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Teaching: It’s All in the Timing

  If one of your BJJ goals is to become a great BJJ instructor, it can be hard to know where to start, much less how to improve. However, there’s one skill I learned as a classroom teacher that I’ve transferred to the mats, helping me feel at ease and […]


Silencing the Mean Voices 1

  We all have that voice in our head that bullies us. The one that tells us we can’t, or we shouldn’t, or that we’ll never make it and that we’re not good enough.  Or if we decide to take a risk, we’ll be judged.  This is the voice of […]


Tips To Improve Women’s Expriences In Your Gym 1

  I believe most coaches and gym owners want women (and all students) to feel comfortable and safe when training. It’s important to set a tone in your gym. How do you know if your gym is both safe for and accepting of women? How can you retain female students?  […]


Learning the Language of Guard 1

  As a smaller BJJ player, I always thought of myself as a passer.  Playing guard always felt restrictive, a completely different world from the mobile passing game I preferred. Although I knew some techniques playing guard, I looked at guard as just a way to plug a hole in […]


On Her Own Merit

  I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Professor Carlan Gracie, a third-degree black belt training at Brasa/Kazulu Jiu Jitsu out of Rio De Janeiro (Rocinha), Brazil.  A Gracie, you ask? Yes, but not that Gracie family.  Carlan just happens to have the last name of arguably the most famous family […]


Remembering to Breathe 1

  You know that soul-crushing moment when your opponent passes your guard to secure side control…then they settle in heart to heart and you just feel the weight suddenly crushing your very existence? Of course it feels great when you’re the one doing the soul-crushing (and bonus points when you […]


It’s Our Journey

  “A black belt only covers two inches of your a$$– you have to cover the rest,” said best by Royce Gracie. And it is true. A black belt is that, just a belt. It is what that belt represents that matters: the countless hours of training, the blood, sweat, […]


She’s Pretty Dangerous 2

  You’d be hard-pressed to find many like Melissa Lohsen in women’s jiu jitsu today. Being a wife,  a mother, and a gym owner since 2002 are all important to Melissa’s story (not to mention, she’s a black belt under Cesar Gracie). However, her story doesn’t stop there. After her […]


Is It All About Me?

  I sit resting in my favorite recliner with my foot  up and a knee bandaged and covered in ice packs. I had knee surgery today because of an injury I acquired while practicing take downs for my first competition. My husband diligently helps me with the rotating of ice […]