Bergen County Martial Arts school Savarese BJJ promotes 7


Bergen County Martial Arts school Savarese BJJ promotes 7

Bergen County Martial Arts school Savarese BJJ, one of the  top Bergen County martial arts schools, promoted 7 students last night including 2 blackbelts, one of the hardest ranks to reach in any martial art. Congrats to the following who were promoted:

Mohammed Moehebbi-1st degree Blackbelt

Mike Hanly-Blackbelt

Andrew Zeppetelli-purplebelt

Danny Rinaldi- purplebelt

Babatunde Ojo -bluebelt

Antonio Viera-bluebelt

Kayla Zepetelli-Yellowbelt

What BJJ belt promotions are based on:

BJJ belt promotions (especially upperbelts) are not just competition or success in fighting or sparring in the Academy. A student has to have the right knowledge, integrity, attitude and character. Blackbelts have to show a willingness to give back to the art, your fellow students and the school by paying it forward and passing on the knowledge they received. They must be loyal to their school. All students must show the dedication by coming to class enough and putting themselves in a position to succeed. You can’t win in life until you fail first. They must have the patience to realize that you can’t learn everything in a month and the self-control and discipline not to hurt lower ranks than themselves. And lastly, respect. Respect is the backbone of what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and other martial arts are built upon. Respect for the sweat and knowledge that each level of learning means, the discipline to understand that the journey takes time and that it won’t come easily. Respect for your instructor, the man who took you from a beginning martial artist to this point and for his school. Respect for his fellow students and training partners and the understanding that a new journey  and challenges await. Promotions are coming too quickly at many BJJ schools across the country. Instructors must teach the value of a truly earned belt versus one awarded too quickly. Remember, as a student, you never want a belt that doesn’t fit. They must teach patience above it.


NJ BJJ blackbelt Chris Savarese Promotion Night Speech


NJ BJJ blackbelt Chris Savarese Promotion Night Speech

NJ BJJ blackbelt Chris Savarese Promotion Night Speech was viewed by over 200 people at his Lyndhurst Martial Arts school last night. Savarese poke about the value of white belts, what the blue and purple belts mean, how hard work sets the tone, the importance of tapping. He also spoke about fears and how we face them are the biggest obstacles to learning. Savarese received his black belt from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend and Gracie Family member Royler Gracie in 2008. Gracie is a 4x World BJJ Champion as well as a 3x submission wrestling champion. Many members of the BJJ community enjoy Savarese’s speeches on his youtube page and in person. His “no excuses” speech was highly regarded amonst his BJJ peers. That speech can be found here   Another popular speech about facing fears can be found here :  

Savarese has been involved in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for almost 20 years and his BJJ resume is as extensive as it gets: Not only has he been a competitor, a teacher, a coach, a promoter, a matchmaker, a referee, and a sponsor, but he also has a black belt! He knows the art from every angle. One of the things that has stands out the most about Savarese is his passionate dedication to his people – be they teammates, students, or friends from other teams. This is the guy you want in your corner. For those interested in his Lyndhurst NJ martial arts school, call 201 933-5134 for a free lesson. Whether you want to get in shape while learning some practical self defense or train to be a top competitor, Savarese will guide you to your goals.

Lyndhurst BJJ Promotions

Legacy Belt

What a fantastic night of Lyndhurst BJJ Promotions at Savarese BJJ!

I was proud and honored to place the blackbelt around the waist of Michael Louis Hanly and promote Mohammad Mohebbi to 1st degree blackbelt. Mike’s blackbelt held a special meaning to me as well as he was the first person to start directly under my teaching to reach the very tough rank of blackbelt at our Academy.

He started by taking private lessons because he was a guitar teacher and didn’t want to injure his fingers. He was picking things up easily so I begged him to enter our classes and 10 yrs later, he realized a great lifetime accomplishment.

I gave a small speech and the value of white belts, what the blue and purple belts mean, how hard work sets the tone, the importance of tapping and how to face our fears.

We handed the floor to Mike who gave a beautiful and moving thank you speech to all his training partners and to all the blackbelts. I personally was filled with emotion. To all who attended, I’d bet you are wiser and more motivated today.

Congrats to all but special congrats to some others that were promoted: Andrew Zeppetelli and Danny Rinaldi to purple belt, Babatunde Ojo and Antonio Viera to bluebelt and our little beast Kayla Zeppetelli to Yellowbelt.

Another great story from last night was the “Legacy belt”. This brownbelt was given to me by my Professor David Adiv in 2005. I passed it on to my student Mohammad Mohebbi, whom I knew would be my 1st blackbelt. When he reached blackbelt, we passed it on to Michael Louis Hanly and we are going to have to retire it because I don’t think it will last another person. There is a lot of knowledge, sweat, blood and battles in that belt. Thanks everyone to a night I will forever cherish. OSS.

Lyndhurst BJJ Promotions

All Women’s Martial Arts Class In Lyndhurst


Our Savarese BJJ all women’s classes are kicking butt!! So proud of these ladies dedication! If you want to join our all women’s team, call 201-933-5134 for a free intro class. We had our first women’s only class of 2016 tonight at Savarese BJJ Academy. It was a great learning atmosphere and a lot of fun. I hope that all the women in our program take advantage of this class. If you are a woman who wants to train in this class, call 201 933-5134 or email for more information. There are many benefits women get for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). While most BJJ practitioners are male, more and more women are entering our art. My introduction into the martial arts was from a self-defense perspective and not for the sport aspect of it (competition). I think BJJ is very important for women. There is just not a better way for women to deal with the pressure of a real attack than training live in a BJJ class. It may take about 6 months to learn the basics but each day you train you are more prepared than you were the day before. BJJ focuses on groundfighting with the guard, a position from the bottom in which you neutralize your attacker, being a way to help yourself survive the attack. Over time, you will actually be offensive from the position to not just survive but defend and attack and finish your opponent with joint locks and choke holds. We at Savarese BJJ use the beliefs of Jiu-Jitsu Grandmaster Helio Gracie, who used to teach “I prefer chokes over joint locks because a tough guy may keep fighting with a broken arm, but anyone who gets choked will go right to sleep.” Same with attckers who are influenced by drug such as PCP. They will not feel pain but a choke will make a person go to sleep, enabling you to escape. Other benefits women will receive are more self-confidence, healthier lifestyle, weight loss, calmness and studies have shown that BJJ even helps with abdominal cramps associated with menstrual cycles. We highly recommend you try a BJJ class and change your life!

Lyndhurst kids jiu-jitsu student Gavin Bolus wins Savarese BJJ Student of Month!



Lyndhurst kids jiu-jitsu student Gavin Bolus wins Savarese BJJ Student of Month!

Lyndhurst kids jiu-jitsu student Gavin Bolus wins Savarese BJJ Student of Month! The Lyndhurst kids jiu jitsu student of month at Savarese BJJ Academy on Park Ave in Lyndhurst is a great honor. You are the first Student of the Month of 2016! Great job Gavin Bolus! Gavin is only 6 years old and day after day shows the heart of a champion. Keep it up buddy. You had great attendance, and it really showed in your technical improvement. You have shown traits this month of what a true martial artist is all about. Your focus, respect, attention and the willingness to help the others in your class helped achieve this award. We are all very proud of you. Keep up the great work. We hope you keep up all these great traits and win this award again in the future.

Lyndhurst Kids Martial Arts

The main goal at Savarese Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Academy is to boost the self-esteem of it’s students. This overarching goal is achieved through recognition and rewarding our student’s. These acknowledgements are not only based on success but also on the effort put forth. Antonio put forth a lot of effort to receive this award.

BJJ for children is beneficial to children in many ways. Children who participate in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes quickly increase their physical fitness level. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu involves both large and small muscle groups in the body. Improvement of physical well being is not the only goal.New Jersey children’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also aims to develop life-improvement skills as well as building the child’s character in a positive way.

Respecting authority is quite important in the teaching of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For many children learning to respect authority can be a difficult lesson to learn. At Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy learning to respect authority is among our top priorities.

Our program can and WILL help your child increase their confidence, self-esteem, discipline, while teaching them life skills that will last them a lifetime.

In our time-proven program, your child will be able to progress at their very own pace. We understand that everyone learns differently. No matter if your child can only train once a week or everyday we have the program that will fit your needs.

New Jersey kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu develops many traits in your child. These traits include:

  • Increased self esteem
  • Greater Self Discipline
  • Increased ability to Focus and Concentrate
  • Elevated Self Confidence
  • Overall Improvement in Attitude
  • Improved Physical Fitness Level
  • Development of Leadership Skills
  • Greater Respect for themselves and others
  • Increased Patience
  • Greater work Ethic
  • Better Understanding of How to Channel Aggression

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not meant to teach children how to fight. Children are taught to work through confrontation on an intellectual basis first. New Jersey Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on children learning to avoid physical confrontation and having the ability to defend if attacked. If you would like your child to try a free class, call 201 933-5134 to schedule.

Year End Message from Professor Savarese


Year End Message from Professor Savarese

As I bid farewell to another year, I enter 2016 w/ absolutely no fear. 2015 was a personal battle for me w/ my recovery and for my family w/ my mom’s cancer. It was a battle that made us all stronger and closer for what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. It was also was a year of progress, growth and maturity. I stuck by my life mantras of “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. if not, you’ll find an excuse.” and “No excuses”. I realized the value of life and health. I realized who is my friend and who isn’t, who deserves to be in my life and who doesn’t. My BJJ Academy has grown in size for the 5th straight year through hard work and a great staff and students. I feel even though I didn’t train as much as I would have liked because the healing process has been a little slower than I had hoped, I feel like I still got better through film study , drills and teaching and added many things to my toolbox. As a team, our Academy enjoyed a tremendous 2015, including many tournament victories, guys winning medals for the first time, 5 TEAM trophies, including our kids winning a TEAM title for the first time, belt promotions to prestigious belts like purple and brown and another BLACKBELT in Coach Sean!! We also had some of the best BJJ seminars I have ever been to by Royler Gracie, Rafael Lovato Jr, David Adiv and JT Torres. We were visited by rising stars and old school blackbelts. We added an all womens class which I am extremely proud of. We are lucky to have access to some of the top instruction in the USA, not only in our Academy, but through our extended BJJ family across the country. Most importantly was the personal growth of a lot of our students experienced on their personal journeys through BJJ in 2015. While everyone’s goals are different, improved technique, fitness, camaraderie, and mutual respect were common elements to everyone. I am excited about the growth of the Academy and the progress of our students. I look forward to the expanded schedule and class offerings to help each person achieve their personal goals while reaching our team goals. Although I yell sometimes in order to push you to your goals, please understand that I am very, very proud of our accomplishments as individuals and as a team and Academy. Like I said during speeches in class, our curriculum has proven to be good and if followed, you will reach your goals. With the right attitude I believe the sky is the limit for us as a school. I will grow more in 2016 (personally and professionally) and become better than ever in 2016. Stand w/ me or stand behind me, I will accomplish all my goals in this year. Bring it on 2016, I am going to kick your ass!

RIP Mike Mrkulic

RIP Mike Mrkulic

RIP Mike Mrkulic

Mike Mrkulic with Grandmaster Helio Gracie

Really, really sorry to hear about Mike Mrkulic’s passing last night. Mike was the owner and instructor of Mrkulic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and was considered by many to be a BJJ prodigy – earning his brown belt in just 3 1/2 years.

Mike and I came up together in the RGDA and traveled to many tournaments together back in the day as white and bluebelts with nobody to coach us but each other and his brother Henry.

I haven’t spoken to Mike in almost a year but I had a bond with him that training together early in our BJJ journey holds. Really sad about this. Don’t even know what to say. I just remembered that I got my purplebelt from Dave Adiv after a night of training at Mike’s school. RIP Mike and my condolences to his children, Henry and all the people at Mrkulic BJJ. Damn. RIP Mike Mrkulic.

JT Torres seminar Northern NJ Seminar at Savarese BJJ

JT Torres seminar Northern NJ Seminar at Savarese BJJ

The JT Torres Northern NJ seminar at Savarese BJJ Academy in Lyndhurst NJ was a huge success last night. 55 people were in attendance as JT taught some great passing sequences that people of all levels can learn. Everyone in attendance can add these techniques to their game immediately. It’s always awesome for me to watch him teach as I have watched him grow from a 15 yr old who used to ask me about my half guard to one of the best BJJ practitioners in the world. The kids seminar was awesome too as the kids just love JT! Today was a great day at Savarese BJJ.

JT Torres

Nicknamed “The Spiderman”, JT Torres is a gifted Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt with an extensive and impressive list of accomplishments such as his wins at the World and Pan American Nogi Championships at the black belt level. He is one of the only Amercians that can call himself a World No-Gi Champion. With one of the most fan pleasing games in the sport, he is part of a bunch of young, talented bunch of US grapplers that started making their mark in a sport heavily dominated by Brazilians. JT Torres became a household name in BJJ competing for Lloyd Irvin‘s academy but chose to leave the Maryland team in 2013 and moved to the Atos academy, run by Multiple time World BJJ Champion Andre Galvao. Since the move, JT has been on fire and inching closer to his dream of becoming a World Champion in the gi (jiu-jitsu uniform).

JT sem JT Sav

Jersey City resident earns Jiu-Jitsu promotion


Jersey City resident earns Jiu-Jitsu promotion.

Brian Procel, a Jersey City resident earned  the Jiu-Jitsu promotion 1st Stripe brownbelt saturday by Professor Chris Savarese of Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu he is now in the top 5 highest ranked students in the top ranked Lyndhurst martial arts school. Procel started training Under Professor Savarese in 2008 at only 17 years old and has grown into martial arts instructor himself. Procel headed up the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program at Montclair State University from 2010 to 2012 when he taught the art to over 100 students. Last November while vacationing with his family in Ecuador, he was asked to teach a Jiu-Jitsu seminar to some martial arts students, a great honor for Procel and one that his instructor Professor Savarese and his teammates were very proud of. Over his 8 years of training, Procel has won or earned medals in tournaments such as the Grapplers Quest, New Jersey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (NJBJJF), The Big Apple Open, North American Grappling Association (NAGA) and The Good Fight. He also fought in the Cage Grappling Event in NJ in 2014 in which he won his fight by rear naked choke. Procel trains with Some of the top grapplers in the world to come out of this Academy and Procel is considered a leader and one of the best among them. He has tremendous focus and dedication for someone his age, at times being so dedicated that he would ride his skateboard from Jersey City to Lyndhurst just to train and take class. Procel is noted for his work ethic, often being the last one to leave the Academy every night. riding his bike a couple of miles to class even in the winter. If you like Brian’s story and want to be like him, call 201 933-5134 for a free trail class. Students range from hobbyists young and old to serious competitors.



Medical student Caitlin McManus earns jiu-jitsu promotion



Medical student Caitlin McManus earns jiu-jitsu promotion

Medical student Caitlin McManus earns jiu-jitsu, becoming a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 3rd stripe bluebelt.The former Montclair State graduate starting training at the college in their jiu-jitsu program run by Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student Brian Procel during her time there. After falling in love with the art, she decided to keep up with her training and joined the Savarese BJJ Academy, located in Lyndhurst NJ. Professor Chris Savarese, the school’s owner and head instructor loves Caitlin’s work ethic. “She is one of the hardest workers in the whole Academy! On many nights, she is the first to arrive and the last to leave. I’m so excited to see how good she will be in a couple of years.” Keep up the great work Caitlin!

More about BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ, is a martial art focusing largely on grappling and ground fighting. It utilizes proper technique and leverage to obtain dominant control on the ground and as a result, provides greater position for striking or submission holds. BJJ has been proven to be an effective method for dealing with bigger and stronger opponents and has become increasingly popular due in part to its great success in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). It can be trained for self defense, sport grappling with or without the kimono and mixed martial arts competition. Translated as “the gentle art,” Brazilian jiu-jitsu focuses on using strength and technique in the most efficient way possible to control and overcome opponents of greater size, strength and aggression. With its roots in the Japanese jiu-jitsu of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the art found its way to Brazil in 1910, when Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese jiu-jitsu and judo expert, emigrated to the country. There he became friends with Gastao Gracie, an influential businessman who helped Maeda get established. In return, Maeda taught jiu-jitsu to Gracie’s sons, who became very proficient in the art, eventually passing on Maeda’s teaching in their own schools. The many additions, modifications, and refinements to the art made by the Gracie family were tested against other styles with great success, propelling Gracie Jiu-Jitsu into the martial arts world and creating a tradition that lives on today.