Jon Friedland's Jiu Jitsu Thoughts

Jon Friedland here, finally putting some of my thoughts to type. I’ve been training the better part of 20 years, receiving my black belt in 2007. I’m a 10-year dojo owner and head instructor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Started training Jiujitsu casually in early 1995, formally in 1997. Teaching BJJ since 2000, i received my black belt in 2007, opened my academy, Neutral Ground, in 2005, am the head instructor, and am currently a 2nd degree black belt under Master Pedro Sauer.

Don’t roll to “last”

A challenge: don’t roll to last. Give yourself permission to push it, to “fail” early, out of breath. Attempt to push the pace past your comfort level, repeatedly, instead of resting to make sure you don’t. Embrace and look forward to the feeling of desperation in...

Childhood Lessons Towards the BJJ Black Belt

As children, we learn to play. Through play we learn to trust, share, communicate and show empathy. We allow ourselves to get exhausted, forgetting sometimes to eat or sleep. A cartwheel for no reason is encouraged. As adults, new skills are added. We now have the...

The river or the rock.

A basic armbar: You have your partner ALMOST there, one leg over his chest, the other sorta over his face. You’re grabbing his arm (most likely with your hands buried in his elbow pit) and ripping rearward with everything you got, this fool better learn not to reach...

Break your path, Wear your Path

You are shown the technique and practice it. You are corrected in your technique, usually several times, and adjust accordingly. You are praised for “getting it” and are now searching for the next. This is the usual routine for most students learning a new technique....

When the hand is raised

 In defeat: If the opponent’s hand is raised. Blame no one, for there needn’t be blame. You put in your effort during and up to this point, the rest is out of your hands. Be thankful for the opportunity, and respectful of your opponent’s hard effort before and during...

Jiujitsu is without pain.

Jiujitsu is painless, technical, and flowing. That is a beauty of Jiujitsu. It can be done by all walks of life, with anybody, regardless of stature, and without pain. A jiujitsu technician can go from training with a power lifter to a child, small-framed lady,  and...

When that move “doesn’t work on him”

We’ve all overheard this one. Two grapplers will be either finishing their rolling or momentarily pause during it, with one of them explaining “that move never works on you”. There are 2 likely reasons for this: 1) The most likely is that your technique was just...

Your Jiujitsu Alphabet

One of the first things you learn in school is the alphabet. If asked what letter comes after “p” you’d most likely say in your head “l-m-n-o-p…Q” It’s so ingrained in us that for the rest of our lives we run that shitty song over in our heads countless times, for...

“Filling” the Jar

There’s the famous old story, about a professor’s analogy for time management, demonstrating it with rocks, pebbles, sand, and water put into a single jar, the jar being your total time spent on earth. Each of the rocks, pebbles, sand and water components representing...

Effective Defense vs. Total Defense

defend everything - everything the training partner does is “bad” for you, so everything is wholeheartedly defended. this is the new student, terrified of everything, attempting to slap, yank, punch every grip or knee slide brought to him. Success for them comes as...

Rock Out, Rock On.

When you’re stuck, most commonly while on the bottom, techniques you’ve been taught can seem to just freeze, keeping you locked into an inferior position. Every time you attempt to move, the top player likely smashes downward, killing all momentum in an instant. You...

The 300 Spartans Were Losers

In training and in competition, there are the things you can control and the things you cannot. You can control most of your training, arranging your schedule and finances, diet, pre-class or tourney checklist, the breaks you take in class and the questions you ask....

Kamikazes are Terrifying but They Never Won a War

Be wary of the desperate kamikaze, they are, after all, completely with disregard and reckless abandon. With the real life kamikazes, their opponents were at first completely taken aback at even the thought of a completely suicidal, 100% all-in attack. They were,...

Mission Statement

Like i said in my bio, I’ve been teaching full on Brazilian Jiu jitsu classes for the better part of 20 years. You’d think i’d just have ideas flow off the tongue like others i’ve met but still, i’ve had some of my best teaching “ahah” moments not during formal...

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