• Ode to Masters: What it Has Meant to Me

    By: Emily Kwok

    As I help some of my students in their last week of preparation before the IBJJF Masters Worlds in Vegas next week, I sit and slightly lament my inability to compete this year due to pregnancy, and I also reflect on why I feel this way. It’s not like I haven’t had to […]

  • Training Etiquette 101

    By: Emily Kwok
    “The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling
    We all know the smell of a ripe BJJ gym.

    The smell might give us a clue about the school’s cleanliness, frequency of use, or characters at play. It can tell us a lot, but not everything. A school that’s […]

  • Omoplatas, Arm Bars and Self Love

    By: Alexandra Finfer

    I often hear my coaches and teammates talk about this journey we undertake as Jiu Jitsu practitioners. I didn’t quite understand what this journey was until I earned my blue belt. Like most people after a belt promotion, I started to reflect on my time training. I know I sound like a poster […]

  • What Warriors Are Made Of

    By: Emily Kwok
    2011 – IBJJF No Gi Worlds. Emily Kwok vs. Rachel Demara
    The score was 9-0 with 30 seconds left on the clock. I was clinging to my opponent, both of us on our backs, with the seatbelt grip and one hook in, trying to sink in a choke before the buzzer sounded. I was […]

  • You Are How You Train

    By: Emily Kwok

    It’s incredible how much training can reveal about the self.

    It creeps up on you slowly after your obsession with training wears off a bit. When you are at ease with the notion of deliberate practice, when the hard work is no longer hard work and it just becomes habit. This is the […]

  • Should You Compete?

    By: Emily Kwok
    “Should I compete?”
    I am asked this question a lot.

    I often respond, I’m not sure if you should, but here’s why I do.

    In the beginning it had more to do with curiosity than anything else. There were so few women in jiu jitsu that I just wanted to know how I would fare against […]

  • Happy

    By: Shane McCarthy

    Those who practice Jiu Jitsu know it can be an amazing, yet frustrating martial art. The mental and physical benefits are abundant and life-changing, and the physical beatdown and total frustration of learning such a complex art often wear practitioners down.

    That dynamic is something I’ve been exploring lately. We choose this art as […]

  • My Real Life Juggling Act: Balancing Work, Life and BJJ

    By: Emily Kwok

    When I think back on 38 years of human existence, l feel that I’ve managed to cultivate an abundant life. I am blessed with a beautiful marriage and family, and have the time and resources to pursue personal interests and passions. I am fulfilled by my work on a multitude of levels and […]

  • Purple Belt: The Middle of the Journey

    By: Joe Hannan

    One day you wake up and you go to train like you would any other day. You watch your friends get promoted and you clap your hands. You clap your hands more heartily for some more than others — the ones you know and love best. Then, all of a sudden, they’re clapping […]

  • 10 Tips for Longevity in BJJ

    By: Emily Kwok

    Dear Reader,

    This is not an article for “old people.” This is an article for people who want to feel happy and healthy as they train into old age. I might even be so bold as to suggest that if you are young, ambitious, and live and breathe jiu jitsu, then you should heed […]