BJJ, Judo, MMA and Brazil – a Black Belt Podcast Chat with Jeff Meszaros

This is a fun conversation on my Grapplearts Radio Podcast about BJJ, Judo and MMA with Jeff Meszaros.  Jeff is one of the guys that I first started training in BJJ with 23 years ago.  The conversation goes off the rails a number of times, but here’s some of what we covered…

Self defense applications of BJJ Russian team MMA events Judo, BJJ and the early days of the Uncle Willy’s Grappling Association The joys and hazards of learning BJJ in Brazil The evolution of BJJ (and how we got to double guard pulls) Why describing BJJ as ‘Male Pyjama Wrestler’ tends to give people the wrong idea And much more…

This conversation was podcast episode 45 on the ‘Grapplearts Radio Podcast‘, which you can find on three main podcast platforms below…

Grapplearts Radio Podcast on iTunes Grapplearts Radio Podcast on Stitcher Grapplearts Radio Podcast on Soundcloud

Or you can also just click play on the Youtube video below…

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How to Get Kicked Out of Your BJJ Club

by Jeff Meszaros

So, you’ve been training at the same jiu-jitsu club for a while now and you’ve decided it’s not for you. You’ve given it very careful consideration and concluded that it’s time to move on to another club or quit altogether.

But you don’t want anyone to call you “a quitter” so instead of quitting, you’ve decided to take the high road and get kicked out.

But how can you do it? How can you get thrown out of a martial arts club?

Here are a few ways. They’re guaranteed to irritate your instructor and, probably, your fellow jiu jitsu students too. Do some of these and chances are you’ll be told to hit the road very soon, if not immediately.

Don’t Pay For Classes

Refusing to pay is a fine way to get tossed out of any business; especially if you’re expected to pay up front. Walk into a coffee shop and shout “I refuse to pay for my coffee!” and see how that goes for you. You won’t get any coffee and they may call the cops to come take you away.

But, as hard as it is to get free coffee, there are actually many ways to get free jiu-jitsu classes. You can offer to clean the mats each night or, if you know some stuff, help teach classes or just bring in lots of people who will join. Do any of this stuff and you’ll easily earn your keep, even if you’re not paying for classes.

But that’s not your goal. You want to get kicked out, so here’s what you’ll do: Straight up refuse to pay. Act like jiu-jitsu is a God-given right; like air, water and decent wi-fi and say you should never have to pay for it. That should do the trick; especially if you refuse to help in any way.

Perhaps that’s too obvious and you want to draw things out as much as you can. Maybe you’re still on the “free trial” that some schools offer and you want to see how long you can milk that before someone loses their cool.

Here are some fun ways to make life agonizing for your instructor.

First, avoid them like the plague so that they can’t collect money from you. Run in and out of class before they can talk to you; or just come to classes taught by assistant instructors » Continue Reading.

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UK Grappling Styles

by Jeff Meszaros

So we’ve finished the first two legs of your around-the-world adventure to try out all the grappling arts (click here for Asian Grappling Styles and/or click here for European Grappling Styles).

While you’ve been wrestling up a storm I’ve been beside you the whole way to cheer you on and run up your credit card bill at expensive restaurants. Also, I’ve done a bit of research in each country to see what you’re getting into. It’s been quite a trip so far, I must say.

First, we swept across Asia and you tried judo, sumo and Mongolian wrestling plus a ton of others. ‘

I liked the time you got dirt thrown on you in India. Turkish oil wrestling was crazy too. I had no idea they would stick their hands in your pants like that. Wow!

Then, we traveled all around Europe and you tried out Russian sambo, plus a bunch others in Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland among other places. A lot of it looked just like judo and some looked like wrestling, but a few were different.

I liked the one in Austria where everyone was wearing business casual work clothes. It looked like a fight at Staples. We ended up with you trying glima in Iceland and, thankfully, you survived all of the monster throws. So our journey can continue.

Now we’re going to try out all of the grappling arts in the UK Is that still part of Europe? I know they had that Brexit thing, but they’re still part of Europe right? No? I’m not sure. Ireland is still part of Europe? Well, It doesn’t matter…

We’re going to visit all of them to see what they do for fun. And by “fun”, I mean “grappling” of course. For you, anyway. I’m going to stick to visiting the local restaurants and, sometimes, looking into what you are foolishly about to do.

Speaking of that, the U.K. is a hot pocket of grappling and has been for thousands and thousands of years. From the little research I’ve done, some of these arts might not exist anymore but that’s no problem. If we can’t see them by flying there in your private jet, we’ll use a mixture of hypnotism, LSD and sensory deprivation tanks to travel back through time. Suffice to say, don’t try this at home kids. Time » Continue Reading.

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How to Avoid BJJ Injuries

by Jeff Meszaros

As martial artists, we all have to make a choice between safety and reality.  On one hand, we could train in an art designed to prepare us for real fights. But real fights are dangerous so any martial art designed to simulate a real fight is also inherently dangerous as well.  At least, more dangerous than those arts that have taken a departure from reality and, while totally safe, offer no self-defence applications at all.

Consider that at one end of the spectrum we have full-contact stick-fighting without padding using Dog Brothers rules, and on the other, we have tai-chi in the park with 90-year-olds.

So reality or safety?  Choose wisely, my friend.

This is why Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an attractive option.  It’s realistic enough to defend yourself, if need be, in a real fight.  But it’s not so over-the top that you’re going to a hospital every month with lacerations and broken bones.  At least, that’s how it is for me.

But if you’re on a first-name basis with all the local emergency-room nurses because of your BJJ training, you either need to find a safer club or make a few changes to your training. Otherwise, your future isn’t good.

Of course if you’re a professional fighter and you make money by winning realistic fights, you have some justification for going “balls out” a bit in training, because you need to be ready for that once it matters.

Still, you want to start your match injury-free or, at least, relatively injury-free.  A training camp that stops you from doing your best, or even fighting at all, is not a successful one.  That a tiny detail that some UFC fighters could stand to remember.

So, how can you train realistically but still safely?  Here are a few things

Don’t Train with “That Guy” Whoever He is.

Anyone who has trained for a while knows who “that guy” is. He is the guy who has no ability to train with anyone’s safety in mind. Not even his own.

You can pick this person out by the hush that falls across the room when they walk into the club, as people who were happily chatting go quiet and begin making peace with their Gods, planning how to get through class without ending up in the hospital.

If you’re new to a club and you can’t read the vibe, just watch for » Continue Reading.

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Who’s Who in EBI 6?

by Jeff Meszaros

Brazilian jiu jitsu has always been an art for creative people who like to experiment and find newways to reach their goals, whether it’s new ways to make an opponent tap, or brand new events to promote the sport. And Eddie Bravo is certainly one creative guy.

Known for his innovative system of 10th Planet jiu-jitsu, he has branched out again to start his own tournament. His dream is to make jiu-jitsu as big as the NBA or NFL, and while that is still a long way off, EBI6 is a step closer with some of the best submission grapplers around and rules that encourage entertaining matches.

It’s a no-gi event with no points. If you don’t make your opponent tap, it goes to overtime. If you still can’t make them tap, a winner is chosen based on who has escaped from bad positions the quickest. Simple enough? That’s the idea. Let’s take a look at who is in the tournament.

Dean “Boogeyman” Lister: Victory Athletics

Anyone who’s been around jiu-jitsu for a while knows who Dean Lister is, and what he is: A scary dude. He was one of the first to bring high-level leglocks to jiu-jitsu, earning him the nickname “The Boogeyman” as people would disappear from tournaments rather than fight him. Even though he has suffered a few losses in the past few years, once to Josh Barnett and once to Keenan Cornelius, this ADCC champ is still a fearsome opponent.

Fabian Bolaños: Roger Coelho Academy

Bolanos won the EBI 6 Qualifier to earn a spot in the tournament, so you know heʼs got some legit skills. Could he be a title contender? Sure. It wouldnʼt be the first time a dark horse has come out of nowhere to win at a big grappling tournament. But facing Lister in the first round is a tall order.

Gordon Ryan: Renzo Gracie Academy

Ryan comes in as a late replacement for Eddie “Wolverine” Cummings, the EBI lightweight champion who had to pull out at the last minute. But donʼt assume that makes life easier for anyone. Ryan trains with Garry Tonon at the Renzo Gracie Academy and, although he is just a brown belt, he has beaten many, many black belts at NAGA, Grapplers Quest and the ADCC North American Trials, where he got second place last year. He once beat Enrico Cocco, who is one » Continue Reading.

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