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40 Plus BJJ Presents:

The 3 Biggest Mistakes

40+ Grapplers Make in
Their Training And
How To Fix Them FAST!

40 Plus BJJ 2014

Follow all directions printed & spoken. Use caution and proper judgment at all
times. Always consult your physician prior to beginning and exercise or physical
training program.

Should you experience any strain, stop immediately and seek the advice of a
licensed health care professional.

The author of this program, and those demonstrating the skills enclosed, assume
no responsibility for any injury or damage resulting from the execution or practice
of the techniques presented.

Exercises depicted and outlined in this program are intended solely for
educational purposes and are practiced entirely at your own risk. None of the
techniques presented should be employed unless your life or physical well-being
is in eminent danger.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training

About the Author

A former university lecturer and best-selling author, Stephen Whittier has been
teaching martial arts for well over 20 years. During that time he has earned Black
Belts in Karate, Kali/Eskrima, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (awarded in 2006), as well
as instructor rank in Jeet Kune Do (JKD), Filipino marital arts, and Muay Thai (he
is also currently one of the highest-ranking trainers under Kru Mark DellaGrotte of
Sityodtong). He is also one of a select few full coaches with Straight Blast Gym
International, and serves as the organizations U.S. East Coast Director.

Stephen founded Nexus Martial Arts & Fitness (now Straight Blast Gym East
Coast) in early 2003, located in Wareham, MA. In addition to his martial arts
students, Stephen and his staff have trained numerous top-level professional
mixed martial arts fighters and his academy has developed numerous individual
and team grappling and BJJ champions.

His instructional series, 40 Plus BJJ Success, continues to be followed by

thousands of Jiu-Jitsu students and instructors from around the world.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training

Hello fellow 40 plus grapplers!

Stephen Whittier here. I was looking back at the responses I have received to
some of my articles on the subject of approaching (and being successful in) BJJ
training after 40.

There are other pieces Ive written that have yielded some great feedback; some
of them more instructional in nature while others are motivational, but the ones
that I felt were most important were the ones that were the most foundational in
terms of strategy and avoiding the common pitfalls and mistakes I see many
students making.

A lot of the time when the subject of training methodology comes up, people get
very reductive in their thinking. There is a huge myth in Jiu-Jitsu (which
unfortunately even many Black Belt instructors buy into) that its all about mat
time. And dont get me wrong to a large extent there is no substitute for that

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training

time, that sweat, and that process. But to say that the real key to getting good is
mat time is simply how many hours one clocks in on the training floor misses a
crucial point: not all training time is created equal.

Just a few of the possible limiting factors to your productivity during a training
session include your attitude toward training, your mental and physical energy
levels, and injuries or other physical limitations. And on top of that, we have to
consider the efficacy of your training and learning process itself.

Thats why Ive found that the BEST answers to challenges and frustrations we
encounter along the path of learning Jiu-Jitsu arent just found in a technique.
Instead, they come by way of a healthy attitude and firm understanding of what
the most important elements of the game are that YOU should be working on to
improve the fastest and avoid injury. With that sound footing, the technique and
strategy you develop will be based in solid physics and uniquely suited to your
own style of play.

As always, the advice is universal in principle it applies to practitioners of all

ages but as we get older it just becomes all the more important.

I have reworked these email articles slightly for the purposes of this short book,
and hope you find it useful as others have. Enjoy!

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training

BIG Mistake #1

Getting Caught Up in
Accumulation & Complexity
When I first began the 40 Plus BJJ series, I used my student, John, as an
example of a successful over 40 grappler who has truly applied the principle I
call: Defining Your Routes.

(We call John Captain America at our school as a lighthearted term of respect,
but not because he is a freakish natural athlete, which he isnt, or because of all
the many competitions hes won. He is a very hard worker and has dedicated
himself to applying the approach I advocate here to maximize his training

What is defining your routes? Once John finds that something seems to be

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training

working for him (how his body likes to move when attempting to pass an
opponents guard, for ex.), he studies all the responses his training partners give
him so that he becomes aware of any possible counters that will give him trouble.

Then he systematically breaks down the game all the way from his initial entry to
the pass to his positioning and control throughout the transitional phases of the
pass until he has found an answer to those "problems. He works on this until he
is fluent in that pass and he OWNS every inch of his routes.

This way he doesnt need to know or master many passes. He just needs to
become proficient at a couple or few of them by:

1. Getting good at entering into them

2. Being able to fluidly transition from one pass to another in combination
3. Limiting his opponents potential counters (and recognizing what those are at
any given moment throughout the pass
4. And being able to shut down or counter any of those counters (i.e., ownage!)

Now this may sound like a narrow or restricted game, but it's not in the least.

The fact is, a good student like John has a very solid understanding of the
mechanics that make jiu-jitsu work, including games and styles of play that are

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training

much different from his own. He has to if he wants to be able to beat them.


When it comes to his own performance, he has learned how to maximize his
training time and trim his learning curve by zeroing in on the details that allow
him to adapt his game to the situation, and impose it on others.

In other words:

Rather than worrying about accumulating a ton of techniques (a very common

tendency and BIG mistake in learning jiu-jitsu) he is able get better results with
less work (which in BJJ equals 'more efficient') by focusing on:

Identifying and taking away all the possible counters to his routes based on the
responses of many different opponents to his game.


How to recover whenever he gets forced "off his routes" and then immediately
return to them! (This is like taking a wrong turn but maintaining a sense of
direction so that you can quickly reorient yourself and get back on the route you

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


This approach is what has allowed him to make even really strong, explosive,
and/or super-flexible young guys play HIS game, at HIS pace.

As a concrete example, let's say you like the classic "knee over" (or knee slide)
guard pass. When you factor in all the possible variations, there are dozens upon
dozens of counters to this pass.

But there are only a finite amount of options for how the body can actually MOVE
at any point in time to execute those counters.

Focus on shutting down those finite possibilities, and you also shut down all
those dozens of tricky counters someone can throw at you.

A lot of times the devil is in the small details...

In my series I showed a video of John nailing a kimura in one of the tournaments

he won. But the kimura isn't the key element from this position.

The key detail is the combination of the "bite" he gets on his opponent's arm and
the big, driving sprawl forward he does to really "staple" his opponent's arm to

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training

the mat.

You can easily pin someone 50 pounds heavier and much stronger than you
while you just tighten the screws...

I break down this technique here:

Arm Smash Pin To Kimura >>>

More important than these details, however, is the process Ill be laying out,
through which John developed a high degree of proficiency at attaining this
position and controlling his opponents every step of the way until he could
threaten with this attack.

Its a perfect example of how studying possible counters and REFINING your
routes will allow you to much more quickly DEFINE ("Own and Dominate") your

You may have heard this or understand it intellectually. Thats common. The
question is, are you applying it? Because time and time again, I see 40+
grapplers make the same mistakes as their young counterparts and adopt the
technique accumulator mindset. Really think about this for your own game.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


BIG Mistake #2

Copying Someone Elses Game

In this section I want to cover another very common problem that is seldom
recognized as a problem but in fact may be a HUGE impediment to your training

"At all costs, DO NOT copy someone else's style."


This is one of the most widespread errors I see as a coach, and the stakes are
often higher when "seniors division" grapplers are trying to play the game with
younger guys.

Its a mistake that can SABOTAGE your game even quicker than trying to
accumulate tons of techniques (Big Mistake #1), although as you'll see the two go

Aside from all the access we have nowadays to countless techniques on the
internet (I used to buy VHS instructional sets back in the day), many people get

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


lured into this "trap" by:

1) Trying to emulate the games of the upper belts in their school (or some
competitor or instructor they admire).

and / or:

b) Being taught their own instructor's style.

And heres the thing even a lot of reputedly great teachers can screw up
their students without even knowing it by teaching their style.









differentiate aspects of the game that are usually

erroneously seen as identical: teaching


coaching [improving others performance], evaluation

[evaluating others performance and level]; cornering

coaching and preparation], and ones

personal performance [current skill level]. They are all completely separate and
competence in one area is not a necessary indicator of competence in another.
There are a lot of very effective teachers, for example, who are not very effective
coaches. And teaching their own preferred game and technical style is a dead

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training



Let's say I am a coach with a "long and lanky" build (happens to be true). I have
certain moves and routes I've worked out over the years, things that work for me
on the mat.

A lot of my technique is going to be rooted (pun intended) in adaptations I have

made based on my particular set of physical attributes and mindset.

So now let's say I am coaching a student, we'll call him 'Charlie', who is 6 inches
shorter, stocky, and has short legs.

No matter how detailed, articulate, and charismatic I may be as I break down and
teach the techniques that work for me, you can be pretty sure of one thing:

I have just ROYALLY F@#%ED UP Charlie's Jiu-Jitsu game!

The fact is, the ONLY time it's a good idea to adopt someone else's personal
style is if you have already "proven" by starting to develop your own routes
through the pressure of live training -- that you tend to play a similar game as
they do.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


In many cases, this will mean that you have similar attributes as the person
whose game you're emulating.

(My main instructor, Roberto, always worked a killer leg lasso guard, and I picked
up some of it years ago because it seemed to flow naturally for me. But if I had
tried to copy the "particulars" of his game and design my own after his favorite
moves, I would have done myself a huge disservice).

Okay, now that I've presented a problem, what's the solution?

The solution is as crucial as it is simple: Focus On Fundamentals.

This is where I hear, "Yeah, yeah. Everyone knows that. You've got to have the
basics first."

**But there is a CRUCIAL difference between the concept of a "Basic Technique"

and a "Fundamental"

In fact, the term basics drives my good friend, John Kavanagh (top MMA coach
of guys like Gunnar Nelson and Conor McGregor), absolutely crazy. (Thats why I
like to say it all the time, just to get him riled up!)

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


But he's right....

Because to say that there are "basic" techniques implies that there are
"advanced" techniques.

Don't buy it.

Look at the highest level athletes in any sport (including BJJ)... you'll see that
"advanced" skill involves a combination of physical attributes and masterful
execution of FUNDAMENTAL physical principles.

That's why Kobe Bryant's skill on the court would still be greater than mine even
if I "knew" every move that he knows. In other words: advanced simply refers to
effectiveness in relation to one's personal "style," or expression of the art.

On the other hand, we have Fundamentals.

Another good friend (and one of my own coaches), Matt Thornton, describes a
fundamental as:

Something that everyone, regardless of physical attributes, needs to know

to play the game.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


Also important: minus some minor variations, everyone will perform a

fundamental in roughly the same way because it is based in core mechanical
principles. In other words, its straightforward physics.

As with any skill, we can tweak it if someone has flexibility issues or some other
physical restriction, but otherwise it meets the "criteria."

So many times we think of a fundamental as a basic move you learn before you
get to the cool stuff an Americana shoulder lock, a scissor sweep, a bridge &
roll escape, etc. And one could argue that these do meet Matts criteria. But the
even more critical point is the fundamental structure and mechanics that make
this, and so many other techniques work.

A point worth noting: the tendency to "try on" others' games is most common at
the blue and even purple belt levels.
3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


By the time you're a BJJ purple belt you will no doubt have some things you are
very good at, but the process of truly working out a game that is distinctively your
own typically occurs around the brown belt level.

Knowing this, I try to give my students the tools to begin that process earlier
instead of teaching students MY personal game, about 95% of my instructional
time is devoted to fundamentals.

If you are a student of the game, I implore you not to fall into this trap. And if you
are an instructor, I urge you to become aware of it so that you dont inadvertently
sabotage the progress of some or many of your students without even knowing it!

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


BIG Mistake #3

Settling For An Inefficient Skill

Development Methodology
One of the best bits of advice I can give anyone who gets the Jiu-Jitsu bug and
experiences the inevitable frustrations along the way that come with learning the
art is this: be in the moment.

Its easy to lose sight of the magic you felt when you first began learning the
technique, and that honeymoon phase often turns to self-doubt or frustration over
your progress, your development relative to others, your belt rank, etc.

In the larger sense, whether you aspire to be a black belt world champion or just
to train into your later years, the MOST important thing is to keep doing it! Stay in
the moment, focus on creating great Jiu-Jitsu instead of worrying about all the
thoughts running through your head, and just do it remembering why you fell in
love with the art in the first place.

All that said, even if you study Jiu-Jitsu recreationally, I think its always a good
idea to have some shorter term goals in mind to help keep you moving forward
and inspired.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


These goals will vary from person to person, but aside from staying in the game
as I just mentioned, another is pretty universal:

Developing a game plan that will allow you to maximize skill development in less
time while fostering longevity (a.k.a., stay safe, minimize injury and wear-andtear).

I go deep into the topic of skill development in my Ultimate

Guide to High Performance Drilling e-book. But for now
lets address an important and directly related notion:

The concept of a grappling "System."

There are a whole lot of these out there now. And depending on the context, the
idea of following a system can be extremely valuable to you or it can set you up
for failure.

The distinction is somewhat semantic because its relative to what someone

means when they use the term system. As you may have guessed, this has
everything to do with how we defined "Fundamentals" earlier. But I want to touch
on it again because it's that important.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


Especially because in recent years there have been a ton of so-called systems
popping up in the grappling and BJJ world claiming to be the ultimate technique
building methodology, so proceed with caution as you check them out!

After reviewing many of the commonalities and differences between these for
years, Ive created a very simple litmus test

When A System is Productive:

1) When it is firmly rooted in Fundamentals.

Remember that Fundamentals have to do with the physical concepts principles

common to everyone who plays the game... the opposite of any individual "style."

Here's an example. Say we're talking about key points for maintaining back
control (rear mount):

-Tight Head Position & Harness (a.k.a. Seatbelt or Over/Under) Pressure

-Maintain Your Bottom Hook
-Keep Opponent's Shoulder Thats Inside the Harness Facing Up

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


-Control Opponent's Top Hip

-Stretch Out and Attack (Chokes & Joint Locks)

Whether you just call this a set of principles, a conceptual coaching model or a
system, it offers a template for the essential elements of maintaining back control
at any level, regardless of any one athlete or instructor's tricks or variants.

2) When it provides an approach a tactical strategy or methodology to

achieve a desired goal.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


When A System is NOT Productive:

I always proceed with caution when someone packages a system around a set of
routes or techniques based on individual preferences and physical attributes (this
goes back to the idea of not copying anothers style or routes).

For example, breaking down and teaching a series or particular "game" can be
productive for some as long as it is presented as a set of options, not
fundamentals. (In other words, it comes with the caveat that its not for everyone.)

So I would only ever teach a "system" of playing Rubber Guard, De La Riva

Guard, 50/50 guard, etc. as a set of technical options or possibilities for students
who share a certain style or body type that would lend itself to those options or
because I wanted to have my students conversant enough with those games and
pressures that we could play them at a basic level to understand how to counter

And this is ONLY once a very solid set of core, universal Fundamentals have
been identified and developed.

Understand this, and it is much easier to see if a particular set of options will fit
with YOUR individual approach, style of movement, etc. (your defined routes).

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


Again, some may say this is an obvious point. But I bring it up because I have
seen many hundreds of students get caught up in the desire to learn the latest,
greatest "System X."

Personality and Style of Play

One of the more interesting ways to think about this point about a concept- and
fundamentals-based approach rather than a technique-based approach is
seldom talked about: personality.

Your disposition, and the way you think, does in fact have a direct correlation to
your style.

I wrote this email article a while back on this very point:

What do driving styles, pick up strategies and grappling have in common?

Sounds crazy but, A LOT!

Years ago I drew an analogy between personality and driving style. Meaning: in

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


general, people drive how they're 'wired." Just like they roll how they're wired...

It's in your DNA.

People with aggressive personalities tend to be aggressive on the mat and

behind the wheel. People who are conservative and patient tend to be
conservative and patient rolling and driving, etc.

So I had to laugh when Matt Thornton made a similar point at a seminar that how
guys roll directly reflects how they approach and try to pick up women.

(This is a gender specific example to be sure, but it probably works both ways.)

Anyway, his observation was completely independent of mine, but I found it

pretty funny how the two analogies matched up and how accurate they tend to

The great value in this story is recognizing the relationship between your own
personality and your jiu-jitsu game.

This will go a LONG way toward helping you discover, develop and refine your
own personal style of BJJ...

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


How you move, and how you play; i.e., your personal strategy.

This will be highly individualized, but as I've tried to emphasize, should always be
rooted in solid fundamentals.

Thats why I like to look at broader strategies for 40 Plus BJJ non-technique
limited guidelines that make sense for grapplers of all shapes, sizes, ages and
mindsets. That way, the tactical advice can be adapted to each and every

Methodology: The Jiu-Jitsu Tree

There are always exceptions, but most 40 plus grapplers are wondering if theyll
be able to keep up with the young bucks (if not right this minute, then 5 or 10
years from now) they take longer to recover than they used to they often
have more physical wear and tear, injuries and other physical limitations, and due
to the responsibilities that come with age (work, family, etc.) they just don't log as
many hours on the mat as their younger counterparts.

With these considerations, maximizing your mat time becomes even more

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


important. And the best way to maximize your mat time is to look at your
approach to training.

Which brings me to the "Jiu-Jitsu Tree

Some years back a fellow coach and SBG black belt named Cane Prevost began
teaching according to this model:

1) Posture
2) Pressure
3) Possibilities

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


(It was a logical extension of what we were doing and found was working the
best, but Cane was the one who organized it into a real model for training. It is
simple but brilliant!)

Again, I go much deeper into skill development technology in my High

Performance Drilling e-book, but suffice it to say that this is light years ahead of
training paradigms that favor doing high repetition static drilling straight to live
competitive rolling, and also those that mistake positional sparring for our

Heres a quick explanation and breakdown:

Posture refers to the correct positioning and structure of your body in each
respective Jiu-Jitsu position (ultimately, this means not just the textbook starting
posture but would include the moment-to-moment transitional adaptations as
Training implementation: posture should be drilled itself with progressive
resistance, not simply taken for granted as just the first step in a technical
sequence. This is the training step that will allow students to develop flow
and positional fluency faster than anything else.

[Note: I made one addition to this a couple years ago by adding Angle the model,

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


making it Posture Angle Pressure Possibilities. This was because I

observed that even if ones posture is perfect at a given moment during rolling,
even a slight deviation in angle can dramatically affect the advantage or
disadvantage of the position. For the purposes of this writing I will just focus on
the 3 Ps however.]

Pressures are the physical energies that emerge from these postures and are
available to you at any given point, i.e. attacking pressures, escaping pressures,
etc. Conceptually speaking, for example, lets say that youre pinned on the
bottom of cross-sides. Pressure from proper defensive posture may include
bridging, shrimping, rolling away, rocking chair and using a pendulum motion with
your legs.

Training Implementation: next, these pressures are drilled (as always, with
progressive resistance) as an extension of the postures. They will be a
direct counter-pressure to the offensive pressure your partner is giving

Only then do we address Possibilities. These are the techniques (the passes,
sweeps, the chokes, escapes, etc.) that arise out of the pressures.

Referring back to the Jiu-Jitsu Tree, youll notice that the roots are the posture,

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


the trunk is the pressures, and the branches and outlying foliage are the
possibilities. This is directly in line with my point in section one about defining /
refining your routes

Bringing us full circle, all the drilling devoted to maintaining your posture and
position (and in turn beating your opponents posture) is the ROOT...

A particular technique, on the other hand, would be a ROUTE a branch or

possibility that stems from that root and its pressures. So the secret to truly
owning those routes doesnt lie in the branches themselves, but in their

This is contrary to most BJJ instructional approaches, which focus on the

possibilities the techniques or technical sequences and the majority of
training methods begin and end with them. Take a quick look at most
instructional resources out there and youll see very quickly the focus is on
winning or championship techniques of top competitors (teaching their own
style in most cases) and / or focus on a particular series of techniques (the

This doesnt mean that these resources are without value, but in most cases
students of the game would be better served making the postures and pressures

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


the primary focus of their training. Developing this core fluency of movement,
timing and tactile sensitivity, all based in solid fundamentals, will then serve as
the filter for determining the style of play that works best for you. And at that
point you can make much better and more educated use of possibilities-based
instructional resources because: a) you wont waste time learning techniques that
arent right for you, and b) you will be able to analyze, synthesize and implement
techniques into your game because of the strong foundation youve developed.

In my DVD, 7 Killer Strategies & Techniques to Beat Younger, Bigger,

Stronger & Faster Opponents, I do show some possibilities, but make the
individual techniques secondary to the principles and strategies that make them
effective in the first place.

(Think of these as the engine that makes the technical Jiu-Jitsu machine run.)

Which means that if you really focus on the 3 Ps and proper drilling of
fundamentals, you can very literally train smarter even with limited mat time and
close a lot of that gap in training time.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


If this sounds hypothetical, its not. I have had many followers of my 40 Plus BJJ
series put these methods into action and very quickly turn their games around
while their peers are still scouring YouTube in vain for the next shiny object
technique that will solve all their frustrations on the mat (Ill include some of the
testimonials at the end of the book).

The good news for you? Most of the young guys want to chase those shiny
objects and learn all the cool new techniques on the competitive circuit. Some
of the very athletic and coordinated will be able to pull it off, but armed with what
you know now you will begin to bridge the gap because you will be training much
more productively and intelligently with whatever hours you have to devote to

Taking Responsibility for Your Progress

Ultimately, none of us can or should look to our instructors as the answer to our

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


progress, or lack of it. Of course we need instruction and coaching, but its really
up to us to put in the mental and physical energy to improve.

One of the most common frustrations I hear once a student grasps the Jiu-Jitsu
Tree is that they understand how they should be training, but classes at their
school dont run in this format.

This is very common. Ive mentioned the Heres a position, here are a bunch of
technical possibilities, now roll format already in this book, but if that is how your
classes run I have a simple follow-up tip:

Make sure you make use of open mat time by getting some training partners to
go through the training progression focusing on drilling postures/angles and
pressures with you. Even though a lot of people just want to roll, you can usually
find a good training partner who will do this with you, or just offer to give them 5
or 10 minutes at a time working on whatever they want if they give you equal time
training with you on this.

Dedicate time to drilling and training in this method and you will begin to
understand Jiu-Jitsu on a much deeper level, and see your game come together
much more quickly than ever before.

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


What Others Are Saying About 40 Plus BJJ

This is the best series I have ever purchased. I'm a 42 year old brown belt,
closing in on black, and this series has really helped to fill on some holes in my
game. Since I purchased this series, several folks have commented on how my
game has been improving. I've always been a fan of SBG material, but the
manner in which this series was organized, the explanations, the principles
focus, etc. are simply outstanding."
-Stephan Hartmann

About 12 months ago I began to incorporate your philosophy of position and

timing into my regular drilling and rolling. Through you email posts, videos, and
DVD's I added the specific fundamentals I needed to improve my game. About
three months ago I committed to competing for the first time in a big tournament the IBJJF Master Seniors Worlds.

By applying your principle of defining my

routes, opponent's options, and my shutdowns or transitions, I developed a game

plan for the tournament. This past Sunday, October 7, 2012 in Long Beach, CA,
I became the Senior 5 Featherweight World Champion! Thank you for all your
wisdom and passion to share the BJJ Professor path to excellence.
-Eric Twigg

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


Just wanted to say thank you for all your help with the 40 Plus BJJ dvd's and the
continued emails. It is obvious that you are dedicated to making the sport better
and your support for your students (including the cyber ones) is incredible. I am
going to be testing for my Blue Belt at the end of the month and I owe a lot of my
progress to what I have learned from you.
-John M.

I own the 40plus set and it is fantastic, my game has improved so much from
watching and drilling techniques from that set it is ridiculous. I am a purple belt
instructor who has been training for 8yrs and trained with some top level guys
and I rate Steve as the most technical instructor I have seen, and I have done
seminars with Xande Ribeiro, Eddie bravo, John Will, etc. I would buy anything
he puts out.
-James Guy

My game has improved by leaps and bounds thanks to your DVD series. No
longer intimidated by those 20 year olds that practically live at the dojo. OSS!
-Ron Forte

Professor, your instructional videos are second to none, especially with teaching
concepts (more so than technique), and breaking down small details, into smaller

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


easily digestible details.

-C. Diaz

Your tips have been super helpful, thank you!! The younger guys can't figure out
why I can keep up with them. I'm 42 years old.
-Omar Rodriguez

Just want to say that I was told this week by a couple of the young lions at my
gym that I'm starting to develop a reputation in my gym as a tricky, and
annoying older guy to spar with (and my gym goes at sparring really hard core,
so tricky and annoying really means that try as they might they cant impose
their youthful attributes on my game). This is thanks in great part to the 40-plus

I am writing to provide a testimonial for the 40 plus BJJ DVD series. I am 44

years old (recently promoted to purple) and I have been practicing BJJ for since
2008. I am pretty passionate about bjj and I have bought MANY DVDs, books,
and instructionals. Your DVD set is one of the best due to the fact the emphasis
is on principles and concepts vs techniques (though there is plenty of proven
"fundamental" technique as well). The DVDs (and the emails) have really
changed my approach to training; I am focused much more on routes and

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


general concepts and less on physical attributes. This is paying great dividends
as I am much more competitive with the young guns at the gym and at
tournaments. Thank you for creating a great series for us senior players!
-Marcelo Corpuz

I am writing to say how great the 40+ bjj series is and how it has helped my
training. I am 45 years old and my 15 year old son has been taking bjj and mma
classes for 2 years. I decided to join him just a few months ago, but I couldnt
even make it through one lesson, not to mention doing well or submitting anyone.
I couldnt keep up with the speed, strength and stamina of the others in the gym.
Using the tips provided in the emails and videos at 40+ bjj, I am using strategy to
compensate for less quickness and speed. Without these training tips, I would be
practicing the wrong thing!
- Todd Shields

Except in a few cases, it seems like I have 20-30 years on my classmates and
they have 20-30 lbs on their bench press over me. It was discouraging at first,
getting so gassed out trying to keep up that I thought one of the gospel tenets of
BJJ was b.s.: technique beats strength every time. It wasnt until I took a private
with my instructor, and voiced my frustration, that he pointed me in your direction.
Signing up for the emails and purchasing the DVD series, have proved to be of
such a benefit to my overall game, mindset, and attitude when getting on the

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


mats that I feel I can never say thank you enough. In fact, myself and the other
three Grappling Grandpas in my club routinely get together to work on the
techniques presented in the emails and DVD. I dont think a session goes by
where I dont use something, no matter how small, that Ive gleaned from the
series. And those small little nuggets of knowledge eventually build into one
scary-ass game. Thanks again!
- Blair Stanifer

I love the emails, good use of overlapping links and structure of emails. I like the
videos and the focus on the essence of bjj of using technique and leverage vs
speed, power and youth. Just because the series is 40plus bjj doesn't exclude it
from being solid bjj that anyone could benefit from.
- Kawika Bennett

Thanks Stephen. Your great instructional videos and inspirational emails have
brought my jiu jitsu game to a new level. Thanks for all you do!
-Sean Smith

Thank you for this video series, it was well worth it. At 46 yrs of age, I no longer
have the strength of a young buck, & it's demoralizing to find that out on the mat,
but then enter the great equalizer 40 Plus BJJ. Now I'm able to slow down even
the higher belts, which then allows me enough time to reset or turn the tables &

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


fight from the top. People have asked me what has changed in the last two to
three months & I just say I got older! Go 40 Plus BJJ.
- Jeff Martinez

I've been training for almost two years now. At 46, this can at times be difficult.
After obtaining the 40+ set and drilling a lot, I entered a tournament, and won. I
have been committing to learning everything in the series. Thanks for all of the
help and keep it coming.
- Joey Williams

I wanted to thank you for this technique. I am a Blue Belt and have had difficulty
with good larger wrestlers. Since I have been practicing this for a few months, I
have yet to have anyone keep me in side control. There were many skeptics in
class on this, but I had a 300ib wrestler and 2 year student try to keep me there. I
was out within 5-10 seconds. We did this 3 times and I easily escaped all three.
Needless to say, he was impressed of how effective it works. Thanks for all you

Hi Steve just got last email from you celebrating one month into your program
and how i haven't emailed you yet so thought i best just to say how well your
program is working for me. Having just getting back into bjj after five years out

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training


and only having 8 months previous training and turning 40 this year the things
you focus on had me change my game. The results started to come quickly.
-Dean Nichols

I found your ultimate guard passing one of the best instructionals ever - really
good stuff!
-Nicolai Geeza Holt, Gracie Barra UK Instructor

3 Biggest Mistakes 40+ Grapplers Make In Their Training