Saturday, 27 August 2016

Why is BJJ so popular in NZ?

After reading the deplorable state of Judo on Facebook, I am thinking why is BJJ is so popular.

Judo has all the potentials to become a popular sport and martial art in NZ as it was once but yet it seems it is struggling at the moment.
The number of clubs are dwindling.

It seems the blame is passed on to the top management.

Well, at least they have a federation which you would think is better than BJJ.

We do not have one in NZ.

Years ago, several attempts of creating a BJJ Federation failed miserably.

The reasons were greed and massive ego.
The instigators were just planning to copycat the IBJJF and had no intention to share the power via election etc..

So we do not have a federation to blame for the lack of success for our clubs.

Having no federation also means that our club members do not have to waste their hard earned cash in federation fee.

Each club is left to promote themselves.

They are left on their own to fund raise.
Now the question, why do you need to fund raise for?

Most BJJ gyms are run by professional instructors.

Does your local mechanics need to fund raise to buy more garage equipment?

So why would a full professional BJJ gym needs to fund raise for?
While it seems improbable, it still happens a lot more than you think.
It is mostly a money grab hidden behind so called good intention like needing to buy a plane ticket to go compete overseas etc..

The beauty out of the situation is BJJ does not need to promote itself in NZ.
UFC does it for us.
Every time a fight lands on the ground in a MMA fight, the vocabulary and techniques seems to direct the public to BJJ instead of Judo,
Do I blame Joe Rogan for that?
Yes, I do.
Joe trains BJJ and specialise in 10th planet Jiu Jitsu.
I admit that the current ideal situation would be way more different if we did not have a commentator that knew BJJ.

The day Joe stops commentating in the UFC and his replacement is ignorant about the BJJ and ground game.
We will lose an advocate and free publicity.
UFC has events almost every weekend and has become so mainstream that you can read about UFC in the NZ herald and see a poster of UFC video game and their latest star at the local service station.
Even my boss knows what is the UFC!

There is also another threat which is the public is getting more savvy and starting to learn the difference between MMA and BJJ.

Would it mean that we would be losing potential students to MMA?
Just like Judo is complaining they are losing potential students to BJJ!

I do not think so.
To start with, I am happy that the public is now aware of the difference because I do not really want MMA wannabes in our club.
We compete in BJJ and I think they would be wasting their time if MMA is really what they want to do.

Each BJJ has their own ranking system.
We are free to promote our own students and our certificates is not endorsed by any NZ federation.
BJJ is notorious for sandbagging and gyms delays the promotion of their students especially the ones that compete as they want to win medals at competitions.
It is common to wait several years for getting promoting to a new belt.

So you also have the stigma that the grass is greener on the other fence

We also have lot of problems.
Our referees are crap.
But that is an issue for the organisers of competition to sort out the quality of their service or else people would go compete somewhere else.

But to answer the question of why people are choosing BJJ over Judo, I would admit that Judo is brutal.

Getting thrown is hard and BJJ is way easier on the body.

You have to be young to train Judo and I think the middle age judokas already started training for a younger age.

I think it is harder for older customers to start Judo.

This is where BJJ comes to play and is so popular.

We attract middle age males and retain them.

A good example is that we get Judokas cross training in BJJ and competing in BJJ.

I call the hybrids and love them.

But I do not see the opposite momentum (in reverse).

No one seems to want to cross train in Judo to improve their stand up game (Tachiwaza).

Maybe I need to attract some thougher students!

But at the same time, I notice the massive increase in children competing and training BJJ.

Personally, I do not agree with kids competing BJJ and would rather see them doing Judo.

There is just too much submissions in kids BJJ and I just cringed at the thought of it.

But the trend to kids BJJ is a no brainer as you have professional instructors that need to increase their client base.
They quickly realise that they could sign up 1 kid and more, to the point that they get the parents to roll on the mats as well.
Parents also want their kids to do BJJ instead of Judo as well!
The first generation of middle age males that BJJ easily attracted and retained are now having kids and the circle is complete.
Also, very soon the kids that are competing from a young age would mean that they would be seasoned competitors by the time they reach 18 years.
There would be no chance for the late comers to win BJJ competitors which happens currently.
Then BJJ also have the cool factor.
It hits 2 major human needs.

While we are super clanish as we only care about our club/team/affiliation.
It really hits the human need to belong to something bigger that ourself.
It is primitive and is a natural need that started from the days we lived in cave.

But at the same time, we are so hipster and give lot of freedom to individualism.
You can wear and buy so many different gis color and brand.
The merchandising in BJJ is outstanding. 
You get so many t shirts, bracelets, hoodies.

BJJ is the hipster of the martial arts.

While compare to Judo which is universal and is against tribalism and promote cross training between Judo clubs. 
Judo does not really entice individualism.
It might be because it has a mystical Japanese esoteric stigma such as "the nail that sticks out needs to be hammer on".

To conclude, thanks UFC and Joe Rogan.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Training report: half guard sweep and butterfly guard for advanced.

This week, Dom completed one year training at the club.

In one year, he won 6 medals and earned 2 belts (yellow and orange).

It great to see to see the new generation of the club coming through the ranks.

The beginners did half guard sweep series with Stu while Serge taught the concept of butterfly guard to the advanced students.

Next week topic is questions and answers.

Please note we will be training NOGI every thursday from now on.

Next 2 events for the competitors is

Interclub NOGI at city BJJ on Sat 24 September

NZ grappler NOGI regional on Sat 29 October.

Good Luck Professor Douglas

 Wishing Serge's and my (Stu) former instructor Professor Douglas Santos good luck tomorrow in the IBJJF masters.

He and Noel Thompson have been training hard at Riberio Jiu Jitsu HQ and are looking good for their fights this weekend.

Proffessor Douglas's first fight is on at 5:30am Saturday (NZDT) and he is up against André Silva Galvão (Carlson Gracie Team) (no not that one :-) ).

Good luck again and come out on top!!!

That is ALOT of Black belts at a training

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Interclub Nogi Competition is confirmed: Saturday 24 September

In order to prepare for the NZ grappler Nogi regional, we will run another interclub nogi with City


It is a great way to test your game plan and for beginners to try competing in a friendly and relax environment.

It is Nogi but we still follow IBJJ rules.


City BJJ

Date: Saturday 24 September

Time: 10 am

Cost: Free but we will be taking a voluntary donation for SPCA.

At the last event, we ran a double elimination repechage and an open weight category as well.

Weight category: we just run a 10 kilos weight categories: under 60, under 70, under 80 etc...

I would approach couple of more clubs to see if they are keen to enter.

If you want to enter your club, please send us an email and see if we a spot for you.

Each club would need to provide one official and one referee.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Training report: half guard (beginner) and sit up (advanced)

Half guard is the most important guard as it is a transition from closed guard to getting your guard

At the same time, sit up guard for the advanced students is similar as it is the link of getting your de la riva guard passed and the one of the many solutions is to switch to the sit up guard.

Ben also taught the basic and fundamentals of how to walk in proper Judo stance to avoid but also set up throws.

We also experienced a milestone with Dom training with us for 1 year.

Awesome to train the new generation.

P.S: that is an old picture and Dom has grown a few inches and kilos by now. with many medals I must say.

Well anyway, if you are free tomorrow

Open mats at citybjj (from 10 am) or Judo at Judokong at 11 am.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Women's open mat in Wanganui - 16 October

For more information, please check their link and FB page

NZG Wellington No Gi Regionals

For more information, please check out their FB link.

Brought by the NZ grappler

Wanganui: Gladiator in GI BJJ competition

Next on the list is Wanganui BJJ competition.

Grappling competition for everyone in the family, lots of food and entertainment. Medals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd in all Divisions.
Double elimination so everyone is guaranteed at least 2 rolls.
Men & Women Absolute Divisions. $500 prize for Winner of each. All Grappling Styles welcome to enter.
Registrations are open.. 
Feel free to msg us for any further info

If you want more info, please check out their FB event

Once again, great event run by a people that are family oriented.

Check out their FB page for more information on their club

Stu had the pleasure to train at their gym in the past.

Wellington Open BJJ - Submission Only

Submission only event seems to the trend.

Another great even to sharpen your skills in Wellington.

It is in GI and they follow the IBJJF rules (well apart the point system).

From what I understand, the even is brought to you by Vanderson Pires and Fuji Mae NZ.

Vanderson is the BJJ instructor of combat room and Fuji Mae is a great sponsor supporting the sport.

For more details.

Please check their facebook link

Saturday, September 17 at 8 AM - 8:30 AM

ASB Sports Centre

72 Kemp Street, Wellington, New Zealand 6022

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Inter Clubs coming up soon

After our inter club with City BJJ as a warm up for the National Gi Competition, we are planning to
repeat the process one more time before the Regional NOGI competition which is organised the NZ grappler on Sat 29 October.

We would like to have it least 4 weeks before the Regionals.

Also, we would to invite other clubs to participate as well.

They would have to provide an official and one referee as well.

More details to follow.

BJJ Competition Calendar

While you are waiting for the NZ grappler NOGI Regional which is held on Saturday 29 October, there is a couple of more events to check out outside Auckland.

3 September in Hamilton:

Full Force Fight Co. presents the inaugural BJJ Gi Submission-Only Nationals 

Belt Divisions: White, Blue, Purple, Brown/Black 
Weight Divisions: u70, u80, u90, u100, 100+
(In cases where there are not enough entries for a particular division, we will merge them together or run the belt division as an open weight bracket).

Event Details:
Saturday 3rd September 2016
79 Killarney Road, Frankton, Hamilton

Cost: $40
Online Event Registration opening shortly.

Online payment:
Full Force Fight Co. - 01-0137-0088525-02

Open to 16yrs and older

No time limit for any of the rounds - pure submission only!

Weighin will take place from 12:00-12:30pm and the competition will start immediately after.

Check out their Facebook link

1 October in Whangarei: King of the North

"myBJJ Whangarei presents the King of the North

Gi and No Gi Grappling tournament

Kids and Adults

T shirts and medals for competitors

Certified IBJJF Referees"
Check out their facebook link

Friday, 12 August 2016

Training report: sweeps and guard pass for advanced

This week, Stu taught guard sweep for the beginners.

For the advanced students, Serge taught the lapel and sleeve guard to continue on our intermediate guard system.

However, I decided to introduce the Lovato Guard Smash system on how to counter the de la riva.

I know it is a bit new for everyone but if you give it a try you might like it.

Next week is top half guard for the beginners and Sit up guard.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

The winner of our $100 dollars challenge

Dom won it via 2 submissions: arm bar and anaconda choke.

Well done.

Do not spend all at once.

We will also run a prize pool for the most takedown as well as submissions for the next competitions.


Usually after a National Competition, we experience a slow down in training for many reasons.

But this week, it is the opposite.

Everyone is hungry to improve.

So if you have free on Saturday and want to improve on your game.

2 great options available.

from 10 am: open mats BJJ at city BJJ

14 West St, Auckland 1010

Or Judo beginner class at the Dojo with Ben from 11 am.

See you on the mats

Thank you for the support.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Pan Pacific IBJJF competition in Melbourne 2016 ( 28-29-30 October)

Serge has to attend this event to get his updated IBJJF referee skills for his first degree certification.

Stu is planning to attend the referee seminar and compete as well.

Our plane tickets are booked which means we need the senior students to teach the class on Thursday 28 October as well as as coaching and looking after the competition team that are attending the NZ Grappler Regional which on Saturday 29 October.

Of course, anyone is welcome to compete in Melbourne at the IBJJF Pan Pacific event which happens to have master, gi and no gi division.

Thank you for the support.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Training report: Guard pass and competition training

This week, we split the class into 2 group with competitors drilling their game plan for the National
BJJ competition and the non competitors doing guard pass.

Also the sparring with done from standing with one person that do a takedown. They just played rock paper scissor to decide who does the throw. It is a good way to transition into newaza aka ground fighting.

Tomorrow is competition day.

Not many competitors this time.

The club will refund half the entry fee to our competitors and we also have the $100 dollars prize pool for the person that get the most submissions.
In case of a tie, the pot is split.

IBJJF RULES - free course

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The hundred dollars challenge

For the national competition, we are doing the usual policy of refunding half of our competitors fees.

Including our hybrids (aka Jukokas)

Also, we will put a $100 dollars for the competitor that get the most submissions.

In case of a draw, the prize pot would be shared.

Good luck Team.

BJJ support

It is a funny sport.

While it is not a sport team,we need each other to train with.

However, you can only rely on yourself when you compete.

If you are free on Saturday, please come down and support your team mates.

Please note that entry is about $10 per person and you need to bring cash.

Thanks for the support.