Interview with James Smart

James Smart is the owner and head instructor of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Cape Town, the only certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu school in South Africa, as well as the owner of STREETSMART, a provider of real world self protection /combative training to Civilians, Law Enforcement, Military and Security. James has been my Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor for 8 years […]

Get the most out of an open mat

In a few weeks we will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary with an open mat sparring session. If all goes well we will have all available students (and some visitors) sharing the mat and testing their jiu jitsu against each other. However, if you have never sparred before (or a little) or you only do […]

Jiu Jitsu, the antidote to bullying.

If you have met me or heard my story, you will know that it started way back in primary school, where I was a victim of school yard bullying. Mine was not the atypical, Hollywood style ‘give me your lunch money or I’ll beat you up’ bullying. I don’t actually recall the full reasons, but […]

5 Tips to get ready for your Blue Belt assesment

The blue belt is probably the most important and, I believe, coveted belt in Jiu Jitsu. It is the first belt you have to ‘grade’ for and indicates that you have progressed from the rank of beginner and can now start your journey towards mastery of the art. I’ve had the opportunity to take my blue […]

KeepItReal vs KeepItPlayful

Very recently, Ryron Gracie, head instructor of Gracie Academy has started being promoting something he has called the KeepItPlayful Movement. In essence, the ideals of the KeepItPlayful movement are aimed at teaching students of the art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu to never allow egos to dominate their sparring/training. By keeping it playful during a sparring session, […]

The ‘don’t tap me’ philosophy and why it hinders your progress.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to cross train with members of various other local jiu-jitsu schools. It has been quite an interesting experience training with students of other styles and understanding their fighting mindset. It allows me to broaden my jiu-jitsu by trying out my techniques on someone who would not react in the same […]