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BJJ, Black Belt, Competition, competitor, Garry Tonon, Jiu Jitsu, Renzo Gracie, ricardo almeida, tom deblass -

Tom DeBlass has been a black belt for over 9 years now.  He recently received the third degree on his black belt, awarded to him by his longtime instructor Ricardo Almeida, himself the very first black belt from the legendary Renzo Gracie.  Not only has he developed his world class jiu jitsu and teaching philosophy as part of a legendary lineage, but he has also used that knowledge to produce high level black belts of his own, namely Garry Tonon, who is currently slated to take another step in his mentor's shoes and begin his MMA career in March. Tom...

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Belt Promotions, Belt Stripes, BJJ, black belt, blue belt, Brown Belt, Garry Tonon, Gordon Ryan, Half Guard, Jiu Jitsu, purple belt, tom deblass -

At most academies, BJJ promotions can be few and far between.  Whether it is a stripe or a new belt, chances are you've put in a lot of work before you are considered for or rewarded with a promotion. It can take upwards of a decade or more to achieve your black belt and with only three belt colors between white and black, promotions are hard won and relatively rare.  You've been training hard for so long, you begin to get tempted to perhaps take some time off.  Or perhaps after getting that blue or purple belt, you start to...

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BJJ, Black Belt, Brown Belt, Escapes, Guard Pass, Half Guard, Jiu Jitsu, Submission, Tom DeBlass -

The road to one's black belt in BJJ is long and fraught with a seemingly endless array of challenges.  Let's look at some commonly agreed upon statements or even cliches about the journey to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt.  First, an extremely small percentage of people who walked into an academy the very first time will stick around and make it to this coveted belt.  Though there is no real, conclusive demographic data, it is safe to say that it is much less than 10% of people and probably less than 5%.  The reasons people don't make it are varied. ...

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Bernardo Faria, BJJ, Deep Half Guard, game plan, half guard, Jiu Jitsu, opponent, over under pass, pressure passing, Submission, Tom DeBlass, world champion -

As you begin to learn more techniques and apply them in live rolling and even on the competition mats early on, you will find yourself gravitating to certain techniques.  The reasons can vary as to why you gravitate to a specific position or technique.  Perhaps it's your body type, flexibility, or a certain technique simply made more sense and came a little more naturally than others.  As you begin to notice that you are using certain techniques more and more often, what you are experiencing is the birth of your BJJ game plan. Chaining techniques and being able to address...

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ADCC, bellator, BJJ, black belt, Competition, competitor, DeBlass, Jiu Jitsu, mindset, promotion, Tom DeBlass, training, UFC -

Recently, ADCC and UFC veteran Tom DeBlass took to social media to address the age old question of whether or not jiu jitsu competition is necessary to be promoted and ultimately earn your black belt.  There are a wide variety of stances on this topic.  With all of the available promotions and rule set variations, it is nearly possible for most average practitioners around the country to compete one or twice a month if they wanted to.  The number of competitors seems to be growing, but for most schools, the percentage of competitors is usually around 10-15%.   The choice to...

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