I recently completed co-author duties with Jean Jacques Machado on his newest book — The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense. In this new volume, I wrote a preface of my own that detailed some of my experiences as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu student. The preface was posted on BlackBeltMag.com Aug. 1, 2011. As soon as the preface was online, I started receiving emails that addressed the section that described my time spent as a blue belt — five years to be exact. I was asked how I handled spending that much time at one level. Was I ever frustrated? Did I ever feel like quitting? Those who wrote me were almost in the same situation. They were not surprised to hear that they were not alone. They were surprised, though, that someone not only broke through but also made it all the way to the coveted black-belt rank. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is unique in that there is no set curriculum or guideline for rank advancement. It is almost entirely performance based. There are other factors that play into your ability to move up. Some schools use stripes in between belts to help give students a better idea of their progress. But for most students knowing where they stand can be a big mystery. It is challenging enough wondering how close you are to the next level — imaging what it takes to make it all the way to black belt can  seem like an impossible goal — but it can be done. I did it and broke down the five main principles that I believe are essential to helping you reach black-belt level: Make the Commitment Be Consistent Stay Focused Persevere Be Giving In the following weeks, I will be discussing each principle in further detail. Stay Tuned and Train Well. About the Author: Jay Zeballos is a Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2009 gold-medalist black belt under Jean Jacques Machado. He has been training with him for more than a decade. Zeballos is also the co-author of The Grappler's Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques. His most recent book with Machado is The Grappler's Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense.

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ONE Championship kick-started their exciting month on Wednesday, April 7, with ONE on TNT I inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The long-awaited meeting between ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson took center stage and had a shocking conclusion.

Five other bouts helped fill out ONE's primetime debut in the United States.

Need a recap of what went down at ONE on TNT I? Here is what you missed from the latest edition of ONE Championship action.

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World Taekwondo

The European Taekwondo Championships wrapped up on Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria with Russia dominating the men's categories while Great Britain reigned on the women's side. The British nabbed three titles in the women's events lead by two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones who took her third European championship capturing the 57 kg division with a 20-5 victory over Turkey's Hatice Kübra İlgün. Jones will seek to become the first British woman to win individual gold at three different Olympics when she competes at this year's Tokyo games.

The Russian men also earned three titles lead by 2017 world champion Maksim Khramtsov, who garnered his second European crown at 80 kg.


On Wednesday, April 14, ONE Championship returns with ONE on TNT II on primetime on TNT with two incredible bouts leading the charge.

One of those bouts features ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet "JT" Todd continuing her pursuit of two-sport dominance against Anne "Ninja" Line Hogstad in a Muay Thai contest.

The two top-ranked Muay Thai contenders each have their own hopes and dreams for the gold, but if Todd can capture it, she will be the second-ever two-sport atomweight World Champion. She is chasing history to cement her legacy as the best atomweight striker in the world.

But Hogstad will not be one to lay down for her bid.

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