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Flow: Do You Flow(chart)?

One of the best things I ever did that helped me grow in my journey of Jiu Jitsu was make a flow chart. It’s really easy if you are keeping a notebook, too.

When you first start out when you are rolling, it can be difficult to remember what to do and where to go.

“What do I do with my hands?”

Sitting down and quietly replaying positions and submissions in your head with a pencil to notebook in hand, can help you navigate smooth transitions mentally.

For example, mount position. What can I do if I am on top? I can start setting up for a cross collar choke, but what if they defend? I can transition to an armbar.

BJJ mount position flow chart

Another example, closed guard. There are so many options, what do I do?  One option, set up for a cross collar choke, but transition into a scissor sweep to mount. (Then you have options from mount.)

Another way to help yourself, is by flow rolling.  I think when we first begin, we feel we must put 100% of our everything behind our technique, which makes us exhausted and often force positions.  We should take what is given.  Flow rolling can help slow one down to actually see the position and analyze it. It is a roll of give and take without going 100%. You see a submission, touch it and let it go and let the person work out of it, and you will start to see other options, too.

This can be SO beneficial for the beginner.  Keeping a notebook to write down techniques gone over in class can help you jog your memory later on. Writing out your flow chart of positions to submission chains can help your mental game as well.

Flow rolling can help by not forcing positions or submissions and recognizing how to transition and escape. It really is give and take, and allows one to be more open minded in their movements.

Do you flow?


The BJJ Law of 33%

Tai Lopez gave a T.E.D talk that amazed me. He presented a concept that’s relevant to Jiu Jitsu, business, and life.

He spoke of the “Law of 33%”.

This is a law of self-development. This law shows us how we should divide our time up so that we can improve at just about anything. You can apply this principle to the practice of Jiu Jitsu.

The Law of 33% says that we need to spend:

  • 1/3 our time with people lower than us or worse off
  • 1/3 our time with people on our own level
  • 1/3 our time with people better off than we are (he specifically says 10x better.)

Now: how can we use this law in our Jiu Jitsu training to become better? The answer is simple enough, just follow the format.

So 1/3 of our time should be spent with lower belts than us (I suppose white belts can’t really find this as easy). This time not only benefits the lower belt as we assist them, but we also get practice teaching and trying new things. Rolling with white belts is actually very crucial to the development of both ourselves and our academy.

The next 1/3 of our time will be spent with people within 1 belt or even a few degrees of each other. These like he spoke of in the video are often our friends. These are usually the people easiest to hang out and train with in a social way. We can bounce ideas off of each other. We can push each other to become better. We can become more technical while we roll because the skill gap is often very small.

The last 1/3 are the people on another level than us completely. These are the people who can play with us and show us just how much further we can go. These are our Jiu Jitsu mentors. Often these are the instructors at our gyms. These are typically black belts , but in many cases brown and even purple belts can be mentors. Having a mentor in BJJ is one of the essential pieces for starting out.

Tai Lopez talks about how intimidating it can be to approach someone at this level and ask for help. But I believe that if you ask for help in the academy, you will almost always find that there are people willing to give it to you. Sometimes it can be hard to know when to ask questions. Although some instructors are very busy, if you show dedication they will pick up on that and in return you get the mentorship you deserve.

This is a very general guideline of how the law of 33% works in Jiu Jitsu and how it can help you improve.

How will you apply this technique?


3 ways to break the jiu-jitsu plateau

We all go through this jiu-jitsu plateau phase of: “What now?”

Do you feel stuck? Is your game slowing down? Feel like you’re not sure what to do next?

[click to continue…]


most annoying training partners in bjj

In Jiu Jitsu we rely heavily on our partners in order to progress.

We must have a partner in order to learn moves and get timing down both in sparing and in class. [click to continue…]


bjj jiu jitsu leg locks kneebar heel hook

There is no doubt that Jiu-Jitsu has changed so much since its inception there are a few disturbing trends that have remained since day one and at least one of these needs to change. [click to continue…]


Your BJJ injuries will heal and how long it takes is up to you

BJJ injuries: we’ve all had them.

We are all busy people, with day to day life and our BJJ training. Having this balance is great , but when an unexpected injury comes along it can have a big impact. Depending on the type of injury you may not be able to train as often and as hard as you would love to. [click to continue…]


10 ways to improve your bjj instruction teaching

Let’s get this straight, just because you know a tremendous amount about the subject area’s content, it does not mean you are qualified to teach it.

As an educator, I think I can get away with saying something like that. [click to continue…]


please stop saying this about brazilian jiu jitsu misconception

Do you remember some of the misconceptions you had about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when you first started? [click to continue…]

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first time rollers bjj jiu jitsu gi

Rolling, or sparring, can be very daunting, especially if you have never participated in martial arts before.   [click to continue…]


meal prepping for bjj

While reading another article earlier this week an old passion was reborn….

I read about how meal prepping can be used for Jiu Jitsu and to be healthy in general. I use to meal prep a lot and am getting back on this soon.

I want to talk about some specific reasons I have found meal prepping to be a useful tool in my own history and how it can be used to take your Jiu Jitsu and your body to the next level.

[click to continue…]