pm, Sunday 10am?
Monday Openmat at noon or Tuesday 8pm? Yes lots of BJJ!!



Watch “JT Torres: Stick With It | BJJ Mini-Documentary | Jits Magazine” on YouTube

Hits home…

Thought of you Travis Duncan, who made me want to start training in a GI in 2008 or 2009 when i first trained with you subbing me every second in nogi sooo I bought my first GI… A3, 2 to 3 sizes tooo big lol… not to mention Steven Maley who showed up every soo often as well all back on James street lol… also major credit for John Veale, & Ashley who pushed… as a blue belt and brought all the influences into competion to Thunder Bay!

Morgan Frazer for sticking through it as a white belt in 2012… remember.  IBJJF Chicago.  Damn sons… time blown by… friends we made… things we done.  feels like yesterday.

Torres: Stick With It | BJJ Mini-Documentary | Jits Magazine: 


Friday 13th Open Mat


Do we work to train?  abso-freaking-lutely… if your a BJJ addict…

Been off the mat since Tuesday… itching to get sometime in.

Got to LEMMA at roughly 4pm… no one around… could have sworn I posted something on our Facebook group page… oh well I will drill on my own with the grappling dummy until someone shows up. While putting on my GI pants at roughly 4:15pm phew heard someone opening the doors… awesome! Turned out to be Alex the beast Wawia… only thought in my head was great… i better get a really good warm up going. Alex is a 220 lbs white belt that has a back ground in yep… Judo. I’m currently about 160… 166 on a full beefy day. Alex is freaky strong,  fantastic top game, I’d say mid level to higher blue belt top game, tones of control, pin point i might add. Like rolling with a baby bear. Yep, glad the heat was on and I was ready to be fighting for my life on the bottom. We ended up rolling for about 4, 10 min rounds… very delightful I might add… he used no strength which was fantastic, only a few times he slipped trying to catch up, on the bottom what what! while defending a few of my new leg locks I’ve been trying to add to my repertoire. Steve walked in, Marc, Brock, Matt, Gary, Nathan, Mike, and then Anthony… definitely a good crew out. Awesomeness I was thinking in my head while trying my best to disengage on Alex’s guard passing only to take his back… while Matt was “yelling out what are you fools doing… UFC?”

1. Alex Wawia, 40×10 min, flow fast technical rounds
2. Matt Veal, 1×10 min, hard round, survive on bottom
3. Steve Maley, 1×10 min, hard round, technical, with a few straight foot lock attemps
4. Marc Perrier, 1×10 min, hard round with a vicious baby tiger.
5. Brock Peters, 1×15 min, hard round, survive on bottom with an ape.

Was hoping to get a few more rounds in… but had to get home… gotta have dinner with the wife, ma baba & hang out with the dog!

If you didn’t get out this time… hope to see you next, maybe tomorrow at 2pm or Sunday at 10am…  Open mat at 12pm on family day for the long weekend.

Remember BJJ is nothing without yous… we cry at the dojo to laugh in the battlefield,  the only place we can improve is OTM, might as well enjoy it while we can.

Below is a wonderful picture taken by my buddy Travis Duncan last week… hopefully he gets some time OTM this weekend while in Minneapolis at the Alliance BJJ club.

Intense hahaha