The Rise and Fall of the ‘Cirque du Folies’ – a cautionary tale (a BJJ parable)

The following is a parable…a cautionary tale told in allegory. Begin parable:

What you are about to read is the true story of the rise and fall of the “Cirque du Folies” as told by a founder of the troop of artistic acrobats. Read with caution.

YoloBJJ: I’m here with Brian “Juney” Juneau, founder of the troop of acrobats known as the Cirque du Folies. Brian…tell us how it all started. Continue reading

Strength Training for Jiu-itsu: Yea, Nea, or who cares?

A recent post on Facebook got me thinking about this one today. “Strength training to improve your BJJ”. Now, before I say anything, I will confess that at one time I was a die-hard gym rat, iron pumping, bodybuilder type. I did a LOT of weight training.

Then I started training Jiu-Jitsu. Continue reading

Jiu-Jitsu, Life, and Failure: the Progression of Success


When I was a kid, my father used to tell me…”Son, I don’t care what you do in life…just be the best there is at it”! I used to think, and I am sure he did too, that he was gifting me with the freedom and unconditional love to pursue anything I wanted out of life. And maybe that came through. In reality, however, I spent a good deal of my life afraid to try all those things that this freedom should have brought me because the idea of not being the “best there is” at it scared me to death. Continue reading

Call Nat Geo! I’ve discovered a new BJJ species!

I went into De La Riva BJJ tonight, like any other night, expecting to encounter the usual suspects such as the black belt adder and the white belt spas monkey. But tonight, I found an entirely new species of BJJ’er, and since I discovered him, I get to name him! I hereby dub thee the Great Blue Belted Bear!

Blue Belted Bear spotted in the Copacabana!

Blue Belted Bear spotted in the Copacabana!

“What”?, you say in astonishment! That’s right, an entirely new and baffling species of BJJ’er. Sit back, grab a beverage and let me tell you this astonishing tale! Continue reading

Self-Directed Training and Breaking Through Barriers

If you are an consistent reader of my blog then you know that one of my biggest challenges since arriving here in Rio has been finding a new way to learn BJJ.

You see, here in Brazil, learning BJJ is much more self-directed than where I am from. In the U.S. we often spend half an hour or more learning technique and sometimes we will do 20 minutes of drilling the same move then move into another 20 minutes of drilling a different, but related move. After all that, we might roll for about 20 minutes.

Here in Brazil…well, not so much. In a one hour class we typically do about 5 minutes of stretching, 5 minutes of technique (one technique for 5 minutes) then 50 minutes rolling. Continue reading

Why NOW is the BEST time EVER to travel and Train BJJ!

Travelling the world is a BLAST! Training Jiu-Jitsu is a BLAST! When you combine the two….Look out life! You’ve just gone YOLO!

When I first decided to travel the world and train BJJ I immediately started looking at fabulous destinations like the beaches of Mexico,  Rio De Janeiro, Thailand, the Philippines; the sites of Macchu Pichu, the Great Pyramids, The Eiffel Tower; and the JIU-JITSU of De La Riva (Rio De Janiero, BR), Roger Gracie (London, UK), Relson Gracie (Honolulu, HI) etc…. Continue reading

The Real Reason Women Aren’t Being Paid the Same as Men in “Pro” Jiu-Jitsu (epilogue)

In this, the final installment of our four part investigation into the inequity in professional BJJ, we are going to sum-up our findings and present some possible solutions to the issue at hand.

Women champs

Happy to win, but not happy with paltry prize money.

In our first installment we took a look at the hard math behind the accusations and determined that, indeed, women are being offered somewhere around 1/8th the prize purse as men in “Pro Jiu-Jitsu”. Continue reading

The Real Reason Women Aren’t being Paid the Same as Men in “PRO” Jiu-Jitsu (part 3)

In the first installment of this article we looked at the disparity of pay in the upcoming BJJ”Pro” event, held by the IBJJF. We also broke down the math (with some assumptions) and attempted to determine the mechanics behind this disparity.

Male competitors stand win up to $27,000 US at the BJJ Pro event.

Male competitors stand win up to $25,000 US at the BJJ Pro event.

Women champs

While women have the chance at a mere $2500.00 😦

Continue reading

Five tips to be welcomed in almost any gym on Earth!


The moment you walk into a new gym you are trespassing. The people that train there everyday are a family. They sweat and bleed together. You, on the other hand, are a complete stranger.

The crew at BJJ Cozumel surprised me with a B-Day cake after just two weeks of training with them!

The crew at BJJ Cozumel surprised me with a B-Day cake after just two weeks of training with them!

This isn’t to say that you are not welcome – quite the contrary – my experiences training as a visitor / traveler have been almost all positive. Most gyms will make you feel at home and the best gyms will make you feel like part of the family. This, however, is only AFTER you have shown them that you can be trusted. That you are a true student, and that you respect their mats and them for allowing you to train. Go in with the wrong attitude, or even no remarkable attitude at all and you might very well find yourself shunned off of the mat. Being a full-time traveler and Jiu-Jitero I have seen the good and the bad of it. Here I share with you my top five MUST FOLLOW rules for traveling and training. Continue reading

The REAL reason Women aren’t being paid the same as Men in “Pro” BJJ (Part 2)

In my previous article (part 1) we investigated the possible rationale behind the huge disparity between men and women in the BJJ Pro event coming up soon. In an effort to better understand the reasons behind the disparity between the pay of male and female athletes, I thought it prudent to take a look at how men and women are paid in other sports.  For parameters I decided to look at “individualized” sports (like tennis and bowling) and not team sports (like basketball or soccer) since this more closely resembles the nature of BJJ. Continue reading