I started training jiu-jitsu pre-YouTube. If you wanted to learn jiu-jitsu outside of a gym, you had to buy a DVD, a book, a magazine, or read through a blog. This meant that high-quality content was hard to find. You were never quite sure what you would get when you purchased a DVD, and deciphering the unwritten details between photo captions was often a long detective process of trial and error.
In those dark ages of jiu-jitsu thought, a few blogs stood as bastions of high-quality, in-depth content. Stephan Kesting’s GrappleArts.com was one of those blogs. In addition to self-producing a number of DVDs that many years on are still relevant and excellent sources of grappling insights, he maintained an active blog where he shared mountains and mountains of technique and strategy.
In that time, I’ve had the pleasure of communicating with Stephan on a few projects, and he was gracious enough to lend his support to Matt Kirtley’s Mastering the Crucifix. As the sport has evolved, Stephan has grown as well, and we consider it a huge compliment to have him support us and our work.
If you are new to the sport—and I meet more and more white belts that have yet to discover Stephan’s material—you can get one of his e-books for free in the next few days. Even if you are an experienced grappler, Stephan’s Roadmap for BJJ will illuminate facets of jiu-jitsu that you haven’t considered.
Super Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Dojo Storm: Championship Edition celebrates the grand inside joke of being a jiu-jiteiro with a tongue-in-cheek exploration of the weird and wonderful side of jiu-jitsu culture. Instead of trying to replicate the experience of training, Dojo Storm uses RPG-style mechanics to thrust players into a world where everyone takes training as seriously as we do—from our unhealthy acai obsessions to our hate for all things board-breaking.
Play as Tim, an aspiring world champion, as you travel from a rural town to the big city of Bitsburgh to compete in the Polaris Team Invitiational, recruiting a zany team of martial artists to compete at your side along the way. You soon discover, however, that an outbreak of the McDojo virus threatens to infect jiu-jitsu, raising the stakes from winning a gold medal to saving the sanctity of jiu-jitsu as we know it. The future of the art rests on the shoulders of you and your hodge-podge team of fighters. Can you master the art of fighting and coaching in-time to save jiu-jitsu?
Artechoke Media is run by two marketing professionals. We love jiu-jitsu, and we have used our full-time jobs as marketing consultants to bootstrap our beloved publishing start-up. Since Artechoke is starting to takeoff, we thought it might be helpful to apply our marketing experience to jiu-jitsu, especially if it means helping instructors to connect with potential students and grow the sport.
In our work with instructors, we have seen that one simple misstep holds many gyms back: they are slow to respond inquiries. This seems like a small detail, but waiting too long to reply to an email or to listen to a voice mail can mean losing what could have been your best student. Watch the video below to learn more.
For the people in our live, jiu-jitsu is can be an odd gorilla in the room. Jiu-jitsu can be a source of joy, motivation, and inspiration, but it can also be a source of pain, frustration, and anger. Our sport is a challenging one full of highs and lows. It’s demanding, time-consuming, and ever-present.
So if you love someone who loves jiu-jitsu, it’s almost like being in a relationship with the individual that you care about and with jiu-jitsu by proxy.
To help families and friends navigate these waters, Valerie Worthington, one of the visionaries behind Groundswell Grappling Concepts–alongside the likes of Emily Kwok, Hanatte Staack, and Lola Newsom–wrote a lighthearted guide. Worthington’s book at once serves a primer on the sport and what it entails and as a self-help book of sorts, offering advice and considerations for parties on either side of the jiu-jitsu line. Worthington’s open and conversational style helps to demystify the love for jiu-jitsu and to foster conversation. The goal of the book is not to convince non-grapplers to love everything about jiu-jitsu. Instead, the goal is to get both sides to come to a better understanding of each other to make jiu-jitsu a source of positivity.
The e-book is free, and an typical Artechoke fashion, it is media rich as well, containing interviews with Worthington’s parents and Lola Newsom’s children, providing another layer of unique insights into how jiu-jitsu affects and integrates with families. Check out this sample video below: