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60-Day BJJ Weight Loss Challenge – Trip’s Week 2 Blog

Copa Jiu-Jitsu provides a one-of-a-kind blend of physical conditioning and practical self-defense in a supportive and fun environment. One student chose to document his experience with our methodology over 60 days to see how quickly our system produces results. These are his unedited journal entries.

Week 2

Weight: 244lbs

As promised, I’m going to discuss how diet will play a part in the weight-loss challenge. This was tough for me, because I’m really not sure I’ve ever learned how to eat properly. As a kid, I was rail-thin, and could eat pretty much whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and not gain an ounce. As I worked my way through my 20’s, my eating habits remained the same while my waistline expanded. Exercise helped, but it couldn’t remedy the effects of what I was putting my body through due to poor dietary
choices. I’ve tried Weight Watchers a few times, but found that the constant “point counting” and measuring was tiresome, and didn’t really change what sort of foods I was choosing to eat. I also tried several New Year’s resolution diets, where I’d do great for a week or two, making all my own rabbit food. This would ultimately end miserably when I’d return home from work after a tough day and grab my phone and credit card and order out.

60-Day BJJ Weight Loss Challenge – Trip’s Week 1 Blog

Copa Jiu-Jitsu provides a one-of-a-kind blend of physical conditioning and practical self-defense in a supportive and fun environment. One student chose to document his experience with our methodology over 60 days to see how quickly our system produces results. These are his unedited journal entries.

Starting Weight, 254 lbs

At the beginning of the New Year, I was approached by Copa BJJ coaches Jim Neitzel and Mark “Mack the Knife” Daley to consider a proposition: commit to training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at least 3 times per week while maintaining a healthy diet for a total of 60 days. The purpose of this experiment was to gauge how effective Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is in helping individuals lose unwanted weight (gimmick free: just a healthy diet and hard training).

My guess is that I was selected for a couple of reasons—first, I had been out of the gym for a couple of months due to a family tragedy and the constraints of my job. Second, as a result of being away from the gym, I had put on several extra pounds that I was not at all happy about. Mack and Jim asked me how much I weighed, and more importantly, how much I wanted to weigh. I told them I was walking around at between 250-260 lbs, but as I am only 5’ 11”, I would like to get down to 200lbs at some point. Jim told me about a company that shares space in the gym our jiu-jitsu school operates out of (Quads Gym) called “DexaFit”. As Jim explained it, DexaFit uses state of the art imaging technology to provide a comprehensive breakdown of one’s body composition. This imaging technology has been used by professional athletes and weekend warriors alike to educate them on how muscle mass is distributed through their bodies, what percentage of their mass is stored as fat, and even measures bone density levels. Jim stated that Copa BJJ wanted to partner with DexaFit to do a “Before and After” experiment, where I got to be the guinea pig. As someone who wanted nothing more than the right motivation to shed pounds, I jumped at the opportunity.

BJJ/MMA Seminar with World-Famous Mario Sperry

Mario Sperry

Mario Sperry

Copa BJJ is excited to welcome BJJ champion and world-renowned competitor and coach Mario Sperry for a Brazilin Jiu-Jitsu seminar on Oct. 28, 2012, from 2:30 to 4:20 p.m. A prominent Carlson Gracie Sr. black belt, Sperry’s accomplishments include:
• 3x Black Belt World Mundial Champion
• 4x Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Champion
• 3x ADCC Superfight Champion

Mario Sperry is currently head coach of the Blackzilians, training such notable MMA fighters as Rashad Evans, Alistair Overeem, Jorge Santiago, Eddie Alvarez, Michael Johnson, and Melvin Guillard.

This seminar is open to the public! Sign up today by visiting our Facebook event page.

PRICE: $75 ($60 for Carlson Gracie Team Members)


UFC Star Miguel Torres MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Seminar!

Copa Jiu-Jitsu is excited to announce a public martial arts seminar on August 26th, 2012 with prominent UFC fighter Miguel Angel Torres.  This will be his last public seminar before his upcoming UFC fight training camp.

Miguel Angel Torres

Torres will be teaching some of the Carlson Gracie jiu-jitsu techniques that helped him reach the pinnacle of mixed martial arts.

Miguel Torres is a former WEC Bantamweight champion. Prior to fighting with the WEC, Torres also held the bantamweight title for the US Shooto organization, as well as for the Ironheart Crown.  He received his Carlson Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt in 2008.

The seminar will be at Copa Jiu-Jitsu inside of Quads Gym in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood.  Lockers and showers are available for seminar attendees.

RSVP and hold your spot today!


Date: August 26th, 2012 2:30pm-4:30pm
Admission Cost: $75 for the public / $60 for Copa Jiu-Jitsu members
Attire: This is a no-gi seminar.  Shorts with drawstrings are recommended.
Location: Quads Gym @ 3727 N. Broadway St. Chicago, IL 60657

RSVP and hold your spot today!

Rey Diogo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Seminar on June 3rd!

June 3, 2012 2:30-4:30pm @ Copa Jiu-Jitsu.

Ricardo “Rey” Diogo returns for a highly-anticipated jiu-jitsu seminar. Rey was a massive hit when he taught his 2011 seminar and we’re excited to have him back.

Cost: $50 for Carlson Gracie Team members, $70 for all others

This will be a gi seminar, so bring your jiu-jitsu uniforms!

Rey Diogo and Carlson Gracie

Ricardo “Rey” Diogo

  • Black Belt Carlson Gracie Team
  • Studying and training under Professor and Master Carlson Gracie since 1981
  • Teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlson Gracie Team since 1988
  • Two-time Brazilian National Champion and many times Regional Champion of Rio de Janeiro, in weight-class and absolute (open weight category)



Some video of Rey Diogo teaching:


Copa Jiu-Jitsu Grand Opening a Success!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Mark Daley and Carlson Gracie Jr.

Copa Jiu-Jitsu hosted the legendary Carlson Gracie Jr. for a seminar to celebrate the opening of our new location at 3727 N. Broadway St, Chicago!

Mark Daley and Carlson Gracie Jr.












We had a great turnout and all learned some great jiu-jitsu!  Join us at one of our classes to get in on all the great technique and camaraderie! See you on the mat!


Copa Jiu-Jitsu Takes its Annual Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics

Anyone up for a dip in Lake Michigan this fine March morning?  Copa Jiu-Jitsu jumped headfirst into the freezing water for the third year running.  Carlson Gracie BJJ – Team “Mack the Knife” raised $8,630 as a team to support the <a href=””>Special Olympics</a> in the 2012 Chicago Polar Plunge event. Congratulations to all 18 of our brave plungers and hearty thanks to the donors who made the event a success!  See you next year!

Check out some priceless footage of our plunge:


Carlson Gracie Takes Second Place at 2012 IBJJF Chicago Winter Open!

2012 Chicago Winter Open

Carlson Gracie Team showed well on March 3 at the prestigious International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s Chicago Winter Open tournament.  Our team took home 15 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 15 bronze medals.  Congratulations to all who competed!

Check out the complete results from the tournament!