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Next Level Guy

Apr 29, 2022

Today’s guest is Brandon McCaghren. 

Brandon Mccaghren earned his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Eddie Bravo and was the first 10th Planet Instructor in the entire Southeastern United States. He has received each of his Jiu Jitsu ranks directly from Eddie Bravo, currently holding the the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt.

Brandon is one of the most highly respected instructors in the global 10th Planet organization, teaching seminars all over the United States and Internationally on a regular basis.

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Decatur was recognized as the top-ranked academy in the 10th Planet system in 2014, largely in part to the team's competitive successes and Brandon's reputation as a world-class instructor.

In this interview, we discuss:  

  • How to be the best you possible in BJJ
  • The importance of situational sparring.
  • Why you should consider competing at BJJ. 
  • And so much more.

Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate on

  • Age is not a barrier to starting a martial art. Older athletes just need to adapt their training methodologies for better recovery, diet and sleep.
  • You need to be consistent in your training, as martial arts are a marathon, and not a microwave meal! To succeed, you need to put the effort in each day, and build on your skills.
  • To be a better competitor, you need to spend adequate time on the mats, feel comfortable moving your body, using your problem solving muscles and leaving your ego at the door, and forget about the ego and the pursuit for win and instead focus on your journey and your work ethics.
  • Control the controllable and ignore the rest, do not let your self-worth get tied up with your win/loss margin. Focus on the process of the training instead.
  • Concepts are great but you need to have a technique to be able to use that concept. You need to have knowledge of both to be successful. You need to know the how as much as the why you are doing something in BJJ.
  • You should look at learning the concepts as filters in the art of learning BJJ.
  • There are many gyms and different affiliations of BJJ and other martial arts. You should trial a few places to see what suits best, a coach that you click with, a class you feel safe in etc.
  • You should roll and train with a lot of people in your gym, you can learn many different things, different styles and different ways to learn from other coaches, training partners etc.
  • Situational sparring is a holy grail for learning new techniques, it exposes you to the same scenarios over and over and lets you remove the ego and learn in the min-game without letting the ego try and take over and think your masculinity is tied up with whether you win or lose.
  • Ego is important ... to a certain level. We need to get the ego under control, he can come along on the journey but it can't drive the bus!
  • You don't need to compete to be brilliant at BJJ, but as Brandon says, by not competing outside of the gym, we look to challenge in the gym and can compete in every roll if we let the ego run wild.
  • To see how you are progressing, look at your training partners who started after you, look at your skills and see if your old you would beat the new guys just starting, and if the new you could control you, then you are progressing.
  • BJJ can be whatever you need for in your life, to test yourself, to get fit, to meet new people, to learn new skills.
  • You should want to train, the gym should be a place you want to be, and not something you have to endure.
  • Find something that keeps you excited and focused on learning in BJJ to avoid the blue belt blues and let the excitement of learning that, and after achieving that, let it spark a new stem  of interest in the next area and you will progress from there and so on.
  • We all doubt ourselves, others just hide it better than others.
  • It's not about who's best, it's about who is left - being consistent and turning up each session, is more of a key skill than aggression is. Keep showing up and putting in meaningful hours of training.
  •  Your goals from what you want from BJJ will help you dictate what your parameters for success from BJJ training are. Always remember it is OK to change your goals as you change yourself.
  • Your goal should be to enjoy, explore and deepen your understanding of the art of BJJ and not to be the best in the room.
  • BJJ is important but shouldn't be your entire life.
  • Doing an activity together, and learning new skills with your partner, can be a great way to connect and bond with your significant others.
  • 'How you learn anything is how you learn everything"
  • Cardio is the mother of all techniques!
  • Competing is a skillset of it's own in addition to the skill-set needed to be good at BJJ. Delegation is key to running multiple ventures in your life.
  • Find a training environment that makes you want to train.

You can't go wrong with BMac's YouTube, every video will help you level up!