One of the “BJJ Dirty Dozen”, the first twelve non Brazilians to receive black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Chris Haueter has been around the game for a very long time. Chris began his grappling journey as a high school wrestler, but injuries took him off the mats for most of his high school career. After some time in the United States Marine Corps and bouncing around other martial arts, Chris found himself back in a wrestling room. There he saw an Aikido instructor teaching a mounted armbar. Chris had never seen this type of grappling before and wanted to learn more. After talking to the instructor he was directed to the Gracie Academy where he met Rigan Machado and the rest is history.
Chris has been an avid competitor since the early 90’s winning championships as late as 2015. His biggest contribution has been his continued strive to perfect the art of Jiu Jitsu, coining several positions including The Combat Base.
- One of the BJJ Dirty Dozen
- Coined the Combat Base position
- First American Black belt to compete at the Mundials De Jiu Jitsu in Brazil
- First American to win a black belt match
- Multiple Pan American Championships
- Multiple Superfight victories
- IBJJF Pan American Champion 2009 – Senior 2
- IBJJF World Masters Champion 2015 – Masters 5
- IBJJF World Masters Silver Medal 2015 – Absolute Division, Masters 5
Chris has been a phenomenal teacher for several decades. He is known for his no nonsense approach and his style heavily based on fundamentals. Though he prefers fundamental based combative type Jiu Jitsu, he praises the new developments and evolution of the sport of BJJ, a unique stance amongst his generation of Jiu Jitsu practitioners. Chris is known for several sayings that sum up his approach to Jiu Jitsu:
- “ABC” – Always Be Choking.
Chris is a big proponent that no matter what move you are going for you should always be threatening with a choke to make the other move more effective.
Always be Choking Video
The “Golden Rules of Grappling”
- Be the guy on top: In a real life situation or an MMA fight, if you are on top you are usually “winning”. You are in a better position to strike and avoid strikes, and are generally more able to control an overly aggressive opponent.
- When on top, stay on top: In order to keep control of a fight it’s important to obtain and secure a dominate position. Do not allow a sweep or reversal.
- When on bottom, have a guard they shall not pass: It is much easier said than done to be the guy on top. Should you wind up on the bottom, frustrate them with an impassable guard until you are able to sweep and regain top control or submit them. Chris warns students of the seductive nature of guard in sportive settings.
- Never forget Rule #1
- “Think street, Train Sport, Practice Art”
Chris says that you should always have a thought of what your partner could be doing if the roll was a street fight, so you know what moves would be effective and what would get you punched in the face. Though he emphasizes the importance this mindset, he also enjoys the more sportive aspects of Jiu Jitsu, and says one should explore and experiment with what is possible in Jiu Jitsu.
Besides his amazing phrases and countless motivational and instructional videos on YouTube, Chris has a 4 disk DVD instructional right here on BJJ Fanatics.
Discover the old school tricks and grappling hacks one of the first 12 non Brazilian Black Belts uses everyday while staying competitive with guys over half his age. Learn simple effective “Old School” Jiu Jitsu that is so efficient that no matter how old or un-athletic you are, it will work for you. Achieve new understanding of the “basic” positions and moves and use it efficiently to crush your opponents.
Chris Haueter Bio
Chris Haueter was born in California in 1964, and like most children influenced by Kung Fu movies popular in the 70’s, he started martial arts journey with Shotokan Karate. Talking as an adult about what originally got him into martial arts, Chris says “We’re basically cavemen who’ve been handed down knowledge over the years” that we have this primal desire to fight, that young boys will naturally play fight all the time. And how in our early history the men that could fight are the men who survived, and that trait has been passed down in our DNA. Fighting is in our blood.
After developing his nunchaku skills and entering high school he began wrestling in his high school’s program. Unfortunately a serious injury took him off the mats for most of his sophomore year and all of his junior year. After he completed high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
After his service he was still trying to fill that desire to fight and dabbled in several martial arts, eventually getting into Muay Thai kickboxing. But it was after his first and only pro fight that Chris realized that striking based arts weren’t for him, he wanted grappling again like in his high school wrestling days. So Chris returned to the wrestling room and a chance encounter would change martial arts forever. It was in a college wrestling room that Chris saw an Aikido instructor, Mits Yamashita, practicing some Jiu Jitsu moves. This was before UFC 1 so very few people in the world knew what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was, and Chris being a pretty successful high school wrestler thought he had answers for the techniques Yamashita was practicing. Yamashita graciously allowed Chris to test his skills against his Jiu Jitsu. They started on the ground, and Chris being a wrestler did what wrestlers often do; he exposed his back. Yamashita quickly caught him in a choke. They did it again and Chris was caught in a choke again. Their third time resulted in Chris getting arm barred. After this humbling experience Chris needed to know about Jiu Jitsu, and Yamashita directed him to the nearby Gracie Academy where Chris soon met Rigan Machado who would eventually award him his black belt. Chris says he was hooked on BJJ immediately; “The small guy being able to beat a big guy was like magic, I was hooked on it like crack.” After several years of hard training Chris was awarded his black belt December of 1996, making him one of the first 12 non Brazilians to achieve that feat. That day Chris was promoted besides 2 other Americans; Rick Williams and David Meyer. All 3 are part of BJJ’s Dirty Dozen.
Since the 90’s Chris has been an avid competitor wining numerous Pan American Championships and becoming the first American to compete in the Mundials De Jiu Jitsu. And in 2015 at the age of 51 he won the World’s Masters Championships and received the silver medal in the absolute division.
Chris is known for his old school combative based approach to grappling. He attributes this to our primal instincts to fight. He talks about how we all have the deep down instinct to fight and “I don’t think those instincts leave us easily, and sometimes, that biology is repressed in our modern culture.” But even in our polite, modern society, we are still rewarded for being the most dominant in the room. You do not have to be an alpha, but you don’t want to be the weakest. And Chris believes it is these instincts that lead to the evolution of Martial Combat to Martial Sport. He says martial sport is “Man made rules created to prevent injury or death so we can play the game that fulfills our primal instinctive drive for hand to hand combat.” This, he feels, unfortunately has led to popularization of many fantasy arts, as he calls them. And this is where he feels Jiu Jitsu differs from so many other arts, the original intention of Jiu Jitsu was “How do I control and submit my opponent utilizing the least amount of attributes and the maximum amount of leverage, cunningness and guile.”
When asked about training into his 50’s, Chris simply replied; “It’s not whose good, it’s who is left. Just don’t quit.”
That’s How I Roll
Chris is very well known for his “Old School” style, preferring control, leverage, and misdirection to being a great athlete. He has numerous technique instructionals, usually focusing on a strong closed guard or the top game.
Scissor Sweep Hacks
Closed Guard Arm Bar Series
Chris’s 2008 Superfight with Chris Chewy at Cleber Luciano Copa Pacifica
Final of the 2009 Pan American Championships against Ricardo Guimaraes Sr.
Consider to check out other instructional videos by Chris Haueter:
The Great Escapes by Chris Haueter
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