My book, “The Jiu Jitsu Answer Man, Volume One” (Printed Version) is now available for sale. Click on the orange link to order:
This updated version is packed full of 293 pages of good information!
Table of Contents
• What Should A White Belt Focus On In Training?
• I’m Stuck In A Rut. What Do I Do?
• What Are Some Good Exercises For Jiu Jitsu?
• Important Training Methods You’ve Learned?
• How Do You See The Progression In Jiu Jitsu?
• What Are Your Favorite Submissions, And Why?
• When You Studied All Of The Different Styles…?
• What Are Some Key Points To Your Training…?
• What Is Your Favorite Position In Jiu Jitsu, And Why?
• 5 Most Important Things An Instructor Can….
• Attending Sparring Sessions Where Wrist locks Aren’t..
• What Makes a Good Martial Arts Instructor?
• Quantify Your Grappling Experience: Part One
• An Overview of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Basics
• Legwork in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
• Quantify Your Grappling Experience, Part Two
• From White to Black Belt
• On Positioning
• Side Mount Escape Training
• The Bite Heard Around The World
• What Exactly Does The Word “Timing” Mean?
• Is There A Guard Someone Should Develop?
• Leg Positioning On The Arm Lock?
• Effectiveness, Efficiency And Playfulness: Part One
• Defining The Terms
• Intermediate Level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
• 1998 Apprentice Grappling Instructor Manual Excerpt
• Observations In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
• Control From The Front Mount Position
Over 40 / Over 50 Questions
• Being Older, How Does It Feel To Spar With…?
• What Kind Of Things Do You Teach In Your BJJ…
• What Are Some Unique Things About Your Game?
Over 40 / Over 50 Articles
• 3 Most Important Mindsets for Over 40 Practitioners
• Online Course Excerpt
• Important Mindsets For The Over 50 Practitioner
• What Are Some Things You Enjoy Teaching?
• How Long Does It Take To Become A Black Belt?
• How Long Did It Take You To Get Your Black Belt?
• Your Most Memorable Jiu Jitsu Instructors?
• Back In The Day, Who Were Your Jiu Jitsu Heroes?
• Who Have Been Your Best Training Partners And Why?
• Any Advice, Tips, Or Resources On Awareness?
• Your Experiences With The Gracies?
• Most Important Strategies…For A Street Fight?
• Things Do You Do For Enjoyment Outside Of BJJ?
• Making Your Own Grappling Mats
• Jiu Jitsu Training For Law Enforcement
• The History Of 5114 Training Areas
• Academy Advanced Open Guard Work Outline
• Harris Jiu Jitsu White Belt Curriculum
• Be Honest in Your Training
• Slammed Unconscious in Eastern Europe
• Kick, Slap and Wrist lock a Police Officer
• A Colorful History with Leg Locks
• Biting and the Military
• Someone Pulled a Knife on Me in Eastern Europe
• Jumped from Behind by Two Students
• The Gestapo / Jiu Jitsu Police
• The Ultimate Style, Part One
• Threatened from Brazil
• The Ultimate Style, Part Two
• Seminar Hosts: A Gamut of Experiences
• The Americana (The fourteen moving parts that give you leverage)
• My Apps
• Other Books
• My Websites
• My Social Media
• In-Home Private Training
• Online Training and Testing
• Seminars and Workshops
• One-on-One Consultations
• Military and Police Consultations
Question: What are the five most important things an instructor can teach a beginner in Jiu Jitsu?
My Answer: Here are the five things I believe are most important for instructors to teach and why:
#1 – Proper Mindsets
From my perspective there are three mindsets that lay a foundation for all beginner level Jiu Jitsu students:
• Safety and enjoyment for all.
• Dojo etiquette and hygiene for all
• How to become a great training partner
Safety and enjoyment for all means just that: The primary focus of a student’s mind must be on maintaining a safe and enjoyable training environment FOR ALL who train at their academy. While this sounds easy, it is not. First, there must be good and strong leadership from the instructors. Second, there must be a willingness of the students to follow this leadership. Third, there must be enforced consequences for violating this mindset. In other words, having a sign i the academy that says, “Leave your ego at the door” is not enough!
Dojo etiquette and hygiene go hand in hand. A part of the dojo rules of etiquette must involve hygiene – for many skin diseases and other health problems can occur if these things are not learned and diligently practiced by all.
Becoming a great training partner is crucial to developing growth within a community. When a handful of students begin to focus exclusively on developing ONLY their skill sets, the community has the potential to…..
#4 – Postures
I also believe it is imperative that the beginner-level students learn practice and develop the postures from all of the inferior positions.
NOTE: I teach two kinds of postures:
1. Defensive postures
2. Escaping postures
The focus of the defensive postures is to make it difficult for the opponent to seek or find a submission. They were also designed to keep the over 40 and over 50 practitioners safe from injury!
The focus of the escaping postures is to help the student escape from an inferior position. These postures are only used when an opportunity to escape has been presented.
NOTE: The previous sentence contains a most important and crucial piece of information. Read the sentence a second and third time and let the words “are only used when” sink in.
Unfortunately, many students incorrectly believe – or are incorrectly taught – that they can begin their escape at any point in time. And, with this inefficient mindset, they begin their escape when they feel they are ready – instead of waiting for…..
As someone who takes his craft seriously, I always carry this tool in my Jiu Jitsu bag.
Scented talcum powder is an important tool because it always makes a good impresssion on clients. Let me share a few comments made by clients in recent years:
• “Mr. Harris, you’re the best smelling instructor I’ve EVER rolled with!”
• “Dang, do you always smell like this?”
• “I wish other instructors smelled like you, Mr. Harris!”
For a little over ten years, I taught a women’s self-defense course at a major university in San Diego, California. Because of all of the other classes available to the students, as well as their experiences with many other instructors, the women in my classes felt compelled to nominate me as, “The Best Smelling Martial Arts Instructor” on campus – for several years in a row!
In addition to scented talcum powder, I also carry breath mints, deodorant, cologne and an extra change of clothes, underwear and socks in my bag. I do so because I fully understand what many clients want and/or need. These things are what I teach to my Jiu Jitsu, Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts Instructors as “The Unstated Needs of Your Clients: The things your clients want but will never tell you face-to-face (and are important for you to know)!”
Question: I have a question concerning the straight arm bar (from the mount). I have seen multiple instructions for the leg that goes over the head and was wondering what you teach on this. Pedro Carvahlo and Rodrigo Vaghi say place the leg straight over the head. Your tape and Rickson Gracie’s shows foot placement right next to the head of the opponent. Mike Swain and Inoue have show their feet crossed provided the opposite arm/shoulder is tucked tight in between. Could you please talk about the advantages and disadvantages of both?
My Answer: There are ten (10) leg configurations when applying the straight arm lock:
1. Both legs over body – both legs straight
2. Both legs over body – both legs straight, feet crossed
3. Both legs over body – one leg straight (over the head), one leg bent
The most common ways that are taught are numbers two, three, five and six. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the straight leg and the bent leg variation. The advantage to having a bent leg over the face is that is give you great control of the head. In other words, it gives you the ability to have horizontal control of the head.
The advantage to having a straight leg over the face is the ability to apply downward pressure on the opponent’s face. I am sure we’ve all had an opponent sit up on us while we were in the process of applying an arm lock. Well, by straightening your leg and pushing your hamstrings into the opponent’s face, you can place and keep your opponent onto his back.
The main disadvantage to having a bent leg over the face is…
Question: What kind of things do you teach in your BJJ over 40 program?
My Answer: When I first presented my BJJ over 40 program to the general public back in 2003, it was the first of its kind. It was a structured training curriculum designed specifically with the older BJJ practitioner in mind. The program tried to meet the needs of BJJ students who had the following five (5) qualities:
• They were in their late thirties to middle forties.
• They had grown tired of the “HARD” training sessions at their academies.
So, I put together a curriculum that addressed their needs. Here is a look at the first seven (7) things addressed in the program:
I. Become A Great Training Partner
IV. A Method Of Evaluation
VII. Learn, Train and Develop “The One Thing”
This program is different from other Jiu Jitsu curricula in the following ways:
• Initially, it was designed around the idea of reducing injuries.
• Technique is not the most important thing to learn and train.
• The program has an actual structure and progression to it.
Since developing and presenting this program (on an iOS app and a level one instructor course), I have received a lot of accolades through emails, text messages, Facebook Messenger and face-to-face encounters at seminars from over 40 practitioners around the globe who have used my program and seen results within the first two weeks of training it. I am ecstatic about this!
Mindset Training For The Over 50 Practitioner
In this short article, I would like to share a handful of very helpful mindsets for the over 50 Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Here is a list of what I consider to be the top five mindsets to learn, practice and develop:
I. Recognize and acknowledge who you are and where you are in life
Let’s take a look at each one.
I. Recognize and acknowledge who you are and where you are in life
This is a great place to start for the over 50 practitioner. Here’s why:
Having taught numerous Jiu Jitsu workshops for over 50 practitioners, I have observed that many of them are the cause of their own injuries. Refusing to accept the fact that their 55-year-old body is not the same as their 25-year-old body was, they spar like did 30 years ago. And then when their body gets bent or twisted in an awkward direction a little too hard or a little too fast, they blame the young gun for their injury.
The first cause of this injury was their inability – or unwillingness – to recognize and acknowledge who they are and where they are in life.
Who is this 55-year-old Jiu Jitsu practitioner? Here are their seven qualities:
• A man or a woman who has lived more than half of their life.
So, if this sounds like you, then recognize and acknowledge who you are. Let this recognition affect your decisions on the mats. Let me show you what I mean by sharing a story with you.
This photo is both memorable and monumental. Here’s why:
One of the things I have been teaching police officers for years is the idea of training functional fitness. One area of functional fitness involves stretching out the front side of their body as well as strengthening the back side of the body. Why? Consider the following:
Cops sleep in flexion, eat breakfast in flexion, drive to work in flexion, work at work in flexion, have lunch in flexion, write reports in flexion, drive home in flexion, eat dinner in flexion and watch TV in flexion. Because of this, there is very little extension in their lives. And, because there is very little extenstion in their lives, they all have lower back, lower neck and knee problems!
So, I have taught them to listen and observe instruction while laying on the mats in extension. THIS is why this photo is memorable!
The photo is monumental because this is the first group to do it without me having to remind them of it. Most groups, when I first teach them about extention, do it once and then go back to their flexion-oriented habits (by sitting on their butts). These officers surprised me by doing is throughout the entire training session!
Seminar Hosts: A Gamut of Experiences
I have been very fortunate in this life I have been given. I have been able to live a dream by teaching nearly 600 seminars in 24 countries and on four continents. For this, I am truly thankful!
What many people do not know is that teaching seminars has been a mix of highs and lows. Fortunately, most of them (85-90%) have been highs.
Allow me to share with you five memorable experiences:
Host #1: I taught a seminar in ……. where the host had me stay in his house and sleep on his living room floor, next to the TV (not in one of his two empty bedrooms).
….Here’s how things went down:
The host picked me up at the airport and drove me to his home. We had dinner and chatted for some time.
When it was nighttime, the host went over to the air conditioning / heating control panel on the wall and changed some settings. He then handed me a single bed sheet and an uncovered pillow. He pointed to the corner in the living room / den area and told me that’s where I would sleep. He said good night and walked upstairs to his bedroom.
I was shocked!
I laid down on the carpet next to the television and… tried to sleep but it was so cold I just tossed and turned for a while.
Finally, I got up and walked over to the air conditioning / heating control panel. I saw that the temperature had been turned down to 59 degrees (15 degree Celsius). I also saw that the control panel had been locked so that no one could change the settings….
After tossing and turning for another hour or so, I decided to…
Can you feel me?
Host #5: I traveled to…. (Europe) I was very excited to teach at this location because…. I arrived around 1pm in the afternoon. I got my luggage, went through customs / immigrations and then looked around the arrival area to find the seminar host. No host could be found. So, I sat down and waited.
After 30 minutes or so, I text-ed the host to make sure he was OK and was on his way. No response.
I waited another hour. No seminar host and no response from my text message.
Next, I decided to call him. No answer. So, I decide to wait another hour. Still, no response to my call or text message. And, no seminar host.
Being patient, another hour goes by and still no seminar host.
Next, I decide to get a hotel room close to the airport. Later in the evening, I made a couple more phone calls to the seminar host. Again, no response.
During the last phone call, I told the seminar host….
Did you like those excerpts? I hope you did!
In the coming weeks, I will update the Kindle version as well.
Additionally, there will be three other versions of this book for sale:
• Jiu Jitsu Answer Man, Volume One, English Kindle Version
• El Hombre de las Respuestas, Volumen Uno, Spanish Kindle Version
• Jiu Jitsu Answer Man, Volume One, English Printed Version (Personally signed by me)
These books will be available by December 18, 2017.
For right now, the long awaited printed version is finished and available for sale.
So, if this sounds like something of value to you, go ahead and order your own copy right now!
Thank you for your time,
Copyright © 2017 Roy Harris. All Rights Reserved.