Blueberries, Basketballs & Blue Belts

...everything is cheaper online

Welcome to Tap Nap & Snap - the newsletter that’s even more crowded than a Gracie family reunion 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Here’s what we’ve got today:

  • Is this BJJ’s best-hidden scam? 🕵️‍♂️

  • The 32 Principles of making bank 🏦 

  • If you don’t have 22 Black Belts, then who even are you? 🥋 

Who’s On Top This Week:

Just like someone’s pest of a little brother who’s been locked out of the house - this week we are asking - ‘Hey! What are the big kids doin’?’ 👦 

But by ‘big kids’, we aren’t talking about pimply teenagers with bad haircuts who’ve nicked a 6-pack of dad’s mid-strength beer 🍻 - we are talking about the Men of the 205+ and Women of the 145+ FloGrappling No-Gi Rankings 🦍 💪 

The Men’s 205+ division is packed to the hilt with some of the biggest names in our sport - from the biggest gyms on the planet 🌏

Recent competition hasn’t caused any shifts in the top 10 of this division for some time, with the only move of late being Luke Griffith of New Wave getting ejected from the rankings entirely after his loss to Ruslan Abdulaev at the recent AIGA semi-final event 😬

Quick side quest: Last weekend’s AIGA (Amateur International Grappling Association) semi-final produced some great matches and slick submissions - you can check the full results here, as well as a super interesting breakdown of all the event statistics here 📈 

Right - back to our regularly scheduled programming where the Women’s 145lbs + division shows a stack of athletes with big frames, big games and bigger names 👑 

It’s another Top 10 that hasn’t moved position for some time with Amy Campo quite comfortable at #1 after a dominant 2023 so far in No-Gi comp - as well as securing a world championship in the Gi 🥋🤯 

Rankings do not reflect ADCC Open competition. Sourced from FloGrappling.

What’s Happening On The Mats:

‘The King’ has been reactivated!

With this clip of a young blue belt toppling one of New Wave’s competitive black belts doing some serious internet miles over this last week 😬 - we can only assume Danaher has put the batteries back in the Gordobot 3000 to get back out there and avenge their name 🔥 

As such - Gordon Ryan has just announced that he’s back to defend his WNO belt in October against his toughest opponent yet (*rechecks notes*) 🧐Patrick Gaudio.

Now. We aren’t here to throw shade at Patrick Gaudio (he’d make every last one of us cry ‘uncle 😭 ’), however, he is on a 3-match losing streak compared to the ‘undefeated since 2018’ streak that Gordo is currently riding.

It’s true that their last match did come down to the wire, but a lot has changed since then. I guess it’d be rude to use words like sandbagging and phrases like ‘tune-up match’, so we won’t - because we are above that 👼 

Anyway, October is a while off from here and we all know the real opponent is gastric distress 🤒 - so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves…

‘The 32 Principles’ of… gettin’ paid!

Rener Gracie (aka Mr. Merch) is arguably the greatest Jiu-Jitsu marketer of the modern era.

With a seemingly inexhaustible tank of Tony Robbins-esque hype and cliche - Rener will peddle you anything including:

  • Hoodies & backpacks 🎒 (#spoiler: it’s the same thing!)

  • An eye mask/travel pillow/torture device thingo ⛓ (actually kinda cool)

  • Mail-order belt promotions 📦 (a bit less cool imo)

  • One-off courtroom appearances

& now…

  • book publishing.

Rener is making bank from all angles! 💰

Confusingly titled ‘The 32 Principles’ - his first book release shares its name with their Gracie University course, however, it isn’t just a book about BJJ history and technique - it “focuses more on what Jiu-Jitsu can teach you off the mats instead of on it.

Our man on the inside 🕵️‍♂️ apparently snuck a look at a few chapter titles and reckons this is what you can expect:

&

  • Academia not required: We show you how to own a ‘university’ and be called ‘professor’ without any real qualifications

There you go. With this wild expose now out in the wild, if you don’t hear from me next week - you’ll know I’m tied to a chair with one of those eye mask things being waterboarded with a hoodie…backpack… whatever 🤷‍♂️

The Most Dangerous Man To Ever Grace The Mats

For all the s**t we just hung on Rener Gracie for being a hype-inducing marketing and merch machine, he’s our hype-inducing marketing and merch machine 🤖.

Not to mention he’s a legit 5th-degree black belt who can walk the talk and deserves his success and support from the BJJ community.

Unlike this cat: Shang-Men-Rem Professor Gilberto Pauciullo

This Italian god amongst men claims mastery of 56 different martial arts including 22 10th-degree black belts - as well as holding presidency and leadership positions in 42 ‘world-renowned’ martial arts organizations and federations.

The full list of his accomplishments would likely break your inbox 📨 - so you can find it here. Take care to note the 5 different variations of Jiu-Jitsu he has completely mastered, as well as something called mexed martial arts.

I guess the takeaway message here is to keep pushing - because if you lie to yourself and everyone around you every day, you too can become a 10th-degree black belt in 22 martial arts 🥷 

Also, double-check the coaches’ credentials before joining a gym #youonlyhaveoneblackbelt? 😬 

Do Less. No, Wait, Do More:

The Good Option:

The Bumpoplata (can we TM that thanks?)

The ol’ hip bump sweep is a widely loved option for when your opponent starts leaning their weight back when in your closed guard 💂‍♀️

If you’re quicker than they are with it - you’ll likely have them flat on their back under your mount, and you may even have a cheeky little kimura to finish with 😏

If they see you coming though - they will likely post their hand to the mat and push their weight back into you - leaving you wondering why you’d even bothered doing a damn sit-up in the first place 🤷 

HOWEVER… (because in Jiu-Jitsu, there is always a ‘however’)

A failed hip bump sweep is a VIP invite 🤵‍♂️ to a suite of different submissions and transitions including armbars, triangles and (…you ready Adam Warzinski?) - yep, the omoplata ⬇️

The Not-So-Good Option:

The Stankoplata (I’d better TM this one too)

Mat hygiene is important. When we are on the mats, we all wanna see nice clean feet, freshly washed Gi’s, crisp minty breath and well-trimmed nails.

But one I’ve clearly been taking for granted (until now) is: - we all deserve to breathe fresh air that isn’t thick with another man’s stench 🤢 

At first glance, the clip below shows the bottom player setting up what seems to be nothing more than a nice and rubbery gogoplata attempt. But this ain’t no bog-standard gogoplata. It’s a stankoplata.

Between the pile of puke on the mats and a rancid stankoplata wafting through the stadium - I’d be calling for a Double DQ from the sidelines and then getting the hell outside. The humanity. 🤮 ⬇️

Things That Keep You Up At 2 AM:

Martial arts scams can take many forms.

From super-grand-masters allegedly holding 22 different 10th-degree black belts right down to purple belts conveniently always being late enough to completely avoid the warmup 🏃‍♂️

One idea that neatly straddles the scam/legit line is whether or not students should be paying for their belt promotion.

Some gyms run it as a staple business practice while others build it into the membership price…

So… ⬇️

This week’s big question:

Do You Think Paying For A Belt Promotion Is A Scam?

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Last week’s results:

Last week we asked you - “Generally Speaking - Do You Believe Advanced Technique Beats Advanced Strength (e.g. DJ vs Bradley Martyn)

  • 100% of you said - ‘🥷 Yep - it's all about dem skillz’

Unanimous. You gym bros don’t stand a chance once the ninjas get your back 🤕 

The Meme Open Mat:

20 years on the mats and that’s all you’ve got for me huh? 🤷‍♂️…

…Technically good advice though I suppose.

Sorry buddy, that’s a felony.

Cybersecurity 🤝 BJJ

Think you’ve got the spiciest BJJ memes going around? Hit reply, send them through to get them featured 🔥 

We Grow You Grow!

Everyone knows that there’s a time and a place to refer your friends to the best BJJ newsletter in the game 😎 📰 

And that time is now. And that place is here ⬇️ (well, a little bit further down to be precise)

The reason being - is that aside from making yourself eligible for our epic referral rewards program, we will soon be putting together a little sumthin’ sumthin’ for our favourite readers.

(hint: it starts with ‘G’ and ends in ‘iveaway’)

The word on the street is that to receive an entry in this extremely mysterious event - you’ll need to have your name on the Tap Nap & Snap Wall Of Fame.

And the only way to do that is to refer a single BJJ buddy 👇 …

How'd We Go?

Are we on the money? Or are we lacking some pizzazz?

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