How to Find and Choose the Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy

Professor Brian Ruscio and the Grappling Mastery Team showing support at the Fighting for the Cure BJJ Seminar in Orlando Florida

If you are new to Grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also known as BJJ, how do you choose the right school to join?  I’m going to assume that you may not live near our Mount Dora location or any future location we may open.  Grappling Mastery opened in 2013 and since then, running my own school (previous to that I helped run a Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu Academy in Orlando), I realized a couple things.  These things are important to check into before joining a new academy.  Choosing the right BJJ Academy is important to your ability to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu effectively.  Joining the wrong school can waste your time or even get you hurt.  Sometimes it can even set you backwards in your progress as you learn improper techniques and strategies.

Your Perspective is your own.  The main thing is that “you”, potential members, are coming in blind.  You may or may not have ever trained in martial arts before, particularly, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).  This means a few things.  First, you have no idea what “good” technique, or for that matter, what “Great” technique is.  If I put a legit blue belt (2nd belt after white) to “roll”, or spar, with you and said they were a “Black Belt” you wouldn’t know the difference.  It’s all a matter of perspective.  As a new martial artist you would simply be overwhelmed by the blue belt, and assume they are excellent. Don’t assume someone being good or better than you means they are good enough to teach you.  This person will be your mentor for a very long time and the decision is very important.

Skill level of the students.  The students are a reflection of the instructor.  Don’t believe everything you are told.  The mats don’t lie.  There are huge gaps between the skill level of each belt.  You shouldn’t see lower belts beating higher belts regularly.  A White belt tapping a Purple Belt or higher doesn’t mean the white belt should be promoted, it means the Purple Belts rank should be questioned.  Belts aren’t to be handed out like candy.  Belts are earned.  Does the instructor compete.  Do the members compete.  Do research on the tournaments. Are they small, in house, or local tournaments? Or are they larger, more prestigious tournaments, where more challenging competitors choose to test themselves?

Is your Instructor a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt according to the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation?Research the Instructors Lineage.  Where did he learn his skills.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was developed by Carlos and Helio Gracie after being taught by Mitsuyo Maeda (Count Coma).  The lineage should start there and be able to be traced to your instructor.  Usually the closer to the source the better the lineage.  An example of a good lineage can be found in Grappling Mastery.  After Carlos Gracie Sr. is his son, Carlos Gracie Jr., then Marcio Simas, who is Brian Ruscio’s Instructor.  If an instructor doesn’t have a solid lineage that is a red flag. Again, do your research.  Another red flag is when someone “bounced around” and hasn’t been with the same instructor.  There are cases to be made for when someone moves out of state, etc. But if the person in question has been local the entire time, why wouldn’t he stay with someone from beginning to end?

Teams & Affiliations. Similar to lineage, an Instructors team or affiliation should go hand in hand with their lineage.  The Professor who awards your Instructor with his belt is his lineage and they are usually part of a team. Some examples are Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu, Alliance, Fight Sports, among many others.  There are exceptions, like costs of being affiliated or franchising, however, other than that an instructor should be proud to represent the team that taught him everything he/she knows.  For example, here at Grappling Mastery, Professor Brian Ruscio is a Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Master, Marcio Simas in Orlando, Florida.  We have had offers from several other schools to become affiliated with them and turned them down immediately without question.  We feel there is no reason to claim affiliation with a team that didn’t have a part in our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lineage and education.

Affiliation hopping is a red flag!  Did the instructor get his Black Belt from the team they claim affiliation from?  Affiliation hopping is when a person doesn’t stay with the same instructor or affiliate without a legitimate reason.  This is usually because they have done something the instructor of affiliation doesn’t approve of and they get kicked out or even stripped of their black belt!  Beware of affiliate hoppers.  People will sometimes pay for an affiliation just to display some sort of credibility, even though they didn’t get their Black Belt from that lineage.

Research the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.  Local and Federal Government doesn’t keep track of an Instructor who claims to be a Black Belt.  The could literally lie about it their rank just so they can run a school, or be rewarded rank falsely by another just to collect affiliate fees from them.  So who is here to protect consumers?  It’s the IBJJF, International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.  They are established to keep track of a Black Belts lineage. The only way to be accredited by the IBJJF is to have an accredited IBJJF 2nd Degree Black Belt sign off on your application. So each person in the instructors lineage would have to be an Official IBJJF Black Belt for them to appear on the IBJJF Black Belts Database.  The academy should also be registered with the IBJJF in their Database of IBJJF Recognized Schools.

There are Black Belts, and then there are BLACK BELTS.  Huh? what?  Basically, getting a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu should never be an easy feat. Or what is it really worth in the first place?  However, even at that level, there are “normal” Black Belts, “good” Black Belts, and “Great” Black Belts.  This goes back to competition.  Do your research. Try not to go in blind.  What has your potential instructor won.  Has he proven himself against other Black Belts in actual high level tournaments? This is not a must, but the mats don’t lie.

Quality of Instruction.  Just because someone wears a “Black Belt” doesn’t mean they are good.  Just because they are “good” doesn’t mean they are a great instructor.  I’ve had over a dozen wrestling coaches and met some great jiu jitsu instructors and athletes in my life. Through various housing moves as a child and have seen the good, great, and downright bad coaches in my life.  The best coaches explain everything in detail.  All the way down to finger positions and which way to look with your eyes (yes, it can be that important of a detail).  Does the instructor give each member individual time or does he get on his phone in between techniques? How well does he answer questions?  Does he get upset when someone questions a technique or does he take the criticism and give a satisfactory response?

Reputation in the BJJ Community.  Ask people who would know firsthand.  These are people who already train in neighboring cities that would know about your potential instructor.  Don’t ask schools that are close enough to be competition. But make sure they are close enough that it’s possible they have old members that have moved there or from there and have heard stories about the gym and instructor.  BJJ is a tight community and they want new people to have the best experience possible. They will be happy to recommend where you should or should not train.

Research if the instructor has a criminal record.  The IBJJF makes this easy since every potential Black Belt must pass a background check. However, it still doesn’t hurt to make a quick search for “Instructors Name Here, Mugshot” or take it a step further and do your own background check.  Remember, this person is going to be spending time with you, your wife possibly, and your kids.  He or she is a role model, whether they like it or not, and should represent what you want yourself and your family to become.  A black belt with a criminal record is a red flag.

Feeling Good about a potential school? Give it a trial.  Call and ask about their trial classes.  Go try it out.  See what the members think.  Most should be happy and friendly.  If they are not, that’s another red flag.  They shouldn’t be trying to prove anything to you.  Remember you are a newbie.  Why would they have to show you how fast they can beat you.  Remember, anyone can put on a show for one day.  At Grappling Mastery we offer a Free 30 Days to everyone!  You want to go back at different times. Watch classes, participate in classes, get every perspective you can.  If members are not ecstatic about training there, it’s a red flag.  I mean, they pay to be there.  Which brings me to the next subject.

Class Format and Curriculum. Are the classes organized and can the instructor provide a curriculum and/or list of moves that you will be learning?  Is there ample time to drill techniques or are students thrown into sparring scenarios without a chance to get a few moves under their belt first.  This is a quick way to get hurt.  Imagine doing takedown training and never being shown how to perform any takedowns or even worse, not knowing the proper way to break a fall.

Contracts?  It’s normal for gyms and martial arts schools to have contracts.  If they offer a month to month plan, it’s generally a good idea to go with that so you don’t get stuck in something you need to get out of.  At Grappling Mastery, we only have a month to month, no contract option.  That’s because we know you will love it and stay.  We don’t need to keep anyone bound to us by paper, just great classes!

Friendliness & Trustworthy? BJJ is addictive.  You will experience improvements in your confidence, fitness, stress levels and so much more.  You will want to spend more and more time at the academy.  You will end up developing relationships with your teammates and meet new people all the time.  For this reason, it will be important that the people you meet at the academy are sincere and genuine in their intentions.  Someone seeming like a nice person is not enough.  BJJ is a martial art that deals with very dangerous positions and if you are “rolling”, or sparring with someone they have the opportunity to severely hurt you.  You need to have 100% trust in your partners at the academy.  I’ve heard numerous horror stories about people rolling with someone and was injured by them, later realizing that the person was sent by the instructor to “teach them a lesson”.

Beware of Toxic Environments and Cultlike Atmospheres!  It’s an unfortunate fact that owning a martial arts business gives manipulative people a powerful position to find victims.  I’ve heard countless stories of instructors doing inappropriate things to younger students.  Instructors sending their “disciples” to hurt students that made them unhappy.  Coercing students to pay for things the instructor should be paying for, lending money to them, or even promising quicker promotions in rank/belt by doing favors for the instructor.  There are certain codes or conduct, or rules of etiquette in any martial art but schools with a cult-like, or manipulative mentality take this many steps too far.  Forcing you to feel outcast, or “not part of the team” if you choose not to follow along. Rules that seem simple and harmless can lead a manipulative instructors “subjects” into a downward spiral of feeling under their thumb, and helpless, and likens itself to an abusive, toxic relationship.  The student even fears leaving the school for the chance they may see their old instructor around town.

Environment. How do the students treat each other? Are there cliques? Or does everyone get along.  Do they respect the instructor and each other. How do they treat new people.  How do experienced students treat the inexperienced ones?  Do they dominate them, or do they try to help them get better?

Cleanliness!  This is a contact sport. The mats should be extremely clean!  No shoes allowed on the mats, no food, no drink.  Members should have clean uniforms (Gi) and should never stink.  There are many skin conditions that can be shared between people in close contact.  I’m proud to say that I’ve been told many times by visitors and sponsors of athletes at Grappling Mastery that we have the cleanest gym anyone has seen.  We keep a foot cleaning station at the door before people get on the mats and one by the bathroom for people on the way out.

Read Reviews.  Most schools have Reviews on Yelp, Google Plus, Facebook, and other sites.  Do your research and look for well thought out reviews.

Visit 3-5 schools and don’t accept any hard sales pitches.  They should be confident enough to let you explore your options and think about whether you want to join or not.  Like stated above, you may want to visit some that are not in your area just to get a good image of what there is out there or even see what they know about the one you plan on joining.

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.

CLASS SCHEDULE

“Brian Ruscio was one of my instructors for 3 years, and I can tell you he’s a great one! He is extremely friendly and never too busy to help. Genuinely cares about his students, and will spend however much time

Kevin Martincowski, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt Kevin Martincowski reviews Professor Brian Ruscio of Grappling Mastery

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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.

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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!

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6th Degree BJJ Black Belt, Marcio Simas Seminar

6th Degree BJJ Black Belt, Marcio Simas
Master Marcio Simas
Master Marcio Simas

Marcio Simas, 6th Degree Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu Black Belt and President of the Florida Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will be conducting a seminar at Grappling Mastery BJJ Academy on January 9th at 11am. The seminar is open to everyone at will only cost $50 for adults and $40 for kids.

RSVP HERE

With over 30 years of training with the Gracie family, Marcio Simas is considered by many to be one of the top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors in the Southeastern United States. He is one of the only jiu-jitsu teachers in Florida who studied under the legendary Rolls Gracie (who is regarded as the best jiu-jitsu fighter in the history of the Gracie family). Marcio received both his blue belt and his purple belt at Rolls’ Copacabana academy in Rio de Janeiro. After Rolls’ death at the age of 32, Marcio became a student of Rickson Gracie at the famous Gracie Humaitá academy where he earned his brown belt.

 

Carlos Gracie Jr., Marcio Simas
Marcio Simas, Carlos Gracie Jr.

When his family moved to the outer suburb of Rio de Janeiro, known as Barra de Tijuca, Marcio was able to reunite with his old friend Carlos Gracie Jr. When Rolls died Carlos Gracie Jr. was unanimously voted by the students to take over the teaching. Soon after, Carlos moved the academy to Barra da Tijuca where he founded the Gracie Barra Academy. Marcio was awarded his black belt by Carlos Gracie Jr. As a Gracie Barra Black Belt, Marcio is in an elite group of fighters that includes Renzo Gracie, Ralph Gracie, Crolin Gracie, Rillion Gracie, Rigan Machado, Jean Jacques Machado, Marcio Feitosa and numerous world champions.

Marcio Simas and Gustavo "Gutty" Muggiati with Marcio Feitosa
Marcio Simas and Gustavo “Gutty” Muggiati with Marcio Feitosa

Marcio has been doing Jiu-Jitsu for over 39 years and has four schools. He is also President of the Federation in Florida of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He introduced Jiu-Jitsu here in Florida; also expanded Jiu-Jitsu here in the state of Florida because by bringing the Pan-American Championships to Florida for four straight years. He started training Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Brazil and brought it to Florida in 1994 when he opened his first school. Since then its expanded a lot. The fact that Royce Gracie fought in the UFC helped a lot to promote Jiu-jitsu and nowadays it’s grown so much that in every corner of this planet that you go you can find Jiu-Jitsu.

Multiple World Mundial Champion, Gustavo "Gutty" Muggiati, Professor Brian Ruscio, Pro Wrestler Tim "Patterson" Dodson, Professor Marcio Simas, and Professor Rodrigo Lango
Multiple World Mundial Champion, Gustavo “Gutty” Muggiati, Professor Brian Ruscio, Pro Wrestler Tim “Patterson” Dodson, Professor Marcio Simas, and Professor Rodrigo Lango

“It was hard to explain to people that didn’t know what Jiu-Jitsu was about. They all were asking questions like do you do katas? Do you have forms? And we didn’t really have anything like that. Also, to explain and to show how effective Jiu-Jitsu was. Another aspect was that everybody saw Jiu-Jitsu for the first time thru the UFC, so a lot of people were scared to even watch the class, thinking we were going to beat them up and it wasn’t like this. Also the way we train, because when I came here with my first school, I came with a Brazilian mentality and I came from a fighting school we didn’t have hobbyist at that time. Pretty much everyone that was in the school was to fight and our training was towards the competition fighting all the time. Later on we understood, we had other people interested in a form of Jiu-Jitsu but the class was not directed towards those kind of people. But nowadays we did it and we can accommodate everybody. Because in reality Jiu-Jitsu is a self defense and you can drive Jiu-Jitsu to a competition, you can use for MMA and you can use to lose weight for instance.

Marcio and has trained many MMA Champions in the past two decades he has been teaching in Central Florida
Marcio and has trained many MMA Champions in the past two decades he has been teaching in Central Florida

The athletes nowadays, because of the information, because of the internet, because of YouTube, people know more and have access to more information. The athletes that practice Jiu-Jitsu today, they are much better because they can get the information much quicker, they know better how to train themselves, less injuries, they can take of the injuries. Also, nutrition is a factor; people understand nowadays, they eat better than in my time when I was fighting. So definitely the level of the fighters if you compare with my generation it’s much better.  In terms of techniques, the base of Jiu-Jitsu did not change, of course you have different techniques nowadays, sweeps for instance is something that is a little bit different from my time, more sweeps nowadays. But the base of Jiu-Jitsu did not change at all. One guy that is still there to prove that is Roger Gracie that wins his competitions with no fancy movements. A lot of people are eager to learn the black belt moves. In reality, the difference is in the black belts, the moves that they sometimes emphasize, is that the guy has more experience than a blue belt. He’s been practicing longer and has perfected within himself.”

(excerpts from an interview by Vireo Puro)

Read More about Grappling Mastery’s Gracie Barra Lineage

2 Year Anniversary Celebration!

Grappling Mastery 2 Year Anniversary Celebration
Cake Cutting at Grappling Mastery 2nd Year Anniversary 2015 Celebration
Cake Cutting at Grappling Mastery 2nd Year Anniversary 2015 Celebration

We are happy to announce that Grappling Mastery introduced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Lake County Florida just over 2 years ago.  We’ve now been teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Tavares, Florida and the Lake County area for at least two years now and are growing tremendously in size and skill!  After helping run a Gracie Barra in Orlando for 7 years, Brian Ruscio moved to Leesburg and started teaching private lessons in his garage for free!  As word spread he was given the opportunity to teach his passion in an actual dojo.  Now, two years later, Grappling Mastery has it’s own location, Professor Ruscio has earned his first degree and we’re bursting at the seams!  Things are definitely looking up for our team this year and more big things are on the horizon.

We welcome everyone to join us in celebrating this milestone!

We plan to be celebrating at Grappling Mastery on December 12, at 10 am.  Invite your Family and Friends, all are welcome.  We will be doing a team picture at 11am so bring your GIs!  The gym will also be open so you roll and we will also have a bounce house and cake for the kids!

You can RSVP Here

Afterwards, you can Watch UFC 194 Aldo vs. McGregor with the Grappling Mastery team!

 

Techniques: Wrestling for MMA and BJJ – Turtle Guard Reversals and Escapes

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

Turtle Guard is generally thought of as a defensive position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA, however when practiced it can prove difficult to submit a turtling opponent that knows all of his/her options.  Turtling opponents can escape, sweep, and even submit careless opponents.  Turtle Guard can be used an alternative to shrimping and replacing guard.  Turtle Guard is very similar to “Referee’s Position” in Folkstyle Wrestling, so many wrestlers develop a strong turtle guard when transitioning to BJJ.  It also allows the wrestler to defend without laying on your back.  The following instructional videos provide several options from turtle guard that will be familiar an useful for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioners or Wrestlers.

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Professor Brian Ruscio earns his First Degree Promotion on his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

IBJJF/USBJJF First Degree Black Belt Card of Professor Brian Ruscio
IBJJF/USBJJF First Degree Black Belt Card of Professor Brian Ruscio
IBJJF/USBJJF First Degree Black Belt Card of Professor Brian Ruscio

Professor Brian Ruscio recently met all requirements and earned his First Degree and Stripe on his BJJ Black Belt.  On average it takes 10 years to earn a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  For some it takes much longer, and others it takes less.  Brian Ruscio earned his Black Belt 7 years after starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  He credits his mat awareness, balance, base, and understanding of fundamental positions he learned from USA Wrestling since an early age for his quick understanding and improvement in the sport of BJJ.  It helped him understand what to look for when his instructors were demonstrating the techniques.  It didn’t take him long to recognize that a fight didn’t end when someone was on their back, and unlike wrestling, the match keeps going.  He fell in love with the sport and the ability to be even more creative with his techniques and strategy.  BJJ goes beyond Wrestling in that aspect and quickly became a passion for him.

Professor Brian Ruscio earned his Black Belt in September of 2012 at Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu, from Marcio Simas.  He was even awarded special recognition from Marcio Simas.  Professor Brian Ruscio is an International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) and United States Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (USBJJF) recognized Black Belt.

According to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Guidelines, once a person achieves the rank of Black Belt they must do the following to earn their first degree:

  • Athlete must have a Black Belt awarded by a 2nd degree Black Belt certified by the IBJJF
  • Contribute to the Art/Sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for at least 3 years after Graduation, examples are competing, teaching, and refereeing.
  • Maintain CPR Certification
  • Maintain Affiliation with the IBJJF
  • Keep up to date on the rules set forth by the Federation by attending the most recent Rules Seminar.
  • Must pass a Background Check

What’s Next?

Professor Ruscio now has his sights set on his second degree.  To him this will be the most important because at 2nd degree Black Belt he will have the ability to promote his students to Black Belt.  As a student of Professor Ruscio at Grappling Mastery students will have their BJJ Belt recognized by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation!  Abiding by the Federation Guidelines is an important part of maintaining the integrity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a martial art and representing your academy as a legitimate place to train.  It also allows students to compete at some of the most prestigious BJJ tournaments.

The following are the Ranks of Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:

  • Black Belt (read how to get your Black Belt in BJJ)
  • First Degree Black Belt (3 years as Black Belt and req. above)
  • Second Degree Black Belt (3 years as First Degree)
  • Third Degree Black Belt (3 years as Second Degree)
  • Fourth Degree Black Belt (5 years as Third Degree)
  • Fifth Degree Black Belt (5 years as Fourth Degree)
  • Sixth Degree Black Belt (5 years as Fifth Degree)
  • Seventh Degree Red & Black Coral Belt (MASTER) (7 years as Sixth Degree)
  • Eighth Degree Red & White Coral Belt (MASTER) (7 years as Red & Black Coral)
  • Ninth Degree Red Belt (GRAND MASTER) (10 years as Red & White Coral)
  • Tenth Degree Red Belt (This Belt was reserved for the Founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Carlos Gracie Sr., Gastão Gracie, George Gracie, Oswaldo Gracie, and Hélio Gracie)

Is your Instructor a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt according to the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation?

 

Local 13 Year Old Boy makes Front page of Orlando-Lake County Sentinel Today for his skills in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

13 year old local boy, Kai Staton, featured on the Front Page of Orlando-Lake County Sentinel for his skill in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Grappling Mastery’s own, Kai “The Hammer” Staton made Front Page of the Orlando Sentinels Lake County Division for his recent Florida BJJ Federation State Championship win.  13 year old Kai has been at Grappling Mastery for almost 2 years now and has taken to the sport very quickly.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport in which there is no striking.  It is know as a Grappling Martial Art, which can be used for self defense as well.  The sentinel highlighted his achievements.  You can find the article here.

 

13 year old local boy, Kai Staton, featured on the Front Page of Orlando-Lake County Sentinel for his skill in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
13 year old local boy, Kai Staton, featured on the Front Page of Orlando-Lake County Sentinel for his skill in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

MOUNT DORA — Kai “The Hammer” Staton has taken a step toward a future in the Ultimate Fighting Championship events with a win in the jiu-jitsu state championship recently.

The 13-year-old won the 2015 Light Featherweight Florida Federation Brazilian jiu-jitsu event held in Pompano Beach Aug. 8. He had two matches that lasted four minutes each.

“I was pretty excited,” he said of placing first in his age group and weighted class of 90 pounds. “I’m just glad it’s over.”

“He gets nervous,” piped up Brian Ruscio, his instructor.

“Lots of stress,” chimed in Michael Staton, Kai’s father.

Kai has been going to classes three times weekly for the past two years at Grappling Mastery in Mount Dora.

Ruscio said, “He’s very good — one of the smaller kids for his age. He’s amazing. He learns very fast — very creative. He understands the goal and gets there creatively.”

Kai recently earned his green belt, which is the school’s second rank. He demonstrated 74 moves, including chokes and take-downs during testing.

“I like to learn, just learn new things. I find it pretty interesting,” Kai said.

The Eustis Middle School eighth-grader also enjoys competing. He starting boxing several times a week at the age of 6 and began competing every three months by 10. That’s when he got his nickname “The Hammer,” a powerful jab known to wear down an opponent. The last time he competed in the ring was in 2012.

When he quit boxing, Kai said, he wanted to do some “ground techniques” or grappling. Grappling in martial arts is any fighting style that uses techniques relying on grasping and controlling the opponent using body leverage as a way of achieving supremacy.

Half of the garage at the Staton home is a boxing ring, so Kai puts in plenty of hours of practice at home. He also practices kickboxing and plays in the Mount Dora Babe Ruth League. It’s not all about physical training, though. He enjoys playing video games such as Call of Duty.

“I plan on trying out for soccer and baseball next year,” he said.

And when he turns 16, Kai will have the opportunity to test for his blue belt, the third rank in the school.

“My plan is the UFC,” he said of the company that promotes events for some of the best jiu-jitsu competitors in the world.

For more information Contact Grappling Mastery at (352)702-5689 about how you or your child can learn more about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and even try 30 days free!

Indian Deathlock Submission from Reverse Half Guard

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

The Indian Deathlock is a Catch Wrestling Submission that can be set up from man positions.  Here, Professor Brian Ruscio demonstrates a setup for this painful submission from a Reverse Half Guard position gained from passing the De La Riva Guard.  Also in this video is a way to switch from Reverse Half Guard to the Mount Position.