Princeton Profiles

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  • The Mind of a BJJ Black Belt: Jeff Humphrey

    White belt Jeff Humphrey, 46, 145 pounds, was perplexed. He had obtained a copy of Saulo Ribiero’s Jiu-Jistsu University hoping to elucidate some of the game’s mysteries, but nothing about the book made sense. 

    “I couldn’t understand the text, couldn’t understand the pictures, and it really ticked me off,” he says. “I mean I was really […]

  • The Mind of a BJJ Black Belt: Cindy Fink

    The first thing you notice is the unrelenting attack. Constant pressure. Ceaseless adjustments to the position. You’re out of options. Your limbs have been straightjacketed, your torso locked or twisted into an angle that renders it useless. 

    Only now do you realize that the end is near, though the endgame started much earlier. Often, there’s one […]

  • The Mind of a BJJ Black Belt: Mike Pandolfini

    Spend any amount of time training with Mike Pandolfini, and you’re sure to hear this phrase: The martial arts journey. For Mike, and those he coaches, these aren’t buzz words. They’re a way of life. In the cage, on the mats, wearing boxing or MMA gloves, a gi, or a rash guard, Mike personifies this […]

  • You Will Find a Community

    You will find a community

    By: Joe Hannan

    Like our ancient ancestors, the Jiu Jitsu player has a community behind them, united by a common fear, a common struggle. Psychology supports this notion that a sense of community is the cure to many of the mental disorders we encounter in our lives. As mentioned earlier in this […]

  • Women as Instructors

    Women as Instructors 
    By: Val Worthington

    In recent years, I have started to think about what I call Women’s Jiu-Jitsu 2.0. The 1.0 version was just getting women on the mat. Just getting them to believe they deserved to take up space and learn and avail themselves of all that jiu-jitsu has to offer. The community still […]

  • Grapplers Are People Too

    Grapplers Are People Too

    Grapplers are people too. In the past, I have thought and said this many times, with the emphasis on the last word. For a long time, I felt the need to defend this passion of mine to people who found it violent or distasteful or otherwise something they did not want themselves […]

  • Always the Beginner

    Always the beginner.
    I was months away from becoming a married man when I first put on a gi and fumbled to tie the belt in the summer of 2015. It was two sizes too big and fit me like a garbage bag. To make matters worse, I was wearing running shorts that made me look […]

  • Luke Kiesielewski

    Though he towers over most of us at 6’2″, you will never find Luke Kisielewski without a gentle smile and a warm hello. He’s been an endearing and humble fixture on our mats for the better part of 2 years, but up until recently, he would have described himself as painfully shy and quiet. In […]