Courage in the Face of Complacency

by Jeff Moore, ‘The Ginja Ninja’


Most people think of cowardice as being the opposite of courage.  Those people might share an example of the heroic fireman blasting past the trembling bystander in to a building engulfed in flames as a contrast between courage and cowardice.

This certainly still applies in my estimation, but Rickson Gracie said something on Rogan’s podcast that got my attention.  I’m paraphrasing, but Rickson said something to the effect of, “In modern society, the opposite of courage is not cowardice.  It’s complacency.”  While looking in to this topic, I found that Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”  Rickson and Mandela… good enough for Killer J.

In our somewhat civilized society, most people aren’t faced with fending off hordes of marauders, launching spears in to charging rhinos, or Tarzan’ing from a jungle vine and rescuing a baby from the clutches of a crocodile.  That stuff happens, just not all that often.

Most of us are faced with less imminently severe stressors, but in the long term, our modern day stress can be crippling and is kept in place by complacency.  Do you have a job you don’t like, but fear quitting and doing your own thing?  That’s complacency.  Are you trapped in a bad relationship, but you won’t leave because you fear being alone?  That’s complacency.  If you’re a jiujitsu player, do you find yourself not progressing because you stick to your “A” game at all times while sparring because you fear trying out a new technique and failing?  Complacency.

I know I have fallen in to the complacency trap multiple times in my life with various things, so don’t take this post as being preachy.  I’ve let fear best me plenty of times, and the comfort of the mundane and predictable has been alluring enough to freeze me up for periods of time.  I need to remember to have the courage to take that leap, and not let fear bind me anymore.  Neither should you!

Kimura Control Series with Jake South



If you have trained or competed in Utah very long in Utah, you’ve likely been submitted by Jake South via some form of this slick Kimura series. With every version, you feel completely safe until you are suddenly and unexpectedly swept into danger of a simultaneous reverse triangle, armbar, and body crusher. I can drill this 45 minutes with Jake, know it is exactly what he’s chosen to submit me with for the day, and Jake will still get me with this series 10 times out of 10.

Jake is a super technical 4-stripe brown belt at Unified Jiu-Jitsu in South Jordan, Ut. Thanks for your help Jake!

Jake’s last MMA opponent knows all too well how effective this series is!

Fighting For 1st – Lessons from Jason South

I am blessed to be surrounded daily by brilliant ninjas. I consider myself to be a respectable purple belt, but am humbled by at least one of my training partners nearly every time I step on the mat. I’m blessed with the opportunity to roll frequently with brown and black belts, super technical purple belts and some of the most talented blue belts I’ve ever seen. Honestly, I feel like I have the best team and training partners anyone could ask for. Every time I step on the mat, there is something to learn from my opponent.

While I learn volumes on the mat, occasionally, a simple comment off the mat changes everything I know about Jiu-Jitsu. One of these moments came in April 2011 where I had made the heavyweight no-gi finals of a local submission only grappling tournament. One of my teammates, Jake South asked when I was up next. I excitedly replied, “I’m fighting for 1st or 2nd right now!” Jake’s brother, Jason, quickly responded, “No. You are fighting for 1st.”

I had lost perspective. Subconsciously, I had already accepted that I might not win. Without realizing it, I doubted myself. I eventually did lose in a 20-minute battle, but the lesson will stick with me forever. I am always fighting for 1st.

Thank you Jason South.

Jason South is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt (Unified BJJ – Pedro Sauer Team) under John Carlquist, the current Steelfist MMA Pro Welterweight Champion  (12-2), and training partner to guys like Court McGee and Josh Burkman.

Welcome to YOUR Site for Ninja Secrets!



There is a constant Strength vs. Technique debate in Jiu-Jitsu. Rightfully so as Helio Gracie was a but a small, frail 16-year-old when he first started instructing Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with his brother Carlos. The entire premise of Jiu-Jitsu is that a smaller, weaker person can defeat a larger, stronger opponent using leverage. This is a wonderful part of Jiu-Jitsu and we’ve seen it successfully put to the test over and over again. However, we also know that once the larger, stronger opponent learns Jiu-Jitsu, strength is once again a very important factor.

Strength vs. Technique

Strength vs. Technique

Also, naturally, as strength and conditioning coaches, we have spent our entire careers believing the stronger, better conditioned an athlete is, the greater his potential for success in his chosen sport. forgets the debate and blends fantastic techniques from high-level practitioners as well as strength and conditioning advice from professional strength and conditioning coaches who just so happen to be passionate about the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We fully believe that there is a place for strength and a place for technique, and their place is TOGETHER. By addressing both, you, the ninja in training, become a more complete athletic package.


The Blog

We will post a weekly blog that includes strength and conditioning tips, mental training tips for competitors (sport psychology), interviews with prominent BJJ competitors, concepts learned at BJJ seminars we attend, and everything else related to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Training Videos 

We will be traveling around shooting video with our ever growing band of ninjas. These high level practitioners will be showing us some of their go-to sweeps, submissions, escapes, and training drills. We will be posting one or two videos from each instructor on our public access page, and the rest of their videos will go in our Ninja Secrets Vault. Membership to will give you unlimited, unrestricted access to the vault.

We will also be shooting frequent strength and conditioning videos with our go-to Strength Ninja, Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu purple belt, Arlo Gagestein. Arlo owns Competitive Edge Combat in Utah and is the author of Warrior Core: Core Training Secrets for the Modern Combat Athlete. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Performance, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a Certified MMA Conditioning Coach, a Structural Integrator and Licensed Sports Massage Therapist. In addition to BJJ competitors, Arlo has worked with UFC, Bellator, and WSOF athletes.

Whether you choose to purchase a membership or not, will provide plenty of ninja secrets to improve your Jiu-Jitsu game. Our goal is to be YOUR go-to site for fitness and Jiu-Jitsu!

Welcome to our clan.