Motivation Hacks for Jiu-Jitsu Tips & Tricks to stay inspired in your BJJ Training

Motivation Hacks for Jiu-Jitsu 

Tips & Tricks to stay inspired in your BJJ Training 


Staying engaged in Martial Arts takes discipline. It’s not always going to be easy. There will be times where you don’t feel like it. Yet letting our laziness, hectic schedule, or insecurity get the best of us will never result in what you truly want – the end goal of being a black belt, which is really just the beginning. Be sure to stay in touch through all of our social media sites @FLOLifeBJJ @BJJAfter40 and see you on the mats! 



Origin Maine Gi*Dress The Part 

Make sure you have what you need for training. A raggy old t-shirt isn’t going to cut it for long term training. It’s worth the investment to build up an arsenal to get you through the toughest classes. This includes a quality gi that you love, rash guards (yes, you need more than one), bottoms that facilitate 360 degree movement and whatever else you personally prefer to make Jiu-Jitsu a pleasurable experience. 


*Try the Buddy System 

Doing it alone is unnecessary and not nearly as fun! No matter what your personality, there is someone just your style that you can count on to meet you for class, drill with, or challenge you when needed. This is a two way relationship so you can offer support when they might need it too. Text to coordinate classes, talk about your favorite Jiu-Jitsu moves, and have a homie who gets it! 


images-4*Reward Yourself 

It’s important to acknowledge that you’re doing something really valuable with your time and healthy for your mind, body and spirit. When we’re young it’s stickers and high fives, now as an adult you need to give yourself those same dopamine releases. Celebrate a stripe with a delicious dinner or your next belt with a new gi. Giving yourself incentive to have positive energy outlets will only help encourage your subconscious to stay on the path towards your best self. 


*Set The Stage 

You have to prepare yourself for class. Just like it’s your job, take it seriously. Try to get a good night of sleep. Wake up with the intention that no matter how your day goes you’ll have Jiu-Jitsu to help you feel great. Make sure to bring a water bottle to training! Wash your workout wear (and gi) after every session. Being proactive in preparing will pump you up for BJJ, not drag you into more to do’s. 



The Jiu-Jitsu Planner
*Write it Down 

Having a Jiu-Jitsu journal is a true game changer! It’s a way to solidify and expedite the learning process, no to mention cool to look back on further down the road. Spending a minimal amount of time after class to take notes will provide maximum results. This is beneficial for any belt rank and a must when you’re ready to retain what you were taught. Have a pen/pencil handy and keep your notebook in your BJJ bag. You’ll notice a difference within weeks of writing everything down. 


*Let it be Known 

Put it out there. Whether it’s telling your spouse, social media or a pet, find anyone to share with. It’s the first step in anything becoming really real. Don’t be timid about this either. Dream big and often. Seek out the supporters who will cheer you on, especially when you’re not feeling too secure with your training. The only way people can be there for you is if you have enough bravery to trust them with your personal objectives. 


*Give yourself A Goal 

Nobody else is going to do this for you. They don’t have the power. Only you know what is worthy. This is such an individual thing. For some it may be competition, others may strive for a certain number of classes per week. There is no goal too small so just start somewhere and like a staircase build up. Don’t compare what other people aim for just focus on yourself and each step to get you closer. Time goes by anyway, you may as well get everything you want! 



Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt
Mike ‘Spider Ninja’ Bidwell

*Look Toward Others 

Give yourself some much needed motivation by mimicking someone who has what you’d like. What did they do to get where they wanted to go? What are their current ways of living the life you’d like to create? Notice how every journey is different and each success story is filled with setbacks and obstacles that had to be overcome. If they can do it, you can do it too! 


*Do it Anyway

Spoiler alert: You’re going to question why you’re doing this at times, you’re not always going to want to go to class after a long, hard day. These are the exact pivotal moments that will retrain your brain to benefit your wellbeing. By getting it done and going after it no matter what it manifests an unstoppable ‘You’! Think of looking towards others, we all go through valleys. The point isn’t to reside there, it’s to keep climbing so you reach the peak!  



Jiu-Jitsu Clock

*Incorporate it into your Daily routine 

Just like you brush your teeth daily it’s no different to add physical activity to your list. Everyday you exercise it increases your energy, makes you feel great and decreases your chance of illness. You don’t realize how much it impacts you until you don’t have it in your life. Don’t get to the point where you have to always be making a comeback. When you workout regularly it becomes part of a lifestyle, not a random happening. 


*Set an Alarm, put it in your Calendar 

Take advantage of technology or go old school by posting notes. However you accomplish it, set it in stone that you’re making training a priority. Setting a schedule will allow you to see how it truly does fit into any life, regardless of how rigorous it is. If it’s out of sight then out of mind and too easily days turn into weeks and quite suddenly you haven’t trained in a while. As humbling as Jiu-Jitsu is, it’s 10x worse when you’re making you’re back to repping that rank. 



*Listen To Music while Getting ready

Music is magical for getting you stoked about anything you’re doing. Listen to upbeat songs, nothing dreary and bleak. It’s fun to listen to your favorites while your driving or transitioning into Jiu-Jitsu mode. Have your very own set of tunes for knocking out a daily home stretch and exercise session. You can make an after playlist too that will facilitate in the winding process to jump start your relaxing and recovering. 


*Try different 

Switch it up anyway possible. Maybe that means a new training day. If you always attend day classes opt for a night or weekend time. If you can only make certain days then adjust who you roll with. Don’t be biased here, you need to to learn how to grapple with everyone. Make it a game by only working a specific tactic or focus on one main position. Jiu-Jitsu is limitless and so is your potential. Get to know another side of yourself! 


*Schedule a Private Lesson

There is nothing better than getting your instructor all to yourself! Having their full attention will let them see where your excelling and what needs work. They can offer their years worth of experience and knowledge and make huge shifts in just one session. Be mindful that you pay for what you get so don’t skimp and search for discounted deals when it comes to your future.


Making your BJJ (and life) transitions smooth


We all know that the Jiu-Jitsu journey can be difficult.  This is especially true when you throw in jobs, school, family, kids…etc. This part won’t go away.  The kids, jobs, schools responsibilities will never fully disappear.  Why not embrace the “struggle” and enhance these experiences via your BJJ practice.  When you’re getting to class and releasing stress and anxiety everything feels better.  When you set things in motion for a consistent training regime… BJJ WILL feel like the magic elixir.  But when you’re resisting the “struggle” and making Jiu-Jitsu another “thing” you have to do… it too will be stressful.   But remember that your BJJ practice is here to help support your mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Good Jiu-Jitsu is about good transitions.  In other words, in a grappling match you have to successfully move from one position to another to secure a submission. But if your movements are unplanned, sloppy and incoherent you’ll probably lose your position and perhaps get submitted.  But when you plan, coordinate body parts and stay focused, the outcome is surely better.

On the mats it looks like this:  Initial set up, transition, improve position, lock in a submission.

Off the mats:   Initial set up – Plan out your training week by scheduling your classes on a physical calendar.

Transition – Have everything ready in advance (clean gi, training clothes, gear/ water etc.)

Position:  Through proper planning you have now set yourself up for success!

Submission:  Now you reap the rewards of coming to class.  (Great exercise, learning a worthwhile skills, energy release, flexibility, friendships, mental clarity, emotional regulations, etc)

Now get to class (no excuses) -Professor Mike



VERY Inspirational Steve Austin interview (read)

We are very excited to host a seminar with BJJ Black Belt Steve Austin.  I became friends with Steve a few years ago after I read this VERY inspirational interview by Jiu-Jitsu Times.  Steve’s story is very moving!  Please read his story below and I look forward to seeing everyone on 10/11 from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM ($30) -Professor Mike



The Jiu-Jitsu Times believes in the concept that jiu-jitsu is for everyone and will profile several jiu-jitsu students and instructors who are training and using BJJ to overcome limitations and add to their lives.

Today the Jiu-Jitsu Times spoke with Steve Austin (yes, like the WWE wrestler), a BJJ instructor who does not have full use of his leg. The Jiu-jitsu Times asked Steve a few questions to get a glimpse into how he uses BJJ to deal with obstacles and improve his life.

Jiu-Jitsu Times: Steve, can you tell the Jiu-Jitsu Times’ readers a little about your

Steve Austin: First I would like to thank you for having me and taking the time for this. I have been following your page for some time now along with a lot of my students and always enjoy the content you guys share.

I am from the Philadelphia area and currently own a gym in Southampton, Pennsylvania, about thirty minutes north of Philly called Sion BJJ. I have been training jiu-jitsu for almost fifteen years now and have been involved in some form of martial arts for the past twenty years, ranging from Tae Kwon Do, Kempo, judo and MMA. When I was was introduced to jiu-jitsu, I immediately fell in love, and now I have been able to teach jiu-jitsu for around ten years.

When I first started training, there were not a lot schools in the area, so I traveled up to New York and New Jersey a few times a month to see my instructors from a few different schools over the years. Five years ago, I received my black belt from Alison “Jucao” Brites; and three years ago, I had the opportunity to open my own school, so I left the affiliation and started Sion.

Now I will do my best to make a long story short here. I became involved with martial arts due to being picked on as a kid because I was born with a handicap; a hip disease called Legg-Perthes. It is suppose to be a three-year process, but I was misdiagnosed as having Spina Bifida due to two reasons: one being the average age to develop Legg-Perthes is between eleven and thirteen-years-old, and I was only three when I started showing symptoms; the other reason being that the doctor who performed the surgery messed up horribly because he was abusing prescription drugs and passed out in the middle of the operation.

I was left with life long side effects from this botched surgery. Damaged and severed nerves caused a chain reaction of other problems that I have to this day including losing seventy percent of the feeling in my right leg. But the most significant of these  problems is the fact that I now have to be inveterately catheterized. This also caused my second surgery to take place a few years later.

On top of the new problems, I still had my original hip issue. Legg-Perthes is a three-year process, with the first two years being in leg braces while the hip regrows correctly in place. I was in what was called an A frame brace made by a German orthopedic with my legs being spread at an eighty degree angle for almost four years. I was only able to take the braces off for one hour a day to wash up and change clothes.


During this time I was not allowed to walk around or stand up on my feet for any reason. While in these braces, I couldn’t do much. I wasn’t able to walk normally in them, so it was easier to crawl on the floor and move around on the ground than to try and use the walker. The way the braces were spread open I couldn’t fit through normal door ways, so I would have to angle myself around and through them. I was home schooled until I was able to be out of the braces for good.

At seven-years-old, I needed my second surgery. Half of my bowel was removed and used to enlarge my bladder since it was not growing properly. Though the surgery was technically a success, it became difficult and sometimes impossible to have control over my bowels, an issue that followed me into adulthood.

Once the braces were off, I no longer looked like I had any health issues, but that was far from reality. My entire academic journey was a constant battle to not only fit in, but defend myself from other kids making fun of me verbally and physically bullying me. At first I took it, and then over the years it started getting to me and I would finally start resorting to violence and getting into a lot of fights. So, being a fragile child already, I figured I really needed to learn to defend myself and started looking for a place to train. Having seven major surgeries before I even hit my twenties made this very difficult to do. I had to take time off due to two knee surgeries by the age of sixteen, making it by then four times I would have to learn how to walk again since I was born.

Teenage years were full of anger and depression, and almost destroyed me due to the bad choices I was making in life. There were a few times that I gave up mentally but somehow I persisted. Barely surviving my teenage years, I was twenty when I found jiu-jitsu, and it changed everything for me and introduced me to a life worth being proud of. Never being able to play sports as a kid really got to me because I always wanted to do more than I was physically able to. All I wanted to do so badly was go out for the wresting team in middle school since moving around on the ground was so natural for me, but now as an adult I have the final say and I choose jiu-jitsu every day!

Jiu-Jitsu Times: What physical obstacles did you have to overcome to train BJJ? Which adaptations did you have to make to your BJJ game given your specific conditions? What is your game like?

Steve Austin: To this day, I think I like to pretend I don’t have any limitations by still training hard and competing here and there; but the reality is, I have to be careful with what I am really capable of doing. I don’t have a lot of flexibility in my hips or back but I have a different kind of strength that developed from my childhood, and it had a huge effect on my guard, making it stronger in a unique way.


Having to move around on the ground the way I did turned out to be a game changer for me since I was so trained in basic body movements that we all have to learn in our first day of a BJJ class. Still, I have to be mindful that I can get hurt a lot easier than most so it limits me on how much competing I can do. I have to be careful with my knees and back, so at times I will train to protect them instead of just jumping into any position. I had to learn that the hard way over the years.

Luckily enough, I haven’t had too many major injuries from training BJJ, but they have happened. Making adaptions is really what jiu-jitsu is about, so my game is always still developing and I just have to be realistic with what techniques I can play with and what ones I can’t. I think I was forced early on to learn “old man jiu-jitsu” but I love it all and I will play with advanced stuff, but keep a reality check ready to go when needed.

Being a smaller guy, my bottom guard game developed faster than my top game, but I am still learning and my game is always changing depending on what I am working on at the moment. Sometimes I will work on one area for months collecting data and figuring out every little detail I can and then just move on to the next area. Injuries sometimes cause this or I am just fascinated with something and play it until I’m bored.

Jiu-Jitsu Times: How do you feel BJJ has been a positive force in your life? What have you learned from training jiu-jitsu that you have applied to your life off of the mats?

Steve Austin: Finding BJJ has changed everything for me on and off the mats in every way, but I think the biggest thing it has given me is peace of mind. Since I have been training and having this outlet to free myself from the mind and the rest of the world while on the mats, nothing else matters at that moment; it changes everything on how I perceive the outside world when I am not on them.


I was always ashamed and embarrassed of my health issues growing up, and I had to learn to accept myself for who and what I am. Now, if anyone ever has a problem with that, I have no issue with feeling confident enough to enlighten that person on what its like having these medical setbacks in my life and try to allow them to imagine for even a moment what its like to walk in my shoes. I never had that kind of confidence in myself growing up to openly talk about any of my medical issues the way I can now. Also knowing no matter what happens I know this person can never hurt me physically or emotionally more than what I have already gone through in my life on and off the mats. So now verbally there is nothing they can say that can compare in any shape or form to break me.

Now being the one who students are coming to for information has made me realize how much I love seeing someone else grow from BJJ with my help. Watching a student become what they were meant to be in life and living it to the fullest is a feeling unlike any other. Being involved in BJJ has fed all my basic human needs and more, and I am forever grateful for it.

Jiu-Jitsu Times: Do you have any words of advice for other BJJ students who are facing obstacles of their own in their BJJ training?

Steve Austin: One of the biggest obstacles I see students face is sticking with jiu-jitsu. Life sidelines people; family, careers, etc. Its always a shame seeing students leave because they could no longer put the time into their training, but it’s a bigger shame seeing people feel like they can’t take some time for themselves. When students are on my mats, they are truly having fun. We have this shared love of jiu-jitsu, and not only as a respect for the sport, but the camaraderie juxtaposed to it as well. For a lot of my students, it’s their one, or at least favorite thing that they do for themselves mentally and physically. And I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the better we treat ourselves, the better partners, parents, employers, and people we end up being.

Another derailment students face is their own progression. As fun as jiu-jitsu is, it’s no secret that it’s a hell of a lot of work, especially in those first few years. It’s understandable that some people may get discouraged if they lack the necessary patience to understand that jiu-jitsu is a lifelong ladder we climb. We have the opportunity to learn so much about ourselves on the mats training and what it all really comes down to is one thing: if you can take it, you can make it. If I just don’t quit and keep going, the rewards will come, whether it be weight loss, self-improvement mentally or physically, or even making black belt one day. I have learned that the only time we really fail is the moment we give up trying to achieve that goal. Failure and suffering are part of any success no matter how you define it.

If you love jiu-jitsu the way I do, you will always find a way to be a part of this humble world and culture that has been created no matter what life puts in your way. Jiu-jitsu has brought so much happiness into my life along with some of the most amazing people and has taken me to extraordinary places around the world. Take every opportunity to learn and share with each other and never forget we always have people below us, on our level, and above us to learn from. We need all of these types of partners in order to grow in anything we do in life. There will always be times we want to quit at something, but for me, my biggest fear is to look back and say I didn’t try hard enough or not at all to reach my goals, so that pushes me every day to do better than the last. I truly attribute much of my personal philosophy to
my involvement in jiu-jitsu and aspire to share my experiences with the hopes of inspiring others for the rest of my life.


Acupuncture at Flo Life!


We are very excited to now offer acupuncture at Flo Life BJJ! Our good friend, acupuncturist and longtime martial artist Nathan Kizer.

“Both Sheena and I have received treatments from Nathan with amazing results!”

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”) flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.

For appointments and information contact:  

Nathan Kizer L.Ac., Acupuncturist 720-417-5508