WBBJJ Private Sessions #12: Tammi Musumeci




Our guest for the twelfth installment of White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Private Sessions is none other than Black Belt BJJ competitor: Tammi Musumeci! It brings us great pleasure to sit down with her and we hope you enjoy her story!


WBBJJ: What brought you to BJJ?

Tammi: I started training at Fatjo’s martial arts in Marlboro, New Jersey. I loved it instantly! Through the years, I tried many different sports and activities, all while still training BJJ, but my true love remained jiujitsu and still remains jiujitsu today!


WBBJJ: In your experience what should lower belts do more of/less of?

Tammi: I believe beginners should start with learning more self defense jiujitsu! This helps with getting comfortable with the different positions in jiujitsu. Then, they showed start learning basic closed guard and submissions such as scissor sweep and kimura! Very basic and effective! They should perfect those moves until moving on to spider guard an delariva. I feel experience and time is everything in the jiujitsu process and this process is unique to every person. Everyone learns at different speeds and this should be considered when learning jiujitsu.




WBBJJ: If you could go back in time and give the White Belt YOU guidance, what advice would you give?

Tammi: I am really happy with my white belt experience because I only focused on the basics! It Is way harder today to avoid the temptation of learning berimbolo and other advanced techniques, so I am grateful I started when those temptations were non-existent!


WBBJJ: For you what’s been the hardest part of the journey?

Tammi: For me the mental journey has been the hardest part as well! It is sometimes hard to give yourself credit or feel confident and I have found a lot of people also share these same feelings!


WBBJJ: In tough times what has helped you get through and allowed you to persevere?

Tammi: When going through a rough time it’s good to do things that give you confidence and make you feel good about yourself! I also love to workout an go to the beach and I feel both are relaxing and help a great deal! It’s good to do something that promotes happiness or relaxation so I always look for that thing!




WBBJJ: If you weren’t doing BJJ what would you be doing?

Tammi: I have been doing jiujitsu since I was 6 years old and in kindergarten so I really can’t picture life without it!!! I can’t remember before it!


WBBJJ: What do you tell someone who says they want to do BJJ, and then gives the standard excuses; time, money, etc?

Tammi: I would tell them to prioritize! If they really want to train, but the gym doesn’t offer a class that fits their schedule, I would tell them to find another gym to fit their schedule or find someone or even a group of people who share a similar schedule to get some training in! You don’t realize how many people share the same problems and situations as you do until you start looking!


WBBJJ: What is your favorite activity besides BJJ?

Tammi: I have trained Muay Thai since I am 4 years old so, it also has played a huge part in my life and at times, I enjoyed it more than jiujitsu! I love weightlifting too much to the point where it is dangerous! I have to constantly make sure I don’t gain weight!  But, I find so much joy in lifting heavy weights!




WBBJJ: What’s on your iPod?

Tammi: I love the intense music that gets me pumped to workout and train! I need music that matches my intensity!


WBBJJ: What was the last movie that you watched?

Tammi: I love comedies, but zoolander is just too funny an had so many quotable lines haha!! I watch a lot of entourage and Saturday night live as well!


WBBJJ: If you could train with someone living or dead, who would that be?

Tammi: My brother Mikey. He knows how to push me and all of my weaknesses so it is always such a great train every time I get to train with him! I am also honored to get to train with the mendes bros! They are so amazing and inspirational and I learn so much from them.



 Interview by Todd Shaffer WBBJJ.com





WBBJJ Private Lessons #3 – Nathan Mendelsohn






In the past you have seen our “Private Sessions” interviews, where we get to know various BJJ players. Now we will also be doing “Private Lessons” (you see what we did there?) videos featuring some of our favorite Jiu Jitsu personalities.


For our third installment of Private Lessons we are featuring Nathan Mendelsohn! Nathan is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt competitor and instructor under the Master Claudio Franca Coalition 95 Team. He was our seventh Private Sessions interviewee. In this video Nathan teaches us how to break open the Spider Guard and pass to Side Control using the Leg Drag.



Thank you Nathan Mendelsohn for the technique!


Connect with Nathan Mendelsohn on your favorite social media sites:

Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/nathan.mendelsohn.10

Instagram = @nathanmendelsohnbjj


If you would like to film a Private Lessons video for us, or know someone you would like to see do a Private Lessons video, please contact us!


Metamoris 5 announced! Full fight card inside!





Saturday, November 22, 2014 “The Gracie Hunter” Kazushi Sakuraba makes his return to competition to face MMA and BJJ legend Renzo Gracie at Metamoris 5!! These men faced each other in a brutal MMA bout at Pride 10 on August 27, 2000. Renzo in that battle fell victim to a nasty kimura by Sakuraba.



Also on this great 20 minute submission grappling card are:

Rory Macdonald (Metamoris misspelled his name on the banner below) vs J. T. Torres

Yuri Simoes vs Rafael Lovato JR.

Vinny Magalhaes vs Kevin Casey

Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon vs Zak Maxwell

and another “Secret Match”!!





WBBJJ Private Lessons #2 – Keith Owen




Keith Owen


In the past you have seen our “Private Sessions” interviews, where we get to know various BJJ players. Now we will also be doing “Private Lessons” (you see what we did there?) videos featuring some of our favorite Jiu Jitsu personalities.


For our second installment of Private Lessons we are featuring Professor Keith Owen! Keith is a well known black belt under 8th Degree Coral Belt, Master Pedro Sauer. His videos on YouTube have always been among our favorites. He explains techniques with tremendous detail and is always sure to invoke a philosophical twist. He was our tenth Private Sessions interviewee. In this video Professor Owen teaches us the intricacies of the “UPA”, or the “Bridge from the Mount”!



Thank you Professor Owen for the technique!


Connect with Keith Owen on your favorite social media sites:

Facebook  = www.facebook.com/keithrowen

Instagram = @keithrowen

Twitter = @keithowen

Watch his Technique and BJJ philosophy videos here.

Check out his web page here.


If you would like to film a Private Lessons video for us, or know someone you would like to see do a Private Lessons video, please contact us!


WBBJJ Private Lessons #1 – James “300” Foster






In the past you have seen our “Private Sessions” interviews, where we get to know various BJJ players. Now we will also be doing “Private Lessons” (you see what we did there?) videos featuring some of our favorite Jiu Jitsu personalities.


For this first installment of Private Lessons we are featuring Professor James “300” Foster. Coach Foster has been a friend to us since the very beginning. He was our first Private Sessions interviewee. In this video Coach Foster teaches us some of his Guard Passing concepts!



Thank you Coach Foster for the technique!


Connect with Professor Foster on your favorite social media sites:

Facebook athlete page = www.facebook.com/coach300foster

Instagram = @shoyorollplayboy

Twitter = @fosterjiujitsu


If you would like to film a Private Lessons video for us, or know someone you would like to see do a Private Lessons video. Please contact us!


Female BJJ Bloggers Directory


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is more and more becoming a sport that women are participating in. It is no longer a sport just for the guys. BJJ is a system of self defense that allows women to feel confident and safe. It is also a tremendously fun and competitive sport that appeals to women and men alike.

I recall an interview with Claudia Gadelha (womens MMA and BJJ Fighter) where she stated that when she was growing up, girls were not allowed to train BJJ where she lived in Brazil. These days women are coming to the sport in droves!

Below is a list of Female BJJ practitioners who blog about their journeys in Jiu Jitsu. I am a man but I still enjoy reading the female perspective of BJJ. Hopefully this list will lead you to some sources of inspiration that you were previously unaware of!

BJJ Grrl

Georgette Oden

Skirt on the Mat

Julia Johansen

Lauren LaCourse

Meg Smitely

Shark Girl BJJ

Shakia Harris


Grappling Girl

Crawl Atop Me And Meet Your Doom

The Last Ronin

Jodie Bear’s Journey

A Grappler’s Heart

Liv Jiu Jitsu


If there is a female BJJ blogger that you want to have added to this list please contact us!


WBBJJ at the James Foster & Renato Laranja Charity Seminar




Seaside Oregon, the final stop of Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition, last month became the setting for an epic BJJ seminar. Featured were James “300” Foster and 27 time Mundial champion Renato “Xerxes” Laranja.  This was by no means going to be your everyday seminar.  The event was hosted by Zach and Nathan Adamson. The army of students that came to learn, were also joining forces to help support the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.  Proceeds from the seminar, the open mat the evening prior, and the amazing product raffle all went directly to this great charity.



(Photo by Todd Shaffer – Lewis and Clark statue faces westward toward the Pacific)


The night before the seminar the Adamson’s opened the door to their academy to host an open mat with Coach Foster and Zach Adamson.  Students from as far away as Idaho, Montana, and Pennsylvania joined with the Oregon locals for this once-in-a-lifetime session.  I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to roll with both black belts and I took away a great deal.



(Photo by Todd Shaffer—Hand-painted mural that sets the tone as one walks into Seaside BJJ)


Coach Foster gave me some great new insights about things I do as a bigger guy (some might say husky) that could short change my technique. Many other points were driven home as I rolled with the much smaller Zach Adamson. His superb technique kept him safely out of my patented “Wafflemaker” series of techniques (stay tuned to wbbjj.com for the forthcoming DVD instructional).

The highlight of the open mat for me was to sit in on Coach Foster and Zach Adamson conversing about Keenan Cornelius’ recent “worm guard” innovations.  This open mat session revealed important themes that were to be underscored throughout the seminar by Coach Foster; namely the organic nature of Jiu Jitsu and the importance of training with, and learning from, a wide variety of resources.



(Photo by Todd Shaffer – Professors Foster and Adamson starting a roll)


The day of the seminar arrived and the Academy was buzzing with activity.  The Adamson brothers rushed around handling the logistics of greeting everyone and making sure that everyone had their raffle tickets for the charity auction.  Many great sponsors such as Shoyoroll, Enzo Kimonos and Dojo Outfitters donated prizes. Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club also donated two autographed copies of the novel to be auctioned off.  Kill Cliff, who sponsor Coach Foster, also donated sports drinks for the attendees to enjoy during the seminar.



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Andy and Jose from Dojo Outfitters)


As the hour drew near for the seminar to begin, there was one very noticeable absence.  It was clear that the Adamson’s and Coach Foster were beginning to become concerned that Renato Laranja had not yet arrived.  It was finally decided that the seminar would begin without him.



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Coach Fosters opening remarks are interrupted by Renato Laranja)


Coach Foster began with some opening remarks welcoming everyone. While he was speaking, in walks the fashionably late Maestre and after an eerie reenactment of the famous scene between Xerxes and Leonidas in the movie “300”. Clearly this event had begun.



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Coach Foster is not alone)


During the seminar, Foster and Laranja traded techniques that complemented each other, but stemmed from two distinctly different philosophical approaches.  Coach Foster who placed emphasis on establishing positions that create openings and a “choose your own adventure” approach to one’s next move. Renato Laranja on the other hand took a “my way or the highways” approach and clearly expected the participants to do the move as instructed, otherwise “why was he there?” (a point he reminded us of frequently).



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Laranja attempts to usurp the seminar)


Coach Foster taught what he deems the “headquarters” position; where your opponent has opened their guard and you pressure their legs and hips to nullify sweeps and eventually move to pass their open guard.  After that, Renatch shared a very slick “shin on shin” block that opened up a knee slice pass.



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Renato Laranja advises participants to crop Coach Foster’s image from the seminar posters)


Like dueling guitarists trading scorching licks, these two went back and forth covering a variety of passing, escape, and submission techniques.  As the spotlight transitioned between the two, there would always be moments of brilliantly hilarious commentary.



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Here Renato demonstrates  a knee slice pass variation on the very grateful Nathan Adamson)



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Here Coach Foster brings pressure (and pain) to his partner to open up a variety of passing options)


At the closing of the seminar there was a short break. I was able to get a few minutes with Maestre Renato, introducing myself as Todd from White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  I’m not going to lie, the feeling was icy until I clarified with Maestre Laranja that I was not the leader of “White Power” Jiu Jitsu.  He then  shared with me the importance of giving back to the community (“as long as there’s no child supportch”).

As participants we were treated to the raffling of many great prizes and pizza.  This was a great time to rub ‘tight elbows’ with all of the luminaries and get photos.



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Here a very brave, young fan asks Maestre Renato for some advice)



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Nathan Adamson, James Foster, Todd Shaffer, Renato Laranja, and Zach Adamson pose with a young seminar participant)



(Photo by Caryn Brooks – Great seminar, great people, all for a great cause, The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism)



(Photo by Todd Shaffer – Charity t-shirt signed by James Foster, Renato Laranja, Nathan Adamson, and Andy Hung of Dojo Outfitters)


All in all, the seminar was an amazing experience and it was great to represent White Belt BJJ and share in supporting such a great cause.  If you ever have an opportunity to attend a seminar led by any of these gentlemen, DO NOT HESITATE.  You will learn a great deal and come away with many new friendships in the process.

Special thanks to Adamson BJJ student Caryn Brooks who graciously shared her photos with WBBJJ for this article.  Caryn is a blue belt with the Adamsons and a black belt in photography.  We appreciate your help Caryn.

Make sure you take an opportunity to check out The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism and support if you can.


For information on Maestre Renato’s seminars, like his Facebook page and message him for more information.


For information on Coach James Foster’s seminars, like his Facebook page and message him for more information.  Also check out the interviews on WBBJJ.com with Coach Foster.


Don’t forget to like BJJ Seaside as well, the home of Nathan and Zach Adamson.  Also check out the Private Session we had with the Adamsons on WBBJJ.com.




 Article by Todd Shaffer WBBJJ.com


WBBJJ Private Sessions #11: Kristian Woodmansee



Kristian Woodmansee


Our guest for the eleventh installment of White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Private Sessions is none other than world champion BJJ competitor: Kristian Woodmansee! Kristian is an 18x IBJJF Medalist (7x Gold, 8x Silver, 3x Bronze). He is currently Ranked the #1 Brown Belt in the World in No Gi (IBJJF Rankings) and is currently Ranked #1 Rooster Brown Belt in the World No Gi (IBJJF Rankings)

It brings us great pleasure to sit down with him and we hope you enjoy his story!


WBBJJ: What brought you to BJJ?

KW: I was always active and competing in sports my entire life really. I found BJJ just by chance, my brother was heavily into Muay Thai and he was always asking me to try it out. Eventually his school started up a BJJ program and I went ahead and gave it a try. It didn’t take long for me to start taking it seriously. I can still remember my first time putting on a gi. I guess subconsciously I was looking for something I would make a career given I was 20 yrs old. My dad was heavily pushing me to “grow up” and figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I figured it out as soon as I stepped off the mat of my first class.


WBBJJ: In your experience what should lower belts do more of/less of?

KW: I was always told to “just keep training” and that’s honestly the best advice one could give a fellow practitioner. Thing is, it took me years to actually understand that advice. It should be more about learning, and sharing knowledge from a standpoint of no ego, always having fun and always asking questions. More focus on the purity of the art and what it is rather than everything else about will keep the path clear. If I could teach anything to a student it would be to stay open minded and just give yourself entirely to BJJ, you wont regret it.


WBBJJ: If you could go back in time and give the White Belt YOU guidance, what advice would you give?

KW: I have had a rocky path and did some things that are out of the ordinary but I wouldn’t change any of that. If I could tell myself something it would be only influential on the business aspect of jiu jitsu. Perhaps to invest in myself earlier and better, or to properly figure out how to take full advantage of jiu jitsu so I would be prepared sooner to support a future family. Other than that I the journey stays the same.


WBBJJ: For you what’s been the hardest part of the journey?

KW: When it comes to hardship its one big blur, different difficulties pop their head out at different times. I left my entire family to pursue “wrestling” with sweaty men with and without the support of the most important people in my life. The struggle of making ends meet, losing at the highest level of competition for a long time, and being labeled a creonte are all on the list. I think honestly the hardest is dealing with the BJJ system. Trying to make a living out of the sport while not being a black belt is difficult only because so many people think its wrong. It almost feels like sometimes its not about your passion for the sport or the knowledge you can share with others or even the things you accomplished, if your belt isn’t black you have to wait in line.


WBBJJ: In tough times what has helped you get through and allowed you to persevere?

KW: I was born with the inability to quit or give up and that has always been a key factor in pushing through when times get difficult. Aside from that, I have been blessed with having unconditional support throughout my journey thus far. At the end of the day I can count on certain people to believe in me even if I don’t believe in myself. They have pushed me beyond my limits and will continue to do so. With out them I have no idea where I would be or what I would have accomplished.


WBBJJ: If you weren’t doing BJJ what would you be doing?

KW: No clue. I could never work your typical 9-5 job behind some desk. I pulled the plug on college so I could focus on training; I doubt I would go back. Now that BJJ is in my life I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I feel like eventually I would have found BJJ one way or another. But if I had to choose I would be a professional something of some kind, perhaps one of those guys who tour the world participating in eating contests.



WBBJJ: What do you tell someone who says they want to do BJJ, and then gives the standard excuses; time, money, etc?

KW: Excuses are for people who have difficulty facing the truth. I often take away all the excuses for the person so they are only left with the decision of doing BJJ or not. I know what BJJ has done for me, so I do what ever it takes to share that with someone else who shows interest. I have given free privates to people who cant afford to train, I have changed my schedule to better assist people who couldn’t make it in for class and the list goes on. What ever it takes.


WBBJJ: What is your favorite activity besides BJJ?

KW: My entire life is BJJ so it is rare that I am partaking in something that doesn’t deal with it. I like to spend time winding down and focusing my energy on a day off doing simple things. Movies, music, writing, reading, stuff like that. I find that doing this every Sunday properly focuses me for the upcoming week of vigorous training. My good friend and team mate JT Torres told me that it’s all about balancing things out. I have to keep my mind, and body balanced and ready.


WBBJJ: What’s on your iPod?

KW: A vast array of music actually. Everything besides country is what you would find. You will catch me singing Adele while running, hiphop while lifting, reggae while training, and some kind of metal while in the bullpen getting ready to compete. I enjoy all music for sure. 



Photo Courtesy of Mike Calimbas Photography


WBBJJ: What was the last movie that you watched?

KW: I have been watching a lot of Dexter in my free time lately but movie-wise I believe it was Kickboxer. I am a all about old school JCVD, some eve say we look a lot alike.


WBBJJ: If you could train with someone living or dead, who would that be?

KW: This has a fight club vibe to it. If it was just training I would have to say Ary Farias, he is monster. If I could fight anyone though, it would be Caio Terra. I would like to take the title from the man who has represented it the best.



Metamoris 5?



WBBJJ: Any final thoughts?

KW: I want to thank my supporters. My friends and family. My team Atos and my coach Andre Galvao. All my teammates who are simply the best in the world, hands down the best group of guys I have even shared a room with. My sponsor 3Fu3l (www.3fu3l.com) Please check out my brand DreamKiller (www.DreamKillerStore.com)


Make sure to follow me on Facebook.

My Twitter ID is @K_woodmansee.

Find me on Instagram @KristianWoodmansee as well!

I am constantly putting up techniques or making a fool of myself. Thank you for talking with me!



 Interview by Todd Shaffer WBBJJ.com


Metamoris 4 through the eyes of WBBJJ: “Memeamoris”




Todd and I decided to have a little fun with you guys during the live broadcast of Metamoris 4. We wanted to test our wits and do live memeing during this landmark event. This would also be the first time that we would coordinate and collaborate together in the meme making process. So without any further to do, here is our recap of Metamoris 4, put forth in the form of memery.


The first two memes were made while we waited for the event to begin.



Meme by Tony



Meme by Todd


Finally 5pm arrived and the show had begun. First up to bat were Kit Dale and Garry Tonon. Within minutes, Kit Dale was choked out by Garry.




This is the meme that we made at the match’s end.



Meme by Todd


Next up would be the only gi match of Metamoris 4. It was a battle between legends Saulo Ribeiro and Rodrigo Medeiros. The match took place, for the most part, on the feet. These guys fought in a day where pulling guard was not as prevalent as it is today. By their own words, they came from a time where you took the other guy down, fought for dominant position, then submitted the opponent.

The most glaring part of this match-up to me was Rodrigo’s green hair. It immediately reminded me of an old tv show, or movie, called “The Boy With Green Hair”.




Just before the match we put out this meme.



Meme by Tony


The end of this match also had an unusual surprise. After the 20 minutes had expired, Saulo and Rodrigo both seemed content to continue grappling! In our opinion it was a great call by referee Christian Haueter to allow additional time. Below is the meme that ensued.



Meme by Todd


The match between Saulo and Rodrigo ended in a draw and it was incredible to watch these seasoned veterans battle it out.


Next to take to the mats were Keenan Cornelius and Vinny Magalhaes. This match was highly anticipated because it was supposed to take place at Metamoris 3. Unfortunately, Vinny contracted a staph infection, and the match was postponed until Metamoris 4.


Keenan and Vinny battled it out the entire 20 minutes, exchanging multiple positions and submission attempts!




The picture above of Keenan working the mounted triangle inspired this meme:



Meme by Todd


There was a lot of 50/50 guard action and many heel hook attempts by both combatants. Keenan clearly winced in pain from heel hook pressure at one point. Because of the constant footlock pressure, we posted the meme below.



Meme by Tony


And of course there was the time where Vinny fell off of the mat. Christian Haueter did an excellent job as referee, but this never happened when Scott Nelson was ref!



Meme by Todd


Next up at Metamoris 4 was the highly anticipated “Secret Match”. The match ended up being between Baret Yoshida and Metamoris commentator, Jeff Glover! Jeff is known for wild mat shenanigans with a tremendous unpredictability factor. Little did we know that Jeff would give Miley Cyrus a run for her money when it comes to twerking. Jeff’s “Donkey Guard” is sure to be the least practiced technique in all of BJJ, except by those who know how to have a good time!




Although we love the zaniness, we had to put out this meme! #Glovering



Meme by Todd


The secret match was action packed and overall a delight to watch!


Next up was the co-main event of the evening. It was time for the highly anticipated heavyweight title bout between Dean Lister and Josh Barnett. The promo for this bout showed us the eccentric and idiosyncratic sides of UFC/Strikeforce veteran Josh Barnett. He entered the mats wearing a Dan Severn inspired black speedo with wrestling shoes, and during his promo professed his love for Norwegian Black Metal.




The meme below was our reaction:



Meme by Todd


Josh Barnett is a hulk of a man. His use of clothing was clearly strategic. The wrestling shoes gave him great grip on the mat and the minimalistic approach to clothing would allow the majority of his body to become covered in sweat; thereby making any part of his body difficult to grasp.




This was a great strategy on Josh’s part, as he submitted Dean. However this does not give him meme exemption.



Meme by Tony


A huge part of this heavyweight battle consisted of Josh Barnett using a “Catch Wrestling” style to smother Dean Lister. Josh gave up no position and was the first person to submit “The Boogeyman” in 17 years. The meme below was inspired by Josh’s catch wrestling domination.



Meme by Todd


Finally we make it to the last match of the evening. It was rumored by many that this match would not happen due to the Nevada State Athletic Commission threatening to fine Chael Sonnen $250,000 if he publicly grappled against Andre Galvao. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community widely disagreed with the NSAC because grappling is not MMA per se. Many thought that Chael would not appear. When he did appear, this meme was inspired.



Meme by Todd


Chael put up a good fight against multiple time BJJ world champion Andre Galvao. However, in the end he was submitted by a rear naked choke. If he didn’t claim to be the new face of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we would not have forged this meme.



Meme by Todd


Metamoris 4 exceeded expectations and was a tremendous event. However, those of us who appreciate traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the gi were left saddened because there was only one gi match! It seemed as if Metamoris was trying to show that gi Jiu Jitsu was the “old way”, and no-gi was the flavor of the day. This thought, inspired this meme.



Meme by Tony


The first “Memeamoris” was fun for Todd and I to attempt. Hopefully it gave one or two of you some supplemental entertainment during such a great event! Thanks for hanging out with us and if you decide to share this post we will certainly not be angry with you! OSS!


meTony Peranio WBBJJ