BishopBjj News

Why Kion EAAs are rare and needed if you only take BCAAs

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.7.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_padding=”7px|||||”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.7.0″ _module_preset=”default” hover_enabled=”0″ sticky_enabled=”0″][et_pb_column _builder_version=”4.7.0″ _module_preset=”default” type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.7.0″ _module_preset=”default” hover_enabled=”0″ sticky_enabled=”0″]

Why Kion EAAs are rare and needed if you only take BCAAs

Most athletes have been told that they should take BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) during or after workouts to help maintain muscle and recover faster. 

In doing a little research, I came across some information about  EAA’s ( essential amino acid) and how they were a better source of these essential protein components than the BCAAs.  I decided that I wanted to try taking EAAs vs the BCAAs I had previously been taking because I really didn’t think that I noticed a notable difference in my body’s performance when taking just BCAAs. 

EAAs were a little bit harder to find, in particular, finding a supplement without artificial additives.  At the time, Kion Aminos were virtually the only quality product I could find and I am glad that I tried them. 

What are EAAs?

EAAs are often referenced as the building blocks of proteins.  Out of the 20 amino acids, 9 of them are essential and account for 50% of every protein in your body.  Aminos acids are responsible for protein synthesis, enzyme production, hormone regulation, cognitive performance, neurotransmitter balance, and metabolism.

Being the building blocks of protein, EAAs contribute to increasing muscle mass and muscle recovery.  Consuming EAAs via the food you eat or by supplementation is necessary for enhancing athletic recovery — and thereby — performance.  

The Difference Between EAAs and BCAAs

When I first heard about supplementing with EAAs, I was confused because I assumed BCAAs contained all the aminos needed for recovery and maintenance/gain of muscle mass.  What I found out was BCAAs only contain 3 of the 9 essential aminos. 

Kion Aminos contain 8 of the 9.  Leaving out only one of the EAAs because the body can easily produce it when the other 8 are present. 

The problem with taking just BCAAs

The problem with taking BCAAs is that the body cannot utilize them very well, BCAAs have a metabolic utilization rate of about 1%; which means most of the aminos in any supplement you’re taking is going to waste.  Your body needs a complete amino profile for protein synthesis.  

Why Kion EAAs?

Kion Aminos provide a complete amino profile which allows your body to use 99% of the aminos consumed.   Kion aminos are fast-acting in that they are absorbed into the body quickly ( 30 min) making them readily available to fuel any workout. 

I prefer competing — and/or training — on a virtually empty stomach, so this gets a “chefs kiss” from me.  I can take the amino acids (I like to drink them) 30 minutes before a workout and feel energized, instead of weighed down, which some supplements and food will do.  Kion aminos are virtually calorie free and have zero artificial additives or preservatives. 

In the protein supplement world, this is hard to find.  EAAs are easily utilized by the body and there is little to no waste.  We know how great that is — considering most protein supplements like whey leave you feeling gassy and bloated — since your body can’t utilize many of those amino acids.

kion EAAs

How to use amino acids as an active athlete

Kion Aminos are formulated to fuel workouts, so here’s how to get the most out of using them.

  • You should take them 30 minutes before your workout to help improve muscle retention, add to your mental focus and get through whatever strain you put your body through. 
  • You can also take EAAs 20 min prior or 1-2 hours after any dietary protein.  Not only do they help fuel workouts but they can help in getting better sleep.  Every athlete knows that quality sleep is vital to recovery and performance.
  • You can take EAAs before bed to enhance the quality of your sleep.  Taking EAAs post workouts can improve your recovery rate, studies have shown that EAAs stimulate the anabolic process more effectively than other protein supplements. 

EAAs are a great appetite suppressant as well.  I practice intermittent fasting so EAAs are great to keep away the hunger pangs.  They can also serve as a great source of clean energy that won’t spike your blood sugar.  

How to get Kion EAAs

You can find Kion Aminos here


BishopBjj News

Not Fighting With Tyler and Jena Bishop

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.22″ custom_padding=”9px|||||”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” custom_padding=”8px|||||”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.7.0″ text_font_size=”24px” text_line_height=”1.75em” header_2_font_size=”62px” header_2_line_height=”1.3em” background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” header_2_font_size_tablet=”” header_2_font_size_phone=”51px” header_2_font_size_last_edited=”on|phone”]

Not Fighting

With Tyler and Jena Bishop


Tyler and Jena Bishop are jiu jitsu black belts and stewards of and The Not Fighting Show. Jena is a BJJ world champion at black belt and ADCC veteran; one of only 5 American Females to boast these accomplishments. Tyler is a former MMA champion, FloGrappling commentator, and influential technology entrepreneur.

 Watch on YouTube


Listen on podcast platforms everywhere


Popular Places To Listen

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.7.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_margin=”-27px|auto||auto||” custom_padding=”12px|||||”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.7.0″ _module_preset=”default”][et_pb_image src=”” alt=”not fighting podcast” title_text=”listen-on-spotify-logo-4″ url=”″ _builder_version=”4.7.0″ _module_preset=”default” width=”50%” module_alignment=”center”][/et_pb_image][et_pb_image src=”” alt=”not fighting podcast” title_text=”apple-podcasts” url=”″ _builder_version=”4.7.0″ _module_preset=”default” width=”50%” module_alignment=”center”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]


Jiu Jitsu World Championships 2018 Viewing Guide

Jiu Jitsu World Championships 2018 Viewing Guide

Once again, I’ll be sharing the broadcast microphone on the final days of the Jiu Jitsu World Championships with my good friend Shawn Williams live on We will be calling the action for all of the black belts divisions; including the black belt finals.
Flo is the official broadcast partner of the IBJJF World Championships and Flo’s live stream is by far the best way to experience all the action remotely. However, with so many mats going at once, it can be overwhelming once the black belts hit the mat.
How do I make sure I don’t miss any big matches?
As a commentator, Flo often has Shawn and myself looking at the live bullpen feed and the official schedule of events in real-time deciphering what mat we should jump to on our live feed.
While you can watch all mats streaming live on Flo, the FloZone feed is the one featuring our commentary. This is the channel we use to try and highlight some of the most exciting matches of the day.
Below, I’ll give a preview of some of the due diligence I do in preparation for the World Jiu Jitsu Championships. This includes evaluating divisions, storylines, and competitors to ensure I can bring viewers the best commentary experience possible…
Here we go.
IBJJF world jiu jitsu championships 2018

The world’s best brown belts

The brown belt divisions at the IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championships are absolutely frightening. Before I go into a detailed breakdown of all the black belt divisions, let’s take a brief look at some brown belt competitors and storylines to watch.
Who should we keep our eye’s on?
There are a ton of rising stars at brown belt. Below I’ll list a quick, non-complete list of a handful of names that stuck out to me immediately and a quick sentence about each.
However, what makes brown belts exciting to watch is how many stud competitors come out of nowhere.
Just ask a top brown belt competing at the World Jiu Jitsu Championships about their bracket. You’ll likely get a response like, “it’s a tough bracket”.
This is because these brown belts know that sometimes its the guy you don’t know about that ends up being the talk of the town that year.

Tyler’s list to watch at brown belt

Kennedy Leonardo Maciel – Cobrinha’s son and a favorite for the light featherweight crown.
Cole Thomas Franson – 2018 Pan champion at featherweight earlier this year.
Marlus Salgado – Perrneial contender with a long resume filled with success.
Jeremy S. Jackson – A perennial contender and electrifying performer.
Oliver Taza – Long resume filled with a laundry list of accomplishments.
Levi Jones-Leary – A rising star who captured Pan gold earlier this year.
Rehan Muttalib – A difficult match-up for all competitors within the division.
Jonnatas Gracie – Last years purple belt absolute champion and current Atos super-prodigy.
Leonardo Teixeira Lara – An early favorite to close-out middleweight with Gracie.
Dominique L. Bell – An extremely dangerous and well-known star in the making.
Benjamin Silva IV – A feared CTA competitor with a history of gold.
Jake Watson – An exciting American star with shades of Meregali in his game.
Mauricio de Oliveira Santos Neto – A man with victories over the brown belt elite.
Kaynan Casemiro Duarte – A favorite for the brown belt absolute finals
Devhonte M. Johnson – Powerful and exciting Unity star.
Fábio Angnes Alano – Returning Pan champion at Super Heavy.
Victor Hugo – A smooth, but powerful competitor who is another absolute finals favorite.

what about the ladies?

Mayssa Caldas Pereira Bastos – This years returning Pan champion.
Thauany Xavier Corrêa – An early favorite for the featherweight division.
Gabrielle McComb Lima – Perrenial lightweight favorite and EBI finals veteran.
Margaret Knutson Aase – Won World’s at purple belt 6 years ago and is returning to competition.
Jessica Constance Swanson – A dangerous arm-destroyer.
Jessica Guedry – A rising star from Soul Fighters.

What to watch when the black belts hit the mat

Now, let’s dig into the black belt divisions.
I’ll highlight the statistical division favorites, highlight some potential dark horses, and briefly list relevant storylines for the division.
For the sake of brevity, I’m ging to keep each section fairly compact, so realize the information may be a bit short.

Male Roosterweight – Black Belt Division

This division will be defined by Bruno Malfincine. With the news that Caio Tera has withdrawn, it is all but Bruno’s to lose. He will likely set an untouchable record of 10 World Championships with his victory. The only questions should be, what comes next?
I would personally love to see Bruno challenge the light-featherweight division prior to retiring. A feat he hasn’t attempted since losing to Gui Mendes at the Pan Championship many years ago.
Division Favorite: Bruno Malfacine
Darkhorse picks: Hiago Gama, but he is on the same team as Bruno

Male Light-Featherweight – Black Belt Division

American fans will be cheering for Mikey Muscimeci. Mikey became a member of the elite group of Americans who have secured IBJJF World’s gold last year and will obviously be looking to do that again.
Although he is the favorite, there are a lot of potential roadblocks standing in his way. Atos, in particular, will be putting two strong challenges his way in the form of Pablo Mantovani and Ary Farias.
Also, the ever competitive Joao Miyao cannot be counted out.
Division Favorite: Mikey Muscimeci
Darkhorse pick: Pablo Mantovani and Joao Miyao

Male Featherweight – Black Belt Division

A division defined by Cobrinha and Rafa Mendes for nearly a decade. Now, completely up for grabs.
Featherweight stands as one of the most competitive divisions in recent memory.
Gianni Grippo returns as this year’s Pan champion, but faces stiff competition from foes like Leo Saggioro, Shane Taylor, and Marcio Andre just to name a few.
This division will be one of the most fun to watch; as it also includes famed jiu jitsu icon Megaton Dias and well-known bad guy, AJ Agazarm.
Division Favorite: Gianni Grippo
Darkhorse pick: Marcio Andre and Leo Saggioro

Male Lightweight – Black Belt Division

A division that returns one of the most feared guard passers of all-time, Lucas Lepri.
While many upstarts have burned bright on the way to the finals in recent years, Lepri has proven to be Kryptonite for all of them.
Have rising American stars JT Torres and Edwin Najmi improved enough in the last few years to dethrone Lepri?
Will we see the likes of Vitor Oliviera or “Sinistro” Iturralde find their way into the finals?
Division Favorite: Lucas Lepri
Darkhorse pick: JT Torres

Male Middleweight – Black Belt Division

Pound for pound one of the most talent-rich divisions in all of jiu jitsu.
While Gabriel Arges certainly returns as the favorite, he is still fairly young in his jiu jitsu career. It may be difficult for him to hold off some of the explosive veterans and surging upstarts.
Veterans like Claudio Calasans, Josh Hinger, and Otavio Sousa are constant threats within the division.
Up and comers like Isaque Bahiense, Dante Leon, Jaime Canuto, Tommy Langaker, and Yago de Souza are just a “good day” away from claiming the crown in this division.
Also, don’t forget about Marcos Vinícius da Silva Tinoco. He is dangerously consistent in his pursuit of World’s gold.
Division Favorite: Gabriel Arges
Darkhorse pick: Jaime Canuto

Male Middle-Heavyweight – Black Belt Division

What a terrifying division.
There are a handful of matches that will truly define this division.
They all center around the performances of Matheus Diniz, Lucas Barbosa, Horlando Montiero, Rudson Mateus, and Gustavo Batista. These are the five competitors that have been at the top of the division so far this year.
HOWEVER, there is a lot of potential for disruption.
For example, Nick Schrock, DJ Jackson, Thiago Sa, and Charles Negromonte all have the proven potential to upset any of these favorites.
Furthermore, we simply cannot count out veterans like Tarsis Humphreys or Murilo Santana.
Division Favorite: Lucas Barbosa
Darkhorse pick: Nick Schrock and Charles Negromonte

Male Heavyweight – Black Belt Division

The most competitive Heavyweight division in IBJJF World’s history in my opinion.
This year, Heavyweight includes the additions of a lot of stars that previously competed in other weight classes.
Felipe Pena and Keenan Cornelius are arguably the favorites, but it is very hard to define this year.
Veterans like Xande Ribeiro, Dimitrius Souza, and Jackson Sousa pose a real threat to everyone in the division.
But, the entire division is full of landmines. Guys like Patrick Gaudio and Felipe Andrew Leandro Silva have to be among some of the most feared additions to this year’s line-up.
Division Favorite: Felipe Pena / Keenan Cornelius
Darkhorse pick: Patrick Gaudio

Male Super-Heavyweight – Black Belt Division

This weight class is defined by a potential rematch between Leandro Lo and Nicholas Meregali. These two competitors had a barnburner in 2017 with Meregali securing the upset in his first year at black belt.
Lo is the favorite to win any weight division he enters (except ones that contain Buchecha), but it is fair to question if his conditioning is good enough at this weight class to beat someone like Meregali; given that he typically fights deep into the absolute division as well. Can Lo win 10+ competitive black belt matches against larger opponents?
That’s a lot of fighting for a guy who was doing middleweight just a few years ago.
Standing in between this rematch is Gutemberg Pereira – who Lo saw in the finals of the 2017 Pan absolute finals. Gutemberg is on the same side of the brackets as Meregali, so those two will have to renew their brown belt rivalry before we know who could potentially showdown with Lo (in all likelihood).
That being said, the side of the bracket that Pereira and Meregali are on also features Jared Dopp, Mahamed Aly, and Eliot Kelly. That’s a lot of tough fights for whoever emerges the victor. That has the makings for a potential upset.
Division Favorite: Leandro Lo
Darkhorse pick: Gutemberg Pereira and Nicholas Meregali

Male Ultra-Heavyweight – Black Belt Division

Also known as the weight class that “Buchecha” is in.
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is the tall mountain in the world of jiu jitsu. Since taking the torch of baddest man on the planet from Rodolfo Vieira several years ago, Buchecha has remained undefeated in IBJJF competition; winning his division, absolute, and all superfights along the way. He is currently on pace for a record-setting number of IBJJF absolute titles.
This division is no joke, though.
It features the likes of Max Gimenis, Tanner Rice, Victor Honorio, Luiz Panza, Gustavo Dias, and Joao Gabriel.
History would tell us that we could see another showdown between Joao Gabriel and Buchecha. Unfortunately for Gabriel, he has not seen much success against Buchecha in the past (in terms of final results).
However, a guy like Victor Honorio could shake things up this year; as he has been performing very well so far this year.
Panza is another guy who has been close to the finals in the past. While he is teammates with Buchecha, a close-out between these two is certainly possible; as Panza can make short work of anyone.
Division Favorite: Buchecha
Darkhorse pick: Victor Honorio and Luiz Panza (close-out candidate)

Female Roosterweight – Black Belt Division

A very small division that is still developing. The division is defined by Rikako Yuasa who already has a World Championship to her name at a higher weight class.
Division Favorite: Rikako Yuasa
Darkhorse pick: Tassia Ferreira

Female Light-Featherweight – Black Belt Division

A weight class with a growingly heated rivalry between Gezary Masuda and Talita Alencar.
Matuda had the upper hand in their last match-up, but only time will tell if they will meet again with the same result.
The division also features talented competitors with all the tools to complete the upset. Liwia Gluchowska is new to the division and has shown to be successful so far in keeping her name on the podium.
Kristina Barlaan is a perennial top contender, and Pati Fontes is a tough match-up for everyone. However, newcomer Amanda Montiero may prove to be the true bracket buster among the bunch.
Division Favorite: Gezary Matuda
Darkhorse pick: Talita Alencar and Amanda Montiero

Female Featherweight – Black Belt Division

Since Mackenzie Dern left the weight class 2 years ago, there’s been a void at the top.
One of the most talent-rich female divisions has become a total free-for-all with no clear favorite.
Tammi Muscimeci is one of the divison’s most feared competitors. A top finisher in the sports most prestigious tournaments, Muscimeci is returning to featherweight, and has to be considered a favorite for the podium.
Last year, Maxine Thylin closed out the division with her, then teammate, Ana Schmitt. However, Thylin only had one match to get to the finals where she closed out with Schmitt, who is now no longer a teammate. The two would potentially meet in a semi-finals showdown this year.
That all being said, Bianca Basilio has been on a tear recently and I’m betting no one would be surprised to see her in the finals this year. However, Karen Antunes may stand in her way once again. Karen returned to competition this year and upset Basilio in the semi-finals of the Pan.
This division is anyone’s guess.
Division Favorite: Tammi Muscimeci
Darkhorse pick: Bianca Basilio and Karen Antunes

Female Lightweight – Black Belt Division

I’ll recuse myself from picking this division; as I will also recuse myself from commentary during these matches (my wife is a competitor inside this class)
Division Favorite: —
Darkhorse pick:

Female Middleweight – Black Belt Division

This division was called the most competitive women’s division by my good friend Andre Borges of You can read his great breakdown here. His breakdown is more in-depth than anything I could write here.
As competitive as it is, there is a very obvious clear favorite. It will be a division battle to ultimately upset “Baby” Ana Carolina Vieira.
Division Favorite: Ana Carolina Vieira (“Baby”)
Darkhorse pick: Raquel Canuto and Amanda Alequin

Female Medium-Heavyweight – Black Belt Division

This division is the most competitive it has ever been.
Claudia Doval, Monique Elias, and Luanna Alzguir could all lay claim to the favorite in this division.
Doval is the reigning Pan champion, but Monique coming up from middleweight will prove to be a big challenge should they meet in the finals.
Division Favorite: Claudia Doval
Darkhorse pick: Monique Elias

Female Heavyweight – Black Belt Division

This is another female division that is more competitive than ever.
Nathiely de Jesus is moving up into the weight class but could still be considered the favorite. Jessica Flowers and Yacinta Nguyen-Huu offer stiff competition, but only time will tell if they can handle Nathiely’s rising star.
Division Favorite: Nathiely de Jesus
Darkhorse pick: Yacinta X. Nguyen-Huu and Jessica Flowers

Female Super-Heavyweight – Black Belt Division

This division is avoided by many females for a reason.
Reigning champion Tayane Porfírio has looked all but unstoppable since joining from the brown belt ranks. It certainly doesn’t look like many can stop her right now.
It may be more likely that she could be upset in the absolute; however, this division features more names in it than ever before. It won’t be a cakewalk.
Division Favorite: Tayane Porfírio
Darkhorse pick: Carina Curvelo Santi

That’s all my World’s jiu jitsu picks and data

I hope you enjoy the broadcast on FloGrappling this weekend if you don’t have a chance to check out the action live.
If you see me during a break from the broadcast booth feel free to stop me and tell me why all my picks and information are wrong 🙂
All the best,
Tyler Bishop


RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom Features Jiu Jitsu Influences

RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom

One of the really cool innovations that has come from jiu jitsu culture in the last decade is the parallel lines drawn between jiu jitsu and other arts.
With more artists cross-pollinating between martial arts and fine arts, we’ve had a unique opportunity to be exposed to cool events and organizations like the Hip-Hop Chess Federation and others.
RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom
Spinning out of these types of innovations is a cool new exhibition called, RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom. The event will be hosted at the Oakland Museum of California. The event opens in late March.

What is the RESPECT and what does it have to do with jiu jitsu?

Hip-Hop is one of the widest reaching cultural and social movements of the last 50 years.
The exhibit explores the unexpected story of how Hip-Hop changed the world, starting from its roots on the streets, before rap, DJing, street art, breakdancing, and street fashion launched into mainstream pop culture.
The feature will highlight how hip-hop has cross-pollinated with the likes of martial arts, entrepreneurship, chess, and other fine arts.
The exhibit includes first-person accounts from artists and experts about how Hip-Hop continues to provide a platform for creative expression, activism, youth development, and education.

Adisa Banko and “Gumby” on the mats. Adisa will serve as guest curator for the exhibit and Gumby will be featured in a film on display at the museum during the length of the exhibition.

Our friend Adisa Banjoko will serve as guest curator

I am supremely excited about showcasing the beauty and logic of jig-jitsu at the
Oakland Museum of CA. I want BJJ practitioners to be proud of what we do, and know that it resonates and that the way we train, focus and work inspires artists to be more diligent in the paths they walk.
Rappers like Rakaa from Dilated Peoples, DJ Rhettmatic, and DJ Johnny Juice all practice martial arts. DJ QBert even made a song called Jiu-Jitsu.
I hope jiujitsu players that can come see it are moved to stay on the path and enjoy their journey.
The BJJ is intermixed with a tribute to Bruce Lee. His work inspired so many of us in and out of BJJ.
– Adisa Banjoko

Exhibit Information

RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom
When: March 24- August 12
Where: Museum of Oakland California
Event Link

DJ Jackson Jiu Jitsu Study / Breakdown

DJ Jackson Jiu Jitsu Study / Breakdown

All matches observed of DJ Jackson used in this small sample occurred at major jiu jitsu events in the years 2012-2017. Only techniques, occurrences, and outcomes that were recorded are displayed in the data below (i.e. if no butterfly sweeps occurred, there will not be a representation of that in the sample data charts). Matches were selected at random. This is a limited sample – but given the estimated amount of matches in this time period – it is well above the percentage necessary to create a scientifically validated trend sampling.

The Full Study Will Be Available In The Next Issue of Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine.

dj jackson jiu jitsu

Quick Highlights

  • 75% win rate in the study
  • Scored first in 100% of wins
  • Average match length was approximately 7:30
  • 50% of submissions were Kimuras’
  • 44% of passes were over/under variations
  • 55% of passes started from the standing position
  • “100%” of sweeps were from half guard

The DJ Jackson BJJ Study

DJ Jackson is one of the most accomplished competitors across all grappling organizations and formats. He has shown a propensity to excel in submission-only, point, and alternative rulesets. Much of this is due to is exceptionally strong takedown game and relentless pressure. Jackson has proven himself to be difficult to score upon, hard to wear down, and unstoppable when he smells blood.
One of the most unique elements of Jackson’s game we observed in the study was his ability to stay on top. Although we did not breakdown every element of his stand-up game, much of this is due to his ability to defend and secure takedowns on opponents of even the highest wrestling or Judo pedigree. Jackson was only on the bottom once in our entire study.
dj jackson bjj
When on the bottom, we observed a single sweep. If opponents were to study this part of Jackson’s game hey would find themselves short on film; as his bottom/sweep ratio is 100% by our count.
When on top, Jackson is known for his relentless guard passing. In our study, we saw a diverse and dynamic string of passes that saw him secure a guard pass in 75% of total matches. 55% of his guard passing were initiated from a standing position. 44% of all passes were a variation of the over/under guard pass; something we saw Bernardo Faria have a lot of success with in our evaluation of him (although, Jackson uses a slightly different variation).
Unfortunately for opponents, Jackson is a threatening opponent even before he passes the guard. In this study, 50% of Jackson’s submissions occurred before – or in the process of – passing his opponents guard. However, regardless of position, Jackson’s submission of choice was the Kimura; a submission he has built a strong reputation for. In fact, 50% of all his submissions were Kimuras.

Wrapping it all up

Ultimately, Jackson is as underrated as they come. His pedigree and fundamentals are top notch and he has managed to stay at the top of every quality grappling organization jiu jitsu has to offer. He remains one of the most difficult draws in any division he enters and possesses a rare quality to completely annihilate other top level competitors that are not prepared for his pace (see his match with Vagner Rocha earlier this year). Jackson’s career is worth monitoring as he continues to chase titles and further develop his submission skills.


Nicholas Meregali Jiu Jitsu Study / Breakdown

Nicholas Meregali Jiu Jitsu Study / Breakdown

 All matches observed of Nicholas Meregali used in this small sample occurred at major jiu jitsu events in the years 2016-2017. Only techniques, occurrences, and outcomes that were recorded are displayed in the data below (i.e. if no butterfly sweeps occurred, there will not be a representation of that in the sample data charts). Matches were selected at random based on freely available matches. This is a limited sample – but given the estimated amount of matches in this time period – it is well above the percentage necessary to create a scientifically validated trend sampling.
Notable Study Stats:

  • 80% win rate
  • Scored first in 100% of wins
  • Submitted his opponent in 66% of wins
  • Average match length was approximately 5:46
  • 50% of submissions were chokes from the back
  • 75% of his submissions from guard were triangles
  • 60% of his back takes took place when passing his opponents guard

Meregali Jiu Jitsu Breakdown

Nicholas Meregali is one of jiu jitsu’s fastest rising stars. Recently, he was able to out grapple perennial division favorite, Leandro Lo, to secure his very first Jiu Jitsu World title. What’s more, he did it in his very first year at black belt.
After commentating the IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championship this year, I thought I knew what to expect when evaluating Meregali’s jiu jitsu game. I discovered that there is more than meets the eye with this young Alliance standout.
nicholas meregali bjj breakdown

What we learned in this jiu jitsu breakdown

When Meregali stepped on the mat at the Long Beach pyramid earlier this year to battle Lo in the finals, many expected Lo to do what he always does… find a way to win. Meregali had other plans. Meregali was able to use his precise timing, and complete bottom and top game, to frustrate and exhaust the future hall of famer. This is the game of Nicholas Meregali; sharp, calculated, and opportunistic.
Meregali is well known for his guard. His length and frame are the classic calling cards of great guard players past. In our study Nicholas submitted his opponent from his guard in 27% of all matches; and 1/3 of all of his wins. In fact, 50% of all of his submissions came from the bottom.
Meregali is about as efficient as they come from his guard. There is little wasted movement in his transitions, and he is about as talented as we’ve seen transitioning between different open guards. It was actually particularly difficult to classify which positions to attribute sweeps to; as many of the sweeping positions were connected by small effortless movements. In the study, Meregali swept opponents from 6 different guards using 7 different types of sweeps. According to our observations, he never completed the same type of sweep more than twice.

Defining Meregali’s game

This data would lead you to believe that this alone defines the game of Meregali; however, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Meregali secured more guard passes in our study than he did sweeps; with a pass to sweep ratio of 10:9.
When passing Meregali preferred passing in space from the standing position. Approximately 70% of his sweeps came from this position; with the other 30% coming from half guard. 30% of his passes were variations of the leg drag – with another 30% coming from variations of the bull fighter pass. He blended these two together really well, but was always opportunistic in his chances to pass; therefore we saw a strong variety of techniques used. This is something we rarely see with young competitors.

Wrapping it all together

If you remember back to the beginning of this article you’ll remember that 50% of Meregali’s submissions came from guard. Where did the other 50% come from? They all came in the exact same fashion – chokes from the back position. Meregali took the back of his opponent in 33% of matches we observed. He also had a dangerous 80% finishing rate once he achieved the position.
Nicholas Meregali is one of the most talented and transcendent athletes in modern jiu jitsu. It is not impossible to see him one day being an Absolute Division World Jiu Jitsu Champion. In fact, it’s probably not fair to put any limitations on what he can achieve at this point. To say his future is bright would be an understatement.


Five Grappling Super League: Battle of the Lightweights Preview

Five Grappling Lightweight Tournament Preview

Eight of the best 155 pound Jiu-Jitsu practitioners will battle it out on Five Grappling’s Lightweight Pro Invitational in San Diego on July 15th.  While the lightweights will take the stage as the main attraction in what has become one of Jiu-Jitsu’s most fan-friendly events in the country, the card will also include the likes of Keenan Cornelius, Boogey Martinez, Jessica Flowers, and Nick Schrock to name a few. I would be remised if I didn’t mention that my teammate and training partner Zimitro Perez will have his first Super Fight on this card as well ;).
five grappling super league

Who’s competing in the Lightweight tournament?

  • Wallace Santos
  • Francisco “Sinestro” Iturralde
  • Shane Hill-Taylor
  • Brandon Walensky
  • Lucas Pinheiro
  • Samuel Braga
  • Gianni Grippo
  • Leonardo Saggiora

Preview and Predictions for the tournament

wallace santos bjj

Wallace Santos

Santos is a Soul Fighters practitioner, coach, and competitor out of Las Vegas. He’s fought the who’s who of his division but has yet to claim a top tier championship at the black belt level. Wallace is technical enough to compete — and beat — with everyone in the tournament.
sinistro iturralde

Francisco “Sinestro” Iturralde

Nicknamed Sinestro, Portuguese for something that’s out of the ordinary or special. A nickname he picked up as a teen from his instructor Fernando di Piero. He’s a multiple time world champion at blue and purple belt. Sinestro has also medaled at brown and black belt at No-Gi Worlds and Worlds respectively, the most recent being in 2016. He’s a Five Grappling Super League veteran and is a favorite on paper for the whole tournament.
Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor

Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor

The Lloyd Irvin black belt was a product of Irvin’s kids program, taking part in the Lloyd Irvin Summer Camp at the age of eight. Shane has established himself as a top competitor this year. He’s won Worlds at blue, purple, and brown belt. As a black belt he’s taken bronze at Worlds and the Pan Ams in 2017 — giving Cobrinha all he could handle in the semi-finals of the Worlds — and is looking to add to the year’s collection with a Five Grappling Lightweight Championship.
Brandon Walensky

Brandon Walensky

Walensky has been training martial arts since the age of 13 and is both a Judo black belt under Paulo Fernando and a Jiu-Jitsu black under Clark Gracie. As a brown belt, Walensky was a No-Gi world champion in 2013 and 2015. At black belt, he placed second in his division at Abu Dhabi National Pro and third in the absolute division this year. A true wild card in the event and someone who is dangerous in every macth-up.
Lucas Pinheiro

Lucas Pinheiro

As one of the top black belt light-featherweight fighters, Pinheiro has had a pretty successful 2017. He’s collected IBJJF gold at the Atlanta Spring Open, Dallas Gi Open, Dallas No-Gi Open, and Miami spring No-Gi this year while being a runner-up at Pans this year. He is a formidable opponent for everyone in the bracket.
Samuel Braga

Samuel Braga

The former Tae Kwon Do student turned Jiu-Jitsu practitioner amassed five Brazilian national titles in a row at the lower belts which resulted in him being awarded his black belt after only five years of training by Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes. He’s gone on to become a three-time World champion in the Gi and a two-time No-Gi World Champion.
It should be noted that Braga would have additionally placed at the 2009 World Championships if it wasn’t for his temper. After losing to Guilherme Mendes in the finals, Braga shoved his opponent which resulted in him being stripped of his silver medal by the IBJJF.
Braga is the most accomplished competitor in the division, but will he be able to hold off the new up-and-comers like Shane Hill?
Gianni Grippo

Gianni Grippo

This Marcelo Garcia black belt is a berimbolo specialist. While he has yet to win an IBJJF World title at black belt, he has won Worlds at blue, purple, and twice at brown. He’s a two-time black belt Pan Ams champion as recent as 2015. At this year’s Pans, Grippo lost via referee’s decision to fellow Five Grappling competitor Shane Hill-Taylor. It’ll be interesting to see how things turn out if they meet again. Grippo boasts one of the most recognizable names in the tournament, so the pressure will be on him to bring the fight to his opponents.
Leonardo Saggioro

Leonardo Saggioro

Saggioro battled and lost to Cobrinha in the finals of the Worlds this year and has been a perennial contender in his division for years, collecting third place finishes the last few years. Saggioro has recent wins over others in the bracket; including Gianni Grippo. Those familiar with his jiu jitsu consider hima heavy favorite for the tournament.

Final Lightweight Tournament Predictions

David: This is where I tell you who you should gamble on. Don’t, gambling is bad. What’s worse? Usually my picks. I’m going purely on a gut feeling here, but I’m rolling with Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor. Many will consider him a long shot but I got a feeling.
Tyler: Nice call, David. Shane would definitely be an upset pick, but I’ll go on the record saying he certainly has the skills and ability to do it. In fact, in a few years, he may be considered the favorite among these gentlemen. Don’t sleep on Brandon Walensky either.
The brackets are going to determine everything in my opinion. I like Sinestro, Grippo, and Saggioro a lot in this format. Of those 3, it’s a toss up, but with no advantages to separate them, I’ll take Saggioro by decision in the finals.


Mikey Musumeci Jiu Jitsu Study

Mikey Musumeci Jiu Jitsu Study

Notable Study Stats:

  • 92% win rate
  • Scored first in 100% of wins
  • Submitted his opponent in 54% of wins
  • Takes his opponents back in 50% of all matches
  • 83% of submissions were chokes from the back
  • Only passed the guard in 17% of matches
  • Average match length was 6:33

Abstract: All matches observed of Mikey Musumeci used in this small sample occurred at major jiu jitsu events in the years 2015-2017. Only techniques, occurrences, and outcomes that were recorded are displayed in the data below (i.e. if no butterfly sweeps occurred, there will not be a representation of that in the sample data charts). Matches were selected at random based on freely available matches.

The Mikey Musumeci jiu jitsu breakdown

Mikey Musumeci is quietly becoming one of the most accomplished gi jiu Jitsu competitors on the scene today Not only is he one of America’s top talents, he’s often recognized as one of Jiu Jitsu’s brightest minds. Known for his dynamic berimbolo and pliable physique, Musumeci has become one of the most consistent competitors of the modern era. In our study, we see just why he’s become such a tough opponent for many to overcome.
mikey musumeci jiu jitsu

The study results

Mikey Musumeci was an ascending name in Jiu Jitsu long before he got his black belt. Known for having a complex and innovative guard game, Mikey was a multiple time world champion at the lower belts. However, as we’ve seen in the past, this does not always translate to black belt level competition. In Musumeci’s case, his talent has transitioned almost seamlessly to black belt.
The first thing people think of when they think of Mikey Musumeci is likely his guard game. This is for a very good reason. While you may notice that his sweep percentage is extremely low for a guard player – only recording a sweep in 1 of every 3 matches – his back taking ability from the guard is the highest we’ve ever recorded. Musumeci was able to take his opponents back from the guard in approximately 50% of matches.
This provides some deep insight into how Musumeci likes his matches to unfold. In the matches we watched, Musumeci very strategically chased his opponents back from the guard; often passing up opportunities for points to do so. This strategy has proven to pay big dividends for Musumeci; who finished from his opponents back 83% of the time when he was able to capture the position. Furthermore, he actually choked his opponent from the back in 45% of matches he won, and submitted his opponent in 50% in of his total matches (54% of his wins).
This is such a dynamic and successful strategy for Musumeci, it explains why we rarely find in him positions to pass guard. In fact, in our study we only observed him passing the guard twice. That means he has one of the lowest pass percentages we’ve ever recorded in the study (17%).
The stats around Musumeci’s success taking and finishing the back, and his lack of metrics in many other areas very neatly summarize the approach the Musumeci has applied to competition that has allowed him to quickly rise to the top of his weight division (regardless of the ruleset). He is incredibly hard to score against. Recording a submission – or the first points – in 100% of his wins.
mikey musumeci bjj
Mikey Musumeci’s strategy is easy to draw out in a statistical format, but don’t mistake the simplicity of his approach to a simplicity in his technique. Musumeci has a very articulate guard game with specific answers to every problem that his opponent presents him with. His technique is likely underrated; as he can probably be considered in that upper echelon of top guard players.
Ultimately, Musumeci is an ascending talent. He is one of America’s greatest talents and is still at the very beginning of his career. It’s likely that we still haven’t seen the best of what he has to offer.


San Diego, Mecca of Jiu Jitsu?

The Mecca of Jiu Jitsu

By David Figueroa-Martinez
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, through the hard work of the Gracie family and their connection to the UFC has spread all over the world. While Brazil is undoubtedly its birthplace, but can it still be considered the Mecca of Jiu-Jitsu. The Mundials, for example, are no longer hosted there. Now the questions is, where’s the Mecca currently?
While some might say that it’s the Los Angeles area or even the SoCal region as a whole, lumping San Diego in with LA -since many view it as it’s “sister city”. I argue that it’s unquestionably San Diego that stands apart on its own merits and this is why.

Climate of BJJ

The climate is amazing here. I’m not just talking about the fact that the rainy season isn’t all that heavy. So much so that many of us have no clue how to drive when it drizzles. The minute the window wipers streak across our windshields we end up skidding across every lane of traffic in pure panic. The beautiful weather makes the beaches and surf available year round which I’ve been told is much like Brazil.
Most importantly, the social climate here is welcoming and inviting. While every big city is going to have its issues, the fact that very few people you come across here are actually from San Diego. People seem to identify with those that move here. Whether you moved here for work, military, or family, there’s an understanding and an acceptance of different cultures. While the language, dialect, and accent might be different, the commonality that runs most of us is starting life in a new city and or country.
san diego jiu jitsu

San Diego, Mecca of food?

We love food in San Diego. Love, love, love it. You can find every type of food in San Diego which in general makes the city an easier location to immigrate too than others. As a kid, I spent a large portion of my childhood as an Army brat to two Puerto Rican parents and I remember how excited we would get when we could finally buy our usual spices or go out to eat at a Puerto Rican restaurant. It makes your existence easier when aspects of home are available to you, and San Diego is full of that.
Surprisingly enough, there are more Brazilian restaurants in San Diego than there are Puerto Rican or Cuban restaurants combined.

San Diego Jiu Jitsu Schools

When I started training Jiu-Jitsu, I really had no idea how blessed I was by living in San Diego. I joined my first school based on its location to work and the fact that it had a connection to the Jiu-Jitsu Recreation class that I was taking at UC San Diego. When I left my original school I had no clue where I was going to end up and was genuinely worried about the move.
A friend of mine was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing which at the time I didn’t really understand. I remember him saying something to the effect of, “you can throw a rock in any direction here and you’ll find a quality Jiu-Jitsu school. So stop worrying about it.”
Doing a quick search of “Bjj San Diego” will give you access to about 15-20 schools. Saulo/Xande Ribeiro, Richie/Geo Martinez, Clark Gracie, Rodrigo Medeiros, Fabio Santos, Baret Yoshida, Jeff Glover, Dean Lister, Royler Gracie, Andre Galvao, and Eduardo Telles all have schools here. Let me repeat myself. They ALL have schools here. Some of which are just within minutes of one another.
Mind you, I’m not even counting the countless MMA gyms like Victory MMA, Blackhouse Team Noguera, The Arena, San Diego Combat Academy, City Boxing, UFC Gym(s), and Undisputed which each have internal Jiu-Jitsu programs.
A variety of wants and needs are covered across the spectrum in San Diego. It doesn’t matter if you’re only looking for a hobby or world class competition training, Gi or NoGi, it’s all covered and readily available for anyone who is willing to look.

BJJ Competitions

While the competition scene may not be what Los Angeles has considering the IBJJF’s stranglehold on the city for so many years, it is growing. IBJJF for example, is holding its first San Diego Open this month which reached competition capacity on its last day of registration last week. The fact that they reached capacity ahead of its deadline shows that there’s a real hunger here for more high-level competitions.
Currently, San Diego has some local tournaments that we support regularly like Grappling X and SubCon which provide some awesome competition experience at an affordable price. They’re usually run smoothly and often offer competitors a guarantee of two matches.
The NABJJF, Jiu-Jitsu World League, NAGA, and Tap Cancer Out all make routine stops in San Diego throughout the year which greatly add to the competition scene, and FUJI BJJ will be comng later this summer.

BJJ Events

When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu events, Five Grappling is our most prominent show. The event has hosted the likes of Bill Cooper, Sean Roberts, Edwin Najmi, Mackenzie Dern, and Leandro Lo at several of their events in San Diego. One of their partners, Studio 540, has also been hosting special events at their studio. Whether it be fee seminars, guest instructors, or the forthcoming Royal Invitational which will be hosting the future stars of Jiu-Jitsu.

San Diego Open Mat

Gone are the times where martial arts masters would hold their secrets within the academy walls. These days, everyone is studying techniques from one another either through seminars or video clips on YouTube. There is no secret technique that trumps them all anymore. The world as a whole has shrunk and with the information so readily available it has created a kind of partnership within the Jiu-Jitsu community in San Diego.
From Friday to Sunday you can find Free Open Mat sessions that are open to nonmembers all across San Diego. Victory MMA, Gracie Humaita La Mesa, Gracie Barra Sorrento Valley, Honu Bjj, Alliance San Diego, Barum Bjj, Gracie South Bay, Apex, Atos HQ, and 99 Bjj, just to name a few are completely welcoming to outside students. The only thing they ask is that you sign a waiver and bring a positive attitude with you.

“No Flags. No Politics. Just Train.” –Shawn Fowler (Honu Bjj)

While I haven’t been to all of these, I’ve loved the atmosphere of the ones I’ve taken part in. During one of my visits to Honu Bjj I spoke a blue belt that was visiting from out of state. He told me how much he loved the Open Mat opportunity because it wasn’t something that exists where he was from. Me, being that I’m so used to it now, I thought it was odd for schools to shield their students from one another.

Final Thoughts

While all of this may just be me being partial to the place I’ve called home for the past twenty-five years of my life. I challenge anyone to visit San Diego and not fall in love with the Jiu-Jitsu scene here. It’s an amazing environment that comes second to none.
If you feel different please let me know. Let me know what you think!


Exclusive Interview: FIVE Super League Promoter Shawn Fowler

Exclusive Interview: FIVE Super League Promoter Shawn Fowler

Ahead of the upcoming FIVE Grappling Super League Light Heavyweight tournament on March 11th, 2017, we sat down with FIVE promoter, Shawn Fowler, to get his unfiltered thoughts on the event, the future of pro BJJ, and his predictions for the card. Tickets to the FIVE Super League are SOLD OUT! However, you can login to and access a live stream of the event starting at 1:30pm (PST) — With the main card beginning at 3:30pm (PST).
Questions in red, Shawn’s answers in italics.

shawn fowler jiu jitsu
Shawn Fowler (right) , Shawn Williams (left)

Why did you create and put together the FIVE Super League?

I think Jiu Jitsu as a whole needed a platform to showcase its skillset. The California Pro Invitational kind of led us down a path where the athletes and coaches voiced their desires and we listened.

Is the 5SL an evolution of the tournaments you guys used to throw? Competitors really liked those, what happened to them?

The 5SL grew out of a desire to create something different, unique and amazing. The Five Open’s somewhat created the 5SL. The Five Opens are still around, we just took a hiatus for a while. Be on the lookout for a Five Open coming soon to Los Angeles later this year.
san diego bjj

This is your second event in San Diego? Why host the events here?

I am a firm believer in grass roots growth and anyone that knows me personally knows that this is the way I have worked for the last 15 years in this sport. Besides that Southern California is home, not too mention the Mecca of BJJ. There isn’t a bigger talent pool anywhere in the world. Some of the best athletes from all over the world reside in Southern California. California is a hotbed for BJJ, and eventually every Jiu Jitsu Practitioner comes to California to train, compete, or even live.

What surprised you about the last FIVE Super League event and what feedback did you get from fans and media; both positive and negative?

The feedback from fans, media, coaches and athletes was absolutely amazing. The active participation and engagement from everyone in the BJJ community is an easy motivational tool for wanting to so much more.

Have you made any changes for this upcoming event?

Of course, we are constantly looking to evolve. Aesthetically we made some changes by moving it into a theater and also got rid of the elevated platform. We even added some features for video production, we feel are very important. So whether you are in live in the crowd or watching at home, we want to give the end user the best experience as possible.
five super league

What match-ups or potential match-ups do you think have the most potential for a “match-of-the-night”?

Wow, this card is stacked from top to bottom and honestly, any of them could end up as “match of the night”.

When targeting competitors for this event, what do you look for?

We do a lot of research on athletes; types of championships, style, belt level, geographical location, as well as if a visa is valid. So, as you can see, we do our due diligence when choose participating athletes.

What does the future hold for 5SL? What will we see next?

Our vision would be to host the most exciting matches that fans want to see and continue to bring an element to the main stage that people absolutely love to see. And lastly, to locate those athletes with the skills to be at the top of the game and get them the exposure they deserve to showcase their talents.
Next, we keep growing, evolving and stay tuned for our next show – July 15, San Diego, The Lightweights.

Final editors note:

When I asked Shawn if he could release any news about any upcoming special announcements all I got back was a bunch of fire emoji’s. I have a feeling that you won’t want to miss this event.