MassBJJ Newsletter Dec. 2015

MassBJJ News

  • 2015 in Review
    I just want to take a moment to thank everyone involved in making the MassBJJ family what it is today. We support each other on and off the mat and continue to grow and evolve as practitioners of jiu jitsu and also as friends. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished in Arlington in under 4 years! The gym went through an extremely stressful move while waiting for the new space to be completed and the uncertainty of not being able to stay in the old space while we waited. Then we got the go ahead to move over the 4th of July weekend and everyone stepped up to help on your holiday. I’ll keep this short but thank you for your hard work and dedication to the school and to the art. MassBJJ is more than just one person, it’s a collaboration of like-minded and hardworking men, women and kids who share a common interest. I think a lot about the future and both personal and professional goals but let’s not forget what we’ve gone through to get where we are. Now let’s go CRUSH 2016!!!!!!!!!

– Mike                  

  • Arlington Holiday Schedule
    • 12/23 Normal Classes
    • 12/24 Closed
    • 12/25 Closed
    • 12/31 Open Mat (go to Arlington’s Facebook for details)
    • 1/1 Open Mat (go to Arlington’s Facebook for details)
  • Acton Holiday Schedule  
    • 12/23 Normal Classes
    • 12/24 Open Mat – 12:00 – 2:00pm
    • 12/25 Closed
    • 12/31 Open Mat (go to Acton’s Facebook for details)
    • 1/1 Open Mat (go to Acton’s Facebook for details)

          Upcoming Events

  • MassBJJ In-House Tournament
    • Date:   Sat 1/16/2016
    • Time: 11am-3pm
    • Location: MassBJJ-Arlington
    • Double Elimination (2 match minimum)
    • $20 entry fee
    • Kid’s, Women’s, and Men’s Divison’s
  • MassBJJ Holiday Party
    • Date:  Sat 1/16/2016
    • Time: 6pm-10pm
    • Location: Wedgewood Pines Country Club in Stow, MA
    • $20 food fee, kids under 12 are free
  • Arlington Student of the Month
    • Make sure you congratulate Andrea Sexton! She was recently chosen as the Dec student of the month and has a great write up on the bulletin board in the school about her experiences training with us! Check it out!
  • Congrats to Scott Gamin on earning his Purple Belt!

Let’s make some goals for 2016 and take our potential to the next level. Here’s a quote to get your started:

“Everyone has talent, but rare is the courage to follow that talent to the places it leads.”


See you on the mat!





Build a System First Then Find Your Own Game

System: An aggregate of offensive and defensive techniques from your hands to your feet and applying these techniques starting from a standing position to your first position on the ground.

When I was 12 years old I took guitar lessons. My teacher taught in a very ordered manner. He stressed that you must have discipline to learn the lessons of music theory first (Imagine that!). I just wanted to play like Eddie Van Halen. Show me how to play Eruption! I thought, if I can learn Eruption, I will be a good guitar player. My teacher would have none of that. He knew if he taught me this it would be meaningless and would just satisfy me in the moment.

He always drilled the “caged system” as he would call it, “See, you can play “A” major chord starting here, then here, and here; they are all “A” chords, but they have different shapes. You just need to know how to play the major chord then learn to find the same chord up and down the neck.” He would show me a few and then say, “You find the next one on your own, then find which one you like to play.” I thought many times, “I know my chords let’s move on!” I couldn’t understand or appreciate these lessons until I was older. I eventually realized that I was completely wrong and didn’t recognize the value of what he was trying to teach me by just showing me the depth in one single chord.

You all know what I am getting at here. Sometimes I feel guilty that I do not show the latest fancy techniques, but then I quickly remember why I don’t and what I believe in. I can tell when someone hasn’t developed a system or flow or when they are on their feet they do not know what to do. They get lost, play catch as catch can, or try moves that just don’t make sense. The problem is that too many students never have the patience to learn the system first, especially on their feet. They get to a certain level and then they start copying. How can you learn a system if you are always copying the best moves of the best players?

My job is to teach a system and build confidence in students so they have something to build on, both on their feet as well as on the ground. If you can be disciplined to build this system first, going out of the box and getting creative with your game is going to be so much more effective. Jiu-jitsu is constantly evolving and this is good, but that doesn’t mean you forget what is important.

When you have done this hard work, then it is time for you to find your own game!


“Things Jiu-jitsu players say while they are Rolling!”

Things Jiu jitsu players say while they are Rolling!

One of my pet peeves is when students here in our Arlington Jiu Jitsu gym are have a full conversation while we are drilling moves. Even more aggravating is when they are talking while they are rolling.

I have been listening more lately because I have been rolling intermittently, trying to heal my shoulder, and for some reason, I have had a heightened sensitivity to conversations going on while students are rolling.

Am I the only one who is bothered by this? I would be curious to hear some of the things you hear. Below are some of my examples.

“I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you, That is o.k. it was my fault, no, no, it was mine, I’m sorry!” My response: So you guys made up I can see, now you can start rolling again.

“You can’t grab inside my Gi, that is illegal.” My response: It’s legal in my class.

“Yea, that was so funny, I couldn’t believe it when….” My response: You guys talking about Jiu-jitsu?

“O.k. o.k., you got it, you got it.” (Student referring to a partner who was about to put an arm bar on) My response: No, no, no, keeping going he/she doesn’t have anything yet and I didn’t see you tap!

“What’s that on your arm, is that ringworm?” My response: Get off the mat!

“Pat is so old” My response: What happened the last time we rolled?



– 3rd Degree Black Belt – Acton Instructor

Our jiu jitsu Arlington gym has a really tight knit culture.  Funny sayings like these happen everyday at our gym, especially with our kids jiu jitsu! Stop in to see for yourself!