The Four Corners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

As a student or teacher of jiu-jitsu, it can help to break the martial art into four main contexts: gi, no-gi, self defense, and MMA. These categories let you to analyze the effectiveness of your training methods and ...
Matt Kirtley
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Becoming a BJJ Houdini

Every white belt has asked a black belt for help only to hear this annoying answer: “Don’t get there in the first place.” You want to scream “I WOULDN’T BE ASKING IF I COULD’VE AVOIDED IT, NOW WOULD I!?” Still, the a...
Matt Kirtley
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What It Means to be a Brown Belt and How to Make Progress Towards Black

In part one of this series, I gave my best advice for newbie white belts and anxious new blue belts. Part two was for blue belts looking to level up to purple and purples figuring out how to keep progressing. Now I f...
Matt Kirtley
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Getting Through the Blue and Purple Belt Growing Pains

Photo credit to Mike Calimbas. At the end of “Advice for Newbie White Belts and Anxious Blue Belts” I promised a follow-up for higher belts. Here's my advice for you blues and purples who want to keep making progress...
Matt Kirtley
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Advice for Newbie White Belts and Anxious Blue Belts

Advice for White Belts You took the plunge and started jiu-jitsu! Everything is new and wonderful and strange and confusing. Looking back on it, my time as a white belt was probably the most fun. That’s when you’re e...
Matt Kirtley
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The Black Belt Secret to Jiu-Jitsu Excuses

After a tough round of sparring, when nothing goes right and you feel embarrassed and discouraged, it’s tempting to make excuses: “They were bigger and just squashed me.” “They were stronger and just muscled me arou...
Matt Kirtley
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Are you playing to win or just not lose?

Are you playing to win or just not lose?
Many years ago, I trained with a grappler whose plan seemed to be stalling in every position (and I mean every position), turtling up at all costs. He kept his arms glued to his side and his head tucked down at all t...
Matt Kirtley
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