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Getting on the Bottom to Come Out on Top

*Picture info: Ronis Gracie (on top) learning from his cousin Roger Gracie (bottom).

You are tired.  You are hitting bottom.  You are at the point of feeling like you have lost control.  You are in; GUARD POSITION.

Most of the time in another person’s eyes, or even our own, being on the bottom in guard position is not the ideal place to be.  But then again most of the time in life being on the bottom position is not the ideal place to be either.  It makes us feel vulnerable, exposed, and like we are fighting a losing battle.  But, there are so many positives that can come from this position; both on the guard and in life.

Why is it that the mindset of being in this place is a negative one?  The truth is that most of the time a submission is achieved through this exact position.  There are so many ways of doing so; whether its Kimura (variations), Arm bar, triangle, and even choke from guillotine position.  The trick is you have to be comfortable in this place and find the best strategy that works for you.  Comfortable not in the sense that this is easy, but in the sense that you can find an escape and achieve a win.

If you look at anyone who has ever achieved greatness most of the time the person hits rock bottom first before making the climb back up to an even higher point, his or her apex.   The challenge not only comes from within ourselves, but from outside influences that creep in like toxic doubt when we are in our worst place.

Personally, being on the bottom gives perspective, and brings out survival.  It can reveal the best or the worst in all of us.  We could remain in guard position and be submitted or we can use both our body and our mind to submit.  The important thing is that we must not give up or let another’s opinion influence our own personal belief and strength.

When you are on the bottom, you are your own best friend or worst enemy.  It takes risks as well because many of the submissions achieved through closed Guard require you to unlock for a split second to readjust your position.  This is a chance that is taken because you are giving up control during this time to get an even greater control.   This happens very quickly but takes total focus to deliver smoothly.  It’s almost like a gamble.

The difference is that unlike a gamble, you are in control, even when you forfeit it for that split second.  You are in control because you are connected and interpreting your partners next move.  More importantly, is to connect with where you are in that exact moment and what you need to do to bring you to the next place of where you want to be.  Then act on this, so that the thoughts translate into actions. If that stays in the mind than it will translate onto the mat.

This is having a positive mindset.  Giving something up to achieve a greater end result.  Moving from the bottom to the top.  Achieving the win.  Sometimes we are in bad situations but this is in the eye of the beholder and can be overcome with will.

Most importantly, this is a harsh dose of reality because we are not always going to be on top.  Even the strongest, most skillfully trained competitor ends up on the bottom.  However, if a win is achieved from that position than it’s truly earned because it was fought for every moment.

The best advice to getting more comfortable in guard is to zero in on each submission technique and find the best one that serves you well.

Come train next week at Gracie Gym OC-Schedule as we will be focusing in guard positions.

Get comfortable in your guard. 

Gracie Gym closed Wednesday 31st 

Posted on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 @ 12:33 PM

This Wednesday 10/31 we will be closed for Halloween. Normal schedule resumes on the next day Thursday the 1st.

We wish everyone a very happy and safe halloween. Be careful with monsters and witches, they seem to be more visible this time of the year, but we are sure with your Jiu-Jitsu skills you will be fine. 

Happy Halloween everyone! Lot of treats for you guys.

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Halloween Kids Class next Monday 5pm   

 Posted on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 @ 02:35 PM

Hello Gracie Gym Family! Next monday 5pm there will be a lot of scared people in Gracie Gym. It’s because we will all be in our costumes. We are just kidding, don’t be scared. 

Join us this monday for our little halloween kids special class. All kids and juniors should come in their costumes. We will play some games with the kids and have some treats and food for everyone.

Class start at regular time 5pm. After class Kids and Parents can hang out, eat some food, kids can have some treats and we all will have a lot of fun. 

*Adults don’t need to be in their costumes.


See you all monday!

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Pain is the Weakness leaving the body

As a follow up to the Metamoris tournament that took place last weekend and a hard week of training, what is it that truly gets an athlete or individual through the pain of the moment to achieve the greater picture?  Pain is not a foreign concept to someone of any age, any gender, and any origin.  Many times we choose to cause our own pain by doing things from a negative perspective or making a decision that is not in our own best interest.

BUT we also choose to invoke our own pain for the greater good of our own selves.  If you have been dedicated to your training this week then you know exactly what I am talking about.  Every time that you set foot onto the mat you are choosing the healthiest form of pain that is available; the pain of breaking down the body to build it back stronger and better.  When Carlos Gracie-Grand Master Carlos Gracie Sr first began training jiu-jitsu he would take to the streets and challenge larger and smaller men because he wanted to be the best and not have limitations to his abilities.  This happens during training, and you probably have moments where you work through this pain to get the result that you want.

Jiu Jitsu builds a great foundation for working through pain physically and in life.  As we all know life has many unexpected challenges that we are faced with and we need a mechanism to overcome this to feel strong and satisfied every single day.  Also, every day that you are not on the mat your colleagues may be one day better than you and that is a sacrifice not worth making.

So, think about this when the sweat is shed, because then the victory will come.  And it is good to heave a healthy dose of suffering to make the achievements of the day, week, month or year more meaningful.  Where are your bruises at right now?  If you have them from this past weeks training then look at them with a smile because that means that you’re getting stronger.  Every ounce of pain that is felt is simply weakness leaving the body and is better to be gone.

Maneuvering through the pain is just as much an art form as it is a physical strength but when our bodies are conditioned to endure a certain amount than many times they can carry us through further than we see ourselves capable of going.  There is a point when one is training or competing that our body is telling us to stop, that it has had enough.  But that is just our comfort zone and then the mental strength comes in and gets us to the next phase.  Think of that the next time you are trying to pass the guard of your opponent to get to a more dominant position.

It’s the same tactics that we use outside of the gracie gym school when faced with a challenge because we always want to be in the dominant position of our life and what is affecting us.  When we don’t push than we stay the same.  When we stay the same we never challenge our bodies and minds to get better and we can actually get worse and weaker as time goes by.  The important thing to remember is that it is NEVER too late to face the pain, work through it, and let it go.  I’m talking on the mat here but you can choose to take it deeper.

Congratulations to those of you this past week that have done just that and I look forward to the next week of training to push it to the limit.


Metamoris Re-Cap

This past weekend in San Diego the invitational only Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu  took place where victory was achieved by submission only.  For those of you that weren’t following, basically the way that this works is that once a competitor taps the person or mat, than the winner is determined.  Should a rule be broken or the referee ultimately feels a competitor’s life is in danger than this can determine the winner also.  Another factor, 20-minute time versus 10 MEANING stamina is key.  Each competitor has been preparing for months overtime to train for this and give it their all.

Basically, only the strongest or smartest survives, because those of you that train know after all the sport requires just as much mental strength as physical.

The definition of this tournament name Metamoris;”This is a movement to be one’s best, to unabashedly pursue the fullest in life, to test the limits, and to persevere with each victory and defeat,, demonstrates just that by the results listed below;


What were the Results?

Glover vs Terra: Terra(W)

Kayron vs Lovato: Lovato(W)

Otavio vs Kron Gracie:Kron(W)

Lister vs Ribeiro:Respective draw

Ryron Gracie vs Galvao: Respective draw

Roger vs Buchecha: Respective draw


This was an arena for the best of the best to compete and every competitor brought their finest skills and training to the table as all have been preparing not just for months, but their entire lives.  Each individual faced their own set of successes and challenges and you can decide for yourself from video footage, if you did not have the privilege to see this live, who makes an impression on you.  I can tell you that some of the key highlights from the tournament included; the class shown between both Glover and Terra as this was a highly competitive match and Glover placed Terra into the air after his win!  That’s the true spirit of jiu jitsu, respect.  Additionally, the back and forth sweeps between Kron and Otavio until the final nice arm bar from mount that Kron applied..  What a remarkable move.  Finally, Roger versus Buchecha which was intense the entire twenty minutes! Between Buchecha with his powerful sweeps including tornado coming in and Roger’s legacy  than enough is being said.

Overall, the tournament was a HUGE success on all of the competitor’s parts and we are looking forward to the next.  Now get inspired, get your gi’s and get training!

Check out the site itself to see additional video footage!!


Breaking the Cycle; Bullying

Taking a step against bullying has been something that has taken top priority over the past few years within the United States.  There are so many initiatives that exist to combat this physical and emotional abuse that many children face every single day.  However, the most important thing and something every parent aims to equip their child with are mental strength and self-confidence, in turn, creating strong character.  Unfortunately as a parent, one is not able to be there every second of every single day to see their child remaining out of harms way.  More importantly, though, is that the child does not NEED the parent there every second of every day because they should possess the tools they need to feel strong and self reliant.  Where does the child get these tools?

These tools originate from one of the greatest forms of both art and self-defense; Jiu Jitsu.  It is important that a child feel strong and capable of more than their surroundings have to offer them.  It’s also important to have a mechanism to cope with the daily stressors that can happen during the school day, extracurricular activities, and so forth.  Every parent’s greatest wish is to gift his or her child with the necessary tools to pave the road of a positive and happy day-to-day life.  Jiu Jitsu is this gift as, if followed with dedication, can mold the character of a child in a fun and healthy way creating better decisions and judgment in life.

To clarify, this is not teaching a child to strike, but to serve as a defensive against the behavior.

Currently, at Gracie Gym OC the Anti-Bully Program is taking place to really zero in on this issue and create real life scenarios that any child may be faced with.  This is a program that has been implemented in different ways at multiple Academies; however, at Gracie Gym OC this is taking place for Future Champions I and II and is really empowering the children to work hard towards a goal and a solution while encouraging one another along the way.

To learn jiu-jitsu is to erase the fear and instill the proper training to break the cycle of bullying in a proactive way.  The knowledge and abilities that jiu-jitsu can provide serve a child well through their entire lives, and any obstacle that they may face will be overcome with the same thought processes that are applied when on the mat.  It reinforces a sense of control, and reassures that nothing is permanently a lost battle, which can change a child’s entire attitude.

Maybe you are someone that was a victim of bullying?  Maybe you have somebody in mind that currently is, or you may even pinpoint your own child experiencing this issue.  There is a solution though, the sport of jiu-jitsu that provides the means for a better mindset, outlook, attitude, and life.   Stay Connected,to find out more information about this exciting Program at Gracie Gym OC and get involved!

This week at Gracie Gym

This past week has been great at Gracie Gym OC, and we have a lot going on. We know you love to come practice your jiu-jitsu or mma cardio classes, but besides that, make sure to stay updated with whats going on. We encourage our visitors to keep an eye on our facebook page and twitter as well as our website for blog news about our gym and the jiu-jitsu mma community in general.

We want to keep our readors update with some general news of the MMA and Jiu-Jitsu world, and fitness and health tips as well, so we will be writing more blog posts about those topics.

As for to keep you up to date of what’s going on at Gracie Gym OC, here is a little resume of our following week, and resume of our week.

We are closing our week with a Special 2 hour Jiu-Jitsu class with guest Romulo Reis. We have mentioned before that Romulo is one of the best and most qualified Instructors out there, with years of experience and came straight from the source, student of Master Rilion Gracie, Romulo now teaches at Florida.

After the 2 hour brazilian jiu-jitsu seminar, we move forward for our next week, resuming our class schedule on Monday. Yes we will be open on holiday, so grab your gi and come train your bjj and enjoy the rest of the day. Normalschedule, we start 11am with ALL LEVEL class, 5pm Juniors Class and 6pm Fundamentals with Live training at 7pm.

Also, next Friday and Saturday will be our last Kids Instructors meeting, so we will be closing our mini-course of total 4 classes this following week. We would like to congratulate everyone who participated and from now on you are a Gracie Gym certified Assistant Coach for Kids & Jrs classes.

This is not all, we are also going to San Diego on Sunday Oct. 14th for the Metamoris bjj event with superfights such as Roger vs BuchechaKron vs OtavioRyron vs GalvaoKayron vs Lovato and many others. We got tickets at the school, make sure to get yours and/or your spouse or girlfriend of friend if you want to bring with you.

Hope you guys liked, we will be back soon with more updates and news. Remember, stay up to date of what’s hapenning at Gracie Gym.

Romulo Reis Special Jiu-Jitsu Class (Sat. 6th)

Romulo Reis is a black belt with over 10 years, and with a lot of experience teaching and competing, formed by Master Rilion Gracie. Romulo is one of his best disciples and has won several of the major tournaments all around the world, including the World Championship. He’s currently teaching in Florida, and Texas, in both Rilion Gracie Academies located in Miami & Houston.

Romulo is coming to California for the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship Masters&Seniors that will take place next Sunday, October 7th in Long Beach Cal. State.

One day before the competition we will hold a special class that will be lead by Romulo. It will be a 2 hour class (seminar), open for everyone, Kids & Adults who love the art of Jiu-Jitsu. Take this opportunity to sign up for this special class, and learn all the special Jiu-Jitsu moves that Romulo will share with us. Below is the information for the class and how ti sign up, and also take a look on the flyer so you can also get some more informatin.


Gracie Gym OC: 6176 Garden Grove Blvd, 92683


October 6th, Saturday from 1pm to 3pm.

How much:

Gracie Gym members:
Adults Price: $30 until october 1st. / $40 after october 1st.
Kids Price: $20
Non-Gracie Gym members:
Adults Price: $40 until october 1st. / $60 after october 1st.
Kids price: $35
Call or e-mail us with your credit card information:
Your CC Information will be completely confidential.

See you on the mats!

Come try our MMA Cardio Classes

Do you want to get in shape? 

The traditional workout gyms are not fun anymore. Researches has been showing an increase with outdoor activities and different modes of workout and other different exercises. That probably explains the increase in small gyms all around the world. People are getting bored to go to the gym and lift weight. It’s been the same routine for many years, we start losing motivation, and that’s a huge point for when going to the gym or getting the energy to do something for your body.

People are looking for more fun ways to exercise. Outdoor activities it’s always fun, but there is usually no professional supervision for when doing so. Here at Gracie Gym we know that one of the main goals of our students is to get in shape and live a healthier life. Gracie family philosophy was always about mind, body and soul. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t just teach fighting skills, it does teach you a way of life, but we do not just offer Jiu-Jitsu classes. We noticed the necessity for a fun and different activity for the people who are looking to get in shape doing something fun, quick and that really works. In today’s society, there is not much time left to work out. You may have kids, a job, sometimes even a second job. People are always looking for efficient ways to get a workout done in a short time.

Don’t waste your time anymore, remember that time is the most valuable thing today. Train with a supervision of a professional and get the best result possible.

That’s why we have the MMA Cardio Classes. With the incredible increased of the MMA sport we decided to step up and offer a MMA Cardio Class. “These fighters are the best and most complete athletes on earth” said Dana White (President of the UFC) when mentioning the athletic skills of the MMA fighters. There is no doubt that to be able to do all those incredible moves and be able to fight non stop for several rounds, it takes a different level of training to get there. MMA fighters do not use traditional workout gyms, in fact some of them don’t even lift weight at all. “When I was training MMA with my cousin Roger Gracie, he was only doing olimpic lifting, to strengthen his body. I noticed that most of the fighters don’t ever go to traditional gyms anymore” said Ronis Gracie about fighter’s workout.

3 reasons why traditinal workouts suck!!!

  • The weight machine promotes un-natural movements.
A natural movement or functional movements by definition are movements based on real-world situational biomechanics that usually involve multi-planar, multi-joint movements, which place demand on the body’s core muscles.
  • Low intensity
There are many reasons why we never hit the intensity we need. Here’s some examples:
– Embarrassing your self in front of others
– Lack of equipment to keep track of managing your rest periods
– Busy talking to others
– Watching TV in the gym
– Waiting in line for a machine or weights to free up
  • Lack of guidence
Gyms try to be hands off. They provide little to no instructions on using their equipment. There’s nothing worse than going into something and training incorrectly. In the end, you only get incorrect movements. Incorrect movements are unsafe and can cause injury.

So come check out a fun way to get in shape. The student will be learning a lot of real fighting moves but without the intensity of the training or called “sparring”. There is no sparring at all at this class, it’s primary focused on getting in shape while you actually learn something fun and efficient. You do learn how to kick, punch and even a take down, but you also get super tired while doing it.

Come try one of our MMA Cardio Classes and you might just fall in love. It’s pretty much a mixed with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing and Kickboxing skills with some pretty intense drills and stations workouts.

Tired of the regular gyms? Come try Gracie Gym.

Fill up the Intro Form to schedule a Free Trial today.

Gracie Gym overview at Jones vs Vitor fight

As you all may have seen it this last Saturday, UFC 152 where current light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones defended his title for the fourth time in a row againts former light-heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort, we prepared a quick overview at the fight for our readers. Everyone knows how good Jon Jones is and he has been proving more at every mma fitht he has. In today’s MMA world to be a champion you need to have a large amount of skills in different martial art aspects: Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling are the major ones in the mma sport. We all know that Vitor has an amazing boxing and Jones an amazing Muay Thai, but what it was very cool to see in this fight was the brazilian jiu-jitsu that happened.


We may have not noticed much but in this fight Jiu-Jitsu played the big role. Of course you will be thinking it was because of the very well applied arm-bar by Belfort right in th beginning of the first round. Not just that, but indeed that it almost finished the fight right there, but if you pay attention to the whole fight you see that jiu-jitsu was about almost all the time.

Okay so let’s start with the first round: Jones did what we actually expected he would do, “avoid” the stand up game and bring the fight to the ground. I guess as mma fans and ufc fans, the majority thought that in the ground Jones would have a big advantage, we never saw him having trouble when using his wrestling and jiu-jitsu before. It wasn’t much different this time but he almost did lose the fight. Great arm-bar by Vitor Belfort, it was tight, it was very well applied but if you watch it again, pay attention at the posture and the level of Vitor’s hip. In the beginning the arm-bar look perfect but in this picture you will see that Jones was still in good posture.(see picture below)

We know that without the gi it’s harder to brake the posture with your legs, at this point Jones was starting to have his arm poped a couple times as mentioned at the end of the fight by himself. Because of his posture, he was able to start standing up, then Vitor started losing tightness. (see picture below)

See Vitor’s left leg wasn’t really “biting” Jones neck. It’s not by mistake that Jones is a great champion, he was willing to have his arm broken and keep fighting if he had too. At this point is a matter of seconds and Vitor would soon lose the arm-bar. Very important moment of the fight, no doubt this was the highlight of the night.

If we had to judge Jones defense we’d say that he did not defended the “right way”, instead of trying to stand up, putting the way down would have been the best thing to do. Even though he didn’t defended perfectly, he managed to get out.

The fight then kept going and Vitor was doing a very good job from the guard, defending and not letting Jones pass his guard and mainly trying to block those aggressive elbows.

Then the fight went to second round and we expected more strikes coming from Vitor, but it didn’t happen. Why? Well at this point he was probably tired and hurt from the elbows. So what strategy did we see from him? We are not sure if you noticed but he seemed to start pulling guard. Yes that’s exactly what he was doing. We can never be sure if he was doing because he was tired or that he saw he had good chances to use his jiu-jitsu skills and catch Jones in a submission.

Probably because Vitor is such a good striker, not many people remember that he is a formed black belt from Carlson Gracie, one of the greatest Gracies of all times, and formed great champions that still fight these days.

So we saw more ground and pound from Jones as Vitor defended his guard and using his jiu-jitsu skills trying to pull up something. Jones is not a novice in Jiu-Jitsu, in fact he has some quite amount of submissions on his record. It’s hard for a beginner that was watching the fight notice the ground movement very well, but Jones wasn’t trying much to pass the guard as well as Vitor was also not opening the guard and trying to break Jones posture at all time.

Last 10 seconds of second round Vitor did had a triangle on Jones, but it was too late. Third, round goes and by this time Jones was actually better standing up, since the beginning of the fight when ever they were both standing up, Jones was doing better. Funny because we thought would have been the opposite.

Great kicks by Jones, one of them actually putted Vitor down.

The thing about a fight is that anything can happen. Vitor was actually doing good on the ground, offering some danger with his jiu-jitsu attacks. But as any fight, Jiu-Jitsu or MMA, we know that the most contradictory things happen, and Jones was visibly doing better and better as the rounds would go. Then on the fourth round he passes Vitor’s guard and catches him with an “Americana” (keylock). Despite all the punches exchanges and kicks on this fight, we saw that the 2 major points of the fight, the two major moments, were in fact 100% Jiu-Jitsu.

Let’s talk abot this “americana” now. Take a look at the whole picture. The americana was well applied but what made the whole difference was not the arm part of the picture. The Keylock its actually a not super hard position to defend, but if you take a look at Jones legs, that’s why he finished his move. Jones right leg is on top of Vitor’s left arm, the arm that he needed more than anything else at this time. Without his left arm he was not able to defend the attack. Jones did not defended the arm-bar well but it applied the “americana” very well, as we can see in the picture.

So resuming…

…the beginning where Vitor almost shined as the first man to beat the until now unbeatable Jones, and the end, where Jones who almost lost by submission, actually wins by submission. It’s funny to think about it. Small mistakes, then you correct them and make up to these mistakes later.

That’s why this sport grows so much and so fast, because we never know how one fight it’s going to end. Who expected that coming?

Well, we hoped you all enjoyed and that you actually learn something from this post. At least you will know what not to do if caught at an arm-bar and what to do if you use the “Americana” or “Keylock” submission.

If you liked, please share.


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