Trial Lessons

Blog & News

11 Jun

Confidence and Survival

Survival is the guiding light of jiu-jitsu. It is the foundational principle of jiu-jitsu, and the way one survives is by conserving energy through efficiency, being comfortable and patient while defending, and making the most of offensive opportunities through perfectly executed technique. Speed, agility, and strength may make you a formidable fighter, but being able to weather the storm and survive anything is how you triumph in the world of jiu-jitsu.

Read More Posted at 07:11
03 Jun

Rocks, Gravel, Sand, Water

Ryan Young of Kama Jiu-Jitsu often gets asked if competing is necessary. Obviously, it depends, but he recently responded to a question from someone who is a 39-year-old purple belt with a wife, three kids, and a full-time job, who specifically asked about getting back into training later in life. As the guy explains to Ryan in the below video, he’s been training on and off for several years and has not seriously competed in a while, and he’s concerned that getting back into good enough shape to seriously compete could be too time-consuming for someone with so many responsibilities.

Read More Posted at 09:11
28 May

Longevity in Jiu-Jitsu

You can think of what goes into learning jiu-jitsu in three dimensions. The first is frequency. This is how often you go to the gym to train. The second is volume. Volume is how much time you dedicate to actually practicing jiu-jitsu while you’re at the gym. The third is intensity, which is the level of energy you expend while rolling.

Read More Posted at 12:05
21 May

Training for Competition vs Training for Fun

There is no one correct way to train jiu-jitsu. For people who want to get in shape, learn self-defense while doing so, and have fun on the mat, jiu-jitsu presents a great opportunity. You can spend years casually developing your technique, eventually becoming a purple or brown belt who participates in regional competitions with success. You can also not compete in tournaments, which is totally fine. You may also have a goal of racing through the entire belt system in under a decade and becoming a tournament champion or MMA superstar. 

Read More Posted at 12:12
13 May

The Old Way of Sparring Is Dead

For years, the conventional wisdom in martial arts has been that anyone who wants to develop as a fighter needs to earn their skills through blood, sweat, and tears. “Bleed for blue,” was a common phrase you’d hear in the jiu-jitsu gym as intermediate white belts struggled with conditioning or learning the subtleties of new moves. The culture was even more intense in MMA gyms, where people would spar as though their lives depended on it.

Read More Posted at 07:57
07 May

Playing Versus Sparring

Thinking of rolling as playing also allows you to step out of your comfort zone. Far too often, fighters will treat sparring sessions like they are a matter of life-or-death, meaning that they’ll not only push the level of intensity up; they will also become personally invested in their performance. This is inevitable when you allow the ego to get involved in your training.

Read More Posted at 06:59
01 May

Positions Every White Belt Should Know

Learning jiu-jitsu is no easy task. In addition to the physical difficulties associated with practicing martial arts (scrapes, bruises, sprains, and so on), it’s also mentally difficult because you need to constantly be thinking of strategies to defeat your opponent while under an extreme amount of stress. Additionally, white belts often spend months, if not years, simply learning all the terms, positions, and techniques of jiu-jitsu and integrating them into their muscle memory.

Read More Posted at 06:58
23 Apr

Escaping from side control

One of the most important virtues that a white belt can learn is patience. Patience is a critical part of self-defense because it opens the door not only for better strategic reasoning, but also more efficient technique. Within the framework of jiu-jitsu, patience is the ability to maintain your composure in a high-stress environment so that you can think clearly, recognize opportunities for escapes or submissions, and preserve your energy. All of these things are vital for the most important principle of jiu-jitsu, which is survival.

Read More Posted at 09:39
15 Apr

How Jiu-Jitsu Training Has Evolved

Matt Thornton, the founder of SBG International and one of the most well-respected jiu-jitsu coaches in the Pacific Northwest, recently sat down to interview Henry Akins. Henry has been a major figure in the jiu-jitsu community for decades. 

Read More Posted at 09:19
08 Apr

Learning How to Train Jiu-Jitsu with Henry Akins

Matt Thornton, the founder of SBG International and one of the most well-respected jiu-jitsu coaches in the Pacific Northwest, recently sat down to interview Henry Akins. Henry has been a major figure in the jiu-jitsu community for decades. He was just the third American to receive his black belt from Rickson Gracie, arguably one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters to ever live, and Henry has spent years sharing the wisdom that he learned from Rickson with students of jiu-jitsu around the world.

Read More Posted at 08:26
01 Apr

Growing Your Skillset – From Beginner to Black Belt

Matt Thornton, the founder of SBG International and one of the most well-respected jiu-jitsu coaches in the Pacific Northwest, recently sat down to interview Henry Akins.

Read More Posted at 09:56
25 Mar

JJ Over 50

You can start doing jiu-jitsu at virtually any age. Perhaps more so than any other martial art, it is designed to give people the ability to defend themselves even if their opponent is stronger than them, more agile than them, or younger than them. Even if you’re in your fifties, you can start learning jiu-jitsu and eventually become skilled enough to defend yourself in an altercation.

Read More Posted at 13:06
19 Mar

Why some white belts quit

Learning jiu-jitsu is a lifelong endeavor. For many white belts, they instantly recognize the draw during their first or second class and become committed to making jiu-jitsu a part of their life. It’s not just the fact that they’re learning self-defense or getting into shape or even becoming part of the community at the gym; they really love learning the technique and all the ins and outs of each move.

Read More Posted at 14:20
11 Mar

Do I Need to Compete

One of the questions that Ryan Young of Kama Jiu-Jitsu gets asked frequently is about competing. Are there benefits to competing? Is it necessary? Does it make you a better fighter? As Ryan notes in the below video, a lot of the benefits that come from competing depend on the student.

Read More Posted at 13:51
28 Feb

Lower Belts

Roger Gracie is a member of the IBJJF Hall of Fame and was arguably one of the best jiu-jitsu fighters active in the 2000s. While it’s not that unusual for a member of the Gracie family to become such a formidable fighter and win so many championships, what may come as a surprise is that Roger has been based in the United Kingdom since moving to London at the age of 20.

Read More Posted at 14:23