Busy but not Forgotten: 2 Years of the Jiu-Jistu Lifestyle

16 12 2013

Wow! Where has the time gone? It has been so long since I have been able to post anything to this page. I will be honest – life has caught up with me in the form of work and travel. But that all being said – I still have done as I have always done and continued to live the bjj lifestyle!

Lots of things have changed over the course of the last near two years. To give a brief run down – in the last 2 years I have competed in multiple jiu-jitsu events – lived in 4 different countries (including the US) – and I have met and made friendships all over the world thanks to jiu-jitsu! I have been to places like Scotland, England, Portugal, Spain, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, and I currently am residing in Thailand! Life has taken me on a crazy trip these past few years. I will try to find time to update my story page to keep everyone in the loop – but in this time I will tell you I have learned more about myself and my jiu-jitsu and have countless examples of just how amazing this lifestyle is.

So – as soon as I can find the time – I promise to bring you guys a revamp of Live The BJJ Lifestyle.com including more reviews, thoughts on tournaments and the BJJ world, and different experiences of the places I have been! Thank you all for the constant support! As always continue to Live the BJJ Lifestyle!

OH and I almost forgot – here is just a teaser of some of the things that have transpired in the past two years – these coming from 2013 in particular! Osssss!

March 22, 2013 – Promoted to Black Belt

A Never Ending Pursuit of Perfection

First Black Belt Gold in Alberta Provisional Championships


2012 Tournament Season is Just Around the Corner

15 12 2011

Well I am back to finally having time to get some thoughts out there for all of you. First off I want to say that I apologize for not being able to have that many posts over the past several months. I am, however, getting back into the swing of things as the 2012 tournament season is just around the corner. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) has posted the first of several tournaments that are run during the first several months of the year. The list schedule so far for is as follows:

January 26th – 29th: European Open Championship – Lisbon, Portugal

February 11th – 12th: Houston International Open – Houston, Texas

February 19thPan Kids Jiu-Jitsu Championship – TBA, California

February (TBA): San Francisco International Open – San Francisco, California

March 3rd: Chicago Winter International Open – Chicago, Illinois

March 29th – April 1st: Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship – Irvine, California

April 21st: New York International Open – New York, New York

June (TBA): World Jiu-Jitsu Championship – Long Beach, California

The tournament season kicks off in Lisbon, Portugal with the European Championship. This tournament always brings out the heavy hitters and will most undoubtedly be one of the best tournaments of the season. Expect to see a great display of jiu-jitsu come the end of January to kick off the tournament season. Next up will be the first International Open of the season and it just so happens it will be in my current city of residence – Houston, Texas. This will be the third installment of the Houston Open and I can guarantee you there will be plenty of talent showing up . With participants such as Ryan Hall, Bruno Bastos, Justin Raider, and Steven “Psedelo” Hall showing up last year, I think we can expect fireworks to kick off the stateside tournament scene. You can guarantee that I will be out there checking out the action as well as hitting the mat in my respective division.

I have already begun my preparation of dieting and training to get myself ready for the start of the tournament season. It is my experience that the earlier you start, the better prepared you will be come tournament time, especially for the earlier tournaments. I would recommend starting to ease into your competition diet as well as starting to schedule and get in more training. This includes but is not limited to more mat time consisting of drilling and sparing as well as conditioning. I have started up a new Twitter account just to keep people updated and so that all of you can follow my training. I get questions all the time about how I prepare for competition and now I will put it out there for everyone who wishes to know. You can  simply look over onto the sidebar to the right of this post or you can click on the follow box here:

Continue Reading>>>>>>

More Articles, Reviews, and Interviews Coming Soon…

7 08 2011

I know I have not posted anything in quite some time. Life and work have made it very difficult. However, I want to take the time to assure all of you that I will have been busy with new ideas for posts and the like. More will be coming soon in the very near future. Keep on the look out for more gi reviews, new articles and posts, as well as a few new techniques coming your way! As always, remember to go hit the mats and live the bjj lifestyle every second of every day! Osssssssssss!

The Great Debate

19 06 2011


The Great Debate

Eddie Ramos and myself touching knuckles before our match

This past weekend I attended a local tournament here in the Houston area. Although the tournament was not that large, the open divisions were some of the most stacked divisions I have ever been witness to. With likes of jiu-jitsu black belts such as Carlos Diego Ferreira, Alexander Ceconi, Eddie Ramos, and even Andre Galvao, there was no shortage of excitement on the mat. The scheduled super fight between one of Texas’ best competitors, Carlos Diego Ferreira, and the jiu-jitsu all-star Ander Galvao turned into a very technical match. Galvao ended up pulling of the win on points via passing Carlos’ guard. Then, in the no-gi expert absolute divisions, there was no surprise to see Galvao in the finals taking on larger and very game opponent Alexander Ceconi. Galvao displayed great suplex take downs along with superb control and ended up winning the match 16-0. Finally, in the gi brown/black belt absolute, again it Galvao would meet Ferreira, except this time would gather the win via wrist lock. Overall the tournament was extremely exiting to be apart of. However, a major issue arose that I have come to see repeated time and time again at the local tournament level.

I worked the tournament as a referee and , much like most other smaller, local tournaments, we started off the day with a meeting of all the refs and the tournament organizer to discuss the days rules. At the majority of these tournaments, the rules meeting is simply a discussion of how the rules will differ from federation rules, or the rules invoked by, for all intents and purposes, jiu-jitsu’s governing body, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). Throughout the day, I found myself torn between making calls that were true to the rules set forth by the tournament organizer, and making calls that stuck to the rules set forth by the IBJJF that I knew to be correct. On top of this, when I made a call that was not within the rules of the IBJJF, coaches and notable black belts whom I know and respect would be upset and try to argue for their student. The hardest part of the day was trying to explain to them that even though I agreed with them that the federation rules dictated otherwise, I had to make the call as I did because of the rules of the tournament.

These kinds of situations happen at nearly every local tournament that I have been involved with. It has sparked the dilemma: Is it better for the sport of jiu-jitsu as a whole for everyone to adhere to the rules set forth by the IBJJF? My personal take on the matter is that for the sport overall, it will be better in the long run for most tournaments to adhere to the rules that have been established as the most widely used rules in the sport. As soon as we can unify all of jiu-jitsu under a series of rules and regulations, our sport will have the opportunity to grow greater than it ever has. In conclusion I want to pose this question to all of you: What is your opinion on the variance in rules of jiu-jitsu from the local circuits to the IBJJF standards? Should all tournaments no matter the size adhere to the federation regulations and what would be the benefits/repercussions of such standards have on the sport of jiu-jitsu overall?  Post all of your comments bellow.

The Return of a Champion

17 05 2011

The Return of a Champion


For those of us who have been in the lifestyle for a while, or have an interest in watching old highlights, the name Fernando Augusto is all too familiar. Many of the newer generation of jiu-jitsu practitioners may not have heard of him. Perhaps though, most everyone has heard of him by his more familiar name; the name that has been chanted at multiple tournaments ranging from the Pans to the Worlds; the name that has brought entire arenas to their feet and joined them in unison; the name that almost any truly passionate jiu-jitsu practitioner will have heard of at one time or another; the name of  Terere.

With his insane athleticism and movement based game, Terere is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners to ever step onto the mat. He never failed to excite in any of his matches. Terere is a former multiple time world champion. He has defeated the likes of Marcelo Garcia and had some of the toughest and most memorable fights against opponents such as Fabrico Werdum, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and Roger Gracie. He has also helped to produce some of the best talents our sport has ever seen including Andre Galvao, Cobrinha, and Sergio Moraes. With out a doubt, Terere was one of the best  there was in the world of jiu-jitsu.

Then suddenly things took a turn for the worst for Terere. His life took a spiral downwards when one thing led to another. He seemed to drop off the map for most people. Terere went through a tough time in his life. Many did not know whether or not he would come out of it and return back to the sport that missed and loved him.

Well, all the questions and prayers have been answered. Terere’s life has finally gotten back on track and he is planning to return and compete this year at the 2011 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships. I can not begin to express how much this brings joy to all of us who have loved watching old Terere highlight videos or watched him in his heyday. Though he has been through so much in the last few years, he is now re-motivated to make his return to jiu-jitsu. The jiu-jitsu lifestyle is strong motivator and coupled with so many friends of family, has brought back one of the sports greats. I bow my head, pay my respect, and gladly welcome back  this jiu-jitsu icon and champion.

Below is a video entitled “Return of a Champion” and follows Terere today in London where he lives and is training to prepare for the Worlds. Also I have added one of my favorite highlight reels for those who may not have seen them before. If you are not a Terere fan or have never heard of him before, I assure you by the time you get done watching these two videos, you will not forget the name! Always remember… Whoooop Terere!!!

The Rules of Sport Jiu-Jitsu

13 05 2011

It has become apparent through my experiences at tournaments,  ranging in size and location, that the number of those involved in jiu-jitsu who do not have a complete grasp on the rules of the sport is quite larger than what would be thought. People ranging from students, competitors, parents, and even coaches do not always have a full understanding of all of the intricacies of the rules. I am certain there are several reasons for this, but probably the most prevalent is that most do not take the time to actually read and understand the rules that make up our sport.

All of the major tournaments that are held in the world are ran under a single set of rules and regulations set forth by the largest governing body of jiu-jitsu, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, or IBJJF for short. The IBJJF runs numerous tournaments a year around the globe and generally, before each tournament, they offer a rules course. I recently partook in the rules course before this past weekends Dallas International Open and can vouch that even after having been in the sport for four years and having competed numerous times, there were still some areas of the rules that I was not fully clear on. This just goes to show that even those of us who feel that they know the rules, may not fully understand them. Understanding the rules provides great benefits to those who are involved, train, or teach jiu-jitsu. The benefits of having a complete understanding of the rules as a competitor are monumental. Having that full understanding of the rules allows you to be more aware and completely in sync with what is going on during your match as well as what you need to do in order to gain the upper hand against your adversary. Also, it gives you a sense of what the referee is thinking and watching for while he judges the match. It is quite an advantage if one competitor knows and fully grasps the rules while the other does not. World champions have been crowned because one competitor had a better understanding of the rules than the other.

I am now going to discuss a few key points that most people do not full understand. Let me start with an explanation of the score board. The score board is very simple yet some people, especially those who simply watch jiu-jitsu or are new to jiu-jitsu do not fully understand it. First off in any of the larger tournaments, the score boards are going to be large monitors. The first thing that is displayed (moving from right to left) is the time. The time always counts up to the length of the given level’s match. Next are two sets of three numbers. The numbers are colored from right to left as followed: green or white, red, and yellow. The first number represents points. These are given by the referee when points are earned by the competitor. The next are penalties. These are given when a competitor does something illegal and is warned or for stalling. The final number is for advantage points. The set of three numbers on top begins with the points number being green and the bottom set of three numbers has the points number white. These represent the two different competitors. The competitor who starts out on the referee’s right is always green and the one on the left, white.

In order to determine the winner of the match, should it not end by submission or direct disqualification, the referee will then consult the score board. First, the referee looks to points, or the first number of the score board. The competitor with the most points wins the match. Should points be equal, then the referee moves to the advantage points, or the third number on the score board. The competitor at this point with the most advantage points is declared the winner. Should both points and advantage points be equal, then the referee refers to the penalties, or the second number on the score board. Then the competitor with the least penalties wins the match. If the penalties, advantage points, and points are all equal, then the referee is forced to decide on the winner based on aggression and overall control of the match.

The next point of interest that I would like to mention is the regulations on the gi that competitors are able to use in competition. The gi must be either blue, white, or black (however black is going to be phased out over the next few years). Any other color is not allowed for competition. The gi has specific regulations in measurements that it must meet. It is usually checked by the gi checker before you are allowed to enter the competition area. The gi checker is equipped with a tool that measures the length of things such as the lapel, the amount of slack in the sleeves and pants, the length of the sleeves and pants, as well as the patch placements. A picture of the tool and its dimensions can be found below. Also, there are specific parts of the gi that patches are allowed. The placement of patches is very important and if there are any that are not in the designated spots, they will be ripped off before you are allowed into the competition area. A patch placement diagram is shown below as well. However, one place that is not shown on the diagram is the butt of the pants. The butt of the pants is legal for patches as long as they are stitched on properly.

There are so many rules that most people in jiu-jitsu do not fully understand. I have only covered a few of the areas that are commonly unknown. I highly encourage anyone involved in jiu-jitsu to read and learn the rules of our sport. The more informed you are the better parent, student, competitor, and coach you will be. All of the rules can be found by simply going to the IBJJF’s website www.ibjjf.org or by simply clicking here. Read the rules! If you are a school owner, a good idea is to place the rules in a binder in the lobby or on the wall of your gym so that others may view them. If you are a student, print out or go the website and read them. The best way for our sport to grow is to have everyone educated on the rules.

In conclusion I will leave you with a short video that was put together by the IBJJF in order to help explain some of the things that I have discussed as well as all of the hand signals, points, and advantage points that a referee can give in a match. Enjoy!

Black-Eagle Predator MKII Gi Review

26 04 2011

Black-Eagle Predator MKII Gi Review

The Gi – Picking One Up

The MKII Predator is produced by Black-Eagle, a company based out of the United Kingdom. The gi is one of their newest models just recently released. It incorporates many of their new design qualities for both comfort and performance. Many people here stateside have not heard of Black-Eagle due to them being primarily located and targeting the U.K. market, but they have started to branch out and are now breaking into the global market. The MK II can be picked up at the Black-Eagle Online Store and usually are always in stock. They offer sizes A1 through A5 and the gi is offered in both blue and white (and soon to be black). The retail price of the gi is £79.99 which converts over to right around $131.95 making the gi in the mid price range. The gis, as mentioned, are generally in stock and are available to order. Once your order has been placed, it usually takes about 5-10 business days in order to get it to your door. Not bad considering it is coming from across the Atlantic.

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