Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Carlson Gracie Sr. video and quotes

February 4, 2011

Reading the ‘The Gracie Way,’ I had no idea that Waldemar Santana (fought Helio for 3 hours 45 minutes) and Carlson fought six times, twice vale tudo and 4 times in a gi.  This footage must be from their second vale tudo match:

Carlson quotes from ‘The Gracie Way:’

“Jiu-jitsu is all one thing; it is all the same, however I am a very dedicated and studious person.  I am always inventing new positions, evolving old ones.  I research positions and with repetition and observation I improve on them.  Because everything in the world changes and progresses, so I try to do that with jiu-jitsu.”

On Rolls Gracie:

“He (Rolls) was one of the students that is always looking for the essence, the full knowledge of everything…He wasn’t just satisfied with the basics.  He always wanted to understand what made everything work and why.”


Doing no harm

July 14, 2010

Word got to me through the grapevine that a  purple belt promotion of mine was recently criticized by a local instructor on an internet forum.

The criticism is fine, but I thought this would be a nice opportunity to put belts into perspective historically…

Up until 1967, there were two belts in BJJ:  White and black. 

Blue through brown were brought into the mix so there could be a forum for white belts to compete in a newly created recreational forum, now known as Sport BJJ.

Black is the equivalent to diploma, and when seen in this light, and in the context of history, it might seem logical to conclude that black is the only belt that matters.

The reality is there are levels of black belts. 

Based of what I’ve seen on video, and heard about Rickson’s BJJ, there is a wider skill gap between him and myself, and a fresh white belt. 

So what does matter then? 

My opinion is enjoying yourself. 

The new student, 2 weeks in, enamored, excited, and inspired by the vast sea of knowledge and possibilites BJJ offers, can easily have a much better day than me because they aren’t weighed down by concepts yet, belts included.

Probably the worst thing I could do as an instructor is take this inherent glee away by behaving in a way that demonstrates I value such concepts more than enjoying each day on the mat.

Reflections on a 13 year milestone, part 3: Favorite memories

March 10, 2010

1) Wrestling with each of my instructors for the first time.  Out of honor of those relationships both past and present, here are their respective web-sites listed  in no particular order:,,,, and

2) Grappling 2 individuals who were primarily responsible for my development of defense at late purple and brown, on black belt promotion weekend; whom I hadn’t grappled with 2 years previously.

3) Seeing a training partner battle through a potential career ending back injury and continue an active career in the UFC; as well seeing him fight for the title at one point.

4) Seeing Royce in UFC 2 (in some ways this should be no. 1 as it exposed me to BJJ for the first time).

5) The grand opening of my primary and current coaches own BJJ school.

6) Meeting my first BJJ black belt and watching him teach and roll in person.

7) Puking out of nervousness before a submission wrestling match at a casino in Idaho (I won pretty quickly with an armlock from the guard).

8. Becoming an official ‘BJJ guy’ (promotion to blue belt in 1998).

9) Teaching my first BJJ class in late 1997 or early 1998.

10) Meeting and participating in semi-privates with Royler Gracie.