Parsippany resident wins martial arts award

Congratulations to Parsippany resident Maddison Ferrara for winning a martial arts award at Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Maddison is recognized as the Student of the Month for July. She follows last month’s winner, Brandon.

Winning this award is one that takes a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance.

Maddison is in class more than 3 times a week. Alongside of her two brothers, Joe and Anthony, Maddison has improved on a daily basis.

After starting in the beginners classes, she progressed rather rapidly into the advanced classes. Earning her White and Grey belt in record time, she hopes to compete in her first Jiu-Jitsu tournament this upcoming November.

Being one of the smallest practitioners in the program, her no quit, no excuse mentality has been a key component to her success.

The coaching staff of the Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Kids Program, is very proud of Maddison and all she has accomplished. They believe strongly that she will go very far in the art of Jiu-Jitsu.

About Savarese BJJ Kid’s Program

Savarese BJJ offers Children’s Martial Arts Classes in Lyndhurst, NJ for children ages 5 to 13. The classes are geared towards instilling in your child a sense of discipline, a higher level of self-esteem, and most importantly will teach them how to defend themselves.

Through a highly decorated curriculum, your child will be taught Jiu-Jitsu the way it was meant to be taught. Techniques created to defend themselves against a larger attacker or bully is the primary focus of your child’s learning experience. Where most schools have gotten away from the principles of Jiu-Jitsu, Savarese BJJ has not.

Through positive reinforcement and the constant involvement of the coaching staff, your child will see a vast improvement of their overall self-esteem. The program will give them the self-confidence to avoid any altercation before it gets to far and the skills to defend themselves if it does.

If you are interested in your child taking their first class in Jiu-Jitsu, call 201-933-5134 or contact us here, today.

Casey Walters – Savarese Jiu Jitsu Lyndhurst brownbelt

Casey Walters earns Savarese Jiu Jitsu Lyndhurst brownbelt

Casey Walters – Savarese Jiu Jitsu Lyndhurst brownbelt. That has a nice ring to it. Casey Walters earned his Savarese Jiu Jitsu Lyndhurst brownbelt saturday from Professor Chris Savarese. Walters has been training in the martial arts since he was a kid and was so happy about this promotion. Casey is an inspiration to the “too busy” people of the world. He travels far to train, has 2 young children and 2 jobs. But yet, he still makes it in to train and has added many new thing into his game in the past 6 months. We are very proud of everything Casey has accomplished. Casey is one of Professor Savarese dearest students because Casey was a student as a child of the late Joe Priole, one of Professor Savarese’s friends. Next step black!

Savarese Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy

Brazilian jiu-jitsu, also called BJJ or Gracie jiu jitsu, is a really fun and practical martial art with an interesting history.  BJJ was adapted from Japanese jiu-jitsu in Brazil in the early part of the 20th century.  It was built to solve the problem of how a smaller and weaker person can overcome a larger and stronger opponent through leverage and technical skill.  As an art it really shines when a fight ends up on the ground, as studies show up to 90% of altercations do.  By controlling positions you are taught to apply chokes, arm and leg locks, sweeps and reversals. All martial arts attempt to solve the problems of self defense against a wide array of opponents and BJJ is no different.

At Savarese BJJ, located at 40 Park Ave in Lyndhurst, you are put through a 16 week course to get you ready to take our advanced classes. We have a very well thought out system of progression that makes it particularly suited for beginner to advanced students. To a new student it may sound a bit intimidating but once you learn the basics it is fascinating, practical physical and mental game of human chess that is exciting and a great physical and metal workout.

We are very proud to be members of the Lovato Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu organization that has a very, very well thought out system of progression that makes it particularly suited for beginner to advanced students.



Everyone taps out in Jiu-Jitsu

Everyone taps out in Jiu-Jitsu

Everyone taps out in Jiu-Jitsu

Everyone taps out in Jiu-Jitsu

Everyone taps out in jiu-jitsu. It happens in every school in every country of the world. You cannot just your progress by how often or not you are tapping out. There is an old saying “If you are not tapping, you are not learning.” Too often, many new jiu-jitsu students gets frustrated with getting tapped and quit. We tell all of our new students at Savarese BJJ to expect to tap constantly in the first year. Tapping is a good thing, it shows progress. Everybody taps. Marcelo Garcia is regarded by many to be one of the best BJJ practitioners on the planet. Below is a link to a video of one of Marcelo Garcia’s rare submission losses, against Braulio Estima at 2009 World Pro. EVERYONE LOSES AND GETS TAPPED EVEN THE GREAT MARCELO. The best learn from their losses and come back stronger. Sometimes, losing can be great motivation.

One of jiu-jitsu’s biggest lessons – Humility

One of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s (BJJ) biggest lessons is Humility. One must be humble, laying Their ego to the side and acknowledging being bested. It can be hard for a new student to concede that someone has defeated you, especially those of us who started BJJ after having achieved some measure of professional and personal success in other domains.If you continue to train, you will understand that it will happen over and over. It is humbling. Jiu-Jitsu humbles everyone. You’ll have to repeatedly acknowledge,  and embrace, defeat.


As humans, it can be exceedingly difficult to put our egos aside. The only way to get better at BJJ is to fail first. When we fail, we tap. BJJ is like life that way. If we’re not willing to be bad at something first, we’ll never get better at it. And as I’ve said before, if we are unable to access our humility, both on the mat and in the outside world, we will never find true success at BJJ or in anything. To get better, you must tap. Tapping out lets your training partner know that you are unable to escape a particular submission, that continued pressure will cause you discomfort, and that they need to stop applying a particular technique. Otherwise, the person in the submission forces the other person to decide whether or not to apply the submission until pain or unconsciousness results. We are all responsible for our own well-being, and if we allow our egos to get in the way when we are working on getting better at BJJ, then we are missing the point. It is not fair to your training partner to make him decide whether to hurt you or not. You should take responsibility for that. Multiple time World BJJ Champion Saulo Ribeiro, condidered to be one of the best instructors in the world says “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.

Tap early, and tap often.  Don’t wait until your arm is about to break, or until you are about to lose consciousness to tap.  Once an opponent gets you into a submission hold, you have already made a serious mistake.  There is no point in hanging on until the end.

Here is a mini etiquette guide for BJJ to let you know when you are not being humble during your training:

  1. You slap the mat and curse when submitted.
  2. You refuse to tap.
  3. You train angry, especially after someone catches you in a finish.
  4. You keep track of exactly how many times you’ve tapped someone or been tapped.
  5. You give 100% resistance when your partner for the day is working on what the instructor taught.
  6. You routinely come late to class so you can avoid the warm-up.
  7. You stop drilling the technique before the instructor tells you
  8. You have – and worse, offer – an opinion about when you should be promoted.
  9. You try to finish your instructor’s sentences
  10. You argue with your instructor for any reason.
  11. You use all strength try to hurt someone smaller or younger

Always keep the mind of a whitebelt. oss.

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu Teenage student becomes certified instructor

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu Teenage student becomes certified instructor

Ariana Zeppetelli, Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu Teenage student becomes certified instructor at only 16! The St. Mary High School student was one of the youngest out of the 54 people to take the course at Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) in Lyndhurst. Savarese BJJ is one of the best BJJ school in Bergen County, NJ and is considered by many in the BJJ community to be one of the best BJJ’s schools in NJ. Zeppetelli became the 1st person in the entire course to graduate. Professor Chris Savarese, who taught the course said of Zeppetelli “Nothing Ariana does surprises me. She is wise beyond her years, mature beyond her years, comes from an excellent, hard working family and she embodies those values. The fact that at 16 yrs old, she graduated before a room full of adults including some blackbelts, shows how dedicated she is to being great at Jiu-Jitsu and teaching it to others. I couldn’t possibly be more proud of her and to be her instructor.” She will begin by assisting during kids and Women’s only classes.

About Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a devastating fighting and grappling art developed by the Gracie Family of Brazil. While it contains many stand-up throws, takedowns and self-defense techniques that can finish a fight, it is most famous for its extremely effective ground fighting techniques. This art emphasizes ground fighting techniques and submission holds involving joint-locks and chokeholds also found in numerous other arts with or without ground fighting emphasis. The premise of BJJ is that most of the advantage of a larger, stronger opponent comes from superior reach and more powerful strikes, both of which are somewhat negated when grappling on the ground. BJJ is practiced wearing a gi, and it employs a belt system of white, blue, purple, brown, and black.

Savarese BJJ Academy

Founded in 2006 by owner and head instructor Professor Chris Savarese, the Savarese Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy was opened with one purpose in mind: to better peoples lives on and off the mat through the teaching of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The Savarese BJJ Academy provides the support, knowledge and experience that allow our members to experience real Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in a safe and friendly environment, to the best of their abilities, at their own pace and commitment level.

Our doors are open to men, women and children of all ages, shapes and sizes. If you would like to join our team please contact us:

Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy
40 Park Ave (back building)
Lyndhurst NJ 07071
201 933-5134 or

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu Teenage student becomes certified instructor

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu Teenage student becomes certified instructor

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu Teenage student becomes certified instructor

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu Teenage student becomes certified instructor


Rafael Lovato Jr Dominates Texas Super Fight

Rafael Lovato Jr Dominates Texas Super Fight

Click here to watch Rafael Lovato dominate his super fight

In this video link above, Rafael Lovato Jr dominates a Texas Super fight. Rafael Lovato Jr, a World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion and 3x World No-Gi Champion, made quick work of his opponent Ricardo Demente Abreu in the Fight to Win Pro 3 main event. Lovato used his aggressive, attacking style, going  from submission to submission until finally locking in a guillotine from half-guard and forcing Demente, the UFC middleweight, to tap. After putting on a spectactular show Flograppling caught up with Lovato Jr. to hear his thoughts on the fight, MMA and where he goes from here in this video.

Lovato Jr has a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Assocation headquartered in Oklahoma and schools in NJ, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, and British Columbia, Canada. If you would like to train at Rafael Lovato’s NJ school, email Professor Chris Savarese at or call 201 933-5134 for a free trial class.


Rafael Lovato Jr will fight for Legacy 185lb title

Rafael Lovato Jr will fight for Legacy 185lb title

On April 22nd. Legacy FC returns to Oklahoma and the middleweight title will be on the line and Rafael Lovato Jr (2-0) is hoping to bring that belt home. He will fight in the main event of Legacy FC 54, meeting Marcelo Nunes (5-0) for the promotion’s 185-pound belt. Legacy 54 will take place April 22 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa, Okla., near Tulsa. The main card will air on AXS TV. This will be the 1st time Nunes fights for Legacy FC. He turned pro in late 2013 and all five of his wins have come by first-round stoppage – including four by submission. He has won by a pair of armbars and a pair of chokes. Lovato has just two fights on his pro resume, both first-round choke wins. At Legacy FC 35, his pro debut, he tapped out Canaan Grigsby with an arm-triangle. And at legacy FC 46 this past October, he needed only 84 seconds to get Kevin Holland to tap to a rear-naked choke. You can see that fight here:

His student Justin Rader also returns to Legacy on this card.

The Legacy FC 54 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Marcelo Nunes vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. – for middleweight title
  • Evan Thompson vs. Andrew Todhunter
  • Charles Byrd vs. Trey Houston
  • Bilal Williams vs. Ed Cline Jr.
  • Derrick Adkins vs. Daryl Wilson
  • Aaron Robinson vs. Justin Rader


About Lovato Jr

At just 21 years of age, Rafael Lovato Jr became the youngest American to receive a black belt in BJJ at that time. In receiving his black belt, Rafael also helped accomplish another feat, as he and his father became the first American father and son black belts. Rafael has has had many accomplishments in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, becoming the most decorated American BJJ competitor ever. In 2007, Rafael achieved the incredible feat of winning the four most prestigious events in BJJ all in a row. First, he became the first American to win the Brazilian National Championships (Brasileiro) at blackbelt and the 2nd American, after BJ Penn of UFC fame, to win the World Championships as a BlackBelt. Rafael earned the prestigious BJJ competitor of the year award for 2007 for these accomplishments. Rafael is also one of the only American’s to ever be featured on the cover of the famous Gracie Magazine and was honored for his accomplishments when he was inducted into the prestigious Grapplers Quest Hall of Fame. If you live in NJ and would like to train with Lovato’s team, Call Professor Chris Savarese, who runs his association on the East Coast, at 201 933-5134 or email for a free intro lesson.

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu student loses 55 lbs!

Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu student loses 55 lbs!

Mark Garcia, a Lyndhurst Jiu-Jitsu student, credits Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) for his weight loss.

When Mark joined the Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy last year, he didn’t exercise and was very out of shape. Through the benefits of BJJ and coupled with training and hard work, Mark looks like a completely different person now.

In the same time frame, Mark has earned his bluebelt and was recently promoted to his third stripe. He has competed in and won a championship in his weight class at the New Jersey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (NJBJJF) in May last year. He has become one of the best students at the Academy through his hard work.

To get a free trial class and train at Savarese BJJ, call 201 933-5134.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Primarily a form of ground fighting, Brazilian Jiu-Jistu is a martial art and self-defense system. Statistics show that 90% of fights or altercations end up on the ground, so BJJ practitioners focus on fighting from there. It is a mixture of submission holds, throws and wrestling. It has also become one of the most popular combat sports in the world.

BJJ was formed from Kodokan Judo newaza (groundfighting) that was mostly taught by Takeo Yano and Mitsuyo Maeda. They trained the Gracie brothers: Carlos, Helio and George Gracie; which resulted in its own art form.

Breaking down the misconception that a smaller or weaker person wouldn’t be able to defend themselves against a larger or stronger opponent, BJJ promotes concepts that teach proper self-defense in this scenario. By utilizing proper technique, leverage, and the ability to take the altercation to the ground, BJJ practitioners are capable of defending themselves in several different aspects of a fight.

To defeat their opponent, students learn to apply joint locks, such as arm and leg locks, as well as choke holds. BJJ training is often used for self defense and weapons defense, sport grappling tournaments or mixed martial arts (MMA).  Similarly, BJJ promotes a healthy lifestyle of eating and living clean to promote fitness, weight loss and better health. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is not solely a martial art, it is a method for promoting physical fitness and building character in young people; and, ultimately, a way of life.

 Mark 3rd bluemark fat

Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for older practitioners

Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for older practitioners

Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for older practitioners can be hard at times, something many of our younger teammates cannot understand.

Older practitioners don’t recovery as quickly. They may need to train every other day. Training becomes about training smarter rather than “harder.”

You may have more injuries than your younger teammates but it is up to you to figure out how training BJJ can work for you. Remember it is not just about your body, you are training your mind as well.

BJJ is a lifestyle. If you are limited in your physical abilities due to age or injuries, maybe you focus on the self-defense side of the art. Maybe you drill more. But please remember, BJJ is not limited to young, athletic types or young boys and girls. It has no such boundaries or constraints.

BJJ is for everyone, at any age. The late Grandmaster Helio Gracie showed us that by training actively up until his early nineties.

There are advantages that come with being a middle aged BJJ practitioner.  You are wiser. You know how to learn and are a more efficient learner.  You can usually focus better and faster than you would have in your teens or twenties. Visualize, because mental reps count too. Try to eat very clean, get lots of sleep, and listen to your body. Another plus is at an older age, you should not be distracted and are unaffected by peer pressure.

The Jiu-Jitsu Academy is your Sanctuary. The Great Rickson Gracie used to say “Jiu-Jitsu puts you completely in the moment where you must have complete focus to finding a solution to a problem. This trains the mind to build that focus, to increase your awareness and your ability to solve problems.”

I am an older Professor at soon to be 49 and I have many older practitioners at my Academy. Some still compete and test themselves in the Master and Seniors divisions. They have no limitations. One of my students who is in his late 40’s just received the 4th stripe on his purplebelt Saturday. My highest ranking student will turn 50 this year.

My advice to the new practitioner who is starting jiu-jitsu is the same for an older student as it would be for a younger student. Start out by learning the Self-Defense and defense to everything. You will get “comfortable being uncomfortable” and learn how to survive. It is one of the most overlooked principles of BJJ in my opinion. If you cannot be finished, you survive. Your chances of coming out on top grow with the longer you survive. But sometimes surviving is just surviving, maybe even taking less damage.

Rickson Gracie would finish that quote with “Sometimes, you don’t have to win. You cannot win. But that has nothing to do with losing.” It’s a quote I’ve always loved.

Pequannock Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students earn promotion


Pequannock Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students earn promotion

Pequannock Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students Dan, Pete and cousin Tom O’Connor were promoted by Professor Chris Savarese on Saturday. Dan earned the rank of bluebelt 4th strip, Pete bluebelt 3rd stripe  and Tom bluebelt 1st stripe. All 3 students train Savarese’s student Chris Laciura at the Savarese BJJ affiliate school Training 4 Life Martial Arts (T4L), the top Pequannock Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) school. Dan is one of the top students in the program and is also an assistant instructor at T4L. Pete is one of the youngest adults in the program and many believe his potential is endless. He has made an incredible amount of progress in a very short amount of training time. Tom has just come back from a major injury and has picked up right where he left off as one of the best BJJ practitioners at T4L. All 3 students started under Laciura just a couple of years ago and all 3 have competed in the New Jersey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (NJBJJF) and have won or finished in the top 3. They also train with Laciura at the Savarese BJJ Academy in Lyndhurst NJ, alongside some of the top grapplers in the world. If you are an athlete looking to compete on a high level or just someone who wants to learn self-defense and stay in shape, call the Training 4 Life Academy at (973) 839-9300 for a free trial class at the top Pequannock Martial Arts facility in the area.

Training 4 Life Academy

The Training 4 Life Team truly cares about your progress. It is their passion to share with you what has been so beneficial to them. They lead groups and teach individuals. This style of teaching goes beyond standing in front of the class and directing. In order to teach individuals within the group, you must be aware of every student’s needs and that is their strength. Because people learn in different ways, teachers must have different methods to connect with them and they do! If you live in the Pequannock, NJ area, try a free class!

DanPeteTommy O

Sonoma Valley High girl uses martial arts to defeat bully

Sonoma Valley High girl uses martial arts vs bully

Sonoma Valley High girl uses martial arts to defeat bully

Everyone, male or female has the right to defend themselves from an attack. This girl stood up to a bully using martial arts techniques. She used a clinch, takedown, and knee strikes against her attacker. She should be commended not only for standing up to a bully but for not being a victim. The story is that this started as cyber bullying, then started again in school, then water was thrown on her and here is the result. Then the teacher is chasing her. This happens so often now. Protect your children with the gift of martial arts. I have dedicated my life to helping those people stand up to the bullies in their life, mentally and if be, physically. Good for this girl! This victory is more much that a victory in this fight. She refused to let people bully her. Enroll your child or teen in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school near you. In you live in our NJ area, check us out. Most of our students come from the Lyndhurst/Kearny/North Arlington/Nutley/Rutherford/East Rutherord/Belleville area. We have students who drive over an hour to train with us a couple of times a week. Don’t be a victim, call us at 201 933-5134.