Your Guide to the Best of the Inverted Gear Blog

The world of BJJ blogging has changed over the years. I should know -- as "Aesopian" I'm one of the few BJJ bloggers still writing after over a decade, having been active in the online community from white to black belt. Today, most free content has shifted to YouTube channels, BJJ "news" tabloids, Facebook meme reposts, and Instagram one-paragraphers. Thoughtful, in-depth writing is harder and harder to come by. But it's not all dead. Nelson got the kooky idea to round up his favorite BJJ blogs and get them to write for the Inverted Gear blog.

Below you'll find my favorite pieces from the Inverted Gear blog archive, categorized so you can go deep down the rabbits holes. Compiling the links for this guide made me really appreciate the depth and breadth of topics the IG blog covers. This could easily make a book, but we're happy to give it away for free because it's fun to help others and join in the discussions.

(If reading is not your style, check out the Inverted Gear channel on YouTube. We are approaching 200 videos in our "White Belt Questions, Black Belt Answers" playlist!)

Here's what the Inverted Gear blog can do for you:

Put Your Training Into Perspective

We esteem the athletes highest on the podium, but the reality is that most of us are just doing this to have fun and escape from our mundane daily routines. These posts reminds us that we don't all have to be world champs to live the jiu-jitsu lifestyle.

Guide You Up the Ranks

Few things cause more anxiety in BJJ than worrying about belt rank. "How do I get my next belt? Do I deserve it? Do I even deserve my current belt? What does it even mean to have a certain belt?"

You can gain insights from Nelson's ongoing musings from each year as a black belt:

Develop Your Gameplan

What takes you out of "just learning a bunch of moves" and into the big leagues is when you take ownership of what you're doing and develop it into your own gameplan. These guides will help you formulate your personal style:

Be In It for the Long Haul

For supposedly being "the gentle art," BJJ sure is rough on your body. The way to address this is to first gain a healthy perspective on how to train as you age, then to learn self-care. These posts will help you avoid injuries or at least deal with them when the inevitable happens:

DIY Mobility Routines

Panda Nation is lucky to have in its ranks a team of experts on human movement, including a yogi, an acroyogi (that's a thing, right?), a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist, and a kettlebell swinging panda warrior. Follow their step-by-step guides to improving your strength and flexibility:

 Not specifically mobility drills, but who doesn't like solo grappling drills?

Learn How to Learn

To reach your full potential, you need to become a self-sufficient learner, not just regurgitate what you were shown. Take our crash course in how to be a good learner: 

Get Conceptual

A lot of jiu-jitsu brains talk about "concepts over techniques," but what does that really mean, and how does it apply to your day to day training? We've tackled this subject from many angles so you can build a conceptual framework: 

Do Your Homework

Thanks to the internet, there has never been a better time to learn BJJ. You have resources like this blog, as well as countless videos on YouTube, on-demand instructional sites, and streaming membership sites. These posts will help you utilize these tools to their fullest:

Be a Better Teacher

One day you may find yourself called upon to teach BJJ. Maybe you already do. Teaching is a great honor but it can also be nerve wracking. Get guidance from Panda Nation's experienced coaches:

Soak Up Val's Sagely Teachings

Nomadic black belt Valerie Worthington, Phd. shares her insights and answers questions. Here are my favorites:

Read all of Val's posts here.

Meet the Pandas

Inverted Gear has a roster of sponsored grapplers from all walks of life. Daniel Bertina has the envious task of interviewing them all and sharing their story in his regular "Meet the Pandas" column. You can learn a lot by hearing how others got into this crazy art and how they balance training, competing, and teaching with the rest of their life. These will get you started:

The rest of the interviews are archived here.

Nerd Out

Panda Nation is unabashedly nerdy, and it comes out in our writing. We have compared BJJ to Magic: the Gathering, League of Legends, Metroid speed runs, Overwatch, and many other nerdy endeavors. Here are the highlights:


While the BJJ blogoshpere may not be what it used to be (for example, no one uses the word "blogosphere" any more), the best of it is still alive and well at Inverted Gear.