How to Evaluate a New Technique

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has hundreds of techniques, if not thousands, and new variations are being developed all the time. Especially in the internet age, we are all struggling to keep up with the hot new moves, let alon...
Matt Kirtley
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Sartorial Choices in Jiu-Jitsu

I have made many changes in my life because of my participation in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I have quit jobs, moved across the U.S. and back, traveled widely, and revised my life priorities. With all this, though, the mos...
Valerie Worthington
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A Jiu-Jitsu Journey Without Gold Medals

Many jiu-jiteiros begin training with aspirations of being a world champion, and I was no exception. So many of our heroes in the sport have incredible competition stories, and perhaps since we aspire to someday acqui...
Marshal Carper
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A Visual Guide to Hand-to-Hand Grips in BJJ

A reader of the Inverted Gear blog recently asked me if I could do a series of posts that define BJJ terms, much like a visual dictionary. With the aid of my hand model Nelson and the power of GIFs, let's look at the...
Matt Kirtley
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On Suicide in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Community: One of Those Stories I Wish Nobody Had to Write

I know I am not alone in feeling sad when I hear about someone taking his/her own life; indeed, sad is an understatement. It is extra surreal when I find out the person in question trained. It would be nice if the ...
Valerie Worthington
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This Technique Doesn’t Work

Usually—and I have been guilty of this myself—this thinking is rooted in frustration. After many attempts to learn and apply a technique and failing, you give up on a move. Unfortunately, many fundamental techniqu...
Marshal Carper
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3 Common Pitfalls As You Move Up the Ranks

Over the years, I have seen BJJ students run into many common problems. I am guilty of many of these myself, and now when I work with my students I try to steer them away from making this mistakes as well. My thinkin...
Matt Kirtley
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Ask a Panda: Who Has to Move It, Move It?

Question: I am a purple belt with four stripes. The other day I was rolling with a blue belt when two other purple belts, one with no stripes and one with two, collided with us. I asked them to move, but they said tw...
Valerie Worthington
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Coping with Contradictory Instruction

When you teach jiu-jitsu, you will routinely encounter uncomfortable situations. You might have to discretely tell someone that they need to trim their toenails. You might have to explain why pressing one’s chin into...
Marshal Carper
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Why It’s Good to Be Good at Being Bad at Stuff

A few weeks ago, Princeton BJJ hosted a book discussion group about The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin. In the book, Waitzkin, a chess master and Marcelo Garcia black belt, ...
Valerie Worthington
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Enhance Your Privates

In my early days of training, I was a broke college student. I convinced a few friends to start training around the time that I did, and the four of us would carpool for the hour drive from campus to the closest gym,...
Marshal Carper
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5 Things Every White Belt Must Learn Before Blue Belt

When you first sign up for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, you can feel like you're drinking from a fire hose. Everyday you are bombarded with new techniques, strange movements, unknown terminology, and somehow you're e...
Matt Kirtley
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