Entries by Dion Mendel

How tough are you?

Long before I had ever heard of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I had trained for eight years in traditional martial arts. My training averaged between 12-15 hours per week. How tough was I?

I learnt the answer one late afternoon, alone in an isolated area being followed by a scary guy about 25kgs heavier than me.

Is it a draw or a double loss?

In a jiu-jitsu roll, you win when your opponent taps. If neither of you tap, is it a draw or is it a double loss? One of our members wrote an interesting analysis of BJJ from a game design perspective. One point he made is that draws give beginners a middle ground between losing and […]

Why BJJ gets you hooked

One of our members works as a computer game designer. He’s performed an analysis of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu from a game designer’s perspective to show why it is that we find BJJ to be so addictive. Full video is below. A written version can also be found on medium.

Getting better at BJJ (intermediate)

There’s a simple formula for a beginner to get better at jiu-jitsu. Show up, train, roll and get enough sleep. A beginner needs general physical conditioning, knowledge and experience applying that knowledge on the mat. The beginning formula gives them this.

Sooner or later their improvement slows down. Why? What causes this slowdown?

Rickson’s connection principle

Rickson Gracie enjoys a reputation as the greatest jiu-jitsu practitioner ever. Whether you believe his claimed 465-0 fight record or not, respected coaches such as Fabio Gurgel say Rickson’s reputation is deserved.

Is Rickson simply a superior athlete with impecable timing and co-ordination, or is his invisible jiu jitsu the key that distinguishes him from everyone else?

Rickson says invisible jiu jitsu is a combination of base and connection. We talked about base previously, but what is connection?

Verbalising BJJ concepts

Jiu Jitsu is too complicated. There are many techniques, and many more counters. We focus too much on the details and not enough on the bigger picture.

Consider the idea of “base” in BJJ. Base is about being stable. We need: […]

Head-arm choke details

Most BJJ classes have people of mixed levels. Beginners benefit from the advice and feedback from those with more experience. Advanced members benefit from having less skilled training partners to refine their skills against. How does an instructor run a training session that will benefit members with differing ability? One solution is to break the […]