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Your BJJ Guide to ‘Open Mat’

Guide to Open Mat

Welcome to the second half of your BJJ class, Open Mat! Open Mat (usually) begins after the instructor has taught a one-hour class. All belt levels are welcome to grapple without instruction, and with submissions. A pre-determined round time (ex. 5 minutes) will be set on the clock, along with a rest time (ex. 45 seconds) in between rounds. Grappling partners are chosen by you, please enjoy your experience!

Common names for practicing BJJ with a partner outside of class:
open mat, randori, live sparing, rolling & grappling

Plan Ahead for optimal success:

How many days this week will I go to open mat?

How many rounds will I roll?

How long is each round?

How long is each break?

What is the total amount of time training?
Ex. This week I will go to _______open mats, I will roll _____Rounds for _____Minutes each.

The longer you train in BJJ the higher the numbers start to climb.
*Class is instruction time. Grappling during open mat is practice of the instruction.


Light Stretch, Warm Up Round

Cool Down Round, Hydrate, Deep Stretch, Foam Roll
*Record training in your BJJ Notebook.
Must Haves:

Clean Kimono
Flip Flops (to be worn inside only)
Hydration & Snacks
BJJ Notebook
Aid – Athletic tape, etc.
Hygiene Products – deodorant, etc.
Extra – hair rubber bands, etc.


Slap, Bump & Roll!

JIU JITSU is easy as 123 ?

Off balance opponent, Break posture
Get to dominant position, Secure position
Submission by joint lock or choke

Once your opponent applies a joint lock/choke you ‘tap’ to let your partner know to immediately stop applying pressure. A physical tap of the hand to your opponent’s body signifies a stop.
4 Main Positions :
Side Control
Belt Rank Guide:

0 White Belt
1 Yellow
2 Orange
3 Green
Blue Belt
Purple Belt
Brown Belt
Black Belt
How do I measure progress?
** Consistency & Time on the Mat (grappling) = PROGRESS! **

Lower Belt:
Ability to avoid submissions from opponent. Ability to achieve dominant position on opponent. Ability to submit opponent.

Same Belt Rank:
These are your peers. Enjoy healthy competition. AVOID comparison.

Upper Belt:
Relax, have fun!

PARENT TIPS: “Eating from the Rainbow”



Eat the Rainbow!
BJJ can be tough and tiring. Finding the right foods to fuel us will keep exercise fun and enjoyable. Cooking with your friends and family is the easiest way to immediately incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. Don’t forget, everyone will benefit from your whole health. Here are some tips to help you along the way. Go to: www.facebook.com/BJJforKids for a printable copy of “The Rainbow Chart” for kids. Tag us in your pictures #BJJForKids.

The Nutrition Rainbow Connection
Fruits & Veggies get color from naturally occurring micronutrients like vitamins & phytonutrients = good health. One key function of these nutrients is antioxidants, which include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, and vitamins A, C and E. (Not all antioxidants have color, but eating a colorful range of foods helps you get them all.)

More = Better
The more natural colors you have on your plate the happier you will feel

Choose as many colors of food as you can!
Make it a game, whoever has the most colorful plate – wins!

Eat a Rainbow Chart
Find the print out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/taikaimartialarts or
www.facebook.com/BJJforkids Fill In what food you ate to create your rainbow of color!

Use crayons!
Color a picture of where in the world your food came from. Example: Banana Tree from Costa Rica

Play with your food!
Discover delicious recipes by learning how to cook your own food. Peel, use a plastic salad knife to chop, wash, sort, rinse, there are so many ways you can be involved in the making of your meal.

Nature is Sweet!
Replace artificial fillers with the real deal. Fruit for dessert is delicious!

Eating Fruits and Veggies will cause these side effects:
More Strength! Super Hero Power!
Extra Extra Extra Energy! Move Waaaaay Faster!
You can keep going longer, without having to stop!
Makes everything easier! It’s way more fun!
Don’t just stop at the rainbow, eat all the colors of Earth!

Red, Orange (yellow)
Raspberries, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, red peppers, tomatoes, red apples, watermelon, grapefruit, pomegranate, beet, papaya, mango, Carrots, pumpkins, yams, Cantaloupe
Lemons, bananas, yellow peppers, pineapple, pear, corn

Kiwi, avocados, Honeydew Melon, asparagus, Celery, kale, Swiss chard, squash, broccoli, cucumbers

Blue / Indigo / Violet
Blueberries, Grapes, plums, Eggplant, Red Cabbage, red onion

White /Colorless
Potatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms, cabbage

Figs , Coconut, Dates

GO TO OUR FACEBOOK SITE and Get our “Eating the Rainbow” chart for kids

Tai-Kai New Year’s Tips for SUCCESS!

Pencil Yourself In for class – schedule your week of training ahead of time.  Create a date with yourself, have some me time.
Make it a habit – the more you train the better you feel and the better you get.  Classes 7 days a Week!


Get enough rest.  Be sure you are getting extra rest on the day’s you train.  Martial Arts training demands a lot from out bodies so it is imperative to get enough sleep every night.


Diet / Nutrition
Hydration – get plenty of fluid on the days you’re training!
Eat to Fuel your Workout
Add Fiber to your diet
Eat Unprocessed food
Add more veggies


Lifestyle Support System – Tai-Kai is like one big family.  Reach out to a teammate and schedule a
time to attend class together.
Schedule a meet up to drill / grapple or flow!  Facebook a teammate for an open mat meet up.
Always stay after Classes try to stay for open mat.  This is a time to train / make friends and build a social network of training partners!


Mix It Up
Plateau no more!
Tai-Kai is like a big buffet!  So sample the buffet and try something new.  We offer: yoga, muay thai, BJJ, MMA, JKD, boxing, open mat and private lessons!


Morning Stretches – Start your day with a morning stretch.
Nightly stretches – End your day with an evening stretch.    Your body will reward you when you stretch!


Avoid Injury
Probiotics and Supplements
Ice / Recovery / Epsom Salt Bath
Warm Up and Cool Down Stretches
Dress For It
Favorite Gloves or Gi
Get your laundry for the week clean so you DON’T miss class!
Keep your clothes by your bed, keep your bag in the car!


Make your time count!
Invest in a notebook and take notes after every class.
Set 3 specific goals that you can easily reach. Instead of adding more time to your workout add intensity to your training. Sneak in 10 push ups before and after your exercise!  That little extra bit of training goes a long way towards reaching your goals>


Do some form of training everyday for 30 minutes!
If you can’t make it to class, or it’s not a training day aim for mental reps. Set the timer for a half hour at home workout. Here’s the deal, if you’re going to get something, you’ll need to give first. Consistency will add up…

Happy New Year!

















Happy New Year from everyone at Tai-Kai Martial Arts!  Don’t forget that we will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the new years holiday.  There will be an open mat Saturday 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.  (closed Sunday – check Facebook for Sunday open mat)

Don’t forget about the upcoming Erik Paulson seminar in February.  Erik Paulson is a submission grappling / BJJ / MMA legend.  This seminar will be closer to a camp than a seminar.  Two days of in depth training (8 hours of instruction) from one of the top trainers in the world.  The seminar will be February 4th & 5th, 2017 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM each day!

Register here!









Congrats Tai-Kai- Rochester Art of Combat



On 11/5/2016 Tai Kai went to Rochester for the Art of Combat Tournament. It was a No-Point tournament/Submission only with EBI rules for overtime.  First up was Sam Micale, he won his match by Triangle Choke early onto the match.  Alec Callahan was up next. He competed against a 10th Planet student from Michigan. It was a good match back and forth. Alec eventually lost via foot lock but showed a lot of technique and heart in the match.  It was now Ed Abrasley’s turn. He took his opponent down, passed guard, mounted and eventually finished with a head and arm choke.


Alec then went in the the Open Division. His fist match was against someone that outranked him and outweighed him.  Alec dominated this match eventually finishing with a rear naked choke and getting the win. He lost to the eventual winner in the next round.  Congrats to all the coaches, students, families of Tai Kai. Also Congrats to all the Tai Kai/Balance affiliates that competed: Dojo 1 and Oneonta BJJ. Everyone did great win or lose.

Rochester Rumble Results for Tai Kai – October 15, 2016











Congrats to everyone that competed. Here are the results. Big congrats to Tom Barnes he put two people to sleep with chokes: one in the GI and one in NO GI

Alec Callahan 2nd in GI and 1st in NO GI

Anthony Carella 1st in GI and 1st in NO GI

Mahfouz Abu-Manneh 1st in GI

Brad Shepard 2nd in NO GI

Tom Barnes 1st in GI and 1st in NO GI

Updated Tai Kai- Blue Belt Requirements








Blue Belt Requirements



Ukemi-Rolls & Falls


Rolls (Front/Back)                                          Falls (Back, Side, Front, Rolling)


Basic Movements/Positions

Base, Shrimp, Bridge, Bridge to Knees, Guard Replacement Roll (Granby Roll)

Transitions: take the mount from side(basic and sit out), Knee on the Belly from side

Mount control (swim, “spiderhands”, Modified mount, take the back, remount)

Guard control (Guard swim, Under/Over hooks, armdrag, take back, punch block series)

Side control (Standard, Kesa,100 Kilos,Reverse Kesa, Basic Knee on Belly, North South)

Clinch Control (Pummel) Gripfighting (Hand/wrist control, armdrag, 2 on 1)

Back Control (Take the back from turtle, Hooks, Seatbelt, Side/side, Flattening out, Remount)


Self Defense

Standing up Properly with and without kick

Front Bear Hug (Arms Over)  into hip throw
Front Bear Hug (Arms Under) framing against face to push off

Double Leg Defense (Knee & Guillotine)

Standing Headlock (Bent Forward )-falling backward into L takedown

Standing Headlock (Bent Forward)-sitting down falling foward

Standing Headlock  with punches defense

Standing Guillotine- Classical reach over and buckle the knee takedown

Standing Guillotine- Bent over(sitting down and throwing over body)

Standing Rear Choke (Posture Broke Back)-taking backwards into trip

Standing Rear Choke(into shoulder throw)

Defense Against Right Hook(step in block,clinch, hip throw)

Defense Against Right Hook step in block into BODYFOLD takedown)

Defense Against Right Hook-ducking under to their back and do L sit takedown

Wrist Grab (Palm Up & Palm Down)
2 Handed Front Choke  (basic-dodging under arms and stepping back)

2 Handed Front Choke ( too strong for first one step in into hip Throw)

2 Handed Wrist Grab -base and pull out arm with other hand

Single Lapel Grab (To Back)finishing with shoulder lock from behind

Rear Bear Hug (Arms In)       -step behind to throw back

Rear Bear Hug (Arms Out)-drop to floor and pull leg up

1 Hand Throat Grab or chest push ( to standing Armlock in  base)

Guard Pull after a a clinch

Punch Block Series (defending punches from guard)

UPA with punches

Taking the Back from Guard- person has forearm against your throat



Mount Escapes

Upa                                                                 Upa (Hand on throat)

Upa (Arm Under Head or In Collar)              Shrimp/Elbow Escape

Foot Over/Foot Under Shrimp Escape           Knees In/Butterfly


Side Escapes

Shrimp                                                             Go to Knees (takedown-or take back)

Bridge Over OPP side

Headlock Escapes(Ground)

Frame Escape (Leg Over)-Leg Choke                                    Hooks Escape

Frame Escape (Leg Over-guy to strong go to knees)     Bridge and Roll

Knee on the Belly

Basic Escape


Back Escape

The Basic                                                        Pass the Arm Over

Wrong-Side Bridge and Elbow Push             Opponents Feet Crossed


Submission (Escapes)

Guard Arm Bar (Stack)                                  Top Arm Bar (Hitchhiker escape)

Guard Guillotine                                             Triangle

 Guard Passes


Closed Guard

Double Underhook

Single Under

Knee Slide Pass

How to open Guard in sitting posture

How to open Guard by standing


Half Guard

Tripod (Mount and Side)                                            Reverse sit out Pass


Butterfly Guard

One Butterfly Pass




Scissor Sweep                                                 Scissor W/Knee Push

Hip Heist                                                         Flower/Pendulum

Butterfly/Hook (Elevator)


Guard-Opponent Stands


Double Ankle                                                  Hook/Tripod Sweep

Sickle Sweep


Half Guard

Guard Replacement

Take The back from half Guard

Put in one hook butterfly sweep



Basic Butterfly Sweep(under armpit one side and over armpit on sweeping side)



Rear Takedown(Sit and Roll)

Osoto Gari

Body Fold

Single Leg (Run the Pipe)

Double Leg (Leg Trip/Cut the Corner)

Inside Leg Trip

Hip Toss
Arm Throw/ Seoi nage

Guard Pull/Sweep

Leg Hook Takedown





Collar Choke Palm Up/ Palm Up                    Collar Choke Palm Up/ Palm Down

Guillotine                                                        Triangle

Arm Triangle                                                   Armbar

Kimura                                                            Telephone

Omoplata                                                        Transition from Armbar/Triangle/Omoplata




Standard Armbar                                            Collar Choke Palm Up/Palm Down

Americana                                                       S-Mount to Armbar

Collar Choke Palm Up/ Palm Up                    Arm Triangle


Side Control


Kimura                                                            Armbar

Americana                                                       Arm Triangle




Rear Naked Choke

Sliding Collar Choke

Single Wing Choke


Knee on the Belly


Basic around the world armbar


Two Tournaments in Two Weeks: Congrats Tai Kai Compeitiors










Congrats Tai Kai Competitors and Coaches. Two Tournaments in Two weeks. First up was NAGA Albany and then a week later was Gladius Global Grappling League. I want to first give a BIG thanks to Ben Tallini and Ed Abrasley. They both trained and did class Saturday and then jumped on the road to Coach everyone at the Gladius Tournament. If anyone wants to get them anything I would recommend Taco Bell for Ben and Sushi for Ed(lol)


NAGA Albany 9/17/2016

Ed Abrasley 1st place GI

Ed Abrasley 1st place NO GI

Tim Woods- 2nd Place NO GI

Kelly Woods- 1st place GI

Josh Smith-1st Place GI

Will Burnell Jr.-1st Place kids NO GI


Gladius Global Grappling League 9/24/2016

Ed Abrasley-1st Place GI

Alec Callahan-1st Place GI and 2nd Place NO GI (Advanced)

Brad Shepard-3rd in GI and 2nd place in NO GI

Tom Barnes- 2nd place GI and 1st place NO GI

Ryan Fish- 2nd place GI and 2nd place NO GI

Kyle Warford-2nd place GI

Anthony Carella-3rd in GI and 3rd in NO GI

Mike Bowes- 2nd in GI and 1st in NO GI

Jeff Standish-1st in GI and 1st in NO GI

Dijah Pickle- 3rd Place MENS GI( what heart for Dijah to jump into the men’s division because they were no Women for here to compete against)

Her Weber- He won a match and lost a match. Didn’t place but went out there to compete. CONGRATS

Josh Smith- He went 1-2. He went up a weight class and also this is 2nd week in a row of competing.  Congrats to Josh he is a warrior.



Phil Migliarese seminar and promotion!

Tai-Kai hosted a three-hour seminar with team balance founder and Relson Gracie black belt Phil Migliarese on 8/6/16.  The large mat at Tai-Kai was filled with over 70+ participants who listened intently as Professor Migliarese doled out gem after gem of BJJ knowledge.  Participants from Dojo-1, B.C. Martial Arts, Oneonta Jiu-Jitsu Academy and several other schools all attended this event.  In addition, at the conclusion Professor Migliarese promoted Ken Kronenberg to his 3rd degree black belt!

Everyone at Tai-Kai is proud to have such a great leader in Ken Kronenberg!  Congrats.

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Congrats to 8 new Purple Belts and a Bunch of New Stripes-Tai Kai Belt Test 7/12/16










Tai Kai Belt Test -7/12/16

8 people tested for purple belt. The test consisted of 45 minutes of technique requirements( certain sweeps, submissions, escapes, attacks, takedowns,  guard passes , self defense(stand up), and dealing with a live partner trying to hit you from the guard and mount. After this they did 45 minutes of grappling, getting a new partner ever minute and half with no breaks or rest. Once that was done they had do to 50 jumping jacks, 40 pushups, and a minute of burpees. To get a purple belt at Tai Kai you must have the required techniques(technical knowledge), ability to execute them in sparring, and mental toughness. Everyone passed and did awesome. Thanks to everyone from Tai-Kai and all the schools that came to help and give their support. It think there was almost 100 people there. Listed below are our new purple belts and new stripes



Jim Jordan

Neal LaPage

Chris Ruiz

Thomas Garcia

Rich D’Amico

Nick Newcomb

Pat Harrington

Pat Sullivan













Brown Belt Stripes

Ben Taillini – 4 Stripes

Matt Moore- 4 Stripes

Kevin Hotchkiss- 4 Stripes

Chris Roach-3 Stripes

Brody Neville- 3 Stripes

Tamdan McCory-1 Stripe

Matt Martingdale- 1 Stripe

Mike Mucitelli- 1 Stripe

Darius Collinson- 1 Stripe

Dave Briest- 1 Stripe


Purple Belt Stripes

Ed Abrasley- 4 Stripes

Chris Anderson- 4 Stripes

Kevin McDougall-4 Stripes

Brian Kelly- 3 Stripes

Kevin Seaman- 3 Stripes

Nate Musick- 3 Stripes

Shawn Chapa- 3 Stripes

Pat Miller- 3 Stripes

Rob Solano- 3 Stripes

Pat Dwyer- 3 Stripes

Jeff Callahan- 3 Stripes

Matt Thompson- 2 Stipes

Steve Elsenbeck- 2 Stripes

Trevor Pastor- 2 Stripes

Dan Buckley-1 Stripe


Blue Belt Stripes

Josh Blevins- 4 Stripes

John Astles- 3 Stripes

Tim Overend- 3 Stripes

Justin Fowler- 3 Stripes

John Meckley- 3 Stripes

Onino “NINO” Viengkham- 2 Stripes

Dan McCarthy- 2 Stripes

Sarah Barnhardt- 1 Stripe

William Hoff- 1 Stripe

Josh Eason- 1 Stripe