What is the best advice you can give somebody who is starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Don’t rush your progress. Jiu-jitsu is a journey not a race.
What role does ego play in jiu jitsu?
Ego plays a big role in jiu-jitsu. A lot of the big name competitors would like to say that “there is no ego in jiu-jitsu.” To me honestly, it’s bull!!!! Everyone saw NoGi worlds last year, need I say more?
What separates those who excel from those who do not?
Nothing. Some people excel faster, some slower. Anyone can get good at this art. Sometimes the worst practitioners are the ones who surprise you the most, it just takes time and patience.
Have you ever been nervous before a BJJ competition?
HELL YEAH!!!!!!!! My entire blue belt career was a nervous wreck. Nearing the end of it is where things started to click and make more sense to me, and I shone bright.
What do you say to potential students?
Have fun, listen carefully, respect your training partners and instructor. Overall, let Jiu-jitsu happen naturally.
If you could go back in time, what would you say to yourself as a white belt?
Don't rush for glory, and be more patient and open minded. I wanted so much in a short time, I failed to have fun doing it and paid the price of a longer journey.
How do you know when to promote a student?
As a purple belt, I cant respectfully answer this question. But my opinion on the matter is, I feel it’s truly up to the instructor and his guidelines and expectations of the student.
Who is the best person you have ever rolled with?
Hands down, my best rolls come from my training partner and world champion, Scott Perry.
Who is the best person you have ever competed against?
A lot of my comps I’ve fought many good guys, but one that stands out are my fights against Jimmy Flathery. We have been at it 3 times. So far first 2 wins go to me, last one was a draw.
How many times a week should you train?
Ultimately at least 3 times a week is good if you're a hard nose. I want to be a world champion and have no responsibilities than 4 to 5 days a week
What kinds of activities do you do outside of jiu-jitsu?
I work full time at a restaurant in East Village Manhattan NYC called Tatsu Ramen. Outside of that, I am a father to a 9 yr old boy with Autism Spectrum disorder, he is my world. Along with those responsibilities I do some weight training, and on occasion personal training as well. So, I’m pretty much booked for the most part of my life lol. But I always dedicate 3 days to jiu-jitsu.
What do you feel are some of the mistakes instructors make when teaching BJJ?
I think getting personal with students is a big problem. In a room full of students, instructors need to find a way to make each student feel unique and not focus their time solely on the high profile ones. This can start a rift between the teacher student relationship, and can hurt the instructor as well from a business perspective.
What advice would you give competitors looking to attain sponsorships?
First, don't ask for a sponsor if you're still white belt. (2) Don't ask for a sponsor at blue belt with little experience in competition. The honest truth is, if your only competition status is at your local comp gym and not a single person knows about you but your buddies and gym friends, chances are you're not a good candidate to promote the brand to their standards. (3) Take a chance at the big leagues and impress the world, although I feel indifferent about the major organizations out there, they do provide a huge audience. Brands love this, and what better way to get the attention of your favorite brand than wearing their gear and winning matches at Pans or Worlds or any of the Opens. Winning in style is a sure way to get noticed.
What other awesome things are on the horizon for you?
Well, I’ll be doing things differently this year at purple belt. Going to do my first ever sub only tournament at Finishers in a month, then plan my way to do some of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slams, and maybe take a shot at Worlds again and see how well I can do. But I would say a lot of NoGi action from me for sure
Quick fire, rapid questions:
Favorite sweep – Pendulum sweep
Favorite position – Close guard
Favorite submission – Gi Bow and arrow NoGi estima lock
Favorite takedown – Drop seo nagi
Favorite color – Red
Favorite candy – Snickers bars
How/where can people find out more about you (eg. social media etc)?
You guys can follow my IG @Storyof_chaos or just Facebook me Brian Richards I'm very thankful to my sponsors Sleeve and Collar for the huge support Defense Soap for also holding me down keeping me clean and fresh that is very important to me lol Big thank you, to my Team Unity Jiu-jitsu Murilo Santana and coach Junny for everything they help me prepare for, a shout out to Monkey Tape for providing great athletic support tape for all of us jitsjunkies out there. Peace to all my supporters