Archive for September, 2010

Academy Drop-In: Peninsula BJJ Academy

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Tuesday night, me and three of my friends dropped by Peninsula BJJ Academy  in Foster City to train. The word on the street was that Lyoto Machida (former UFC  Light Heavyweight Champion) would be teaching the evening class. Lyoto is currently in town training at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose to prepare for his upcoming fight with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and is good friends with Marco.

Ryno and Lyoto Machida at Peninsula BJJ Academy

Lyoto didn’t end up teaching the class that night but did come by the gym to hang out and took the time to shake hands and take pictures with all of the students. Training at AKA I’ve been lucky enough to not only meet, but train with some of the biggest names in MMA on a daily basis, but I have never taken a picture with any of them. Why then did I decide I needed a picture with Lyoto Machida?…..Because I have a blog now and it’s my responsibility to not just tell people what I’ve been up to but follow it up with photographic evidence!

Marco Nascimento gives Lyoto Machida a few pointers on the half-guard

Now onto a quick overview of Peninsula BJJ Academy. Marco Nascimento is the owner and head instructor at the academy and is a 4th degree black belt under Adilson “Bitta” Lima (Head master of Gracie Barra Pitbull). Over the last few months I have been dropping in to train with Marco and his students when I have the extra time for the 40 minute commute up to Foster City. Marco is a phenomenal instructor and his students are extremely welcoming, respectful, and with an instructor like Marco, it’s no surprise that they have very solid Jiu Jitsu games.

During our class that night, Marco went over some basic half-guard passes which I have done many times, but, as is common with the  “basics” we tend to forget some of the small details that make the move so much more effective. Marco was kind enough to come by a few times and help me refine the passes, now I just need to drill them and use them when it counts!

In closing, one thing that I cannot stress enough about Marco is that he has a huge heart and loves teaching people Jiu Jitsu. His academy is somewhere that the whole family can train and hang out at. Marco even has a big screen television and a PlayStation in his reception area to keep kids entertained while the parents train. If you have a chance to visit his academy I highly recommend it. Check it out online at

Thanks for reading,



Black Belt Interview- Paul Schreiner

September 26, 2010 5 comments

Ryno and Paul Schreiner

After his seminar last week, Paul Schreiner was nice enough to be the first black belt interview on By all accounts, Paul should probably not be a high level Jiu Jitsu practitioner. The guy has had 11 knee surgeries…one of which almost killed him, has no acl in one knee (don’t worry, the swelling from the arthritis is keeping it stabilized), and even had to have a bone transplant to keep the integrity of his femur after a horrible staph infection. Despite all of the injuries and surgeries, Paul has become a very recognizable and highly respected member of the Jiu Jitsu community. Please enjoy this exclusive interview with Mr. Paul Schreiner:

How did you get interested in Jiu-Jitsu?
I started wrestling during my senior year of high school which was right about the time they held the first UFC. After high school I moved to New Zealand to play rugby for a year then went to Australia to surf and hang out with family. When I got back I was still interested in wrestling but had hurt my knee playing rugby. I started working out in a gym here in Santa Cruz and there was a blue belt there who was teaching Jiu Jitsu. I started training with him then realized I wanted more and heard that Claudio Franca had a school in town. I went over and took a class at Claudio’s with Garth Taylor. After that I signed up, got myself an unbleached Krugan’s gi, and started training almost every day.

So you started with Claudio and trained with him until you received your black belt?
Yeah I started with Claudio and he took me to black belt, but after I had been training only seven months I hurt my other knee on a surf trip to Costa Rica. The whole knee thing became a huge issue because now I had torn my acl on both knees, one playing rugby and one surfing. The one that I did surfing I got repaired first and it healed wonderfully. When I got my other knee repaired I got a staph infection and the infection went all the way into my femur….it was horrible, I almost died. I lost 45lbs in two weeks and had to have multiple surgeries to try to clean it up. My knee became “frozen” and wouldn’t really bend, the doctors were thinking about fusing the joint which meant I would have had a straight leg for the rest of my life. After a while I was able to get enough mobility to avoid them having to fuse it. I slowly worked my way back and started surfing again which was always my first love then one day I was driving past the Jiu-Jitsu academy and saw Garth’s truck parked outside. I stopped and went in and he was training with BJ Penn. It was about two weeks before BJ won the world championships. Watching them train for the tournament inspired me to get back in and start training again after almost two and a half years off.

Wow, minus all of the injuries and surgeries, how long would you say you’ve been practicing Jiu-Jitsu?
I’d say about nine years minus all of the time off for injuries and surgeries. I also broke a rib and was out for almost a year.
When did you receive your black belt?
I got my black belt in 2007.
Was the promotion a surprise or did you know it was coming?
I pretty much knew it was coming. I had already been competing against black belts as a brown belt and felt more or less ready. I can’t remember the order but I either had to have surgery right before or right after I got my black belt and had to take another four months off.
For the knee again?
Yeah, it’s just been an ongoing ordeal but they’ve felt pretty healthy lately. The majority of the surgeries were all do the aftermath of the infection. I even had to have a bone transplant to help keep the integrity of the femur but I still don’t have an acl. The knee is basically stabilized because I have some arthritis so the swelling helps keep it stable.
After all of these years training, the injuries, the 11 knee surguries, what does having a black belt mean to you?
It was a big deal when it happened but I think I let it go right after it happened. I’m not that good and I need to be back in the gym training and learning. I’m trying to focus on simplifying my game. I also have more of a commitment to teaching what I’ve learned as well as I can possibly teach it.
Over the years from white belt to black belt, what was your favorite belt level and why?
I liked brown belt because there were really hard matches. I was able travel to Brazil and compete against black belts which was an important step for me. Also at brown belt you really know Jiu Jitsu…..I was starting to pass the guard for real at brown and I felt like I got to really enjoy that belt.
Now that you’ve devoted more time to teaching, what belt level do you think is most significant during a student’s growth in Jiu Jitsu?
Honestly I think developing sound fundamentals and movements as a white belt is most important. Having an instructor that is willing to correct your mistakes at the white belt level is also key.
You opened Kaijin MMA a few years ago with Garth Taylor then you moved to New York to train with Marcelo Garcia, can you give me the story behind that?
I actually have Dave Camarillo to thank for my relationship to Marcelo in some regards. I met Marcelo at a seminar in 2004 and had run into him at tournaments and we would always talk. He was super supportive and then in 2007 at the Pan Ams I was hanging out with Dave in the bleachers and we saw Marcelo and I called him over to say hi. After talking, Marcelo invited Dave and I to train with him in New York. I didn’t have a job and was living at my mom’s house so that i could train full-time so I had no money. Dave bought me a  ticket and paid for me to go to New York for ten days to train with Marcelo and that was really where we became good friends and training partners. Since then I’ve tried to train with Marcelo a few times a year and always told him that if there was ever an opportunity to work with him that I would be interested. Garth has always been very supportive of me training with Marcelo and a while after we opened Kaijin, Marcelo needed an instructor and offered me the position so I decided to make the move.
So with Garth and Kaijin it was always understood that if you had the opportunity to work with Marcelo that you would take it?
Yeah, I put a lot of energy into this academy but at the same time Garth more than knows what he’s doing and in my opinion he’s a better instructor than I am and he’s definitely a better competitor. We also have Clement Shields teaching here now to so they’ve got it under control.
What’s it like to train so closely with Marcelo?
With Marcelo, everyone knows what a good athlete and competitor he is but he’s also a really great mentor. I have a lot of questions, maybe to a fault, but he’s always willing to sit there and answer my questions. He really tries to correct my mistakes and he’s very involved with the teaching and training process. Marcelo 100% leads by example. He teaches almost every class. He does the warm ups, he does the drills, he does the training and he’ll never ask you to do something that he won’t do. More than anything, training with him is fun.

Rickson Gracie- an inspiration.

You’re known for traveling all over the world and training with the best Jiu Jitsu practitioners out there. Who haven’t you trained with that you would like to?
I’ve never trained with Rickson Gracie and have always wanted to train with him. Rickson has always been an inspiration to me. I’ve also trained with Cobrinha once at a seminar but would like to train more with him.

What’s in the future for Paul Schreiner? Do you have any plans of competing?
Yeah I’m going to continue to compete maybe a few times a year. I can’t say competition is my favorite thing but I think it’s important because you learn a lot and it speeds your technical evolution. Also, as a coach I want to have that experience to draw on when I teach students that want to compete.
Who are your favorite Jiu Jitsu practitioners?
Marcelo, Cobrinha, Roger Gracie.

What’s your favorite submission?
Rear Naked Choke

Gi or No-Gi?
Honestly they feel the same to me now. I started in the gi and will always have more love for the gi but I enjoy no-gi to. It doesn’t feel like a different thing like it used to.

Paul, thanks so much for a great seminar and for taking the time to be the first interview on
Thank you.

Paul Schreiner Seminar

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Paul "El Technico" Schreiner


Friday morning I got word from a friend of mine that Paul Schreiner was going to be holding a seminar the next day at Kaijin MMA in Santa Cruz. This would be a be no-gi seminar focusing on controlling the back and finishing the rear naked choke. Paul is a phenomenal instructor so I take any chance I get to train with him but this time I was even more excited because about six months ago he moved to New York to take a teaching position at Marcelo Garcia’s academy. Knowing that he would be showing a lot of what he has been learning from Marcelo I couldn’t pass it up, even on short notice.  

The first thing I noticed when I got to Kaijin was that there were very few people there. I thought for sure the place would be packed but I overheard Paul telling another student that he was just in town for a few days visiting family and that this was pretty much an impromptu seminar that he didn’t even advertise. By the time the seminar got started there were probably about 16-18 students. Taking a 2 hour seminar from Paul with such a small group of students was well worth the $50 fee.  

The seminar started with Paul dropping a bombshell on the class. The key to controlling the back was not about digging your hooks in and holding on for dear life….the key to controlling the back was contact with your opponents shoulders! It’s easiest if I break down the steps because although the techniques we learned weren’t necessarily advanced, the little details made all the difference.  

Proper contact with your opponents shoulders was paramount and was the most heavily emphasized lesson of the day. We started by securing a “seat belt” grip on our opponent then pulled our chests tight between their shoulder blades and kept our head tight to their ear. Having your chest tight between your opponents shoulder blades kept them from getting their back to the mat and escaping.  

The Grip
Paul showed a few really good details with the grip. First of all, the grip used to secure the back is the same grip he uses for front headlock control as well as guillotine chokes which makes it versatile and easy to remember. The grip is simply making a fist with one hand then taking the other hand and wrapping it over your fist, making sure that the knot of your wrist is in between your index and middle finger. The next step was to hide your thumb. You’ll notice with this grip that the thumb and knuckles of your bottom hand give something for your opponent to grab onto and break your grip. To negate this, you simply pull your fist back like your casting a fishing pole…notice how once you do this there really isn’t anything to grab onto.  

Keeping the head tight
Keeping your head tight with your opponents ear was another detail that makes a huge difference. If your opponent is given enough room to move his head to the opposite side of yours, it becomes very easy for him to start moving his shoulders to the mat and escaping.  

Keeping your opponent on the “right” side
A lot of times when I get back control I make the mistake of lying flat on my back or turning my opponent to the wrong side. Paul reminded us that we need to keep our opponent on the side of our arm that is over their shoulder. By keeping them on this side they are the farthest from their escape. It also makes a finishing choke much easier.  

Paul showing how to finish with the choke.

After drilling the initial control position for a while, Paul took us through a series of ways to force an opponent to give us the “seat belt” grip and take the back, maintain control of a struggling opponent, recovering seemingly lost back control, and numerous options for finishing with the rear naked choke. I got so many details in the seminar that I was almost on overload. As a bonus, Paul came over while I was working with my partner and showed me the proper way to apply a north/south choke. I have always had such a tough time with that choke that I gave up on it and just convinced myself that it was a low percentage choke that I didn’t need to waste my time trying anymore. While rolling with Paul at the end of the seminar, he made sure to catch me with the choke at least twice. I guess it was his way of showing me that it does work if you do it right…thanks Paul!  

We capped off the seminar with some sparring but before that Paul and Garth Taylor made a surprise promotion to one of their students named Noah. congrats on your purple belt Noah, I’m sure I’ll get to train with you soon. Most of the attendees were students of Kaijin and everyone I rolled with was polite and knowledgable making this a successful Saturday in Santa Cruz.    

Paul was even nice enough to grant me an interview after the seminar. Stay tuned during the next few days for the first official black belt interview on!  


Roy Dean-2nd Degree Black Belt Exam

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Not many  BJJ schools hold belt tests for students. Roy Harris does and thankfully one of Roy Dean’s students captured this amazing moment to share with the rest of us. If you have never heard of Roy Dean or Roy Harris, do yourself a favor and google them. I have had the honor of meeting and training with them both. Not only are they are two of finest BJJ instructors on the planet, they are also some of the nicest people you could hope to meet.