Teaching your child how to lose

Tom Izzo is one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time and he has written an article on the benefits of teaching your child how to lose.

I played baseball, basketball and football growing up. Sports taught me life lessons to prepare me for the world and who I am today.

Today’s children, because of politics that ensure everyone gets a trophy and daddy-ball (where dads maneuver their way into local teams to make their child the star, get them more playing time or to play a prime position). Children are not being taught how to deal with loss and it you don’t learn that lesson, you will never learn how to win either. Often, you need to come close to winning and taste defeat to learn the drive and motivation to eventually succeed.

Here at Savarese BJJ, the students in our Kid’s Martial Arts Program enjoy the euphoria of winning but they also understand the importance of losing. Just recently our students put on a remarkable show at the Big Apple Open, taking home a number of medals and helping us secure an overall 3rd place in the Kid’s Division. These students would not have been able to obtain success without having first learned how to lose.


More so than any other sport, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will teach your child humility, discipline, and respect. Along the way, they will learn how to deal with losing and how to enjoy the triumph associated with success.

If you are interested in signing your son or daughter up at Savarese BJJ, please call 201-933-5134.

We look forward to you joining the team!

Savarese BJJ Kid’s Team

Nutley HS student earns jiu-jitsu greenbelt

Nutley HS student Maria Villa earned a jiu-jitsu promotion to greenbelt on Saturday.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioner was promoted by her instructor, Professor Chris Savarese of the Savarese BJJ Academy in Lyndhurst. The school is one of the top jiu-jitsu schools on the east coast.

Villa has been training a little over 2 years and has made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. Savarese calls her one of the top teenagers in the Academy. Villa recently started competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions and has fared well, taking 1st place at the recent North American Grappling Association (NAGA) tournament in Philly and the New jersey Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (NJBJJF). Keep up the great work Maria!

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the only art that gives you a realistic chance of defending yourself against a larger more aggressive attacker. The fundamentals program is our entry level, white to blue belt curriculum. This course is designed to make the student street ready by the time they reach blue belt, the 2nd belt in BJJ.

We focus on how to deal with the most common self defense situations with proper strategy, balance, leverage and technique.

At Savarese BJJ Academy, located in Lyndhurst, the student will learn the basic philosophy of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as well as be exposed to basic competition style techniques.

For those looking to compete, we have one of the top competition teams in NJ, holding over 10 team championships in various tournaments on the East Coast. Our kids competition team also hold over 5 team titles in the last 5 years. We have classes for everyone (only 15% of our students compete), men, women (including women’s only classes), teens and kids.

Anyone looking to train at the Savarese BJJ Academy, please contact us to set up a free lesson by emailing professorsav@savtransfer.wpengine.com or calling 201-933-5134

What are you doing to improve outside of class?

What are you doing to improve outside of class?

I have wanted to blog about this for awhile now. In the beginning of your journey through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), I encourage white belts to just listen to their instructor. Any good instructor should have a solid curriculum in place to bring you to bluebelt.

Many times at the whitebelt level, watching extra videos or YouTube can be detrimental to improvement. But once you are at bluebelt or a higher rank, you should be watching video to improve. You can start by watching out YouTube page. But keep in mind, you should be studying to ADD TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR’S CURRICULUM, NOT IN PLACE OF IT.

You must ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I doing outside of training?
  • Watching film?
  • Reading books?
  • Am I breaking down my game as to what is working and what isn’t?
  • Breaking down stuff to make it mine or to fit into my game?
  • Do I try new things?
  • Working on my weaknesses?
  • Consistent in my training?
  • Staying after class and drilling or am I getting in extra training?
  • Keeping a book?
  • Mentally drilling?
  • Listening to my instructor?

If you want to have a lot of tools in your toolbox, if you want to be the best, you have to spend the time to do it. When the coaches are done teaching and when you’ve left class, how do you spend your time? I tell my students constantly that you are only as good as your worst position. Work not just your strengths but your weaknesses as well. Weaknesses can be improved through extra work outside of the academy.

Goal setting

Having goals are also important. Like the saying goes “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Make yourself accountable. I make my students write up a set of goals at the beginning of every year and I do year end evaluations with everyone. Most people surpass their goals if they put in the effort. If you are doing everything I listed in the bullet points above, I can almost guarantee your success. If not, you must look yourself in the mirror and know you are to blame.

Everyone learns at their own pace but these tips can speed up the process through some extra work. There is always someone who is bigger, stronger and more athletic that you. Putting in your homework is what evens this out. See you on the mat.

Professor Chris Savarese

Jiu Jitsu promotion for Lodi High School student

Lodi High School student Tyler Ruffino was recently promoted. After training for over a year, Ruffino was promoted to green belt by Professor Chris Savarese.

Savarese is the owner and head instructor at the Academy. He is also one of the 1st Americans to earn a black belt in BJJ from Royler Gracie.

Tyler has made a ton of progress in recent months, including testing himself by entering the New Jersey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (NJBJJF) tournament last month. Tyler walked away with the Gold medal in his very first tournament! Congrats Tyler and keep up the great work!

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ, is a grappling martial art that, at first glance, resembles a mix of judo and wrestling. Jiu Jitsu started in Japan, but became popular in Brazil after a Japanese immigrant in the early 20th century named Mitsuyo Maeda taught it to several local men. Those men included Carlos Gracie and Helio Gracie who, in turn, taught it to their sons. BJJ became popular in the USA in the early 1990’s. It was after Helio Gracie’s son, Royce Gracie, used jiu jitsu to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Since Royce Gracie’s dominance in the early UFC’s, BJJ has become an essential skill in Mixed Martial Arts.

BJJ is the most effective martial art for self defense. The reason is that it focuses on real life positions and situations and employs techniques that work against a resisting opponent or an attacker. One of the basic beliefs of BJJ is that once the techniques are learned, they can be used to defeat a larger and stronger opponent. This is because BJJ is based on technique and leverage as opposed to weight and strength. For the same reasons, jiu jitsu is also the best self defense martial art for women.

Anyone who would like to try a BJJ class at Savarese BJJ, please call 201 933-5134 for a free class.

Harrison resident earns jiu jitsu promotion

Harrison resident earns jiu jitsu promotion

Andrew Kuntz, a Harrison resident earned his jiu-jitsu promotion to 3 stripe bluebelt on saturday. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioner who promoted by his instructor, Professor Chris Savarese of the Savarese BJJ Academy in Lyndhurst. The school is one of the top jiu-jitsu schools on the east coast. Kuntz has been training a little over 2 years and has made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. Savarese calls him one of the top blue belts in the Academy. Kuntz has also had success of the competition circuit, winning 3 tournaments since the beginning of his training.

Anyone looking to train at the Savarese BJJ Academy, please contact us to set up a free lesson by emailing professorsav@savtransfer.wpengine.com

Lyndhurst BJJ Instructor Earns Promotion

Sean Bermudez, the head of Savarese Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Kids Martial Arts, earned a prestigious promotion last night. His instructor, Professor Chris Savarese, promoted Bermudez with “professor stripes” on his black belt, a rank rarely given out in most Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) schools. Students will now have to address Bermudez by his title while in class.

Professor Savarese gave a moving speech in which he detailed Sean’s upbringing and his rise through jiu-jitsu through tough circumstances and the improvement in him not just in the “training room” but off the mats as well. He also spoke of how much of the growth of the Academy is because of Sean’s hard work. Everyone at Savarese BJJ is thrilled for Sean and thankful for what he provides to the Academy. The kids he teaches every day are so excited. It was a great night at the Academy.

Professor Stripes in BJJ

In this day and age of BJJ, everyone seems to be calling themselves professor after they get their black belt. But “professor” is a special and honorable rank that not everyone is supposed to receive. Professor Savarese was given his “professor stripes” by Royler Gracie and David Adiv in 2010.

While professor stripes can be given after you are a blackbelt for 1 year; it can often take a lot longer. Professor stripes are usually reserved for those who have devoted their lives to helping spread the art of Jiu-Jitsu. Usually school owners, teachers who work full time at an Academy or someone who has made many sacrifices to spread the art are promoted to Professor. Not every blackbelt will earn professor stripes. Only your instructor should tell people to address you as such. It is a very prestigious and honorable rank.

Anyone who is interested in trying a class at Savarese BJJ Academy in Lyndhurst, please contact us at 201 933-5134. We have a flexible schedule for everyone with classes morning, noon and night and on the weekends. We have classes for men, women (including women’s only classes), teens and kids (including night classes for those with tough after school schedules)

Clifton resident wins another jiu-jitsu tournament!

Clifton resident wins another jiu-jitsu tournament!

Sean Yadimarco, a Clifton resident, wins another jiu jitsu tournament making that the 4th one he has won this year! The Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student is readying himself for the IBJJF World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship in June. Therefore, he is competing as much as he can. This past weekend, he won his division at the North American Grappling Association  (NAGA) tournament, the 2nd time he has won that tournament in the last 2 years. Yadimarco is a bluebelt at only 16 yrs old, a tough rank to receive at that age.

On a tear!

He has been on a tear for the last 2 years. Since January of 2015, Yadimarco has won the following Tournaments: NJBJJF, NAGA, The Good Fight, United Grapplers Association and the Big Apple Open. His instructor, Professor Chris Savarese raves about Sean. “Sean is an absolute beast! He can do anything he puts his mind to. His future is as bright as he wants it. He has those traits you can’t teach like mental toughness and a killer instinct.” Sean was also a standout on the Clifton high School wrestling team last season, making it to the regional tournament before being eliminated.

Savarese Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is differentiated from other martial arts by its focus on grappling and ground fighting. Most notable are the uses of chokeholds and joint locks used to submit opponents. These have earned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a formidable reputation.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu enjoys a rich history, avoiding the commercialization that has watered down other martial arts with ‘McDojos,’ cash for pretty coloured belts, and trophies for everyone. Lineage is incredibly important in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and practitioners take great pride in tracing their roots back to the origins of BJJ.

BJJ’s roots

BJJ’s roots begin with one of Japanese Judo’s top ground fighting experts, Mitsuyo Maeda. Maeda, aka ‘ Conde Koma  ,’ travelled the globe giving demonstrations and competing against martial artists and fighters from other styles before landing in Brazil in 1914. It was here that Maeda met Carlos Gracie, who became his student. Carlos and his younger brother Helio Gracie are considered the founders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Since then, different family members have formed their own slightly different variations of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The Gracie Humaita Jiu-Jitsu academy in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, remains one of the most prominent and well respected schools. It is now ran by Helio’s sons Rolker and Royler Gracie who Professor Savarese trained under.

BJJ Today

Today, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu continues to dominate mixed martial arts events, such as the UFC. If one martial art stands out as a leader in MMA today it is definitely BJJ. Fighters from other styles now must incorporate BJJ into their training in order to be able to compete effectively in the octagon.

If you are interested in trying a free class at our Lyndhurst location, call 201 933-5134 for more info.

Clifton resident wins another jiu-jitsu tournament!

Clifton resident wins another jiu-jitsu tournament!




Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu for kids

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu for kids

Every child should be put into some type of developmental activity when they are young. Whether it is dance, gymnastics, or martial arts, something should be done. Jiu Jitsu is quite possibly  the best sport you could start a child in. It promotes confidence, discipline, respect, and many other developmental qualities.

When children are young, they grow and absorb everything they see and listen to like sponges. Martial arts like Jiu-Jitsu allow them to be in a positive atmosphere so they grow as an individual in a positive sense.  Futhermore, Jiu-Jitsu teaches many life lessons that a child can carry with them as well as the self-defense aspect. Giving them the tools to face fears and defend themselves is a priceless gift.

Another benefit

Another huge benefit for Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu for kids in relation to BJJ is the physical benefits that come along with it. Today’s society is made up of video games and social media. Children will spend hours on the couch or on their computers playing video games and being inactive. Your child will be taught how to live a healthy lifestyle which is so important to learn at a young age. Bad habits are hard to break once they’re established. Teaching them healthy habits at a young age will result in a manifestation of a positive life. Calories will be burned, flexibility increased, balance improved as well as coordination and so much more.  Jiu jitsu teaches self-defense but also teaches you how to take care of your body.

Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Lyndhurst NJ

The Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, located on Park Ave in Lyndhurst, has one of the top Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu for kids programs not only in NJ, but in the USA. Jiu-Jitsu schools come from all over the US to learn their programs to teach in their schools. We have students from Lyndhurst, Rutherford, East Rutherford, Nutley, Belleville, Secaucus, North Arlington, Kearny, Clifton, Hasbrouck Heights, Lodi, Montcair, Fair Lawn, Carlstadt, Saddle Brook and as far as Brooklyn, Staten Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

About Professor Savarese

Professor Chris Savarese is a 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and one of the first Americans on the East Coast to reach black belt. He and his curriculum are widely respected throughout the jiu-jitsu community. The video below is Royler Gracie, the man Professor Savarese received his black belt from, teaching children in a demo in CA. If you would like to try a free class, call 201 933-5134. Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu for kids

Lessons from jiu jitsu champion Saulo Ribeiro

Lessons from jiu jitsu champion Saulo Ribeiro

Below are lessons from jiu jitsu champion Saulo Ribeiro. Saulo Ribeiro is one of the most successful competitors and jiu-jitsu instructors. Futhermore, he is now more devoted to passing his knowledge onto his students in his academy called University of jiu-jitsu and his online learning website Jiu-Jitsu Library , but he hasn’t stopped completely, as he now dominates the world masters.

Grapplers Escape Cruise

During the Grapplers Escape , a Jiu-Jitsu cruise around the Caribbean, Saulo shared his thoughts with our friends at Pasando Guardia about being a student for life:
“If you are doing jiu-jitsu and are a one stripe white belt, then you are a” master “and can already teach some jiujitsu to someone from your family or friends. Jiu-Jitsu is designed to make you quit and not go any further. Compare a photo of when you started and today, you’re not the same, because you have polished the diamond that is inside of you. BJJ cleans you inside out; Your insecurities, fears, desires, rage etc .. All you’ll have to deal with personally. You do not learn movements but concepts. When you fight someone, you do not fight that person but you fight against their technique against their intentions ”
“Tapping is to learn how not to lose, There are two ways of tapping: because of joint manipulation and because of a choke. Joint locks are painful. If your ego is bigger than that, it will hurt. A choke is something where you’re dealing with someone who is taking your life, so when you strangle you owe your life to your partner.
If you are doing jiu-jitsu, you are special. No matter if you win medals, the important thing is to keep going. If you trained two years and you gave up… Shame on you. No matter how you started, it is important that you go you all the way. You have to get your get to the black belt. It may take 6 or 20 years, but enjoy the ride. I did not enjoy my white belt. I do not remember much of it as I was trying to get to blue.
Some say .. “I’m just a white belt ..” Do not say it like that, say it with pride! If you are white belt well, you took a decision to start jiu-jitsu, and many people are scared to make that first step. If you are white belt with a couple of degrees, the you can defend yourself against 90% of people out there. Go your way, and never stop learning.

Saulo’s book

Lastly, Saulo Ribeiro has a highly acclaimed book called “Jiu Jitsu University”. Anyone who trains BJJ should own this book. The book can be found here : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jiu-jitsu-university-saulo-ribeiro/1100638949

Belleville Wrestler Wins Jiu Jitsu Student Award

Belleville Recreational Wrestler Wins Jiu Jitsu Top Student

Belleville Recreational Wrestler Wins Jiu Jitsu Top Student

Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is proud to announce that the Lyndhurst Kids Martial Arts Student of the Month is Leo Tiankee. Leo and his brother Lorenzo are both part of the Belleville Rec Wrestling Program and are two of the fastest up and coming kids on the Savarese BJJ Competition team. Leo excels in many areas of Jiu-Jitsu. His never say die attitude is amazing. He displays many of the characteristics of a true champion both on an off of the mats. He can be found training hard between 5 and 6 days regularly at the Lyndhurst Martial Arts School. Leo was recently awarded his 1st Stripe on his Junior Grey Belt as well. Congratulations Leo and keep up the great work.


About Savarese BJJ:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aka Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is the art of ground fighting. Originally developed by the Gracie family for smaller guys in the country of Brazil, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu has evolved into an effective self defense system, a thriving sport, and an essential component of Mixed Martial Arts fighting (MMA). Gracie Jiu-Jitsu does not incorporate many of the fancy movements and complicated theories that other martial arts employ. In the real world – most fights end up on the ground – you have to be prepared for that scenario. The Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy teaches practical self defense techniques with a no attitude, no ego mentality. Students learn sport aspects and practical methods that don’t require strength or athletic ability. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was made for everyone. A typical class begins with a light warm up and stretch. Once everyone is loose, instructor Chris Savarese teaches students practical techniques and delivers personal care to ensure the class is learning and applying. Once the technique has been covered, live sparring for students who wish to participate is permitted. With Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, live sparring is an integral part of the art and what separates Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from most other martial arts. In Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, sparring is encouraged and fun! Come into our New Jersey Brazilian Jiu JItsu Academy and take a free class! Give us a call at 201-933-5134.

The benefits our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense programs are endless! A greater sense of self leads to positive results in a world full of challenges. Our staff’s lineage goes directly back to the Gracie Family who created the art. Teach your children that perseverance wins over any obstacle in life, and let our program prove it to them! Develop functional muscles, not bulky, do-nothing muscles! The life of every person in our program who has been training for more than a year has been changed dramatically! If you want to join the fastest growing BJJ Academy on the East Coast, Savarese BJJ is waiting for you! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Belleville Recreational Wrestler Wins Jiu Jitsu Top Student Award

Belleville Recreational Wrestler Wins Jiu Jitsu Top Student Award