WBBJJ Private Lessons #1 – James “300” Foster

 

PRIVATELESSONS

 

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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!

 

WBBJJ Private Sessions #11: Kristian Woodmansee

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

Todd

 Interview by Todd Shaffer WBBJJ.com

 

BJJ Coach James Foster Talks About His Comic Book Artistry

 

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Coach James “300” Foster

 

The Jiu Jitsu lifestyle requires years of dedication and hard work, probably more than the average person is ever willing to contemplate, let alone undertake.  In this interview we sit down with avid competitor, and long time BJJ instructor, James “300” Foster. We talk with him about another of his passions, art; specifically comic book art and cartooning.

 

WBBJJ:  First off thank you Coach Foster for sitting down with WBBJJ.com to talk about your ‘colorful’ passion.   Could you give our readers a short introduction to you, your martial arts journey, and your academy?

James Foster: I always had an interest in Martial Arts since I was a child. I have great memories of watching Kung Fu movies with my parents when I was little and always wanted to get into some kind of training. My childhood friends and I would play “Ninja”, running around the neighborhood swinging foam Nunchucks and homemade Bo Staffs. After years convincing, and after seeing the Karate Kid, my mom and dad started researching local Karate schools. I started training in a form of American Karate called Aam-Ka-Jutsu at the age of 10 and have continued training in Martial Arts to present day. Like many, my first exposure to BJJ was seeing Royce Gracie fight in the UFC. I was instantly intrigued and knew it was an art I wanted to explore. Little did I know it would set me on the amazing path that it has! I made the transition to training solely in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 18 and haven’t looked back since.

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

I started teaching part time back in late 2002 or early 2003 and was sharing the space with an existing Karate school. In 2007 I opened up my own small location which had around 800 square feet of training area. We quickly outgrew that space within the first year and scrambled to add more classes to spread things out and get us through the rest of the 2 year lease! In 2010 we needed to find a bigger location and ended up moving into a 5,500 plus square foot facility. Currently we have nearly 3,000 square feet of matted training space, a private lesson room, pull up bars, a corner cage, heavy bags, changing stalls, a shower, and more, making our academy one of the largest dedicated to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the Pacific Northwest. I’m currently in my 17th year of training in BJJ with nearly 27 years of Martial Arts experience. I hold a 1st Degree Black Belt in Aam-Ka-Jutsu and a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, with my 3rd Degree promotion coming up in September of this year.

 

WBBJJ:  What came first for you, your art or your BJJ?

James Foster:  I got serious about drawing around the age of 13 when I started reading comic books, so definitely art.

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

WBBJJ:  What inspired you to begin drawing and creating art?

James Foster: My mom is very creative, she was a professional seamstress for many years, and was always into various crafts. I remember her doing Super Hero drawings for me when I was younger and I always aspired to be able to draw like her!

 

WBBJJ:  If you had to put a belt level on your art, where would you rank yourself?

James Foster: Right now I’d say Brown Belt, but it’s hard to maintain that level being as busy as I am running my business and instructing full time.

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

WBBJJ:  What’s more difficult, the art business, or the Jiu Jitsu business?

James Foster: For me it’s Jiu-Jitsu hands down. With that said, my art is my only non BJJ hobby and has never been my profession, although some of my work has been published independently with smaller companies in the past. I know a lot of pro artists that work for Marvel and DC and they work their butts off to make ends meet, so I’m sure it’s just as difficult to do full time.

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

WBBJJ:  How does your BJJ complement your art, and vice versa?

James Foster: I think they work hand in hand in that both encourage creative freedom in one sense or another. I’ve known many BJJ practitioners over the years that were into some form of art or creative hobby, too many for it to be a coincidence. It seems to be something we’re drawn to on some level as students of the art form.

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

WBBJJ:  What do they have in common?

James Foster: The level of creativity and the ability to express yourself in your own unique style.

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

WBBJJ:   What is different?

James Foster: Honestly, in my opinion they share too many parallels for me to come up with a distinct difference.

 

WBBJJ:  How often do you practice your drawing?

James Foster: I try to sit down and sketch at least a couple of times a week however it can be very difficult depending on the time of year. I’m often doing business related tasks on my downtime, traveling to teach seminars, coaching my students, etc.

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

WBBJJ:  Have you influenced any of your students, friends, or peers to get into drawing?

James Foster: I wouldn’t say I’ve so much influenced them as I have encouraged them to explore their creativity if I find out they’re interested in art.

 

WBBJJ:  What characters and/or styles do you enjoy?

James Foster: Wolverine, Hulk, Spiderman, Batman, and the Punisher. In reality there are too many to list, lol! I prefer comic book art that is realistic in terms of proper anatomy. I’m not into cartoon or comic strip style stuff.

 

WBBJJ:  What Marvel superhero do you most wish you had created?

James Foster: Hmmm, too many to choose from but I’m going to go with the Hulk since he’s one of my favorites!

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

WBBJJ:  What’s next for you from a BJJ perspective?

James Foster: I plan on continuing to teach, train, and compete for as long as my body will allow me to. My main focus is the growth of my students. They are the greatest reflection of my Jiu-Jitsu and who I am as an instructor. I’m also doing a lot of charity work here at the academy, as well as traveling to teach at seminars benefitting various charities. That’s something I really enjoy and plan on doing much more of in the years to come!

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

WBBJJ:  Any other thoughts for your fans, students?

James Foster: Acknowledge the things you’re doing right along with the things you’re doing wrong. We tend to focus exclusively on the negative both in life and on the mats. In reality, the majority of the time we’re doing as many or more things right then wrong, but we tend to dwell on the bad things. Next time you’re in a funk and catch yourself focusing on the negative replace it with something positive you did!

 

WBBJJ:  Any final thoughts or sponsors you would like to thank?

James Foster: I’d like to thank Shoyoroll, BJJ Library, Tape Armor, Kristen’s Photo, and Vigor Fuel for all of the support they continue to give me throughout my journey! I love interacting with my fans, so please make sure to connect with me on your favorite social media:

Youtube Free Technique Channel = www.youtube.com/fbjjcoach

Facebook friend page = www.facebook.com/teamfoster

Facebook athlete page = www.facebook.com/coach300foster

Facebook academy page = www.facebook.com/fosterjiujitsu

Academy Instagram = @fosterjiujitsu

Athlete Instagram = @shoyorollplayboy

Twitter = @fosterjiujitsu

 

WBBJJ:  Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us Coach Foster.  We wish you the best in the future! Let’s hope we see “Pandamonium” on the newstands soon!

 

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(Photo courtesy of James Foster)

 

ToddandKurt

 

 

 

Interview by WBBJJ.com’s Todd Shaffer

FacebookFacebook.com/todd.shaffer.10

Twitter@toddmshaffer

 

White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Private Sessions #10: Keith Owen

 

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Keith Owen

 

Our guest for the tenth installment of White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Private Sessions is none other than Pedro Sauer black belt, Keith Owen! If you are anything like me, you occasionally turn to YouTube to watch BJJ videos. If you continue to watch BJJ videos long enough, you will inevitably stumble upon Keith Owen. His videos are plentiful in number, and are some of our favorite that exist. Not only are his techniques explained in inordinate detail, but his philosophical videos are tremendously inspiring as well!

 

Here is Keith’s brief Bio from his website:

 

Keith Owen lives in Boise Idaho and is a first degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Legendary 8th degree Gracie Black Belt Professor Pedro Sauer (www.pedrosauer.com). Keith also holds black belts in two other martial arts styles, a 4th degree in TAI kung-fu and a black sash in Wu Wei Gung Fu under Bruce Lee Student Joseph Cowles.

 

Mr. Owen has worked in Law Enforcement as a Sheriffs Deputy and as a handgun and shotgun instructor for Front Sight Firearms www.frontsight.com Institute in Las Vegas Nevada. He now co-owns a fire arms training company in Boise called Triple Threat Firearms www.t3firearmstraining.com.

 

Keith also instructs Arrest Techniques, Firearms, Ground control, Reactive Impact Weapons and Weapons Retention to police officers at the Idaho Police Academy. Mr. Owen is credited with creating the Ground Control program for Police Officers in the State of Idaho.

 

Mr. Owen spends the majority of time running his school called, “Ultimate Karate and Jiu-Jitsu” at www.idahoujj.com in Meridian Idaho. Keith also travels extensively giving BJJ seminars all over the world.

 

 

Without any further to do, we now present to you, Keith Owen!

 

WBBJJ: What brought you to BJJ?

Keith Owen: I watched Royce Gracie in UFC 1 and said. “This is what I need to be doing.” I found Professor Pedro Sauer and haven’t looked back.

 

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

Keith Owen: White Belts: Basics.

Blue Belts: Basics with more details.

Purple Belts: Basics with transitions to other moves. Putting it all together.

Brown Belts: Basics with cool transitions, positions, passes and submissions, building on an outstanding foundation.

Black Belts: Basics, while putting themselves in extremely bad positions to escape.

All of this, but not necessarily in the above order.

 

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

Keith Owen: Be on the bottom and get good from there, especially if you’re a big guy. Once you do that, you will have extremely good hip movement for being on the top. Be prepared to tap 10,000 times but always learn the lesson from getting submitted. Don’t make excuses for your failure. Every time you get tapped or tap someone remember that it’s 50% your doing and 50% your opponents doing. Give your opponent credit but don’t take all the blame. Take the attitude that what you’re doing is not the “best way.” That way you will always have an open mind and will seek the “best way” all your life. When your instructor shows something that is different from the way he used to teach it understand that he is learning and is looking for better ways to do things too. He was not perfect in Jiu-Jitsu from the day you started. Remember to be Technical, Tough and Technical. And lastly, “Never drown the man who teaches you how to swim.”

 

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

Keith Owen: The hardest part of my journey was dealing with people who left me for others, tried to defame my character by saying things about me that were blatantly untrue and dealing with jealousy from other instructors who unfortunately saw me as a threat. My biggest problems have come with hair on their heads. If you are ever a blue, purple or brown belt who owns their own school you will see what I mean.

 

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

Keith Owen: Warrior Spirit. Today’s life is not usually about life or death like in Samurai times but more about life struggle. A Warrior Spirit allows you to combat life’s obstacles. There will be many. Have the intestinal fortitude to handle them. Be physically, mentally and emotionally strong and don’t make excuses. Warrior Spirit never goes out of fashion even if it does. Having said that, balance it out with Empathy (not sympathy) for others. You don’t have to agree with others thinking but you should try to understand others thinking. It just might be that they are right and you, not so much.

 

WBBJJ: If you weren’t doing this what would you do?

Keith Owen: I would have made an awesome bodyguard (Personal Protection). I did it a couple times for some pretty famous people and I loved it.

 

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

Keith Owen: Typically nothing. They really don’t want to do BJJ, or they would.

 

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WBBJJ: Favorite activity besides BJJ?

Keith Owen: Teaching Firearms, Camping in rugged out of the way locations in Idaho and I am big into Prepping. I have a YouTube channel called Survival Skills 101 that I teach personal, urban and wilderness survival. Some people think I’m weird for it. I guess I am a weird guy or maybe they’re weird, and I’m normal, but either way during a Zombie Apocalypse you are going to want me on your team.

 

WBBJJ: What’s on your iPod?

Keith Owen: I would prefer not to answer this question because I feel we are now in an age where people are so shallow that if they don’t like the music or really anything that you or I might like then people instantly don’t like YOU as a person and write you off. If you don’t believe me then go on Facebook or Twitter and write a political or religious belief or a post about a certain politician or say you like a certain musical artist and see how fast they criticize you or unfriend you just because they don’t prefer it. It’s amazing. Anyway this interview is about Jiu-Jitsu and not the fact that I think Justin Bieber is God. Ah. Forget I said that (laughs).

 

WBBJJ: We can appreciate that. This is one of those questions that we like to ask everyone who does the Private Session interview. It is meant to be a light-hearted question that gives the reader a sense of what the interviewee does in their regular, day-to-day lives. That being said, what was the last movie you watched?

Keith Owen: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I’ve been to Iceland twice.

 

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

Keith Owen: Professor Pedro Sauer. Learning from the Professor has never gotten old after 21 years.

 

WBBJJ: Any final thoughts?

Keith Owen: Yes. Jiu-Jitsu is like an extremely beautiful and intellectual women. You would do well to always admire her, respect her and appreciate her for her sophistication, beauty and depth. The minute you take her for granted, ignore her or think you have her mastered she ends up hitting you with a frying pan (laughs). This is a joke. But not really.

 

 

 

 

ToddandKurt

 Interview by Todd Shaffer WBBJJ.com

 

WBBJJ.com interviews Strength and Conditioning Coach, Luke Tirey

 

Luke Tirey is the Strength and Conditioning coach for Team Rafael Lovato Jr. His job is to make sure that world champions like Rafael Lovato Jr., Justin Rader and James Puopolo are kinesthetically able to operate at peak levels during world championship level BJJ competition.

 

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Luke Tirey and Team Lovato Jr.

 

WBBJJ: Tell us a little bit about your background? How did you get here?

Luke Tirey: I’m 29 years old and really have had no huge formal background in sports until around 11 years ago when I decided to start lifting weights. From that moment on I have been in a constant experiment exploring the world of strength training. I’ve had periods of bodybuilding, marathon running (Chicago 07 at 155lbs), crossfit, powerlifting, kettlebells, strongman, gymnastics, etc.. Each mini journey became not only a change in training, but also living, breathing, eating, and philosophical views.

 

WBBJJ: Tell us a bit about your work with Team Lovato. Personally, I’d like to know what it’s like working with some of the most accomplished athletes in terms of their motivation to push hard all the time. What separates them from the average person? Does anything really separate them? Do they have down days/lazy days. What do you do to keep them fired up?

Luke Tirey: Working with Team Lovato is a great experience. Most of what I can do is offer advice and try to keep it simple for them. We could talk this all day but what you really want to hear is what it’s like training Rafael Lovato Jr. and Justin Rader. Well it’s simple, over the years I have changed my views from letting human ego and aggressive thought create training psychology, towards a more holistic – primal – strength approach. I believe they have adapted and been 100% on board which shows in their respective performances, but most importantly, in their health and longevity. So in a way it’s not their workout intensity that separates them from other martial artists, it’s their mindsets. Unique minds that only the elite have. The ability to visualize the goals at hand and taste every moment of the process, that’s what these guys do. I have gotten so basic with their training, and asked them to start listening, feeling, seeing, and perfecting the things they do. I want them to treat their bodies as the magnificent paintbrushes they are, using the minds to create their masterpiece. Rafael and Justin are simply more determined to excel than others and I think their bio’s show it.

 

Green Strength was founded by Lucius C. Tirey IV in 2013. After years and years of experimenting fitness and health trends, Lucius began to dwindle out the non efficient things that have plagued trainees all over the world from reaching their true, full potential. Supplements, splits, programs, diets, and exercise progression are all overly concerned about and have begun to destroy the art of achieving TRUE HEALTH.

 

WBBJJ: What would be your ideal basic starter program for a White belt who’s taking BJJ classes 2-4 times a week and is looking to add strength and conditioning to their weekly workouts. What would you have them do?

Luke Tirey: Everyone starting an exercise program is considered a white belt in my mind. You should spend your time reverse engineering what the strong do, as Pavel would say. In my opinion, this is not up for discussion: -You must learn to breathe properly -Then you must learn proper rolling patterns -Then maybe crawl -Walk -Run -Etc.. The mistakes we make are thinking we are above the basics or already athletically fit so we don’t need to practice fundamental movement, let’s just start the advanced stuff. The most important thing for you to do in the gym is learn to move your body in the most efficient ways possible, and then this is applied in bodyweight, barbell, kettlebells etc. Bruce Lee was a huge fan of the basics as he regularly did isometrics, tension and relaxation drills, as well as breathing exercises. Why not reverse-engineer the greatest approach? P.S. Don’t negate strength! There are many forms of strength and destroying a strong foundation with “excessive cardio” can destroy any belt.

 

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WBBJJ: How do you tailor your programs to people’s experience/competition level? What’s different about say Justin Rader’s program versus “Avg Joe”?

Luke Tirey: I tailor programs and exercises based on the trainee’s ability to move. We all bridge, hinge, squat, press from multiple angles, carry, jump, land etc. These are natural movements we do no mater what. So why create gimmicks? We just perfect movement. As your level advances we can start adding different forms of resistance and physiological challenges. In theory the movement never really changes from Justin Rader to Avg. Joe, however the progression/regression, load, height, rest, and many other variables come into play.

 

WBBJJ: Thoughts on nutrition?

Luke Tirey: Nutrition is a world of mess. Take economics out of this thought for a second. Now there really is no diet, no debate, just personal accountability for what you eat. That being said it seems there is only one way to eat. Eat real food (organic if you can), and fuel your body. If you stay active in any capacity and eat as REAL and COLORFUL as possible, you’re going be okay. I am a stickler on vitamins and minerals, we need to be taking our D3, Zinc, Magnesium, EPA, and all the goodies. Slouch on water? I think most under-drink and are chronically dehydrated training day in and out. Big mistake!

 

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WBBJJ: What if someone wants to gain weight? Lose weight? How does your prescription/workout change?

Luke Tirey: If someone is looking to gain weight or lose weight it’s simple. Change what you put in your mouth on a daily basis consistently. Considering they are eating REAL FOODS, the real advice is either up the calories or downsize the portions. Don’t beat yourself up training in order to accomplish one or the other…if you’re not going to nutritionally support yourself and be accountable to how much and how often you eat, you won’t see the compositional changes you want.

 

WBBJJ: Where can our readers learn more about you?

Luke Tirey: You can follow me at www.greenstrength.wordpress.com, be sure to like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. I am in the process of putting programs and tons of helpful information on my site specifically for combat athletes, so stay tuned! I am also available for private online coaching; if anyone is interested please give me a shout.

 

WBBJJ: Any further thoughts?

Luke Tirey: I’m going to leave you with my most valuable three pieces of information: Eat real food, train with passion and spirit, and do what’s worked for decades and years. Nothing new is magic.

 

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ToddandKurt

 Interview by Todd Shaffer WBBJJ.com

 

(Interview) WBBJJ.com exclusive interview with the founders of the IBJJWF!

 

If you follow Brazilian Jiu Jitsu news, you have probably recently heard about the formation of an all female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu league. They go by the name, the “IBJJWF“, or the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Women’s Federation. We are lucky enough to conduct one of the earliest interviews with the founders! These ladies are filled with ambition, fervor, zeal and skill. We are proud to support them and wish them the best in their endeavors!

 

IBJJWFLOGO

 

WBBJJ: Who are the ladies behind the IBJJWF? This question has been asked in prior interviews but for the sake of this interview, we need to know. Sorry for the redundancy.

Luciana Bassoli and Holli Noel.

 

WBBJJ: How did you meet each other?

Holli Noel: Luciana and I met through a mutual friend and BJJ professor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

WBBJJ: Tell us a bit about yourselves. What belt rank are you ladies? Whom do you train under, and where?

Holli Noel: I am a 1st degree Blue Belt in BJJ under Professor Paulo Ribeiro, Gracie Barra, Naples, Florida.

Brazilian-born, Luciana, is a 4th degree Black Belt in BJJ under Master Joe Moreira, Los Angeles, California and 2nd degree Black Belt in Judo. Luciana’s 1st BJJ instructor was the late Carlson Gracie.

 

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Luciana Bassoli

 

WBBJJ: It is said that you have offices in California, Florida and Brazil. Please explain the mechanics of this triangle.

Holli Noel: We first wanted to establish our offices where we reside and train, California & Florida, which are both major hubs for BJJ in the United States.  We have people in place in Rio de Janeiro, for obvious reasons, to help organize the federation there. The President there is black belt, Luciana Neder, one of the pioneers of women’s BJJ.  Eventually we plan to have satellite offices in additional cities in the U.S., and well as chapters of the federation in various countries.

 

What are some factors, rules and/or situations that currently exist in the IBJJF; that caused you to form a woman specific BJJ league?

Holli Noel: We are delighted with 2 major recent changes that the IBJJF has made regarding female athletes.  First the lift of the ban of the Hijab head dress for our Arab sisters to compete in IBJJF tournaments.  Second, the addition of weight classes at both the top and bottom.  These were two top-line items on our list, which now have been resolved.  Maybe they felt a little pressure with the creation of the IBJJWF?

Luciana Bassoli: In addition, we would like to see more age divisions for women in Masters, for men there are up to 5 masters divisions but no masters at all for women for the worlds. It takes the chance away for a women 30+ to be a world champ.

What happened to those world champs from ‘98, ‘99…? You could count on your fingers who was training and competing bjj back them. I know all these girls and the only ones who are still involved with BJJ is Leticia and Rosangela (Abu Dhabi). In the other hand Saulo, Murilo, Marcio Feitosa, most of those champions have successfully transitioned to professors. There’s definitely a huge glass sealing there for women.

 

 

  “The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Women’s Federation is a collaborative organization created to promote, help develop and structure the female side of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The IBJJWF goals are to assist fighters and professors by creating equal opportunity for women in tournaments and to assist in spreading the gentle art through the eyes of female athletes throughout the world.” – IBJJWF Facebook Page

 

 

WBBJJ: Do you have any events planned for the future? If not, what do you envision as the perfect IBJJWF event?

Holli Noel: We are planning a Training Camp in Los Angeles to be held this summer.  In addition we are planning tournaments for 2014, which will eventually lead up to the “perfect” event, which will be the IBJJWF World Championship, which is planned for 2015.

 

WBBJJ: What are some of the obstacles that you (as an organization and as a female BJJ practitioner) have faced so far? What are some of the obstacles that you foresee arising in the future of your endeavor, with IBJJWF?

Holli Noel: At this point, our obstacles have been few.  We have been overwhelmed and delighted with the feedback, response and support we have received from both female and male athletes regarding the creation of the IBJJWF.  We are moving forward without fear of obstacles, but in anticipation of huge opportunities!

Luciana Bassoli: The biggest obstacle are BJJ organizations and schools, who like the IBJJF, are doing the minimum to provide incentive for women’s BJJ, followed by tournaments like Metamoris and Copa Podium not bothering to understand there are women out there that can put on a beautiful show and also need money prizes to pay their bills. It’s nice to get a medal and be a world champ but at the end you can’t buy your groceries and training supplements with a medal. Kudos to money prizes for women at Abu Dhabi. The disparity of the payout amount between men and women is still very relevant.

Another obstacle are schools with no women’s only classes. Not everyone likes to be crushed by a 200 lb. man. I understand that there’s not as much money in an all women’s class as a men’s class but it has to be done for the sake of BJJ. They talk about BJJ being in the Olympics, but with the number of women participating it it is almost a joke to me. Training with women is not a burden, it is a privilege, not only it will complement your BJJ but it will help your flow and the use of less strength. I have friends who are big advocates for women’s BJJ, and their academies are so successful. I also have friends who don’t care about helping women develop their BJJ, and they don’t understand why their businesses are failing. A-holes attract A-holes, good professors attract good people. Women need to be able to feel the energy and avoid red flag schools like that.

 

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Holli Noel

 

WBBJJ: Are you attempting to lure women away from the IBJJF, or are you trying to further the cause of women in BJJ, by creating additional opportunities for female BJJ athletes? Please elaborate.

Holli Noel: It should be very clear that we are in no way attempting to lure women away from the IBJJF, or any other federation, for that matter.  Our goal is to support women by encouraging them to compete in as many events as possible.

Luciana Bassoli: I just want to make it clear that what we intend to accomplish in helping women to thrive goes beyond helping them to win a medal. We understand that not everyone wants to compete, women come to my classes for many different reasons and we need to accommodate and cater to all. That being said IBJJF is just a small part of our goals. I’ve been a professor for over 15 years and If you just focus on the technique you have failed. A professor in Martial Arts has the responsibility to train you for life in all its aspects. The dojo is the microcosm of your life. Safety comes 1st. Makes me sad what happened to that student who got raped by her instructor and colleague. IBJJF did nothing about it.

Another day a girl came from San Diego to train at the academy all full of injuries. She’s very petite, and told me that there’s not other girls or small guys in her school. That’s a red flag for me. Her rib got broken when a 215lbs guy passed her guard and dropped his weight on her. I was like “who’s your professor that allows that?”, “why did’nt you leave after all those injuries?” She’s a brown belt, so can you imagine how many years of brain washing?  Women are very loyal students and very easy targets for those money machine BJJ schools. 

 

WBBJJ: When we talked about doing this interview you mentioned that you would like to help/sponsor female BJJ athletes. Tell us more about that.

Holli Noel: We know that, as with men, many female BJJ athletes juggle many roles in their daily lives, including jobs, families, school, etc.  We realize that these responsibilities, coupled with finances and possibly living in a remote area are factors that may prevent them from competing.  We believe there is a lot of untapped talent out there, that may never be showcased, if these women are not able to compete.  After we are established with sponsors, we will be selecting women from time to time, based upon their personal situation and real need, to help further their careers.

Luciana Bassoli: With the help of sponsors and donations we want to provide all our services for very low rates or free. That’s the ideal. Women make 30% less of the dollar than men, in addition we have extra expenses because of our biological differences… so why are we paying the same fees?

 

WBBJJ: A genie in a bottle grants you three wishes for the future of IBJJWWF. What are your three wishes?

Holli Noel: 1) Big international sponsors (both within and outside of the traditional BJJ circuit of sponsors), so that we may help as many women as possible. 2) To play a major roll in growing the sport for women, filling all divisions at competitions, and filling academies across the globe, and to inspire all women, both inside and outside of BJJ. 3) That we are recognized not only as a federation holding tournaments, seminars, camps, etc., but also as an organization that is generous and caring by having the ability to lead and support many charitable initiatives.

Luciana Bassoli: Holli you read my mind!

 

WBBJJ.com is about having fun. So, we have some fun questions to ask!

 

WBBJJ: What’s on your iPod right now?

Holli Noel:  Everything from Jimi Hendrix to Pitbull…  Janis Joplin to Pink.

Luciana Bassoli: My Pandora radios I listen the most these days…Animals, Rio Baile Funk and Dire Straits.

 

WBBJJ: What was the last movie you watched?

Holli Noel: Wolf of Wall Street

Luciana Bassoli: Me too!

 

WBBJJ: If you could pick someone to roll with, who would it be?

Holli Noel: When I first started BJJ, Hillary Williams was still heavy in the competition network, before taking time off to complete her medical degree.  She was one of my first inspirations, and remains until this day.

Luciana Bassoli: Jigoro Kano, Carlos and Helio 😉 Im fascinated with Kit Dale style I would love check it out to see if works. The current world champs Gabi and Luanna.

 

IBJJWFLOGO-PHOTO

 

It is free for any female to register with the IBJJWF! To do so, click here.

Check them out on Facebook. Their website will be up soon. For now, Facebook is the best place to keep informed about the latest IBJJWF news.

 

I hope you all enjoyed the interview!

meTony Peranio WBBJJ

White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Private Sessions #9: Justin Rader

 

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Justin Rader

 

Our guest for the ninth installment of White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Private Sessions is none other than world champion American BJJ competitor: Justin RaderJustin is a Professional MMA fighter, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competitor and 2X No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Featherweight World Champion (2010, 2013). He is a black belt under Rafael Lovato Jr.

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

 

WBBJJ: What brought you to BJJ?

Justin Rader: My father, David Rader, is the person who got me started in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu here in Oklahoma City, OK at Lovato’s School of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA about 15 years ago. He got me involved in martial arts at a very young age, as he sought out the most qualified and accomplished coaches in both wrestling and tae kwon do. I began in those arts between the ages of 4-5 years old. One of the fathers of one of my teammates on my wrestling team happened to drive by Lovato’s Academy one day and saw they offered Jiu-Jitsu, and he happened to mention it to my father because he knew I was really involved in martial arts and wrestling. He thought we might like to check it out. We did and really enjoyed it, and the rest is history.

It’s been an incredible journey, and it’s not over yet!

 

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

Justin Rader: Looking back on my own journey thus far, and especially from the perspective of being an instructor and coach now, I think about this often to provide the best instruction and direction to everybody I teach. Especially when starting out, I think people should strive to focus more on technique and drilling rather than sparring. I know that often times drilling can seem boring, especially if you only have a few techniques to drill, but it’s so important. It’s also sometimes hard to find a good drilling partner who doesn’t get bored with it after 5 minutes. It’s a great way to refine technique, teach control and fluid movement, stay moving, and is definitely something I wished I focused more on when I first started. Making sparring the main focus too early can lead to bad technique and habits, and even worse the chances for injury are much higher because beginners’ movement is not as fluid or refined and is usually strength-based and spastic. Take things slow, it will pay off in the long run. And trust your instructor!

 

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Justin and Rafael Lovato Jr.

 

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

Justin Rader: Enjoy the journey! Don’t try to rush through any one belt, or think you need to earn your black belt in 4 years. Also, do your research, and find a credible instructor who has created a positive, healthy atmosphere and environment in his/her academy that makes you feel comfortable. Somebody you feel you can trust to look out for your best interest and personal goals and will invest in your Jiu-Jitsu journey. Luckily, I found all that right off the bat!!

 

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

Justin Rader: Having started training in this art around the age of 12 years old, and having been involved in martial arts and wrestling since about the age of 4 years old and doing both pretty much my entire life, I would say the hardest part of the journey for me was understanding why I was doing it and trying to find what I wanted to get out of it, and placing far too much emphasis and pressure on competition.

My father got me started in martial arts and wrestling for a couple of different reasons. He wanted to place me in an environment that taught me work ethic and principles like honor, integrity, discipline, perseverance, as well as provide healthy lifestyle habits and help my confidence and self-esteem. I am not by nature a confrontational or aggressive person, especially when I was a kid, and my father wanted me to have the confidence to stand up for myself, my beliefs, stand up to bullies, and to defend myself and my family if that situation should ever arise. It took me many years before I finally realized this, and I thought he wanted me involved in martial arts and wrestling to be a competitor, and I always thought I had to win to make my father proud. That winning was everything. I put so much pressure on myself. I do believe that everyone should challenge themselves with competitions, but don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself, especially as a kid. Treat them for what they are, learning experiences to further your own development, both technically and personally. Once I finally understood this, I was able to take this pressure off of myself, and I started to see success.

 

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Justin bringing up the next generation of BJJ artists

 

Also beginning in this art at such a young age, I had a distorted view of competition and what it should mean. When I was much younger, I thought that how I did in competition would determine when I would receive my next belt. I had the immature thinking that competition was the main determining factor in being promoted. I look back now, and realize that this is a martial art, and competition is not the be-all, end-all factor of when a person is ready to be promoted. It is a factor yes, but not the only one that should be taken into consideration. I think it’s also important for an instructor to look at a person’s growth in knowledge of techniques and the ability to teach them, growth in character, if they are a person who upholds all the virtues and values of being a martial artist and lead by example in that way, and someone they trust to represent them especially when promoting to black belt. As I began to understand these lessons, I was able to hold competition in its proper place, and that is when I started having much more success, and it made me not just a better competitor, but a better instructor, and I started having more fun. These lessons were probably the hardest throughout my journey.

 

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

Justin Rader: I have the best support from my few close friends and family. Their belief in me never waivers, and in my toughest times, I remember they will always be there, that I represent them, and it pushes me to always get back up and keep going.

 

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

Justin Rader: I have always enjoyed strength and conditioning and sport dietetics, so I would very likely be training people and athletes as a strength and conditioning coach. I actually went to college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science and a Masters degree  in Dietetics.

 

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

Justin Rader: Honestly, I do not push my lifestyle or choices on anybody, especially if they’re not ready. And when I hear excuses, it means that said person is not quite ready change.

 

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WBBJJ: Favorite activity besides BJJ?

Justin Rader: Hanging out with my friends and family and having a good time. I also enjoy strength and conditioning and reading.

 

WBBJJ: What’s on your iPod?

Justin Rader: Epica, Evanescence, Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Blackmore’s Night, Halestorm, Flyleaf, Amaranthe, and Disturbed.

 

WBBJJ: What was the last movie you watched?

Justin Rader: Lone Survivor

 

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

Justin Rader: In BJJ I have 2 right now; Leandro “Lo” and Keenan Cornelius. In MMA, Jose Aldo.

 

WBBJJ: Any final thoughts?

Justin Rader: I’d like to thank my parents, David and Mary Jane Rader, my family, Professor Rafael and Tina Lovato, my wrestling coach Andy Howington, Professors Saulo and Xande Ribeiro and Chris Savarese, my muay thai coach Mark Beecher, my strength and conditioning coach Luke Tirey, and my close friends for all their support, influence, guidance, training, and constant belief in me. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. You guys are the best!

 

 

You can follow Justin Rader on: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Check out Justin’s recently released DVD, “Hybrid Success Formula” here. The DVD shows how Justin utilized his wrestling skills to maximize his BJJ abilities!

If you’re ever interested in seminars please feel free to message him via Facebook.

 

ToddandKurt

 Interview by Todd Shaffer WBBJJ.com

 

White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Private Sessions #8: Rafael Lovato Jr.

 

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Rafael Lovato Jr. and Rafael Sr.

 

Our guest for the eighth installment of White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Private Sessions is none other than the most decorated American BJJ competitor today: Rafael Lovato Jr

 

“Rafael was born in June of 1983 and following the influence of his father, began studying martial arts when he first started walking. At the early of age of thirteen, Rafael found his passion when his father introduced him to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In August of 2004, shortly after turning 21, Rafael became the youngest American to receive a black belt in BJJ at that time.

 

Rafael has continued to make history in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, becoming the most decorated American BJJ competitor today. Rafael became the first person ever to win the European Open Championships, Pan-American Championships, Brazilian National Championships (Brasileiro), and World Championships (Mundials) at the Black Belt level and earned the prestigious BJJ competitor of the year award. He is also part of an elite group to ever win Black Belt World Championships with and without the gi. Rafael, as an instructor, also became the first American to produce a Black Belt No-Gi World Champion.

 

Now, Rafael is the full time owner, operator, and head instructor of Lovato’s School of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts which is one of the top schools in the country, producing BJJ World Champion medalists and UFC fighters. He praises his excellent coach, the legendary Saulo Ribeiro and his incredible training partner, Saulo’s brother, Xande Ribeiro. Rafael is still an active competitor, but now some of his greatest joys come from the success of his students.” – lovatojr.com

 

Rafael is competing this weekend at the 2014 Pans in Irvine, California. We are grateful that he took the time to sit down with us, in the middle of his training for this important competition.

We now bring you Rafael Lovato Jr!

 

WBBJJ: What brought you to BJJ?

Rafael Lovato Jr: My father is a lifetime martial artist who was influenced by Bruce Lee. As soon as I could walk he was teaching me martial arts and taking me with him to go train. My journey started with Jeet Kune Do concepts including a lot of Muay Thai and Boxing. My father was always searching for the best and most effective martial arts and he found out about BJJ at a JKD instructor’s conference. He then dedicated himself to learning BJJ any way possible, traveling all the way to California or bringing Black Belts to OKC to teach seminars. As he learned, he taught me and I loved it right away. As I got older, it became easier for him to send me to learn and train since he was busy running the academy. I started competing a lot when I was around 15 years old and I did my first trip to Brazil to compete at the Worlds when I was 16 years old in 1999. The rest is history…

 

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

Rafael Lovato Jr: I believe they should do more note taking and asking of questions. I think you should keep a BJJ journal where you document your journey. The notebook can be used for much more then just note taking of techniques, you should also analyze what is happening during your training and take note of what positions you feel weak in and what techniques people are able to do to you successfully. I don’t think there should be a day of training that goes by that doesn’t make you come up with a question in your head. Documenting everything that happens on the mat will help you figure out what questions you need to be asking. The notebook is also a great place to put your short term and long term goals, motivational quotes, and weekly/monthly plans of what area of your game you will be focused on during training.

I think lower belts should do less of trying to learn advanced techniques too soon. Don’t overlook the basics and try to rush into learning the advanced techniques that people are using in sport competition. This applies especially to the guard. Many people jump right into learning advanced open guard and half guard games before they ever really worked on their closed guard, cross chokes, arm bars, triangles, and side control/mount escapes. Being fundamentally sound is so important and will help you have the foundation necessary to create any sort of advanced game you want without any holes. Also, you can’t forget that BJJ is a self defense based martial art and the basics is what will save you in the street.

 

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

Rafael Lovato Jr: Well, that is really hard to say. I went through a lot of tough times with my game technically, jumping around a lot without any real guidance or mentorship from an instructor on a daily basis. My father and I were always on our own without a Black Belt instructor in our state, so we would have to take everything we learned on a trip somewhere back home and work on it. Hopefully, we were drilling it correctly, but if we weren’t or if we had any questions that came up, we couldn’t get them answered until the next time we traveled somewhere where there was a higher ranking person we could ask. As difficult as that was, I really appreciate that now, because it gave me a deep understanding of Jiu-Jitsu and it helped me understand how to get better and it made me a great instructor. So I think the advice I would give myself wouldn’t be about anything technically, but more mentally. I think I would just give myself a talk about competition and how to perform at your best. This was something I didn’t learn until I became a Black Belt. I don’t think I ever competed to the level of my capabilities until I became a Black Belt and had the mentorship of Saulo Ribeiro. There is a lot that would go into that conversation, but if I was to say just one thing, I would tell myself to read “Think & Grow Rich” immediately.

 

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Rafael and his Strength and Conditioning Coach, Luke Tirey

 

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

Rafael Lovato Jr: Well, like I said in the last question, my father and I were always on our own, so the whole journey was very tough! Besides not having access to a Black Belt instructor, there was no internet or huge library of instructional tapes for us to learn from. When we were able to get the Renzo Gracie/Craig Kukuk tapes or the Mario Sperry tapes we were blown away! This gave us a deep appreciation for any technique that we learned and we always had a list of questions ready to ask a Black Belt as soon as we had the opportunity. Once again, as hard as all that was, I am happy I went through that. I think the hardest part of my journey was making the jump from competing as a brown belt to competing at the Black Belt level. Not having that consistent access to World class level Black Belts or even getting to watch them in competition, besides the times I was in Brazil, made me build them up the whole time I was coming up as like Jiu-Jitsu gods that I looked up to. So whenever I became a Black Belt it was hard for me to believe in myself enough to be able to beat the best Black Belts out there, because those were the same guys I had been looking up to. I was happy just to be fighting them and if I was able to just give them a good match I was happy. This is where the mental training became the thing I needed to make it to the next level.

 

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

Rafael Lovato Jr: Well, the only real failure is the one that makes you quit, so I just tried to use any of the tough times as something to learn from and make me stronger. I fully believed that I was doing what I was meant to do in life and there was nothing that was going to stop me from giving it my all. Also, there are great people in my life who have always been there to help me. I am very fortunate to have great parents who supported my dream. In the beginning of 2004 I was still going to college and it came to the point where I knew I needed to dedicate my life fully to Jiu-Jitsu if I was going to accomplish my dreams. They understood and supported me when I quit school. Also, my wife has always been there by my side to support me and give me strength whenever I needed it. Lastly, the Ribeiro brothers are the ones who really changed my life in Jiu-Jitsu. I am so grateful that Sensei Saulo saw something in me and he took me under his wing. His mentorship and the training I received with them is what took me to the World class level.

 

WBBJJ: If you weren’t doing this what would you do?

Rafael Lovato Jr: Before Jiu-Jitsu, I was very focused on boxing. From around 9-12 years I was boxing everyday and fighting in golden gloves. I wanted to reach the Olympics and then turn pro. If I didn’t do anything martial arts related, then I would have probably tried basketball or something music related.

 

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

Rafael Lovato Jr: I would try to explain to them how life changing the BJJ lifestyle is and that what you learn about yourself through Jiu-Jitsu is priceless. It makes you a better person in life. There are 168 hours in the week and you owe it to yourself to give yourself the gift of Jiu-Jitsu at least 2-4 hours a week.

 

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WBBJJ: Favorite activity besides BJJ?

Rafael Lovato Jr: I really enjoy working out! I have a fantastic strength and conditioning coach and he made me fall in love with being in the gym. Even when I don’t have a tournament coming up, I am still in the gym working on making my body healthier, stronger, and more mobile. Look up my coach, Luke Tirey, on Facebook and like his page, he posts a lot of great stuff. I also like to play basketball, but it has been a while. I just tried surfing for the first time at my BJJ camp in Costa Rica earlier this year and I thought it was really cool. I definitely see how that could become your passion.

 

WBBJJ: What’s on your iPod?

Rafael Lovato Jr: Well, I am heavily into hip hop. I download all the latest mixtapes and stay up to date on new songs and artists. I pretty much have every significant hip hop album since 1996 on my iPod, but as far as right now I am listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar. I think he is my favorite new guy out right now. I am also listening to a lot of Meek Mill, Pusha T, Yo Gotti, Rick Ross, & Drake and Jay-Z is always in rotation, he is my all time favorite. Also, I like to listen to my best friend’s DJ mixes. He is in Atlanta coming up and you can hear his stuff at his sound cloud – www.soundcloud.com/irathe4th

 

WBBJJ: What was the last movie you watched?

Rafael Lovato Jr: I watched Rush recently and thought it was very good.

 

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

Rafael Lovato Jr: There is so many! I love to train and think about training with different people all of the time. I would like to train with a lot of the guys I looked up to back in the day like Rickson, Renzo, Roleta, Fabio Gurgel, Leo Vieira, BJ Penn, & Nino. Other people I would love to train with are Jacare, Terere, & Buchecha. Even guys I have competed against before I would like to train with like Cyborg, Galvao, Romulo, & Rodolfo. I have trained with Braulio, Roger, Clark, & Lo before and would love to do that again too. I just love to train!

 

WBBJJ: Any final thoughts?

Rafael Lovato Jr: I would like to thank all of my fans out there for their support! The fan love means so much to me and I am so thankful to be in a position where I can inspire others to go after their dreams. I want to thank my sponsors Lucky Gi, www.OnTheMat.com, PR2 Systems, Mike Calimbas Photography, and Five Grappling for their support as well..

I want to let everyone know about my new blog www.lovatobjjvideos.com. There is already some great articles on there from Henry Akins and Nicolas Gregoriades with more on the way. Also, you can sign up there to receive free videos and content from me. Make sure to follow me at my fan page – www.lovatojrfans.com and on twitter & instagram @lovatojrbjj as well!

 

 

 

ToddandKurt

 Interview by Todd Shaffer WBBJJ