Jon Grilz

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Keeping up with MN Top Team: where we come from; where we go.

Posted by Jon Grilz

Jun 26, 2015 2:04:00 PM

From Minnesota Top Team Jiu Jitsu Coach, Jon Grilz:

Where we’ve come from; where we go

 The other day I made a little BJJ faux pas and left my belt at the gym. I like to get in some extra training at affiliate schools when I can and that particular day I was in a hurry to get home and relieve the babysitter. After eight years of BJJ I think I’ve forgotten my belt maybe twice.

Never with consequences.

This time, I was treated to stripes on my belt. Four pink stripes. And a video filled with chuckling as the stripes were put on as well as an explanation that it takes 200 hours to take off each pink stripe and another 200 hours to put on each white stripe.


So…1600 more mat hours until black belt.

It was a joke, but I accepted the challenge with a smile. I went back, got my belt and rolled with the pink stripes. I wore them with *ahem* pride, as it were. I was a little sad to see the professor take the stripes off, I rather enjoyed my new flare, but it got me thinking more about the idea.

1600 hours.

It’s not a set in stone rule by any means, but figure about 200 hours per stripe on a brown belt. I train about 400 hours a year, maybe more, but 400 is about right. That would mean with no stripes, 4 more years to black belt.

It didn’t bother me.

It wasn’t where I was going that I thought about, it was where I have been.

Since I first stepped on the mat, my life is completely different. In fact, if I were to read about that person’s day-to-day life I would think it was just really boring fiction. I was in a go-nowhere job I only went to because I needed some sort of income. I was newly married, no kids, no dog, still renting an apartment and slowly working my way through graduate school.

And I was bored.

And I was frustrated.

I feel sorry for that person. If I could, I would go back and tell him that it gets better, but it starts with you. You need the motivation to take the extra step, find the joy in life. Money…well, you still won’t have any money, but you will be happy.

BJJ makes me happy. The art makes me happy. The people make me happy.  It’s the only thing besides my family that I will fight for to keep in my life.

It makes me wonder, if I ran into the me who exists 8 years from now, what will he say.  If I had to guess, I think he’d say “you made the right choice.”

See you on the mats.


MN Top Team Free Week

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Topics: bjj

BJJ: New Year (and Life) Resolution

Posted by Jon Grilz

Jan 20, 2015 7:01:31 PM

Will This Year Be Different?

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Topics: bjj eagan, bjj, BJJ MN, jiu jitsu st paul

Grappling with Fatherhood

Posted by Jon Grilz

Sep 24, 2014 7:17:15 PM

Check out the latest blog by Minnesota Top Team Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach, Jon Grilz

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Topics: bjj

Finding Motivation in BJJ

Posted by Jon Grilz

Jul 6, 2014 2:12:18 PM

Blog post provided by Minnesota Top Team BJJ Instructor, Jon Grilz, Brown Belt. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is hard. Wait, that’s a bad way to start a blog. Maybe it’s better to say it like Rigan Machado: “Jiu Jitsu is easy, you make it difficult”, which is easy for a Rigan or a Rickson or a Pedro to say. Coral belts have all the fun.

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Topics: bjj

Perfection in BJJ: Goal or pipe dream?

Posted by Jon Grilz

Jan 14, 2014 12:34:00 PM

And now a word from Minnesota Top Team BJJ Instructor, Jon Grilz. 


Michelangelo once said "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." The man's got a point, but how high is too high? Is perfection even something that should be striven for? If so, what even constitutes perfection in a game that is constantly adapting and evolving?

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Topics: bjj

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