Earn the Right to Battle

Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that is synonymous with the UFC. Our practice involves learning how to strike, throw, strangle people unconscious, and manipulate joints that have dire consequences on life. Every night we come to class, and we learn the art of combat and how to do it effectively and efficiently. Within the […]

How to Approach Leg Locks

We’ve been delving into the dark arts of breaking legs and popping lower leg joints lately at the HJJ. There’s a rich history of technique, and also thoughts and opinions about leg locks and their effectiveness. While other martial arts have practiced breaking legs for years in the likes of Japan, Russia, and the world […]

How Did We Get Here? The Higher Jiu Jitsu Difference

If you’re anything like me, you hesitate when people ask you what you do. I run a jiu jitsu academy. True. I teach people how to grapple. Also true. But the benefits of the Higher Jiu Jitsu Experience extend far beyond this. You see, it all started on a beautiful, sunny day on the 12th […]

BJJ in Sydney

There’s something special brewing just outside of the Sydney CBD. It’s been almost 10 years of solid work to get us here. And we’re now firing on all cylinders. Higher Jiu Jitsu is not a stone throw from St Mary’s Cathedral. Legit, throw a rock from the top of the Cathedral and you’ll hit us […]

Better Comes from Boring

I stumbled across this saying recently and here I reflect on it’s meanings in jiu jitsu. Like in all areas of life, Shiny Object Syndrome is definitley a thing in jiu jitsu. The prevalence of the internet has afforded us the ability to access millions of hours of footage, from thousands of different instructors, on […]

A Sensible Approach to Dealing with Injuries

Guest post by HJJ student AJ Bhardwaj. — 3 weeks ago, I hurt my ribs. Quite badly. A grade 2 cartilage tear. Yesterday, however, I was back to rolling albeit at sub maximal intensity in the advanced classes fairly pain free. Let me show you how.   What Happened:   We have been lucky to […]

HJJSydenham – It Is What It Is

It’s with great sadness that I post today to let you know that we’re not continuing with HJJSydenham beyond 2022. How We Got Here It was Oscar that let me know in early 2022 that Barbanera Smash Repairs level 2 was vacant, and prime real estate for a Higher Jiu Jitsu in the Inner West. […]

Off the Scroll Holes and Onto the Mats

You open your eyes from sleep in the morning. No one watches and your phone is there, so you jump on and have a look. Your thumb moves to Instagram, and then to Facebook, and then your emails. You mindlessly scroll for a few minutes, and you’re ready to jump out of bed. Not much […]

So Is It Concepts or Technique?

Lots of debate abounds about the most effective way to learn – is it concepts or techniques? Our priority is learning, and we say it’s both!

A No Brainer. Welcome to the Inner West!

I was born in Earlwood, Sydney. I went to Earlwood Public for my primary school years. Then after a couple years at a high school in unlucky St George Dragons territory :) I relocated and spent my best schooling years at Casimir Catholic College Marrickville. The first time I moved out of my parents’ house, […]

Higher Jiu Jitsu Sydenham – Coming Soon!!

There is something serious brewing on the Higher front, and I can’t help but get it out to you, so please read on! How it all Started It was February of 2014 when I walked into PCYC City of Sydney for the first time ever. A catch up was in order with my new mate […]

Why Aren’t Australia’s Police Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

This week, HBO aired a story on the Gracie Academy’s GST program for law enforcement in the US. The 17 minute video highlights one main problem of policing- not enough training to do their job effectively. Officers with limited training and resources are more likely to feel threatened or angry and use excessive force. Brazilian […]

Jiu Jitsu is Self Defence

Jiu jitsu is many things to many people. Considering the exploding popularity of competition BJJ, the strategy and techniques of jiu jitsu for self defence are becoming more elusive and almost forgotten. But not here at Higher! The fact that our lineage includes the likes of Master Pedro Sauer, GM Rickson Gracie, and GM Helio […]

HJJ Stories – Brad Hampson

Brad came to Sydney from Perth in 2018 looking for a place to learn jiu jitsu, and a community to grow with. He intended to look around and try a few different gyms across the Sydney CBD. He did one class with Higher Jiu Jitsu at the legendary PCYC City of Sydney, and immediately signed […]

Self Defence Basics for Women

Jiu jitsu is self defence, even when it isn’t. In a standard jiu jitsu class room you see people of all shapes and sizes learning the art of jiu jitsu. Lots of the time this means learning moves to grapple against another practitioner who also knows how to grapple. When the art is practiced like […]

Armbar Drill to Tight Armbars from Guard

Here is a drill we do at Higher Jiu Jitsu during guard and armbar practice. It involves a partner acting like a table top. It is best to have your wrists a little further apart than shoulder width, and ideally your fingers are inward facing so that your elbows are outward facing. From the bottom […]

The Superknot Belt Tie Courtesy of the Panza

You gi up and tie your belt. Then a few hip escapes into the warm up and your basic belt tie is unravelling. Time after time after time after time you need to stop what you’re doing and tie up your belt, yet again. So annoying! Well time for that is up :) Mr Panza […]

#039 To the Telos – When There’s No Jiu Jitsu

So there’s a nasty virus lingering around the world having come from bats or from labs and it’s yuck and the government gets worried and now we’re in a lock down and it’s all weird and we can’t train jiu jitsu. Covid or not, life is full of curve balls and this is another one […]

#037 What We Wish We Knew Before Starting Jiu Jitsu

We did a survey asking our students what they wish they knew before starting jiu jitsu. Matty and I come together to record a discussion based around these responses.   Novan Pradhika “As a beginner I wish I knew that not all schools approach jiu jitsu the same way. And that not all schools teach […]

#029 To Compete or Not to Compete?

They say pressure makes diamonds. So are the joys of jiu jitsu locked in competition, now and forever? Or can we enjoy jiu jitsu and learn and flourish on the mats and off, without the rigours of competition? This article discusses the pros and cons of competition and how you can think about it to do it better.

Help Me I Got Choked Out.

Not everything will go your way. Sometimes there’s nothing to do but accept this, move on, and try again, no matter what. So never mind getting choked. Enjoy jiu jitsu, stay on the mats, and learn for life.

Trim The Branches off your Upa, with Science – By Nick Avery

The Upa, or Bridge & Roll The Upa is an incredibly powerful and useful technique. Sometimes it feels like we need all our strength to escape a mounted opponent. If we break down the mechanics, we will see that one little movement will make a big difference.  The major movement of the Upa is the […]

How Knee on Belly Control Works – Nick Avery

~Discomfort is not caused by weight, it is caused by Pressure.~ If I want my opponent to be so focused on the discomfort I’m causing that they forget they own a neck and arms, I need pressure.   Pressure (P) is defined as Force (F) divided by Area (A).  A bed of nails doesn’t kill people due to […]

Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a Science – By Nick Avery

Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a Martial Science Jiu- Jitsu a bit of both art (mistranslated from technique) and science. Gracie jiu jitsu applies one thing that separates it from most martial arts: The Scientific Method. Source Wikipedia Via: Thebiologyprimer.com The scientific method is the single most important methodology for improving, well just about anything. Start with a […]

Get Young People Active – On the Spark Program

The Spark Program is Higher Jiu Jitsu’s way of providing the life skills of jiu jitsu to the underprivileged kids of our community.

How to Visit Another School and Feel Good About It

With a few pointers your visit to another school doesn’t need to ruffle any feathers. Here is how you can travel to different schools and have fun, and learn and be nice to everyone around you.

You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure. So How Do you Measure Jiu Jitsu?

Counting how many submissions happen per class is one way to measure progress. But it’s definitely not the only way, or the best way. Here are some other more relevant ways to measure your progress on the mats.

The Good Life of Jiu Jitsu? Here’s the Secret.

Im amongst all the resources to learn jiu jitsu, there is one elusive trait that’s needed throughout the journey to getting better at jiu jitsu. Practice this, and you’re on course to being at your best.

The First Months of Jiu Jitsu: Choose Where Wisely To Benefit Greatly

If the end crowns the work, then the beginning sets the tone for the work. Think carefully where you start your jiu jitsu journey as this will have big ramifications on your path!

Where Did All the Love Go? A Reflection on Self Defence

Why do we regularly discuss jiu jitsu from a standpoint of violence? It’s known as the gentle art for a reason, and you like it because you don’t need to get hurt while doing it. 

Predater vs Prey: The Strategy of Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu mats are a big world of beautiful mechanics, and technique, and fun. Beyond these moves is the strategy that is required to make it all work. Are you the hunter or the hunted?

10 Ways to Annoy Your Jiu Jitsu Buddies

We know you’re a good guy. But there’s some things some people do on the mats, and it’s very annoying. Make sure you’re not a culprit of one of these!

From Start to Struggle: The Process of Beginning Jiu Jitsu

I was a few classes into my jiu jitsu journey. I was fit, and strong, and gladly accepted an invite into a jiu jitsu tournament. Before I knew what an armbar was I was being armbarred, and I only knew one way out of it. I’d like to think my knowledge and skills have improved […]

Infidels of Jiu Jitsu: Please Read.

You never wanted people to choke you, and you never thought it’d be so fun to practice self defence. And here you are.

So You Want to Start a Jiu Jitsu Academy

There’s been many ups and downs on the path to the present. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. This is Higher Jiu Jitsu and this is for life. 

Jiu Jitsu Does It Better: Get Started Today.

When you learn jiu jitsu you lose weight, feel good, and have fun all at the same time. Whatever you want to do, with jiu jitsu you can do it better.

HJJ Podcast #004 Injuries Suck. Prehab Says No.

Join Coach John and Matty as we discuss the perils of injury, and what to do in order to minimise the risks of them, on the mats and off. 

On Repetition and Re-Learning of Basics

As you learn, you improve. At some point, it goes full circle, and you see the common trends inherent in our martial art. These are the basics of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and they’re not just for beginners.

HJJ Podcast #003 Jiu Jitsu Saves the Day

John and Brad discuss how they got involved in jiu jitsu and what they wanted to get out of it. Fast forward numerous years for both of them, they’re obsessed, they’ve got the bug, and they’re now hooked. Highlights, Takeaways, Key Points: How jiu jitsu can change how you spend your time, and choose your […]

When There’s No Choice But to Change

What’s the difference between Gracie Jiu Jitsu or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Aren’t they the different names for the same thing? That’s what I thought too. Then I met some problems, and great teachers, and now there’s no going back.

The Jiu Jitsu Long Game: Here’s How to Play

We all love jiu jitsu. For some people the short game of jiu jitsu is where it’s at. Others prefer to play the long game. Here’s how to do it for the long term.

The Sabbatical – Begins 2019.

If you’re playing the long game, burnout is not an option, and rest is a necessity. From this year onwards, we introduce the Sabbatical.

HJJ Podcast #002 – Ladies, It’s Time.

Gracie Jiu Jitsu means self defence via leverage where smaller, weaker people can defend themselves against bigger, and stronger aggressors.  So then why are the everyday people doing jiu jitsu predominantly men?

Women’s Only Scholarship

The students of Higher Jiu Jitsu have banded together to create a scholarship for women who want to learn but may lack the finances. Supported solely by the community of students, the scholarship includes 3 months of their Women’s Only program and a uniform.  

Be A Good Uke. Here’s How.

Your instructor calls you out and you’re the dummy of the class. It’s your turn to shine as uke. Here’s how to do it well.

Self Defence: Preparation or Paranoia?

Just because you’ve never been in a fight, doesn’t mean you don’t need self defence. The skills we learn in jiu jitsu are there to help you if ever the situation came about. It’s not paranoia, it’s preparation. And so much fun along the way!

What To Expect in Your Free Trial Class

How do you prepare? Have a shower, and clip your nails. Pack some water, flip flops, and a change of clothes for after class. Men- Wear a comfortable, fitted, older t-shirt, and shorts without pockets. Women – Wear a fitted t shirt and tights. Show up 15 minutes before your first class. Remove all piercings, […]

Finding The Academy For You

So you want to train jiu jitsu…   Find Your Third Place. Your academy is like your second home. Here’s an article about the third place. The people that make up that community become like family to you, and it’s important you find the right one to kickstart your journey.   Which one is right […]

I Appreciate Amigo – 2018 – The Year That Was

It’s been an amazing year. We’ve worked hard, and we’ve achieved lots. Before we embark on a new one, it’s time to reflect and be grateful for the good times that have happened in 2018.

The Brilliance of Burak & The Strategy of Survival

Rolling with a monster like Burak Sarman has it’s perks. And so does being under the tutelage of Master Pedro Sauer. In Melbourne I had the opportunity to do just that. I survived. This is my story.

Curiosity On the Mat Doesn’t Kill the Cat

On the mats, curiosity won’t kill you. It’ll help you survive. And it’s how you can do jiu jitsu without fighting, and for a lifetime.

HJJStories #003 Superpowers of Self Defence w/ Danny Willmott

Brad sits down with Danny to discuss a recent event that occurred on the streets of Sydney and how his Gracie Jiu Jitsu self defence training kept him and his loved ones safe.

HJJStories #002 The Biggest Benefits of Learning Jiu Jitsu

On this episode the JitsBros Brad and Leon discuss all matters of the mats and how to get the biggest benefit from your training in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

HJJStories #001 Introduction

In this episode Brad discusses how this podcast comes about, how it started with the JitsBros, and how it continues as the HJJStories.

Hey Parents – Jits4Kids Has Arrived!

We’re bringing Gracie Jiu Jitsu to the kids, and we’re excited! Maybe it’s because we’ve dealt with bullies too. Then came jiu jitsu. And now things have changed. So we’re compelled to share the benefits of the martial arts with the kids, and serve the Sydney community, both of today and of tomorrow. 

Help! I Can’t Sleep Post Jiu Jitsu

Do you find it difficult to sleep post jiu jitsu? Is it hard for you to switch from choke time to sleep time? If you’re like us and want to build quality of life with your training, you need to sort out your sleep.

You Don’t Know What you Don’t Know.

If you want to keep improving in jiu jitsu, look at your strengths but look more at your shortfalls. This is the path to getting better on the mats, and off.

Mind Body BS – Here’s How to do it Better

We’re told to train the mind and make savage the body. But to separate these parts only leads to your downfall. Here’s how to integrate the two, and never look back.

Ladies, It’s Time.

Gracie Jiu Jitsu was created for smaller, weaker people to defend themselves against bigger, stronger opposition. So why are classes around the world predominantly male? Ladies, it’s time to step up and learn self defence, and we’re here to help you along the way.

The Black Belt Off the Mats

Milan is busy learning on the mats.  Milan also realises that he could do with similar guidance off them too. Higher ProCoach is a collaboration with Precision Nutrition that equips you with the skills to live safe, healthy, and happy, this time off the mats. 

The Jiu Jitsu Shoulds

The shoulds are a nasty affliction. They’ll run through your innards faster, and more painfully than a heavyweight’s kneeride. It’ll choke your lungs with shame and fear, like a Kron Gracie cross collar choke. Eventually, the Shoulds will make you tap from the pain of disappointment and despair. But there is a different way …

Study the Science of Jiu Jitsu

When you become curious about how jiu jitsu works, you allow yourself the space to feel differences, and come up with better solutions to problems. That’s why you ought to study the science of jiu jitsu. 

Stop Busy. Start Jiu Jitsu.

You’re busy, and time is precious. Nevertheless, jiu jitsu time makes it all worthwhile. Here’s how to plan for your time on the mats, and commit for the long haul.

Internalise – By Leon Comino

This is a recounting of a fight. A feeling that changed the angle of the lens I view life through… By Leon Comino. 

On Cranking Necks & Cracking Joints

How do we stay safe on the mats while maintaining the integrity of our art? Here is one way to train with effectiveness, and still be able to do it for a lifetime.

Slow Is The Way to Go

How can you train to ensure you learn, you stay safe, and you have fun, all at the same time? The answer is right in here. 

Come Back! Jiu Jitsu Loves You.

You trained for some time, but you got injured, and you decided that this art just isn’t for you. That’s unfortunate. With some strategies you can mould your luck to have fun and be safe on the mats. 

Tune In To Tune Up Your Jiu Jitsu

You can look around all you like and you may find something. But when you start to search within, this is where the answers lie. Doing a mind/body scan is the way to build self awareness. Try it and see for yourself. 

What I’ve Learned from the Professor Pedro Sauer

I’d heard of his name before, but I’d never experienced his jiu jitsu firsthand. Then I went to my first ever Pedro Sauer seminar. Life will never be the same. 

You’re Sidelined. Now What?

You feel the pain more than ever when you’re prevented from being on the mats. You hate having to sit out and watch when you could be learning, and growing, and having bundles of fun. But you’re injured. Now what do you do?

Know Thyself: The Essential Jiu Jitsu Journey

You do jiu jitsu to help yourself. To help yourself you need to look out for others. This is very much an inner journey, and yet it’s done with the others around you. Your teammates need you. Help them out.

Seek The Treasure to Find The Jiu Jitsu.

Fighting your opponent’s movements is a path to nowhere. Instead, work with their energy, and the workings of nature. This is the way of Higher Jiu Jitsu. 

The Return of Dave Camarillo – Reflections.

Dave Camarillo came to Higher Jiu Jitsu for his second seminar instalment. These are the reflections of head coach John Smallios. 

‘Go Easy’ They Say. For Those Who Can’t Relax.

To the students of jiu jitsu who are regularly told to relax, and take it easy. No we don’t blame you. We understand, and we’re here to help.

Jiu Jitsu: Friend or Foe?

You love jiu jitsu. It challenges you and you’ve never been so enthusiastic about anything in your life. But how much do you rely on it? How much jiu jitsu is enough? Just like on the mats, you seek balance as a way to keep yourself on your feet. Here’s how.. 

The Jiu Jitsu Mission and Our Higher Vision

Day in and out we don the gi and we go to jiu jitsu. The techniques, and the rolls are like the gateway to something much bigger. When you sow seeds of learning, you benefit for years to come. We play the long game, and this is the bigger purpose we serve. 

The Higher Jiu Jitsu Story. [Infographic]

Things are changing. Patterns are emerging. The result? Quality of life. This is the Higher Jiu Jitsu Story. And we’re here for the everyday people of Sydney. 

The Jiu Jitsu Gold Digger

You want to be good at everything you do, jiu jitsu included. And in order to win, you feel the need to bring your A game to every class. Your game is a good guide, but it’s a terrible protector because you never let yourself learn. Screw your game. Be a gold digger instead. 

The Jiu Jitsu Imposter. Are you One of Them?

Who are you to enjoy jiu jitsu? Who are you to wear that colour belt? What makes you think you can help others on the mats? If you’ve ever been paralysed by these thoughts, you’re not alone. Here’s how to work with Imposter Syndrome within jiu jitsu. 

Your Jiu Jitsu Secrets – Tap Them Out.

You want to be happy. But something is off. While everyone else is off getting better, and making the most of their jiu jitsu time, you’re being held back.   You think certain things, yet you wouldn’t dare tell anyone else. This is what’s holding you back. It’s time to start talking. It’s time to start telling the truth. These are your jiu jitsu secrets. Tap them out, and you flourish for life. 

The Hammer and the Nail.

Jiu jitsu is like a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes you win big and sometimes you lose big. At the end of the day, the real measure of success is being in it for the long haul. 

The Third Place & Why You Need One Too.

They say home is where the heart lies. Then there’s your jiu jitsu academy. You show up to practice martial arts, and the benefits go well beyond this. The community and the camaraderie within the dojo is one to be felt. Here is why. 

Be your Best Jiu Jitsu Self

You want to get better, so do you roll hard or light? This is an ongoing question and from this point on it’s a futile debate. Be your best self. This is how you get better, and this is how you do jiu jitsu for a lifetime. 

Jiu Jitsu Saves the Day

You’re hanging in there. Between work, and life, being healthy and tending to yourself feels like a chore. No matter how hard you try it’s just one big struggle. Fear no more, for jiu jitsu is here. 

On the Scale of Progress – How To Get Better.

You show up day in and out to train jiu jitsu. You love it, yet you’re constantly left frustrated at your lack of improvement. Perhaps you’re just not looking in the right places. Here’s another way to look into getting better at jiu jitsu. 

In Defence of Oneself

Life is beautiful. You wake up in the warmth of a comfortable bed. You get up on your feet without a thought, and you head to your fancy kettle. With the tap of a latch your water is boiled, and your exotic Kenyan coffee brew is prepared.  Eventually, you jump in your car, and with […]

Do You Need an Accountability Partner?

I’d just finished school and the big, bad world of adult life was upon me. Uni lectures quickly drained my enthusiasm. Whilst everyone else debated the rule of law I’d be watching jiu jitsu instructionals on Youtube. The P’s eventually got the degree. But I knew it wasn’t for me. I longed to pursue the […]

3 Ways To Get Higher with Jiu Jitsu

You’re also a good person. You don’t intend on kicking people upside the head. There’s never been a need to break an arm so far, so why care about learning self defence now?

From Discomfort to Delight – This is the Way

Jiu jitsu is a martial art that prepares you for a fight. But you don’t learn it by fighting. Training like this will only lead to injuries. You get better in an environment of learning. This is how your jiu jitsu will excel and this is how you will prosper in life. 

How to Listen your Way to Comfort

You want to improve. So you;re told to train hard, and fight for the things you want. 

Sure, you need to show up. You ought to come in with a good attitude. 

But how much effort is too much? When does your enthusiasm get in the way, and how can you use it in the right way?

Read on for more. 

From Failure to Flourish. You in?

Change is complex. Building skills is hard work. You’ve been trying for ages. You follow your favourite athlete’s advice, and it leads you nowhere. There’s ups and downs and the struggles are real for everyday people. No-one seems to understand. Until now. We’re here to help. 

A New Look, A New Year.

“There is no top rung. And no bottom rung. There’s only the next rung of the ladder. And the one after that (and of course, the one after that, ad infinitum).”

From Strength to Struggles: How to Keep Going

Einstein said the only source of knowledge is experience. 

This is a picture of triumph. 

It is also a picture of pain. 

This moment served as a pivotal course of action. Every moment can. 

You can only control yourself. How do you respond?

One for One, One for All

Parts of a whole always rely on the other parts to function. They have to.  

Just like this one sentence means little without the context of what’s written above and below it, and in accordance with the whole article. 

This is the trouble with isolation.

No one part of the body moves without support and adjustment from the rest of the structure.

The Expert vs The Supercoach

An expert tells you what to do while a coach guides you through the process. At Higher Jiu Jitsu you won’t be told what to do as much as asked how it feels? The most effective knowledge lies within yourself. It is our aim to faciliate the jiu jitsu, and help you uncover that for yourself. 

Higher Jiu Jitsu = Life

Is jiu jitsu on your mind all the time? Do your dreams all include jiu jitsu?

Face it. You’re in love. So am I. 

And it only gets higher. Because in jiu jitsu, there is no perfection, only endless refinement. 

This is life, and always will be. 

And the Winner is: Quality

When you seek to move with quality, you may do less, but you’ll do it better. 

That’s as good a goal as any. 

Starting today : Be Kind

You my precious friend, can be a real bully. 

Sure, I love you for reading this, and I appreciate you with my life.

You’re probably just about the coolest person on Earth. 

I know you mean well, doing your best you can with what you have at your disposal. 

And still, you choose to think, and talk about yourself as you would a stubborn mule. 

Om’s and Ah’s: Find a little Head Space

Meditation has changed my life.

No, I haven’t become Buddhist. No, I do not note ‘spiritual’ as my official religion. And I’m just about 26 years old, so mid-life crisis has nothing on me.

I once considered the thought of meditation too taboo, and Surry Hillslike, to warrant my full attention. I was aware the benefits were plentiful, and the mind body connection is an important one.

Injuries Stink . Prehab Says No.

Injuries suck. I hate them. And so do you.  

Misdirected enthusiasm, coupled with ignorance is a dangerous combination. The trap of thinking you are invincible is an easy one to fall into. 

We can do better. We can be smarter.