Video Review of 6th Degree BJJ Black Belt Marcio Simas’s Seminar

‘Girls in Gis’ are coming to Florida!

Girls in Gis Florida BJJ Open Mat

We at Grappling Mastery are happy to announce that Girls in Gis are coming to Florida for the first time!  We support Ladies Grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  We offer free Ladies Only Classes and the Girls in Gis Community reinforces this belief.  The following is some information about Girls in Gis as well as the Florida Girls in Gis event from their website which we recommend you check out and get connected.  This is a Ladies Only BJJ Event!

Girls in Gis Florida BJJ Open Mat
Girls in Gis Florida BJJ Open Mat

From the Girls in Gis Blog: The purpose of Girls in Gis is to create a community of girls and women who train Brazilian jiu-jitsu and provide a fun, friendly environment for training. Because BJJ is based on leverage and technique it is designed perfectly for women who are usually smaller, and weaker than their opponent. But the number of women who train BJJ is still very small compared to the number of men that train. Most schools still only have a handful of women that train consistently which really limits the number of women training partners we have. By coming together from all schools we can train, learn and grow the sport for women everywhere.

One of the main reasons women never set foot in a jiu-jitsu class is intimidation. They are intimidated by a class full of sweaty men and don’t know how they will be received. That’s what makes Girls in Gis perfect for new women wanting to become involved in the sport. It’s a friendly environment that encourages women to succeed in BJJ. No sweaty men. No “macho guys” who think women shouldn’t be in a man’s class. No intimidation. So tell your friends that have always wanted to try BJJ but were too scared that this is the perfect place for them to learn.

Some women will try out a jiu-jitsu class, but never stick it out. I think the first 6 months in BJJ is the most difficult to get through for women and men alike. You are learning the techniques, but have a hard time pulling it off and it often gets you into undesirable positions which can make for the longest 5 minutes in your life. By training with other women you can work on those techniques without so much fear and worry. Heck you may even be able to pull off a new sweep.

Now for the very few of us that tried our first class, somehow stuck it out training with the guys and have come to love this sport Girls in GIs was made for you. Girls roll different. Girls move different. Girls are not guys. No matter how many guys you can train with you never really know what you’ve got until you’ve trained with someone your equal.

All Girls in Gis events are 100% free and open to women and girls of all ages and levels. Each Girls in Gis is hosted at a different academy throughout the state of Texas and instructed by the resident woman or women of that academy. Thereby, creating an environment that not only encourages women to train together, but to learn from each other as well. All women and girls are encouraged to participate.

Girls in Gis Florida Event:

Saturday April 30th, 2016
12:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST)

American Top Team Vero Beach
6200 20th St #210
Indian River Mall
Vero Beach, FL 32966

Doors open at 11 am. Event begins promptly at 12pm.

Girls in Gis has partnered with Sulzbacher Center to raise much needed in-kind donations. Please bring a donation or two in support of these efforts. A full list of donations can be viewed in the link below. Thank you for your contribution. Together let’s make a difference!

Join us for the first Girls in Gis event in Florida!!! Come join the festivities!! We’ve got amazing hosts, giveaways and much more!!

Girls in Gis events are designed to bring together the community and encourage new participants to embark on their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey. Our events are free of charge. All events are hosted, instructed, and attended only by females.Women and girls of all ages and skill levels are welcome to attend regardless of academy affiliation.

We welcome beginners and don’t require any experience. Our events are designed for 100% participation. However, we do allow female chaperon and parents to accompany participants as spectators. Our hope is that once they see how much fun BJJ is, they will be inspired to participate too. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us

Our events are free in order to provide equal opportunity to everyone. However, we need your help to expand and keep growing. You can make a donation to help Girls in Gis grow online during registration or at the door. Donations are not required, but greatly appreciated. You can also place a free order with a purchase of a GIG tshirt, patches and more GIG merchandise. All order can be picked up during the event.

Gracie Barra Black Belt Seminar “Fighting for a Cure”

Professor Brian Ruscio trained under Mestre Marcio Simas and World Champion Master "Gutty" Muggiati alongside over 20 years of Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu Black Belts
GB Black Belts Fighting for a Cure BJJ Seminar in Orlando
GB Black Belts Fighting for a Cure BJJ Seminar in Orlando

Over 20 Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts will be joining forces to help Fight for a Cure, raise awareness and monies for families and children affected with rare terminal illnesses. This year Orlando Florida will be the site of the 38th Annual NTSAD Family Conference that will take place April 7 – 10th 2016. For these families the National Tay Sachs and Allied Disease Association is their Hope to finding their way through the most treacherous times in their lives and we’ve assembled the toughest guys in Orlando to show how we can make a difference.

These families come here for support, to learn the latest medical research and how to best care for their children. Gracie Barra Orlando wants to create an amazing experience for the 20-25 siblings during the conference by getting them away from the daily grind and making their stay memorable. We will be taking a trip to Sea World and visiting the Orlando Science Center and paying for it all. Any proceeds left over will go the NTSAD medical research and family support.

Gracie Barra Fight for a Cure
February 6, 2016
Kids Seminar: 11:00 – 12:00 pm $20
Adults Seminar: 12:00 – 2:00 pm $25
Location: 923 N. Mills Avenue Orlando, FL. 32803

You can read more about the NTSAD and the family conference here:


Emily and Gabriel earn their first stripe in BJJ

Emily earns her first stripe in BJJ

Congratulations to Emily and Gabe on earning their first stripes in BJJ!

Submission Wrestling and No Gi BJJ Classes

NAGA Pan-American No Gi Expert Masters Champion, Brian Ruscio

Submission Wrestling, also known as “No Gi” is most similar to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but without the use of the Gi. Athletes simply wear shorts and a rash guard (Under Armour). Submission Wrestling uses joint locks, holds, and chokes, to overcome an opponent. Some other differences are that many times rules are less strict on footlocks and other techniques. Grappling Mastery’s curriculum includes many of these otherwise “illegal” techniques, making it a great style for self defense as well. Like BJJ, Submission Wrestling teaches balance, leverage, flexibility, and coordination. It will teach you how to transition your body in a fight into effective positions and get out of potentially bad ones. It is highly effective for self defense and was developed with bigger stronger opponents in mind and teaching you how to use leverage and technique to your advantage. No Gi is usually more desirable for a potential MMA fighter to study since he/she will not be wearing a Gi in their fight in addition to the fact that some techniques that are illegal in BJJ are not illegal in MMA. These techniques are taught in our No Gi Classes.

Because there is no Gi or belt, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Ranks do not apply to Submission Wrestling. Athletes are usually categorized by years of experience and classified as Novice, Beginner, Intermediate, Advance, or Expert.

Undefeated in No Gi Submission Grappling competitions, Coach Brian Ruscio is the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) Pan-American Expert Champion.


“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Brian a few years back when I trained at my local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy. He is very personable, professional, and knowledgeable about the sport. Brian’s integrity and commitment to the sport projects

Harriet Medrozo, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Harriet Medrozo, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences Teacher

Get your FREE 30 Day Membership Now!!

Fields marked with a * are required

7:00 am No Gi Grappling / Submission Wrestling Classes being added!

Schedule of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Kids and Ladies Classes.
Join Now to lock in last year's membership rates at Grappling Mastery!
Join Now to lock in last year’s membership rates at Grappling Mastery!

We are excited to announce a Schedule Change for 2016!  We are adding 2 Adult No Gi Classes to our morning schedule.  Currently they are set for Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:00-8:00 am with Open Mat from 8:00-9:00 am.  If you have a busy schedule and not much time to train during the day or at night, these classes are for you!  Current members can also join in on these classes, as always at no additional cost.  We’ve also added an Adult Competition Training Class from 7:00-8:00 pm after our Friday night Muay Thai Classes!

Our Grappling Mastery membership is unlimited and has no restrictions.  We hope this schedule change helps everyone achieve their goals in 2016! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

BJJ Techniques: Back Takes from Stack Passing the Guard

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

Here are two Leg Reaping or “Scorpion” style back takes when passing the guard.  Most times when you are in the guard your focus is to pass or attack footlocks.  The Scorpion Leg Reap and Rolling Scorpion are two unorthodox back takes that give you an alternative to passing the guard.  You can skip the pass and go directly for the back and the submissions that it yields!  These are advanced techniques and require significant drilling to master the movements.  These back takes are a part of a much larger game and not for everyone.  Give them a try and let us know what you think.

Trouble viewing?

Wrestling for BJJ: Lateral Drop Throw

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

The lateral drop is an effective wrestling throw that works well in BJJ.  It can be used to take down an opponent directly in side control, or Kesa Gatame (Judo).  In Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling this takedown would normally score 3 points, however in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu all takedowns currently score only 2 points.  In either case the lateral drop lands you in a very dominant position!

Trouble Viewing?

Kyle and Jeremy earn their first stripe in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

Kyle earns his first stripe in BJJ

Congratulations to Kyle and Jeremy on earning their first stripe in BJJ

Improve your Cardio and Fitness for BJJ and MMA

Get in Fighting Shape at Grappling Mastery

Become an MMA Conditioning Coach

What is the best way to improve your cardio and fitness level for BJJ or MMA?

Is it important to be stronger, faster, or more flexible?  Some would say all of these things, while others would say none and just focus on technique.  In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specifically, it is said to focus on technique over everything.  This is not always that simple.

A lot of confusion begins at the white belt level, when there is an absence in the understanding of technique.  When it comes time to “roll” or “spar” and two individuals are still new, technique plays a very small role in the outcome.  When two individuals do not have proper technique it comes down to who is stronger, faster, or more aggressive.  This leads people into believing that they need to be strong, fast, or have great cardio to compete in BJJ or MMA.  Once athletes reach a level of proficiency in the martial art, they have an understanding of technique and leverage that will overcome all but the strongest and fastest opponents.  These “rolling” or “sparring” sessions usually are determined by the style or “game” of the fighters and who has better technique, or game is superior.  At the highest levels, when everyone’s technique is fairly equal, this is where fitness and cardio start to matter most.  When there are no difference in technique or game, the more athletic opponent has the advantage.

Whether you are new to BJJ, Judo, Wrestling, MMA, or any other martial art you probably are interested in becoming physically fit enough to compete or at least be able to last in training long enough to benefit from some sparring sessions.

So what to do?  Do we lift? Do we run?  What is the best way to get in shape for BJJ or MMA?

Fortunately, the answer is very simple!  The training principle of specificity states that sports training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport for which the individual is training in order to produce a training effect.  The Specificity Principle simply states that training must go from highly general training to highly specific training. The principle of Specificity also implies that to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill.  This is why runners run, and swimmers swim!  This is also why you will hear, “It’s a different kind of cardio.”  Our body’s are very adaptive and built for survival.  When we perform certain exercises to exhaustion our body responds by improving those functions so we have can better perform the next time we need to do the same thing.

This means that to get in better shape for BJJ or MMA you should do exercises that most mimic BJJ or MMA.  Whether you want to get stronger, faster, more flexible, or even improve your cardio, this is the best way to do it.  In the most general sense you could perform movements or exercises that are similar to actually competing in BJJ or MMA.  This means doing your BJJ functional drills, Wrestling Drills, MMA drills, etc.  More specifically would mean actually training BJJ or MMA.  Actually training with live opponents.  You will get tired, fatigued, weak… just keep training and focus on your technique.  Those are the times you are improving your body.  If you continue to stop when your mind tells you to, you will always stay in the shape you are in.  If you challenge your mind and see what your body is really capable of, you will improve and become a better you.  According to the principle of specificity, this is how you want to train to improve your fitness level for mixed martial arts.

So what about cross training?

Cross training is training in two or more sports in order to improve fitness and performance, especially in the main sport. If you feel the need to do more or to cross train, first ask yourself if you have more time to be at your BJJ or MMA Academy.  Remember what is most important, technique before strength, speed, or cardio.  These things will leave you as you get older, however technique will always be there.  There are stories about Carlos Gracie Sr. and Helio Gracie well into their senior years before they passed and they definitely did not have the strength and speed, or cardio of a 20 year old.

First you would want to participate in alternative classes.  Does your academy offer Wrestling, Muay Thai, Judo, Boxing or some other martial art?  These would be most similar to what you are trying to get in shape for besides your main martial art.  If you are training for MMA, which literally stands for Mixed Martial Arts, you should be training to master these different styles anyway!  What about alternatives like Yoga to improve your flexibility?

If you still have some free time that your academy doesn’t offer classes you could do sport specific exercises or functional training at a local gym.  These sport specific exercises should be developed with care and introduced to you by a qualified professional, instructor, or personal trainer familiar with your martial art.  If you develop muscles the wrong way you could hinder your performance or worse yet, injure yourself and not be able to train, slowing down your improvements and setting you backward.  You need to be familiar with the FITT principles, proper frequency, intensity, time, and type.  Some of my bigger recommendations of training methods to improve BJJ, Wrestling, and MMA would be HIIT and Tabata style training.  HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training or High Intensity Intermittent Exercise.  Tabata style training only last 4 minutes.  However, you push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds until you complete eight sets.  You can do any exercises you choose, though we recommend you make them very specific to movements you would do in BJJ and MMA. Many times in a sparring session or competition you have intervals of high intensity and intervals of rest.  This style of training mimics that but is only one aspect of the training.  Professor Brian Ruscio has had multiple Personal Training certifications and can guide you into the right training methods.  You can contact him at Grappling Mastery if you have more questions.

In closing, we’ve catered to those who MUST feel like they are getting that extra competitive edge by doing something outside of the academy or dojo. Though, we’ve also given you the real secrets to getting in the best shape for fighting and martial arts.  Packing on extra muscle mass or trying to get milliseconds quicker will not overcome great technique, unless you also already have great technique.  Getting better cardio for Jiu Jitsu and MMA can best be done by sparring and drilling more BJJ and MMA.  Getting functional strength, speed, and flexibility will come with more sparring and rolling.  Just like working out in a gym, results take time, dedication, and hard work.

“Swimmers swim, Runners run, and Jiujitsueros roll!”

Get the best selection and prices on over 6000 best selling supplements and fitness products at