The MMAU Blog

BJJ for the Non-competitor

Here’s a great article from Atos HQ.

The majority of Jiu Jitsu practitioners are non-competitors, and that’s totally okay.   Of course there are many benefits to competing, but it’s not at all a requirement.  Many people who train BJJ are not doing it full time as a career, they are doing it more as a hobby.  They work all day in their personal career, and then train in their free time for fun.  Everyone is just aspiring to be the best they can be, and have fun doing it.  Anyone who does Jiu Jitsu, even non-competitors, can make it their lifestyle and watch it positively affect every aspect of their daily life.


Be on the mat consistently

This might be the most important thing to remember.  Consistency is the key to steady improvement.  Come to training as much as you can, learn something new every class, fix at least one hole in your game, and roll as much as you can to put what you learned into practice.

Apply things you learn in BJJ to your daily life

There are many ways that BJJ can positively seep into all different aspects of your life, but here are just a few.  Jiu Jitsu will teach you how to stay calm in a stressful situation, and give you the tools to defend yourself if you get into an altercation.  It will give you a confidence that will be apparent to everyone around you, while also being the perfect stress reliever.  We all know life can get really stressful, but training BJJ can make dealing with the daily stresses of life much easier.  It’s a time you can get away from things that are weighing you down, and have time dedicated to yourself.  Being able to get away from stress, and let yourself just train can really help bring everything into perspective, and give you a sense of clarity.

Healthy diet

Training Jiu Jitsu also encourages healthy eating habits.  BJJ is taxing on your body so if you are not refueling properly you will feel heavy, slow, and sore in training.  In order to improve more quickly you want to perform your best in training, which can provide extra motivation to eat right.  Of course everyone eats junk food every once in a while, but it must be in moderation.  Jiu Jitsu can absolutely be a long term hobby, you just have to take care of your body.


The only time your body recovers is while you sleep, so if you are training BJJ quality sleep is an absolute must.  There are many benefits to getting a full nights sleep that also effect the quality of your daily life.  Bottom line is if you want a productive day, and a successful training session you must get a good nights sleep.  BJJ will encourage you to do this consistently, and your body will thank you.


0 Read More

Tips for How to Prepare for your 1st BJJ Competition

Great article from Atos HQ, check it out!

No matter what your goals are for your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition is a fantastic learning tool, and it will help you improve your BJJ faster.  Most people who train aren’t trying to pursue BJJ as a professional career, but we all want to reach our full potential and do well in training.  Competition is the perfect way to jump out of your comfort zone, and really test your skills.  Win or lose you will learn a lot about your Jiu Jitsu, and what you need to work on.  It will paint a clear picture of what holes need to be plugged in your game, and give you motivation to get back to training to fix your weak areas.  Preparing for the tournament will also help give purpose and drive to your training, so you can get the most out of every session.

Game plan:

Allow yourself 6-8 weeks of preparation in order to clean up your diet, get consistent hard training, and practice your game plan.  Ask your Prof./Coach and your teammates with competition experience how they like to physically, and mentally prepare for a tournament.  You must have a game plan that will enable you to achieve your goal.  For example, if you like to pull guard you must have sweeps you want to go for, followed by passing options for when you get on top, and then finishes you like to go for after you pass.  Be prepared for their common reactions, and create counters for these so you won’t be thrown off.


You don’t want to get to the tournament only to realize your game is on point, but you can’t execute it because your cardio is bad.  This is one reason it’s so important to have 6-8 weeks of preparation and hard training before the competition.  If you have this you know your cardio won’t be a problem, and you won’t have the fear of gassing out in competition.  This being said, you won’t get this cardio unless you train hard and push yourself to the limit.  In competition you will get pushed to your limit, so be comfortable with this and know you can push through the exhaustion and fight your hardest without giving up.


When you get to the tournament remind yourself to breath and relax.  Don’t let the nerves get the best of you and remind yourself that you have prepared for this moment.  Push all the negative thoughts and doubts out of your head, and replace them with positive thoughts and encouragement.  It’s your first competition, don’t put needless pressure on yourself.  You’ve done all the preparation now it’s time to let your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu flow and have fun showing off.


Once you’re calm and your nerves are under control think about your opening move.  Go through the match, and visualize yourself hitting a sweep you’ve practiced, passing their guard, and then submitting.  Never picture yourself loosing, instead fill your mind with positive images.  Even in training picture yourself at the tournament, imagine all the noises of the crowd, and pretend you’re looking your competition face-to-face.  Bring that intensity to your rolls in training, so that you won’t be thrown off guard by your opponent’s aggression thus giving them the upper hand.


Make sure you warm up properly before you compete.  It will help prevent injury, and prepare you to fight.  Try to do a warm up that you’ve been doing in training so that you can mimic what you’ve been practicing.  It will help calm your nerves and get the blood pumping.  The first roll in training tends to be a warm up round, and then the following rolls you’re more ready to go hard.  You don’t want your first match to feel like that warm up round, so make sure you warm up fully, so that your body is prepared for the intensity of the fight.


Chances are this won’t be your last tournament, so if things don’t go your way don’t beat yourself up, instead learn from your mistakes and get back to training to fix them.  Beating yourself up for losing is not going to benefit you in any way.  What will help you is watching your matches, and having your Coach/Prof. watch them so they can point out your mistakes.  Even if you win it’s still a good idea to have them watch the footage, and get advise.  Once you have addressed what it is you need to fix you have just leveled up your Jiu Jitsu, and you’re another step closer to plugging all the holes in your game.

0 Read More

Tips for Optimizing Your BJJ Training Time

Great article from Atos HQ on how to optimize your training.  Check it out!


Set Goals for your Training Each Week:

If you set specific goals each week it gives focus to your training so that you can maximize each session.  It will also give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the week which can be very encouraging.  Setting goals each week also includes more specific goals for each individual class period.  For example, if you are working on a specific guard and sweep from that guard maybe your weekly goal would be to just work on that guard during training, and a more specific goal would be trying to successfully hit that sweep at least 15 times during class sparring.  Obviously this can be applied to any technique you may be working on, and if you are a beginner it could be as simple as just working on guard control and retention.

Ask Questions and Constantly Problem Solve:

If you are having trouble with certain positions in training or someone is passing you the same way every roll, you need to start asking questions so you can fix this problem area in your game.  The faster you can find these weak areas and fix them, the faster you will progress.  It is important to stay present during every roll so that you can see what is working, what is not working, and where you need to improve.  If you don’t have an answer for something, get one as soon as you can, so you can fill that hole in your game.

Use the Buddy System to Keep You Accountable and Consistent:

Some days you may not be as motivated to train.  This is where the buddy system comes into play.  If you have someone there to encourage you, and keep you accountable it can make all the difference with your consistency.  Most of the time once you get to training you’re glad you did, but sometimes you need a little extra push of encouragement to get there.  In order for everyone to improve and get good training they need training partners, so for your sake and your teammates, keep coming to class.

Stay Focused and Present During Class:

There’s a difference between just showing up to class, and being mentally present during class.  Life can get busy and sometimes you won’t be able to train, so when you can you need to really take advantage of it.  When you are drilling the technique covered in class really try to get repetitions on it instead of just socializing with your training partner.  Know what you want to work on during rolling before you get to class so that you can be focused in every round.  Try not to sit out any rounds, if you can, so that you can get as much live practice as possible.  If you have a little time after class, even if it’s just 30 minutes, get some drilling in before you head home.  Those 30 minute drilling sessions will add up quick if you stay consistent with them.

0 Read More

The Hidden Benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

A great article from Atos HQ on the hidden benefits of BJJ.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is more then just a sport or another type of martial art, it can change your life.  Many times you hear people talk about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a lifestyle, but what does that really mean?  It means that the benefits of BJJ go beyond things you can see, such as health and weight loss, it reaches into your daily life off the mat as well.  It teaches things like hard work, confidence, and how to stay calm in a stressful situation.  For many people it becomes a hobby they can pour into, bringing balance and happiness to their lives.

Physical Benefits:

A lot of people get into BJJ in order to improve their fitness.  One of the first things you notice about training is what it’s doing to you physically.  It’s different for everyone, but the common things people notice are weight loss, increased flexibility, strength, and better cardio.  Whatever it may be for you, there’s no doubt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can change your body.  What you may not notice initially is the overall improvement of health.  BJJ also teaches you how to use your entire body to accomplish movements.  Many people are stuck sitting for a large part of the day, forced to develop strange movement patterns and pick up bad habits.  Once you begin training you will develop better mobility, body awareness, and strength.

Mental Benefits:

Along with all the physical benefits of BJJ there are also many mental benefits that often get overlooked.  When you are learning a new technique it takes just as much mental energy as physical to learn the technique, and apply it.  Many people will study BJJ videos and techniques just like you would in school to learn them.  There are endless techniques to learn, and every time you train you add to your game to fill holes, and improve your strategy during rolls.  Often times BJJ is compared to chess, because there is so much hidden strategy, and you always have to be at least one move ahead of your opponent.  For kids especially it will teach them how to focus, and problem solve.  BJJ is by no means an easy sport, but because of this it is also extremely rewarding.  It’s not easy to learn a new technique, try it out, then get smashed, but it is all worth it when you finally hit that technique in a live roll.  This resiliency will become instilled in you, and will spill out into many aspects of your life.  Life is stressful, but BJJ provides the perfect stress relief by giving you something else to focus on, and a way to let out your frustration by rolling some tough rounds, and getting your mind off things.  Sometimes the mental benefits that can’t be seen are the things having the most impact on your life.

0 Read More

Why Private Lessons are Beneficial

A great article from Atos HQ on the benefits of doing privates

Most all instructors and upper belts at any academy are willing to give private lessons.  When you are trying to get better at a subject in school sometimes it’s difficult to get the attention you need in a class full of students.   This is where a tutor would be beneficial.  It’s the same case for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  It’s just a matter of how much you prioritize your training, and how much money you want to invest. If you are thinking about giving private lessons a try, here are some quick and helpful facts to consider.

Individual attention from your instructor:

You have your instructor all to yourself, so if you are having trouble with anything in sparring or have any other questions it’s easy to get answers. Even if you just need advice on your game or tips on what to work on, privates are the perfect time to get that game changing technique you may not of even known you needed.

Customizable help:

Your instructor/coach can give you valuable feedback about your BJJ including bringing to light your good and bad habits. This will help you improve much faster, and give you a better idea what you need to work on. They can go over techniques that will work for your game specifically that you can add in immediately.

Flexible scheduling:

Sometimes work may get busy and classes could be hard to attend with a busy schedule, but with privates you have way more flexibility. It’s easy to find a time that will work with your schedule to take a quick one hour private, so you can continue to progress.

Quicker road towards achieving your goals:

Private lessons can put you one step ahead of your competition, and give you that edge you need. When you are learning BJJ you need to have an answer for every situation, and taking a private with an instructor can help you find those answers more quickly.

Roll with your Professor/Coach:

Private lessons are also a chance for you to roll with your instructor, which can teach you a lot. They can analyze your game better by feeling you roll, and point out holes in your game. In a large class setting it may be hard to get this opportunity, so take advantage of private lessons.


0 Read More

Prof. Andre Galvao 5x ADCC Champion!

Congrats to all our competitors who fought in Finland at the ADCC World Championship!

A special congratulations to Professor Andre Galvao on his 3rd consecutive super fight win.  He is the first in history to ever make this huge accomplishment.  He will return in 2019 to defend his title once again against Felipe Pena.  We would also like to acknowledged JT Torres’ impressive victory in the -77kg division.  He is the first American ever to become the ADCC -77kg Champion.  We are so proud of you all!

Kaynan Duarte: At the age of 19 he made his debut at the ADCC Championships as one of the youngest competitors.  He fought his way to ADCC by winning the trials in Rio de Janeiro.  He had a fantastic performance winning his first match via guillotine.

Biggest First Round Upsets From ADCC 2017

Photo: Hywel Teague

Pablo Mantovani: He is one of our newest black belts here at Atos HQ.  After winning his division at the ADCC Brazilian Trials he cemented his spot in the ADCC Championship this year. He put on quite an impressive performance making it all the way to the semi finals against Paulo Miyao after a bloody battle against AJ Agazarm.

Michael Perez:  He is an ADCC veteran making his first appearance in 2015 after winning the North American Trials as a purple belt.  He won his first match by points and then had an intense match against Yuri in the semifinals losing by ref decision, and then went on to face Buchecha in the absolute.  He already has his eyes on ADCC 2019.

Keenan Cornelius:  He’s been on a tear this year since returning from a knee injury.  In 2013 he made his first ADCC appearance shortly after receiving his brown belt by winning the North American Trials -88kg weight division and absolute.  He went on to place double bronze that year and in 2015 he won silver.  He blew through the competition this year making it all the way to the finals in the -88kg division and placed second.

0 Read More

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Hygiene Tips

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai are very much a contact sports, which means it is extremely important for everyone to take responsibility for their own hygiene.  It is also the academies job to insure that the mats are kept squeaky clean.  Here at MMAU we make it a top priority to keep the mats clean at all times, but this must be paired with every member practicing good hygiene both on and off the mats.  It will not only prevent the spread of disease, but it also makes training more pleasant for everyone.  No one likes rolling with the stinky gi guy.  It’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of their own hygiene to keep everyone at the gym happy and healthy.

Here are a few tips for keeping good hygiene:

  1. Make sure fingernails and toenails are clipped short before each training session.
  2. Put on deodorant before training.
  3. Brush your teeth before training to prevent offensive bad breath.
  4. Shower as soon as possible after training to reduce the risk of skin infections.
  5. Wash your gi and belt right after training, don’t let it sit in its stench. Do NOT just air dry your gi after training without washing it.
  6. Do not train with open cuts or scratches unless they are properly covered.
  7. Do not train if you are sick even with just common illnesses such as the cold or flu.
  8. Any skin issues need to be addressed immediately. Often, issues like staph infections and MRSA start out looking and feeling like a bug bite, or ingrown hair. If you notice anything suspicious on your skin, please consult a physician and do not train until it is all cleared up.
  9. Wear compression shorts and rash guard under your gi.
  10. Be sure to wear shoes when you are not on the mat.
  11. Be sure to collect all clothing and training gear from the locker room and put it in a plastic bag after each training session, leaving these articles causes foul odors and the spread of germs.

0 Read More