Top Level Martial Arts
2674 North Haven Blvd
Cuyahoga Falls, Oh 44223

Weekly Jiu-Jitsu Update #4

I hope it’s been another fruitful week for everyone. For me, the week was a bit challenging, but nothing I couldn’t overcome. I think, like everyone else, I’m excited for the weather to finally break. I managed to drop 40lbs last year and I’m gonna drop another 20. For me, the winter was about maintenance. Since I didn’t gain anything over the last couple months, I’m confident I can drop down some more. This is an important journey for me. My father died when i was only 18, he was 52, of a massive heart attack. I want to be there for my kids, so I decided to make some valuable changes. It hasn’t been easy, but dropping 4 pant sizes, dramatically changing my physical look, and the ease with which I can move again has made it worth it. 

Winston Update

Here’s a moment when I was trying to call Winston to get out of bed. As I rounded the corner he just rolled over to get his belly rubbed. What a spoiled little fluff ball. 

This week on the Top Level Jiu-Jitsu YouTube Channel?

This week’s episode of Professor’s Corner is more of a technical video. I talk about how to free the hand when someone is grabbing to defend a kimura situation. 


A brief look at classes for the week:

Kids Class Content: This week your kids will be working on their kicking and punching combinations as well as how to sweep a bully that’s standing while we’re on the ground. This is an important skill if a kid gets pushed over. They’ll work on the tripod sweep and ankle grab sweep. 

Adult Class Content: This week’s fundamentals class is number 5: Sweeping a standing opponent. We’ll begin the classes with some good punch block sequence from the guard and move into what to do if your opponent stands up to attack or pass. In open ranks class we will begin our section all about float passing. 

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Upcoming Events:

EASTER SUNDAY: The academy is closed Sunday, March 31, in celebration of the Easter holiday. There will be no competition class or open mat that day. 

Breathing for Sport Performance: Saturday, April 6th 930 to 1130
– With a degree in Exercise Physiology, 40 years in martial arts, and work with many elite athletes in my time; I find I take this skill for granted. I’ve learned and taught many techniques for controlling breathing over the years. Everything from learning to calm yourself to catching your breath, to stopping hyperventilation, and even proper breathing during movement. I’ll present this in a way that applies to jiu-jitsu performance specifically. If you ever find yourself out of breath when you shouldn’t, this is definitely for you. 

IF YOU HAVE HAD RIB PROBLEMS, the most common injury in jiu-jitsu, THIS IS FOR YOU!!!!

The cost is $20 at the door. 

ACADEMY CLOSURE: After much consideration, some letters we’ve received from the Mayor have convinced me to close the school on Monday, April 8th. The Governor and Mayor have been warning business owners of many problems that come with the upcoming eclipse. We may do open mats that day, but I can’t guarantee there will be any parking. Here’s a message from the Mayor on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mayordonwalters/posts/837872254816398

Black and Brown Belt Gathering: The academy will be completely closed on April 19th through the 21st. I will be taking many instructors and team members to Crystal Lake, IL to participate in the annual Black and Brown Belt gathering of the Pedro Sauer Association. Any adult black or brown belts who want to attend are invited to do so. You can register yourself at blackbeltgathering.com 

Top Level BJJ Spring Camp 2024:

We just have a few weeks left before the cutoff to get registered for the camp and still get the Free swag. We’re still sitting at about 12 signups. Reminder… There is a multi-payment option. So don’t feel like you need to pay it all up front. You can put $100 down and the rest will come out over the following 2 months. I’ve tried to think of everything for you here. 

If you think you’re “too new” to go, I would urge you to reconsider. Not only will you learn a plethora of amazing jiu-jitsu that you can start putting into your training; you will also meet a lot of great people you probably don’t get to normally. If you’re like most people here, you joined to be part of an amazing community, events like this are a big part of that community. 

NEW OPTION ADDED:   Due to popular demand, I have added a single day option for the camp. It still includes the rashguard and swagbag. I still highly recommend taking the time to come to all 3 days, but if you just can’t, you can purchase a single day for $199. 
 Here’s the link: https://sparkpages.io/?i=_8Fbb

People from any school are welcome, so please invite friends. 

Here’s a look at the rashguards. These are made by the same people who make many of the brands you love. They aren’t cheapies. Comfy and durable. 

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OUTSTANDING STUDENT ALERT!

Chloe and Gabby Falkenstein

Ok, I may be cheating a little bit with this one. I could never choose between these two young women. Chloe and Gabby have been training with us since 2016! That’s 8 years. Chloe has the distinction of being one of a small handful of students that has trained through the kid ranks and earned an adult blue belt, a higher rank that the Jr Black Belt that youth students can earn. To earn that, children aren’t eligible to test for the adult blue belt until they turn 16yrs old. Gabby has been training along side her sister since the beginning and currently holds a youth brown belt. She’s on track to follow in her sister’s foot steps and test for adult blue belt when she turns 16 in August of 2025! 

These young women love jiu-jitsu and we love having them around!

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Quote/Story of the Week

“Waiting for motivation to get stuff done is like waiting for a pot of water to boil without turning on the heat.” -Bill Jones

There will be many days that you or your kids don’t want to do jiu-jitsu. I said it a few weeks ago, “I own the place and there’s days I don’t want to come”; and jiu-jitsu is my most favorite thing to do on Earth.

So what does that mean? It means you have a choice to make. Do you want to get good or not? Do you want your child to really learn about discipline or not? When the going gets tough, are you going to teach yourself to take the easy road or the hard one? 

Let me help you understand “motivation” a little better. You see, when it comes to any life change, there are three steps. 

Step 1: Inspiration. This is whatever first gives you the idea to try jiu-jitsu. “My therapist says jiu-jitsu is good for kids.” or “I listened to Jocko Willink and he says jiu-jitsu is very important.” This is inspiration; you saw someone or something that sparked your interest and you wanted to do it. 

Step 2: Motivation. Once you get inspired, that excitement usually lasts a couple weeks. Then you’ll have moments of motivation. This is where you feel like getting up and going all the time. The group who usually takes the most flak for this is the “January 1st gym crowd; new year new me.” But what happens to them? By January 17th, they aren’t there anymore. Their motivation wanes quickly and they fall off the habit. 

Step 3: Discipline. You’ve established that what you want to do, Jiu-jitsu, is good for your kid or yourself. You know it builds inner strength, mental calmness, and physical strength, but you still don’t feel like going, why?  Simply put because you don’t HAVE to go. We are fortunate enough to live in 2024. Food isn’t something we have to chase and comfort is everywhere. But its discipline that will see you through. Keep training, especially on the days you don’t feel like it. That’s when you’ll see the most growth and feel the most accomplished. And it’s important to have your kids do it too, especially when they don’t feel like it. 

One of my favorite lines of Jocko Willink is when he was asked what the does on the days he doesn’t feel like training. I’ll paraphrase his response:


“Oh THOSE DAYS. The days when my body feels tired. When I feel like just taking a break. What do I do on those days? I go anyway. I show up. I go through the motions. Yes, your body MIGHT be telling you it’s time for a break. But I don’t give in that day. That’s the one thing I’ll procrastinate on. If I get to the end of that training and STILL feel I need a break, then I’ll take the break the next day. But I never give in to that immediate gratification of taking today off because I don’t feel like it.”

Parenting is hard because we are all feel so flawed. I have constant imposter syndrome when talking to my kids, “Who am I to give life advice?” But when they make a commitment, it becomes my commitment too. And I always make sure they see it through. Because I honestly believe that has made all the difference in my life. 

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As always, if you have any comments, concerns, gripes, or complaints just hit me with em’. I’m always ready to help you any way I can!

See you on the mats,

Bill Jones- Head Instructor, Professor
Top Level Martial Arts

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