As a guest instructor at one of my favorite gyms, Indiana Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, I was asked about my philosophy on submissions by a good friend and great competitor Joel Blanton. This was my response…
On a road trip for work I had a couple day stop in Fresno. As usual, I looked through the options online. In many instances, it wasn’t clear who the head instructor was or what level of jiu jitsu to expect, so I picked Dethrone MMA primarly due to proximity to my hotel. MMA gyms can tend to attract the more aggressive practitioner but the BJJ class was taught by a black belt so I thought it was worth checking out. If you visit enough gyms, you will eventually have a less than stellar experience. At Dethrone, I met some nice people, interacted with UFC fighter Josh Koscheck, rolled with very aggressive former wrestlers, and got asked to teach part of the class after being charged a mat fee.
During our European travel my wife and I made a stop in Rome, Italy. It was their holiday season so it wasn’t easy to find a gym that was open. I took a chance and just showed up at Flow Jiu Jitsu Academy and attended a class taught by 2015 World Champion and 2016 Euro and World Bronze medalist, Serena Gabrielli.
They say you don’t really know the value of having something until you’ve earned something money can’t buy. Receiving a stripe or a new belt is an indescribable feeling and getting your black belt is truly special. It’s not common for multiple people to get a black belt on the same day and recently I had the honor of being invited to attend a belt ceremony at Tinguinha BJJ where 5 individuals received their belts. In additions to pictures of the event, check out the advice on how to achieve the coveted rank of black belt.
For thanksgiving my wife and I decided to take the coastal highway up to San Francisco. On our way to visit my dad we made a stop in Pleasanton for some training at Crispim BJJ. Professor Crispim spent his formative years of BJJ in the famous Gracie Barra Academy in Rio. He has an incredible half guard that was influenced by his time with Roberto Gordo. He had several MMA fights and is a passionate teacher with a great balance of old and new school techniques fit for tournaments or fighting.