A Tricky Back Mount Submission from Mi Casa

So last week we had a terrible winter storm in Louisville. During the days I was trapped inside the house. My roommate, brown belt and little brother from another mother, Chad, drilled and filmed a couple of videos together. The lighting is a little dark in the video so I apologize for that but the move is fun.

As I’ll explain in the video. This is a super tricky move. It’s one of those moves that is like magic at first but can be easy to defend later on. It is useful for setting up other attacks though, which I’ve done for several years successfully in competition and gym training. If you’re already proficient at the Back Mount position. Give this Keylock variation a try.



Want a Free T Shirt?

So I was cleaning my office yesterday and I found a few of my old black and red Chewjitsu shirts, never worn of course. I can’t promise size, but if you’d like one shoot me an email with your size and if I have it, I’ll send it your way.

chewjitsu @ gmail.com

Kid gets a 7th degree junior Black Belt


One of my student’s posted this article today and I couldn’t help but shake my head. I’ve seen a few gyms give away junior black belt ranks at their gym. I don’t know the whole story, but I imagine this is a response to other traditional martial arts which have black belts. It’s a great selling point but I don’t think this sort of thing fits well with the ethos of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

What do you think about BJJ gyms giving away junior black belt ranks?

Sneaky Lapel Choke from a failed Rear Naked Choke

A lot of times I find myself in a frustrating situation. I manage to get my arm under the chin of my opponent but I can’t seem to finish the choke. Most commonly they will take two hands against my one to defend the rear naked choke. I’ve personally burnt my forearms out plenty of times trying to finish the rear naked choke in this situation. Now, I’ve always been a big fan of using the collar and lapels to attack and this is simply another way to do it. What I like about this technique is that as your opponent pulls away (which they want to at this point), they are actually setting up your next attack. I didn’t mention it in the video, but be as sneaky with the lapel as possible. What I mean by that is don’t leave the end of your gi dangling in their face. Switch the grip as quickly and smooth as possible. Attempting to keep it out of your opponent’s eyesight so they don’t get alarmed.

Give it a try. I hope it helps!

BJJ needs more self-defense like this!

Below you’ll see a self-defense video that displays a system which is hands down more effective than what is currently shown in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. After watching the video and it’s creative use of both fruits and vegetables. You’ll understand why Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and it’s emphasis on taking someone down, controlling their body and being able to render them unable to fight is yesterday’s news. From now on folks, we bite the cucumber.

Why I quit MMA


Whenever a newer student comes into the gym they’ve often done a good deal of homework. They’ve checked out our website, read our blogs and watched our videos on Youtube. With that, these new students have often watched several of my MMA fights. Once they make it to the gym they often ask whether or not I still fight. When I tell them no, they’re always surprised since I experienced a fair amount of success with a combined record of 13-0-1.

It’s funny how we will often coast through aspects of our life the same as we have been with no real change. That is, until something happens, something that wakes us up and forces us to make changes. For me that aspect of life was fighting. I would fight once or twice a year but didn’t put much stock into the whole thing. It’s funny, when I first got into BJJ it was because I wanted to fight. But the longer I practiced BJJ the more I just wanted to do BJJ. I loved grappling and the overall atmosphere and brotherhood-like nature of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. MMA and fighting is cool but I didn’t enjoy the community as much. I also hated a lot of the douche-bagery that accompanies MMA. Too much macho-tough-guy stuff for me, keep in mind I make nerdy historical comparisons to BJJ. It just wasn’t me. I enjoy competition and testing myself.But I’m not nor was I ever fighting or competing to prove myself to others.


That “something” that I talked about earlier came after my last fight. The picture above was right after the fight. If you look at it, you’ll notice I’m not even staring at the camera. This was because I couldn’t see where the camera was. My student next to me laughed when I asked, “Who are you?” after he asked to get a picture taken. The reason I asked was because, again, I couldn’t see very well. During the fight I had taken a fairly hard shot to the side of the head. One of those shots that wobbled the legs and made you wake up 3 steps back from the last place you remembered. It’s a weird feeling. If you’ve ever been choked out then you have an idea. When I watch the video of the fight and see the overhand right connect to the side of my head followed by my body stumbling back. I can still clearly remember the flash of unconsciousness that came followed by my inner voice going,”Woah that’s not good.” Followed by a desire to hit the guy back and my inner voice saying, “That mother %^@#%!.“ After being hit in the fight I kept myself together and eventually won the fight by north south choke in the 2nd round.

After the fight was over I was left with a big blueish spot right in the center of my vision that persisted for an hour or so. To get an idea of the lack of vision I experienced, make a fist. Now place the fist against your face so that your wrist presses against your nose. Now move the fist about 2 inches from your face. That fist represents that big blue spot. If you’re following along then you’ll realize how much of my vision was impaired.

The excitement and relief of winning was flowing through my veins after the fight and I laughed off the blue spot. At the time I thought it was funny. I took a sort of pride that I had gotten hit hard enough to be concussed and still won the fight. But after the thrill of the fight had worn off that blue spot created doubt in my mind. Doubt about why I was fighting. I didn’t necessarily love it. Not like I loved Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Also, in order to fight I had to spread my resources amongst multiple disciplines which meant I couldn’t be the best that I could be in BJJ as long as I fought. Lastly, if I was going to sustain possible life altering injuries, why would I do it for something I didn’t love? I would ,and have, racked up numerous injuries as a result of BJJ. But I love Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and would gladly do it again. Back then if you asked why I continued to fight I wouldn’t have been able to give you a good reason. Possibly to perform for my students and to test myself, but that’s it. However, if you asked why I continued to compete in and practice BJJ, I could have talked your ear off for hours.

So if you’re one of the new guys in the gym looking up information on me or you just stumbled across this blog. The reason I stopped fighting MMA was because I loved BJJ more and wanted to be the best I could be at that one thing. I love the training, brotherhood, community and art form of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. There’s nothing quite like it.

My first Black Belt win at the Pans

This was my first Black Belt win at the IBJJF Pans in 2013. I was super shaky early on in this match. I could definitely tell I had some nerves. But that’s just how it is in BJJ sometimes right?

Fun side story about this match. The blue gi I am wearing was fresh out of it’s packaging and had never been dried nor washed. That sucked! I always order my Keiko gis slightly larger so that I can shrink them to fit perfectly for IBJJF regulations. I wasn’t aware that I needed both a blue and a white gi for competition. Essentially in the adult Black Belt division they call you up with the color of gi they want you to wear. I found out once I was already in California. My friends at Keiko took great care of me and got the blue summerweave you see in the video. The issue was that it was way too long. If you watch the match you’ll see the gi moving all over me. In particular, watch the Keiko symbol on the back of the gi move all over the place as my opponent grabs my sleeves.

I managed to secure a choke at the end and I feel very fortunate that my first Pans win as a Black Belt was a submission. The 2015 Pans are only a month away and as I prepare for it I can’t help but look back on this match with part laughter because of the gi.