Braus Blog

Another One Bites the Dust!

As we roll into December and all begin to wonder where yet another year has gone, we’re taking a moment to reflect on our 2017 and what lies ahead. Kicking off on the Mats, we have seen real incredible representation by our extraordinary athletes and ambassadors this year – with countless successes on home soil including too many wins and gradings to mention, once again our Aussie talent have continued to impact the global arena as well.  We kicked off the year with three winning tickets from the Abu Dhabi World Trials to represent Australia in Abu Dhabi alongside countless BRAUS athletes appearing off their own accord.  Inspiring efforts by all who competed, with the stand out, one of our 2017 athlete additions, Black Belt and Australian Girls in Gi fouder, Jess Fraser making it to the finals day.  The charismatic Kit Dale toured around Europe representing Australia at the ADCC amongst others, whilst BRAUS’ very first athlete, now brown belt, Levi Leary-Jones won championship title at the Pan-Ams.  Much admired brown belt, Hope Douglass was invited to compete and represent Australia at Copa Podio Brazil and devoted Black Belt Minol Tavares Tutida was crowned SJJIF world champion in America. We have welcomed some truly great talent to our existing great BRAUS and BRAUS Youngers teams this year and will continue to work with each of our team into the new year, with our unmoving vision of supporting local talent, expanding the BJJ industry here on home soil and providing opportunities for Australia to be represented abroad. 2017 saw the launch of two new designs in our kimono range,...

“An endless project of change and evolution. Levi Jones-Leary”

Don’t compare your journey to others, there is no comparison between the sun and the moon; they shine when it’s their time. In this month’s instalment, we interviewed Australia’s own rising star; Sydney born brown belt Levi Jones-Leary. At only 20 years of age, his journey so far has been one of relentless commitment and passion for BJJ fuelled by will and determination.  His journey is one of both expanding and improving skillsets on the mats but equally evolution of his mind off the mats.  BRAUS Fights very first athlete, we have supported him since his white belt and take pride in calling him one of our own.  Thanks Levi for taking the time, OSS! Tell us about growing up and why you chose to leave school? From a young age, school never caught my full interest unfortunately.  I always seemed to be messing around and it just didn’t fit with me. By high school I found myself mixing with the wrong crowd doing less conducive things which I would prefer not to mention. At a point where I was lost for options, along came Jiu Jitsu. I still remember the feeling, I found something that looked cool and that I really thought I could do full time and enjoy. Finally I found something to be excited about, a passion. Tell us about that first BJJ experience When I was in year 9, I was put on a program for kids at risk of leaving school, it was called Links-To Learning – designed to support kids who were struggling to stick with school. Alongside 10 other kids that were...

Managing childhood anxiety through sport – Shannyn’s Story

This unguarded inspirational piece, told from the mother herself, about her seemingly hopeless struggle to settle her unhappy child and the lifeline Brazilian Jiu Jitsu provided for the child and family on a whole.  Thankyou to Shannyn Stevens and family for allowing us to share this. We salute you and all the parents around the world for never giving up….The Fight Never Ends. “Motherhood has changed me, stretched me, pulled me apart. It has broken me down but it has also filled me with so much light and love. The one thing I ever wanted to be was a Mum. I am deeply grateful that I’ve been one of the lucky ones who’ve could experience the journey. But it’s hard, it’s so bloody hard. My dreams of being a mum were always filled with love, laughter and so much fun. They were filled with family holidays and perfect endings to almost every day, perfect babies, perfect sleepers and well behaved children. In fact, I always thought that naughty little kids derived from parents who didn’t discipline their children.  Oh, how wrong I was. When I had my first baby, I had a rude awakening. As I look back over the years I know he was sent to me as someone special and sent for a reason; to push me to grow; to push me to the brink to see if I could return. To find a strength deep inside that I never imagined lied within me. Don’t get me wrong, there was no one in this world I adored more than him, but motherhood changed me too. He wasn’t the perfect...

Psychology – What is it with BJJ?

Psychology– the mental characteristics or attitude of a mind and its functions governing our behavioral responses to a situation or activity. What is it with BJJ? Why is the sport growing at such a rapid rate in popularity? We’re surrounded by endless fitness and health options these days, so what is about BJJ that is captivating people around the globe? In this instalment we take a look at the psychological and physiological effects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Let’s start with basic human nature or pre-conditioning of the human mind. We have been conditioned to reserve physical contact for only those closest to us.  We believe in respecting the personal space of others we come in contact with throughout our everyday operating. A mere few handshakes throughout the day could equate to someone’s daily physical contact. The effect of this limited physical contact is people starved of physical connection, creating a lonely, isolated, sad psyche for many. From the first experience on the mats, this mindset is challenged with immediate face to face, body on body contact with complete strangers. Although challenging at first, it doesn’t deter people from continuing with the sport. Why? Physical contact holds powerful positive psychological reactions.  In this context, it triggers the release of neurochemicals in the brain and hormones like Oxytocin, affectionately nicknamed the “cuddle” or “empathy” hormone, throughout the body which makes us more aware, focused and connected.  It could be argued this is one of the reasons why friendships develop so quickly amongst Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students and teachers alike. Although the physical contact in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does not occur in...

Let’s hear it for the girls!

“A Woman is a human. She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative or more responsible than a man.  Likewise, she is never less.” Let’s hear it for the girls! We are living in a period of great and exciting change and advancements. Technology is rife, human diplomacy and equality is at the forefront of our minds and discrimination of any kind is questioned and challenged. As with our society, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu holds countless success stories of evolution within it. In this piece and in honour of International Women’s Day, we are focusing on the evolution of women’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has long been regarded as not only a sport of great commitment and passion but also a solid form of self-defence. In the early years, although women took part in the sport, their involvement was rarely seen and where it existed it was mostly in this context of self-defence, until the mid-1980s, 15 years after Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became a regulated sport in Brazil, when a women’s division was officially opened.  Now fifth degree black belt, Yvonne Duarte was the unofficial driving force behind the women’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu revolution.   She was awarded and recognised as the first female black belt in the world in 1990, an incredible 70 to 100 + years (depending whose history you follow) since Brazilian Jiu Jitsu began.  She paved the way for countless firsts for women both practicing, teaching and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, including the likes of Rosângela Conceição, commonly known as ‘Zanza’ who earned the first female world title in 1998.  Since then...

2017 Jiu-Jitsu Events Calendar

January Sunday 15 – Grappling Industries Melbourne www.grapplingindustries.com 17*/18/19/20/21/22 European Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship ibjjf.org/championship/european-jiu-jitsu-ibjjf-championship/ Sunday 22 – Grappling Industries Brisbane www.grapplingindustries.com Saturday 28 – UAEJJF Melbourne International Pro FOR REGISTRATION VISIT: KIDS DIVISION https://www.uaejjf.org/event/info/393 GI DIVISION https://www.uaejjf.org/event/info/395 NO-GI DIVISION https://www.uaejjf.org/event/info/398 Sunday 29 – “Initiator Crown” Event BJJ www.eventsbjj.com February Sunday 05 – Grappling Industries Adelaide www.grapplingindustries.com Sunday 12 – Grappling industries Sydney www.grapplingindustries.com Saturday 18 – Sydney International Pro Trials Saturday 18 – Hybrid Grappling 2 www.hybridgrappling.com Sunday 19 – Pan Kids IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship – Long Beach ibjjf.org/championship/pan-kids-jiu-jitsu/ Sunday 19 – “South East QLD Championship” www.qbjjc.com.au March Saturday 04 – “Sydney Cup” Sydney Cup P/L www.sydneycupbjj.com Sunday 12 – “Byron Bay Australian Open” Byron Bay Open www.bjjaustralianopen.com.au 15*/16/17/18/19 Pan Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship, Irvine CA ibjjf.org/championship/pan-jiu-jitsu/ Sunday 19 – “Brisbane Open” www.qbjjc.com.au Sunday 26 – “Western Australia No Gi State Championship” AFBJJ WA www.afbjjwa.com.au Sunday 26 – “Sydney Open” IBJJF www.ibjjf.org April Saturday & Sunday 1/2 European Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi IBJJF Championship, Rome http://ibjjf.org/championship/european-jiu-jitsu-no-gi/ Saturday 8 – “Mackay Central Queensland Championship” www.qbjjc.com.au Saturday 8 – “South Australia State Championship” AFBJJ SA sa@afbjj.com Saturday 8 – “Hobart Open” AFBJJ TAS tas@afbjj.com Sunday 23 “South Pacific Championship” www.qbjjc.com.au Sunday 23 – “Tasmania Jiu Jitsu Open” tasjjopen.com.au 17/18/19/20/21/22 Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2017  www.uaejjf.org Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 “Victorian State Championship” AFBJJ www.afbjj.com Sunday 30 “Sydney Cup 2” Sydney Cup P/L www.sydneycupbjj.com May Saturday 6 “Gladstone Open Championship” www.qbjjc.com.au Saturday 27 “Australian Capital Territory Championship” AFBJJ ACT act@afbjj.com Sunday 28 “Caloundra Open Championship” www.qbjjc.com.au June Saturday 10, Sunday 11 “Koma Memorial Classic” Melbourne, Victoria pat@bjjcomp.com, anton@bjjcomp.com Sunday 11 “Byron Bay International Open” Byron...

The Year In Review 2016

As we approach the end of another year, we take a quick look at some of the 2016 highlights and what’s on for our year ahead. 2016 saw the launch of our lifestyle line with our hoodies and Tees! The Fight Never Ends resinates with many for reasons beyond the mats! It encompasses our brand and we were thrilled to see people enjoying the products incorporating this important message. And our tshirts, some of which were designed to represent our individual athletes continue to be a popular buy! We’ve taken your feedback on board and in 2017 you’ll see our lifestyle brand continue to evolve. BRAUS Experience continues to inspire, it’s been an honour for us to dive into the inspirational lives of people influenced by BJJ across Australia. The heartening experiences have been enjoyed by thousands across our nation and abroad and we are committed to keeping the inspiration alive into the new year! Our charitable branch, Rolling 4 A Reason has directly impacted several communities and individuals across our network (see last month’s blog “The Project” for more information). Our goal is to continue to support our community and expand our reach for the year ahead, supporting those in need wherever possible! BRAUS Fight saw some fantastic new additions to our team in 2016; Black Belt Kit Dale; Black Belt Roberto Dib Frias (Bob); Brown Belt Ben Hodgkinson from Absolute MMA; Purple belt Ariel Tabak from Garage Jiu-Jitsu; Kayne Ward from AET Brisbane.  As well as newest youngsters Zanetta Poretti from Gracie Gym Rotorua New Zealand and Torez Carro from AMMA Gym, Perth.  We’re looking forward to...

The Project

For many, the season of giving is about to begin but for Rolling 4 A Reason, our giving journey has been in full swing for over a year now! Established to provide our BJJ community with an outlet to give something back, it has been a heartening journey for us so far! Our year kicked off with a local project in Sydney supporting refugees who had arrived in Australia. The Gi contributions to Mario Sergio Yokoyama from My BJJ and the Community Centre in Lidcombe – NSW allowed the refugees the opportunity to immediately immerse themselves into not only our beloved BJJ but also our Australian community. Your contributions supported their sense of community spirit, helping them to feel a part of their new home land and providing them with some tangible hope for their new future. We were moved to the core by the gratitude shown by the soon-to-be Australians for some simple gear contributions. Over to the other side of the globe, we visited a not-for-profit BJJ set up based inside the favelas of norther Brazilian city, Salvador, donating a large number of Australian donated Gis. The gym was set up to offer children of that community an opportunity to learn the art of their home country at no cost, proving the kids a warm and welcoming community to be safely active and also learn transferrable life skills like discipline and commitment. The joy plastered across their grateful little faces as they tried to work out where Australia was, tested their limited English and tried to understand why they were being given such wonderful gits, was a humbling...

“5 weeks in Brazil” Hope Douglass

  Most people who have trained BJJ have wondered what a trip to train and/or compete in Brazil would be like. In June/July this year, I spent a solid month on the mats at Cicero Costha’s academy in Sao Paulo, Brazil, before hitting the competition mats at the 2016 Mundials. I learned a lot about myself and about life by toughing out those 5 weeks on the mats in Sao Paulo. And I would say that all serious BJJ practitioners should definitely consider training and competing in Brazil at least once in their lives. Here is why: my experience of training and competing in Brazil. The high-level of training partners Where else in the world will you get so many brown and black belts in the same class to train with? Since Brazil is the home of BJJ, it’s not uncommon to see 10+ black belts on the mat in a larger class and an abundance of high-level training partners. Cicero’s even had separate classes running every day for purple, brown and black belts only. I was fortunate enough to have purple and brown belt female training partners at most sessions (this is almost unheard of in Australia). The option to train all day every day There is hard comp style training all day every day. The first class is at 9:00am, the second 10:30am and the third from 12:00 – 2:00 pm. Then a few hours break for lunch before the 5:00 and 7:00pm classes. Each class is a different format, but each class includes loads of rolling time. There are guys living at Cicero’s who are on...

“PLEASE don’t ever feel like you are alone”

  Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence, happens in many forms including physical, emotional and economic violence, and can affect people of any age or sex. It does not have to be within the home to be classified as domestic violence. It is a form of violence that can occur within any relationship (family, intimate partner or other intimate relationships). Domestic violence is about power and control and there are many ways this control can be expressed. This week we came across a domestic violence story that hit close to home.  MMA fighter Julian Wallace pleaded guilty this week to assaulting Jess Jessy; a well established and respected MMA Fighter whom is adored within our BJJ community and beyond. Displaying her strength and courage, she publicly shared her story in a hope she could be of inspiration to others facing the dark and painful life of domestic violence. We are honoured to have Jessy Jess on our Ambassador team, however she is far more than her MMA or BJJ skills, she is a truly remarkable, inspirational and courageous woman.   The Fight Never Ends Jessy. Here is her story: See below her statement about “I’m not entirely sure what to write… This is something that I have struggled with being able to speak about over the last couple of months. Until my close friends and family encouraged me to be open about it in the hope of not only helping the women in this mans future, but other women men and children who are being subjected to situations like this or worse. It has only been a few short...