Follow Me Down the Rabbit Hole: A Jiu Jitsu Workshop Series

pbjj-jiu-jitsu-workshop-seriesThere are 15 seconds left on the clock. I frantically work to finish my transition to the back. My partner’s hips hit the floor and I invert to enter the basic bolo position. Ten seconds left. My partner defends by going stiff as a board, shoulders and hips to the mat, preventing any possible avenue to their back. I push off the mat entering the top bolo position. Five seconds left. I could finish the round satisfied that I swept to the top position, but my goal was to take the back. I keep the tension in my knees, reach behind their neck to their collar, I roll through and bridge my hips up to elevate their body and boom, I sink my hooks in as the buzzer goes off, ending the round.

“Wow, how did you do that?”

Thirty seconds between rounds. I frantically fix my belt before the next round and catch my breath.

“Well…when you…defended by (gasps for air) going flat back…I transitioned from the (gasps again for air) inversion, got on top, rolled through.” Ten seconds until the next round. “I carjacked your hips up and sunk my hooks in”

Five seconds left…

“Can you show me that?!”

I politely ask my partner to ask me after class and I’ll be sure to show them the technique, but often by then both of us are exhausted, or we’re out of time.

As an instructor I find myself in some version of this exchange frequently. It could be a brand new student asking what they should be focusing on, another student asking what they need to improve on, or a seasoned student asking what the correct response for a specific scenario is. Regardless of who is asking the question, I always want to take the time to answer. Unfortunately, by the end of class, normal life and responsibilities start calling us back to reality and we run out of our most precious commodity: time.

A new format

Amid the pandemic, the school is finding its footing again. We’re growing in numbers and experience. Art, Emily, and I wanted to provide an opportunity for our students to schedule that time and give ourselves permission to ask and answer all of those lingering questions.

That is why we developed the Fundamental and Advanced Workshop Series content that will emphasize the foundations of Jiu Jitsu for our beginner students, as well as provide our senior students with an opportunity to explore higher-level positions, concepts, and theories. Our goal is to answer all the questions that can’t be explained with just a five-second demo. 

We created this series with two objectives in mind. For our new students, we understand that Jiu Jitsu is an amazing vehicle for growth mentally and physically, but it’s a very deep and comprehensive rabbit hole that has a lot of twists and turns. Through this workshop series we aim to provide you with the tools and knowledge to take that deep dive with us as your guide and come out with a strong understanding of what Jiu Jitsu is. 

With that being said, we also wanted to help our more seasoned students explore all the nooks and crannies of the rabbit hole we know and love that is Jiu Jitsu. Our goal is to act as a guide that helps you understand more advanced positions, concepts, and principles outside of the standard class structure. 

Taking these two goals into consideration we have developed the workshop series, which will allow us to explore all that Jiu Jitsu has to offer. Each workshop will be two hours of content and an open Q&A session for students. 

Our first workshop series will be Saturday, 10/16 @ 1 p.m. for our beginners and Sunday, 10/17 @ 12 p.m. for our advanced students. 

If you would like to reserve your spot, please email us at with “Workshop Series” in the subject and let us know which workshop you would like to attend. We highly recommend the fundamental workshop if you have less than 6 months of experience, and the advanced workshop for 6 months of experience and above. The cost of each workshop is $35. If you supported us during the pandemic we will be offering these workshops for free as a way of showing our gratitude and thanks.

Read the latest from the PBJJ blog

Shane McCarthy

Shane McCarthy is a brown belt instructor at Princeton Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. You can follow him on Instagram here.

Post A Comment