Family MATters


by Brigitte Cave
Ian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA & BJJ Seychelles


If there’s one thing most BJJ practitioners can agree on, it’s that our training partners and coaches most probably started off as strangers, and somehow ended up as family. We spend hours on the mats rolling around in each other’s sweat, and we very quickly realize that sweat can be just as thick as blood.



But what happens when you start training with a family member? Better yet, what happens when you start training with your dad? After a lot of nagging from my side, I finally got to find out; my dad, close to 50 at the time, officially joined BJJ with me. I promise you, it has been one heck of an experience.


During our first free roll, I used the limited technique I picked up in earlier classes to submit him. Repeatedly.


We realize that technique means everything, and strength isn’t all it’s so widely praised to be.


Naively, I think “Well this is more fun than I expected!”


I should have known better. You see I hadn’t reckoned he’d stick with it, or that he’d eventually learn technique. So I enjoyed my days in BJJ sunshine: we rolled, he tapped, the cycle repeated, until one fateful day. Our roll began like any other: stand up, greet, takedown, except this time I was on the receiving end of said take down, and suddenly all hell broke loose. Having 135 kilograms of weight shoved onto your stomach from side control brings about an interesting response; you squirm, you wriggle, you forget that you ever learned how to shrimp, and then you get tired. Here he saw his chance and a few seconds later I with great horror realized I was in a ‘tap now, or forever lose your teeth’ choking situation. The tables had turned.


In the spirit of BJJ, we laughed, got up, and went on with our training, but somehow our dynamic had changed; I knew I would have to fight for every advantage I could get when from now on.


Two years later, we’re still going strong. Disagreements are settled on the mats, my dad has discovered the wonders of BJJ videos on Instagram, he’s lost over 15 kilograms, we’re both fitter and stronger than ever, and if you mess with one of us, you mess with both of us.


Now my dad gets to wake up every morning with a new ache in a new muscle, and I get to annoy him by not having any pains at all (that darn 33 year age gap, he’d say). He gets to wake me up at 5 in the morning to go jogging on off days, and tell me I can’t complain because he’s 50 and he’s doing it, and I get to tell all my friends that my dad trains martial arts, so they better watch themselves. I’m always thankful that my dad came to that first training session, and he never stopped coming after that.



There’s so much I have to tell; how we got the nicknames Papa and Baby Buffalo, how we listen Portuguese music we don’t understand, how we exasperate my mom with our endless talks of kimuras, triangles, and omoplatas, of our designs for LED decorated gis (because you CAN look like a traffic light, roll, and electrocute both yourself and your partner all at once), of the various injuries we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘he’) experienced, of our plans to compete, and visit Brazil, but those are all stories for another time.



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Whatever Jiu-Jitsu Breaks, It Fixes In Other Ways.


by Brooke George


Since I started Jiu-Jitsu, many things about my life have changed. From broken toes becoming the norm, learning a little bit of Portuguese, changes to my health, free time, and shopping habits… One can definitely say that Jiu-Jitsu has changed my life.


Before I stepped onto the mats I was an athlete in other sports, but I didn’t care about my body the way BJJ has lead me to do. This sport has helped me see the amazing things that my body is capable of.


Because of this I have begun to eat much more healthy in order to fuel my body to work more efficiently. I enjoy running more now to help improve my cardio and also doing yoga to improve my flexibility.


Along with the positive changes in my health, there are some “negative” ones that come too.


Broken toes are something I have constantly. It seems as soon as one heals, another one breaks, and there isn’t enough tape to keep them together. A broken nose is also an injury I’ve had to deal with, but luckily it healed fast.


My free time looks different than it used to as well. For instance, three days a week I’m at the gym and on the mats. The other four days I’m doing some sort of other physical activity like hitting the heavy bag, running, or yoga (to keep improving my BJJ); with an occasional rest day thrown in there somewhere.


Besides being more physically active since I joined a BJJ academy, I also watch different things. Instead of watching college basketball, its the latest Eddie Bravo Invitational; or instead of hosting movie nights, it’s fight nights to watch the latest UFC. When I surf through YouTube I find myself having to do google translations of Portuguese in order to actually understand what they are saying in the videos that I watch.


I love shopping. Since I joined Jiu-Jitsu my shopping habits have drastically changed. Instead of buying new jeans and dresses, I’m saving up to buy a new gi, rash guard, or spats (because lets be real, you can never have enough)! If I’m not buying new clothing for Jiu-Jitsu, I’m saving up for the next seminar, buying the latest issue of JiuJitsuMag, or paying gym fees.


All of these changes that have come about in my life since stepping onto the mats have had a positive impact, except for draining my bank account and some minor bone breaks…but I wouldn’t change anything about it!


Sometimes it’s just a part of this sport. I love this sport and I love this lifestyle!





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Jimmy Pedro: Preventing The Kimura From Top Half Guard


You finally break your opponent’s guard open and get them in top half guard. Instead of pummeling for the under hook they reach across, grab your wrist, and try to sit up for a Kimura.


This can be quite frustrating! In the video below multiple time Judo world champion Jimmy Pedro shows you how to shut this vain attempt down.




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Royler Gracie Explains How The Gracie Diet Extends Life And Mat Time


“How you gonna be a world champion without being healthy?” – Royler Gracie


BJJ Legend Royler Gracie explains the benefits of the Gracie diet. It isn’t only about what you eat, but what combinations of food that you eat.


Royler’s father Helio Gracie created the diet, lived to be 95 years old, and was sick only one time.




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Product Review: MMA PACK – Loot Crate


Training is hard. Getting Great gear shouldn’t be.


Welcome to! They are a subscription based loot crate service based in the United States. They send $100 worth of premium MMA gear, clothes, supplements and accessories to your door every month for only $39.


You sweat, bleed, get punched and submitted every day. And you PAY for it. You are part of a special breed of person that fights for you have. You know better than most men that this training makes you strong in body and spirit. Getting great gear and clothing for your love should be easy and cheaper. We do this for you. Focus on your training and get premium shirts, shorts, rash guards and supplements and a steep discount.


Pictured below are the items that I received in the pack that was sent to me.



For my full gallery of my first MMA PACK click here.


To get 20% off of your first pack use code WBBJJ at checkout!



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How To Mentally Prepare For The ‘Hard Class’


by Zachary Phillips


Every serious martial arts gym has at least one ‘hard class’. That night of the week where your coach decides conditioning for competition (or conflict) is in order.


It’s reputation precedes itself. It is talked about in hushed tones and whispered about in the locker room after class. Some are curious, most fearful.


You probably have heard the horror stories. Participants vomiting with exertion, 100’s of push ups and endless rounds of hard sparing. It seems like hell.


So you rationalize to yourself that you are not ready, that you are not fit enough or skilled enough. You come up with whatever excuse in the book as to why you should avoid it and that is exactly what you are doing.


These feelings are normal. It is understandable that there is some fear or apprehension around the unknown. Nobody wants to be hurt or feel embarrassed, particularly in front of their friends. This class presents a real risk that you may fail, and that is scary.


However, if you do turn up and attempt the class, you are victorious. Regardless of your performance on the night, you can claim a victory over your fear. You have attempted something that most people won’t and you survived. You are stronger for it.


In these classes, you will be pushed harder then you have ever been before. You will feel like breaking down and giving up. But if you trust your coach, and they are competent, they will push you beyond your own limits and take you to the edge of your ability.


In battling your body, you are also taming your mind. It will be screaming to stop, pleading with you to tap out and quit. But these classes will teach you something vital. That that voice is a liar. You can and have gone beyond your perceived limits. You have continued despite your inner protests. You will learn that you are stronger then you think you are.


This level of pressure is exactly what you need if you are ever planning on competing. You will find that the ‘hard class’ is actually harder than the competition. Your sparring sessions in the gym are more challenging and forceful than they are on the competition floor. You will realize that becoming acclimated to stress and pressure has tremendous benefits to your performance.


Finally, if you are training your martial art for self-defense, this class is a must. A violent altercation is one of the most confronting, stress inducing and emotionally confusing events that most people will ever face. Compared to a real fight, the ‘hard class’ is just child’s play. You would be doing yourself a disservice to believe that you are emotionally ready to defend yourself on the street, if you are not emotionally ready to participate in the ‘hard class’.


(Zachary Phillips, photo by John Donehue)


To see more of Zachary’s blogs check out his academy page by clicking here.



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Alistair Overeem Just Earned His BJJ Blue Belt, In Three Weeks.


One of the most decorated strikers in the world and UFC fighter Alistair Overeem seems to have been recently bitten by the Jiu-Jitsu bug.


He earned his blue belt in just three weeks! To us regular folk this sounds like an abhorrent disregard for the time honored tradition of being a white belt for (what feels like) ever.


According to the Valente Brothers system of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, their style is mostly self-defense as opposed to sport Jiu-Jitsu. They even recommend that students who come to them looking for sport BJJ, should perhaps try out other schools more geared toward that in Florida. That being said, it is not unusual at all for a UFC fighter to be fast-tracked to blue belt.


Some tournaments will not allow UFC fighters to compete as a white belt. It is assumed that because of their fight experience, they should have some sort of working knowledge of ground fighting.





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