It’s all about the journey


The Keepitplayful Movement is here to help you through the journey!

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“Watch yourself lose” Training tip

A few weeks ago while traveling I was able to catch a purple belt in the same armlock 7 times in 10 minutes of sparring. I believe that my experience is the reason why I was able to do that. What I am most impressed by is the lack of observation on the purple belts part. After all the sparring was over I asked him, “Did you see how I was setting up that armlock?” He replied, “No,” this guy is on a mission to win and not on a mission to learn.  The fastest way to win is to make learning synonymous with stepping on the mat. This is one way I suggest you start learning.

When training this week, lets do something that will give us even more insight on the submissions our training partners are perfecting.

As you spar with people who are around your level, see if you can allow yourself to be defeated a few times every match. I am very aware that you normally do not lose every match but this week you will. If you are training with someone who might normally submit you once or twice try to keep it at that number, three at most. All you have to do is lose, at least once.

It is very important that you observe the way you lose and that your training partners do not know that you are on a mission to lose. What you are doing is allowing your training partners to show you their favorite submissions and how they go about executing them. This is valuable information that anyone serious about growing in jiu-jitsu would want to know. Make sure you tap fast so you can do this through the week.

The following week, look to roll with as many as the same people and notice how you are more aware of what each person is trying. Notice that your overall awareness to submissions has increased.  The jiu-jitsu game, although very complex, is actually very simple when you take the back seat and start watching. There are only a few submissions and if you keep your awareness you will soon be a master at stopping them. 

This is how I KeepItPlayful


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Does it matter?

“Those who spar like it matters are actually behaving like it does not matter.”
You can fight hard to prevent all kinds of submissions positions and movement, but then you do not explore all scenarios, therefore not building comfort and understanding in all positions. This is not what I suggest.

“Those who spar like it does not matter are actually behaving like it really matters.”
You can move like you are not attached to positions and submissions. This will lead to you experiencing more and therefore learning more. This is how you KeepItPlayful


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The KeepItPlayful Coin

The KeepItPlayful Coin was designed to teach us how to relax, find comfort and help us discover the flow of jiu-jitsu which is the best way to make jiu-jitsu a permanent part of our life’s journey.  
I believe that everyone who trains jiu-jitsu knows how to go hard. We know how to fight for a dominant position and for a submission. What we need help with is how to relax, how to flow. We need help in our transitions and being efficient with our movements. The following information will make it clear why the KeepItPlayful movement is so important and how you can KeepItPlayful the next time you step on the mat. 
KeepItPlayful Coin

KeepItPlayful Coin

-Learning to relax is one of the most difficult aspects of jiu-jitsu.
-Relaxing starts with a realization that jiu-jitsu is not about the battles its about the lifestyle.
-Every time one steps onto the mat, one steps out of their minds.
-Learning to relax happens as techniques are more understood.
-To truly understand all techniques/positions they need repetition & time.
-Most jiu-jitsu practitioners do not spend time in every position or practice most techniques.
-We stick to what we know best to decrease chances of defeat and increase chances of victory.
-Being able to truly relax one must be comfortable in all positions.
-The sooner we adopt an explorative mindset, the sooner we find comfort in all positions.
-The way to begin exploring starts with a fascination for the art from all angles.
-One should start by spending more time observing what’s happening and less time trying to control what’s happening.
-We should be as fascinated and appreciative about techniques working for us and against us.
-We should be determined to explore and observe jiu-jitsu with the goal of increasing comfort and understanding.

If you are ready to start this journey then you are ready to flip the KeepItPlayful coin.


When the coin lands on the KeepItPlayful side, we play jiu-jitsu, we allow movement at all costs because that is how we learn. We take submissions and we give submissions. We acknowledge that the need to be in control and be victorious is important but just as important is learning to relax and building comfort in all positions.


When the Coin lands on the KeepItReal side, we allow that which is real to surface. Although safety for our training partner is #1 we must still do them a service and control positions to the best of your ability and when we see an opportunity we take the submission and do not leave any space for escape.
My hope is that you are able to flow when the coin lands of the KeepItPlayful because you know that soon enough it will land on the KeepItReal side giving you an opportunity to shine and let out some steam 🙂 and remember Real or Playful we are always SAFE.
If you would like a KeepItPlayful Coin here it is!
Watch KeepItPlayful Coin breakdown on YouTube
JIU-JITSU INSTRUCTORS How to get a coin if you teach jiu-jitsu and we have shared the mat.
-Picture with myself and you + year
-Your full name
-Martial Arts school name
-School Address
-A word or a quote as to why you would like a coin.
-#KeepItPlayfulCoin or #KIPcoin
The only 3 places this info can be sent.
-MUST INCLUDE  #KeepItPlayfulCoin or #KIPcoin
Anyone who does not run a school, that does or doesn’t have a pic with me can also send in the following information and if there is enough noise from your teammates and yourself I will send out a few extra coins, probably the 12 loudest groups.
If you are part of a Certified Training Center you guys will be getting one in the mail. The goal is to have one Coin at each jiu-jitsu school that is part of the movement.
Look forward to a KeepItPlayful roll with you one day!
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The Universal Misunderstanding of Jiu-Jitsu

When you think you HAVE to move, you are moving into the misunderstanding.


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Training Tip


Your favorite submission is not working as often as you would like.


-Most people attack with their best submission first.

-Most often the submission you attempt first does not work.

-Start attacking all the submissions that are not your favorite.

-Your opponent has no idea that you do not like those submissions.

-Use the submissions that are not your favorite to disguise your favorite.

-Take the submission your opponent gives you.




Posted in KeepItPlayful, Technique, Training Tips | 19 Comments

Mothers Day

Over the past month I have come to realize how the most beautiful, most special and the most important people in the world are women, and specifically mothers. My belief is if we treat women with more love and respect we will impact the world in a very positive manner.

Some of the most important people on the planet.

Some of the most important people on the planet.

When I think about the word “masculine” I think about all the men around the world and how they are all masculine in their own way. I think about men that are practicing martial arts with a fight/self-defense focus, whether it is karate, judo, jiu-jitsu or any other art. These are the most masculine of all.  Being born in the Gracie family, I was surrounded by extreme masculinity at a young age. As a result, I feel that my views and opinions of women were a little twisted growing up.  Primarily that the man is the boss and then the woman.  Growing up I sometimes noticed men doing and saying things to and about women that, today, show me the lack of respect and equality.  The woman should stay home cooking and cleaning; today I very much enjoy staying home cooking and cleaning. The man makes money and the woman does not; when my wife has an opportunity to make money, I encourage it. Through every year of my life and to this day, I have heard men mock, lie, tease, belittle, and place themselves above women and I completely understand why.  The same way a child bullies another because of insecurities, men bully women.  Keep the women down and we will stay on top. Growing up I was a victim of these insecurities and made fun of a few girls in my time. Today I also have to be very aware of jokes that I tell and not unconsciously attack women or anyone negatively for that matter.

Stay Strong

Stay Strong

This brings me to the talk of how men and sometimes women refer to other women as “housewives” & “stay-at-home moms.” I am not certain, but when I hear the term, “She’s a house wife,” or “A stay-at-home mom,” I feel like it is not said with enough appreciation and with a small amount of judgment. Its almost as if that woman has it easy or that she is not strengthening the image of women by not following a career.

We can agree that, more than ever before, society is accepting that women are equal to men, yet, there are still some who give the impression that this is not true. This, I believe, is largely what causes women, who would otherwise be perfectly happy as a stay-at-home mom, to feel pressured to go find a job with hopes of bringing some significance in the eyes of others. I believe that because we do not uplift the housewife or give it a status symbol, like a model or TV celebrity, many women do not aspire to have this role. Recently, one of my students informed me that, in Japan, when a mother works outside the home, she is asked “Why?” as if they are confused. And when a woman says she is a “stay-at-home mom” people are impressed and give them the utmost respect.

Last month I was fortunate enough to become a father to a beautiful baby girl. What I’ve witnessed so far is unbelievable. Everything from peeing to pooping to crying to more crying to spitting up to farting to runny noses to burping to feeding to bathing to diapers to lack of sleep and most importantly a huge responsibility that brings so much significance and joy to everything that I do.  What caught me most off guard since becoming a father is how every time I go to work I feel like I’m on vacation. Keep in mind that my job involves me getting thrown to the ground, arm locked, choked, crushed and more.  I believe that most men who have a child quickly realize that there are few things more demanding than caring for a child.

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I believe that if we acknowledge the truth, and we treat women with more respect, it will reduce their need to prove their equality, which needs no proving.  The truth is we could not be more equal, and women could not be more valuable. A female should grow up feeling so equal that she does what she feels like doing, not what society pressures her into doing. If she wants to work, great! If she wants to manage the home, wonderful! If this could happen, I imagine more women would decide to stay home and dedicate all their time and energy to the home and child because that is a child of the future.

-Men: First thing that we have to do is “keepitplayful,” tap out, and treat every woman like you want your mother, sister or daughter to be treated. If you think one day you would like a wife that will take care of you and your children, start acknowledging that the mother’s job is the most important job in the world.  Realize how fortunate you would be if you found a woman that could see the value in taking on the role of a mother 100%. If you already have a “housewife” or “stay-at-home mom,” be extremely grateful that you are able to provide for the family while she stays home and puts her dreams or career on hold. Remember, compared to full-time parenting, any job is a vacation. I say vacation yet I am very aware that the weight that is carried by the one providing is also a big one.

-Stay at home dads: Now that I have a daughter I am beginning to envy you. As much as I love my job, nothing brings me greater joy than looking after my little jiu-jitsu princess.  I am happy that you have an arrangement that works for your family. Make sure to teach your children the Gracie bullyproof program from home.

-Working Mothers: Keep up the great work!  I am very aware that you have a lot on your plate and your income might be necessary for the household. On a separate note, I understand that, like me, you get so much satisfaction from your job/career that working is like therapy. I am excited for the day when my wife and I feel it is best for her to go back to work.

-Stay-at-home Mothers: Never for one moment feel that what you are doing is not enough, and don’t feel like there is a rush to get back to the work force. I could not ask anything more from my wife than for her to put her career on hold and give all her time and energy to our daughter in her years of infancy.

Being part of the largest martial arts family in history that is primarily male dominated and super masculine I am so grateful to not only have a wife that is so feminine but to now have a daughter that will hopefully one day be a wife and a mother. Everything happens for a reason, I feel like more than ever it is my responsibility to be an example of how to treat women. Everything starts with appreciation and I have never been so appreciative.

To all the mothers around the world, thank you for your love and patience. Happy Mothers Day!

Thank you to my mom for teaching me so much about how to love. Happy Mothers Day!

Thank you to my wife for starting this journey with me, the love you give our daughter is so beautiful and I could not ask for anything more. Happy Mothers Day!

Thank you for always having my back.

Thank you for always having my back!


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