FOCUS Magazine Features Kai “The Hammer” Staton

Kai "The Hammer" Staton, Florida BJJ State Champion

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!


Kai “The Hammer” wins the Florida BJJ State Championship

Kai "The Hammer" Staton wins the Florida Federation BJJ State Championship
Kai "The Hammer" Staton wins the Florida Federation BJJ State Championship
Kai “The Hammer” Staton wins the Florida Federation BJJ State Championship

Grappling Mastery is proud to announce that our very own, Kai “The Hammer” Staton has earned the title Florida Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu State Champion.  We also took home 3 silver medals from the Florida BJJ State Tournament.  This is one more title the Grappling Mastery team has achieved in less than 2 years serving Lake County, Florida since we opened in September 2013.  Kai will be competing as a featured Superfight in an upcoming BJJ Event.  You can read more about Kai “The Hammer” on our website.

Grappling Mastery wins Gold and 3 Silvers at the Florida Federation of BJJ State Championships
Grappling Mastery wins Gold and 3 Silvers at the Florida Federation of BJJ State Championships

Other achievements the Grappling Mastery Competition Team have achieved are:

Caitlin “Meathook” Kelley training with Kai “The Hammer” Staton

Kai "The Hammer" Staton and Caitlin "Meathook"

Caitlin “Meathook” Kelley is an 11 yr old Mixed Martial Artist.  She didn’t speak until she was 5 and has dyslexia but doesn’t let that stop her! She competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, MMA, and is a RMA ambassador against bullying. Caitlin has been training with Mike Sgroi in Muay Thai Kickboxing at Grappling Mastery and has found a unique training partner in Kai “The Hammer” Staton who has an impressive Boxing and Kickboxing record himself. Below are some videos of the training.

2013 IKF World Classic Jr. Novice Girls Welterweight International Rules Champion Tiger Schulmann First Degree Black Belt 2012 November Fightergirl of the month 2012 Nationally Ranked 1st State of Florida 2012 Nationally Ranked 4th South 2012 Nationally Ranked 47th Nation 2011 Nationally Ranked 1st State of Florida 2011 Nationally Ranked 2nd South 2011 Nationally Ranked 13th Nation 2011 1st place COPA Sport MMA 2011 2nd place COPA Sport MMA

Caitlin: “I have been a fighter since the day I was born. Like Ronda Rousey, one of the female fighters I want to be like one day, I was born with the cord around my neck. I did not speak until I was 5 or 6. I have dyslexia but will not allow any of it to keep me from reaching my goals!! I love to train and compete. My mom says if I’m not training I’m not happy. I work to be a great role model for other kids and other girls. I end each fight with a smile and a hug. I believe that anyone who gets out there should be proud.”

Trouble viewing?

Photo Gallery of our Grand Opening in Mount Dora!

Grappling Mastery Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA hosted a Self Defense Seminar, Ginastica Natural Class, and a Zumba Fitness Class at our Grand Opening of our New BJJ Academy in Mount Dora on US HWY 441 near Loch Leven.

Enjoy the photo gallery below!

It’s not too late! You can still enjoy Grappling Mastery BJJ & MMA Academy for 30 Days Free!  For more great pictures and videos subscribe to the Grappling Community below!

Grappling Mastery takes Kids Team Title, 3rd Place and 4th Place Overall Team at BJJ Tour in Kissimmee, Florida

The Grappling Mastery Team showcased their improvement by taking 3rd Place in the Kids Team Title at BJJ Tour and 4th in the Overall Team Title in Kissimmee, Florida this last Saturday sporting 7 Gold Medals and 3 Bronze!

Grappling Mastery takes the 3rd Place Kids Team Title and 4th Place Overall with 7 Gold Medals and 3 Bronze!
Grappling Mastery takes the 3rd Place Kids Team Title and 4th Place Overall with 7 Gold Medals and 3 Bronze!

BJJ Tour Placers were:

Kai “The Hammer” 1st Place
Aidan 1st Place
Max “The Juggernaut” 1st Place
Houston “The Hangman” 1st Place
Torrie 1st Place
Chris 1st Place
Quinntin 1st Place
Claire 3rd Place
Landon 3rd Place
Evan “The Warrior” 3rd Place

(Official Records show 5 Golds and 3 Bronze!)

For more News & Updates Subscribe to the Grappling Community below!!

Which is the Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team?

Recently the Top 10 Competitive BJJ Teams were ranked by Jiu Jitsu Times and we are not surprised by the results.  Our Lineage, Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu was ranked #1, as the top BJJ Team!  Here are the official results for the best BJJ Schools.

As found on

There are many high level teams competing in the IBJJF tournaments. Here are the Top 10 teams in the IBJJF based on their team performances in IBJJF events from January 2014 to February 2015. The rankings were determined by Top 3 team finishes at IBJJF tournaments which includes Adult Men, Adult Women, Kids, Juvenile, Novice, and Masters divisions. Placing in the Men’s and Women’s Adult Divisions was weighted heavier than the other divisions. The Grand Slam Tournaments (Worlds, Pans, European Open, and Brazilian Nationals) in Both Gi and NoGi were also weighted heavier than other regional tournaments on the IBJJF circuit. You can view the spreadsheet with the data by clicking here.

Here are the Top 10 BJJ Teams in the IBJJF.

1. Gracie Barra: Won numerous divisions at Worlds, NoGi Worlds, European Open, and Brazilian Nationals to clinch the top spot in the rankings. The team also won the overall titles including American Nationals Gi and NoGi, Floripa Open, Houston Open, Las Vegas Spring Open,  London Open Gi and NoGi, Long Beach Pro, Munich Fall and Winter Opens, Paris Open, Rome Open, and Seattle Open.

2. Alliance: Won Men’s Adult Divisions Worlds, Brazilian Nationals, and European Open. The Women’s Adult team took home first place at Worlds, Pans, and Brazilian Nationals. Also won Adult Men’s division at NoGi Pans and Adult Women’s division at NoGi Worlds.

3. CheckMat: Took first place Adult Female and Novice divisions at the European Open. Won overall titles at Copenhagen Gi and NoGi Opens, Paris NoGi Open, and Zadar Open.

4. Atos: Captured first placed Men’s Adult title at Pans and NoGi Worlds. Also took home the gold at the Pan Kids event in both 2014 and 2015. Finished second in the Men’s Adult  division at Worlds. Also captured the overall team titles at American Nationals Kids, IBJJF Kids International Open, and the San Francisco Open.

5. Nova Uniao: Won the Masters, Novice and Kid’s Divisions at Brazilian Nationals. Also took home the overall team championships at the Boston Spring Open, Las Vegas Summer Open, Masters International Open, and Rio International Open.

6. GF Team: Took home the overall team titles at the Brazilian Team Title and Rio Pro events. The Men’s and Women’s Adult teams both finished in third place at Brazilian Nationals.

7. PSLPB Cicero Costha: Women’s Adult team finished in first place at NoGi Pans and third at NoGi Worlds. The team also finished first in the Men’s Adult division at the South America Open and second at the European Open.

8. Brasa: Won first place overall at the Chicago Spring NoGi Open and the Chicago Summer Gi and NoGi Open. Finished 2nd in the Men’s Adult division at NoGi Worlds and 3rd in the Men’s Adult division at the European Open.

9. Carlson Gracie: Finished first overall in the Chicago Spring Open in the Gi and in third place in the NoGi division. At the Chicago Summer Open, the team finished second overall in both the Gi and NoGi divisions.

10. Gracie Elite Team: At Worlds, Gracie Elite finished in first place in the Novice division and second place in the Juvenile. Finished third at Pans in the Juvenile and Masters divisions.

Honorable mentions:

Ribeiro, Bruno Bastos Association, Impacto Japan, Renzo Gracie, Roger Gracie, Gracie Humaita, Icon, Brazilian Top Team, Roberto Traven, and Team Lloyd Irvin

Self Defense: Bear Hug Defenses

Here are some easy to learn defenses against a bear hug. Bear Hugs are usually employed by bigger, stronger adversaries who are trying to control you or drag you away. These are very basic techniques to defend the bear hug and can be done by anyone. As one becomes more skilled there are more advanced and potentially better options available.  These defenses can be used in combination with other techniques as well, such as eye gouging, foot stomping, kneeing, and more.  “Bear” in mind, that when it comes to self defense, it is usually under a high stress situation and your body/mind will only respond to the simplest techniques that have been drilled over and over into muscle memory.  This is called a learned or corrected response and can become instinctual response.

In the following examples the attacker trapped both of the instructors arms.  When the arms are not trapped we have even more options available such as a knee bar attack, breaking the attackers leg!

Defense vs. Rear Attack

Defense vs. Frontal Attack

To learn other options, such as an easy way to break the attackers knee and more Self Defense Techniques subscribe to our blog below or come Visit Grappling Mastery and Learn from Professor Brian Ruscio for 30 Days Free.  We offer classes for all ages, including Ladies Only and a Kids Anti-Bully Program!!

2014 NAGA Pan American Championships Gallery

Congratulations to everyone that competed!  Everybody displayed their hard work over the last few months to prepare for this tournament!

Video of Professor Brian Ruscio winning the NAGA Pan-American No Gi Expert Masters Championship.



Shin 2 Chin MMA Interviews Chris “Hollywood” Swift

Chris "Hollywood" Swift with Coach, Brian Ruscio after winning multiple divisions in BJJ and No Gi Competition

Shin 2 Chin MMA is always on the lookout for the best gyms and MMA Academies for the U.S. Military and Veterans to train at.

As a veteran owned and operated company, we believe that giving a fair and impartial assessment of the gyms and events we visit is a great way to help both the Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community grow, while providing exposure to the strengths and weaknesses to the readers. In order to do this, we only write about the events, gyms and seminars that we do ourselves. That’s right, we are in the drills and in the brackets. We want to know exactly what you are going to feel when you participate in what we are reviewing. We also, believe that all should have both strengths and weaknesses exposed. By dividing the rating into three catagories, we ensure that the reader is able to see exactly where each is excelling or lacking.

Shin 2 Chin MMA’s Interview with Chris “Hollywood” Swift