NABJJF L.A. Open Part 1 – No Gi

Hey guys, so this past weekend I competed in the NABJJF’s L.A. Open and decided to challenge myself by doing no gi as well. I train almost exclusively in the gi, but I figured that I’ll probably pick up something that will better me by doing the no gi division so I went for it and had a great time. I got to meet some new Checkmat teammates that I only knew through facebook pics and I also learned a lot.

Like I’ve said before everything is a process and this just showed me that I’m taking steps in the right direction towards next years World Championships.

Thanks to everyone who was there, to everyone who I’ve been training with this past month in California and everyone out there who’s been sending messages of support and good vibes.

On a side note I want to say again that I’m truly surprised and humbled by the messages I receive sometimes from people and although I never really gave any thought to how starting this blog might affect those outside my immediate circle of friends and family, it’s awesome to hear that people have been able to gain something from following it. Hearing these things always gives me great joy. Thank you!

Hope you guys enjoy the video and a special shout out to Brandon Grayson who will surely watch this video tediously and then send me a message saying that he’s got my number now and that he thinks he can beat me…

P.S. If you know Brandon and his trash talking ways leave a comment to show him your love. lol





Post 2013 IBJJF Worlds: Thoughts and Reflections part 2 – Perspective

Hey guys, here’s the follow up blog entry to the Post 2013 IBJJF Worlds: Thought and Reflections Part 1 – The process video I put up earlier in the week.

In this vlog entry I share why my perspective on what life experiences mean to us as people changed and what my plans are moving forward as well as just saying a huge thank you to everyone for all the support!

I hope you enjoy!

If anyone wants to share their thoughts on these subjects, I’d be really happy to hear them so please leave a comment!


I Can't explained how much I gained by going through all of this!

I Can’t explained how much I gained by going through all of this!

Checkmat 2013 Worlds Training Camp – Feeling Ready

Hey guy, so as most of you have seen through the facebook page I’m in California now taking part of the Checkmat team 2013 worlds training camp. Basically everyday there is one organized training session at a random Checkmat academy in Los Angeles. Leo Vieira teaches the classes and they are intense! It’s been pretty cool seeing people like Buchecha, Cavaca and Lapella (check out the pic bellow the video) walking around and I’ve also gotten some great training in with the other blue and purple belts.

I feel super confident going in to the biggest competition of my life and it’s mostly due to some things that I went through off the mat and I promise that once the Worlds are over I’ll suck it up and share with you guys the process I went through.

Here is a little clip about this past week. Hope you enjoy and wish me luck!

Checkmat Pre 2013 Worlds Training Camp

Checkmat Pre 2013 Worlds Training Camp

Checkmat Team BBQ at the Favela Cantagalo

Ever wonder how a BBQ/party in a Favela in Rio would look like? Well this Saturday after finishing up the morning BJJ session the entire Fightzone/Checkmat team headed up to the Favela Cantagalo to celebrate Philipe’s birthday by having a big BBQ. A lot of the guys from the team are from Cantagalo and came up through Ricardo’s BJJ social project so I’ve actually been up there quite a lot..

Antonio, one of the instructors over at the project, was nice enough to host the party on his rooftop. Antonio is a super nice guy and also the father of two ridiculously talented kids, “the Gomes Brothers” who you will definitely hear about in the future!

I hope you guys enjoy this entry and feel free to share!



favela bbq

The Checkmat Rio team

Copa Do Brasil – The Process Continues…

So as those of you who are following the “Itamar Marani BJJ” Facebook page know, I competed in the “Copa Do Brasil” last week and things didn’t go so well. This is a post about the competition itself and how things were in the immediate aftermath.

Oddly enough I really enjoyed making this video and I’m really looking forward to making the next one where I’ll share my insights from this experience with you guys.

On a side note it’s really nice to receive all these messages of support from everyone and I just wanted to say thanks!

Hope you enjoy!

Guest Post – How to tape your fingers for BJJ and Judo

For a little change of pace I’m going to share a video done by someone else. Every once in a while I plann on sharing content that isn’t mine as long as I believe that it’s worthwhile either for BJJ or just life in general. If anyone ever wants to do a guest spot let me know!

My good friend, Dan Simmler, was nice enough to make a video explaining how to properly tape your fingers for BJJ and judo. I’ve started to tape my fingers like this and others in my academy have followed suit. It’s great because it protects the joints but still allows your finger to bend properly. I definitely recommend it.

Dan is a black belt in BJJ, and has trained extensively in Sambo and Judo. He is also the head coach of the Abusado Team in Worcester, MS.

Check out his blog at WWW.DANSIMMLER.COM.

The Rio De Janeiro State Championships

Hey guys, sorry for not posting this past weekend but things were a little crazy. I was able to finally find an apartment and move in while also competing on Sunday. I also started a little blog fan page at that I update daily with cool photos, videos and such…

Anyway here’s the next episode “The Rio De Janeiro State Championships”.  Hope you guys enjoy it!

P.S. I’ve been getting a couple requests for subjects that people want me to do an episode about and I plan on doing most of them fairly soon. So if any of you guys have a request I’d be happy to hear it!

First Video! a look back at the past year

So on the flight from Tel Aviv to New York I had a lot of time to kill and figured I might as well try to figure out the video editor that I’m going to be using for the vlog. After a bit of playing around and always thinking that it would be really cool if I had a highlight reel of my own here it is, my first little video project… I hope you enjoy!!